Pecha Kucha Night

April 18, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

For those of you who have never heard of PechaKucha Night, may I recommend you look into it.  It’s a sort of lecture with multiple speakers that are stuck to a format of 20 slides for 20 seconds.  The speakers can be pooled from any number of design backgrounds, and they can present on anything they want to.  It’s a great way to see what’s going on in your design community without listening to people go on and on about themselves (because the speakers are limited to 400 seconds).  Saturday’s PechaKucha Night around the world and here in Salt Lake City was slightly different because all of the proceeds are going to help out Japan.  I enjoy it very much, and recommend that all head over to PechaKucha.org to find their local chapter.

Throwback Thursday: Rudolph Schindler

December 16, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Rudolf Michael Schindler was born on September 10, 1887, to a middle class family in Vienna, Austria. His father was a wood and metal craftsman and an importer; his mother was a dressmaker. He attended the Imperial and Royal High School, from 1899 to 1906, and enrolled in the Wagnersschule of Vienna Polytechnic University, being graduated in 1911 with a degree in architecture.

Schindler was most influenced by professor Carl König, despite the presence of many other famous professors such as Otto Wagner and particularly, Adolf Loos. Most notably, in 1911, he was introduced to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright through the influential Wasmuth Portfolio.

Schindler also met his lifelong friend and rival Richard Neutra at the university in 1912, before completing his thesis project in 1913. Their careers would parallel each other: both would go to Los Angeles through Chicago, be recognized as important early modernists creating new styles suited to the Californian climate, and sometimes, both would work for the same clients. At one point, they and their wives shared a communal office and living structure that Schindler designed as his home and studio.

via Wikipedia

It’s a very quiet movie, but gives some great shots of these early modern houses.

Throwback: State University of New York at Albany, by Edward Durell Stone

December 9, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Why was hot-climate, islamic-style architecture built in upstate New York?!
The story we like best (told to us by Peter Benedict in the mid-1970’s) involves Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who made the decision that there would be a University Center campus of the State University system in the state capital city. He goes to have lunch in New York City with his friend Edward Durrell Stone, and asks him if he would be interested in doing the design. Stone invites Rockefeller back to his office after the lunch, opens a drawing file cabinet full of the completed design, pulls out the perspective overview drawing, and asks Nelson if that would suit. Rockefeller, particularly liking the monumental and grandiose aspect, accepts it immediately, and soon after directs his minions to see to it that it gets built on the chosen site, formerly the property of the Albany Country Club (and, no doubt, the members being his friends too, they were also very adequately compensated for their trouble).
Now, for whom did Stone originally do the design? The University of Shiraz, in Iran, where the architecture would have been better-suited to the climate, is the candidate suggested* here. Why wasn’t it built there? Because, the story continues, the Shah of Iran (he of the Peacock throne and multifarious extravagances), rejected it as being too expensive a design!!

taken from albany.edu

I like that story.  I didn’t know who Edward Durell Stone was until this very day, but he designed such wonderful projects as the MoMA, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Busch Stadium, and PepsiCo world headquarters- among others.  I stumbled upon his name while on the Utah Heritage Foundation website.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

November 25, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Have a happy Thanksgiving and be safe out there!!

Modern Fireplaces

November 24, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · 1 Comment 

I was out all last night plowing snow, it’s currently 18 degrees F outside, in Salt Lake City, where I live and my toes are a bit chilly.  So I thought a little modern fireplace photo shoot could warm me up a little.  Which is your favorite?

EPDM, PVC or TPO?

September 21, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

So you’re going to build your dream beach house and don’t know what kind of flat roof to use…  I wish that was my problem too.  There are all sorts of articles online about the differences, but most of them seem to be from suppliers -aka not the whole truth.  Check out this link, but in the end it’ll be best to talk to local, trusted contractors that know your specific wants and budget.  Also, the all-knowing Wikipedia has an article on flat roofs that seems pretty unbiased.

Robert Mills Architects

September 15, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Robert Mills Architects (not to be confused with Robert Mills the architect) has designed some pretty fantastic houses with some pretty fantastic staircases.  I particularly care for the Verdant Avenue house- check out the kitchen with the stairs in the background.  Rooms like this picture make me want to put a second level on my house.  Of course, the Womb and the Tulip chairs never hurt.  His clients must have had a crush on Mr. Saarinen.

Architecture Books

August 5, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

I’ve been looking for a fabulous shop or website that offers a great selection of architecture books, but I keep going back to Amazon.com.  For example, they have 101 listed books on Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe.  I wish I could find some little store that could compete, but Amazon is quite amazing.  Another example: 489 books on Canadian Architeture.  I’d like to read those.  I worked for an architect who had a lot of books in a lobby, and I wanted to find a book on Richard Meier that he had… easy to find and at an unbeatable price.  So here’s to you Amazon- and your honestly, delightful selection of books on “architecture.”

The Fireplace

August 4, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · 1 Comment 
photo via www.radius-design-shop.de

photo via www.radius-design-shop.de

I’m a sucker for fireplaces.  Sometimes the materials, the clean geometry, and the glass of a typical “modern” home can make it a little cold.  The fireplace seems to be a good place to make a “modern” home have a warmer, cozier side.  How about Radius Design’s take on the fireplace??  I’m loving it.  I like that it challenges the traditional meaning of the fireplace, but still looks great and serves the same purpose.  It’s fueled by bio-ethanol so no need to fret the fumes or smoke.

A Passive House

July 30, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · 1 Comment 
photo via treehugger.com

photo via treehugger.com

I’d never really heard of a “passive house” until about a month ago.  I think it’s a great ideal, but it sounds like one more policy to adhere to or one more government program waiting to happen.  I haven’t been involved with one yet, but I do hear that there is one being built in Utah now.  Check it out at http://www.passivehouse.us.

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