(envelope please) and the architect is...
bubba of the bubbles (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apr 26, 2013
According to our manifesto, we shouldn’t be revealing our architects until the bitter end since they still have a role until we get a certificate of occupancy from the city. But 95 97 percent of their work is done, and what they have done thus far has been absolutely fabulous. Unless they pull a Dallas Cowboys and blow it all in the final minutes, we feel confidant that we know these dudes. Furthermore, we’ve already heartily recommended them to friends and inquiring minds from the interwebs. At least two referrals have led to projects with (as far as we know) similarly happy customers. Drum roll please: Architect 2d is Nick Mehl and The Usonian Expert is Jay Bolsega (insert exhuberant trumpets with a smattering fade of clarinets [and Flamenco guitar]).
Nick didn’t ping our architectural radar until a friend at work solicited recommendations from an interior designer (former architect) across-the-street neighbor. After gawking at Nick's website and blog (and liking what we saw and read), we interviewed him. Amazingly, he met our entire want list and appeared (and turned out to be) easy to work with. After opening up a shared office with several others architects, Nick brought in Jay to collaborate on the project. Jay’s been fun to work with as well, and, given his interest in architectural history, a blast to talk with (it’s hard to get us separated once we get going...). His Usonian Expertness is clearly on display with the house.
Shortly after meeting Nick, he and four other architects (including Jay), already sharing storefront, pooled resources into a firm called Element 5 Architecture, so our project went from a Nick Mehl Architecture project to an Element 5 Architecture project.
We cannot say enough good things about Nick; he’s really been perfect for us. He’s a great listener, he's attentive to aesthetic and programmatic needs, he’s super easy to work with, and perhaps most importantly (especially after earlier nightmares...) right as rain on costs. And equally arguably most importantly, we absolutely love the house he and Jay designed for us, its more hidden treasures slowly revealing themselves to us as it gets built.
Although he’s designed Modern for us and others, Nick is versatile. One of the houses we toured on the Cool Homes Tour was a green home in more of the Arts and Crafts vein (we had a wipe-the-dribble-from-the-corners-of-our-mouths lovefest about Nick with the owners after we revealed we were fixin' to start building a house with him).
After being absolutely heartbroken (and somewhat bitter) after our first experience with an architect, it feels like a miracle to have wound up with ones as great as Nick and Jay.
"I'm looking for housing that is affordable, and modern. I know there must be innovative, well-designed housing out there. I just can't seem to find it!" —Tracey R., from the Dwell discussion board