My History In Architecture
The following questions deal with my own professional history within architecture - including questions about specific projects and project types.
I see that while you were with Ankrom Moisan, you were involved with a few of their projects in Portland’s Pearl District, but not all of them. Why?
It was a matter of scheduling. My time at AMAA lasted almost exactly six years. During that period, the firm was involved with around ten large, mixed-use projects in the Pearl as well as a few others of that type within the city’s core. Given the other projects that went through the firm at that time, it would have been impossible for me to work only on the Pearl District buildings. I was involved in varying capacities on roughly half of them - not all of which were built.
Not everything you design gets built?
Not everything. Probably not even half. Any number of things can conspire to put a project on ice. As we've seen recently, the economy can be a factor. Markets can become oversaturated, prices can rise (or fall), owners can change their minds. One of my first projects at AMAA involved the creation of several detached guest cabins at Skamania Lodge. I worked within a team of three or four others in the firm to design the project and produce the construction drawings, but around the time that the project went to bid, the parent company that owned the Lodge, sold it to another company - which chose not to go further with the cabins. It was disappointing for us at the time, but it all worked out in the end as the new company returned later and hired AMAA to design a significant addition to the Lodge - which was built. I've come to discover that it’s the nature of the business. Some projects make the full journey from concept to drawing to reality. And for whatever reason(s), others only make it part of the way.
Do you have a specialty?
Residential projects has comprised the bulk of my career – in terms of number of projects, square feet, and overall billings. These can be broken down into several groups. I have worked on single-family custom homes - both large & small, high end & affordable. I've also worked on large multi-family projects. These have mostly taken the form of half and full-block buildings (like those in Portland’s Pearl District), but also have come in the form of retirement communities & assisted living facilities. Beyond residential projects, I've also worked on museums, office buildings, retail projects, and hospitality projects (hotels, lodges, resort masterplanning, etc.). Additionally, I've worked on projects for state parks and municipalities (e.g. city hall, police stations, maintenance facilities, etc.). Now that I have my own office, I've found that my focus is overwhelmingly on high-end, single-family residential projects, but I'll entertain just about any project type.
Do you have a preferred architectural style?
No. I've worked in a variety of styles throughout my career. Art Deco, Cascadian, Craftsman, French Provincial, Northwest Industrial, and Tuscan are a few styles that come to mind when I think back on my career to date. Each project is unique and as far as styles go, I research them as required to satisfy the needs of the project and/or owner.
Do you do contract work?
Every job I do has a contract in the form of a written agreement between myself and my client. However, I suspect you are asking if I do consulting work for other firms. I have done this in the past and am happy to do it in the future as time allows. Please contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
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