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Architecture as Art

Architecture is a rare art form that combines subjective beauty with practical purpose. It isn’t simply a science of problem solving. Good architecture aspires to be more. A graceful handrail can be a delight to the touch; a deep paneled window can frame a beautiful garden; an artistic, symmetrically shaped mantel can center a room. All these ideas can enhance life and experience if thoughtfully done. Having a Bachelor of Fine Arts gave me an edge upon entering the graduate architecture program at SCI-ARC and led me to appreciate the interface between art and science. Understanding that the history of art and architecture is a continuum, filled with intertwining influences, helps guide my designs into more cohesive and elegant solutions. This is what I offer my clients: Architecture that is unique, moving and timeless.


Beachfront Estate Inspired to design this Malibu estate in the style of a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse from the 1700’s, Ward researched the materials of that locale, alighting on a natural gray slate steep roof and Kansas limestone walls. The same care was given to the selection of materials throughout the interior with wide plank antique oak wood flooring, raised paneling, and custom designed doors and millwork. Although East Coast in style, the layout is decidedly Californian. The living room, family room and guest suite surround a sheltered, tranquil grassy courtyard with pool and spa. Upstairs, master suites with decks and downstairs, a deep loggia off the living room and dining room face the Pacific Ocean and offer breathtaking views from Catalina to Paradise Cove.

“Ward is creative, thoughtful, detail-oriented and, unlike most talented architects, he is flexible. He understands his clients desires and works tirelessly to make their vision a reality.”



Starting with a loose concept, the process begins with a sketch. Ward sets pen to paper and explores scale, aesthetic layouts, roof shapes, doorways and window openings, always considering how the organized exterior relates to interior floor plan ideas.

After a few iterations, a design is decided upon. Two-dimensional computer-aided drawings are created to give a clear picture of the home’s façade and other elevations which include representation of the suggested building materials.

Once constructed, one sees how the vision in the initial sketch developed into a fully realized structure. The three custom designed arched carriage garage doors are emphasized and grounded by the detailed dormers above. This counterbalances the gabled deep stone entry with its pair of heavy paneled gates. The color palate of copper gutters, grey slate, beige rough-cut limestone, crisp white eaves, green gates and shutters all blend harmoniously.


Paris at the Plaza This Parisian 1930’s Art Deco-inspired apartment converted from the grand old third floor junior ballrooms in New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel is a celebration of art and fine finishes. Collaborating with noted interior designer Jeffrey Hitchcock, Ward explored materials and details of the era and developed them with a modern aesthetic. The new entry and halls were composed of dramatic polished black granite flooring with nickel inlay which balance the grand fourteen-foot ceilings. The dining room walls were paneled with deep red high gloss lacquer and mirrors that reflect views of Central Park below. Low ceilings were raised where possible and carefully placed art lighting was installed to accent the owners’ modern art collection. The master baths’ black lacquered columns with gold capitals are distinctly Moderne in style. Ward designed a Deco shaped mirrored make-up vanity and minimalist black lacquered pullman with contrasting gilt legs and ormolu decorations which flank an alluring marble bathtub.

“Ward is a gifted architect with a special sense of proportion, detail and balance. The result was magnificent.�


Stone Farmhouse When long time repeat clients purchased the vacant property to the south of their 1940’s Gerard Colcord home in Brentwood, Ward was commissioned to design a suburban “barn” pool / guest house on the substantial acreage along with orchard and vegetable gardens designed by seasoned landscape architect Laurie Lewis. The resulting farmhouse and barn complement the agrarian concept in both scale and materials and has proven to be a tremendous entertainment space for his clients. This timeless structure looks, from the exterior, as if it has been there for a century, however, the interior was designed for today’s living. The great room, with its ancient barn timbers and wood burning stone fireplace, opens with wide concealed pocket French doors onto a large deck and pool, featuring deep views of the garden and fruit orchard. The chef’s kitchen, quilting room, guest room / study and baths graciously bookend the plan.

