We often incorporate reclaimed and antique building materials and architectural elements within our design. Believing that these pieces can carry some of the energy of those who have touched and used the materials through the past, this approach can have a tremendously positive impact on character and the perceived authenticity of a project. We spend a great deal of time understanding the construction techniques used in the past and have developed cost-effective approaches to incorporate them within modern methods and building codes. We believe that these antique and reclaimed elements, when incorporated at a core level, add a great deal to the experience of living in a home, traditional or transitionally styled.
We will often organize trips to Europe with clients for the parallel purposes of helping to understand the sense of time, the balance, and the respect for history evident there, along with directly organizing the selection, purchase, and import of these antique materials.
Everyone brings souvenirs from their travels back home; when we travel with clients the souvenirs can become 400-year old stone fireplaces or a stone window surround. Entering a room through a centuries old door, grasping a handle that has been touched by others many thousands of times, is an event that recurs while living in a home that both is subtle and profound in equal measure. The dings, scrapes, and wear translate into a patina that can’t be replicated or created- they become the well-earned character stripes of a building’s personality.
These trips involve a lot of work, good food, and yes, a bit of wine (which can make the calculation of exchange rates somewhat more complicated!) We all return with a deeper appreciation of how other cultures evidence and embrace a respect for tradition and community that is truly long lived and sustainable, as well as a better understanding of the history and tradition that informs our work.
We maintain an affiliated business, Antiquities, for the exclusive benefit of our clients. We have a large yard and warehouse at our office in the Scottsdale Airpark and store a significant inventory of reclaimed materials and antique architectural elements there.
We have developed a significant experience and expertise working with these materials, and can handle and coordinate fully from the initial selection and import through installation in the construction phase, with more than 300 containers of materials imported through the years. This vertically integrated service allows a relatively affordable cost that minimizes many of the risks and challenges of using these materials. We have spent a great deal of time developing an understanding how these materials were utilized in the past, and have worked on integrating these techniques into modern construction methods and technologies (very often, this effort carries into working in the field with the contractor during construction to demonstrate the desired result). The experienced network of contractors and consultants we maintain also helps to allow the use of these materials in a relatively cost affordable fashion.