May 21st, 2015
The Fugal Barn
On our recent visit to the Snuck Farm plant sale, Anna snapped a few pictures of the recently completed Fugal barn and greenhouses. More to come soon.
On our recent visit to the Snuck Farm plant sale, Anna snapped a few pictures of the recently completed Fugal barn and greenhouses. More to come soon.
One of the highlights of the past year was the completion of this beautiful barn for clients Page & Brian Westover and Page’s parents, Guy & Paula Fugal. We teamed up with Louise Hill to create a working barn complete with spaces for animals, farm equipment and gathering places for the family. Located in Pleasant Grove, the farm has been part of the Fugal family for over 100 years and the construction of the barn was a way to preserve a piece of their family history on the remaining acreage. The Westovers manage the farm and are hosting their first annual community plant sale this Saturday, May 9th, featuring dozens of heirloom varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Local, family, sustainable, healthy, community–all the makings of a great enterprise in our minds. Congratulations to the Westovers on their new venture. We’ll be there Saturday.
The Utah Center for Architecture is offering an entire week of public events to celebrate the discovery of great public buildings and civic places in Utah. Throughout the week of April 20 – 25, 2015, special presentations and free public tours will be offered to the community as unique opportunities for seeing, sensing and learning about some of Utah’s most important civic places. Each program will reveal new ways for the audience to consider how public buildings and civic spaces have been designed to inhabit both democratic ideals and actions, as well as inspire pride in residents and visitors alike.
Wednesday, April 22, at 7:00 – 8:15 PM There will be a free presentation at the Salt Lake City Main Public Library, The People’s Buildings: Jefferson, Architecture and Civic Places. Speakers include Mark McConnel, a Virginia architect and Jefferson scholar, and Shundana Yusaf, Ph D. an architectural history professor at the University of Utah. The Salt Lake City Main Public Library is located at 210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Why Thomas Jefferson? Mr. Jefferson, an architect himself, believed our new republic deserved inspiring civic architecture and tested his ideas with designs for the Virginia State Capitol and the University of Virginia, places that remain for many the model of what a city hall or court house should look like.
Friday, April 24, from 3:45 – 5:00 PM The public is invited to attend any of four tours of civic centers in Salt Lake City, Ogden, West Jordan, and Provo, Utah. The Salt Lake City tour will be guided by Julie Wershem, Outreach Coordinator for the U.S. District Court, District of Utah, and architectural historian Shundana Yusaf, PhD. This tour will include the U.S. District Court (inside and out), Frank E. Moss, US Courthouse, Matheson Courthouse, and Salt Lake City & County Building. Architects will lead the other three tours. The tours and meeting locations are described on the UCFA website.
Friday, April 24, 2015, 12:00 noon – 1:30 PM Who Designed it? Discovering Post WWII Architects, will unveil new research conducted by the University of Utah’s American West Center about the architects who shaped Utah’s building boom following World War II. This will be held at the Utah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 268 S State St., Suite 190, Salt Lake City, Utah. The community is also invited to attend the dedication of 2015 Box City, devised by the creative minds of elementary school children, in the Main Salt Lake City Public Library on Monday evening, April 20, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM The Box City will remain in the Urban Room all week. All Architecture Week events are created for the public, are free, and accessible.
We’re happy to announce that Lloyd Architects has been awarded “Best of Houzz” for 2015. The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: design and customer satisfaction. Lloyd Architects received both awards. The “design” award is determined by the most popular images among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz. The “customer satisfaction” award is determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.
A Park City client first introduced us to Houzz in 2011 and we’ve been using it as a valuable tool in the design process since. Clients save images and share their ideabooks with us to communicate likes and specific details–much more efficient than a file folder stuffed with images torn out of magazines. With over 5 million photos of homes to browse, there’s no shortage of inspiration.
It’s an honor to win Best of Houzz in both categories, but at the end of the day there is a great client behind every great project. We feel lucky to work with the people that entrust us with the design of their homes.
