Adaptive Design Group, Inc. is proudly featured – Elevate Italkraft Spring 2018
Park Record Home Magazine Winter 2017
Adaptive Design Group, Inc. is proudly featured in the world wide magazine – Elevate Italkraft Fall 2017
California Homes Magazine – Features ADG Lighting Design
Mark Weaver and Darrell Wilson of luxury design firm Mark Weaver & Associates, featured in the Fall issue of California Homes Magazine
This 15,000 Square Foot Estate Is Designed With Understated Elegance And Fine Finishes
Text By Vanessa Kogevinas
Photography By Matt Walla
High in the rolling coastal foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains north of Santa Barbara on the Gaviota coast, a residence of the finest quality commands unobstructed 180-degree views of the ocean from a completely hidden one hundred acre parcel of land, without a single other residence in sight.
The California Mission-style house was painstakingly planned and executed over the course of four years by architects Jock M. Sewall & Associates, interior design firm Mark Weaver & Associates, with all outstanding interior architecture and detailing completed by Darrell Wilson, principal associate at Mark Weaver & Associates and builders Kitchell Custom Homes..”It is one of those rare projects where all the teams worked in a symbiotic unison to consistently bring the project up to another level,” says Weaver of Mark Weaver & Associates, established in 1970 and known for their quality of work and attention to detail.
All product and materials were selected specifically for the residence from all over the world, as well as locally, ensuring a truly unique, superior property. “The client wanted to have a world-class destination,” says Sewall, “designed with understated elegance and fine finishes. A home characteristic of the best coastal and traditional work.” Ceramic and terracotta tile flown in from Spain, Portugal and Italy, custom steel windows manufactured in Ventura, eighteenth century limestone for fireplaces, natural woods and stains, and heavy fire resistant timbers, to name a few.
“They wanted something that was not going to fail,” says Shane Mahan of Kitchell Custom Homes. “The location is breathtaking, but also remote enough that natural elements like wind, fog, rain, heat and the proximity to the ocean needed to be addressed and safeguarded against with durability.” The logistics of building such a high-end property on previously untouched land—owned by the client for many years prior—were astounding. Infrastructure—electrical, water, gas—and a two-mile driveway all had to be established just for starters. “The client was very cognizant of the pristine location and spent considerable time and effort working with local departments and commissions to ensure a state of the art building that did not impede the setting in which it is located,” says Mahan.
“The entrance is designed as a classic Spanish-style loggia,” notes Weaver, off of which are a formal living room, dining room, library and powder room, as well as a generous open-plan living space comprised of a family room, kitchen, and dining area. The master suite is accessed at the far end of the loggia and the 15,000 square foot house includes three guests suites and nine bathrooms. A pool and spa have their own cabana; outdoor dining areas, a fountain, and a fireplace grace the exteriors. The property also boasts an additional room/gymnasium, a home theater and a helipad.
The interior color palette is serene and muted, drawing in the colors of the surrounding landscape—hills, ocean and sky. Rich, dark wood Spanish Mediterranean furnishings were chosen in keeping with the style of the house and juxtaposed with contemporary and classical art—often in black, white, grey and cream tones.
“I think the thing that is most spectacular and resonates with people,” says Weaver, “is that from all of the primary rooms you have overwhelming views of the entire coastline and Pacific Ocean. It’s stunning.”
Relatively Speaking – Article Western Home Journal
Families working in business together have a long tradition that is evolving into new dynamic partnerships as they discover what it takes to work successfully together, both in the business world and at home.
While the Ma and Pa Corner Store is largely a thing of the past, that doesn’t mean there is a decline in family-owned and -operated businesses. On the contrary, family businesses continue to be important cornerstones of the economy, and that extends to the luxury home industry. Building upon the trust, communication, and core values fostered at home, families are creating businesses that rely not only on these commonalities but also upon each family member’s diverse talents, skills, and training.
90 percent of the nation’s businesses are family-owned or controlled. And family businesses provide half of the jobs in Europe and America.
Statistics speak to the importance of families in business together. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 90 percent of the nation’s businesses are family-owned or controlled. And family businesses provide half of the jobs in Europe and America, according to Ernst & Young. Starting a family business is a daring thing to do, as during the early years family members sacrifice by working for free or at a lower rate than the external job market would pay for similar skills (Jennifer Xue, Silicone Valley Globe). However, as these local Park City businesses say, the rewards of working together are worth the challenges.
