Design Director, Greg McGuffey and Lead Designer, Felipe Santander met in Asheville in early 2015. After discussing their design philosophy, both had a sense of connection and an interest
in working with one another.
Greg is also the owner of Earthtone Builders, a custom green building company, which he founded in Asheville in 2003. From that time forward, he worked with a variety of designers, architects and drafts people to assist him in designing the homes he was building. While many great projects emerged from those collaborations, he was looking for the right individual to partner with long term.
Felipe, a Chilean architect, who had just relocated from San Francisco to Asheville, was seeking to work with a firm in the area with whom he shared a common vision. With an upcoming project on the books for Earthtone Builders, it was an easy and natural decision to test the waters and embark on their first design project together.
In a very short amount of time they worked together on a number of new custom projects. Not only did they enjoy the collaboration, but their skill sets complemented the other's very well. It became clear that this synergy was taking on a life and momentum of its own, and so it was decided to go public with a new design firm. It was from this foundation that Earthtone Design Studio is built upon.
Felipe’s passion for residential design began in 2006 when he was recruited by his professor to join the small design/build studio, WMR Arquitectos. Originally from Santiago, Chile, he has worked as a design architect and construction manager, designing and building high-end residences, mountain cottages, and boutique hotels.
After a few years, Felipe was hired by the international engineering company, Arcadis, to coordinate the design of an astronomical observatory in Northern Chile. Felipe also worked as part of the design team in charge of a new airport in Easter Island, a collaborative project with the French consultant, ADPi.
In 2010, Felipe moved to San Francisco, California, where he shifted his design focus to study permaculture and urban farming. There he had cofounded the ecological design studio, Integrated Habitats, creating and implementing food forests and edible gardens.
Currently residing in Asheville, NC, Felipe is excited to share his modern vision of custom residential design. This vision incorporates the principles of permaculture and is modeled upon natural ecosystems. Felipe's view is that every home can be beautiful and sustainable, regardless of how limited or generous the budget. Each design is a unique, artistic expression. He places great importance on carefully listening to his clients, discerning their needs, and working closely with them to create the home of their dreams.
To see more of Felipe’s projects you can visit http://www.santander.io
Greg began his study of building and design in the mid 90’s in Taos, NM. At an impressionable young age, he was introduced to a completely new idea of what a home can be. He was living in an area that was very far ahead of the curve in terms of design, sustainability and innovation.
From completely self-sufficient homes made of tires, to ancient adobe structures, Greg was inspired by what he saw as boundless opportunities to create beautiful and earth-friendly dwellings. That interest and passion soon took him to Colorado to study renewable energy, green building, and green home design. From that point on, Greg had continued to work in this field and eventually moved to Asheville, NC in 2001.
After a couple of years working in the area, Greg opened his own company, Earthtone Builders. He became a licensed NC General Contractor in 2005 and since that time he has been building some of the most unique green homes in and around Asheville. Greg continues to stay on the forefront as a leading green builder in the community. His company recently completed the first NC Green-Built Certified Net-Zero Energy Home in the state, which won awards for both craftsmanship and its high performance, low energy rating.
To see more of Greg’s work you can visit http://www.earthtonebuilders.com