Here’s the most popular image from our projects featured on Houzz. It’s been added to over 1,000 ideabooks in the past 3 months alone. (And before you ask, the interiors were designed by homeowners Jeff & Nanette Amis, the cabinets are a wood veneer of dark stained white oak, local company Paramount Construction built them, and the barstools came from Crate & Barrel, but have since been discontinued.)
Spending time on a construction site is a critically important part of the design process for our office staff. We recently headed south on a beautiful fall afternoon to visit a few current projects under construction in Utah County. Below are a few pictures and observations of these works in progress.
Sixty-Three Center: Framing is complete for the first five floors of this mixed use project in the heart of downtown Provo. Southwest views open up to the LDS temple being renovated on the other side of University Avenue while eastern views look out to Y Mountain.
New Residence: This new home is sited on a former golf course near the mouth of Provo Canyon. The modern, horizontal lines of this home stretch across the landscape, paralleling the mountain range, and capturing beautiful views of Mount Timpanogos from several rooms.
Esnuck Farm: The barn is closing in on the final stages of construction. The timber frame, cut and erected by Wasatch Timber Post & Beam, displays the craftsmanship of mortise and tenon joinery, with exposed purlins, knee braces and king post truss.
Anna has worked closely on the design of the barn with the owners and Louise Hill for the past year and commented on this photo: “I love this bonus playroom because of the natural light, the variety of textures, and the comforting quality of occupying a low attic space ensconced in a heavy timber frame.”
Star Mill: We have recently put together some initial schematic drawings for the owners of this building, consisting of a three-story flour mill and grain silos originally built in 1888. It’s a remarkable historic site that operated as a mill until the 1970s.
The existing interiors are intriguing. After viewing the still intact millworks inside, Anna commented: “Whether it is in milling machinery, music, or architecture, patterns of structure and rhythm are pleasing to the soul. Mimicking the branches of a tree, this lattice of grain chutes serve a functional role as they carry the grain from one machine to another, but they also create a striking filtering of light through the large surrounding windows.”
Visiting these four distinct building types in Utah County–an urban housing project, a modern house, an organic farm, and a historic mill building–provided our team a perspective on creating a sense of place, craft in construction, a missed opportunity here and there, and perhaps a direction for other projects for Lloyd Architects in the coming months and years.
It’s a rare opportunity to be asked to design a working barn–complete with a space for chickens, pigs, sheep, a hay loft and a large family kitchen, all under one roof. We jumped at the chance and teamed up with Louise Hill to design the barn on the Esnuck Farm, currently under construction in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Here are a few photos of the timber frame and construction of the barn and garage in progress.
We love a good mixed-use project, one that blends old and new and serves a variety of purposes all within one structure. Our latest mixed-use project preserves a community resource that has served Provo for nearly 100 years and is an iconic mid-century modern structure. The Provo Community United Church of Christ has faced an uncertain future, but has recently partnered with Forge Development to help renovate their existing sanctuary and to assist the congregation and friends in fulfilling their community vision and dreams. By reinventing their existing space, they can provide a beautiful place of worship and a gathering place for concerts and other community events in partnership with Provo City. The addition of ground level retail space and housing next door will bring vitality to the neighborhood and downtown Provo. See Mayor Curtis’ recent blog post here about the project.
On our office trip to San Francisco last October, we visited many incredible homes, ones with beautiful views, fascinating details and distinctive living spaces. What I found most interesting was that each one, despite some restrictive city lots, had its own outdoor room, a respite from the constant flurry of activity that marks urban life.
If done well, outdoor rooms become a true extension of your home, no longer “outside” or “the backyard”, but an integral part of the living space. Offering natural light, shelter, sunny spots to curl up with a book, and short cuts to the other rooms of your home, the outdoor room can easily become your family’s favorite space.
1. An Extension of the Interior Space
The Outdoor Room makes your living space look and feel bigger without adding square footage, creating an active space to look into and observe the ever-changing plants and trees. The courtyard engages with the rest of the home.
