Architecture built thoughtfully for and around the individual and family.
Cindy Grant Architecture, Inc. specializes in custom residential and commercial architecture, built thoughtfully for and around the individual and institution. The firm produces work in Traditional Vernacular, Classical, and Modern styles and finds them equally valid and engaging in continuing the tradition of architecture design, and advancing the craft. Since founding the firm in 2005, Cindy Grant has worked on a variety of projects including a hospital addition for a wildlife center, a historic remodel for an 18th century house in France, and numerous new and remodeled homes around Southern California. Her body of work has included the styles of Modern, Mid-Century Modern, Spanish Colonial, Craftsman, California Cottage, Southwestern, Ranch Style, French Revival, French Seaside vernacular, Mountain Cabin, and Farmhouse vernacular, and she has significant previous experience in Italian Revival and other Classical styles.
We have great admiration and respect for the craftsmanship and skill of the early practitioners of traditional architecture, and the gifted architects of today that keep the tradition alive. When asked to create a project in a particular traditional style, historical images and precedents are researched that are used to inform and inspire the design. By reviewing these images with the Clients we are then able to decide together what features will most influence the design of their project. The goal is not to copy the historical styles but to understand them well enough to become fluent in the design, borrowing details where appropriate. Some interpretation or contemporary influence of these styles may be appropriate, but this is never the goal, and is instead usually a necessary modern adaptation to accommodate our current lifestyles and building codes
The construction process can be a very exciting time as you watch the ideas on paper emerge and I wanted to have a section dedicated to showing how the spaces are created and transform. Opportunities or issues may arise on remodels when old walls are opened. Sometimes beautiful old details get covered up over time for practical reasons and can later be revealed and restored. The construction process can be a little daunting with all the decisions involved so it is very important to keep the design professional involved through the end. The construction documents are the instruments of the architect’s service and even the most detailed drawing set, when left to the interpretation of only the builder, may not yield the intended result. Many situations arise that require field adjustments and determinations by the architect. There are also many details and materials that require mock-ups, shop drawings, and samples during construction and these should be reviewed and adjusted by the architect as necessary. The client may also want to make small changes or additions during construction as a result of now being able to see and stand in the spaces, and the architect can help to integrate these as they arise.
Los Angeles offers a unique variety of “modern” architecture. From the more ubiquitous Mid-Century modern homes to a one of a kind “Chemosphere” by John Lautner, each contributes to the fabric in a way that makes “modern” a Los Angeles vernacular style. In that spirit, I see “modern” as both a historical style for Los Angeles and a contemporary style. Following our approach to traditional architecture, if a client is drawn to a particular mode of modern, we look to precedents to draw upon. Unless a project demands it, however, we would not be as concerned with a rigorous reinterpretation of a particular modern vernacular. Unlike most traditional styles honed over centuries, Modern is a still relatively young and malleable style.
A client who wants to create something they haven’t seen before is a unique case popular with architects who thrive on moving architecture into the future. The goal is not to create something new or different for its sake, but rather an attempt to both reflect and inspire the values, lifestyles, and attitudes of the day and hopes for the future. With heightened awareness of our global resources and condition, I have great hope that we are on the edge of a very profound and transformational shift in the way we approach designing and building contemporary structures. As a former student of environmental studies, I bring an informed background in this field to my work. I am encouraged that concern for the environment is now recognized as part of the design dialogue. I am excited to help clients and contractors choose earth-friendly and healthy building materials and processes and reduce energy costs and resources. Recycled products and/or sustainably harvested products, earth-friendly paints and stains, high-performing insulation, daylighting strategies, passive solar, active solar, green roofs, geothermal energy, roof water capture and retention, greywater systems are just a few examples. As a visual person, I am excited by what new forms may be realized due to new building practices and welcome the opportunity and challenge to be part of this search with a similarly inspired client.