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project wrap up . camden, ME


0_square coverOver this past year, we had the pleasurable task to restore and improve a small jewl-2-story lakeside cottage built in the late 1800’s. For over a century this summer cottage was enjoyed three seasons out of the year, and the new owner intended to maintain this pattern of use.

sitting in the fog


square_coreaOn a sunny July afternoon in Maine, we took a drive up the coast to check in on a previously built project in Corea Harbor. As we approached the coast from inland, the sun started to become masked by a thin white veil.

summer art lecture series


squareThis month in Maine, we hosted 2 gatherings focused on art, food, and their relationship within the surrounding community. Each gathering featured an artist who spoke about their process, intent, and contextual significance.

Anna Hepler (website) and Bill Irvine (website) exhibited their works and sparked an insightful conversation about the direction and meaning of ‘contemporary art’.

welcome, zel


This month, we are pleased to welcome Zel Bowman-Laberge to the studio. As a native of Maine,  her connections within the art community bring a sense of connectivity to local culture, and design that have become integral to the growth of our studio. We are beyond pleased to have her!




We’ve expanded our studio!

A short walk from our formal studio in Santa Monica. This extension gives us the space to get messy, build mock-ups, arrange materials, relax, and draw without being in front of our computers. We also frequently host ‘pin-up happy hours’ to gather with friends & colleagues, which facilitate conversations and critiques about our work in progress.

welcome, michael



This month, we are pleased to welcome Michael Sekera. Originally from Maine, Michael pairs perfectly with the bi-coastal roots of the studio. A lover of materials, his keen design aesthetic is already making an impact!

david chipperfield at the neues museum in berlin


chipperFor the past months, I’ve been haunted by a passage in Rebecca West’s Black Lamb Grey Falcon.  The book, a bit of an obscure cult classic, written on the eve of World War II More…

black mountain college


The studio went on a site visit to view the ‘Leap before you look, Black Mountain College’ exhibit at the Los Angeles Hammer Museum. More…

writings : heckscher house


heckscher house : 1971-1974square_hecksher
seal harbor, maine
edward larrabee barnes, architect

welcome, bethany


This month, we welcome Bethany Fadel into the studio as a project manager. More…

new digs


We’re in! More…

giving back


squareEvery year, we make a commitment to give 2% of income back to the community in some way. Generally we have focused on housing + community, food + community, and art + community. Our 2% giving commitment this round took the form of grants for 3 students, 2 global locations with great need, 2 design/build projects that will restore community. This year, our 2% giving campaign is sponsoring two architecture students, participating in vital design/build projects in Honduras and India.



Our team recently had the opportunity to view ‘Provocations’ at the Los Angeles Hammer Museum More…

marfa competition


marfapreviewWe were pleased to find out this week that we received an Honorable Mention Award More…

mexico city


Ascendant and transcendent: that’s my take on Mexico City. More…

dwell house tour


This month, our house and studio in Los Angeles joins the ranks of houses to be featured in Dwell Magazine. More…

where it begins


“Where it Begins” The first book by Bruce is hot off the press and we are excited to share it! More…

giving back


squareIn 2014, our 2% giving commitment took the form of grants for 3 students, 2 global locations with great need, 2 design/build projects to restore communities.  They are located in Honduras + Haiti. Follow the stories of our sponsored students. More…

life at punkinville road


It was a harsh winter in Maine this year. After a few years and a few of these winters we are thrilled to see the natural flow of life happening inside and outside at Punkinville Road. The design-publication Dezeen took notice and shared the story here.

“During a snowstorm, we don’t watch the storm, we’re inside the storm,” said the client. “The amount of glass and the way the glass is placed takes every advantage of the site. And the sun is a constant presence.”

venice and vienna


Like many adventurers, when traveling, we seek out places with strong personalities and distinct characters. (Hmmm, that could also describe the people we’re drawn to. . . . .) Yep, global homogenization spreads, but it doesn’t take much work to still find countrysides, towns and cities with their own genius loci, their spirit of place. More…

marfa days


To our studio, Marfa’s special culture offers retreat as well as new perspective with each visit. This year we aligned a trip to the dusty town with an annual design conference, which allowed us chance to tour homes and visit some of our favorite people. More…

australian beach house


Re-used shipping containers define spaces on a house that opens to the ocean. See our design proposal that celebrates outdoor space and views. More…

courtyard house


This project is developed out of love–and, truth be told, some disdain–for the residential architecture of Westside Los Angeles, the context where we live and work. More…

weathered grace in portugal


The grim fact was unrelenting rain, this trip to Portugal. There wasn’t even a gasp of sun in our nine days, but despite the gray, my memories are about color, texture, and an unstudied but penetrating aesthetic confidence that permeates the country. More…

memory of myanmar


There is an enchanting nature to Burma (Myanmar) that shines along thousands of ancient temples and pagodas and through a culture that truly remains a world apart. As a designer, to visit sacred places and get a taste for equally inspiring food that echoes authenticity of place was a dream. More…

maine open studio summer lunches


The dishes are put away, folding chairs stacked, furniture back in its place: our Maine studio summer lunch series has come to an end, and we’re already back in LA. But we’re still enjoying the afterglow of these three events, where we invited local artists to talk about their work and its connection to this place. More…

bns favorite; the perfect lobster roll


Our friends can agree, the search is over in Blue Hill, Maine; visit the fishnet seafood shack to experience light dressing and a softly buttered toast bun which play second fiddle to plump fresh lobster meat.

see what’s cooking


In connection to our summer lunch series in Maine, we are offering a few of our favorite in-studio recipes, all geared around what’s local. Feel free to download and share!

writings : payson house

square-paysonpayson house 1952

falmouth foreside, maine
serge chermayeff, architect


luxe magazine spotlight


In collaboration with local designer Lynn Pepe, we are happy to receive recognition for an LA project in the Spring 2012 edition of Luxe Magazine, Los Angeles. download

50 US architects


We are pleased to represent Maine in a newly published architectural book: 50 US Architects: Residential + Planning


design at the farnsworth museum


The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine has invited us, along with nine other accomplished architectural firms, to participate in an unusual and stimulating exhibition that begins on March 24th in their Crosman Gallery, and runs through September 23rd. exhibit link


passive house feather in our hat


Passive House is a building performance standard that leaves little to the wind, and the results are exciting; 80% less energy-use than conventional equivalent buildings.


what’s a year. . . . .


