Thursday, September 23, 2010


Architect’s have to be very inventive as so many of the details of a building are unique and basically have to be invented.
I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of inventions that were pretty important way before the year one (Before my time). This kind of stuff is really interesting to me and I don’t know if anyone else is interested, but I do offer a small segment of it to whet your appetite.

-1,000,000+ Control of Fire (a biggie)- Europe
-30,000 Axe head - Europe
Maniac squeezer - South America
Boomerang - Australia
Toggle-Joint Harpoon - Eskimo
Axe handle
-8000 Agriculture
Tobacco Pipe - Sumer
You’ll have to get the rest from me if you want to know what happens next.

In between my Blogging I try to keep busy doing architecture. I seem to be able to keep most of it a secret, inadvertently, but it’s time to come out of the Design Closet. The following are some of the work I’ve been doing recently.

PALM SPRINGS RESIDENCE 4,600 SF About $2.500,000
This was a preliminary design for a couple for a lot adjacent to a golf course. The garages for cars and golf cart is set in a driveway court (With a Moroccan color scheme) as it also offers extra parking for guests. A small casita is a separate building for guests. Exterior finish is EIFS over plywood base to fend off stray golf balls. Also large doors and windows off the patios are protected with a sun-screen with adjustable baffles for sun control in the blistering summers. The entry walk bridges a lap pool with a glass floor. Ceiling heights reflect the importance of each area, from 8' to 20'.

DRIFTWOOD RD. SALMON CREEK, Addition & renovations 495 SF+ 246 SF addition $300,000 budget
An old 1970's structure with no real bedroom and only a 5' galley kitchen and minimal bath but in a prime location next to a state park and beach. We added a small bedroom with laundry, inserted a new kitchen in the odd bay and under the existing stairs, also expanding the tiny bash into the old kitchen area. New roofing, insulation, cedar siding inside and out, all new fenestration and mechanical systems, a small gas stove as the only heat, copper gutters, black slate floors throughout except for the bedroom. New septic system.

MIWOK RD.. SALMON CREEK Bodega Bay Addition & renovation 800 SF+ 450 SF addition $280,000
An expanding family living in a 1980's house needs to add bedrooms and baths to accommodate the couple and two young girls. In an area of strict zoning and septic restraints, 480 SF is the maximum allowed addition of conditioned area. We have proposed a new carport (Cantilevered roof) a garage for a boat and small workshop as well as the bedroom & bath additions. As the existing roof is termite infested, we will replace it with an undulating roof that will continue over the new work. Light tan colored rock will emulate the nearby sand dunes at the beach. A new septic system has been installed, and Coastal Commission approval is being sought, which will take about three months.

GRANNY UNIT Graton , Renovation 384 SF $22,000
Legalizing a non-conforming very small studio granny unit. Upgrade this old ‘70's hippy shack to current code required a foundation, new bath & kitchen, interior finishes, new windows & doors.

LYSTER RESIDENCE Laguna Beach, CA 4,700 SF $3,000,000 estimate
A steep angled uphill lot for a couple and their teen age daughter has severe building envelope restrictions but is finally under construction after two and a half years it took to obtain Design Review approval from an anal city review process. Based upon a triangular grid, all exposed framing is cris-crossed on the grid. On four levels, beginning with a four car underground garage, the second level has the entry for walk up from the street plus a studio and guest room above the garage. The third level contains the two bedrooms and a music room, while the fourth level contains the living, dining and kitchen areas, which have a fine view of downtown Main Beach of Laguna. Low pitched roofs are within one inch of the “Building Envelope”. A large percentage of the roof area is planted to conform to strict run-off rules. Exposed steel, re-sawn timbers, glass and rough finished stucco are the main materials. Originally an inclined lift was proposed to get from garage to the kitchen, but had to be abandoned due to too many code restrictions. (I had used inclinators extensively in Laguna). Instead, we had to use two elevators in a stepped mode in order to keep within the height limit imposed on the site.