Joshua Hissong HDG Architecture founder and creative director has an innovative approach to design and client engagement. His recent project, a 1950s lake house renovation, is an example of his ability to blend modern trends with mid-century design principles.
At the heart of Hissong’s design is an emphasis on client interaction and understanding their aspirations.
He finds the initial stages of a project, including client discussions, framing, and final walkthroughs, to be fundamental. His approach is characterized by an attentiveness to the client’s desires, seamlessly translating them into architectural reality.
Looking at the broader scope of residential architecture, Hissong pointed out a significant emerging trend: the concept of “Flow.” This trend signifies a departure from unnecessary additions in favor of intentional, purposeful design.
It’s a return to the cohesive, efficient design principles reminiscent of the mid-century era, particularly those influenced by Japanese aesthetics. Check this book if you want to know more about the Japanese aesthetics.
The lake house project exemplifies this philosophy. The project began as a simple renovation plan for a 1950s lakeside home but evolved into a complete rebuild from the foundation up, driven by the clients’ trust in Hissong’s vision.
The clients, who had previously worked with the HDG Architecture team on commercial projects, sought a home that was modest yet well-crafted, blending seamlessly with its natural surroundings.
The brief called for a low-slung structure to preserve the views of neighboring properties, accommodating spaces for the family and guests. The architects chose an Eichler-style architecture, which complemented the site and met the clients’ requirements.
Their design strategy focused on creating spaces that were accessible and adaptable for multiple generations, with a particular emphasis on natural light and breeze control.
A pivotal element of this house is the entry area, which serves as the focal point and connects various parts of the home. The design features an A-framed roof section that forms the spine of the house, encompassing the entry, gallery area, kitchen, and primary living spaces.
This strategic layout offers a natural flow between different areas of the home, including the owner’s wing, guest wing, and main living space.
The material selection further reflects the project’s design ethos. The team employed walnut and concrete against crisp white walls, with board and batten siding on the exterior, echoing the mid-century style. These materials were chosen to be in harmony with the home’s design period, adding both aesthetic appeal and historical context.
HDG’s primary objective for this project was to create a tranquil retreat for the owners, a goal that was notably achieved. The feedback from the owner, a busy CEO, about the profound sense of contentment the home offered, highlighted the success of the project.
The clients played a crucial role in the project, bringing innovative ideas for the functionality of each space. Moreover, Hissong’s design was heavily influenced by the mid-century design movement, known for its thoughtful space utilization and efficient design.