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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moved on to a town and to architectural work that were more in keeping with his zeitgeist ("I had sworn I would never live in Memphis," says the Tennessee native). The place that beckoned was the mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, and the small generalist firm, Samsel Architects. "I was looking for residential and they had a growing port- folio of residential work, but honestly it was the city that hooked me. It has great culture, a very creative environment— it's not your typical Southern city." The Road Ahead He got there right before 9/11. But, he says, given this decade's Great Re- cession, the dip in the economy back then felt more like a blip in his forward trajectory. Indeed, the next few years were boom times in Asheville. The development of Biltmore's vast land- holdings was moving full speed ahead, along with other high-end communities around the nearby mountains and lakes of South Carolina. Rob was in the thick of it, expanding his list of connections among developers, builders, and other influencers. He was helped along by his wife, Dawn, a property manager at the time with her own relationships with developers and builders. Thus around 2005, Rob felt it was the right time to go out on his own. Oops. "I could see all this building going on. I knew all these builders, I had all these relationships, and I had just passed my licensing exam," he recalls. "I knew I loved this work, and I wanted to do it every day. The seed was planted, and it felt like there was no failing. Had I known what was around the corner, I might not have done it. But it was great for a couple of years." Photos this page: David Dietrich Photography Clockwise from opposite page: Many of the firm's design/build commissions are located in gated communities with design restrictions. So the mountaintop Wildcat Residence evokes the mandated idea of "American Piedmont." The energy-efficient Windsor residence occupies a steep site in North Asheville. The Balsam Mountain Residence orients to capture 270-degree views. 23 VOL. 1, 2019 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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