JSW/D Architects



In looking back over the work of the past 30 years, the following themes have emerged:

Personal attention to each job. A client gets the personal attention of at least one partner, backed up with the experience and skills of the entire office.

Client participation. The clients are at the center of the design process. As a result, our finished buildings tend to be expressions of the clients' needs and dreams rather than the architects'. Our booksA Pattern Language, Design for Independent Living, The Good House, and Patterns of Home—are written to enable clients to become effective partners in design.

Creativity. Working with the needs of the client and the potential of the site, we bring our skills into the design process creatively, using the objective ground rules of the project as a springboard for inventive and beautiful design. We can spark a creative design interaction with the client by producing multiple ideas for discussion and exploration.

Style. Though our buildings share certain recurring spatial patterns, they are not done in a single style. We design buildings that are fresh in feeling and form, but which draw upon tradition, like new members of an old family. We expect that our work will pass the test of time without becoming dated.

Professionalism. We maintain a consistently high level of professional care and responsibility in each job. All partners are registered architects in California and members of various professional associations. We have established important relationships with consultants and contractors.

Sustainable Building Technologies. We have developed expertise in the following areas:

  • Appropriate Energy Design, including passive solar heating, passive cooling, active solar hot water heating, radiant floors heated by natural hot springs water, electricity from photovoltaic systems, a mini-turbine running off a spring, and windmills.

  • Healthy Materials, responding to the special needs of the environmentally-sensitive user, avoiding building materials that continue to "off gas" irritating vapors, and screening materials for toxicity not only to the users, but also to the producers of the materials and the contractors on site who must work with the materials.

  • Sustainable Building Materials. With our clients, we are exploring sustainable material choices—cement-stabilized earth, reclaimed or sustainably-grown wood, and long-lasting components.

  • Linking Indoors/Outdoors. Typically, our projects incorporate courtyards and decks, porches and verandas, skylights and trellises. We try to bring the healthy aspects of nature into our buildings, and use our buildings to create more pleasant, tempered outdoor spaces.

Accessibility/Universal Design. We want our buildings to be accessible in the best sense—inviting and easy to use for people of all ages and capacities—and have received several design awards in this area. This focus has sharpened our expertise with the ADA compliance guidelines and the California Title 24 requirements.


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