Richard A Keding | Architect
Standards and Values
Environments I
Environments II
Published Work

In the houses we design, we endeavor to balance many demands. Because each dwelling must function as a home that nurtures the spirit of those who live there, we consciously draw on certain standards and values that facilitate human habitation. Thus, these houses as true homes inevitably...

Belong in the landscape.

Their insistent horizontals and low profiles set them apart even at a distance. While the floor plan may follow the contours of the site, or oppose these contours for dramatic effect, the horizontal line always induces a close relationship with the earth. It seems to be indispensable. Exterior colors are decidedly warm and subdued; white in large areas is never used. Overhanging roofs bring deep shadows, softening hard surfaces and canceling bright reflections from the extensive glass.

Engage people.

Low entrances invite the visitor inside. Once inside, something is always partially hidden and at the same time partially revealed. Thus engaged, the inhabitant is drawn into a subliminal relationship with architectural space. These dwellings are open, yet secure. They shelter without confinement. They satisfy our species' primordial longing for both wide prospect and snug refuge.

Relate to the sky.

Introducing light from above produces an unexpectedly liberating and happy effect. At first glance, features such as clerestories and skylights may seemingly nullify the building's basic purpose of sheltering from the elements. But sitting under rain on a skylight actually enhances the sense of secure shelter. It is a delight made possible by modern glass, plastics,
and sealants.

Employ materials creatively.

Materials look their best and perform best when each is used with its intrinsic nature in mind. This is the key to obtaining the most "bang for the buck". One of the architect's most estimable tasks involves probing beyond conventional practices, and uncovering new ways of using his materials. This frequently leads to "pushing the envelope". Then, too, technology relentlessly displaces standard methods while making possible fresh applications for traditional materials.
Evoke the beautiful.

Beauty is not in the beholder's eye. Beauty lives independently. We know this because of the great works of architecture, music, poetry, sculpture, painting, and literature which have been regarded as beautiful for centuries. Apparently, however,

a true home will nurture
the psychic as well as physical needs of those who live there

beauty varies in its intensity. While certain great works have always been held in high public regard, seemingly lesser works move in and out of public esteem. This phenomenon is not easily understood, but must be taken into account. Consequently, our designs are unequivocal. We strive to achieve forms that are pure and clearly stated; we shun superficial effects.

Serve life.

The life of the individual drives virtually everything in our capitalist democracy. It is therefore simply unthinkable to ignore issues of daily use and convenience in arranging the functional relation-ships of any building. Although every design includes its share of compromises, rationality and convenience determine the layout of every floor plan.