09 Jun 2010

Design Guts — Inside Your Architect

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If you’ve spent any time reading this website or chatting with me, you know I design projects based on your lifestyle, preferences and land. The notion of people and place permeates my design exercises and every design decision I make. Heck, it’s even my tagline — architecture — for people, place and planet! And when you think you’ve heard enough, I remind you again I design for you and your environment. Ok, enough already, but you might be interested in knowing what design challenges and features I like.

I like… land and sites with character. I derive significant inspiration from the site. I study paths, light, topography, man-made and natural features to find out what the site wants. I call it talking to the site and it’s similar to talking to you to learn about you.

i like… detached outbuildings such as garages, carports, well houses or workshops because they frame outdoor spaces, between the outbuildings and main building. We create unique vistas with a campus design instead of singular structures. Also, separating utility and work spaces from living spaces improves indoor air quality because we isolate toxins and tainted air that would otherwise permeate the living space.

i like… distinct designs that look fresh and uncommon. Uniqueness can be different window patterns, materials, massing, zoning, color or elements, but different for the sake of different is dull.

i like… including and integrating landscape and site design into the home design. You chose your property for a reason and living outside is as important as inside. A truly unique design expands living space beyond the building envelope

i like… green building initiatives and embrace super-insulated envelopes (good walls, windows and roof) and water catchment. I like on-site utility generation too, but if you insulate smart and capture water, you don’t need to spend the money for on-site utility generation.

i like… low-maintenance materials and I like using traditional materials in clever ways. Living in a personalized building is fun, maintaining it is not.

i like… to design on a building module to conserve material and design right-sized spaces. If your contractor understands this concept, your building will use less material, cost less and be more naturally proportioned which makes it “feel” more comfortable too.

i like… to design compatible remodels that look like part of the original building, but can understand remodels that need a different look too.

i like… working with selective clients who know what they want, but grant me the design freedom to help them discover things they didn’t know they wanted. I also like clients who choose me because I was different than others they interviewed.

i like… what I do and want to share it with you. If you like what I do and how I do it call me to share your likes and we’ll create your personalized project.

About the Author

Your Architect is Eric Faulkner -- an architect licensed in Texas & Oklahoma with 29 years experience in design, construction observation and life.