Amidst our busy professional lives here in the studio, a year goes fast and while it’s going, it often seems as though nothing ever gets finished. Lists grow rather than shrink, books to read pile up, art exhibitions go unvisited for lack of time, lectures come and go without our attendance.

But, in retrospect—here on the dawn of the Year of the Dragon—we look back for just a minute to realize it’s been an incredibly stimulating and productive year. More…

archdaily feature: corea harbor house


See the October 20 post of ArchDaily for “Corea Harbor House”. The online article can be seen at

writings : roy mcmakin


roy mcmakin :

the inherency of meaning


fall lunches


After a restorative summer of travel to Spain, and time spent in the Maine studio getting several projects off the ground there, we are in a “back to school” mode at the LA studio on Rochedale Lane, excited about work we will be doing this fall. Devin has taken the first of two one-week seminars that will lead us to getting Passive House certification (a standard of sustainable design first developed in Germany), and Bruce will be attending design conferences at Haystack School in Maine and in Monterey California. Oh, and we have lots of work to get done, too. More…

santa monica museum of art


Testing our multi-disciplinary skills, in September we completed a very fun project-ette with Elsa Longhauser, director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Elsa arrived with the concept of SMMOAsis: an intervention to the space directly outside the museum’s front door, with the goal to strengthen the physical identity of the museum and create an inviting place to pause in the precinct of the museum. More…

and we’re off. . . .


The strategy for the rehabilitation of our 1950 Gelb House, by A. Quincy Jones, has been set, and work has begun. We sought out an approach that was respectful of the original design intent of the house, recognized its historical significance, and yet approached it as a living entity reflecting this time, as well as the time it was built. More…

archdaily feature: house on punkinville road


See the November 8 post of ArchDaily for “House on Punkinville Road”.The online article can be seen at www.arch

completion on corea harbor


Yesterday, on a late fall day in downeast Maine, with icy rain blowing sideways and an assertive surf pounding the lobster boats in Corea Harbor, we made the final site visit to a house just a small punchlist away from completion. More…

design new england feature


See the November/December issue of Design New England for “Simple Poetry”, a substantive article on our “House on Punkinville Road”. Publicity is always good, of course, but it’s especially gratifying when the writer captures something essential with depth, and that’s what writer John Budris has done. The online version of the article can be seen at More…

the enigma of arrival: the elusive essence


I could describe the specific steps that led us from attending a quiet open house to the day, barely two months later, when we moved into this 1948 gem by A. Quincy Jones.  Suffice it to say, we knew we wanted it within sixty seconds of walking in, and we’re more sure of it every day.  But the task I’ve set for myself is to use words to deconstruct this physical artifact, to a degree that attempts to objectify its essence.  Here goes. More…

the enigma of arrival: first impressions


This is a continuation of the story of our newly purchased house, exploring the concept of “arriving” and “getting to know” as phenomena we experience daily in our physical world, especially as it applies to architecture. More…

the enigma of arrival: meeting a. quincy jones


“I saw what I saw very clearly.  But I didn’t know what I was looking at.  I had nothing to fit it into.” V.S. Naipaul, The Enigma of Arrival

I can’t seem to finish Naipaul’s classic memoir:  I’ve picked it up numerous times over the years, and the bookmark never makes it more than half way through.  I just don’t love it, that’s the problem, but I do love the title.  I may not even understand the full breadth of his term “Enigma of Arrival”, but my own interpretation evokes a deep phenomenon, hinted at by that simple sentence. More…

maine chapter, 2010 american institute of architects awards


The stellar cover article in this month’s Maine Home + Design tells part of the story of a just-complete eighteen-month project, which took almost as much focus as the design of a significant house, and was equally rewarding.  It began with an invitation to chair the 2010 Maine AIA Awards Program, certainly an honor and a responsibility.  Little did I know. . . . More…

on the boards: learning precedents


Recently, I completed a design proposal for a new house on a double lot just up from the water in Manhattan Beach.  It launched a study to more deeply understand the fundamentals and nuances of local Spanish building precedents that have influenced southern California architecture for over 300 years. More…

beyond the box


This month’s issue of Architectural Digest features a house in Maine that is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on. It was done during the period in which I was a partner with my previous firm, Elliott Elliott Norelius Architecture. The owners are a vivacious couple whose energy is only eclipsed by that of their two dogs, Harvey and Sidney.  More…

writings : isaacson house


isaacsonisaacson house
lewiston, maine, 1960
f. frederick bruck, architect 


marfa nights


There’s so much to say about Marfa, and it’s such an inspiration for my work, that it’s a bit overwhelming to start. We’ve been there several times: several Too Many Times, Landis might say (but he doesn’t really mean it….). What’s easily, quantitatively said about Marfa is that the town is full of stunning installations of art, and there is a very fluid boundary between Art and Place. More…

writings : potter house

square-potterpotter house 1949-1950

cape elizabeth, maine
marcel breuer, architect