a sense of workplace – one

October 23rd 2012 Comments: 4

Our first office (shingle firmly installed by Bobby McAlpine in 1983) was a small space in a 1920s strip shopping center in downtown Cloverdale in Montgomery, Alabama. The space was lovingly dubbed the “cat box” due to its narrow fourteen foot width. That was the testing ground for our first … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Office Design Details

plan views

October 16th 2012 Comments: 13

Richard: “Good Morning, McAlpine Tankersley”. Caller: “Do you guys sell house plans?” Richard: slams the phone down (not really. actually he’s usually very nice to them). This scenario happens often. Its as if our entire office’s combined talents, college educations, decades of experience and multiple professional licenses have reduced us … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Press

an october prayer

October 9th 2012 Comments: 5

In 2011, he spent the entire year composing a special prayer for every month. He explained that he felt these words welling up within him and they yearned to to be put to paper. At Christmas he presented the collection, entitled “Catechisms”, as a gift to his family and friends; … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Team

porch songs

October 2nd 2012 Comments: 5

The crisp air at the onset of fall is best partaken of and savored in one place – the porch. Traditionally, the porch is the anteroom of the house; an architectural purgatory that is neither the street nor the foyer. The welcome mat of rooms, it’s where you sat in … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Home Design

a romantic site for a nuptial rite

September 25th 2012 Comments: 4

I recently attended the wedding of a client and friend’s son. The setting was the Blount estate, a grand, old Georgian home where we were commissioned (some years ago) to design a private chapel on the property and an English conservatory addition to the house. These proved to be a … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Event Design

seating group dynamics

September 18th 2012 Comments: 0

This question is often asked of us. Some assume we visualize the house as an object in the landscape and begin there. Some architects do work this way; they see buildings as sculptures meant to be inhabited. We, however, design from a different perspective. We approach the creation of a … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Interior Design

no white after labor day?

September 11th 2012 Comments: 3

Historians think this maxim stems from class divisions at the turn of the century when lightweight clothes were a symbol of the well-to-do. Back then, Labor Day marked the time the affluent returned from vacation, stowed the summer clothes and went back to school and work. Whether or not you … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Living Room Design

an author’s kitchen

September 4th 2012 Comments: 9

“That chandelier is very phallic. Or maybe it has just been a long time for me!” “Wait, someone actually wrote that?” Joanna, a writer, asked me during a recent interview for a USA Weekend article. “Yes, when my not-so-usual kitchen was published in House Beautiful magazine’s February 2010 issue, it … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Kitchen Design

for the love of dogs

August 28th 2012 Comments: 4

Selfish is the love of dogs Selfish of me that is To wade in their gaze Drunk in love They teach me Teetering on an older person’s lenience They watch and forgive me fluidly And do not ever really waiver in their hearts Erratic circumstance is ridden through Skewered by … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Living Room Design


August 21st 2012 Comments: 4

Bobby began collecting them (chairs, not shirts) as a teenager. His personal tastes lean toward the small open chair or stool – the chess piece that can be arranged at will when intimate conversation is called for. Chairs are the most characterful pieces one can own and require different behaviors … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Seating Design