Architecture design and restoration services in the Hudson Valley New York area.

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Studio Design That Inspires Creativity

Studio Design Is An Architect’s Creative Refuge

Studio Design As A Creative Refuge

A creative sanctuary for architect

A creative sanctuary for architect

An architect's light-filled studio design

An architect’s light-filled studio design

In 1984 I was firmly relocated to the Hudson Valley. In typical fashion I built my own studio, and used locally sawn wood, recycled windows, and a tiny wood stove in just enough space. One of the guiding principles was from Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” Sheltering Roof. The goal is to have the building embrace you as you enter.

My 100 foot commute to work was just enough to separate me from household life.

I have enjoyed many years in this studio and relocated it to our current property next to our barn-home in Saugerties. It’s current occupation is another from “A Pattern Language” – Teenager’s Cottage. A separate structure on a property offers many options: teenager’s cottage (get them out of the house, but still in view), office, guest room, yoga or napping space, or just a get-away. This solidly built structure has been very easy to maintain. In total I have had to paint the windows and door once in 24 years. That’s it. It’s all in the details.

Studio designs for different creative types which reflect your good taste.

Finding a quiet space for inspiration can be difficult. For many artists, home studios mean an unused guest room or garage. David has built several unique studios which are detached literally and figuratively from the distractions of every day life.

Sweeping meadow is inspiration for new home

Natural Landscape Inspires New Home Design

A sweeping meadow was the canvas which my client had purchased for his new home. How to work with a site is an early decision in the architectural design process.  One of the “patterns” in Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” recommends that the best parts of the land be maintained;  in this case the meadow was left open. With that in mind, I [and my client] reviewed many ways to place the house to work within the surrounding environment.

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Historic barn converted to home in Hudson Valley

Historic barn restoration conversion to home

Hands-On Barn To Home Conversion

Working with my hands makes me happy. So for years I worked as a builder as well as a designer. Since earning my architectural license I fulfill my need to (hands-on) build projects for myself. This in-progress barn renovation is the latest of such projects. It houses both my wife’s hand-weaving and my architectural business, and our home.

An early decision was to support the original barn character both inside and out by preserving as much as reasonably possible. Renovated barns often become a typical house stuffed into a barn shell; the spirit of the original structure is lost. The technical challenge of leaving the siding, roof lines and openings in place while gaining modern energy efficiency required innovative detailing. Understanding the components of the (thermal envelope) and how they work with other (building components) is essential when changing the use of structures. These components; skins, drainage plane, thermal, air and vapor barriers and structure all interact, and if assembled incorrectly can and do create serious problems for homeowners.

Large wooden loom resides in barn's loft.

Large wooden loom resides in barn’s loft.

My background with energy efficiency and appropriately tight building shells gives me the confidence to take on projects such as this. It is a joy to live and work here. We have an open plan, tinted concrete/tile radiant heated floors and rough plastered walls all of which combine with the original wood wherever possible; the barn’s spirit surrounds us. We can still imagine the (the farmer working?) cows that used to chew their cud in what is now our dining/living room.

1876 Historic Barn In Hudson Valley

1876 historic barn in Hudson Valley converted to home. Essentially unaltered, the exterior reflects the original structure though the interior includes many modern-day improvements including radiant heat flooring and exterior light filled spaces.

Architect's Barn House Conversion

Architect’s Barn House Conversion

This historic post and bean barn once housed a farmer’s animals and feed. Purchased in 1999, its condition had deteriorated to the point of eminent condemnation by village authorities. After a complete restoration, David Minch converted it into his family’s primary residence in a Hudson Valley village. This barn to house conversion represents David’s architectural restoration philosophy which respects the past.