Philosophy

“Homes should be more than places to live, they should enrich the owner’s life.” 

Robert Ross

Picture of Mendocino CourtyardExcellent architectural design should enhance interpersonal interaction and support the needs of the client. While a project may be an exquisite artistic statement in itself, it fails if it doesn’t meet those goals. It should also reveal the client’s personality. Residentially, nothing is a more accurate reflection of who we are than the spaces we create as our homes. Likewise a project for a business should project the image and values of the corporation.

Each of us has created a series of personal rituals that regulate our day. Ross Design takes a holistic approach to design and is committed to creating living environments that reinforce and enhance those rituals. A home should be a flowing sequence of useful spaces appropriate to and supportive of the client. Businesses also have their own set of rituals that reinforce their customer interactions.

Whether a space is commercial or residential, one of the most striking ways to reinforce these rituals is through the manipulation of natural light and spatial volumes to emphasize the private or public nature of spaces. One approach is to focus on the transition zones between spaces. Another approach is through the careful placement of openings to create a strong connection between the interior and exterior spaces while maintaining views and privacy.

This reinforcement particularly emerges in the detailing of a project. People respond to subtle cues without necessarily being aware of that response. Appropriately used, details reinforce the desired intent of a space. They can invite or limit approach, denote formal or informal behavior, and either accelerate or calm activity. They emerge from and are based upon an understanding of psychology as well as construction techniques.

Good design also involves responsible use of resources. We believe that responsible design includes measures to reduce long-range operating costs, the use of alternate or recycled materials and refined construction and waste management practices. We also recognize that technology is fleeting and outmoded as soon as it is implemented. Our designs take a keep-it-simple approach to innovation, trying to look at a 50-year or longer lifecycle.

Finally, outstanding architecture demands much more than the ability to create beautiful drawings. It requires an extensive knowledge of quality craftsmanship and an understanding of responsible construction management. We look at plans not as two dimensional functional diagrams, but as three dimensional spaces to be experienced.