Transition has been on my mind a lot lately.
Perhaps it’s because this week marks my sole child’s final stretch of high school. Soon, she’ll be moving off, starting a new life far away from us as a college freshman. Or, it could be because my wife and I are preparing to move to a new city where I’ll be opening a new branch of our business. Come to think of it, upheaval and evolution surround me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those weird creatures that relishes change. I think all designers do – it’s part of our DNA. The trick is pulling off transition gracefully and doing it the right and smart way. Proper planning is a big part of accomplishing this.
When we program a house with a client, we always make it a point to discuss the inevitable progress of life. We feel strongly that a house should grow and evolve like the family it shelters. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make when building a house is the tendency to build for the “right now.” That’s short sighted because “right now” doesn’t last for very long. That’s why we try to guide our clients to put themselves into the future and consciously plan for transition. For example, we can design an active and rambunctious family house that can work just as well when it’s an empty nest. Your house should feel as comfortable for two as it does for twenty. After all, one shouldn’t have to discard a house and get another for every phase of life; change is painful enough without having to throw perpetual moving boxes into the mix.
Currently, in the building industry, there’s much talk of the importance of “green” architecture. If our houses are designed to grow and age along with us, how much more “green” can you get?
Here’s a few family houses that we designed with these thoughts in mind:
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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