Honored by Dwell: 100 Houses we Love, 2000-2010

A friend comes to pick up her child from a play-date with our son and she announces excitedly that we are in Dwell. I smile and I say I know! Isn’t it great, we’ve been on Dwell a couple times, which one did you see! And she goes, no, you are in the “100 Houses we Love” Dwell, and you have a big article in it!

So we pick it up. Here’s an excerpt of the editorial:

They only chose TEN full articles, one per year. Thank you Dwell not only for choosing us–what an honor–but also for making us the chosen article for 2008.

One in ten years, ten homes in one hundred. Wow.

And so it is! Now in stands and zinnio, enjoy!

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360º West of Farley

We love, love, the article about the Farley studio that just came out on 360º West magazine. Both. MJ and I, think it may be one of best articles on one of our projects. Right up there with the one in Dwell. The photography, the writing, the layout, and the editing simply rock. Kudos to all: editors, writer (Meda Kessler,) art director, and photographer (Ralph Lauder,) a big thanks, what a great job!

Farley 360 Contents Page image by Ralph Lauder
Image by Ralph Lauder. This image appears in the 'contents' page of the latest (June 2010) 360º West, the editorial has an image of our project as well; the article starts page 48
Photos by Ralph Lauder

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Larkey Shoot – Short

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The owner requested that the house have the feel of a “cabin”. A place of solace and repose in the middle of the city.

It also was important to respect the delicate lines and low profile of the existing mid century modern house designed by the late A.D. Stenger, one of Austin’s great modernist architects. From the street, the house looks virtually untouched. It remains a modest presence on the block.

The original house was taken back to the studs, the existing fireplace with its eccentric stone work was saved, and two previous unfortunate, mold infested, additions that made the existing house a black hole were removed.

A master bedroom and bath where added and the interior of the existing house completely remodeled and re-oriented around a long skylight and two interior courtyards. The skylight and courtyards maintain privacy and allow natural light into all parts of the house while providing a connection with the live oaks and changing sky.

Maple, tinted to match the tone of the pine flooring, wraps through out the house becoming cabinets, paneling, and flush doors. Traditional, earthy D’hanis “mocha” brick pavers become the surface in the courtyards.

Update: this project won a citation of Honor at the AIA, Austin 2010 Design Awards.

Urban Farming in Detroit

//detroitagriculture.com
Image from http://detroitagriculture.com

MJ and I love the idea of urban farming. We also turned practically vegetarian last year, with an emphasis in macrobiotics. We both enjoy cooking and make it up as we go, exploring all kinds of new dishes. Right now, we are on a diet of greens, grains, fruits, legumes, miso soups, etc of Japanese and Mediterranean influence. We’ve always eaten “healthy,” we thought,  but we realized that eliminating most of meat from our diet was not only the sustainable way to go but drastically helpful to our health. We do eat sometimes a bit of meat or eggs coming from local farms like Food you can Trust, Alexander Family Farm or Betsy Ross that we have personally visited and that we trust a 100%. 

This morning we listened to NPR’s program on Detroit and rejoiced, profoundly. There it is! The new world peeking…

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.”