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The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
~ Benjamin Franklin


The Owners determined that the best way to assure an uncompromised execution of the design intent and take advantage of ever changing technologies was to act as Owner / Builder and mills studio act as Construction Manager. This course allows sufficient flexibility for the design to continue to evolve during construction taking advantage of the increasingly fast paced innovations in product development, technological advances, and sustainability developments without the constant concern for many of the inherent limitations of a General Contractor’s process, such as Change Orders. The decision to build the DTS Project House as an Owner Builder also grows out of the Owner’s affinity for many of the philosophical approaches of the Maker Movement that developed in the later half of the 20thCentury in California.     

mills studio Statement

The building process and construction of the DTS Project House are as critically important as the design and architectural intent. The Owners decided early on in the design process to act as Owner / Builder with mills studio as Construction Manager. This approach allows mills studio to assume the responsibilities of the premodern Master Builder, requiring the implementation of an intimate knowledge of the details of building construction and more importantly devising the processes and methods of the construction. The ability to control the construction process allowed mills studio to explore materials and detailing in the design that could be further researched, refined, and developed during the construction process. This ability allows mills studio to implement and express the aspect of its architectural agenda that a building’s look manifests how it is constructed.

The construction process began with a thorough set of Contract Documents documenting the design intent sufficiently to define the parameters of design integration, but also allow for adjustments and improvements that take advantage of expert input and developing technologies. The Contract Documents outline the integrated design intent and provide a criteria for evaluating the proposed modifications and refinements during construction. mills studio’s creation of Contract Documents continues during the construction as Shop Drawings detailing particular aspects of the construction such as concrete formwork, steel rebar, and steel framing. Pre-planning and documented construction sequencing assure that the integrated design intent is not lost during construction on the limited access hillside. The all exposed structure of concrete and steel will necessarily show the marks of the construction sequencing in the finished building so all methods must be accounted for.

The purpose of construction is to make things hold together; of architecture to move us.
~ Le Corbusier


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