Friday, September 15, 2017

Ryan Thewes - Architect

-Ryan Thewes - Architect-  

Photo courtesy of Ryan Thewes

Do a google search on the percentage of people who have grown up and are working in the career they dreamed about as children. The average across several studies and surveys is a shocking eighteen percent.

Ryan Thewes is a member of that eighteen percent club. His unique and innovative designs have won multiple awards. He’s been interviewed for various media. His reputation for quality while maintaining an organic, authentic Modern design in every project has received recognition not only the U.S.  but Europe as well. Fortunately for us, he calls Middle Tennessee home. Ryan’s thumbprint can be seen all over Nashville.
He grew up in Southern Indiana with a pencil in his hand, clearly a gifted artist. Early on, he knew art would be his career. Adults encouraged him to be architect. Once he found the connection between drawing and architecture, it became his lifeblood. Ryan says he eats, sleeps, and breathes architecture. Having the opportunity to work with two architects that had worked with Frank Lloyd Wright helped to further develop and perfect the work he does today.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Thewes

How long does a typical design of a home or office building take?
That varies from project to project and client to client. There are some clients that fall in love with the design process and coming up with new solutions. I have a project now that we have been going back and forth for a few years perfecting. Those types of designs always yield the best results. On the flip side of that, there are designs where time is critical and solutions must happen in a matter of 3-4 weeks.

I was impressed you limit your clients so that you can personally work on each project. Do you have or keep a waiting list?
That is true, and yes, I do keep a waiting list. If someone hires me, they expect me to be the sole creator of anything that is produced. Having my name associated with the project, I wouldn’t want it any other way. It is that personal connection with each design that allows for unique and creative solutions for each site and client.

Have there been instances where a client wanted something traditional and your aesthetics have merged into a successful project?
I never want to push my aesthetics on anyone. Any house that I have designed for a client isn’t what I would have necessarily designed for myself and my family. My goal is to find the essence of what each client is attracted to and come up with a new and unique solution that embraces that. I want to produce a timeless design that is free of any classification. So to answer your question, if someone asked for a modern version of a classical home, I would sit down with them and figure out the reason why they are asking for that. What characteristics about the classical home do they like and what characteristics of the modern home do they like? My challenge then would be to come up with a design that combines those ideas into a new and unique form. If done correctly, any house designed today will still feel current and progressive 50 years from now.

If a potential client had an existing structure - say a barn or out-building - and he or she would like to convert into a modern home without losing the integrity of the original building. Is that a project you’d take on?
I always prefer new construction as it is easier to control the quality of the build. One area that I like to focus on is highly energy efficient building. That is much more difficult to do when retrofitting an existing structure.

However, I do take on many projects like that if they fit within my aesthetic. I have a few current projects that are remodels and additions, but they are very special situations.

From Southern Indiana to New Mexico, what drew you to Nashville?

We chose Nashville purely based on location and proximity to my family in Southern Indiana. I needed a larger city to do what I do, so that limited our choices. Specifically, when we moved here, there was almost no modern architecture to speak of. The stuff that was here was done so poorly that it actually scared people away from even considering modern. It was an untapped market where I felt like I could fill a niche.

Other than the office space in Dickson, have you been commissioned to take on other office spaces?
The majority of my projects are residential because clients are willing to take more design risks with their personal homes. I have been fortunate to work on a few commercial projects where clients have trusted my vision. In a space like Dickson, their trust has paid off tremendously. Everybody in town knows that building and their business has grown because of it. It is built-in advertising.

Let’s have some fun; What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies?

Not much spare time these days! Sports (tennis and golf) are what I love to do when given the opportunity. I have always had a love of live music so I attend a lot of concerts. And food – I love to go out to eat.

Favorite TV shows?
I find myself watching less and less TV all the time. These are a few shows that have survived the purge: Flipping Out, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, America’s Got Talent.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs – I am an animal lover but have always had a dog.

Dream vacation?
A local window company took me to Germany last year to visit their manufacturing plant and it was awesome. So my dream vacation right now is seeing more of Europe.

Favorite genre of music and do you listen to it while you work?
I work in silence…. Weird, I know.
But I absolutely love music.
My music tastes would probably be classified as Americana. A little country music (the good country music), alternative, rock, ‘80s, etc. I love creative music and that spans across many genres. Sturgill Simpson, Brent Cobb and Chris Stapleton have monopolized the CD player in my car now for a really long time. I annoy my family because I will put in a CD and listen to it on repeat for months – or until the next obsession comes along.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Thewes

One could binge-watch all the home improvement type shows and look at a few google images, and think there’s not much when it comes to home design. Through research of architecture and talking with Ryan, I’ve learned there is a creative element, a specific eye and talent to get the end-products we see around us today.
In 2016, Build Magazine awarded Ryan with Modern Design Firm of the Year – Southern USA & Best Tennessee Residential Project: Sharp Cabin. By looking at the cabin and reading the specifics on it, the awards are well deserved.

Visit Ryan’s website to view more stunning pictures of his exquisite work.
Follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google + and Houzz to chat, keep up-to-date on projects and much more. 
Written By Heather Clift:

[Heather Clift is an award-winning writer with a passion for all things Southern. Small town life, observational humor, and dark themes are her favorite subjects. Her short stories have been published in a variety of anthologies and magazines.  She became a contributor for Live, Laugh, Love Nashville specifically to connect with small business owners feeling privileged to showcase the heart, soul, and talent of those in and around the Nashville area. In her spare time, Heather enjoys binging on Netflix, making to-do lists, and grammatically correcting memes. For a peek of her fun side, you can find her on Instagram or Twitter, bragging on her kids, defending the Oxford comma, or posting signs with rogue apostrophes. She is currently working on her first novel.]

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