Passion in Physical Form

Most psychologists, even economists, will tell you that when a person loves his or her job, their work performance increases. Now if you are wondering why this applies to you, know that by hiring an architect you do, in a sense, take on the role of boss or supervisor. So if that architect, your employee, is passionate, and happy, and you are as positively invested in the project as well, you have the groundwork for great work. 

As the 2012 Homes by Architects Tour gets closer, it’s time to prove how these architects practice with passion and how their clients inspire them to design better. Here are words from some of the architects themselves:

Home #2 – CityDeskStudio
Architects: Bob Ganser, Christian Dean and Ben Awes

Photo Courtesy of Bob Ganser, CityDeskStudio

I was recently reminded of a line that I like from the movie Rushmore: “find something you love to do and do it for the rest of your life.” Who wouldn’t love to collaborate with new people on a regular basis, draw, color, collage, build models or see ideas realized in built form? I feel very lucky to be able to come to the studio every day and work on something that I love!

We have been fortunate to work with very engaged and interesting clients—clients who express a clear vision for what they want, enjoy collaboration, are interested in reflecting on how they live and what is important to them. Our best design work comes from listening to our clients, learning about how they live, understanding their aspirations, and then designing spaces that both reflect as well as expand on what we’ve learned.

Home #3 – Meriwether Inc.
Architect: Meriwether Felt

Photo by Susan Gilmore Photography

My happiness comes from providing not just a structural and utilitarian solution for my clients but doing it in such a way that the space becomes a joy to live in.

The projects I do are character-driven. My clients have a desire to create a space that means something to them. This could be driven by the neighborhood they live in, a feeling they want to have in the home, or a personal use they need to create. It has to do with more than adding an addition, or creating a certain square footage in a home. It has to do with adding personality, warmth, and graciousness. This isn’t done with materials alone, or designing in the current trend, this has to do with being able to create a thoughtfully beautiful solution for a homeowner’s desire.

House #5 – Nguyen Architects, Inc.
Architect: Tan H. Nguyen

Photo Courtesy of Nguyen Architects, Inc.

My practice draws on my natural curiosity to understand how things are put together and come apart; how individual forms fit together to create space or a vision, and how that vision weaves into the daily lives of people. It is this continuity of architecture and the impact of architecture on individuals and families that gives me inspiration and passion.

In essence, it always comes back to working with clients and in some way, it is the clients themselves that are part of the passion. I love hearing the responses from clients, their family and friends about the new home and how it has changed their daily living patterns. The change can reveal a view that wasn’t there before and made them realize a certain beautiful feature of the site. This connection with people’s lives made me realize that architecture can really shape people’s lives and have the opportunity to improve their daily experience. For this, I am grateful to be an architect.

Home #8 – Albertsson Hansen Architecture
Architect: Todd Hansen

Photo by Adan Torres

As Architects, we are especially passionate about transforming older homes into great places to live when we get the opportunity to collaborate with clients who care about detail, proportion, and color. Our home on the Homes by Architects Tour is an incredible melding of the minds between the homeowners (two graphic designers) and our firm.

The home we remodeled had small, disconnected spaces that required unique details and clever solutions. With consideration of the homeowner’s needs, we designed a spacious bright kitchen which functions as a mudroom, casual dining room, and hang-out space. The kitchen links the back yard, formal dining, and living room, serving as the central core of the home. Outdated bathrooms were refreshed with durable, timeless materials, and reorganized to accommodate a second floor laundry space. Fun and family oriented details include the pocketing dog gate, the hidden pull-out pantry cabinets, and the fold-down TV cabinet in the kitchen. It was truly a joy to work with such a wonderful family of homeowners!

To see more of this passion in its physical form, join us on September 22 and 23 for the 2012 Homes by Architects Tour. Tickets can be purchased online.

–Alicia Liebel, Associate AIA
AIA MN HBAT Marketing Committee Member