Wednesday, December 3, 2014


There is a certain type of magic that occurs when a building rises out of the earth. After the many months, and oftentimes years, of work put into designing a building, it is mesmerizing to see that building materialize right before your eyes. Although the process is more or less the same for each building (movement of dirt; forming and pouring foundations; framing; roofing; installation of windows and doors; siding; etc.), seeing the same thing for the first time, the tenth time or even for the hundredth time, is always a bit magical. Like repeatedly listening to the same symphony.
A symphony of sorts - Laurie laying out a template of her piano to locate electric floor outlets before the concrete pour
What is most stunning is how easy it seems. But it isn’t, of course.

What we do as architects is not magic, but perhaps it is the strong belief in images and answers that is most captivating - the attraction of finding just the right solution to a problem where there is no correct answer. I have awoken in the middle of the night, perplexed by a discrepancy of 2” between the construction documents and the field conditions of the project under construction. Then figured out how to turn that 2” discrepancy in order to benefit the project. Or, while swimming laps in the early morning when it is still dark, the perfect solution to a small detail that has been needling me pops into my mind, just like magic.

Finding a solution to a problem is always rewarding. But seeing a solution materialize, in real time and space, is magical.
pouring the concrete slab over the radiant tubing
framing begins on top of finished slab

location of ramp leading from entry to public spaces 

top of future ramp terminating at public spaces (lower left)

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