The Architect In Town

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Nashville, TN

I had an incredibly fun and productive end of the week with Alex Pettas in town! Alex is an architect that I recently met on a jobsite in San Francisco, through my very close colleague, Jay Bakaler, Metro Eighteen. Jay and I go way back from the days when I was an Owner’s Rep, and we worked on a Facebook client’s ginormous house that he installed the Audio-visual equipment in. He is the who’s who guy in the little world of luxury home building, I feel like he knows everyone! Luckily, he introduced me to Alex, who had designed the complete renovation of Jay’s downtown San Francisco SOMA office. Instantly, I could tell I liked his sense of design, his modern taste, and his realistic building practices. Alex has worked with the renowned firm of Marmol Radziner, whose homes I had worked on from a distance at points in my career past as an Owner’s Rep. Their works are impeccably modern, and somehow so different from trendy modernism today; as featured here:

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Alex has recently gone out on his own to start his own studio, Alex Pettas Architecture, so it was a perfect fit! He is based in Los Angeles, but was excited about the thought of bringing modern architecture to the South. I thought the distance wasn’t ideal at first, but honestly, I have not found a modern architect in Nashville that fits me. With technology these days, I don’t foresee this being a problem. So, he flew in, and we got straight to work!

The Lake House

We went to the Lake House lot to give him a sense of the layout and topography, so we can start designing the house! We actually bumped into the neighbor who is coincidentally building a house next door, on a much smaller lot. It was informative to hear about his process so far, and filled us in on a few things: 1) we are building under the jurisdiction of Wilson County (not the City of Mount Juliette), 2) there are 20′ set-backs from the lot lines, meaning you have to set your house away from your property line by that distance, and 3) the approval process, is relatively simple, and we should expect a turnaround of a few week.

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As a first step, I had the survey completed by the land surveyor, which basically lays out where the existing house sits, the topography of the land, and gives the architect his grid for designing the house. Later that day, we met-up with Stephen, my husband, after to download all of our requests to incorporate into the initial design, which include:

-high ceilings
-cosy cabin feel in some areas
-modern, but not trendy
-fireplace
-open windows, indoor-outdoor spaces- if there is a deck upstairs, it would be cool to have covered area underneath with outdoor furniture and fire pit that felt more enclosed to sit outside in winter time
-we want to integrate a studio that can be rented separately, but also be treated as guest quarters/jr master if we didn’t want to rent it (to help pay the mortgage) if this can be done with making it feel natural part of house

Beyond that, we have no idea what the architect will come-up with, though I am sure it will be brilliant. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with after this trip!

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lake house survey

Franklin Pike

The next day, the architect met with my partner and I at the new huge project at Franklin Pike, to help us take the design to the next level (and ensure we know the extent of what we are getting into!). This was incredibly helpful to bounce design ideas off of him, more details about this later as the project progresses. Exciting times in Nashville!

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