Hutter Architects met these clients and had worked with them during the renovation of their Chicago residence a few years prior. Hutter Architects was brought in late to that project after things had gone awry. Construction had started, there had been no architect, and the high-rise homeowner’s association was rightfully requiring a building permit for the scope of the work that had been undertaken.
Too often an architect is thought of only in terms of fulfilling municipal requirements and this was a clear example of that thinking. However long before the end of this project the homeowner clearly saw the value that Hutter Architects added. First Hutter Architects clarified the client’s goals on paper so that in turn the contractor’s goals could be more definitive. Then construction drawings were created and a permit was obtained. Construction resumed and Hutter Architects administered the construction contract according to those drawings. It is common to think that only banal projects follow this order and that an artistic expression can’t coexist with these parameters. In contrast, Hutter Architects believes that when a design architect is responsible for specifying the sum of a construction budget, the rigor of a proven organized process for drawings, communication, and meetings sets the stage and provides the freedom for the artistic expression to flourish.
After the completion of the Chicago project, the homeowners were eager to involve Hutter Architects in the remodeling of their Scottsdale, Arizona home. This time Hutter Architects was one of their first calls!
The Arizona home was quite simply a 1980’s tract subdivision home on a phenomenal piece of property. The front was an elevation of repetitive garage doors and front entries. The rear was an expanse of patio, a world-class golf course, and then beyond, a striking view of Camelback Mountain. The basic stated need was for a new kitchen and new baths. The homeowners like to cook and entertain yet the interior was woefully uninviting and out of keeping with the spectacular outdoor setting.
Hutter Architects believes that the ambience, character, and spirit of place is driven by a design that flows, color that is bold and warm, correct proportions, and attention to texture and shadow lines. In this case the design’s boldness came from removing the walls around the existing kitchen and re-supporting the roof. This move greatly expanded the kitchen and elevated it to the heart of the home. A tall bar area provided some visual separation between the living and cooking areas, while still allowing the cook to be part of the main event. Dark and slightly distressed wood was used, giving a feeling of living room type furniture and further enhancing the kitchen’s character and formality. Texture in the kitchen ceiling, the depth of the cabinet doors, and the depth of the cabinet trim all added dramatic shadow lines while new trim throughout contributed additional boldness and definition. Finally, Hutter Architects worked with the client to design a warm, inviting, and original color palette that avoided the tired and cliché southwest color scheme.
This home was completed in the Fall of 2011. The homeowner explained her experience of working with Pam this way:
“Prior to meeting Pam, I was worried about working with an architect since I had two previous experiences which didn’t turn out too well. They never listened to what I wanted; what my vision for the space would be. At our first meeting, I knew that Pam was the one. She listened to what I said and how I wanted to use the space. She asked lots of questions to be sure that the design would reflect my need to personalize every detail. She also made suggestions that could be incorporated into the design that I had perhaps not considered. It was the first of many exciting meetings we’ve had over the years. I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else – she gets me. The remodel of our vintage coop in Chicago was such a success that when it came time to remodel our condo in Scottsdale, I knew that I didn’t want to work with anyone but Pam.”