Residential Design

Vol. 3, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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PRO-FILE D bark and leaves, the building draws from the human-built fabric that surrounds it. "It doesn't matter if it's rural context or urban context. There is history baked in that you cannot deny," says Sebastian. "This was a brownfield site. It had a noticeably raw character, even 30 years after the shops have closed." There are other new buildings in the vicinity, but according to Sebastian, they're lackluster. "They're inspired by the cheapest cladding they can find. We need to find cheap cladding, too, but we work hard to find something with more sophistication. Other buildings tend to use three or four different materials, because the developer is afraid the building will look too monolithic. We're not afraid of the masculine, strong volume, clad in one material that can change over time. We're proud that we were able to convince this developer that weathering steel was a good idea. There are people who look at this and see only decay." Once again, the firm's penchant for support materials and intensive research made the case for their design choices. Their ability to work imaginatively and, yes, poetically, within limited budgets is endearing them to forward-thinking developers. There's another multifamily project in development for Sacramento, Calif. And meanwhile, the single-family commissions keep coming in—urban, suburban, and rural. All will receive the quietly powerful and deeply considered Johnsen Schmaling process, intertwined on an almost atomic level with landscape, site, context, and program. "We are not about aesthetic fire- works," says Sebastian in conclusion. "All architects are under pressure to create something noteworthy, but it can't be disconnected from the project itself. That usually doesn't work. Our buildings are quiet and calm, and it takes spending time with them to appreciate them." —S. Claire Conroy " All architects are under pressure to create something noteworthy, but it can't be disconnected from the project itself." —Sebastian Schmaling Above: One of the firm's most ambitious and complicated buildings to date, Belay MKE draws its inspiration from its gritty industrial context. The multifamily complex, also an award-winner, has spawned a growing portfolio of urban developer work. 22 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGAZINE.COM VOL. 3, 2017

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