Design Ethos

We believe there is beauty in pragmatism. That form really does follow function. And that old homes injected with modern energy brilliantly support a 21st-century lifestyle. As modern architects, we create a dynamic dialogue between the history of your house and your family’s life today. Whether renovating or designing a new home, our goal is to create a modern living space without losing the warmth and richness that a connection to the past provides.

blue and white Victorian kitchen by local San Francisco architecture firm


Our job is to balance the dream of what your home can be with the practicalities of making it come true, which means we give you realistic budgets before designing details that might have to be discarded later due to cost. The feasibility of every project, whether humble or luxe, hinges on budget, and we want to make sure you are getting the house you want for the resources you have. To that end, we guide you through a two-phase design process that aligns the scope and budget early on.

process diagram for at6 architecture

Feasibility Study

Before we get too distracted with the enjoyment of fully realizing your home’s design, we define the parameters of the project (conceptual drawings & a scope of work) to develop a detailed budget that allows us, and you, to move into the design build phase with confidence. No crossed fingers.

Design Development

Having built confidence that the project is feasible, we can fully enjoy the fun part of designing your home. In this phase we further develop the initial concept to fully flesh out the architecture, blending aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, and constructability. This includes:

  • Working closely with you, we illustrate the vision for the look and feel of the project and provide suggestions for the interior fixtures and finishes that will best support that vision.
  • We build out a prioritized schedule for you to make the material choices and fixture selections for your project, and our easy-to-use project management app allows you to approve those selections quickly and easily from your phone. No searching for emails or texts with vague approvals.
  • We handle all aspects of permitting and bring in trusted consultants, such as structural engineers, as needed to complete the project design requirements.
  • We keep you abreast of how the design development is tracking against the project budget so you are always aware of the financial impact of your decisions.
  • We are focused on keeping your project on track for starting construction on-time so we establish and update a design schedule so everybody knows how we are progressing towards key milestones.


Energy efficiency. Green building. Sustainable design. Over the past couple of decades, these terms have gone from buzzwords to the blueprint for how our industry must move forward. We fully embrace our responsibility to sustainability as residential architects, because homes are large contributors to climate change. We see our role as guiding you through sustainability conversations and along that path in a way that works for both your project and the environment.  Fortunately, as both architects and builders, we have control over actually implementing energy-efficient design, not just drawing up ideas.