Case Studies

510 East State Street, Rockford, Illinois

This 12,000 sq. ft. 1880 Queen Anne is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.  It was originally a carriage manufacturing facility and later became a grocery store and pharmacy.  It lay waste for several decades and used for storage.  Busch removed all the plaster on the brick walls, sandblasted and sealed them.  Refinished the red oak original floors after removing old tile and paint from them.  His crew then salvaged the original tin ceilings and reinstalled in appropriate areas.  All the original bronze door hardware and window hardware was stripped and polished.  New dual glazed windows were installed in custom wood window frames and the original hardware was attached.  The original 2nd story cast steel window seat was so large it had a baby grand piano and a seating area on it’s raised 8′ x 24′ deck overlooking one of the main streets of the town.  Busch designed a state of the art heating and cooling system which cut down on energy costs.  The 3,000 sq. ft. main upstairs living quarters had 20 ft. tin ceilings, brick walls with steel catwalks and ship’s ladders to sleeping lofts above private bedrooms.  All rooms, lofts, and walls were built from the reclaimed lumber in the building.  The bookcases and cabinetry was built from the unused original door panels cut in half.  When completed the loft slept 4 people and had 147 pieces of art hung floor to ceiling- salon style. View photo gallery


2126 3rd Street, Santa Monica, CA

This 1914 7 unit cozy court was rented and in horrible shape.  Many of the units were dry rotted and had mold.  Busch paid the tenants to leave, designed a single family residence.  There was a two car garage added with a master suite above it and the new family room.  The original charm of the property was maintained throughout.  Busch reworked the original concrete courtyard; removing the concrete, landscaping and installing a fountain with a koi pond.  Busch repaired the original steel windows and found duplicate windows for the addition.  New electric, plumbing, and heating/cooling systems were installed.  The original Model “T” garage became the entry foyer for the home which was reconstructed with 16′ tall ceiling and cantilevered over and into the dining room on one side and the living room on the other.  This allowed the filtering in of natural light to all three spaces with an elaborate beamed ceiling and custom windows.  The house had a large working kitchen with a butcher block prep and dining table and cozy fireplace/pizza oven.  There are 4 bedroom suites with their own baths as well. View photo gallery


County Line, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA

The original beach home was built in the 50’s and poorly maintained.  The client wanted a new weekend beach home.  Busch designed the new living room/dining/kitchen and master bedroom suite above facing the ocean.  New caissons  and steel replaced the old dry-rotted living room with it’s 8 foot ceilings.  The new living room, dining room, and kitchen have 12 foot ceilings with 12′ Nano doors which open to the deck overlooking the ocean.  The master bedroom suite has a custom marble free form tub craned into place and the full sized bathroom ceiling skylight installed.  The master bedroom and living room have custom designed steel fireplaces for the home. The home has a media room, and two additional bedroom suites.  The roof deck has a fireplace and full bbq area with sink and refrigerator.  There is a poured in place custom sitting area under the living room on the sand with lighting and a sound system.  The client’s extensive art collection was lit with museum quality focusing projection lights in the ceilings.  The central stairwell core was designed as a thermal chimney and create exceptional sea breezes all year long.  There is a full wine cellar and smart house control room under the floating custom staircase in the foyer.  The house is controlled by computers which can close blinds and drapes automatically and open foyer upper windows to remove excess heat.  The owner can control lighting and heating/air from anywhere in the world as well as check the numerous hidden security cameras. View photo gallery


Hightree, Santa Monica Canyon, CA

This 1947 single story all redwood small rectangular home was converted into a two story 4 bedroom suite home with office, media room, guest suite, living room, dining room, and kitchen.  All  the original redwood was painstakingly remove and re-planed and used as the exterior of the second floor.  The front of the home looks like it floats above the foyer with floor to ceiling glass entry.  The gourmet kitchen and dining room which seats 12 comfortably have private views of the redwoods and ferns throughout the property.  A stream was created which started at a pond with waterfall entering the property and meanders the walk over a bridge to the front door.  The original concrete patios were jack hammered out and used as retaining walls to give three dimensionality to the landscape.  It was important to Busch that the house stayed in tact and the second floor seemed to be set down on top of the original home.  The 2nd story bedrooms and master suite make you feel you are in a treehouse overlooking the redwood forest. View photo gallery


