The Importance of Craftsmanship



Author: Mark de Reus, Partner

I came to architecture through construction. Fortunate enough to apprentice for a master builder after high school, I gained experience in wood and timber framing, concrete, carpentry, plaster, drywall, stone masonry and cabinetry.

What my builder friend lacked in business acumen, he made up for with his strong commitment to craftsmanship and his ability to teach. It was at this early age that I gained an appreciation for materials and craft that enticed me to attend the university and study architecture.

My experience in the world of construction opened me up to the fundamental questions of how and why things are built…an exploration that continues to this day.

Practicing architecture in Indonesia in the 1990s, I was influenced by the indigenous culture and traditions, particularly in Bali, where the buildings were beautifully crafted, with artworks integrated into the architecture.

Today, a hallmark of our practice is that we think about how buildings are put together as we design. Our drawings are informed by first-hand experience in construction. We understand the opportunities and the limitations of the construction techniques and materials at hand. At every opportunity, we eschew the generic and the mass-produced in favor of a craftsman-like approach to design.

If skillfully built, architecture can rise to the level of art.

The details are not left to chance, from structure to cabinetry. A high level of craftsmanship is integral to the positive visceral experience one has with a home or a resort. It’s the thoughtful details—and their execution—that leave a first and lasting impression.



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