On the homepage of Rand Soellner Architect’s website you will see the sentence:
“Clients come to us because they can’t find the residential design they want anywhere else.”
This is not an idle phrase; it is the truth. For instance, quite often Soellner will pick up his phone and hear a new client say: “I’ve been looking on the Internet for months (sometimes years), and I can’t find what I want…Until I came to your website. I’m very interested in the look of your house designs and in particular in how the ________ design of yours functions.” These people are referring to Soellner’s numerous project examples on his website: HomeArchitects.com
Soellner has been at this a long time, since he was 15 years old, starting by taking a drafting course at John Adams High School in South Bend, Indiana, where not only did he draft, he designed, creating several residential projects from his sophomore year through his senior year, that caught the attention of his teachers, who put them on display in the corridor showcases, and encouraged him to graduate and attend a major accredited architectural university, which he did. Since then, Soellner has become a licensed architect in multiple states, has received multiple awards from prestigious sources such as the American Institute of Architects, a major power utility company, a State Government, a major city, and been featured in books and magazines worldwide. See House With a View (available from Amazon.com) in which he is one of several famous architects from around the World who designed outstanding residential projects in scenic locations.
Decades later, he now enjoys scenarios like last weekend. A prominent professional, based in downtown Chicago, made an appointment and came to visit Rand Soellner at his home office. The professional, let’s call him “Bob,” said that he had already been through two previous architects in past months and years, who either didn’t understand what he wanted or didn’t have the design skills to accomplish his requested house size and still have the imagery he wanted for his unique acreage in the woods on a cliff in the backcountry of a northern state.
Bob wanted a “Fairytale Cottage” of about 2,000 HSF (Heated Square Feet) on the main level, and had an ambitious list of requirements. The most recent previous design firm had created a design of about 3,500 HSF on the main level, which exceeded Bob’s requested size substantially. He really didn’t want that much house. So, he verified with Soellner that Rand could, would, and was interested in designing projects for anyone, regardless of the size and budget, or the location of the land. Having established that, Bob met with Rand. Soellner allocated an entire day (at no charge for the first meeting); picked Bob up from his hotel, and met with him in Soellner’s conference room for several hours during the morning, reviewing Bob’s program requirements, “flying” around Bob’s wonderful acreage on a large flatscreen monitor in virtual reality, exploring the view angles, and reviewing several of Rand’s previous designs.
Soellner had only offered to show several previous examples to illustrate what a 2,000 HSF house looked like in several configurations, some of them built. One of the schemes captured Bob’s imagination: “That’s it! This is great! This could work!” Bob really liked one of Rand’s projects, Rand’s Fairytale Stone Cottage, which had won a design competition for Soellner a while ago. That happened to be about 2,500 HSF on the main level. Rand let that issue rest for a while and offered to take Bob around to several of Rand’s built houses in the local community. Bob consented, so Rand drove them around to see 3 houses in the area: the Falcon Cliff Lodge, the Creekside Cottage, and the Eagle Mountain Aerie. Bob liked them all and enjoyed seeing what the actual, built projects felt like and looked like in person, and appreciated the interesting materials and details.
Soellner drove back to his home office, where Rand served lunch; an assortment of sandwiches, fruit, diet soft drinks, bottled spring water, fresh cookies and about the tastiest potato chips in the world. After that, Bob and Rand resumed their design review in the conference room. They “flew” around Bob’s acreage again, documenting Bob’s favorite view directions. Then Bob wanted to look at the compact, yet functional Fairytale Cottage design that he had found so interesting during the morning session. It incorporated Soellner’s Open Plan Home Design concepts, so it felt spacious. So, Rand and Bob studied that for a while. Bob said that he would like to have a Loft Level, so Rand sketched in a stairway, and a Loft Level above. Bob said that Rand could remove the 2nd Bedroom on the main level and press the loft into service in that capacity, which could also serve as his studio when guests where not there. Now, the main level would be around Bob’s requested 2,000 HSF size.
Soellner noted the walkout basement request from Bob’s program notes and found a way to have the stairway simply go down another level to access that space, which would carve a view right out of the cliffside, overlooking a bend in a major river in that location. Bob beamed, delighted with the results of their cooperative work session. Rand Soellner had accomplished, in just a few minutes, what the other design firms had not been able to do during the last several months and years: The Size. The Features. The Functional Plan. The Look.
“Clients come to us because they can’t find the residential design they want anywhere else.” All of the above is a completely true reporting of what happened and what continues to happen at Rand Soellner Architect: The HOME ARCHITECTS TM. Except, of course, the names have been changed to preserve the privacy of Soellner’s clients. If you are thinking that you want to consider the design of a custom house that meets your family’s objectives, tailored to your lifestyle, your dreams and your land, perhaps you might think it’s about time that you gave Rand Soellner a call, e-mail on online chat: Contact Us .