This new remodel project in Berkeley is underway. They are doing a full house remodel and are smart to make sure that the exterior envelope is in good shape. In our climate these zero overhang stucco houses with old fashioned stucco details (stucco all the way to dirt and no weep screed) often have a lot of rot hidden behind the stucco. You can see some of it in the photos below. The next step will be to remove all the old sheathing and check the studs for rot. After repairing any rotten framing, the contractor will add new plywood sheathing and replace all the windows with modern double glazed models.
Posts Tagged ‘historical styles’
I just returned from a weekend at Yosemite National Park. We enjoyed the fall colors and the stunning natural beauty, but there are also some nice architectural details in the park. The Ahwahnee Hotel is full of decoration and geometric designs. Painted decoration, upholstery, and patterns made of wood and steel are everywhere. The Wawona Hotel, at the other end of the park is a timepiece from the early 1900s with simple white-painted buildings and kitschy pine cone chandeliers in the dining room.
My Detroit, Michigan correspondent just sent me these photos of a stone house for sale.
Some of the details include carved wooden heads of Tigers baseball players decorating the mantle.
It looks like it has been well maintained. Move right in!
Built into a valley with steep hills all around, Bisbee has very interesting sectional properties (archi-speak for lots of level changes and three dimensional relationships between structures and spaces.) Every view is slightly different and the absence of significant trees makes the effects of the topography more dramatic. In addition to the elevation changes the curving streets make things even more picturesque.
It’s not the greatest photo, but here are the promised southwestern blue (turquoise) windows. (I found it! southwestern teal on colorswatches.com and from the Catalina Pueblo architectural guidelines – DunnEdwards Reef Encounter– DE573 ) Probably the color is just right for the Sonoran desert because it mimics the color of copper and turquoise, abundant in the region. This photo is the front of my aunt’s house in the Catalina Pueblo. It is part of a 108 house development designed and built in the 1970s by Don Maxon. The association has fairly conservative design guidelines, but they do allow this one bright accent color.
Ahead of their time in the 1970s, the architect and builder preserved much of the native desert vegetation, including many saguaro that are now well over 100 years old. They modeled the houses closely after houses in Alamos, a pueblo in Mexico, sticking to design elements that were carefully documented. The community also has shared amenities such as swimming pools and walking trails. I have mixed feelings about rigid design guidelines, but in this case the result is a very tasteful and cohesive architectural fabric.
Posted in Design Projects, Found Objects, tagged copper pipe, deck railings, decks, guards, historical styles, holes, paint, painted wood, railing, railings, redwood on February 1, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
I worked on a studio project once with a German exchange student whos drawings looked a lot like this. He was very smart and I liked him, but he was not an overachiever or a workaholic. He kept things simple in part because it was easier that way. On the other hand you’d probably say that Mies showed remarkable restraint and that to achieve minimalism he spent long hours honing things down to the barest essence, making all the parts speak together in unison with no part left unconsidered. Less is More.
The New York Times ran this article recently about the homes of the Republican presidential candidates. The review, informed by “interior designers and design psychologists” (no architects) is generally unfavorable. They make fun of Newt Gingrich’s extensive use of mirrors and Huntsman’s pink love seat with yellow bows. Bachmann’s complex roofline is rather atrocious (no mention of the maintenance issues with such a roof,) and Santorum’s more simple house is called boxy with small punched windows. The houses are all quite big… mostly around 5500 square feet. One designer who commented in the article said that he’d call them McMansions, but that would give McDonalds a bad name. Wow. That is saying a lot. None of them appear to be designed by architects that were given much latitude, but most of the candidates appear to have dropped some cash on interior designers. The houses all scream “I am a traditionalist,” according to design psychologists that were consulted. Manicured green lawns and brick or stone are present in all.
Uh Oh. What would they say about my parent’s house, (the house were I grew up)? My dad took off the fake shutters at least….and it does have industrial chic concrete window sills. The windows are true divided lites, by the way, and my folks hired a local artist to make some stained glass windows for either side of and above the front door…Its not so big, but it is brick veneer with a green lawn and small punched windows.
There is no discussion in the Times article about solar orientation or energy efficiency. There is no mention of simplicity, elegance, or economy. Creativity does not make an appearance, (except in Newt’s whimsical topiary.)
Perhaps the candidates can learn a bit from Ice Cube.
I spent Monday traversing Manhattan studying (loosely) the evolution of building technology over the last two centuries. I was hoping that I could get a peek inside the Chrysler building, one of my favorites, but visitors are only allowed a few steps into the lobby. The facade patterns created by the windows and wall between is very elegant: vertical lines in the middle and horizontal bands around the corners. The base is more decorated with chevrons and circles and rectangles, and then the glorious top! The Cloud Club once occupied several floors of the crown. The small triangular windows make for a rather inglorious space on the inside.
This 20 unit apartment complex is layed out in two rows facing each other with a north-south lane down the middle. This way sunshine permeates the entire complex and allows for lovely gardens in front of every unit. It seems like a very sociable design with all the front porches lined up facing each other. It would be even better if they could eliminate regular vehicular traffic down the lane and provide access to the parking lot at the end from the other side. At least the cars are out of sight. I suppose privacy might be an issue at times with all of your neighbors easily able to see who comes and goes…but this is also a good safety feature.