How did you get into architecture?
Since the age of 12, I wanted to be an architect. It’s always something I’ve enjoyed and had fun doing. Having worked in corporate America where I oversaw construction projects and facilities and real estate, and now, as a sole practitioner, I come as a seasoned professional to this position. I’ve done work in 40 countries around the world, which has given me a unique perspective in terms of style and also in terms of financial savvy that winds up benefiting our clients.
What challenges are unique to your business?
I think every home is different, every person is different. A lot of times you need to tease out the client’s particular dream or aspiration, which makes the whole endeavor worth the time and effort and brain damage. One major challenge is understanding what the client sees. Because we’re always dealing with an intermediary—drawings and models—and you don’t really see it until it’s built, and then it’s too late [to make changes]. For me another challenge is: Don’t get comfortable with my ability to see drawings or models. I have to look at it through the client’s eyes and try to get a sense of do they understand. A lot of it is a level of listening, where you understand by the questions just how fully they understand…or don’t. Anything, from the process to the design. We shoot for lots of dreams—and few surprises. Because they (surprises) tend to be very expensive. That can shoot you in the foot. Most professional client relationships are based upon trust.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
We have always recognized that this is the single biggest investment our clients typically will make in their financial lives. We have always provided our client's concierge service and try to tailor to each one of their particular project requirements a solution that not only meets their aspirations but also meets their budget.
Who were your influences in architecture that moved you early on?
There were several architects, and of course I always enjoyed doing construction myself. I don’t want to name heroes, but I’ll just say a lot of the icons of modern architecture, as well as more traditional architects in residential design, were my heroes. I’ve kind of formulated a fusion in my style by also knowing how houses go together, because I’ve always been somebody who personally has renovated the house they’re in and enjoyed that work.