Don Francois Roban architect N.C.A.R.B.

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         Welcome to a Site dedicated to the preservation of Architecture...
Architecture has been  my profession, and my avocation for well over fifty years.  I want to share with any visitors to my site, my philosophy, and my appreciation of the great world of architecture.   My feeling is that good architecture is indeed an art form and can be approached as such.  Far too many architectural projects are initiated with only engineering in mind.                                                                                                   
                                          The final result is a building without soul. 

                    In this new Millennium remember, good design is timeless

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a-flag.gif (6589 bytes)As a veteran of four years in WW2 all anyone can say at this time is....God Bless America, a land where your Greatest Dreams can come true.                                 Be sure to visit the page  "Interests". 

 

                    The graphics on my site will take time to generate but quality does take time.
 
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              The site was designed to be Netscape compatible
                                                            Other browsers may produce errors

   

Machupicchu from the top

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 Photo made on a recent trip to Peru which started in the rainforests of the Amazon and ended  in the mountains of the Andes.

                                  The ancient ruins of Machupicchu

Only with a look back at ancient civilizations, can we realize how far we have removed ourselves from designing and living with nature.   In studying the ruins of Machupicchu we can see the spiritual relation of these,  so called uncivilized,  people with the mountains and their environment.   Here they let the contours of the mountains and the plains of the earth determine the orientation of their structures.                                                                                                        ..................This philosophy was fundamental in site planning for, Frank Lloyd Wright...........

A Quote from Frank Lloyd Wright:
" No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill,  Belonging to it.  Hill and house should live together  each the happier for the other."
      

New ... Visit the  AMAZON  while it still exists, 
                                           To hear the sounds of the jungle use Microsoft Explorer

New ... Visit the  Jungle Harp  page.  This is a book that my wife and I have been been working on.   It is an illustrated book for Children.  The story takes place in the heart of the "Amazon Rain Forest."   I have shown a few of the many illustrations from the book in this short resume of the story.   It is written for children of any age.    If you are older and still find Fantasy entertaining  then  this book will be appealing to both you and your family.   The book is 95% complete.  A symphony, dedicated to the story, has been written and recorded.   For additional information on the composer of the symphony and the recording,  see the Jungle Harp page. Note:  We are in the process of finding a publisher at his time and will appreciate any inquiries......Email Icon is on this page

Ceramics and its relationship to organic design..  This section on ceramics has been added to the site to illustrate the inter relationship of ceramics to the organic design of houses........Go to Ceramics

Philosophy of architecture:
The approach I have had in designing residences may be different from that of many architectural firms.  I  have always spent time with a new client to familiarize myself with their life-style and to incorporate into their new home any expectations the family might have for the future.    My wife and I have often formed a team to learn as much as we could about the view-points of both the man and his wife.  This in-depth study, at the start of the project,  usually brings out many factors which will make the final plan a success.  By success I mean a home which will not only work for today,  but will accommodate the changes which might occur for them in future years.

After spending many years as an active architect,  I have decided to take time, at this point in my life,  to write and illustrate a book on the Amazon Rainforest and the preservation of it's ecology.       I will be doing no new projects while I am writing and illustrating this book.  I feel that this is more important than any architecture that I might create.  Since I have received many e-mails from people who have complimented me on my site,  I wish to express my sincere appreciation regarding their comments. 

This site shall be regarded as educational only..  

I  am now taking time off from architecture to peruse some of the things I left undone in  the 57 years I have been working in construction and architecture.   I have started work writing and illustrating a book about the rain forests and ecology of our world.  The book I am writing is  for mature children and anyone who likes a story where there is Fantasy and Adventure..

This is an Update made in September 2007.  

Since I began writing my book  I have had a chance to look at what has been   happening to the field of Architecture.  Older architects,  in previous years, were, "grand-fathered,"  when changes were made in professional requirements.  We are now told  that we must take courses from companies who have teachers with only a fraction of the knowledge that the older  architects have assimilated from their years of experience in the field of architecture.    No one has yet been able to explain to me  how paying an exorbitant fee to a company for a field trip to Machupicchu or Tikal is any more valid than doing it on your own time.  

Only with actual experience in the field of construction can an architect ever attain the proper training.    Frank Lloyd Wright knew this and the students who served under him were trained in carpentry and every phase of actual building.   In just a few words these students were  hands on architects. 

