Giraffe Design Build transforms home and career through unique design-build apprenticeship in Ann Arbor, Michigan. - Jean Pierre Bansard Commercial Real Estate Development Firm.
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Giraffe Design Build transforms home and career through unique design-build apprenticeship in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Giraffe Design Build transforms home and career through unique design-build apprenticeship in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Tiny bungalow transforms into modern 3-story home in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor Michigan Design Build Renovation

“I can’t imagine a better architectural apprenticeship than the opportunity to design and build my own project from the ground up … literally with my own two hands,” reflect Joel.

A tiny bungalow in Ann Arbor’s Waterhill neighborhood was the site of reinvention by owners Joel and Patricia Ferrer Beals from the very foundation up. Their vision was to transform the dated and constrained footprint into a bold, modern, and spacious family home that still fit the context of the Water Hill neighborhood.

The project came at a time of personal reinvention for Joel, who seized the opportunity to transform his design career. Professionally a medical illustrator, then creative director, Joel started his design studies in architecture and maintained his enthusiasm for the built environment.

“I can’t imagine a better architectural apprenticeship than the opportunity to design and build my own project from the ground up … literally with my own two hands,” reflects Joel.

The unusual situation was embraced by Giraffe Design Build’s Martin Clarke, who recognized a kindred spirit in appreciation of excellent design. “Joel has incredible raw design talent, and we welcomed the addition of his inspired designs into the Giraffe portfolio and as part of the Giraffe design team. Giraffe endeavors to build inspired designs that connect meaningfully with people. Joel and Patricia’s house does just that.”

Patricia, herself a Medical & Scientific Illustrator with an M.F.A who teaches at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design (Stamps School of Art) worked in lockstep with husband Joel and Giraffe designer Steven Varnum to co-create the unique, dramatic design that embraces three levels of living where inside and outside spaces graciously blend together.

This inspired design is now on tour Saturday and Sunday, Sept 21 & 22 from 11am – 5pm.

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