Architecture & Higher Things



“I want to build a French house,

not an American interpretation of a French house.

Do you know the difference?” my caller asked. 

Yes!” I said without the slightest hesitation and then smiled. 


Though born in the US, and working there now, I lived my childhood and teenage years in Paris, France, as the son of young Protestant missionaries. I spent my many free days and evenings exploring the architecture, streets and boulevards of the City of Light. I came to know it well; the many monuments, the history. language and art, including such little known areas as the belly of the Louvre Museum, where Egyptian mummies are preserved in cool climate controlled vaults. Extraordinary French art and architecture was all around me then, and remains one of my many passions today along with other important design approaches.

Unexpected phone calls like this are always welcome. The gentleman calling described his magnificent vision for a new home, as if from a ancient dream. Soaring in scale, authentic in its classical details, he wanted the choicest of materials and craftsmanship. His vision flowed out of a life story that began in hardship but rose through hard work to a life of very high successes. Those successes enabled many summer vacations to majestic France, over a period of 25 years.  Those summers gave birth his love of France and its architecture, and eventually to his acclaimed collection of fine post-impressionist art and French wines. The ancient City of Paris, and the many hours he spent experiencing her cultural life and walking her streets with his spouse, had forever changed his view of what it meant to live well in the world.

He now wanted to build his own new work of architecture, based on those trans-formative experiences, and he needed help.

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“I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” – Oscar Wilde


…That day, as we traded both our fond memories of France and life perspectives, he carefully placed his trust in me to help him conceive, design, and build his beautiful new home, as his own contribution to the world of architecture.

Today, peace reigns over his completed masterpiece, framed by a beautiful garden, shaped in its every gesture, detail and nuance, by fine master artisans and craftsmen. His rare Nabis paintings and Degas sculptures ornament the rooms. His and his wife’s love of Paris and their life journey is remembered in many rooms and details in some way.  The home embodies their life and story, connecting across time with meaning in a way that only works of fine art can do. Their home is striking to behold and experience with them, an oasis in a hectic world, their special place to rest and be restored, to recall and recommit to their life values and vision. Here they celebrate their life, faith, family and close friends, and welcome special guests when the time is right. Their home is a rare, still place in time, where a kind of transcendent beauty endures.

Do you have a life story and passion for achievement similar to my caller?

What Do You Want to Build?

Do you love the arts and travel? Perhaps, as you’ve worked and travel around the world you have seen stunning architecture, conceived and built by passionate visionaries of the past. Those works represented something deeply important in their creator’s lives. Today they are a rich part of our shared cultural heritage, a part of our human story centuries later. Those works reflect their creators’ hopes, longings and beliefs of “how the world should be.” And their legacy still shines through brightly, in the finest surviving artistry and architecture of our predecessors.

Maybe now is the time for you to commission a significant architecture of your own, in your own time and place today; deeply personal, meaningful, distinguished and refined. Maybe your internal voice has been pressing toward this noble undertaking for a long time now. Maybe your friends tell you you’re always building something – people, dynamic businesses, institutions, visions of some kind. What if you pushed that envelope further now.

Is it time to build your enduring place in the world now, where you can be free to become even more of the person you are choosing to become in the world?

Some things may stand in your way right now.  Maybe you can identify with this client:

“I am deeply driven by all I want to accomplish in life. But, time is slipping by and much of what I focus on every day now will not last.  I now want to create permanent things, higher things, and leave behind a meaningful legacy in this world when I am gone.” – Jack W.

Does that sound like you? Be honest.

If so, you’re not alone. We all feel this way at times.

I know How You Feel

For years, like many, I ran on the hamster wheel, moving my young family from city to city as my career evolved. And those many career moves were often sadly at the expense of what mattered most to me, my family.

Eventually, when I settled down into my own expanding architectural practice, I faced the reality that I needed to change. I needed to experience life. I began to delegate more, and focus myself where I was able to make the greatest impact for my clients. I became more intentional and a more centered person, closer in my relationships with family, friends, my health, and spiritual journey. Perhaps your journey has been similar.

I Want Something for You

This is why I want something really new for you – what some would call a new life chapter. As a trusted advisor, I will help you focus, refine, express and experience the life you want to live, and to become the person you want to become, by crafting a one-of-a-kind personal work of architecture for you. We will explore your way of seeing the world and your unique life story, in a fine design composed of beautiful spaces, appropriate details, finer materials such as cut stone, chased bronze, custom mill-work, plaster and fine finishes. Through this process of reflecting upon and expressing your life through design the singular work that will result, you will experience a deep and enduring change in your life. The architecture we will build together will be your own powerful legacy the world, a very personal statement and influential vision for your heirs. This process and its result will broaden your influence where it matters, accelerate your business success, and most importantly lead you into a much deeper engagement with living a meaningful life.

This is the heart and purpose of my work.

Does this vision resonate with you?

Step Forward

Only you can reach for this high prize.

Take the step now.

It’s easy! Set up a call to discuss here. 

I’ll see you on the other side.


– Daniel Lee







  • About Daniel Lee


    Born in the United States, Daniel Lee spent his formative years abroad in Paris, France, where he was trained to see art, architecture and gardens as natural allies in the shaping of an imaginative and meaningful world. Focused exclusively on creating truly original works of design, he sees his clients as equal partners in shaping the world that should be. He loves to write, sketch, and read philosophy; is married to a musician, and lives and works in historic Alexandria, Virginia. For an introduction to his architectural philosophy, click the link below.

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"Daniel created beautiful architecture for my home, where i enjoy my life long collection of French Impressionist paintings. Every day has been enriched immeasurably by his talents and friendship."

- Spencer Hays, Chairman of Southwestern, & Commander of the French Legion of Honor