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The Process

An architect is "supposed" to draw up some nice plans, hand them to a contractor, and go away. Unless said architect has absorbed Alexander's way of building. That architect is going to draw whatever plans the building inspector requires and then work day-to-day on the house, changing, adjusting, making it real in full form.

It's the ancient tradition of the Master Builder, the one who took the whole job from idea to reality. Not a great way to maximize the ROI on a degree in architecture, but the perfect way to make a structure that respects its placement and is shaped for it.

Chris talked at length about the surprises that develop day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, as a building takes form.

Great line from him about architects and their plans: "Architects get paid to pretend they know what's going to be there. But nobody knows until it's there."

Many more stories coming about working with Chris—five years' worth, actually.