I have never done a home or building without the use of a consulting engineer.  Many years   ago an  old engineer, who was my teacher said,  "A house does not know it is a house as far     as engineering is concerned."    With this in mind I have never had a structural failure, or a problem with my work, during a long career.   My design style and individuality in each project indicates my personal involvement in every phase of my work but there is no substitute for a consulting engineer who is familiar with the latest updates in the field of engineering.               An architect, like a CEO wears many hats.   He is a businessman, a site planner, a visionary,        a historian of styles,  at times a psychologist, enabling him to see through "words" and find out the real desires of a client.    He should also be an artist  and a coordinator of  all the people    that work with him on the job.   No course offered by anyone can substitute  for the experience gained during a lifetime of work in the field of architecture. 

Although I do not believe that the words I am writing  here will have any  effect on these new educational restrictions,  it still seems such a  waste,  to put to an end the years of experience  that older architects have acquired for lack of informational courses in diverse subjects they will never use, for instance, from a mailing I just received;    for a total of 20 hours  of credit ......          One time only " Approaching French Furniture and Architecture."  Think about it....

I have always thought   that it was a regrettable oversight on the part of our educational system not to include, in our schools,  the study of architecture as it pertains to the home.  Entry LanternOwning a home is the desire of most people and it is usually the greatest expense in the life of the average person.   When a student leaves the school system to enter the real world he has to learn for himself two things which are usually left out of his education. How to manage his finances, and what to look for when he decides to build or buy his dream home. Without this knowledge there is rarely a favorable outcome for the prospective homeowner. These two areas of education work together and should not be overlooked. 

A personal home, has to be considered on a different level apart from any other type of construction. This is a life-long dream for most people, and as such, it cannot be approached in the same manor as a commercial venture.  My clients are mostly self-made men. They are successful in business because they know how to delegate responsibility to those who have the talent to give them what they require.   I feel fortunate that for the most part, I have had that same consideration extended to me.  As the years have gone by,  many of my  clients have become close friends and their children whom were only labels on a plan, such as Sons' Room or Daughters' Room, have now become the new generation and my new clients.

For the student of architecture:
As you look through the architecture of this web-site you will see a definite style which continues throughout all of my projects.   Although the elevations from one residence to the next may different, each design has my own signature.  I have been told that people recognize my work when they see it.  I often hear that my style is "Wrightian."   I appreciate this complement although there is no elevation or plan which I have ever done that is taken from this great man. .                                 "I jokingly like to call my style Robanesque"                                    

HOKUSAI..The Bay at Tago
FLW spent considerable time in Japan, absorbing the theories and culture of its people.  It is apparent in studying his work that his sensitivity to their way of life was expressed in his architecture.  I have been a student of the oriental philosophies for many years although I feel that I have only begun to learn about their approach to the art of living.  This, art of living, is centered around the physical existence of things and encompasses all phases of life.  For well over two thousand years students and masters in China and Japan sought to understand how the physical world, created by man, affected the individual.                                      HOKUSAI ... The Bay at Tago (1760-1849)

The Masters of these art formswho are still alive,  are called "National Art Treasures"  by their respective countries. ( * )    These masters are represented in every phase of design and living, including, paper making, pottery, the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, Feng Shui and T'ai Chi,  to mention only a few.  When a designer is sensitive to these teachings it becomes his life.  The western world has produced a rigid style based on mathematical proportions of moldings and symmetrical placement of elements resembling toy soldiers on a battlefield.   This has never been an option for me in my work.  I prefer to think that my homes reflect basic human values which inspire you to remove your shoes relax and enjoy your own private world.

The field of architecture is an art form, That has an impact on the lives of everyone.  It is the father of all art.  Without it we would have no place to exhibit the other creations of man.  Architecture is more than an occupation it is a way of life.  For those of you who read this and aspire to become architects consider the following words.  If you look forward to every day you spend in this field called architecture,  then you have arrived at the doorstep of a profession in which you can be successful.  Never forget that the world of architecture has a great effect on peoples'  lives. 

Architects, like physicians, can influence the health of the world.

( * ) the living treasures of Japan:  published by Kodansha International Ltd.
reference: The Japan architect ,magazine,  subscribe to,  or look for in your library

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   This site began on April 2, 1999

                       All photography is copyrighted and is not hereby released into the public domain.

This page was last updated on 05/03/08                                                                                    
 Please note that; "Frank Lloyd Wright"  is a registered trademark of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

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                                                       These web pages were created by Don F. Roban 
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