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A R C H I T E CT U R E 189 First Lamp Architects & Builders Taylor Callaway and Kevin Witt met in a jazz ensemble at Texas Tech University and hit it off right away, but they couldn't have known—even when they realized they were in some of the same architecture classes— that today they would be principal architects of First Lamp Architects & Builders in Seattle, Washington. Taking cues from John Ruskin's book The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Taylor and Kevin named their firm First Lamp as a way of paying homage to the guiding lights and principles espoused by Ruskin. Those guiding principles are evident in their work today. Indeed, the pair considers themselves master craftsmen who always attempt to be good stewards of the earth. Taylor and Kevin approach each project with authentic knowledge of what it's like to frame a house, what it takes to install windows by hand, and pound the nails themselves. They designed and built their first project themselves, on nights and weekends. When they subsequently opened their firm in 2009, they did so with the intimate knowledge of what it takes to build a home from the ground up. Since then, they have designed and built a unique collection of dwellings that represent the visions and lifestyles of their clients. Each residence has an undeniable sculptural, artistic quality that speaks for the pair's deep respect for the power and beauty of nature. Energy efficient, passive homes are a passion for Taylor and Kevin, who are both LEED AP certified architects. Not only do the pair's designs reflect the environment and culture in which they are built, but they are the result of close collaboration with clients to create beautiful living experiences. LEFT: Flanked by a rugged hillside, the Badger Mountain home's façade seems to step up the hill face. The home, which includes a daylight basement, takes cues from the big sky feel of the surroundings. The bottom level is faced with concrete and stucco root the house into the hill and create an artful foundation for the design. It also includes a garage—a second is located on the main floor—for easy access to both levels of the house. Cedar siding and steel combine to create the level above, which is reminiscent of the prairie style. Photograph by Steve Keating SEATTLE

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