Dan Duckham, Architect
  • Residential Architectural Design
  • Hospitality Architectural Design
  • Commercial Architectural Design
  • Organic Geometric Abstraction
  • Interior Architectural Design
  • Landscape Design
  • Estate Design
  • Restaurant & Bar Design
  • Tropical Design & Mountain Design

Dan Duckham, Architect

I have performed more than 500 architectural design projects to date.  In large part, I neglected to capture quality images of my completed projects in real-time. However, only some of my early architectural design projects were captured for me by a professional photographer. In the 1970’s, several shelter magazines published 15 featured articles depicting my architectural design projects in various publications.
The process of gathering images and content information for use online required exhaustive search of dated project files going back 50 plus years. I am utilizing this website as a legacy statement, to show a portion of fifty plus years of my architectural design projects.
At the age of ten, my grandfather began encouraging me to study architecture. Architect was my career choice. My high school drafting teacher assigned me special architectural projects in lieu of standard class curriculum. I attended Miami University of Ohio. In 1956, I graduated with a BA degree in Architecture.

I relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I married and began working as an architect while employed by Robert Hansen, Architect. I became a registered architect in Florida within 2.5 years and opened my own architectural firm 6 months later.

As a self-employed architect, I learned intuitive discovery methods to perform organic architecture. I relied upon various publications for inspiration and scrutinized the design choices by Frank Lloyd Wright. I was also inspired by Alfred Browning Parker, Paul Rudolph, and Fay Jones.

I divorced, remarried and expanded the family including my new spouse, her three children, plus my two children.

In 1983, my spouse and I purchased fifty acres of pristine mountainside property located in Cashiers, North Carolina. We built a small cabin and a barn initially for use as our vacation home. In 2001, we relocated and have resided full-time in Cashiers, North Carolina. We remodeled the barn to create my office/studio on the ground floor and added a guest house above.

I have enjoyed a diverse career. At times I operated as one-man residential architectural practice. At other times, I operated as an architectural design firm with up to eight staff persons.

I designed my first restaurant in 1968. By 1978, I had completed 12 restaurants, bars, and had honed my reputation performing successful hospitality design projects. By 2001, we had successfully completed 77 restaurants and bar projects.

Despite that huge focus on designing large hospitality projects, my enduring love was rooted in designing residential homes. I continued to develop my skills performing residential design each years while learning and adding design services involving interiors, furnishings, and decor. These residential design projects were uplifting and entertaining within the context of organic architectural principles.

Since 2001, working in Cashiers, North Carolina was extremely peaceful. The solitude led to increased creativity and improved project design results. Despite the ever-evolving technologies, I continue to draw each architectural design by hand, unless necessary for larger commercial projects where the specifications require CAD-based designs. I act responsibly to achieve quality design results within budget.

Interior Design and Exterior Landscaping are automatically included as integral to the design of all residential design projects. Typically, built-ins occur within structures. This type of bundled design approach naturally leads to a whole-idea design solution.

In 1980, I opened a purchasing company to purchase residential and restaurant furnishings, fabrics, carpet, and decor. This expansion worked well to provide clients early interior design solutions.

Landscape design has been somewhat of a “seat-of-the-pants” process as I have never figured out how to depict landscape design on paper. I select and place the plant material myself, usually by labor crews performing most of the trees, boulders, and plantings, ground cover, and grasses to follow. My landscape design services are a very spontaneous process, but always based on a conceptual idea to include the client’s favorite choices of trees, plants, and flowers.

I have no profound philosophy to share. If pushed for an answer, my philosophy flows from the tip of my drawing tools. This fluid approach to philosophy means I have no self-imposed framework, no rigid set of rules, but I do aspire to achieve excellence through my infinite creative mind to assist me in the interpretation of each next architectural project.

My creative mind is inspired by subtle intuition. The architectural design process is a discovery process. During each project, I clear my mind of preconception and free my mind from traditional boundaries so that my architectural designs are based upon the geometry which results in the desired abstraction.

However, architecture is designed for people and not just geometric abstraction. Therefore, I think of my function as that of an interpreter, receiving the uniqueness of my client in one language and translating that uniqueness it into another language, the language of organic architecture.

I arrange geometric forms, or parts, into relationships to promote clarity in each part while contributing to the unity of the whole structure.

Geometry gives all of us basic primal shapes and forms found in Nature. Organic architecture is naturally appealing, because of its subjective quality, which is sensed as a “feeling” (beauty, happiness, delight, harmony, love). By contrast, traditional architecture relies mostly on familiarity and memories.

The main theme, however, that runs through this manipulating and ordering process is the appropriateness, comfort, convenience, safety, and well being of the people using the space within. There is never a necessity to sacrifice any desirable attributes for each are the reasons for building.

The attraction of organic architecture resides in its spirit. We strive to create an uplifting environment that not only makes us conscious of its beauty, but unconsciously sensitive to its energy. Such a structure, because of its beauty and energy draws you back by its delightful promise.

Organic architecture can be further characterized as: spontaneous, personal, peaceful, cohesive, relaxed, and free flowing from a sense of site, harmoniously proportioned, a quality of function and beauty, sometimes extravagantly complex, in tune with nature, provocative, enriching.

Romantic Naturalism + Geometric Abstraction = Balance.


An architectural practice offering beautiful form and function.