Farm Design

When we bought this land in 2010, the farm was no longer producing.  Many of the buildings were in various states of decay and needed to be removed, remodeled, or re-purposed. Designing a farm is like designing just about anything. I want it to be beautiful, efficient, and long lasting. I want it to work for peoples' lifestyles. Most of all, I want it to make people happy. 


I started practicing architecture with my Uncle Ray Maritz when I was a teenager. He was kind and supportive and taught me all the most important things about building well and how buildings affect people. 


While studying architecture at Princeton University, I added layers to the understanding that I developed while working with Ray. I continued in a traditional architecture career, designing churches with Paul Riley and Associates in New Jersey and doing my graduate studies at Washington University.


In the end, I got more than a bit frustrated by what our culture generally wants in a building.  They generally are looking for big, impressive, and cheap: I was interested in small, sustainable, and soulful.  With my design philosophy in opposition to the mainstream, my husband Karel has become my favorite client. Together, we have designed many things: houses, resorts, cabins, hot pools, and a loft. With each project, we learn and grow and change -- each time discovering a simpler, less expensive way to do something that is more creative and will need less resources to maintain over the long haul. Each time we learn more about the ripple effects we create when we build. Every purchase we make changes the world in a tiny way and we want each choice to help make our world a better place to live- a place with a healthy eco-system, meaningful work, living wages, and great beauty.


Alice Maritz Starek