5 Minutes with Frederick + Frederick Architects

5 Minutes with Frederick + Frederick

Jane and Michael Frederick are design partners at Frederick + Frederick Architects, a firm based in the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina that specializes in residential architecture for hot, humid climates. Their work has received countless awards and recognition from national publications, and it’s easy to see why. Read on to find out more about this immensely talented duo.

The interior of a home designed by Frederick + Frederick Architects.

The interior of a home designed by Frederick + Frederick Architects.

What made you want to become an architect?

Michael: When I was seven, my father told me I couldn’t make a living as an artist. I said “How about an architect?”

What was your first project that was built? Would you do anything differently today?

Jane: The first project that was built was a platform for a fighter jet at an Air Force base where I had a summer job while I was in school. I only had one design job while I was in college, and recommend having more jobs at different firms to experience the mix of practicality and theory.

A fantastic outdoor space with a pool. Designed by Frederick + Frederick Architects.

A fantastic outdoor space with a pool and second-floor deck. Designed by Frederick + Frederick Architects.

What are some common mistakes you notice when you walk into a home?

Michael: The main thing I notice is If the house doesn’t respond to the lot, as if it was just plopped down. The doors & windows are in the wrong place, and it is oriented the wrong direction to the sun and breezes.

Jane: We also notice smaller design details such as hardware that doesn’t match or light fixtures that are the wrong size or in the wrong place.

Do you have any rules?

Michael: Among others, the top of the column shaft and the beam should be exactly the same width. Align door and window head heights.

A lovely home designed by Frederick + Frederick Architects.

A lovely home designed by Frederick + Frederick Architects.

What’s your typical workday like?

Michael: We’re a small firm, and there are really no typical days. Everyone pitches in to get the projects out. Sometimes we’re meeting with clients or potentials, sometimes we’re visiting job sites, sometimes we’re designing, sometimes we’re drawing construction documents, selecting finishes, meeting with consultants, even the principals pick up redlines sometimes. Jane is on the national AIA board, friends of the Spanish Moss Trail board, and visiting team chair for NAAB accreditation reviews, so she’s out of the office traveling regularly. We have a great koi pond outside the conference room, and we all take breaks from the computers to check on the fish and plants.

What inspires you?

Michael: The site.

You design for others, but what’s your personal style?

Michael: Modern with an eclectic touch. Our house is a renovated Quonset hut. We have mostly modern furniture & light fixtures with a few antiques thrown in.

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