Archive for October, 2011

Harrel Benson Home


The Harrell-Benson house has found its appropriate identity; the one that expresses its user’s lifestyle, perspective, values, and desire for aging in a place they call “home”. After 14 years of living in the 4000sq.ft house that had 10 rooms, one and a half bath and no kitchen at all, the house underwent a long overdue remodel, an emotionally stressful but rewarding procedure that made the house a warm, welcoming, comfortable and accessible home to all. The project won the META Platinum Award for Universal Design, the Judge’s Choice Green Award, and the Judge’s Choice for best overall project from NARI. As the presenters explained, this success was possible only because the clients, designers, fabricators, site managers and all professionals associated with the project worked together as “one unit”. No matter how educated and familiar the client is with the construction process, it is always emotionally stressful for the homeowners to live through the remodel. Active listening for designers is also crucial. It is important to consider issues like genetic disposition, lifestyle factors, psychological factors, cognitive abilities environmental factors etc. A designer has to wear multiple hats and often act as a marriage counselor!