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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Holliss

Solace in Beauty

Updated: Apr 26

I've never been so conscious of the embrace of structure, how, in very tangible ways, architecture can hold and comfort. I imagine some of your clients/friends sheltering-in-place in structures you designed. What a solace beauty can be!

Saral Burdette, Monk + Wedding Celebrant

In the last couple of weeks we have received some beautiful emails from friends, family and clients who are self-isolating at home in one of the houses that we designed for them. Home can be a haven.

Good design goes a long way. We are proud to have brought beauty and solace into the world. For all modern architects, Los Angeles, this is a time to connect with our own families—we feel the same way as our clients. Time is precious.

We hope that you are finding ways to keep busy, release stress and connect with friends and family. We have instituted a weekly dinner with family via Zoom. To sit down at our table, see our family theirs, creates a genuine feeling of connection. The laughter and the stories fly across a thousand miles and make us feel right there. It doesn’t hurt that we can save, time, materials, labor costs to create an eco-friendly oasis.

Hybrid construction is one of our super powers:

30% - 60% less to build

10-25% faster to build

75% eco-friendly materials, average

30% - 100% more energy efficient

Up to 100% solar powered


So, in the middle of this craziness...letting people go, worrying about groceries for our parents, etc... we find ourselves in this oasis. This house. Boy, did you guys design a thing of beauty. Can’t describe what it feels like to enjoy the many nooks and crannies, the changing light, all the places to hang out. Cooking with a view of the ocean.
We are forever grateful to have this piece of art —- that you guys brought to life —- to live in.

— D+D, Beach House


This house has always felt like a deep breath…expansive and soothing. Jim is busy in his studio creating magical things from recycled cardboard and dreaming new art into the world. I’m reading the shelves from top to bottom and moving from space to space with the sun like a human sundial. I’ve been training the local birds and now have a family of crows and a beautiful blue jay that come to visit daily. We are conscious every day how extraordinarily lucky we are to have such a unique and beautiful space in which to ride out this storm.

— Client, House of Books


It couldn’t be better than living in a Sander Architect home. The space, the view from all the windows and the cool feeling of polished concrete floors under my feet keeps me grounded. I never get enough of the soaring ceiling height and how the rooms flow from one to the other. Concrete, glass and steel perfectly constructed to create an intimate atmosphere yet with a complete feeling of openness and light. I’ve come to appreciate this space even more now that I’m staying home sheltering in place. It’s very peaceful.


The way the windows are designed they slide wide open and you don’t feel as if you are trapped inside looking outdoors.The ability to open the windows and the quiet streets mean you can hear birds you don’t normally hear. It is just as pretty to look through them when it rains as when it is sunny. It feels like, not only is it your own home, it’s like being in an amazing vacation home.

— Greg Smith, Surfer House

Steadycam operator and instructor. Interviewed while on his bike, indoors, in the warm-up to a world-class virtual road race

A place to come home to has always been a joy. Big enough for myself and my 4 cats to have our own spaces and small enough for those spaces to have overlap when wanted. It’s always been worth every bit of hard work to come home and open up the 20’ windows to the trees I light up during all seasons. I’ve never once regretted my decision to build it. These crazy days it’s the perfect house to be isolated in. And as I’ve sat here for the last 11 days - and wondering how long this distance will last - I know there is no place else I could be during these very hard times. It gives me a sense of peace and a continuing belief that we will survive this. Tonight it feels safe here. For now - it’s my fortress of solitude. Until it can once again become a home to share with family and friends.

Leslie Sander, Tree House

Please share your own stories of finding solace in beauty, in your solitude. Perhaps you are in a small cottage in the countryside. Perhaps you are in an apartment with a view over the city. Wherever you are, we wish for you good health.

From all of us at SANDER ARCHITECTS


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