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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graphic designer and his wife approached them to build a small family house on a nondescript suburban lot with just $150 a square foot to spend, the team agreed to take on the challenge. They thought of it as a kind of case study in high-design housing for regular people. "We met with the client over beer and bourbons at a pub for about a year," says Marlon. "What he admired about the Case Study houses was the desire to make the homes affordable. Part of our mission is, architecture is for anyone. It seems people who get architecture are either very rich or very poor. At $150 a square foot, you get bricks and concrete. We figured that's what a builder would get to build an average house; give it to us, and we'll make architecture." Match a typical budget with a standard one-third-acre suburban lot, and you've got a relatively level playing field with mass-market housing. Knowing what the firm accomplished with even more humble conditions for the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, there was little doubt they could make this three-bedroom, two- and-a-half bath project sing. To Hill and Back But there were a number of major stum- bling blocks along the way. First off, the Great Recession intervened. Those early pub conversations took place before the downturn rolled through Arkansas. So, the project went on hold for a time. Then, as the economy began to recover, several city complications and delays came along. Among them, officials insisted on an upgraded sewer line to the house (at the clients' expense), and required the clients to plant 13 trees on the small lot. "The lot is in the Hillside Hilltop Overlay District," Marlon explains. "There are a couple of mountains that split the city. At the top of the mountains, there is an ordinance that if you look up from the valley, you can only see trees. This Opposite: Graphic House was built for a designer client who admires the Case Study houses. Top right and below right: Each f ts own distinct composition. VOL. 3, 2017 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGAZINE.COM 71

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