Clients often ask in initial interviews, “What Style do you design in?”. While it is true that some design firms may hold to a specific design style, like the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright or perhaps more regional vernaculars like a Mediterranean style inspired by the coastal European regions, EVstudio would characterize its design inspiration as derived by the site, the program and most importantly, the Client.
Over the years, we have been asked by Clients to design in various styles that speak to them, whether it had long been the vision of their dream project, or a particular style that speaks to their personal nature from perhaps a strong childhood memory or a building that they’ve always loved. We are intrigued by every new challenge and our design philosophy thrives in the versatility of the projects that we’ve had the pleasure to design.
For the team in our various design studios, this versatility is what keeps our design interesting and fresh. Design ideas extracted from one style may inform another and collectively, produce better design. Regardless of where the style of choice is inspired from, our team will combine years of design experience and academic study with diligent research of those elements specific to the design program to arrive at a design solution that does not need to compromise on function in order to astound aesthetically.
Materials and construction type also heavily influence the architectural style. Often, we are asked about a design style that has no historical precedent in an alternate construction type. Examples might be a Mediterranean style with log construction or an Old World European with SIP panels or ICF structure. We adapt the style as necessary to create these hybrid designs in a way that succeeds at every level for the Client, and is also practical to the Client’s budget.
The Style of the home may also be out of context with the region in which it is built as well. In fact, this is not at all uncommon in many parts of the country, where design is imported to a region for any of the reasons a Client may have. Design styles which have historical roots to a particular region may have design elements that speak to that specific culture or climate. For example, the deep porches of the Southern styles speak to the hot and humid climate that their shading protects while the adobe mass walls of the desert southwest help to combat the hot and dry climate there. This is not to say that a style cannot be imported, but rather, when it is, it is critically important to examine the ways in which these elements respect the climate and adapt them as appropriate to the specific site they will be used.
Other factors that inform the aesthetics of the home are the sustainable features of the home. Certainly, physical elements like PV systems are visible and should be integrated seamlessly into the roof design. However, other sustainable design elements like passive solar design will dictate such fundamental choices like building orientation and location of glazing. Rainwater collection systems would inform the roof design and location of valleys and drainage structures.
All of the images in this post have been designed by the EVstudio team and are all examples of a Client-driven program that identifies a specific style and programmatic needs unique to that individual Client. When interviewing architects, it is important to understand their philosophy and how they will be able to incorporate your aesthetic vision into the design in a way that not only functions well, but adds value to your project by balancing the many factors that need to be considered. How well will they listen to you and will they challenge and compliment your ideas to work together towards a common goal?
We would love to hear from you about your project. Everything discussed in this article is what we do every day for our Clients and we are certain that we can achieve a design that exceeds your expectations both functionally as well as aesthetically. There is no disputing that good design is simply more valuable, but when it is customized to you, it is truly priceless.