From a Frog to a Prince
book review: Byrdcliffe: an American Arts & Crafts Colony

The Johnson Partnership

Founded in 1979, the Johnson Partnership is located in Seattle and does both restoration / remodel jobs as well as new residential projects throughout the Northwest (as well as commercial and preservation work). From the type used on the opening page of their website, I could tell that A & C aesthetic meant a lot to them; the combination of Asian and Craftsman influence in their work is particularly refreshing to see from a new home builder! Their new site is full of downloadable PDFs profiling particularly noteworthy projects, as well as a few video walkthroughs, and is definitely worth checking out.

Almost every single one of their projects reflects a true dedication to A&C ideals. The level of detail in their woodwork is refreshing - it's as if cabinetmakers decided to build houses, which isn't far from the truth; architectural principal Larry Johnson is one of Seattle's most knowledgeable people when it comes to Arts & Crafts design, and architect Howard Miller is a furniture designer, woodworker and ceramacist (who also lists his skills as "enthusiastic husband" - glad to know they have a sense of humor, too).

What makes their skillset and focus especially interesting to me at least is that Lani Johnson, the environmental planning principal, brings preservation and landscape to the forefront - everything they build is situated so precisely in the landscape - just as it would have been for the founders of the movement. Their respect for the fidelity of the original architect's vision in a remodel job is equal to the respect they have for the land a new house will be built in, and that is impressive when so many builders don't consider the latter at all.

I only wish I could find someone like this here in Sacramento! (PS - if you know someone - email me.)