As a business attorney for Dell and later Microsoft, my world was shaped mostly by legal memoranda until I was introduced by my real estate agent to Hank Schubart’s houses on Salt Spring Island in 2003. “It’s a Schubart,” she said as we walked through the unassuming front entrance of what is now my home. And thus began my journey researching and exploring the life and work of Hank Schubart. I am not an architect, but once I set foot in a “Schubart house,” I wanted to know more about the man who designed my house with its low profile, large eaves, and fragrance of aged cedar. This project began as a way to introduce the larger world to Schubart’s work on Salt Spring Island. In return, I have been introduced to an extraordinary man.
To compile this exploration of Schubart’s life and work, I researched his copious notes and files, as well as files at the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives and the Friedman Archives at the University of California, Berkeley. Houses Made of Wood and Light is the result of an incredible partnership with Jane Hickie, who helped co-interview, edit and produce the book with me, and Jim Alinder, who communicates Schubart’s architectural aesthetics through remarkable photography.