Hello, and welcome to the blog section of Craig Race Architecture Inc. This is my first blog post, so it seems logical to start by explaining who I am, what we do, and how we got here.
As time goes on, I hope to release many blog posts on architecture and urbanism that explore theories, vent frustrations, muse poetics, and profess my love for the business of design. The story on how Craig Race Architecture Inc. was created starts when I was in kindergarten. My parents tell me that my teacher was shocked by my crayon depictions of humans and trees being relatively scaled. I once drew a person spinning a yo-yo around their head and had the good sense to stop the line of the string on one side of the face and continue it on the other, so the string was properly perceived as passing behind them.
“He should be an architect!” Yeah, right.
As crazy as such a premonition must have been, it proved correct. My love for interpreting the physical world stuck with me, and I have since pursued the study and practice of architecture across time and distances that have made for a very exciting professional life. I have had the opportunity to become friends with design intellectuals and mentors who have challenged me and helped me understand architecture as a means of creating comfort, beauty, economy, and social equity.
This leads me to my first design theory I wish to share:
When you hire an architect, the last thing they should be worried about is your house.
That is not to say they should not be worried about the design of your house. They absolutely should! But good design results from your built program coexisting with its surroundings in a way that is artistic, financially advantageous, and ecologically sensitive.
When you tell me you want three bedrooms, two bathrooms, open-concept living space, and a secondary basement apartment suite, I have to figure out how those building elements are going to interact with the sun and wind, your neighbours’ houses, the zoning bylaws, the building code, and your bank account. And properly addressing all of those concerns requires an intense contextual analysis that places the majority of preliminary design effort on studying everything except the things you are probably thinking about. Stepping out of your comfort zone and relying on your architect to create and solve your puzzle will give you a result that doesn’t meet your expectations – it creates new expectations and hopefully exceeds them.
Lots of kindergartners can draw you a stick figure. My goal is to draw that stick figure with a yo-yo spinning around its head, appropriately scaled beside a tree. My goal is to deliver something you never expected, so when we get through the long process of building a house you can feel excited about going home.