Beginning a new design is thrilling for me; meeting my new clients, learning about the quirks of their particular house, realizing that I can help them. For me, there is always a rush that is like….well, like new love. Sure, that may be a little over the top. But only a little.
The funny thing is that even after twenty-five years, I never really know where the design will take me until I’m in the thick of it. It’s as though I sit down to sketch and the ideas just flow from the tip of the pen itself. Its a bit of alchemy — the ingredients are science, technology psychology, philosophy and art, all mixing together to create architecture if the stars align just right.
That’s not to say there is no method to it, for there is. As you might expect, I begin by learning all about my clients and how they experience the house, both inside and out. Then my team always prepares a set of measured drawings of the house as it is. But the magic doesn’t really begin for me until I study those drawings. Oddly, my mind seems freer to roam through the “virtual” house than it does the actual physical structure.
And that’s when it gets truly exciting for me. Once the house is loaded into my “mind’s eye” I can explore and wander in ways that I can never in the real world. I can walk through walls. Heck, I can pick up the walls and fling them around. I can see the house as it is and as it might be, all at once.
It’s like having 3-D X-ray; I can visualize the entire frame of the house as though it were a skeleton beneath a skin of plaster. I can see exactly why the house isn’t working for its owners and what strategic moves will radically improve it. And I know then, how to surgically alter the house; where to open new views, where to bring in light, and where to add or subtract space.
It’s intoxicating and it’s satisfying — like love!