Architecture 651 Stories

Every architect’s design process is extremely personal and nuanced. For example,...
Every architect’s design process is extremely personal and nuanced. For example, I have certain tools that I reach for ritually when I start a new project. One is a favorite lead pencil with a lightweight, medium-size barrel and a thinly ridged grip,...
Design Practice: The Year in Review
The resolution season is quickly approaching. It’s that time of year when we reflect on where we’ve been and make promises that will shape the year ahead. If you run a small business or you’re in the 60 percent of American Institute of Architecture...
So You Want to Build: 7 Steps to Create a New Home
Whether building new or renovating an existing structure, creating a new home is a journey of discovering who you are, what you want, how you want to live and where you want to be. It’s a chance for you to define your relationship to the world, to...
Tell a Story With Design for a More Meaningful Home
I just finished listening to the TED Radio Hour piece about storytelling. While it shouldn't come as a surprise that books, plays, poems, paintings or music tell stories, many folks...
Architect's Toolbox: 6 Drawings on the Way to a Dream Home
From thumbnail sketches to detailed construction drawings, architects and other design professionals produce all sorts of drawings. While these drawings can be quite beautiful in their own right, their purpose is twofold. First, they help flesh...
6 Reasons to Hire a Home Design Professional
Who hasn’t heard that regular trips to the dentist can prevent the spread of tooth decay? Even though sitting in that chair isn’t the most enjoyable way to spend time, most of us know that a dentist has the knowledge and expertise to check all aspects...
Architect's Toolbox: The Sketches That Spark a Home
With everything that goes into building a house today, it’s tough to imagine where everything starts. How exactly do you communicate your ideas to another person, and how does an architect interpret things like “indoor-outdoor flow, lots...
Must-Have Book: ‘A Field Guide to American Houses’
In the spring of 1984 I had just returned to my native Texas from a semester of study abroad. I had spent the previous four months living in the scenic Chianti countryside near Florence and traveling to numerous breathtaking Italian landmarks. I had seen...
How to Read a Floor Plan
The floor plan, or plan, is the most common of all architectural drawings. From builders to architects, Realtors to appraisers, everyone uses a floor plan. More than likely this is because the floor plan is the one drawing that tells us the most about...
Design Workshop: The Art of Joining Materials
I remember the first time I set foot on a bustling construction site as an intern architect fresh out of school. It was the first time I connected the abstract vision I had been drawing on paper to the reality — and chaos — of construction. It all...
3 Surprising Essential Tools for the Modern Architect
What do you think architects do all day? Most people envision someone sitting in front of a drafting table, with pencil, eraser and straightedge, drawing into the wee hours of the night. Contrary to this stereotype, most firms have replaced old-school...
Iconic Architecture: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes
On some days it seems that modern architecture has 10 times as many detractors as proponents, even though the movement has influenced a great deal of residential architecture — from open floor plans to means of construction. Some of the dislike for...
Design Workshop: How to Make a Home Sit Lightly on the Land
Architecture’s relationship to nature — the building site — is something architects and designers must consider in the opening act of any project. Nature is a force that shapes...
Houzz Tour: A Custom-Made Tiny House for Skiing and Hiking
Ethan Waldman jokes that building and moving into his 200-square-foot house was his mid-midlife crisis. He was just 26 years old and working a desk job he hated when he decided to take a month-long sabbatical to ride his bike...
Roots of Style: The Segmental Vault Home
Don’t dismiss segmental vault houses as just Quonset huts or airplane hangars. The Quonset hut, developed and used during World War I and II, is a long half-circle of corrugated tin with a lightweight metal structure. Airplane hangars are considerably...
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