Archives for posts with tag: FORM Architecture

We had an exciting day. This morning we met with our architect extraordinaire Patricia McQuaid, our contractor, and our structural engineer, Tamara Baker. An all female team. The three of them are familiar with each other even though they haven’t all worked together, and they are all excited about the project. I know it’s normal to bid stuff out, but Richard and I decided for this unique project we were more interested in the right fit. We have talked with Patricia before about modern design and she’s very familiar with William Morgan’s works, Tamara thinks the house is amazing and can’t wait to knock holes in the walls, and the contractor is LEED certified, has a good reputation for being on time and in budget, and has done commercial buildings, public buildings and residences. (Editor’s note June, 2011 – contractor was neither on time nor on budget nor had experience with renovations. We had to finish home on our own.)

We met with Patricia and the contractor for about four hours to have a good poke around and let our conversation range from conceptual to practical to the occasionally ridiculous. Tony Rieck took photos for Patricia to refer to during the project, the contractor and I talked about broad details like flooring and windows, and of course we discussed the budget. Still way too ethereal for my comfort. We can dream big, but of course there is always the price tag to consider. I can only imagine all of the hard choices we will have to make.

I still don’t have a good handle on how the architect, structural engineer and contractor work together. I’ve only figured out that the contractor needs the architect to provide the overall design, but the contractor said on a project like this it is even more crucial that she get detailed drawings from the structural engineer. Probably once I don’t need to understand I’ll get it.

After our meeting we met with another lender to discuss funding. I gave a little spiel about his needing to expect that this will not be a standard loan process, because nothing about this house is standard. He said he feels comfortable about us getting approved.

A few days later Richard took Jorge, Diane and photographer/painter/engineer/renaissance man Antony Rieck to see the place. Legitimately this time, with the listing agent. They all had a good look around, with Tony providing a cursory evaluation by examining the roof, bulkhead, supporting columns, and pool. When I asked Richard how they got on the roof he said Tony hopped up lithely through the little access point, they gave Jorge a boost, and then Tony pulled Richard up like a little girl. That’s my guy.

After they all saw the house, Jorge and Tony decided they should form a syndicate to buy it, fix it up and do SOMETHING with it, just don’t let it get torn down. A syndicate?! It had all of their imaginations swirling. That evening Richard and I started talking about all the possible big repairs and a budget with nothing much to go on. Silly, naïve people that we were.

We already knew we would ask Patricia McQuaid of FORM Architecture to head up the project. We met Patricia through Diane and Jorge Brunet and had worked with her before. And Patricia is married to Tony, so I’m sure she was already getting an earful from him about the house. But the idea was too daunting to do anything with yet except talk about it.