Residential Design

VOL.3 2018

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

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Page 11 of 91

Good Turns Dominique's passion is for architecture that intersects with urbanism—no matter what the building type or scale. She's a Californian who went to Berkeley and then Yale for architecture. Which begs the question, how did she end up in Kansas City? "I met a boy from Kansas," she says. "And we would come to visit. One day, we were sitting in one of the coolest neighborhoods— 39th Street—eating pizza. And I said, 'This is awful pizza. But I really love it here." That boy, now Dominique's hus- band, was a friend of Dan's from Tulane. Pull threads just a little, and it seems like all the creative people in Kansas City know each other, or work near each other, or have worked for each other. "One of the things that ap- pealed to me about the city after school is that the design culture here is really, really strong," Dan explains. "There are a dozen firms in town that you could quickly think of that are interested in achieving design excellence. That culture is supported. You see your peer firms doing great work, and that makes you want to do even better work." That design culture fuels many of the firm's residential clients. They are artists and collectors, culturally savvy and intellectually curious. The budgets, however, are generally less expansive than the clients' vision. "All of our projects are in a pretty affordable range—somewhere between $180 to $300 a square foot at the most. We're always dealing with constraints," says Dominique. She points to the Quackenbush proj- ect, a house and standalone art studio the firm designed in a neighborhood of $15,000 lots, as an example: "We have to be conscious about materials and providing owners what they're looking for. But we have an interest in affordable housing and in providing a comfortable, gracious home for a homeowner, or for a customer who has never built custom before. We're not known for doing the super-big-budget house." What the team accomplished on this project, though, made all the dif- ference for the clients. They were able to angle the buildings off the street grid to capture spectacular views of the city skyline. For an artist, that inspiration is everything. Even the space between the buildings has become precious to the couple. "Dan talks about how we're like jour- nalists—getting to understand people, and their relationship and what drives them," says Dominique. "If you do your job well, you get very intimate with other people—without it being weird." Sometimes it's the house that's weird. It took a couple with rarefied tastes to see the potential of a 1970s octagonal house with a looming mansard roofline in Mission Hills, Kan. They are collec- tors of unusual period furniture— from the 1940s to the 1980s—so they appreciated the odd time capsule of a house. What they needed from DRAW was careful curation of the home's eccentricities, and updates to make it livable for a modern family. The team's sensitive touches recast the Heitz- Sylvester Residence from goofball character to high-style showplace. "This was a case of really great clients who recognized there was something unique in this house that they could bring out," Dan explains. This page: A 1970s suburban house has its cool renewed with DRAW's careful curation of its campy kitsch. 12 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 3, 2018 PRO-FILE DESIGN

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