The Ah-ha Moment

Diane’s ah-ha moment came at that point in time when she first felt knowledgeable and competent, when she totally understood a building and the process of putting it together. She was only a few years out of graduate school and she was managing a residential project from beginning to end with complete understanding of the nature of that project, and the myriad of issues, ideas and players involved.

At Richard Martin Associates, a firm that specialized in modern residential architecture, Diane had been hired to do drafting on the Maguire Residence, a large home on Oakmont Drive in Brentwood for the prominent Los Angeles developer. Rob was an intense man with high standards and when the Project Architect on the job left the office, it was clear that Diane would run the job from that point on. She was not yet licensed but she was in the process of passing the exams and she was thrilled. Diane knew the job so well that it was seamless for her to take over as Project Manager.

The house was about 10,000 square feet, which included the original historic structure with a huge modern addition, a pool house, and a gymnasium/squash court building. All of the consultants on the job had worked on commercial projects for Maguire Partners and they were pleased to be involved with Rob’s personal residence. Diane was in charge of coordinating the expertise of all these consultants including a lighting designer from New York, an Interior Decorator from San Francisco, and Landscape Architects from Philadelphia. During this time, Rob was working with I.M Pei on Library Towers in downtown Los Angeles.

Richard Martin was a wonderful designer and Diane greatly admired his work. The Maguire residence was unique, custom and beautifully detailed. Richard had been friends with the Maguires for many years and had built other houses for them, so he knew the family and their architectural goals well. Richard, Diane and the Maguires had weekly meetings at the job site and Diane’s role of organizing Richard to address design issues was essential. Diane knew every detail of those buildings, the construction documents and the work of the specialists involved. She realized she loved residential architecture and the personal scale of the work. Most of these two years of her professional life was involved with this one residence. Richard was her most important mentor in her early professional years, and being the Project Manager for the Maguire Residence taught her more than any other experience had up to that point.