barn raison d’être

August 14th 2012 Comments: 2

While researching the architectural styles of barns, I became mildly amused by my current scholarly investigation. In rural North Alabama, where I grew up, no architect ever laid a genteel creative hand upon a barn; they were humble agricultural necessities. Standing quietly like a cow grazing in the field, these … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Barn Design

a tale of two cottages

August 7th 2012 Comments: 6

We recently completed construction on a unique commission in Aspen, Colorado’s bucolic West End.   This desirable little neighborhood is adjacent to downtown Aspen and is comprised mostly of narrow urban type lots.  Our client had bought a lovely piece of property which was burdened by a very ugly 1970s … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Architectural Process

a sole witness

July 31st 2012 Comments: 4

The lone window is always the heartbreaker of the composition. It can be as sexy as a facial beauty mark or as calmingly beautiful as a framed simple still life. Its larger siblings, the bay window and picture window, may well be brighter and more dramatic but the isolated aperture … [read more]

half bath, whole hog

July 24th 2012 Comments: 5

The simple pedestal sink and squeaky medicine cabinet of old has been replaced by garden urns, stone troughs and ornate gilt mirrors. The modern powder room is a miniscule exercise in set design, evoking everything from scared baptismal fonts to the natty English yard man’s garden room. As designers, it’s … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Bathroom Design

pool liner notes

July 17th 2012 Comments: 1

It’s not often you see a swimming pool immediately upon entering the house. This Mediterranean house, located in Nashville, Tennessee is a far cry from that sea of inspiration. Being welcomed home by crystal clear water seemed a requirement. Landscape Architects Page Duke worked with us to seamlessly integrate this … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Outdoors

granger carr: remembered

July 10th 2012 Comments: 10

David Granger Carr (pictured left and in front in a 1996 McAlpine Tankersley staff photo) worked alongside us for many years. His wicked sense of humor and Southern gothic charm kept us in smiles and tears for a youthful period in our firm’s history.  He began working as an assistant … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Team

built on the fourth of july

July 3rd 2012 Comments: 3

Like the can opener, the credit card and musical theatre, these styles are distinct American inventions. The following houses are are some of our designs which represent our rich American history: CARPENTER GOTHIC Carpenter Gothic, also called Carpenter’s Gothic, and Rural Gothic, is a North American architectural style-designation for an … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Style

I know a place

June 26th 2012 Comments: 2

Sometimes when I am lost I fall into a kind of trance as if sleepwalking find myself unconsciously falling toward a place known by few though by some Its architecture began long before I get there, for it transcends the physical. Though I go alone, I always carry someone with … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Blount Park

court/house wedding

June 19th 2012 Comments: 3

In residential design, much emphasis is given to the entrance sequence, mainly the door and the foyer just for this reason. It’s the designer’s opportunity to play an overture to introduce the play within. In most instances, however, the visitor’s welcome to the home is not arrival by foot at … [read more]

Wall to Enthrall

June 12th 2012 Comments: 8

“If you see a wall that needs something on it, let me know.” Those were the parting words of our friend and host last fall as Mark Montoya and I left the villa he and his sister have on the Amalfi coast of Italy. And, so began one of the … [read more]