At Frank Shirley Architects, we believe that the virtues of old houses—their sense of history, their time-worn comfort, the way they sit on the land with an air of inevitability, their elegant proportions and details—can be achieved in a new house today. Whether focusing on new construction or historic house renovations and restorations, our award-winning firm takes the best of traditional architecture and translates it for the kind of connected, welcoming spaces that suit modern life.
Our passion for integrating landscape and interior decoration into the architecture of a project is also a significant hallmark of our work. How a site is handled is critical for framing the architectural character of a house and making it feel as if it’s always been there, while the interior decoration of a house enhances the architecture from the inside out. Working in close collaboration with landscape and interior designers on our projects insures that architecture, interior design, and landscape are together creating a livability and an indelible sense of place for each house, apartment, or townhouse that we do. Our aim is to create places that are beautiful, comfortable, of exceptional quality, and timeless.
We come to each of our projects with a unique understanding of a variety of architectural traditions and building contexts, along with a singular appreciation for the importance of landscape and interior decoration, all of which inform the rigorous approach we take to design and construction. From laying out a driveway up to a house, to carefully thinking through the way that a house will sit on its site and its relationship to the gardens that will surround it, to the best layout of the rooms within a house and the specific architectural character of its details, we help our clients to develop projects that are best suited to their contexts and to their lifestyles.
Architecture is always a process of collaboration. It begins with a strong connection with our clients and extends to our long-standing relationships with the many consultants, designers, builders, and craftspeople that contribute to our projects. When you work on a project with a team of the most talented people, the outcome is always much greater than just the sum of the individual parts. Each component of a project’s process is critical for its overall quality and unique character, and fostering a collaborative spirit that begins early on in the design process is an important aspect of our approach.
When it comes to working with our clients, we believe that you can never underestimate the value of being a good listener. We begin by immersing ourselves in an understanding of our clients’ daily lives, working alongside them to determine what they value and need in a space and to get a sense of their personal visions of how they want to live. And we continually fine-tune that understanding as the project progresses, taking the same collaborative approach with our clients that we do with the rest of the project team.
At the end of the day, what makes a great traditional house is being a place that you can ultimately feel at home in—to be a place that taps into memories of your own past and creates opportunities for new ones—in both the big and small moments of life.