This was one of the most challenging aspects of the entire project. One of the talented architects I asked to participate was Andrew Montgomery of Terraforma. He blew me away with his completely unattached imagination of design. Unfortunately in the final analysis, it was also out of my budget, but God, it took me to another place.
Harold Long (Harold Glenn Long Architect) came down to the site and immediately started an in depth analysis of the site characteristics. With my background in Landscape Architecture, I thought I had done this, until his presentation, when he pointed out from his Frank Lloyd Wright training, I’d missed a couple of beautiful opportunities. Credits to both of these talented architects.
The friend that saved me from my indecisive path was Mike Barclay (Barclay Home Design). He did what most design professionals refuse to do, and that was assist me in cherry picking aspects from his design and the other two, and blend them into one beautiful comprehensive work. I know that through the condensing part of size reduction, he and my interior designer, Susan Green of Green Interior Designer, grew very tired of me complaining it was still too big for one guy. Finally we retained most of the hot buttons, with very little sacrifice. I had two steps down into the great room, for making a statement; this was not a small house. Vaulted ceilings, but only in those areas where they directly impacted the presentation. Here’s the interesting dilemma. . .what the heck is one of the most prolific Street of Dreams builders doing building such a tiny house? I’ve had garage and storage spaces on single homes that were nearly as big as this entire house. All I know is, it better be good.
Absolute attention to the traffic flow was critical. Maximum windows to draw the outside energy into the house, and to take some of the smaller spaces and cheat the eye. Skylights where we need to punch light into isolated space. Some details that are typically only employed in nice larger scale homes, were included. A home in which a guy could grow older. A home that would have a minimum impact on environmental resources coupled with low on-going maintenance. Truly what had evolved seemed to be a place where Spirit could and would comfortably reside.
Finally I was in a place where I HAD TO BUILD THIS NEW HOME!
My thoughts often return to my dear father with whom I built my original home on the contingent acreage 35 years ago. Dad and I knew very little about construction, so we went slowly, employing an array of “do it yourself” books and hiring some very talented craftsmen who were patient, excellent teachers. We learned to take our rough time estimates for completion of the task at hand and multiply by 3. That was usually closer to the actual time required for this picky young man to execute excellence in construction.
My spiritual connection is stronger than ever to that good soul and I was blessed to have him share my dream for the original home. Thanks, Dad.