Homes & Housing
We design affordable, market rate and custom homes for individuals, families, and multi-family groups. Our housing ranges in context and type from urban apartments and townhomes to rural country houses and cottages. We design dwellings, like our neighborhoods and towns, keeping in mind the health and well being of their inhabitants, society and natural environment. Our award-winning homes and gardens not only are designed to be beautiful, functional, and economical, but ecologically grounded in their environment.
Home ownership has become increasingly out of reach for many Americans in past years. The production housing industry has refined its processes to churns out impersonal "products" with little improvement year after year. Many have forgotten the timeless ways of home building that “our grandparents knew by heart”. Not to say that custom home design is essential. Since not everyone can afford a custom home, we also design homes for “the market” that still embody the unique spirit of custom homes.
"Green" buildings sustainable communities go hand in hand since each depends on the other. Reducing carbon emissions has as much to do with living in walkable neighborhoods, as living with healthy building systems and products.
We promote efficient energy systems and production, water and rain collection, edible landscapes, and good old passive efficiencies that our ancestors knew through generations of living traditions. We know how to design small affordable homes by making every space inside and out multifunctional, engaging, and shared.
From city center to rural village, our homes promote neighborly interaction and personal privacy. Conventional housing is often designed to turn away from the street and toward the rear yard. We instead create a "sense of place" at every step from the most public front through the home to the private rear garden. Our houses enhance the public frontage with porches, balconies, front stoops, patios and other architectural elements that encourage communication with passing neighbors.
We also specialize in courtyard and cottage greens in which a group of smaller homes gather around a car-free, shared, public/private space that encourages community interaction. These "pocket neighborhoods" often have cottages as small as 500 to 1,200 sq. ft. and a community building, outdoor fireplace, and community garden. While each home has its own privacy, the common space offers opportunities for greater interaction, especially for singles, small families and seniors.
This Service in Practice: