Architects at Home: Mike Moore

Architects at Home : Extra

Mike Moore - Tres Birds Workshop

Eighteen pages in our Winter 2017/2018 issue was simply not enough space to cover all of the incredible images shot by photographer James Florio or share all of the insights provided by the great architects who participated in our “Architects at Home” project. Included below are additional images and comments by Mike Moore (Tres Birds Workshop) about his relationship to his home. You can read the original article HERE

“Reclaiming an existing building is a great start to creating a project that is low embodied energy. Our house was existing, but a lot of parts of it were failing. The beauty of this project is that I got to live in it for 10 years before the needs solidified for me. If you know what the problem is and what the desire is, you can taking a really simple approach to resolving it.”

“We kept the whole thing in tact except for the garage, and we used the framing lumber and the roofing material from the garage to make the new spaces.”

“The original house never had any eastern windows. Both Stacey and I are early morning folks, so we literally opened the whole wall of our east-facing bedroom, bringing in that soft light into the morning rituals of our life.”

“The little neighborhood is from the 1980s and everyone planted trees then. Now nearly 40 years later we are completely surrounded by these huge trees, and it’s wonderful. It’s super private — we can actually have a wall of glass.”

“We are big bath-takers in this house, and I wanted to create something special. A professional scavenger I work with first showed me this massive batch of tiles from Fire & Earth Ceramic Tile. They normally sell for $90-200 a square foot, but these were a whole lot of seconds I got during a fire sale. It was 7 tons of tiles, and I had to buy them all or buy none. It took weeks for my staff to sort through them all, organizing by color and size.”

“For our daughter Miria, we put this really long western window that faces the mountains. She gets great daylight in the afternoon, which is when she uses the space mostly. So while she’s doing her homework, she has good light, good views, good energy — it was all very intentional.”

“When we bought the house 11 years ago it was kind of a dump. It’s a half acre and it wasn’t irrigated or anything like that. The plants that could survive did, and we took on that process of working with “what survives.” We planted a lot of trees and bushes that are native and need no water.”

“One of the first things we did was establish a garden and put in a farmer hose so we had irrigation. We also developed a great soil over the last decade, composting from the house and getting good dirt from Maxwell’s. We gather seeds at the end of the year, and get some from some local heirloom producers as well.”

“The way we reconstructed it, using high quality windows and waterproofing, makes it a maintenance free exterior. The exterior is traditional stucco or galvanized metal and that’s it. There’s no other ingredient. The simplicity makes it last much longer.”

“The most important thing is that the house feels really great to be in. It’s all very inexpensive and typical materials. It comes down to design, the experience of outside coming in, and the experience of authentic structure — what you see is what you get. With those three ingredients you can make something really special. It doesn’t take fancy technology or expensive materials. Our house is a really good example of that.”