Monday, July 23, 2007

A word about our architect....


As I have noted in previous posts, our architect is my oldest younger brother, and what a blessing it is to have such a resource right in our family! You also may notice that I haven't been using his name in type at all, and this has been done very purposefully. First, a little background on my brother. He has an undergraduate degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a Master's degree in architecture from Harvard University. After finishing school, he went on to take a position as an architect in a very high-profile, international architecture firm. He has overseen a diverse array of projects, mostly to this point focusing on school projects. Our home will be his first residential project, but of course he's not doing this as part of his firm, he's doing this independently. This seems obvious to most any observer; his architecture firm doesn't really do residential projects, they work on a much larger scale than that. Still, in architecture in general it can be frowned upon to work on side-projects while working at a firm, and so my brother would rather not show up on any Google searches. One notable example in architecture history of this conflict was Frank Lloyd Wright, as described in his entry in Wikipedia (italics are my emphasis):
...Within the year, he had left Silsbee to work for the firm of Adler & Sullivan. In 1889, he married his first wife, Catherine Lee "Kitty" Tobin, purchased land in Oak Park, IL and built his first home, and eventually his studio there. His marriage to Kitty Tobin, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, raised his social status, and he became more well-known. Beginning in 1890, he was assigned all residential design work for the firm. In 1893, Louis Sullivan himself unwillingly asked Wright to leave the firm after he discovered that Wright had been accepting clients independently from the firm (moonlighting). Wright established his own practice and home in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, IL. By 1901, Wright's completed projects numbered approximately fifty, including many houses in his hometown.
Now this seems a different situation, as Mr. Wright's firm was clearly engaged in residential architecture, and accepting clients independent of the firm could be seen as taking business away from the firm. This is not the case with our situation with my brother. Still, caution is probably the best practice. We are so blessed to be able to have someone of his talent as our architect, I had to give him some props on the blog, even if I don't type his name!

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