(below: Butterfly House by Architect John Mansicalco)
2. Focal Point
A focal point anchors the space and provides a center for the rest of the courtyard to relate to. This focal point can be a fireplace, water feature, sculpture, or whatever appeals to you.
(below: Butterfly House by Architect John Mansicalco)
While we are drawn to outdoor spaces for the light and fresh air they provide, exposure to the elements can be an issue. Creating sheltered spaces along the edges allows you to enjoy your room even if it’s raining, windy or just too sunny. It also allows the possibility of prospect and refuge, a space where you can sit with your back near the wall and look into or over the space.
(Below: Beaver Street Reprise by Architect Craig Steely)
4. Circulation – Activity Along the Edges
The most successful courtyards are also in-between spaces, ones you are constantly passing through or passing by. This creates the feeling that the outdoor room really is an integral part of the home and its function. Courtyards with circulations only on one side or not at all often become disengaged and people are much less likely to venture into them.
The heart of the outdoor room is a gathering space out of the pathway where activities and socializing can take place. Providing edges to the gathering space makes it feel comfortable and welcoming even for just one person. Make sure your gathering space accommodates the individual as well as a large group.
(above: Butterfly House by Architect John Mansicalco)
For more images of outside living spaces, visit our Outdoor Rooms Pinterest board.
Located in the Yalecrest Historic District, this recently remodeled 2,400 square-foot brick bungalow was originally built in1923. The home was unoccupied and dilapidated when our clients, the Maves, found and purchased the home in late 2011. The home had sat vacant for almost a decade and was stripped of any comforts or finishes.
It had, in fact, at an earlier owner’s insistence, been disconnected from all public utilities including power, gas, and water. Interior walls and floors exposed bare boards, framing, and remnants of old wiring. The original window frames and some of the glazing remained intact, though original storm casements were missing or had been replaced with inefficient aluminum panes.
The existing concrete shelf basement provided ample storage but did not provide adequate headroom or daylight for occupied living spaces.
Through all the dust, leaks, and patches of paint, our clients had seen the charm and potential of a home that could be restored to its original condition and improved to provide for a modern family.
During the design phase, many decisions were made with a priority placed on maintaining the historic exterior of the home. Instead of adding an upper floor, the basement of the home was lowered and reconfigured to add a master bedroom and relocate two other bedrooms, all to a lower floor walk-out.
By lowering the basement and exterior grade toward the “hollow”, a dry ravine running through the north half of the lot, the home now embraces the natural slope of the site and opens up the new basement to views and daylight, creating a cozy, bright refuge.
While restoration was a main priority for our clients, they also sought to reduce their footprint and highlight their dedication to sustainability by setting an ambitious goal to reach LEED for Homes Platinum status.
Reusing the exterior envelope and reinvesting in the home’s embodied energy was a great start, but beyond the visible transformation of repaired cladding, soffits, and windows, the sustainability and longevity of the home begins.
New internal furring of the old brick walls structurally secures the home in case of a seismic event, and allows a cavity for the continuous closed cell spray foam insulation to seal the building (20% better than code), creating a comfortable indoor environment.
The basement expansion creates more usable space for bedrooms and flexibility for the family as their children grow over the coming years. The basement level also accommodates new, efficient mechanical equipment as well as a radon mitigation system to guarantee superb indoor air quality and the health of the home’s occupants.
On the upper floor, a cupola filled with operable windows uses the stack effect to vent air passively while immersing the kitchen/dining area in natural light. A whole house fan, also located high in the kitchen wall, provides an active ventilation system to flush the house quickly of hot or stale air.
Solar panels placed on an accessory building are estimated to deliver 42% of the home’s energy needs, and a hidden underground cistern collects water from the roof to provide the new native plants with all of their water needs.