Adaptive Design: Lighting Design & Innovation
Glenn Johnson was born into a family of early lighting professionals, and quite literally, he has written the book on lighting design. Since 2013, Glenn and his wife Charlene have made their home in Park City, a long-time dream now realized, and their Park City office is only seven minutes away from their home. Adaptive Design Group, Inc., a full-service design and engineering firm, provides lighting design, lighting control engineering and programming, electrical design, and full electronic systems design (audio, video, security, and secure home networking through a single controller) for large custom luxury home projects throughout the Mountain West and the country. Glenn’s three sons, Chris, Scott, and Matt, have joined the firm and each contributes a specialized skill to mark yet another generation in the business. His wife Charlene joins them in the office and assists with marketing materials.
“My father, Merlin E. Johnson, invited my two brothers and me to join Artistic Lighting & Electric, his electrical contracting and lighting design firm in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Glenn recounts about his early years. “I became a journeyman electrician, and we worked on the most exclusive homes in the area and became early pioneers in lighting design before there was a course of college studies or even a title for the profession. I followed my father to his Palm Springs, California office, and after my marriage, I opened my own business in Los Angeles, Lighting by Design. In eight years, we had projects in the exclusive areas of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Malibu, and Santa Barbara, and many were for major figures in the entertainment industry. However, a project in Alpine, Utah, made me start thinking of relocating to Utah for its fresh air, four seasons, limited crowds, and great place to raise a family.”
“A project in Alpine, Utah, made me start thinking of relocating to Utah for its fresh air, four seasons, limited crowds, and great place to raise a family.”
–Glenn Johnson, Adaptive Design Group, Inc.
After a stretch of working both in California and the Intermountain region with his own firm, Glenn Johnson joined Spectrum Engineering in Salt Lake as a partner, and during his ten years with Spectrum, the firm grew significantly from 12 to 85 employees. During this time Glenn wrote The Art of Illumination: Residential Lighting Design, a textbook on lighting design used by 25 colleges and universities. He left Spectrum and established Adaptive Design Group, Inc. in 2002.
“In addition to working on exclusive homes across the U.S., I also launched a lecture series through colleges, universities, and trade groups.” Glenn recalls. “About this time, I started thinking about the future of the business, and like my father, I looked to my boys. Family business is a natural progression: my father, his father, and my grandmother’s brothers all had their own businesses of various kinds. Also, there was the issue of loyalty and retention. I have trained so many who have gone out to start their own businesses and ended up competing against me, so I was inspired to put the effort into developing the talents of my sons, instead.”
Christopher, Glenn’s eldest son, eased into the business by studying AutoCad in high school and working after school with Adaptive Design’s designers and engineers and then earned his degree at Boston Architectural College in architectural design. He returned to Utah in 2017 and works with brother Matt on project plans, and he develops lighting plans and final specifications.
Matt, the youngest of the three sons, works with designing the keypad controls and coordinates with contractors in addition to project plans. Matt similarly mastered AutoCad while in high school and worked in the family business before studying physics in college. He is certified in advanced lighting controls.
Scott joined the firm in 2007 and takes charge of the website, social media, and marketing in addition to managing the Merlin Light product, a lighting invention used to illuminate artwork developed by Glenn’s father. Additionally, Glenn and Charlene have two daughters, Carly and Sara, who are just finishing their education and haven’t yet decided on a career path.
The family gets together often to enjoy music, golf, and snowboarding. “They are great activities because we focus on what we are doing and don’t talk business,” says Glenn. However, he admits that it is difficult to leave the business for too long or go too far away.
Glenn finds that clients appreciate the family business nature of Adaptive Designs. “The focus is all about continuing to build the best practice and to provide the best service to clients. No one steps on another’s toes, no one is positioning for the other’s job, and no one is trying to steal clients and start their own firm or to take intellectual properties. Most of our clients are astonished at our ability to work together so well. For me, I can focus on the work and not worry about the dynamics around me, and I find great pleasure in seeing Christopher, Scott, and Matt grow in their proficiencies and take over more and more of the responsibilities.”
“The focus is all about continuing to build the best practice and to provide the best service to clients. No one steps on another’s toes, no one is positioning for the other’s job, and no one is trying to steal clients and start their own firm.”
–Glenn Johnson, Adaptive Design Group, Inc.