“Design your dream home with a trusted partner”
Perkins Architecture, one of Tulsa’s top-rated architecture firms, works with excited and ambitious clients looking for their dream home. For anyone who has driven through Tulsa, there are a multitude of styles and designs available for inspiration. From iconic estates to modern houses, Tulsa and the surrounding region have some critically important examples of rooted architectural styles.
Perkins Architecture was birthed from the iconic architectural legacy of Stephen Turner, who established his practice in Tulsa in the mid 1970's. With a cummulative portfolio of built work over 50 years old, we know the value in the dialogue of design. Our personal preferences take a back seat to the vision of the client. With people drawing inspiration from so many places, sometimes it is helpful to see examples of things that draw you into or turn you away from a space. It could be the composition, the details, the site, a painting, an idea or anything - each project starts with at least one key concept.
“That’s really where the most fun is,” said Jeremy Perkins, owner of Perkins Architecture, “taking that interview process or just listening to what clients want in their home and how they live, as opposed to how someone else lives, and then creatively translating that to paper.” Perkins adds how his firm gets from the initial idea to the completed project. Some architects in Tulsa see the process as one of leading the client through their process. Perkins Architecture works with their client as a partner. True discovery lies at the nexus of dialogue and trust.
“It is a process we always want to try and get exactly right the first time. But with developing an idea to fruition, that’s not going to happen the first time,” said Perkins. “Usually, it takes two or three revisions. And with the kind of tools we have now with 3-D modeling and interior modeling and rendering, it has become so much easier to show those spaces to a prospective client.”
While Perkins Architecture prides itself on creating beautiful, livable spaces for our clients, a lot of what we do consists of translating our client’s feelings into homes. If this article can help you articulate your feelings about the most important purchase of your life into a reality, all the better! Some of the work we proudly completed for former clients can be found on our projects page and we will also use some examples of completed residential homes throughout this piece as well.
Around 1900, a school of architecture emerged in Chicago from the work of the famed architect, Louis Sullivan, and the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement which held surrounding nature, superior craftsmanship and base simplicity were integral in remedying the soulless nature of mid-19th century England and its industrial revolution. Sullivan taught that American architecture was born of nature, aware of its surroundings in nature and combined that with contemporary elements. Emerging from this school, most famously, was Frank Lloyd Wright, who said that Prairie buildings were, “married to the ground”.
Elements of Prairie include strong geometry, central chimneys, open floor plans, restrained use of ornamentation, and repeated use of these throughout the structure (i.e., art glass, incorporation of a plant form in furniture, etc.)
“Prairie style goes back to the Franklin Lloyd Wright school of thought,” said Perkins. “Where they blur the lines between outdoors and indoors with materials and using those materials outside and inside.”
Integral to the Prairie home Perkins designed for a client was creating the home or the residence to really blends into the landscape versus sticking out from it. You use simple materials and cleaner lines.
Peaking in the 1920s and 30s on the coasts of California and Florida, Mediterranean Revival architecture was inspired by seaside villas and palaces in the Mediterranean Sea. Usually built with a rectangular floor plan, they also feature red-tiled roofs, massive, sprawling facades and stucco walls. Other features include low-pitched roofs, wrought-iron balconies, European-influenced gardens, and a design built to let breezes flow through the house.
Jeremy Perkins described the steps that Perkins Architecture took to incorporate Mediterranean elements into the final design of this client’s home. “This Mediterranean style was our version of the way we practice or what we value here and adhere to,” said Perkins.
“We take a more simple, clean approach to everything we do. So my interpretation of the Mediterranean is going to be taking the historic look of a Mediterranean style. If it is new construction, doing that in a simpler way, not as ornate. It is still very close to the proportions and materials used historically for that style.”
Modern Ranch homes have made a distinct comeback recently with the trend towards mid- century styles. These homes usually feature a single-story – which is attractive to new empty- nesters in favor of stair-free homes. There is strong incorporation of modernist design as well as a minimalist aesthetic.
Perkins discussed an addition they completed for a client in Tulsa.
“That Modern Ranch is a very well known home in Tulsa’s Bolewood Acres,” said Perkins. “This home was actually remodeled one time by the architect I worked for 25 years ago. Then we did a primary suite addition and renovated the entire house.”
When hiring an architect for home additions on a house that was already well designed, it is important to compliment the layout and craftsmanship of the home. “The whole idea is to do a seamless addition. What we want to accomplish is someone could not tell the addition was not part of the original,” said Perkins. “So that was the trick on this one. We tried to really go cleaner on the interior, simple, and update it to modern with an open kitchen without really changing the feel of the home.”
MODERN PRAIRIE BOX
There is a variety of design that is a departure from the Prairie school called “American Foursquare” or Prairie Box. These homes are named such because of their boxy shape and they usually have four rooms per floor. These are common in the Maple Ridge area of Tulsa. They frequently include large front porches, four rooms over four rooms, floor plan, heavy columns, and some have a portico and carport too.
Jeremy discussed building this Modern Prairie Box home for his own family. “This is my personal home,” said Perkins. “That part of Maple Ridge is not under the historic register,” explained Perkins. “My take on that was when we bought the house, we intended to remodel the interior. We were going to do something clean, simple inside, and keep it historic on the exterior. But it was a bad example of that home. The proportions were wrong and the roof was substantially too heavy. For whatever reason, they did four-foot overhangs instead of two-foot overhangs, which were consistent on those style homes,” added Perkins.
It became evident what he had to do if he wanted the interior updated.
“I decided to change everything about it. I think if you go back and look at Maple Ridge when a lot of homes were being done, there are a lot of eclectic homes in Maple Ridge that would be considered modern at that time,” said Perkins. “I really like modern, clean architecture, but I also appreciate historic architecture and do a lot of projects on historic architecture,” said Perkins,.
“When you do that stuff, you don’t do it ‘just because’, you always want to have a reason.” We know extensive remodels are a huge undertaking, so we calculate every design decision to best achieve your goals.
Whether you are looking to design the legacy estate of your dreams or seamlessly add-on to your the home you love, the architectural professionals at Perkins can turn your idea into reality. And your dream home can be a departure from any of the styles you see here. Farmhouse and Craftsman designs are easily customized along with the above-mentioned types.
Jeremy and his colleagues at Perkins Architecture look forward to turning your dreams into a reality. If you want to build your dream home with a trusted partner, contact us here.