Rollingwood in Austin, Addition and Remodel

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Water everywhere, my kind of place… The old house is integrated as it’s transformed. This is our project for a 1940’s home in Rollingwood. Posted by Viviane


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Sustainable Homes in the USA

We are proud to be in this fine book and I’m particularly happy that my pictures are getting published all over the place. I’m enjoying photography more and more, as I have been mentioning in this blog. I’m preparing an exhibition… I’ll post about it soon.

Anyway, the focus of the book is sustainability. I encourage you to review the Texas Architect article by Richard Wintersole, AIA:

 Conserving energy is important to Neal, thus the SIPs serve as a thermal umbrella and air is encouraged to circulate through the building from end to end. The Farleys plan to add a large, low-velocity fan to improve the air circulation. When ambient air breezes through the home, the Farleys and their guests are truly in touch with the natural world.”

or by going to the Dwell article by Sarah Rich

In a climate like this, air-conditioning seems indispensable, but to cool the entire structure artificially would be inefficient and costly. Neal devised a solution by building a 540-square-foot box nested within the superstructure, which contains the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, as the only air-conditioned space in the building. The two-story plywood envelope has sliding walls on all sides that can be closed to keep cool temperatures in or left open to the fluctuations of the natural ventilation throughout the building.”

 

Stoned! Casa Miquel

sketch 7

stone, transitive verb

Inflected Form(s): stoned; ston·ing
13th century
1: to hurl stones at; especially : to kill by pelting with stones

stoned (slang) adjective
1952
1. Stupefied, excited, or muddled with alcoholic liquor
2. Stupefied, intoxicated, or otherwise influenced by the taking of drugs
3. (one I particulaly like) under the influence of drugs, under the influence of alcohol, drugged, ripped out, high, spaced out, tripping, turned on

These definitions sum up the week and what I’m going to do about it…

The post was going to start out, “So you want stone? Well here it is, all of you fake Tuscan-lovin’ sons of bitches…” But then, because of the week it’s been, the post has shifted to the fore mentioned theme.

sketch 3

Anyway, the house is for a small site in Barcelona that has a four story building close to one side of it and a two story retaining wall about a fourth of the way into the lot. Fortunately, a garden could be placed around the side and front on the lower floor of the house, to achieve privacy and give a sense of the exotic and intimate.

casa miguel3

The house is simply organized around a pool/living area that opens onto a front garden. All interior spaces open onto the pool and are defined by rustic (rustico! Pepe) structural stone walls. The pool area has a wall of translucent and colored glass block. A traditional material that has been manufactured in Spain for, who could say, 80 years.

This wall allows a wonderful diffused light into all the interior spaces and controls the view of the multi story building. At the bottom of the glass block wall there is a low continuous ribbon of clear operable windows that look onto the small side garden allowing the eye to expand beyond the boundary of the wall. The problematic back yard, two stories in the air, was tied into the roof to make an extended garden and terrace. A green house on this upper level of land continues over the two story living/pool area to become a skylight.

Most of the sketches shown were done on the flight back from Barcelona.

It’s happy hour so see ya, what ever happened to those days of three for ones in Lubbock (that story will have to wait…).

sketch plan sketch 5 sketch 4 sketch 6 sketch 2

casa miguel3(10)

casa miguel5 casa miguel7 casa miguel3(3) casa miguel8 casa miguel3(8)

Dancing About the Mulberry Trees

in 2003 we were asked to submit ideas for an Art Forum and Community Center in Annaka, Japan… Our design was centered about the Mulberry trees we were gonna plant, hundreds of them.

See if you can spot the kids with balloons and the dog (in the sketches.)

MJ and I have gone into macrobiotics lately, we are also learning Japanese cooking, of course, MJ has always been obsessed with Japan… You should see his Japanese collection of books. It’s just delicate and beautiful.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Dancing About the Mulberry Trees“, posted with vodpod

The House that Will Never be.

(Yet another one) For all those people that think the project on south 5 st, in Bouldin, is ours, no it isn’t! This is the house we had designed and permitted for South 5 St and that was never built.This was actually the second design for this extremely difficult lot. We posted the first design a while ago…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The House that Will Never be. “, posted with vodpod

Bigger Projects

Vodpod videos no longer available. from picasaweb.google.com posted with vodpod

 

You might have noticed that we are posting design projects that are, how to say it delicately, a bit “fatter”. Yes bigger buildings, we are entering competitions and establishing relationships with other outfits and new types of clients. We are emphasizing more and more the importance and weight that the opportunity to contribute, not only with good design and sustainable practices, but also social purpose, bear with us.

I think I speak for each of us when I say that contributing to our communities is important and a part of our collective vision as professionals and artists. 

We never, ever, want to let go of the little projects (MJ keeps drilling me on how important it is to make thoughtful design available to EVERYONE. You can really see him enamored of every single project at the office, like the little Wimberly cabin that will soon go into construction, 750 sq ft!) But, that said, we are putting a lot of effort lately into landing bigger projects.

They really challenge MJ as a designer, they give us the opportunity to engage the whole of the team, and we feel that we can do service to a greater amount of people at once.

An example of this line of thinking is a project we did a while ago in collaboration with Land Design Studio and Foda Studio, who else:-), for a new school building for American Youth Works. I think it exemplifies the type of work and service I am talking about. Designing places where youth can develop and play, experiment, shine… We do think that built environment affects personal development, potential. Can we help someone soar?

 

The Estonian Academy of Arts Competition

So we didn’t place. All of us were really hoping for at least a placement (like the Honorable Mention at the Memphis River Front) after all the hard work… but no dice.

During the two months of work preparing this entry (with all nine boards and two physical models) we were lucky to have the much appreciated collaboration and support of DJ Perkison, Jett Butler and his team at FÖDA Studio (see his post on the entries) and Armando Araiza.

The other usual suspects, Reese Schroeder and Chris Hill couldn’t be a part of this one, but they are a part of this incredible team that support us and that we are so grateful for.