This landscape is the stuff of legend. Bold. Uncompromising. Mysterious. Mythic. No wonder that it has held such power over generations of explorers and artists. Gram Parsons. The Eagles. U2. Queens of the Stone Age. Modern day pilgrims come to the desert to find inspiration, answers and a little peace away from the pulse of the city.

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Cycles of Seasons and Days

Cycles of Seasons and Days

The Maison Orion team (Tallulah and Scott) are currently living and working in a rented townhouse outside of Ann Arbor. The neighborhood stopped construction sometime in the past and only about 50% of the buildings were completed. The back half of the development has roads without the final layer of asphalt and the elevation of the apron along the gutter is 1” higher. Fire hydrants and telephone equipment are lost in the vegetation and wildflowers spout from every crack in the pavement. Far from being strange or upsetting, it is rather pleasant to see nature continue to thrive and turn these future homesites back into “wild” prairie as they once were.  These photos were taken last evening around sunset as deer walked in the tall grass and lightning bugs began sparkling in the sky.

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Coopers Rocks State Forest

This past June we visited Coopers Rocks State Forest near Morgantown, West Virginia. Maison Orion partner Tallulah West had been there several times before. But for me (Scott M B Gustafson) it was my first visit.

I'm a terrible hiker because I take too many photographs. They are records that are easy to share, and help me to recall the feelings I experienced while in the moment. What I saw in the forest was a whole range of architectural techniques employed by nature.

Mass & Void

Light & Shadow






What impressed me most about our hike was walking around, between and underneath gigantic boulders. The space created by geologic fissures reminded me of experiences in the artworks of Richard Serra and the buildings of Frank Gehry. The difference is that these rocks, let loose from their ancient repose, would crush me in an instant without mercy. A friend of mine was recently telling me about the Sublime in art. It is beauty that inspires admiration and awe. When one recognizes the gap between their own power and that of nature's forces - the response is awe. That these rocks rest with such grace further enlarges their persuasiveness - they don't need to show off and they know it.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I would often visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Michael Heizer's artwork Levitated Mass pompously sits over a manmade walkway cut into the earth. It might be the single most Instagrammed rock and quite popular with visitors, but it is a spectacle that does not frighten for even an instant. As Marvin Gaye said, "Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby."

MAISON ORION North America


In 2017 we relocated our base of operations from Los Angeles to metro Detroit. Michigan, Ontario and the entire Great Lakes region is an ideal location from which to design healthy, beautiful Net Zero Energy Ready homes.