California wines have attained an international reputation for quality and distinction, yet are still built to mimic old-world French chateaus and Italian villas. In many instances these replicas are constructed using standard stud framing, plywood, and sheetrock with plaster coated Styrofoam details. ISI believes California wineries should be authentic structures that exemplify the "terroir" as distinctly as the wines.

Sacred Spaces
How does one make a sacred place? The unexpected answer is; you have to engage in a process of design and building that is fundamentally sacred. Such a process values the creation of life in the built environment above all other concerns. Like many things sacred, the process begins with humility. Instead of knowing the answers, you ask to be shown them. Instead of acting willfully, you act respectfully. A profound consideration for the particular piece of land and specific group of people is paramount.

Public Spaces
When Winston Churchill quipped, "We shape our buildings thereafter they shape us," he put into words something we all know to be true - the quality of the built environment does matter because it touches our everyday lives. At ISI we strive to design and build public spaces which are comfortable, spaces for spending an afternoon or a lifetime, spaces that speak to our fundamental humanity.

Historic Renovation
Restorations generally follow one of two approaches – remodel the building to replicate the original in every detail, or intentionally distinguish the renovation from the original building. ISI believes both of these approaches are flawed. Consequently our designs respect the original architecture while transforming the interiors to meet 21st century expectations.

Custom Residences
We believe that the design of a custom residence arises out of two things:
(i) the dreams and aspirations of the owners, and (ii) the particular piece of land. Consequently, our residences don't look alike, and they don't ascribe to a style. Each one is unique in the same way that owners and land are unique.

is an act
the art of making
a philosophy