Principles of Living Architecture

Render of 800 Washington

Living Architecture is about designing a home that is uniquely yours. Modern life is frenetic and stressful. Your home should not be. Everyone’s vision of their personal lives is unique. When D/O Architects begins a project, we spend time studying the location and greater landscape. We also have a detailed process to get to know each client and their lifestyle. Great homes are shaped from the authenticity of place and you, not grand artistic gestures, or generic solutions. 

Each of our projects strives to consider five elements: 

  1. Health
  2. Quiet
  3. Nature
  4. Comfort
  5. Family – Community
Render of TMBR Rooftop

Healthy homes are more important than ever before. We spend 93% of our lives inside. With the realities of working from home most of this time is in our own personal space. Unfortunately, buildings are not always created with our best interests in mind. We champion sustainable design, but as energy efficiency has led that discussion buildings are sealed tighter to minimize energy losses. However, sealing us in also increases the concentration of pollutants in our spaces. It takes care to design buildings that consider the environment and our mental and physical wellbeing. 

When we design your house, apartment or condominium we look at each layer of the building and ask ”How will this design impact you?”. By creating breathable systems that reduce mold intrusion we keep toxins from forming. Interior finishes also have a huge impact on health. Through thoughtful selections you can still have beautiful interiors free of harmful chemicals. Our designs ensure our clients live in homes that are dry, clean, safe, well ventilated, pest-free, contaminant free and durable. 

Everwood Farmstead

Less commonly discussed is the lack of quiet in our lives. As cities develop rapidly the amount of stimulation increases. Bustling urban areas are exciting but it comes with a cost. People need places to retreat. We live in a loud and hectic world, where silence is challenging to find—and that may negatively affect your health. The way we design your home can provide a place for mental regeneration, self-reflection, and a happier life.  

The World Health Organization has called noise pollution a “modern plague” with evidence that noise has adverse side-effects on our health. People living in cities are frequently exposed to noise levels over 85 decibels. This sound from noisy highways, window air conditioners, and noisy restaurants can cause hearing loss and much more psychological harm. Research shows noise pollution can contribute to high blood pressure, heart attacks and increased stress levels. We develop places where you can rest, insulated from sound and encourage reflections and cognitive regeneration in your personal spaces.

Twin Lake

D/O Architect’s work is inspired by the beauty of nature. We believe strongly that people need more connection to the natural world. Our homes find creative and inspiring ways to bring nature into your daily lives and extend living outdoors. As a team of landscape architects and architects we understand how to shape space in ways that other firms do not. We design the landscape and your home together creating a sanctuary for your family. 

Intuitively we know nature is good for our souls, recent research continues to demonstrate how it can shape our happiness and impact our mental well-being. Interacting with nature on a regular basis can lower depression and anxiety. Children exposed to the natural world can increase self-esteem, improve symptoms of ADHD and improve concentration. According to Dr. Richardson, Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness at the University of Derby- connection to nature can correlate with life satisfaction, vitality, meaningfulness, happiness, and mindfulness. By creating private courtyards, windows framing bubbling fountains, and bringing natural materials indoors we can help you and your children find a better life. 

Render of TMBR Interior

Another big factor in a successful design is your comfort. This is something unique to everyone and can only occur when we discover your personal nature by working collaboratively together. We are skilled listeners and develop design ideas that compliment your individual needs. For some, this is a cozy place that feels warm and sheltered. Others desire social spaces that frame open views. There is no one universal way to design for a family's definition of comfort, but we have developed a process to draw those needs and preferences out during the design process. 

The simplicity of our design philosophy is that it combines nature, building, comfort and science together into a unique home for you. We are privileged to design your home because you bring us into your life. This is an important act of trust that we do not take lightly. We develop architecture to create places for your family that celebrate community and nature. 

We have developed our process over 25 years of working on residential design. Each step is important to making an inspiring and wonderful home. Our designers work to guide you through a complex and at times challenging construction project. We have six points that produce amazing Living Architecture and creates an easy process for you:  

  1. Understanding Needs
  2. Studying Place
  3. Identifying Potential
  4. Amplifying Natural Experience
  5. Designing calm, comfort, and community
  6. Stewarding the building process

We will get to know you and spend time learning about the site for your future home or building. We catalog the trees, review the site features, and map out the neighborhood and area. We are always looking for the moments where great views or natural urban flow can be shaped to make inspiration. Our designs go beyond being sustainable to elevate the places where we build. We want you to live in a place more incredible than you could ever have imagined. In each urban block or forested acre there are potentials for great architecture and better lives. We will help you through the creation of home and make a place just for you.