Linda Vista, Pasadena, CA

The client, who is part Japanese and part Italian wanted a home to reflect his heritage.  This 1953 modern home was renovated several times thus losing its original character.  Busch put a master suite with bath and another guest suite addition on.  He brought the original character of the home back and duplicated the rounded corner of the dining room in the master bath area.  Busch redirected the entry traffic and relocated the kitchen.  As one enters up the stairs to the entry patio raised deck there is a reflection pond which cascades down and under a bridge into the pool.  The pool was re-plastered and the concrete has a redwood decking put on top warming up the entire yard. There was extensive landscaping done and the fencing resembled a japanese garden fence with bamboo and asian plantings including japanese maples. View photo gallery


Trancas Canyon Compound

This ground up home was sited on the 10 acres  overlooking the Pacific Ocean with white water and the Santa Monica Mountain views.  The home has 360 degree views from on top of this mountain.  The home cantilevers over the edges of the mountain giving breathtaking views in all directions.  It has oversized windows and 14′ sliding doors illuminating the home all day.  At night the large skylights and retractable roof in the Master bedroom allow moonlight to illuminate the interior.  This smart house has blinds and shades that close and open automatically to cut down on heat gain and strong light.  Lights can be controlled from anywhere in the world as well as the heat/cooling and the jacuzzi and swimming pool.  It’s security system and cameras can be viewed on any computer of smartphone.  This home is on 26 caissons and it has a 248,000 lbs. steel structure.  The home consists of a 1,250 sq. ft. master suite, living room with custom poured concrete cantilevered fireplace which separates the living room from the dining room.  It has a gourmet kitchen with two large prep islands and marble custom sink and dual dishwashers.  All the cabinetry was custom designed and built to the owner’s specifications.  The house was designed to house the clients extensive art collection.  The media room has a Dolby Digital 7.1 THX sound system with 65″ plasma and a drop down 145″ screen with state of the art projector.  The media room walls are covered in leather to deaden sound.  The oversized 2nd bedroom  was used by the client’s wife as an office and gym and has a full bath and steam shower.  There are steel window seats which cantilever out of the rooms at angles to the views.  This amazing home took 5 years to design with 3 architects and over 1,000 detail drawings.  It has been published all over the world.  It also has planted roofs with herb gardens and water roofs with floating patios.  The water roofs and planted roofs are to keep the home cooler and to be protection against fires.  There is a planted child’s maze on top of the garage which leads them to a Gwyn Murrill Bronze sculpture of a puma.

The Busch Design Studio is a ground up 4,000 sq. ft. project floating in the middle of a 40,000 gallon koi and turtle rescue set of dueling ponds, one water-falling into the other.  The studio was sited to take advantage of North light and the mountain views.  One enters  the two story reception area with living walls and views of the ocean an koi ponds.  The main floor has a kitchen, large multi use office space with several custom designed work/seating areas.  There is a state of the art conference room with surround sound as well.  The darkroom is hidden between the gallery with flat files across the entire expanse and another private office.   There are two full wall glass garbage doors which are kept open most of the year for fresh air and feed the cool air over the pond through the building and into the 2 story reception area thermal chimney.  There is a second floor guest suite with kitchen, dining and living rooms with a master bedroom with onyx bathroom.  All the second floor floors are distressed walnut, bleached and re-stained to a neutral dark pallet.  There is a second floor deck overlooking the ocean with a see through fireplace into the guest living room.  there is also a second floor private office with leather floors and private glass bath. View photo gallery


PIX Camera Store

The original store had a bow truss 20 foot ceiling and was a used as a warehouse.  Pix is a 24-7 camera store and rental facility.  Security and ease of moving equipment in and out was important.  This 5,000 sq. ft. space was sandblasted to the original brick and the bow trusses were sandblasted as well and sealed.   Busch designed custom counters and equipment racks to make lugging the heavy equipment easier.  The counters were designed like airport luggage counters thus removing the need to lift heavy equipment onto the counters.  The custom cabinetry and counters were constructed of FinPly, a durable material, and edge trim to protect the counters.  A photographic gallery was situated in the middle with a cappuccino bar and lounge.  The offices floated above the sales floor with observation windows from all offices. Skylights were added to illuminate the floor without additional light during the day.  Large roll up doors were added to load movie trucks and vans.  The front of the space housed the retail camera and film counters and refrigerators. View photo gallery