Philosophy

Free Range means we’re not confined to a set of predetermined rules. Owner Dirk Nelson stepped out of architecture school in order to form his ideas about building design through the process of construction. He preferred to learn experientially, by actively “doing” rather than passively sitting in a classroom. Free Range Building Company is the result of his more than 20 years of experience building, shaping, exploring, and creating.

Free Range means we choose to take things as they come, to live in a constant state of learning, to stretch our perception and ponder the edge of possibility, and then create accordingly. We apply each lesson learned to the next step of the journey to continually evolve our technique. Every project has its own subtleties to consider: How is the site oriented to the sun and to the slope of the land? Which way will the winds blow around it? How will it interact with the trees and vegetation and the rock and soil? How will its energy inspire or stunt the human activity to occur within its walls? No pre-existing, rote formula could authentically address all of these unique characteristics.

Free Range means we ask questions, like why are we caught up in a culture of throwing things away?  When we see something that has been dumped, abandoned, left to rot, we wonder what other uses it could have besides what it was originally intended for?  We wonder why we’re so quick to discard both our history and our resources? Construction materials are just physical shapes with structural integrity—they’re like massive three dimensional puzzle pieces—so why not put them back together, just in a new form?

Building this way calls upon an understanding of both artistic composition and structural stability. Free Range means nothing is absolutely “this is made only for that.” Free Range both allows for and demands a broader perspective. It means when we encounter an object we take pause, and we let its form and essence speak to us. Free Range means anything might be possible.