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home is where the heart is

housing.

I am passionate about providing housing. When I’m 70, just about to hit my architectural prime, I want to be able to sit in a big dark leather chair (not real leather) with my feet up on an ottoman Kate Van Sluyter would pick out, sipping some whiskey on the rocks, and count how many multifamily housing units and single family houses I’ve had the opportunity to work on in my lifetime. I want to be able to say, “Yes, this was my career: helping to provide housing for as many people as I could.”

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The Langers at home on their beautiful property Longmont, Colorado.

modest. simple. humbling: the best kind of architecture.

A year ago—on December 20th—Joseph and I met with the Langers on their property in Longmont. They lost their family home to the 2013 floods that impacted many Colorado lives. At this point in time, the Langers had already partnered with Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley (HFHSVV) to build them a new house, but needed an architect to help them tweak the HFHSVV portion and design an addition that would allow their family of five to live comfortably and happily. We worked closely with Lisa and Greg Langer to design them a modest, simple house. Phase “1” is currently being built by our new friends at HFHSVV and Phase “2” will be built by the Langers.

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Views west towards the lake and mountains at the Langers’ property.
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Rendering of Langers’ new house looking east.

lending a hand.

Fast forward to a chilly December 3rd day and the whole WORKSHOP8 crew is out on that same site swinging hammers, assembling scaffolding and getting down and dirty (literally).

That’s right, we shut our trusty Macs down and put on our tool belts to volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity build day.

At a brisk and almost sunny 8 AM, we met our leaders for the day: Dan Northcraft, Director of Operations at HFHSVV, and Jess Foster and Kaleigh O’Neill of Americorps. We broke into teams and got to work.

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Brandy, Melissa, Ivan and myself were on scaffolding (the whole day!).
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Marcel, Kate, Chelsea worked on door headers and got to look sexy using nail guns and chop saws.
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Amanda, Joseph and Shawn worked on taping the SIS panel seams and attached hangers to the roof trusses.
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We had a lot of laughs and fun helping for a day to build the Langers’ new house. Some of us wish we could get out into the field more, and some of us realized we are happiest at our computers.

I want to personally thank Habitat of Humanity of the St. Vrain for all the hard work and dedication to making home-ownership a reality for many people in Colorado, and also to the Langers, for being some of the best clients ever.

Happy Holidays

W8about-the-author

Emily-as-a-70-year-old-Boulderite

This is an image Emily created through Bitstrips.com. She plans to look like this when she is 70-years old and still active as ever.

Emily is currently the project manager for both Spring Creek and Fall River, each 60-unit senior apartment projects in Longmont and the assistant project manager for The Aerie, a 94-unit mixed use apartment project in Denver. That’s a total of 214 units that she is helping get built. If she keeps it up, she should have around 40,000 units under her belt by the time she is 70.