A multifamily community with an evocative material palette.

A living room scene showing the giraffe chair in a sunny corner.


The Cartee was the working name for what is now Hearth on Broad, a 161-unit multifamily community in Boise by Roundhouse.

Home Studios
4 months
The Team
Brennen Birch with Home Studios
My Focus
Experience Strategy Moodboards Conceptual Research Schematic Design

My Role

As a project designer, I initiated and drove the research and concept-development phase. My research work defined the project's core experience pillars and guided the client in their decisionmaking.

In addition, I rapidly iterated and visualized design concepts using hand sketching, medium-fidelity mockups, and precise digital models. I also produced construction drawings and specifications to communicate design intent with clients, builders, fabricators, and other collaborators.


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How might we evoke ideas of sustainability and a connection to the outdoors through a material palette?


Understanding the Users

Defining the Problem

Design Solutions

A thoughtful material palette and a hospitality mindset.

The Cartee's interiors were built on top of three experience pillars:

1: A life connected to the outdoors. Natural materials like wood and leather connect the amenity spaces to Idaho's rugged outdoors, alpine sports, and colorful geology.
2: A sense of home. Public spaces were designed to feel as warm and lived-in as a home or neighborhood restaurant.
3: A local material palette. Inspired by Peter Zumthor, local stones and woods drive the aesthetic vision of the space.



Step one: explore and define the unfamiliar.

The Cartee was Home Studios' first project in the Mountain West—and our first multifamily project. We needed to win the client's trust by showing them we understood their project's context as a unique offering in Boise's rental market.

I initiated and drove research about Boise's history and cultural context. The result of my research was a compelling vision of Boise that our client immediately identified with.

My research into Boise's history and cultural context played an outsize role in the project direction. My work also helped our New York design team understand the project's Idaho locale.

Trend and visual research.

My earlier research about Boise made quick work of defining the project's three experience pillars. From there, it was time to define the project's visual language.

I looked to classic examples of Nordic and Alpine interiors and contemporary hospitality projects to build a shared vision for the project.

My research looked at classic examples of Nordic and Alpine interiors and contemporary hospitality projects.

Visualize and iterate.

I used SketchUp to rapidly iterate through design options for client review.



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