We Are Honored to Have Been Voted Best Architect by Town Topics Readers.
DOUGLAS R. SCHOTLAND ARCHITECT
HIGH-PERFORMANCE DESIGN FOR TRADITIONAL BUILDINGS
At Douglas R. Schotland Architect, we specialize in high-performance design for traditional buildings.
Whether we are working on a new house or restoring an historic one, we seamlessly merge the best of traditional architecture and building science to create places that enhance modern living.
THE VIRTUES OF OLD HOUSES ARE MANY...
There is so much to love about old houses. The delicate interplay of light and shadow across their articulated facades...Their subtle imperfections... Their natural materials, sculpted by the hands of people living in a simpler time...Their intimate relationship to the surrounding landscape. Old houses ground us. They connect us to our land and our past, imparting a sense of familiarity and calm. Old houses resonate with something deep inside us.
...BUT THEY DO HAVE THEIR SHORTCOMINGS.
Their myriad charms aside, old houses are very likely to be wasteful of energy, uncomfortably cold or hot at various times of year, and have inferior air quality. In addition, the lack of natural light in some old houses leaves occupants feeling disconnected from their surroundings. In the worst cases, old houses may have suffered poorly designed or executed additions, alterations, or “modernization” efforts.
OLD HOUSE DEVOTEES APPEAR TO HAVE A DIFFICULT CHOICE TO MAKE...
Thanks to recent advances in building science and technology, it is now possible to integrate the most desirable features of contemporary houses, such as energy efficiency, natural light, resilience, and superior air quality, into historic ones. Likewise, we can design new traditional houses that perform like modern ones.
IT IS DONE OFTEN (BUT SELDOM WELL).
In the case of historic buildings, the great challenge is to implement these improvements without damaging historic architectural fabric or compromising character. With new buildings come other challenges. First of all, it is essential that the architect be well-versed in the language and details of traditional architecture. But it is just as critical to have a deep understanding of building science principles, materials and methods. Finding both skills in one person is harder than one might imagine.