As it might be with many of you, the earth is my muse. I find poetry there. Inspired by it, I’ve chosen architecture as a means of capturing some of that poetry in the environments designed for those of you wishing to weave it into your lives.
As an architect, I explore an architecture of the present, the earth, and the living while investigating ways to breathe life into our built world.
Architecture of the Earth and the Living is a view of that world as seen through my eyes. Although words and images alone cannot replicate the experience of architecture, with this blog I can nevertheless provide a peek. Posts will offer some of what I see when taking a look.
Because the journey from early beginnings – from needing, wanting, desiring a new environment on through construction and, ultimately, the daily experiencing of it is so complex, defying an easy grasp, I will also be sharing my insights into the what, why and how of architecture.
“…a building at its inception has the potential to become a unique living and, therefore, a more livable environment – an extension of life that in itself is unique, and, in doing so, while sheltering it, also supports, enhances, and affirms that life.”
Warren Lawson Architect
I began my architectural practice, Warren Lawson Architect, in 1980 in Los Angeles with a specific goal: to transform the practical need for shelter into living environments that are of the earth, that connect us to it; places that enrich human life, and where life – yours – might thrive.
I pursue that goal as a solo practitioner while offering a full range of architectural services backed by a team of highly capable consultants. This translates into a practice that’s simple, responsive, and flexible. It allows me to work one-on-one with each client, giving them the time and effort their project deserves. I believe this greatly enhances the prospects for a successful project, one that achieves the client’s goals and dreams – an environment that, above all, magnifies the experience of being alive.
To improve the prospects for a successful project I incorporate whenever possible “Building Information Modeling” (BIM). This digital technology makes possible far greater clarity, flexibility, and accuracy during the early stages of the design process where it really counts. With BIM, 3D computer models of the design proposals are generated, models that are easily manipulated and revised, facilitating consultant coordination and contractor feedback. Equally important, it facilitates client understanding of the design. This greatly reduces the risk of faulty and often costly design decisions being made, the consequences of which might otherwise remain undetected until later in the project when making revisions is far more difficult. All projects benefit from this technology.
The scope of work is mostly custom-residential, from simple home remodels and additions, to ground-up, high-end homes, including interiors. On a collaborative basis, the body of work has also included apartments, condos, and commercial projects, although for now, the emphasis is on private residences. Project locations include but are not limited to Malibu, Los Angeles, La Jolla and Big Sur in California; Phoenix and western Arizona; Cannon Beach, Oregon.
- A client happy with the results.
- Successful joint effort by all involved in the building process.
- A built environment that succeeds, both experientially and financially, in meeting the client’s goals and mine, enhances their life, meets my standards, and whenever possible, leaves the earth a better place to be.
- Finding the most effective and appropriate means of weaving client lifestyle patterns with site conditions, as well as structural, code and energy considerations.
- Facilitating the achievement of maximum integrity by grounding the design firmly in the present and, when appropriate, using building materials in as simple, honest and authentic a manner as possible.
- Respect the fact that each project is for the client; that their money is paying for it.
- Aim high with feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Collect data; establish wants, goals and priorities including esthetic values and budgetary limitations – make a wish list.
- Identify an effective path to achieving those goals and priorities.
- Identify potential obstacles to achieving those goals and priorities; Search for means of reconciling and merging conflicting viewpoints, goals, esthetic values, etc..
- Explore possibilities; look beyond the familiar.
- Encourage early participation by the contractor along with other team members.