Residential Design

VOL1 2019

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

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characterizes them, it's easy to perceive Nils as not only a natural architect, but a born furniture maker as well. It was and is his other great love and calling in life. Every custom project his firm does is imbued with these dual skills, "furniture becoming architecture, and architecture becoming furniture," he says. "Furni- ture is kind of an experimental design laboratory for me. I can design things at a scale and level of cost that allows me to push on it more. And then it can track back to a piece of architecture." Among his signature works are finely wrought steel stair railings, each as carefully conceived and executed as the chuppa. Beyond the built-ins, he also designs light fixtures, tables, and other objects of everyday utility and otherworldy beauty. His custom houses take 18 months to two years to build, because he's constantly innovating as they come together onsite: "Tweak, tweak, tweak—that's what we do. "We spend about 35 percent of our time in construction," he says. "We spend a lot of time on details, shop draw- ings—every component of the house." For a recent house in Venice, California, the firm executed "75 architectural sheets, 140 pages of specifications, and 80 sheets of steel shop drawings"—all with a staff that fluctuates between two or three other architects. Staying small and managing a work- load of four to five projects a year keeps Nils close to every decision and client. "I'm like a blanket over all the projects," he says. "And I'm always talking with my clients. I spend a lot of time making sure they're happy and it's going well." This page: The firm is currently busy with new builds, but Nils still has a fondness for remodels. "I enjoy searching for the soul of an older home and inserting rich, modern elements. To paraphrase Sverre Fehn, 'Only by manifesting the present can we engage the past.'" Pictured: Lake Forest Park Renovation. A deep infusion of Nordic influences permeates how Nils sees buildings. Photos this page: Benjamin Benschneider 18 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 1, 2019 PRO-FILE DESIGN

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