[All photos by BUILD LLC]

A recent project of ours just wrapped up and during the final stretch we stopped by for a site visit. Approaching the front door, we were so absorbed in the house itself that we almost missed what has become one of our favorite details on the project. Right by the front porch, cast into one of the pavers along the walkway, our clients (a family of four) cast their handprints into the concrete. It’s a detail that strikes a nostalgic chord: reminds us of childhood, the fascination of concrete curing into permanency, and the excitement of a new home. Most of all, it brings to surface the simple fact that, as serious as we are about architecture, ultimately, homes are for people and families to enjoy. They’re for dinner parties, running around in the yard and watching your kids grow up. A home is about much more than the architecture alone.

Today’s post is a salute to the impromptu details that make a project special. All of those serendipitous items that don’t appear on the drawings: the unexpected character added after the fact, the ad hoc feature that just seemed like it belonged there, the handprints in the sidewalk marking a key moment. Good design needs room to breathe, room for the spontaneous. It’s the unplanned items that often make the design sing.

Share any serendipitous details that you’ve come across in the comments below.

Cheers from team BUILD