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Modern Details with Hufft Projects

Today I’m very excited to welcome our first guest contributor Hufft Projects to kick off the “Modern Details” series which continues the catalogue of details I treasure in the book Building Simply. As a designer, I stylistically lean towards modern, mainly defining it as visually clean and simple. Disappointed in the public’s common view of modern architecture, I began seeking a definition for not just modern design but great modern design, which I was better able to articulate through a recent quote from architect Matthew Hufft listed in Metropolitan Home’s Design’s Rising Stars,

“ ‘Modern’ doesn’t have to mean a concrete and glass building with a flat roof. It does mean something made with the materials and methods of today.” “Allowing a natural material to ‘speak’ requires simple forms and proper detailing.”

Now distinguishing that great modern architecture includes the smart use of materials and an understanding of how the materials are crafted to make a building, I hunted after details and inspiration to help build my knowledge and certainly improve my design. Hufft Projects has been kind enought to share a few details with us and further explain how the details are executed successfully. Through the select project from Hufft Projects, great modern design with attention to detail and craftsmanship is truly demonstrated.


The Tree House - Custom Fabrication

The aptly named Tree House is located in Mission Hills, Kansas, on a steeply sloped site with an abundance of trees. As a renovation overlooking a golf course, the residence provides dramatic views from the majority of its spaces and gives the owners a sense that they are perched among the trees.

The material palette is honest and enlivens the existing home with a fresh and modern aesthetic. Ipe clads the facades and in several locations transforms into screens providing privacy and solar control. The entrance projection is a contrasting sheet metal with a running bond pattern and a high performance Kynar finish.

MAKE Studios, Hufft Projects sister company specializing in detailed design and fabrication, was responsible for the craft evident in interior and exterior railings, a custom steel fireplace, and sliding track doors clad in slate reclaimed from local Kansas City school chalkboards. The effort of close collaboration between both MAKE Studios and Hufft Projects insured that conceived details were executed with the utmost attention and care.

Hufft Projects is in a unique position to fully embrace collaborative efforts with craftsman in the execution of built works as it shares the same building complex with Make Studios. Ideas generated within both companies can be developed and shared with their respective counterparts. The process is never linear and the feedback loop is immediate as a result of proximity and allied intent. Mockups are a standard aspect of an idea’s development. The result is work which benefits from the collaborative synthesis of ideas between designer and fabricator.

3-d Software Continues Collaborative Process
“Hufft Projects utilizes SketchUP for initial schematic studies as it allows for ideas to be quickly visualized and explored. As work is further evolved Revit, a B.I.M platform, provides inherent visualization capabilities allowing for a more detailed study of form, structure, and material. To provide the most robust visualizations of a photorealistic nature the office takes full advantage of the capabilities of 3D StudioMax in conjunction with post-processing software.

As ideas transition within the digital realm towards the direction of Make Studios and it’s CNC milling machine Solidworks is utilized to execute shop drawings for small and medium sized projects like furniture, product design, and custom architectural elements This brings the production cycle of the collaborative process full circle between design and fabrication.”

See further work from Hufft Projects, like those pictured above, on their
website. You will notice how the interior spaces are well illuminated by natural daylighting, and interior and exterior spaces have a balanced connection. Thanks so much to the folks at Hufft Projects for contributing their inpiring work. Consider this another feature in my "Designers to Watch" series as well.

Images, project description, and drawings courtesy of Hufft Projects. Special Thanks to Brittany Drennen. / Photography by Mike Sinclair. /Title banner design by Sophorn.

Hufft Projects
321 West 40th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
ph +1.816.531.0200


  1. I especially like the glass and powder black baluster and railing. I'm waiting for a designer of a modern rustic style, mainly so that I can see my Exterior Railings on the sleek lines of a modernist home

  2. I especially like the glass and powder black baluster and railing. I'm waiting for a designer of a modern rustic style, mainly so that I can see my Exterior Railings -- http://awoodrailing.com -- on the sleek lines of a modernist home


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