from the editor

  • the new, new reality

    Looking back reveals many similarities to previous downturns—and one big difference.

     

home front

  • après le downturn

    We asked visionary architects, designers, and cultural philosophers to predict how the downturn may transform housing. Here's what they told us: "The world is becoming both aesthetically conscious and information savvy. In this digital age, people want to

     

green piece

  • native sun

    One trickle-down effect of the green revolution is the growing recognition that social and economic sustainability should be part of the picture. KRDB of Austin, Texas, aims to cover those bases at SOL (Solutions Oriented Living), a mixed-income community

     

green pieces

  • the low-down

    Gerber's Ultra Flush high-efficiency toilet uses only 1.1 gallons of water per flush.

     
  • superior blends

    Sonoma Cast Stone has developed a new family of kinder, gentler concrete mixes.

     
  • on a roll

    Hoping to form a combination as successful as the iconic chocolate peanut butter cup, CertainTeed is mixing its residential roofing products with Energy Conversion Devices' thin-film flexible solar laminates.

     

k+b studio

bath

  • bay watch

    Unlike the kitchen, the master bath upstairs is anything but subdued. Here, the clients wanted a luxurious retreat from which they could savor the spectacular views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, and other prime San Francisco Bay locales.

     

kitchen

  • a place for everything

    Mark English, AIA, renovated this Sausalito, Calif., house to serve as a weekend retreat. But he did such a great job designing for his clients' lifestyle that the couple now live and work in the house full time.

     

practice

  • an honest appraisal

    From the bailout of failed investment banks to the deflating real estate market, the question of how to calculate value is on a lot of people's minds these days. During the joyride, houses of every ilk were routinely overpriced as appraisals became unmoor

     

profiles

  • robert luntz, aia, and joseph tanney, aia

    Joseph Tanney, AIA, recalls the early 1990s’ recession with a hint of nostalgia. “We had just started; we were too dumb to know what was going on,” says the co-architect, with partner Robert Luntz, AIA, of the first Dwell Home.

     
  • mark peters, aia

    Mark Peters, AIA, hadn't realized his young firm would be hitting the five-year milestone in 2009—until it was pointed out to him. “The years just kind of pass by when you're busy,” he explains.

     
  • william moore, aia

    William Moore, AIA, started his Denver-based design/build firm in 1996, after he could only find work as a carpenter.

     
  • david arkin, aia, leed ap, and anni tilt

    David Arkin, AIA, LEED AP, and Anni Tilt have a hard time turning people away. Clients seek out the firm for its expertise in sustainable design, and the husband-and-wife-led team enjoys taking on a mix of residential, commercial, and community projects.

     
  • jay janette, aia, and david goldberg, aia

    Seattle-based Mithun always considered itself a regional firm with a strong focus on residential planning and design work, but in 2008 the collective opened a San Francisco office in a move forward as a more diverse and, it hopes, recession-proof company.

     
  • eric naslund, faia, and john sheehan, aia

    When the principals at Studio E Architects fell into designing a charter school a few years ago, little did they know the project type would help see them through the current downturn.

     
  • christine l. albertsson, aia, and todd p. hansen, aia

    Last summer, Albertsson Hansen Architecture seemed on track for one of its best years ever. The Minneapolis firm had found a niche designing residential remodels and new houses, and had added staff each year since its start in 2000.

     
  • j. carson looney, faia

    Memphis, Tenn.-based Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) is an award-winning 25-year-old firm that had only reduced staff once prior to 2008.

     
  • the lowdown on the downturn

    Joseph Tanney, AIA, recalls the early 1990s' recession with a hint of nostalgia. "We had just started; we were too dumb to know what was going on," says the co-architect, with partner Robert Luntz, AIA, of the first

     
  • michael g. imber, faia

    A few years ago, Michael G. Imber, FAIA, was approached about working on a large development. His firm designs primarily high-end custom residential and has since its inception in 1992, so Imber thought carefully before accepting the offer.

     
  • chuck swartz, aia, leed ap, and beth reader, aia

    Reader & Swartz Architects was founded during a recession. “Beth got laid off and I had the brilliant idea of quitting and starting our own firm,” says Chuck Swartz, AIA, LEED AP.

     
  • venerable voices

    "Fasten your seat belts, because things happen very quickly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to hold onto staff when you don't have the work. Because of the diversity of our projects, we didn't really feel the last two downturns, but combined w

     
  • word on the street

    As creeping paralysis makes its way across the U.S. economy, residential architects are beginning to feel parts of their practices go numb.

     

shelter lab

  • alley appeal

    What began as a conversation about the brutalities of gentrification in urban neighborhoods may result in a new type of housing in Austin, Texas.

     

doctor spec

  • great walls

    John Dennis Murphey, AIA, used to specify his exterior walls the way everyone else did—with 2x4 studs, fiberglass insulation, sheathing, and so on—but very little about his walls is the same anymore. Today he designs high-performing exterior walls that ar

     

products

new material

  • déjà flue

    EcoSmart's Retro fireplace was inspired by 1960s pop culture motifs, with rounded corners and a tube design that suits various architectural styles.

     
  • studio time

    The Studio Collection is a line of home technology devices affordably priced from around $7.50 (for wall plates) to $1,380 (for a whole-house audio system).

     
  • give me liberty

    Liberty is a new collection of colorful transparent glass mosaic tiles from Miami-based Trend USA.

     

workspace

  • boora architects

    Where do we go from here? That was the existential (and practical) question Boora Architects faced in fall 2005, with the end of its lease at the historic Morgan Building in downtown Portland, Ore., looming.