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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
August 2011
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: A Craftsman Cottage in Ohio

Architectural Firm of the Month: Richard Taylor Architects

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone St. Johns UnivWelcome to the August issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If you have a project you would like to share with us, please contact us and tell us about it. If chosen, we will feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter, which goes out to architects and building industry professionals across the country. Click here to find out more about us, or visit us on our Facebook Fan Page.

Architectural Firm of the Month: Richard Taylor Architects

Richard Taylor 1Located in Dublin, Ohio, RTA Studio is a personal service-oriented full-service Architectural firm that specializes in the design of unique custom homes, remodeling, and addition projects. The firm has worked on projects across the country since 1990 and has helped countless homeowners through the design and construction of their projects.

RTA Studio offers a wide range of architectural services - design and drawings are only part of what they do. Every project starts the same way, with a no-cost consultation (depending on your location). Whether you know a lot or a little about what you want to do, they will help you decide what your next steps should be. And you don't need to wait until you're ready to start, either - even if your project is down the road a ways, the architects at RTA Studio can help you plan a long-term schedule.

RTA Studio designs homes based on what you want, not what they want you to have. Of course they're going to use all of their skills to give your project new and interesting ideas, unique character, loads of style, and value, but they never lose sight of the fact that this is your home and they are designing for you.

With his associate Jamee Parish, Richard Taylor is privileged to have worked on projects all over Ohio and as far away as Arizona. 

For more information:

Topic of the Month: A Craftsman Cottage in Ohio  

Richard Taylor 2After carefully considering the style of architecture to refer to when designing a home in the Ohio countryside for a creative couple, one a woodworker and the other a quilter, architect Richard Taylor came up with the perfect solution - a Craftsman Style cottage.

The American Craftsman Style emerged toward the end of the 19th century. Its origins stemmed from the British Arts and Crafts movement which was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. The movement emphasized the hand-made over the mass-produced.

The architects who are most famous for their work in the American Craftsman Style were Greene and Greene in Pasadena, California. Their projects included the Gamble House, the Robert  R. Blacker House, the Thorsen House, and numerous others.

As Taylor explains, "The Craftsman Style was a reaction against the very popular Bauhaus and other more industrialist things that were going on. There was a school of thought that said houses should be like machines, and then there was another school of thought that said houses should be built by hand. In just about every major city that you go to in the U.S., or in fact many small towns, you'll see a lot of homes that were built in 1910, the 1920's and 1930's that have Craftsman elements. The goal was to get away from the house as a mass produced machine and instead to make a home that had woodwork and was filled with things that were done by humans rather than by machines. Typically a Craftsman Style home tends to have a lot of handmade furniture in it, if you're being very authentic."

Some common architectural design features of a Craftsman Style home include: a gabled roof, deeply overhanging eaves, exposed rafters or decorative brackets under the eaves, a front porch beneath the extension of the main roof, square tapered columns supporting the roof, hand-crafted stone or woodwork, and mixed materials throughout the structure.

This particular Craftsman Style home designed by Richard Taylor for a couple in Delaware County, Ohio was a perfect fit with their post-children lifestyle and their respective hobbies in the arts and crafts. Taylor explains, "It's a new custom home in an area that is as flat as can be, so we wanted to put a house there that would look appropriate out in the middle of this large area. The two of them are very involved in their own crafts. He does woodwork and she does quilting as a hobby. He was building a shop to do his woodworking and she wanted some space where she could do her thing, and they wanted to mostly just enjoy nature and be outside. So we designed for them. We explored a couple of different ideas for the house in the beginning and the plan of how it might fit on the lot. We looked at different housing styles to find something that would fit out there and we ended up deciding on this contemporary version of a Craftsman home because it seemed to fit their personalities and yet also fit into this wide open landscape."

"The other thing that really drives us at my office is that we're committed to doing houses that are smaller than they could be. We had our share of doing larger houses for a while and we found that that was not nearly as fulfilling as doing homes where one of the goals was to try and be as tight and efficient and well designed as possible. If these clients had built a new house in a new subdivision it could have been much, much larger than it was and had a lot of space they didn't need. But this house has all the things that they need in a pretty tight package."

Aside from the open light-filled rooms with exposed beams, warm colors, natural materials, and elements that have a handmade look and feel to them, the homeowner chose to add an even more personal touch by making some of the kitchen countertops himself out of cherry wood. "It's nice to have a client who can do that kind of thing," says Taylor.

Having a natural, personal feel to the house was a big part of the goal of the design, according to Taylor. "And then with the land that they have out there, it was important to have views of the outside and also to connect the inside to the outside through porches on different sides of the house. It's a very inside-out house in the sense that there is a large open front porch, there is a large open back porch and there is a large screened porch with an open deck on top of that. So aside from all the nice interior spaces the house has, there are also a lot of great outdoor spaces."

"Our process takes a little bit longer than most, but that's because we ask our clients to make sure that they want to take the time and have the time to make sure we do it right. We also prefer to be involved in the construction process because there is still some design work that goes on once the house is underway, and we want to make sure that we're there to guide our clients through that. And of course things always come up in the field and we want to be a part of that decision process if changes are necessary."

In this case, just a few small changes came up as construction was underway. "Nothing really drastic," as Taylor explains, "but there were some things that came up during construction. It happens mostly when the clients see the real house for the first time. They'll sometimes move something around to make sure it's exactly what they want. And I think we increased the size of the pantry a little bit and we rearranged the kitchen just a little once they actually began to walk through the built house."

The clients are very happy with their new home. "They use it for entertaining quite a bit and it's worked very well for that. There are a couple of rooms that are convertible rooms. The homeowners each have small private offices in the house and one is designed that when it's not being used as an office, it's going to become a craft area. So it makes sense." Having a home that is well suited for a client and their lifestyle is the best thing a residential architect can hope to do, and that is what Taylor has done here, with great success.   

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit: 


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit: 



Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture  

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit: 


The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.



Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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