Doctor Spec

  • no-blame flame

    The fireplace has long been an iconic symbol in American culture. “It takes us back to grandmother's house,” says Carbondale, Colo.-based architect Doug Graybeal, AIA, “and it's better than television.” But, setting aside our affinity for nostalgia, grand

     
  • prodigal sun

    Architects David Arkin, AIA, and Anni Tilt installed a solar system on their northern California home eight years ago, and judging from the results they've seen, there's little doubt they would do it again.

     
  • rock on

    Granite is one of the most prized counter-top materials, the ultimate status and style symbol in the kitchen. And with good reason—it's water-, heat-, and scratch-resistant; durable; and virtually maintenance free. It's a rich, lustrous natural material that upgrades the look of the whole kitchen...

     
  • handle with care

    Residential architects know only too well the challenges that arise when designing a custom home for a demanding client. Architects who toil in the realm of special-needs multifamily housing, however, face a different set of obstacles and obligations.

     
  • closing ranks

    Building a house on a sweet spot near the coast is a commission most architects covet. But when Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida, on Aug. 24, 1992, it made some reconsider the opportunity.

     
  • keeping it real

    As a decking material, acomposite excels. Made from virgin or recycled plastic and wood waste, composite is durable, weather-resistant, and virtually maintenance-free. But while those attributes may satisfy your clients' practical side, the product's ersatz appearance may leave some of them feeling...

     
  • kitchen exponential

    The kitchen is one area where hopes spring eternal and infernal. Today's wealthy homeowners want tremendous function, jewel-like dazzle, and flawless craftsmanship in this hardworking room. That's why you may need an ace up your sleeve for these lavish projects: the European-style kitchen system.

     
  • from the ground up

    As public interest in eco-friendly houses grows, so too does demand for green building products. Made with ingredients that are less harsh than conventional sources, these materials are easier to live with and, presumably, healthier for the environment.

     
  • concrete remix

    Long before mid-century Modernists sang the praises of concrete, early pioneers recognized its practicality, strength, and versatility.

     
  • the other side of siding

    I like wool, silk, and cotton, exterior cladding materials such as cedar, stucco, and brick have stood the test of time and fashion. But they aren't the only fabrics in the sewing box.

     
 
 
 
 
 
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