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 14 of 91

Busy Is As Busy Does REPP + MCLAIN DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TUCSON, ARIZ. Photo: Liam Frederick Photography Repp + McLain is the architect's go-to builder in Tucson, and there's a very good reason for that: They are archi- tects, too. They're a design/build firm lead by Page Repp, AIA, and Rick McLain, AIA, both trained and licensed architects. Page, who founded the business in 1996, is also a licensed con- tractor, something he learned at the feet of his father and grandfather, who were in the building trades. Their 16-person company does a mix of work, from design/build to just build, and from res- idential to restaurant and retail. What is consistent across different scopes of work and building types is that they always bring their design-thinking to the job—whether they are the lead designers or not. Such was the case for the project you'll see in our Design Lab feature on page 68, which was a veritable mash-up of talent, including two Taliesin veter- ans and the Repp + McLain team. Says Page, "We tout that in Design/Build, you don't just have a contractor, you have a team of architects building your project. We feel like that's an advantage we offer—we can execute a project with a real understanding." When working with other architects, similar advantages apply. For instance, there's no "CYA" insurance fee tacked onto their bid just because a partic- ular high-design detail is unfamiliar to them, as there might be with other custom builders. "Architects find a huge benefit in being able to ask us how we might execute an idea of theirs," Page says. "They like our deliberation and care for the craft, and our appreciation for their process. And when we do build for them, it's with their vision in mind. They don't have to explain every little thing to us." That collaboration and prob- lem-solving happens with the best custom builders, as well, but Page and Rick claim a special shorthand. In ad- dition, they have the ability to fabricate many details themselves if they can't find a trade to do it for them, something that's occurring with greater frequency given current shortages of craftspeople. Says Rick, "We do steel work, we do framing, and we do a lot of the finishes ourselves. Sometimes it's to get it done right, and sometimes it's to keep field crews busy. Having in-field teams also helps us keep an eye on other subs." This strategy serves their own design projects, too, where they can encoun- ter the same sticker-price frustration pure architectural firms face. "When we come up with ideas that are very interesting or complex, we find that if we try to take that idea and put it out to other subs, they'll often come back ex- pensive," says Page. "So that's another instance where we'll just figure out how to make it and explain it to them, or just go ahead and do it ourselves." Above: The Brewer Conner addition inserts an art studio and a breezeway leading to a new workshop space. Custom steel and concrete weather Tucson's harsh climate with grace. Far left: Page Repp, AIA. Left: Rick McLain, AIA Portraits: Courtesy Repp + McLain 15 VOL. 3, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM PRO-FILE BUILD

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