Randall Mars Architects
Randall Mars, AIA
W hether designing or renovating a home, Randall Mars concentrates on creating spaces both inside and outside, defined by building masses and the environment. In shaping these spaces, he avoids the big-box response, creating distinctive and diverse places. The notion that it’s possible to have a unique response to each and every programmatic challenge guides the architect’s practice today.
Mars founded Randall Mars Architects in 1989; today, his boutique firm focuses on designing homes that celebrate light, space and texture. When orchestrating a project, Mars and his colleagues take cues from their clients as well as the site and the environment. “Terrain, foliage, orientation and light influence our response to homeowners’ functional needs and aesthetic desires,” he remarks, adding, “We try to give our clients what they will love—much more than what they ask for.”
Mars contends that too many homes today are oversized, resulting in the diminishing of our natural environment. “We don’t believe that size matters,” he explains. “Rather, we strive for excellence in detailing and creating an environment rich in materiality and spatial diversity. We are starting to explore new materials, such as exposed concrete and Accoya, a farmed wood treated to increase its durability. The new materials are rich and textural. All of our homes are very livable; they do not exist as sterile sculptures, but more as a canvas for living.”
Mars teaches at WAAC, the Alexandria Campus for Virginia Tech, and received a 2021 Northern Virginia AIA Honor Award.