Residential Overview

Mill Valley Residence

 Capetanios Residence

Discovery House



We collaborate with Clients to create the kind of Architecture that they would design if they were Architects.  

A Firm Belief: Collaboration, Creativity, and Cost effectiveness

Our firm’s founding concept has two key dimensions.  The first is that successful residential architecture derives from a genuine collaboration between the client and the design team.  We talk with our clients, not at them, and we listen carefully.  Second, we believe in no way that it’s a given that livable, interesting, even delightful architecture has to be unreasonably costly.

Our combined 20 years of experience in both architecture and construction has convinced us over time that the single greatest contributing factor to an uneasy, even adversarial, architect-client-contractor relationship is the traditional design-then bid and budget approach to building.  If the design and the budget do not correspond at the point of conception, it is almost inevitable that an enormous amount of lost time and energy go into redesign—which can only lead to frustration for all concerned.  The Design Build approach helps to alleviate this unfortunate circumstance by allowing a degree of synergy between the client, designer and builder from the very beginning of the project and throughout the design process that produces far more realistic budgets than would result otherwise. General budgets can be started as soon as the designing begins and they can be continually modified to reflect changes as the design progresses. The end result is a design/budget package that can help Clients avoid having made an emotional investment in a project they can’t afford.

Building a home, of course, does not end with the schematic design. During construction itself almost daily there are countless decisions to be made, adjustments required and design opportunities that open up. When the Contractor is a partner with the Designer, the heightened degree of cooperation greatly smoothes out this process. In an earlier era, architects used to provide complete services and worked with builders from the beginning of a project. Frank Lloyd Wright and the Greene and Greene brothers were famous for producing inspired buildings because of the intricate nature of their involvement in the actual construction of their buildings.

In the end, the design build process offers several ways to save Clients money on the overall project, as well as produce a more pleasing result.   To take only one example, if a set of drawings is to be bid by three different general contractors, then the construction documents produced by the Architect need to offer considerably more detail to define the scope of work for each Contractor, particularly since these Contractors were not intimately involved in the development of the design. This is both costly and inefficient.  It’s also the case that over the years of our collaboration we’ve discovered many building techniques that reduce costs while maximizing design.


    © 2009 FORM Design + Build Inc. All Rights Reserved.
A division of Dorman Associates Inc.