Project Report: Four Seasons Penthouse – The Art of Collaboration

I spent the first half of my life creating in the visual arts. I loved the ability to explore through a wide variety of mediums and dive as deeply as I cared to in any direction. And although I found this work gratifying, it was a largely solitary endeavor.

It wasn’t until I started practicing interior design that I really experienced the power of collaboration. Every one of our projects is collaboratively designed with our clients. And my favorite projects include a larger team comprised of an architect and contractor. In the case of this project, the architect is David Webber of Webber + Studio and the contractor is David Wilkes of David Wilkes Builders – both they and their teams stand tall in the field as some of the best dreamers, designers and craftsmen around.

Cravotta Interiors Project: Four Seasons Penthouse – Custom Bookcase at Entry.

Cravotta Interiors Project: Four Seasons Penthouse – Custom Bookcase at Entry.

 

The bookcase pictured here is an example of a design David Webber and I worked on together. David and I discussed a thought of incorporating bronze and wood details throughout the apartment, and this is one piece that emerged from our conversations and exchange of ideas. The bookcase serves not only to define the entry but also as the lounge space beyond while maintaining a connection to the world outside the windows that overlook West Austin.

Cravotta Interiors Project: Four Seasons Penthouse – Custom Bookcase at Entry.

Cravotta Interiors Project: Four Seasons Penthouse – Custom Bookcase at Entry.

 

In talks with the fabricator, we learned that the piece as initially drawn would weigh over two tons, which exceeds the structural engineering restrictions of the building. We needed to find a way to reduce weight without compromising the design. The subsequent collaboration with the fabricator became essential and resulted in modifications that reduced the overall weight by 50% while maintaining the original design intent.

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do for a living. And having the opportunity to collaborate with people of high integrity and talent makes the journey that much more fun.

Within the many teams I get to work, I’m continually reminded that the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

I look forward to sharing more with you on this project in future posts.