Site logo

Background and Training

Historic Preservation
Our early training was in traditional architecture and design, and with the growing appreciation for historic preservation began our practice committed to these classic principles. We were taught to see architecture not as an appliqué of fashionable elements, but rather a disciplined study of stylistic problem-solving tenets that, if diligently practiced, usually begat beautifully crafted designs. Heavily influenced by the study and appreciation of Wallace Neff, Myron Hunt, Charles and Henry Greene, Bernard Maybeck, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and others, we saw their designs as not only beautiful in their own right, but as examples of problem-solving principles and techniques that could be further studied and practiced today.


Universal Tenets

An untended consequence of our emphasis on historic architecture was that we were developing a practice that was, in effect, a horizontal market through the traditional vertical markets of residential, commercial, and industrial, whether new buildings or remodels, large projects or small. It was here that we began to develop tenets of our own that transcended building type. As our practice grew, and we incorporated notions normally considered specific to a particular building type, we were finding that we were creating designs which were responding to core human needs and sensibilities, not architectural preconceptions.

Japan and Modernism
Our study of the Arts and Crafts movement, and Craftsman architecture, naturally introduced us to the study of traditional Japanese design; and it was here that found our true inspiration. With the completion of the
Arroyo Collection in 2006, we found that we were able to apply traditional Japanese design principles, learned through the study of diverse architectural design styles, and create modern and cutting-edge contemporary design that still possessed a sensibility of warmth, familiarity, and hospitality. Our practice became firmly rooted not in a specific vocabulary, but in principles, and affords us the ability to not only practice architecture in a multitude of design styles familiar to Southern Californians; from modern and contemporary to traditional Japanese, from Arts and Crafts and Craftsman to Spanish Mediterranean; but often-times in curious combinations of each. Our academic and personal background in the arts taught us to further seek similarities and connections traditionally found in other disciplines; principles such as figure-ground, order and hierarchy, rhythm and tonality, light and shadow, and perspective.


Technology and Productivity
We were fortunate in that, in school, we were the last generation to learn to draw by hand, yet in our early careers we were heavily influenced and somewhat entranced with the advent and wonders of the computer age. Our use of technology forms a keystone of our practice, and with recent breathtaking advances is both computer hardware and graphic software, we committed our practice to one that relies on skilled and talented principals who can leverage these advances to the benefit of our clients. Two highly talented and technically savvy individuals can produce more than a firm of ten could a few short years ago, and this also gives our clients direct and continuous contact with the design leadership.