McAlpine’s projects reflect a balanced tension between ancient and original. “I find that extremes love each other,” the architect says. “It’s all about creating the right kind of fusion—almost like cooking—to make something magical.” He tailors each house to his clients’ stories, lives, and loves, as well as their aspirations. “These days,” he says, “clients do a lot of due diligence in selecting their architect. They interview and walk in a lot of circles to settle on the person who will create the right place.”
When asked to describe a common element or thread that comes through in his clients’ desires, McAlpine surprises. “You might think people want things bigger and brighter,” he says. “Yet we always find that the intimate spaces are the most vital. That’s where you have the conversations and the moments that you remember.” And it’s that intimacy that comes through in Poetry of Place.
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