Originally established in Atlanta in 1991, the Harrison Design firm has grown to have seven offices across the United States with one studio in Shanghai, China. Creating personalised designs that are rooted in the past with a drive to improve the contextual communities, Harrison design have commendably achieved the seamless merging of the old with the new. In coordinating the defining characteristics of the targeted architectural style with the site characteristics, their designs have produced unique yet true-to-place buildings that celebrate the past, provide for the present and lead the way to the future.
Specialising in three spheres of building design – architecture, interiors and landscape, the firm has proved its mettle in not just holding true to its initial design drivers but also pushing boundaries in sustainability and recycling of materials and spaces. Primarily focussed on luxurious residential designs, the firm has been recognised in the design field with numerous awards and features in leading architecture magazines. Slowly moving towards larger commercial, communal and institutional developments, the firm is on the pathway to a bright and illustrious future in establishing luxury living.
Provided below is an insight into some of Harrison Design’s astounding work in reviving architectural styles in modern times through sculptor-like approaches and staggering attention to detail.
1. Contextual highlight: Writer’s Studio
This project effectively brings together cedar wood and glass to create an inspiring work-recluse in this Arlington backyard. Regulation of microclimate through orientation and design, environmental sustainability through use of reclaimed materials like oak barrels, space efficiency through implementation of smart features like pivoting bookshelves, Nanawall systems and architectural illusions like angled roof that to enhance verticality are attractive highlights of the project.
2. Contextual Highlight: Saint Barbara Foothills Residence
With integrity to the surrounding context providing overviews of the city and the ocean, the design revolves around emphasizing these views through the curvy form, ceiling-to-floor glass fixtures and spatial volumes. The central double height volume of the living spaces reflects the outdoor scale encapsulating the city and the ocean while the private spaces are provided at an intimate scale at the edges with the service areas tucked into the natural topography.
3. Architectural Classicism: Dutch Colonial
Bringing to life a different architectural era, this home in McLean, VA, is presented with beautiful earth tones to blend with the surrounding landscape while its actual height is masked by the characteristic gambrel roof to blend with the neighbouring buildings. While the exterior exhibits Tudor-style windows, flared eaves and decorative transoms, the interior showcases coffered ceilings, bay windows and soft colours.
4. Architectural Classicism: Greek Revival
The grand scale of Greek architecture is reflected in the majestic Greek columns lining the double height front façade of this modern home. The use of materials like reclaimed oak floors, timber beams, antique bricks and distressed finishes provide the required aged appeal. A distinctive feature of this project is an isolated music and art studio that draws light into the interiors while providing extensive views into the surrounding treescape.
5. Architectural Revival: Modern Renovation
Retaining just the granite walls of the original building, this revamped home is successful in blending a modern range of glass and wood with the former stone creating a novel aesthetic that sits perfectly in its woodland context. The open façade design combined with the double height ceilings facilitate the transcending of nature through the extensive glass walls channelling light and nature views into the interior of the house. Moreover, the employment of cantilevering strategies brings about an innovative treehouse effect in the private zone of the house.
6. Architectural Classicism: Caribbean Cottage
This grandiose resort-like seasonal home is tailored for its exotic indoor-outdoor experiences. The blurring of the boundaries between the interior and the exterior is achieved through diverse transitional spaces like courtyards, terraces, porches and balconies spread along the H-shaped orientation of this coastal home as well as the airy interiors promoting expansive views over the water. Reflecting the Caribbean style are the architectural features of the French openings, louvered shutters and bonnet roof.
7. Architectural Revival: Modern Villa Renovation
A great example of cherishing the past while creating the future, this oriental Chinese home now exhibits not only oriental features but also contemporary art. Adopting the passions of the new owners, the renovation opened the interiors emphasising the pagoda-inspired doorways and the grand volume of the foyer. Extending into the outdoors, a minimalist pool and pavilion complete the contemporary signature.
8. Architectural Classicism: Neo-classical Landscape Design
Building on the strict geometry and formalism of the building’s architecture, the front yard is designed as a formal European garden with boxwood hedges and topiaries. The backyard is set out in a geometric pattern with a central quatrefoil holding the pool and fireplace sit-around. The peripheral borders are planted with edible plantings of diverse fruits and herbs enhancing the concept of outdoor living.
9. Architectural Classicism: Beaux Arts Residence
With 27 feet high Corinthian columns, 10 feet high entrance doorways and Doric columns with the classic broken pediment, the home presents an exhibition of unique artistic grandeur. The interiors richly bestowed with iron and bronze work by native experts include trompe l’oeil ceilings and decorative gilding. Further fitted with a revolving bookcase section revealing a hidden study with antique furnishings, this home boasts of delicate skilled expertise contribution and rare time investments for a residence.
10. Architectural Classicism: French Norman Style
Alluding to indoor-outdoor blurring intentions, this regal home with an extraordinary loggia complete with vaulted ceiling is fitted with open rooms, terrace, fire pit and pool. Clothed with an imperial façade, this modern home also holds the most contemporary amenities for entertainment – a home theatre and a games arena. The country spirit is channelled through the use of natural materials like notable wooden beams and wood/stone flooring.
11. Architectural Classicism: Shingle Style – Golden Isles
This family-oriented home has a playful and active design with a dedicated dual level play zone for the children. With a diverse range of volumes formed by domed roofs and vaulted ceilings, the home’s majestic scale has been varied to achieve interesting outputs for the lounge and the dining area. This distinctive mansion achieves the crucial connection to its surroundings by creating a waterfront outlook in conjunction with the natural water body.
12. Historical Restoration: The Alhecama Theatre
A historic landmark of downtown Santa Barbara, this early nineteenth century construction had undergone misinformed renovations and regular wear and tear. In the true spirit of restoration, the original oak floors were brought back to life with the markings of the original stage complete with windows and doors. The restoration was further pushed to the minute details of the wrought iron chandeliers and a defining artistic mural which were recreated and restored.
13. Interior Styling: The Sovereign
This magnificent home occupying the fiftieth floor of an urban apartment is figuratively placed among the clouds. With Harrison Design’s typical prioritization of views, glass windows replace walls providing a surreal tangibility of being one with the cityscape. Functionally segregated, the public areas emphasize the scalar grandeur with open plans delineated by floating walls and an elevated mezzanine while the private spaces are presented as individual quarters with high class amenities. The pale colours provide a delicate background for the bold wooden textures in the interior detailing.
14. Luxury Living: The Holbrook Communities
Liaising with Holbrook, developer of high-end residences for assisted-living and memory care, Harrison Design have developed integrated functional programming, flexible living options, aesthetic interior detailing and restorative public spaces for the aged community. Tailored for their relaxed lifestyle, a plethora of health and wellbeing spaces, entertainment options, hobby development opportunities and outdoor living spaces are the crowning amenities. With multiple locations, the designs are reflective of their context expanding on the available views and incorporating available space to create an active, unique and tasteful home for the respected elderly of the community.
15. Luxury Living: Bellingrath Town Residences
These three-storey residences with a neatly delineated façade of limestone and brick capped by mansard roofs present an elegant and balanced outlook. Inspired by the French Beaux-arts style, these modern homes are complete with spacious interiors, outdoor loggias and roof terraces. Emphasizing the luxurious living are the elevators, panelled libraries, raised ceiling heights and split-level additional rooms for personalised customisations.