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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One of my wildest dreams has been to market luxury real estate like this: “Try Before You Buy”.

We try on shoes, clothes, and test-drive cars. All of those are a hell of a lot cheaper than a home. But who gets to “try a house” to see if you really love it? Why not take it for a “test-drive” before you sign on the dotted? 

That is exactly what The Perry-Miller Streiff Group of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate the week before the election. They took 4920 Mangold Circle, lovely creekside cul de sac off Strait Lane, not too far from Jennifer Staubach Gates’ pad on Keyhole, not for a just a test drive, but a lifestyle test. It’s called Dwell Well. Exercise and lifestyle experts from Equinox came over to implement a very successful program they have been developing in other states: real-time workout sessions around the pool, fitness and health tips, and nutritional snacks in a private listed residence.

It’s called “Sweat-working”.

“This is how you would actually live in this setting,” says Christina Marshall, Director, Central Regional Marketing for Equinox.”This is a chance to interact with the home, maybe invite a few friends over, and see how it fits while you try out the high performance lifestyle.”

4920 Mangold Circle is definitely a high performance house, befitting of a relationship with the Equinox brand. In fact, Equinox is owned by Related Companies, a privately owned real estate firm in New York City with offices and developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, even Abu Dhabi. The company was founded by Stephen M. Ross in 1972. Under it’s belt are Oxford Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, SL Green Realty, The Blackstone Group and Equinox. Formidable siblings, real estate in the blood.

“Fitness is no longer just in the gym,” says Christina, “It’s in your life. We provide you an amazing place to come to in the community, but we also venture outside of our four walls to show how we practice our three pillars and incorporate it into busy lives.”IMG_1330 (more…)