Why Edgewood’s Architectural Style is Different

Speaking with a client the other day I noticed that she was using many of the same adjectives a lot of people use when describing the difference in the look of an Edgewood custom home. “The architecture is honest, graceful, intentional, thoughtful, elegant, smart, clean, organic, textural, masculine, and timeless.” I hear it all the time, and I always explain that the genesis of the “Edgewood Look” can be traced back to several defining moments in my life.

One particular influence was my tutorship with a Master Builder, which I worked with very early in my career. My teacher built with integrity and intention because as he often said, “Its just not worth doing any other way”. Another is the 12 years I spent designing and building in Japan. I learned so much about sensitivity to materials from the Japanese Master Carpenters with whom I worked. Their culture has an exceptional reverence for nature and fine wood. It is so inspirational. In Japan, a Master Carpenter has enormous socioeconomic status and is paid on the same scale as an architect or doctor. That status reflects a reverence for a craft that is truly valued in Japanese society.

Here are just a few of the things I learned while working there. These concepts have shaped my perceptions, influenced my approach to the craft of home building, and have strongly influenced my work;

A Home Will Last As Many Years As The Tree Was Old That Was Used To Build It.
Tighter growth rings mean a higher quality and denser log with more resilience to withstand the natural elements.

The End Grain Of The Wood Must Be Sealed By Sanding.
This is in order to “heal the wound” that the carpenter has made in cutting the wood to fit in place on the home. By doing this, the carpenter is closing off the more porous end grain of the wood and returning its natural resilience to the elements.

Arched opening

Unique truss design combined with “softened” arched opening combine to create a spectacular bridge in the loft over the Great Room.

Trim Is Mistake.

Japanese craftsmen believe that there should be as few pieces of material and types of material as possible in the home so as not to “compete” with one another. Trim is thought to be used to cover lack of forethought and creative detailing.

Celebrate The Joinery!
In traditional Japanese timber framing and log work the joinery of the wood is actually accentuated and indeed celebrated. The connections are very organic in design and implementation and then are typically softened during the healing process. This results in deeper shadow lines and a very elegant accentuation or celebration of the indirects joinery technique.

This exposure to the Japanese appreciation of high quality materials, depth of texture, sophisticated joinery and finish details blended with the lessons I learned from my mentor early on and resulted in the development of many of the “Edgewood Firsts“.

Stone, Glass, and a Western Red Cedar Hand Stripped Tree combine to blur the transition from interior to exterior living space.

You can read about the Edgewood innovations on this web site and learn more about the numerous technical details that we uniquely provide as standard in our homes. While these design techniques require more thoughtfulness and in some cases more labor to complete, when brought together into one completed custom home project, the results are noticeable, stunning and powerful.

Full 2″ thick (not 1 1/2″) cedar fascia, massive 3×12 roof planking, authentic full log bucks surround our windows and doors,  truly non settling log construction, massive logs with furniture quality finish sanded ends- these are just a few of the exceptional details that only Edgewood provides to our clients on every project.

Heavy shadow lines are created, providing depth and texture.

In the end, it is very important to me that I am personally proud of each and every Edgewood home. This is why I will always strive to lead the way in this industry and will never compromise on the right way to build and to live.perfect will have to do.

Brian L. Schafer / Edgewood

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