what is the most gratifying aspect of residential practice?

“The collective gratification experienced when architects, clients, builders, and allied craftspeople are passionate about realizing a project.”David Jameson, FAIA, David Jameson Architect

“The blank-canvas aspect each project offers. The inherent scale of residential work allows us to explore fundamental architectural issues and reshape the paradigm of housing.”Brian Johnsen, AIA, Johnsen Schmaling Architects

“My favorite clients become my friends.”—Craig Steely, Craig Steely Architecture

“Having the opportunity to help individual people improve the quality of their domestic lives. There is an intimacy and directness with residential projects that is absent when the client is a corporation or business.”John Brown, RAIC, housebrand

“Repairing damaged buildings and sites and collaborating with smart, passionate clients who want to rework their relationship to the built and natural environments.”Alan Organschi, AIA, Gray Organschi Architecture

“Walking through a just-completed home with a satisfied client, discovering and enjoying the intricacies that were once just small drawings on a piece of paper.”Jim Strickland, Historical Concepts

“The clients and the landscapes, whether urban, suburban, or rural. There are so many variations and idiosyncrasies.”Tom Kundig, FAIA, Olson Kundig

“Residential scale is almost instant gratification in architectural time, the cast of clients keeps changing, and you’re never far from that material cultural tradition.”Brian MacKay-Lyons, FRAIA, Hon. FAIA, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

what is the most frustrating aspect of residential practice?

“Being a marriage counselor on the side.”Craig A. Curtis, FAIA, LEED AP, The Miller Hull Partnership

“The fact that there are so many products on the market to choose from. It’s difficult to get clients to focus and restrain themselves.”—Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, Studio Pali Fekete architects

“Because each project becomes something personal, something that you put your heart into day after day, it is those few drawings that end up in a file, never built, that are the most disappointing.”Terry Pylant, Historical Concepts

“In the entitlement process, trying to convince people that design innovation is an essential part of a city’s growth. It’s also a struggle to be considered in the same league as firms owned by men.”Anne Fougeron, FAIA, Fougeron Architecture

“If you don’t hit it off well with a client in a residential project, it’s really painful because it is such an intimate relationship that it becomes much more emotional.”Taal Safdie, Safdie Rabines Architects

“Design review boards sometimes restrict design freedom to the point of watering down ideas and forcing designs into the middle.”Leo Marmol, FAIA, and Ron Radziner, FAIA, Marmol Radziner

“Aside from getting permits and entitlements, one of the most frustrating aspects is often trying to incorporate new design ideas, materials and technologies that then get priced out of the project.”Mary Griffin, FAIA, Eric Haesloop, FAIA, LEED AP, and Stefan Hastrup, AIA, LEED AP, Turnbull Griffin Haesloop

“There is never enough time.”Paul Masi, AIA, Bates Masi + Architects

“Approvals become increasingly difficult and time-consuming and codes become increasingly restrictive.”James Estes, FAIA, Estes/Twombly Architects

“I want every project to take less time and cost less than they do. We are certainly helping to reduce those items, but there is still a ways to go to achieve the mission.”Michelle Kaufmann, AIA, LEED AP, Michelle Kaufmann Studio