To us, solid and beautiful materials are the essential bones of any fine building. In our buildings, we do not seek to create the "look" of a beautiful structure, but rather to structure the building beautifully. We use heavy wood beams and solid masonry walls because they last centuries and make people feel comfortable and secure. We use real wood and stucco on walls not just for charm, but so they can withstand wear and tear and even the occasional flood. We pave driveways in antique brick rather than concrete pavers, because handmade materials ought to really be handmade, and natural variations in color ought to really be natural.
People can feel the difference. They respond so well to our buildings because they feel that the experience is authentic, not an imitation. The most frequent comment we get about our work is disbelief that something new could be so well-made, and sometimes stubborn insistence that our buildings are actually hundreds of years old! We don't think of authentic materials as a luxury, but as a basic staple of life, and, like real food, real materials often cost less than their synthetic replacements.