This project was completed while I was with Lomincak Kolman Smith Architects. I started my career at this firm and learned so much in three short years. The people I worked with were very talented and very creative. The two principal Architects were both very well-respected and willing to take chances. Savannah has a beautiful, historic Downtown and it can be challenging not to merely “copy” historic details and to not explore new and modern materials and aesthetics. My point is, I loved working at LKS and I loved the people who I worked with and respected all of them very much.
This project in particular was very fun and exciting. It was as an old run-down historic home, that the Historic Savannah Foundation had acquired and then our clients bought it from them. When buying a Historic Savannah Foundation house, there are rules that you have to abide by in order to renovate the home. And because of its location in downtown, the design also had to abide by the Metropolitan Planning Committee’s rules.
The existing house was to be renovated and the clients also wanted to add-on a new addition to the existing house as well as garage/carriage house. I was pregnant at the time the project began and Jerry, my boss, and I went to the house to measure and to examine the existing house. We met the previous owner’s grandson there and he was giving us a tour and explaining to us where everything used to belong. The house was in such bad shape that in the formal dining room, the gentlemen stepped through the hardwood floors. Jerry was so worried about me and my unborn child, but luckily I never fell through the floors.
I was the project manager on this project and worked very closely with Jerry and the clients to design a home that blended the clients’ needs, the historic character, and the modern into one home. I had a lot of help from my LKS coworkers. We had a great historic preservationists to help with recreating details, and there were many aesthetic challenges that we all worked together as a team to design. Architecture is a team project always. Someone might be the leader, but there are always many other people involved to create the masterpieces that create our built environment. This is one of the reason I miss the office setting and one of the reason I really enjoy Architectural Design.