Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Architectural Digest

I was reading the July issue of Architectural Digest at my in-laws last week. I know- we designer types generally disregard this magazine as not avant-garde enough to be caught reading. I used to be that way. In general, it's just a little too formal for me. And I use that word not in the way an academic-type architect would use it, meaning pertaining to "form", but formal as in "fussy". And too many ads. At least that's what I thought when I was given a subscription back in college. I haven't really picked one up since the subscription lapsed way back when, but I needed something to do while lounging in the hammock! This issue has started to change my mind, so either I've changed (likely) or the magazine's changed it's format (also possible) or it's a little of both (probably). I really loved the photos of this house in California designed by Marmol Radziner + Associates: I go crazy for a rectangular pool with more grass than concrete around the edge. And all the glass is magnificent- but finished in a very tasteful, modest way. Check out the kitchen: I love the table made from a work table, and that they lightened the cabinets up a little by using some textured glass. Here's a bathroom. I dig that sunken tub: If you get a chance, take a look at more of the photos found here. There's lots of great folk art and Americana throughout the house. I also really liked poking around on the architect's website- you, too, may also be inspired. At any rate, if Architectural Digest wants to sponsor this blog or send me a subscription, I probably wouldn't turn them down. Good job, AD- keep it up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jumping in front of Architecture

Cassi in front of the Seattle Public Library by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA. Cassi in front of the Experience Music Project by Frank Gehry. This was the first time I had visited Frank O. Gehry's website, and I was pleased to see that he is hiring! I wonder how set on D.C. Dr. Jay is? Cassi in front of the Chapel of St. Ignatius by Steven Holl. This is a great photo because it looks like Cassi is about to jump in to the reflecting pool. I imagine that's frowned upon. You may remember my mentioning Cassi the Extraordinary... well, she's been at it again. She recently visited Seattle and posted some hilarious photos of her jumping in front of notable works of architecture in the city. Since Seattle is another city I haven't visited, I loved seeing her take on these places. I definitely hope to visit some day, especially since I've read and seen so many images of these buildings. Her enthusiasm for architecture is infectious and I am glad she is my buddy. That was a quick post thanks to Cassi. Now I must get back to rooting for my Horns! Hook 'Em!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm one of those people

Last week I joined the masses and got an iPhone. Hey- they lowered the price! What's an internet-obsessed girl to do? I shouldn't be apologizing for this investment. It's been an amazing help to us on the trips we've taken lately (my husband got one back in May), and especially when looking for a place to live in D.C. I spent a little time looking through the free apps yesterday while the oil was being changed in my car, and I continue to be impressed by what people have come up with. And it can be done with a phone, or what used to be just a tool for communication. The iPhone is the new Swiss Army knife. One really great tool I found is this: ColorSnap from Sherwin-Williams. You can use the phone to take a photo of a color you like (from nature, a painting, anything) and it will match it with one of their 1500 colors. They'll also show you a coordinating color palette to compliment the original color. They even direct you to the nearest Sherwin-Williams store. Okay, I guess that one was to be expected. I also downloaded the Compass app. Can't wait to use that one on a job-site. Someone tell me when they find the app that writes blog posts for you.

Announcement time!

I received the news today: I passed my final architecture exam! I didn't want to jinx anything by mentioning it before, but I took this exam on May 12 and have been chomping at the bit to hear the results. As you can imagine, I am pretty stoked to finally be able to say (legally) "I am an architect" ! The image above was the first one in the google image search results for the term architect. Good thing someone invented AutoCad. That drawing board looks like a lot of work. And what's that angled thing there in the corner? JUST KIDDING! I know what a triangle is. I may have to get one of these sweet t-shirts. In other blog news: Happy 1st Birthday, Christopher Crum, Jr. !

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Do you other architects out there ever see buildings and say to yourself, "I designed that building! In school!" The photo above is courtesy of my SIL, Anne-Marie and BIL, Bart... Bart is working in Moss, Norway for a month and when Anne-Marie visited they drove to Copenhagen for some site-seeing. They had a little fun with the camera and took some architecture photos for me. If anyone else is taking a trip and feels the need to provide me with blog-material, please do! I'd love the opportunity to learn about a new building or city. Back to Bart and Anne-Marie... they somehow managed to make an R for me in front of the Copenhagen Opera House. Aren't they cute? When I saw the photo, I immediately thought of a project I did in undergrad for a concert hall at the water's edge in Baltimore. It had a rounded, mostly metal facade that fronted the water. I remember that being one of the first projects I did with the intention that it be a mixed-use building. It's purpose was to not only be used for pay-performances, but that it be a part of the community accessible by different groups when not in use as a theater or concert hall. And I wanted it to be accessible by boat from Baltimore Harbor. The Copenhagen Opera House is accessible by boat, and apparently, with their public transportation system, it's possible to get a boat ride to the opera with just a normal bus pass. I've never been anywhere in northern Europe, so I enjoyed reading about this building. It opened at the beginning of 2005 and is said to be the world's most modern opera house, and also one of the most expensive to be built, with construction costs over $500 million U.S. dollars. I was going to write a more extensively about it, but I found such a great write-up on it here, I felt as if I would just be regurgitating info to you. Here are some of the highlights: -The Opera House is situated on Dock Island in Copenhagen Harbor, on axis with Amalienborg, the Royal Residence, as counterpart to Frederik’s Church, forming the termination points of the east-west axis from the harbor and across Amalienborg Square. - It hosts both large-scale opera and ballet performances. -There's a 32 meter long cantilevered roof- that's a huge cantilever! (That's what she said) - The 419 square meter ceiling in the auditorium is covered in gold leaf. - The Royal Danish Orchestra's rehearsal room is 5 floors below the auditorium, or 14 meters below sea level. Thanks again to Bart and Ree for the great photo and blog material! Enjoy the rest of your stay, Bart.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Little Boxes, the anti-Suburb anthem

Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky-tacky, Little boxes, little boxes, Little boxes, all the same. There's a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one And they're all made out of ticky-tacky And they all look just the same. Do y'all watch WEEDS? We're hooked, though have been slowly plowing through it via Netflix. Finally finished Season 3 the other night (wow, some of the characters really went off the deep end, ahem, Celia!) and it reminded me that I needed to finish my post on those Little Boxes. I was of course referring to the show's theme song in my last post. Those little boxes Malvina Reynolds was referring to when she wrote and sang her folk song were those of Henry Doelger's development, Westlake District, in Daly City, California. Maybe you've already wikipediaed this, but Reynolds and her husband were apparently driving through the area south of San Francisco in the early 60s when she saw the many roofs of the District and was inspired to document the scourge of suburbia on the landscape. Life magazine evidently wanted to take a photo of her pointing to the original houses she wrote about, but when they went back to the site she coudn't find them because so many others had overtaken the hillside. I did a little further checking and found these images of the Westlake District: I can definitely see the appeal of this little house, especially that Dr. Seuss-looking shrub out front. Landscape architects help me out? Here's another one: Looks like they have held up decently, with the exception of the yard in the example above. Originally, each had a single palm tree in the front yard, as you can see in the photo of the yellow and torquoise house. I wonder how ticky-tacky the construction really was, especially as compared to some of the suburban developments of today's time that seem to spring up overnight. Here's a final shot of a street in Daly City, from November 2008 Well, that concludes my first post of June. Thanks for sticking with me- I have lots of material from May and already for this month, so I will try my best to post more frequently now that phase one of the move is complete.