The Maves have taken every measure to ensure longevity and sustainability, while keeping the character and scale of the original home. The House on the Hollow has truly set a new standard as the first LEED for Homes Platinum Renovation that also qualifies for the Utah Historic Preservation Tax Credit. The craftsmanship and care dedicated to this project will be appreciated by the Maves family, the neighborhood, and many generations to come.
The beneficial aspects of sunlight are numerous, and exposure to daylight has been found in multiple studies to support health, learning, productivity, and good sleep patterns. As architects, we have the opportunity to support the activity in a home, and we often try to bring daylight into rooms where it will be most useful. When we saw this example in the master bathroom of the Hillside Residence located in Kentfield, California, we were excited to share it. Designed by architect Eric Haesloop, the space provides a tranquil expression of light in a bathing space.
The house is carved into a mountain, placing the bathroom up against the rock and buried into the earth. The architect uses the site to his advantage and places an aperture to the sky in the center of the bathroom, directly over the shower. This move creates a wonderful cleansing experience that allows natural light to directly enter the shower then flow into the remaining spaces of the bathroom through a translucent glass wall. Flanking clerestory windows at the ends of the bathroom allow views into the tree canopies.
Without the skylight and connection to nature through the clerestory windows, this room would not resonate as strongly, but because the daylight streams in and highlights the main focal points of the room, this mater bath becomes something truly awakening.
Architecture is often seen as the art of balancing form and function. As designers we have the opportunity to create spaces that play with light, exaggerate connections and engage the visitor in new ways. On our recent trip to San Francisco, we encountered a number of sculptural forms that also served a necessary function such as the stair designed by John Maniscalco in the Butterfly House on Russian Hill.
The architect’s fresh approach to an open stair riser uses an asymmetrical cantilever of the soft stained wood flooring combined with the steel structure, which is contained in a painted white gypsum board box. This design gives a well proportioned solid-to-void relationship in the stair risers. The glass guardrail and bentwood handrail work in harmony with this simple design. The overall design is light and airy and creates a beautiful/functional sculpture in the house. The stair itself has a presence that defines a rhythm and mood for the rest of the home.
Visit our stairs pinterest board to see more examples of functional and beautiful staircases.
Reinvention 2013 was an impressive reminder for the team that great Architecture is a direct result of the attitude that drives its process. This was first apparent in the carefully designed details of the homes on tour, later strengthened by the intimate dialogue the panelists engaged in, and finally summed up in a beautiful presentation by Bryan MacKay-Lyons.
The details ranged from minimalist standards like flush door jambs and hidden roll-up shades, to more expressive solutions like the wedge-shaped cutouts for stair lights in the Kentfield Residence. Many of our favorite details were in areas that overall might have seemed insignificant or even superfluous. Yes, there’s no doubt that these were big-budget projects with room for a little extra spending. The important takeaway, however, is that somebody, somewhere, actively considered, designed, and implemented even the smallest details into the project. There was a belief in the merit of this task, and such a culture promoted great design.
Left: Clean concrete steps with an exposed stringer. Right: A pleasantly substantial hinge operates a heavyset door.
Above: A piece of glass with exposed ends is held away from the black rail.
The conference had a great panel group who engaged in a surprisingly candid and refreshing dialogue, notably Seattle Architect George Suyama and San Francisco Architect Craig Steely. They discussed client interactions, expectations and limitations, work-arounds, and memorable stories from their projects. Combined with the inspired presentation by Bryan MacKay-Lyons, a recurring theme emerged from the the discourse: an approach to architectural practice that constantly tests and retests ideas, returning to common themes and building a body of work that stands as a continuum rather than isolated moments.
Reinvention was an exhilarating trip for the team at Lloyd Architects. It was rejuvenating to be around those who not only shared common interests and values, but pursued them vigorously. Both a valuable learning experience and a great time, we’re happy we had the opportunity to attend.
Above: A custom fabricated panel and clip system serves as an exploration in both facade design and materials research.
