I spend a lot of time and energy on details and the way a project fits the site. I approach each commission by gathering the requirements from the client and studying the site. Projects are designed without a preconceived architectural style, thereby letting the form follow the function. The natural use of materials and the way they are put together are very important; prominent in my designs are materials such as stone, wood, copper, plaster, slate, and granite, and such elements as tall ceilings, large windows, and interesting juxtapositions of spaces. As a student of architectural history, I would have to pay homage to the Renaissance masters and Palladio, H.H. Richardson, William Morris, Marcel Breuer, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Gropius.
Our office consists of four architects and a secretary. Every year we start three to five residential projects, depending on size and complexity. I personally design and oversee each residence. One or two architects on my staff assist with construction details and coordination, but I make all design decisions and visit the site. We generally charge a percentage of the construction cost plus reimbursable expenses, which include travel and outside consultants. Occasionally we work on an hourly basis.
I prefer to work closely with a professional interior designer selected by the client.
Michael Mahaffey received his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma. His initial architectural apprenticeship was in Denver, and he began his own office in Oklahoma City in 1966. Mahaffey has designed residences in in a variety of settings, such as New York, the desert Southwest, the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Coast, and Oklahoma. He has received a number of honors, including an Appreciation Award from the Comanche tribe of Oklahoma for design services.