Design Philosophy

Each client brings with them their own unique life experiences and nuanced way of living. With genuine curiosity, we yearn to deeply understand this individuality so that we may preserve and protect opportunities for their life to flourish. 

Equally significant, each site demands a sensitivity and exploration of place: its terrain, vistas, native vegetation, patterns of sunlight and shadow, prevailing winds, and unique microclimate. 

In a response to life and site in concert, a home becomes the truest expression of a better, brighter future, where places of respite bring comfort, gatherings form deep bonds and sense of belonging, and life’s most cherished moments are celebrated.


Historically, resources for buildings were quarried, gathered, and harvested from the areas surrounding the construction site. In this way, they related to the context of the site in terms of color, texture, and longevity giving the structure a sense of place which coexisted with the natural environment.

Our philosophy as a practice is to form a bond with the land and, in response to its context and visual framework, create architecture that complements the landscape and pays homage to the unique language of the environment and its raw, natural splendor.

Materiality is conceptualized from the onset of our design process. This important architectural quality not only influences the way a structure feels, but also how it functions – from thermal and acoustic performance to environmental impact, longevity, and the echo of a site’s cultural legacy.

The power to create harmony or tension, to blend or juxtapose a home’s tangible features are impactful decisions influencing the home’s balance and dynamism. The responsibility of materiality in design can be ambiguous, creating open-ended interpretations of a space’s purpose, or clearly convey accountability in a material’s function.

In this way, context, sustainability, aesthetics, cost, and overall utility are all carefully considered in concert when employing materials. Our studio and its professional design team will help guide you as we answer these essential questions shaping your home’s presence in its natural setting.


The international expansion of our work has called us to new and exciting locations and exposed our team to an even broader range of site context and climates, cultures and traditions, and building science and practices. Each opportunity sparks a new creative perspective and pushes design out at its edges, deepening our understanding of a home’s relationship to its place, challenging traditional norms, and intensifying our imaginative spirit.


Our commitment to excellence drives us to press at the boundaries of our industry, experimenting with advanced, cutting-edge technologies. We harness the power of these tools to elevate the design process with three-dimensional modelling, photorealistic renderings, and immersive Virtual Reality (VR) walkthroughs. This true-to-life design language grants our clients a unique perspective, allowing them to experience spaces and gain comfort with their future home before a shovel ever hits the ground.

We constantly strive to render the most enjoyable custom home design experience for our clients. By leveraging world-class technologies, we not only honor this principal pursuit but also forge our position at the frontier of modern architectural innovation.

Designing a home is an exploration – an introspective journey that inspires highly personal creation. As architects, it’s our role to guide that exploration, listening carefully to your many thoughts and ideas, and interpreting them into a singular vision that reflects your passion, your character, and your style. At Ralston Architects, we want you to have a home as unique as you are. And we think the journey to your custom-designed home should be just as rewarding as living in it.

Our talented team of artists will guide you through design and construction to create a captivating home that speaks to you, inspires you, and lets you delight in a level of luxury so alive you can feel it.

The overall timeline for design and construction of a custom home typically ranges from 18-24 months. The specific duration of a project can vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of the project, the location, availability of materials and labor, and the efficiency of the construction process.

Yes. Meeting local building codes and zoning regulations, obtaining building permits, and meeting environmental regulations are included in the service we provide.

Designing homes that prioritize the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants is a pillar of our firm’s ethics. Our team is well-versed in identifying and implementing the most relevant sustainable materials and practices to positively impact our clients and communities. We work with industry-leading environmental manufacturers to inspire sustainable frameworks that meet or exceed our client’s environmental target.

You are the inspiration for design; your voice, your experiences, your life. They act as the foundation from which the design flows.

At Ralston Architects, it is our privilege to create spaces for our clients that are a direct reflection of who they are. This allows us to create incredibly unique homes that specifically respond to the subtle nuances of our clients lives.

The architecture takes shape around each unique lifestyle, and that would not be successful without the client’s involvement. We encourage open trade of ideas and decision-making, likes and dislikes, so that the result is better than you ever imagined.