Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Boxes

I apologize for the sporadic postings this month. I am in disbelief that today is already May 26th. I have been traveling to and fro since the 12th, and this week is dedicated to packing up our life in little boxes to put in a P.O.D. At some point soon, I hope to do some posts about a few of the places I've been this month (that was one of the reasons I started this blog!), but life is getting in the way and I need to focus on the move out of Athens. For now, I'll leave you with the above image as a clue as to what I'll be writing about next. Any guesses?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Garden tour

Mother's Day with my family was spent at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, where a new Henry Moore sculpture exhibit opened last weekend. They've also recently opened a new Visitors Center and parking garage, both of which incorporated sustainable design practices and are going for LEED Gold status. In the Visitors Center I loved the giant rotating doors that merge the inside with the outside. Can you see that amazing Chihuly sculpture hanging from the ceiling? The gardens themselves are amazing and we all enjoyed discovering the Moore sculptures in the landscape. In the photo above, the tall building in the Atlanta skyline between the sculpture is the "Symphony Tower" , also a LEED gold building. The prize-winning roses from a gardening competition (pretty soon that is going to be turned in to a reality t.v. show, you heard it here!) were on display in the exhibit hall. As much as loved walking through all the gardens and through the orchid house, I could have spent hours examining each of those roses. Unfortunately, I had failed to adequately charge my camera battery (rookie-blogger mistake) so I wasn't able to take photos in the orchid house, or for most of the afternoon, so I'll wrap this up quickly. Part of the green roof system of the Visitor's Center: We had a terrific time exploring the gardens and I can't wait to go again with a charged camera battery and several hours of a day to kill. My one complaint? Why do venues like this, who love to toot their horn about the design, give the architect so little credit? It should be part of their press release- I shouldn't have to look in three places before finding it. Am I making too big a deal of this? It's just something I've noticed happening all too often and it's frustrating. I'm sure a team of people (architects, landscape architects, engineers, contractors) worked on this expansion project for years, and yet it's very common for them to receive no mention in a press release or printed materials. Until, of course, something goes wrong. The Visitor's Center and parking deck, by the way, was designed by the folks at Jova/Daniels/Busby and built by Hardin Construction Company LLC. The master plan for the Gardens' expansion was designed by world-reknowned landscape architects EDAW. Thanks for spending the day with me, Mom!

Friday, May 8, 2009


If it seems that I have mentioned Washington D.C. more than once lately (see this post or this one ) well, there's a reason... Dr. Jay and I have decided to move there this summer. We are leaving this sleepy town for new adventures in our nation's capitol. He will be working for the Treasury Department and I will be looking for a new job. I am putting it out there: anyone have any employment ideas for me? I'd love to work for an amazing firm like this one , this one, or this one , and primarily with residential design, but if you haven't heard, it's tough out there. I don't know that D.C. is faring any better than the rest of the country, but I will do my best to make the employment search interesting. That being said, I have been trying to familiarize myself with the city, and we of course have been scouring Craigslist for housing. We're going on a scouting trip in a couple of weeks, so maybe I'll have some fun(ny) photos of what we come up with. One place I will definitely be visiting once we move is The Pope-Leighey House by Frank Lloyd Wright, a Usonian house originally built in Falls Church, Virginia in 1940. I had never heard of this house until last week! It has since been moved to a new location to the grounds of Woodlawn (another spot I have yet to visit!), and is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Can't wait to share the visit with you. Anyone else have suggestions for incredible architectural gems that I must not miss in or around the District of Columbia?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Georgetown getting it's Apple Store

Here's a rendering of what the new store will look like. You can just barely see the piece of fruit with the bite in it. Here are two more renderings from the architect, Karl Backus. No word yet on when it will open, but the design for the store was finally approved in March (I know, I know, I am a little behind the times, but I suspect most of you aren't reading for lightning fast architecture criticism) after four previous designs were denied. The design approval process alone has gone on for over a year now, and Apple purchased the property at 1229 Wisconsin Avenue back in 2007 for a cool $13.7 million. This will be the first Apple store in the District of Columbia, though there are stores in nearby Bethesda (2), Arlington (2), Annapolis, McLean and Fairfax. The current building, which has stood there for only 24 years and looks like a cheap knock-off of colonial architecture to me, will be razed for the new store. Yay!
In general, I am all for historic preservation, but clearly there's nothing historic about the actual building, just the neighborhood. Evidently the Old Georgetown Board felt that there was too much glass on the previous designs. Have these people been to an Apple Store before? If Apple could make the computers out of glass I am sure they would. Maybe they expected it to look more like the store Apple put on Regents Street in London, which I can assure you is a much more historic context. Both the stores in Georgetown and on Regents Street were designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Philadelphia. This firm also designed that eponymous Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York. They have an incredible body of work- check out their site. I was most impressed by the Pixar Studios and Headquarters and The Barn at Fallingwater for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Link

I loved this story I saw on Apartment Therapy yesterday. There is a new documentary premiering at film festivals across the country (in Marfa, Texas yesterday!) about a couple in New York (Herb and Dorothy) who were so passionate about art and art collecting that they decided 40 years ago to live solely on Dorothy's income as a research librarian for the New York Public Library and use Herb's income (as a U.S. Postal Service employee) to fund their art collection. Dorothy is now 80 and Herb is 92 and they are just the cutest people ever. Evidently this collection contains over 4,000 works of art, and it was all stored in their one-bedroom apartment. I can't wait to see this film. Check out the link above, because I feel like i am just regurgitating information from the post on Apartment Therapy, but it was such a great story I just had to share. Happy Friday- lots of swell things happening already! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.