William Briggs

Integration of landscape and architectural ornament create a sense of peace and repose in this William Briggs-designed home in Dallas. Photo: James Edward

When hiring an architect, a lot of people think mostly in terms of the style of their home and details they want in the house. Makes perfect sense, right?

But a truly successful relationship between architect and client begins with a different way of thinking, says William Briggs, founder and owner of William S. Briggs Architects. He’s on a mission to transform the conversations he has with clients and move deeper.

“The real issues are space, materials, light, and how they support a life within them,” said Briggs. “Ornament and style should only be seen as servants to these larger ideas.”

Briggs wants his clients thinking about how they live their lives, how they use their space, and how they function within their home. He wants to create classic homes, no matter the style, that stand the test of time.

“When an architect meets with a client, the client has certain preferences and tastes borne out of how they see their life to be lived,” he said. “It’s incumbent on the architect to listen carefully and give them best version of what that means. Once you can do that, the project will stand the test of time and be refreshing for years to come.”

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3756 Armstrong Avenue

3756 Armstrong Avenue

We all know that anything under $1 million is flying off the MLS faster than a Cabbage Patch Kid in the 1980s. In the $1 million-plus market, homes are still flying off the shelves like Cabbage Patch Kids … in 2016.

Sure they’re still selling, but no one is getting trampled. This sentiment was echoed recently at the National Association of Real Estate Editor’s conference by journalists nationwide.

To me this means that if you’ve got the means to buy in the luxury market, there are some bargains to bag. Here are two.

3756 Armstrong Avenue

I toured this home recently with listing agent Ben Jones from Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s. This is a large home with a long and swanky past.  Designed and built in 1954 by O’Neil Ford, one of Texas’ most influential 20th century architects, this home is just cool … and a bit frightening.

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jeffrey green

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Jeffrey L. Green sees artistry in a home renovation, finding “the potential in what is existing and breathing new life into a home that many might not consider salvageable.”

Jeffrey Green, AIA

Jeffrey Green, AIA

This is something he practices as Vice President of Architectural Interior Design and Construction Administrator at Dallas-based PBH Construction.

PBH Construction is his family’s business, and Green helped with many projects before joining in 2009. His design and build experience includes new constructions, rebuilds, and renovations of single-family and multi-family residential homes, as well as commercial, retail, and institutional spaces.

In addition to older homes, Green is passionate about older people—namely, helping them build or re-create their homes so they can age in place. This is a big topic in the architecture community now largely because of the 76.4 million Baby Boomers, the oldest of whom will turn 70 this year.

Green is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), which makes him part of the growing dialogue on how to manage aging issues like a home’s livability for older Americans. He says this is just good design practice for all people.

“Ultimately, you want a home that is welcoming and accessible to all residents and guests,” Green said.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from Baylor University, and his Master of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. While attending Baylor, Green completed a cooperative program, studying one year at Washington University’s Architectural Studio in St. Louis, Mo.

Green began his career with The Preston Partnership, LLC in Atlanta. He was responsible for site planning and due diligence, schematic design and graphic visualization, 2D- and 3D-rendering development, and more.

Green’s talent for design has earned him several recognitions, including a Rosser International Fellowship Award, a winner of the 2000-2001 Otis/ACSA International Student Design Competition in Istanbul, Turkey, and a Presidential Scholarship Award.

He answered eight questions from us about his work, trends in the architectural community, modern design, and Dallas. We learned a lot!

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Thad Reeves

The Bley Sleeping House in San Marcos. Photo: Craig Kuhner

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Thad Reeves, AIA, is a co-founder of A.GRUPPO Architects, an office positioned as a vehicle for collaboration between themselves and other designers, architects, fabricators, and most importantly, clients.

He received his Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997. During this time, he studied in Spain and traveled widely in Europe. His interest in the influence of historic European architecture on contemporary design has led him on numerous architectural pilgrimages throughout Western and Central Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

Thad Reeves, AIA

Thad Reeves

After graduating, Reeves began his career with RTKL Associates in Dallas, where he was part of both local and international award-winning projects. He later worked with Oglesby Greene Architects, where he honed his skills on well-crafted, smaller-scale projects.

In 2003, Reeves went entrepreneurial, helping to form the offices of Thomas Krahenbuhl and Truett Roberts Architects, continuing to work on commercial and residential projects at all phases of the design process.

It was in 2005 that Reeves began teaching at his alma mater, UT Arlington, where he taught for ten years (he is currently taking a break, as his business has really taken off). This was also when he co-founded A. GRUPPO.

CandysDirt: You have an interest in the influence of European architecture on contemporary design. How do you see that happening—or not—in Dallas?

Thad Reeves: My interest in European architecture, both historic and contemporary, has to do more with ideas and where they come from. In Europe, they’ve been dealing with buildings in the urban context for far longer than we have. I think there is a lot to learn from how the Europeans approach issues of density, transportation, and public space.

I’ve realized that I’m not as excited about a lot of new buildings. Many are very nicely done, but lack something that I haven’t quit identified yet. A few years ago in New York, I realized there were a lot more things to learn from how someone (probably not an architect) resolved a gate or connection between two buildings rather pragmatically than something considered “high design.” Ideas are all around us, so it’s fun to catalog those and see where they will pop up in our work.

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3762 Park Lane front

I love looking at the pet projects of real estate professionals, and this pretty little flip in Midway Hollow from architect Gianna Glaesmann does not disappoint. The before/after shots tell an interesting story. The two-bedroom, two-bath post-war cottage at 3762 Park Lane is was a total gut job for Glaesmann and her husband, Brad. It went from dirty, dark and with an odd-shaped layout to bright and airy with some gorgeous designer fixtures.

“I was in commercial architecture for 24 years, and did some residential work on the side as a hobby,” Glaesmann said. “I have recently ventured out on my own doing mostly residential remodels.  My passion is showing a home some love and bringing it back to life!”

While Glaesmann works with clients to transform homes as a full-time job now, this flip in Midway Hollow is her first-ever solo project. “I have always wanted to get my hands on a cottage to renovate and my husband Brad let me try this one out,” she said.

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