Ah, but I'm just a lowly drafter and NOT an extremely talented Architect.
Maybe that's part of the discrepancy. I agree it's not the IDEAL project
but it's better than average (for me) and it puts food on my table (and
that's the main reason I work at all!)
At the risk of offending some people.... I think it's far to easy for
Architects/Designers/Whatevers to let their ego balloon. Certainly it
doesn't happen to everyone, but I've seen it with alarming frequency.
(maybe that has something to do with the "lack" of respect and pay that a
lot of Architects complain?). I'll be the first to admit, I'm FAR from the
best "designer" in the world (hell, I know a handful of people locally who
blow me away). But that's rarely the point. I try to bridge the gap (and
it's a HUGE gap) between "spec" houses and "Architect Designed" houses. My
projects are better designed than "specs" but not necessarily as nice as
some work being done by local Architects. I can look at all my projects
once finished and say "I gave the client a good design/product for a great
price". I can live with that. Architects tend to complain about the
general lack of decent design in the majority of homes but then do nothing
to try to fix the problem (instead most lust after doing an amazingly
designed, uber-exspensive house). My work certainly won't be studied in
schools 200 years from now but I'm OK with that. In the course of this year
I (and my assistant) will have drawn up plans used to build 150+ houses
across the country. Will they win a bunch of awards? Nope. Do I care?
Nope. My goal is just to make each house better than "spec" for a "spec"
price. Each client I can enlighten/educate will hopefully retain (to some
degree) that desire for good design for the rest of their lives. Hopefully,
each succesive owner of one of those homes will have their lives enriched
Nor would anyone (probably) want every job to be so.
Well, I rambled enough (for now). Thanks to everyone for your comments and
John C. Henry couldn't do proper 'historical detailing' if his life
depended on it. There are no classical proportions in that piece of
crap. In fact, just about all the 'detailing' in it is totally out of
proportion, badly combined, grammatically incorrect or just plain ugly.
That said, for historical references it's always best to go to the
There is no such thing as 'traditional French colonial'. The
architecture found in French colonies was as varied as the places
occupied. Perhaps the Vieux-Carre district in New Orleans might have
something of similar flavor, more familiar to Americans, but I would
eschew that and go to the source.
For true French neoclassical architecture, start with Jules Mansart;
his masterpiece the Les Invalides church in Paris gets the detailing
By the way, I'm doing a Scottish Baronial style mansion for a client in
Fort Lauderdale. Fortunately he had the sense to start with a good
source: the Muckross house in Ireland, designed by William Burn.
While that may be true (and I'll do my best to make my project more
accurate) my client likes the front elevation (he has not seen the rest of
Thank you for this. This was the kind of input I was seeking when starting
this thread (though all the other input has been valuable and/or
Yeah, and this client doesn't seem to care much for it either. I'm not sure
where he got the idea that he wanted "traditional French colonial" but
everything I've shown him tht he likes tends to be more along the lines of
Romanesque Revival or Gothic Revival. I'm still trying to nail him down on
a style but he seems adamant about combining the parts he like from each.
I too found most to be very appealing (though not all, and the house I
pointed out wouldn't be one of my picks from his work)
Me too! Me too!
Nor I, mayeb that's why the "ego" has been replaced by the "practicality"?
I'd say a handicap, unless it's impossible to have the knowledge without
also having the "by the book" attitude.
Yep, that's what led me to start the thread. Unfortunately, nobody has been
able to point to a "correct" example built in the last 50 years or so. Does
that mean that nobody is doing it right? Lots of people have said "that's
crap" and a handful have said look at "_____" for historical accuracy. So
far nobody has said "So-and-so did an accurate (and/or appealing) house a
few years back".
Oh well, been a good thread even if it took a different direction than I'd
As I may have already mentioned awhile back; I was somewhat surprised, maybe
disappointed, by Chris' (or anyone else's) response, and/or lack thereof,
with regard to follow-up, especially given that he appears to be a proponent
of choreography (with a background to match), of which, at least one would
think, follow-up would seem natural, to go hand-in-hand, in an
after-the-fact, or a
sort of way.
The sense I got is that the idea of one's own follow-up in the field came
out of left field.
Chris still hasn't followed up, incidentally, on what he said he would with
regard to my year-old post.
(Special mention goes to adaptive reuses and why they work or don't work.)
Perhaps the biggest test against which the success or failure of an
architectural work (or most anything else for that matter) is, simply, the
test of time.
Why do we study architecture in the first place? Study is follow-up.
If we take time out of our methodological equations with our own designs as
architects & designers, what else is there really?
I apologize for not following through.
For the record....I am not really interested in projects that try to
copy ANY style.
When the conversation turns to "which approach is better when copying"
...I simply lose interest. It is not what I do....and I am
fundamentally opposed to this approach ....so when the group chooses to
spend a lot of energy on such questions I simply tune out. It is not
architecture the way I think of it....but I do not want to waste time
judging those who think otherwise. It is simply not a conversation for
When I design anything....a house, a church, a restaurant, a school
science lab, a factory, a kitchen....whatever.... for me the first
question is the choreography...the flow of people, goods, etc. For
precisely that reason....I am not interested in the ability of one or
another designer to copy a particular design or style. That is not the
work of an architect.
I design a broad range of project types....but "style" is never as
important as flow and function. From what I have seen....most of this
thread has dealt with superficial appearance instead of function or
flow....so I chose to butt out. It is clear that no one in this thread
is interested in the issues I consider important to architecture....so
there is no reason to waste my time talkiing about issues more profound
Richard.....with the deepest respect...if you will ask me a question I
will try my damnedest to answer you with the seriousness it deserves.
Please accept my apologies for not replying properly prior to this.
Chris, you may want to elaborate a bit better. By your own words then,
Palladio, who was, by and large, copying greek and roman decorative
styling, wouldn't be an architect, and neither would Wren, McKim,
Vignola, Sansovino, R.M. Hunt, etc.
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