1 Billion Dollars, 400,000 Sq. Ft. and 5 People

December 6, 2010 · Posted in Architecture Around the World · Comment 

One of the world’s richest families has moved into their new home.  It’s not a few of the levels though… it’s the whole building.  There are so many rumors about the, estimated, 1 billion dollar residence that it’s difficult to know what’s true- one report said there is a BMW service station inside the 6-story garage.  I did find some legitimate renderings on Forbes.com, but 400,000 sq. ft. could make for a wicked game of hide-and-seek.

Green Washing and the Six Sins

November 10, 2010 · Posted in Modern Design · 2 Comments 

I had never heard of the term “greenwashing” until yesterday, but the data is astounding.

Here’s a quote from Wikipedia:

The term greenwashing was coined by New York environmentalist Jay Westerveld[3][4][5] in a 1986 essay regarding the hotel industry’s practice of placing placards in each room promoting reuse of towels ostensibly to “save the environment”. Westerveld noted that, in most cases, little or no effort toward waste recycling was being implemented by these institutions, due in part to the lack of cost-cutting affected by such practice. Westerveld opined that the actual objective of this “green campaign” on the part of many hoteliers was, in fact, increased profit. Westerveld hence monitored this and other outwardly environmentally conscientious acts with a greater, underlying purpose of profit increase as greenwashing. The use of logos such as ‘Rainforest Alliance’ is also a form of greenwashing, where customers think that the item they’re buying is completely ethical, when in fact only a small proportion of the item’s ingredients are. An example of this is Galaxy Chocolate (UK), where the cocoa is ethically sourced but another ingredient, palm oil, is unsustainably sourced leading to a decline in the orangutan population.

The term is generally used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices. This is often portrayed by changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment or nature—for example, putting an image of a forest on a bottle containing harmful chemicals. Environmentalists often use greenwashing to describe the actions of energy companies, which are traditionally the largest polluters.[6]

Norway’s consumer ombudsman has targeted automakers who claim that their cars are “green”, “clean” or “environmentally friendly” with some of the world’s strictest advertising guidelines. Consumer Ombudsman official Bente Øverli said: “Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others.”

David Byrne on Architecture

October 22, 2010 · Posted in Modern Design · Comment 

I love TED talks.  I love Talking Heads.  So what could be better than David Byrne giving us his perspective on architecture and music?

So You Think You Can Dance??

August 6, 2009 · Posted in Architecture Around the World · Comment 

Tonight my wife and I just blew off our daughter’s bedtime and hauled all four of us to my brother-in-law’s friend’s house to watch “So You Think You Can Dance.”  It was the season’s performance finale, and you can imagine our delight and anticipation.  Unfortunately, all 8 of us that were watching agreed that it was weak.  This comes from some VERY loyal sytycd fans.  One of the choreographers was wearing headphones around her neck??  Country dancing somehow made the cuts??  The Paso doble AGAIN????  “Nasty” by Janet Jackson??  So many questions.  The event was held in the Kodak Theatre and I thought that maybe would be the redeeming moment for the night.  Though the interior looks very nice, and it seemed to be a great place to hold the event, the exterior looks like the Cheesecake Factory restaurant building in Midvale.  So the night was pretty much a total bust and the girls didn’t get to sleep until way after bedtime.

Seinfield and Architecture

July 16, 2009 · Posted in Throwbacks · Comment 

Shout out to Seinfield.  My wife and I can’t get enough of it.

Home Theater

July 14, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Said to have cost about $3.4 million this theater is worth more than most of us make in 30 years, but who doesn’t need 24 12-inch sub-woofers??  I’m a huge fan of home theaters, but obviously they don’t have to be this extreme.  I like how dark the rooms are and how clear the sound is, but with two little girls growing up I’d have to put a turret mounted machine gun in mine.

More "Ugliest House Contestants"

July 13, 2009 · Posted in Architecture Around the World · Comment 

Ok, so the whole “ugly house” thing has sparked my interest.  I know that there is a house on 7th East, here in Salt Lake City, that has my vote; but here are a few ugly houses that I found for your delight and viewing:

Businessweek.com's Ugliest House Winner Announced!!

July 10, 2009 · Posted in Architecture Around the World · 1 Comment 
photo via Businessweek.com

photo via Businessweek.com

I got a kick out of the article, about this monster house, in Businessweek.com and the LA Times.  32,000 square feet of nightmare is what it sounds like to me.  If nothing else, it’s pretty cool that the pool goes inbetween two sections of the house and all the way in to the front yard.  I’m not sure this is LEED approved… or passive.  But, in the end, ugly is in the eye of the beholder- what do you think of the house?

Great Pools

July 7, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
photo via Outrigger Hotels

photo via Outrigger Hotels

Last night I went to a party for my brother, who just got married, and we went to his in-law’s house where they had a pool.  Seeing the pool got me thinking about all of the great possibilities.  Check out this great pic of an Outrigger Hotel in Bali (Turns out Outrigger has some of the most fantastic hotels I’ve ever seen, but that’s beside the point).  I even googled “modern pools” and got some pretty good results.  Anyone seen a really great pool lately??  I’m wondering what it is that defines a great-looking, functional pool.

Happy 4th- Jasper Johns

July 3, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Sorry for the long absence.  I’m back though.  And nothing says “the Fourth of July” like a Jasper Johns painting.  Even though the painting may have been a little tongue-in-cheek, and even though we have our faults as a country, may I express that I am proud to be an American.  I hope we take this time of year to celebrate our forefather’s declaration that they would take on their own challenges, solve their own problems, and walk to the beat of their own drum.  I hope we commit ourselves to that same ideal and as one nation, under God, truly become indivisible.