“Ward meticulously designed every detail of the house with incredible vision and commitment to the style and scale of the house. He met with us every week to make sure the project was moving forward as it should and coordinating with the trades involved to answer any questions. He is truly a professional and a visionary.�

LEFT The massing of a structure begins to take shape in this preliminary sketch. The rooflines and center cupola are explored even at this early stage in the design. RIGHT Once the design evolves and shapes are decided upon, the cupola remains a force of symmetry capped by a custom designed weathervane. A protective breezeway is incorporated to connect the stone farmhouse with the garage designed to look like a barn.




Bluestone Manse A home for generations, this Brentwood custom residence was designed to be the client’s home as well as a seductive draw for their extended family. Christened “Arcadia” by the owners, it was meant to evoke Old Pasadena charm with its slate roof, bluestone walls, traditional detailing, beamed ceilings and streaming natural light from dormer windows. The sophisticated living room and dining room were created for formal entertaining, while the cozy family room and open kitchen were styled for informal, everyday life. The large skylighted and heated loggia connects the house to the rear gardens, pool, spa and fountain where summertime outdoor living can be enjoyed year-round. The main floor paneled library / study and master suite surround the loggia to complete the scenic plan.

“Many folks, after living in their new home for a while, have a list of things that they wished they had done differently. We have no such list. Ward’s attention to detail covers everything, even little things like the hinges on the cabinets.�


Shingle Retreat Inspired by the Shingle-Style houses of old Coronado as well as the iconic East Coast homes of McKim, Mead and White and H. H. Richardson, this waterfront Shingle was originally designed to be a vacation hideaway for the owners and their extended family. Situated on a large lot facing the San Diego Bay, Ward was careful to evaluate the project for context, scale and proportion to ensure the building would suit the lot and respect the neighboring houses. The resulting home possesses a poetic interplay between natural light, space, form and texture with one wing featuring the kitchen, master suite and multiple bedrooms. The other wing features a four-car garage with an ample children’s playroom above, vaulted and topped with a glazed lantern cupola. The antique beamed living room, as well as the kitchen dining bay, take in views of the bustling harbor while the mahogany paneled library bay overlooks the tranquil entry gardens. Once settled in their new “vacation” retreat, all thoughts of returning to their primary San Marino residence vanished - they were home.

“Every morning when my wife and I get up we look around our home and consider us so lucky to be living in it. It’s everything we could have wanted and more. We love it as much today as when we first moved in to it. Ward’s sense of design aesthetic, proportion and attention to detail are evident in every room.


Spanish Colonial In the tradition of architectural icons Wallace Neff and George Washington Smith, this Montecito Spanish ColonialRevival embraces their original minimalism and restraint of ornamentation. Focused around a central courtyard and pool, this indoor / outdoor house opens to the Santa Monica mountains with a deep red tile-roofed loggia. Warm terracotta pavers, wide plank reclaimed oak floors and antiqued wood beam ceilings are contrasted with cool, thick hand-troweled plaster walls. Carved limestone surrounds the tall polished mahogany deep-paneled entry door designed with an abstract pattern of the house’s floor plan.

Working with Ward When hiring many architectural firms, clients rarely work directly with the Principal Architect. Typically, clients are assigned to a team of designers and project managers while the Principal merely looks over their shoulder and makes a few recommendations to the design. However, when clients engage Ward Jewell they work exclusively with Ward. He listens to their desires and concerns and personally shepherds them through the phases of design and construction. He recommends and coordinates the various consultants and design professionals required to ensure a cohesive final design. Ward’s extensive construction documents include highly specific details that enable the general contractor to build the project quickly and efficiently. Job site meetings with owners, contractor and consultants are held regularly to maintain momentum and assure the project’s artful vision is properly realized and that the experience is exceptionally rewarding. | | 310. 890. 0038

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Ward Jewell Look Book 4.15  

Ward Jewell Look Book 4.15