Apparently the answer is Honey Grove, Texas. That’s how far. Or at least the answer at the moment.

More than once I’ve been asked if a project is too remote for me to become involved in. “Will you work that far out?” Usually that means areas north of Dallas or sometimes just north of the 635 loop, which for some translates into Oklahoma. However, “too far” often means places like Prosper, Celina, and Denton.

But I have yet to answer no to the question of what constitutes how far.

Which is how I found myself in my car yesterday morning, heading out to East Texas to walk a new client’s property just north of Honey Grove. And about 90 miles from Dallas, with the last mile or so over dirt and gravel roads.

Some architects are very particular about working within a designated area. Sometimes that means within one city. Sometimes that’s within a certain neighborhood. One architect in Dallas moved to a neighborhood not because of better schools or lower crime, but because the area contained the clients he was looking to work with as he grew his practice.

Smart man.

However, most architects are willing to travel a bit for the right project, the right client, or both. Hopefully it’s the latter. Because no one wants to work on a great project with a lousy client. I suppose there’s some benefit – perhaps prestige – associated with some projects. I guess I’m just not willing to be miserable over the duration of the project.

But is there a too far? Definitely not.

Larger firms in the US will often have offices in countries around the world, working on a variety of designs and with a wide range of clients. And that goes the other direction as well. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is headquartered in Amsterdam. However, BIG is the design architect for the new National Juneteenth Museum in Ft. Worth. That’s almost 5,000 miles between the two.

And I know a number of architects who don’t limit themselves to the city or state where they are located. One associate in Little Rock often works on a range of projects along the East Coast while also working locally. Another is licensed in 23 states while happily hanging his shingle in Ohio. Even with my old firm, one of my partners spent the better part of a year traveling to Aspen for a long-time Dallas client. Including one trip spent on their bathroom floor with food poisoning.

For this architect, Honey Grove counts as the farthest I’ve traveled for any project. However, as I’ve mentioned before, projects now are more about knowing I’ll enjoy working with the client, and this is no exception. In spite of having to crunch down some dirt and gravel roads, the site they purchased is beautiful, and the client is excited and engaged on how we transform the site into a great place to raise their family. Along with a few cow and chickens.

So I guess there isn’t a “too far.” At least not yet. And for the right client, I don’t expect there will be.