Welcome. We are an architecture and interiors studio that believes in the power of thoughtful design to better connect us to the built environment, the landscape, and each other. Our process is equal parts creativity and pragmatism –so that our work draws out the strongest potential of any site, the resources at hand, and ultimately, the experience of our clients. Design is both a process and an adventure; we see ourselves as both your partner and guide. We look forward to hearing from you.

Paradox House:
Both | And thinking and the paintings of Edward Hopper set the mood>

“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” ― Niels Bohr

It might have been tempting to gloss over the inherent tensions in the logically incompatible impulses of our two clients for the design of their new Sonoma home, and to deny the multitude of conflicting technical requirements for this complex site. Yet, the Paradox House attempts to find fodder in the creative power of paradoxical thinking.

Light Box | Dark Box: RayKo Photography Center:
A scrim of light wraps a darkroom>

RayKo has had a long history as a community hub for photographers in the Bay Area. Their new facility, in a 12,000 sq ft former warehouse, offers digital imaging and scanning tools, rental darkrooms and studios, as well as a retail space and gallery promoting the work of regional artists. We used a translucent stretched scrim as a parapet to hide the proliferation of snaking mechanical ducts above the space that are essential to the darkrooms below. Not only did this function as a shield, but it also created a softly glowing light that serves as both a backdrop to the gallery space and an illuminated beacon from the busy street outside.

Dovecote Details:
A personal space inspires bespoke details>

This highly personal and customized project by the architect-owner became a site for exploration and play. We followed every intuition about details that might contribute to the space, hoping to stay just this side of ‘too-much.’ What unites the disparate details of this addition is a sense of movement, craft, and nature.

Neal J. Z. Schwartz, FAIA:
Founder + Principal

Neal completed Master of Architecture and Master of Public Policy dual degrees at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Kennedy School of Government. He graduated with Distinction in Architecture, received the Thayer Award for Meritorious Scholarship, the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, as well as national awards from the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association. His capstone work included a critical look at the design of juvenile detention facilities –“Points are Earned; You Start the Day at Zero”– and a policy manual for a non-profit advocating for affordable housing for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. This unique combination of design and policy is the foundation of Neal’s practice –a commitment to creative excellence combined with a devotion to rigorous management of the entire process through construction.

Modal Home won an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in California! To quiet a noisy road, this new home turns inward –an urban cloister buffered from the surrounding traffic. To compensate for this loss of sound and view, we did everything we could to intensify the nuances of natural light over the course of the day. The loss of one sense heightens the perceptions of another. Architect - S^A | Schwartz and Architecture Photography - @brucedamonte Contractor - Webb Builders Inc. Lighting - @pritchardpeck Energy - @loisosubbelohde Landscape - @studiogreenlandarch #modernhome #moderndesign #modernarchitecture #customhome #bayarea #bayareahomes #architecturedesign #modernhouses #architecturephotography #moodboard #photooftheday #design #designinspiration #view #design_only #architect #exterior #californiahomes #indooroutdoorliving #material #homedesign #homedesignideas #architecture