Heath Ceramics | Sausalito, CA
After Reinvention in San Francisco, most of us were able to visit Heath Ceramics, a fabricator of tableware and architectural tile. We rode bicycles across the bridge into Sausalito and enjoyed an interesting factory tour, giving us a great overview of their hands-on process. We are using Heath Ceramics tile in one of our current residential projects.
Above: Clay spinning room
Above: Tableware…just out of the kiln
Above: A typical Sunday afternoon in Dolores Park in the Mission District with a great view toward downtown San Francisco.
I appreciated the integration of this house to the site and landscape. The linear shape of the house seemed to harmonize with the slope of the site while providing great views to the mountainous landscape and the Bay area. The landscape details were not overdone and had a loose feel to them.
Above: Drive approach
Above: Retaining wall with vegetation and glass panel garage doors
Above: Landscape pavers and terraced steps
Above l: An interior courtyard with a lap pool gives protection from the wind and provides northern light to the living spaces. Above r: Landscape paver and gravel detail
Above: A one-eighth inch reveal detail is consistent throughout the house… from the ceilings to the doorjambs and baseboard.
Above: Aluminum and glass facade detail Breezeway into courtyard/communal bike storage
Above: View into courtyard and second residence Alternating tread stair to upper level & rooftop
I really liked the minimal detailing on this house and the way it provided both privacy and openness to the city. The lower level contains an art gallery with frosted floor-to-ceiling glass panels at the street facade. The two upper levels house a residence with a back alley patio and rooftop garden.
Above: Front facade Open steel stair with floating risers
Above: Glass shower with skylight 12 ft tall sliding glass doors with curtains
Above: Sawtooth skylight above stair Succulent garden on rooftop terrace
Last month we attended a residential architecture tour as part of Reinvention 2013 in San Francisco. I appreciated the different types of projects on the tour, ranging from high-end and high-detail to experimental and unconventional. Perhaps what I found most interesting in these projects were the elements of sustainability. The architects created amazing spaces working within small square footages, and in some cases on small budgets. Some projects achieved LEED Platinum certification while others aimed for Passive House and Net-Zero Energy. Each of the projects was successful and unique, and I left the conference with a renewed commitment to the process of design and sustainable architecture.
The Butterfly House | Russian Hill, San Francisco, CA
Architect: John Maniscalco
I was struck by the indoor-outdoor relationships of this house. The architecture connected both to private spaces on the lower level and to views of San Francisco above.
Above: A rooftop terrace provides spaces to enjoy views of the city and the bay area.
Beaver Street Reprise | Castro District, San Francisco, CA
I appreciated the simplicity and straightforward approach of this residence. The detailing was simple and spaces felt warm and inviting. The rooftop terrace was comfortable and it felt like an extension of the interior living space.
Above: A wood-clad facade harmonizes with the surrounding traditional architecture.
Mission House | Mission District, San Francisco, CA
Architect: INTERSTICE Architects
Above: A wall of re-purposed glass window units creates an interesting texture on the front facade.
We are big fans of Reinvention, a conference hosted annually by Residential Architect magazine. We just returned from our third conference, and as always, found the housing tour to be one of the highlights. (See here and here for last year’s posts about the home tour in Chicago, and here for the 2011 home tour in Phoenix.) This year, we took the office staff with us to San Francisco and they’ve put together some of their thoughts on the home tour and observations about residential design. We’ll be featuring their posts in the coming weeks.
We are excited to be a part of The Utah Center for Architecture’s latest project, a new searchable database that showcases Utah architects and their notable works from the period of 1847 to 1949. This remarkable new resource goes live this Thursday and can be accessed through UCFA’s website. You can read a glowing preview and learn why this project is so significant here and get more details here. All are welcome to come to the official launch party this Thursday. We’ll be there.
October 14th marks the beginning of this year’s Salt Lake Design Week. Monday evening Warren will be speaking at PechaKucha on the launch of a great new resource for architecture here in the Salt Lake Valley, a searchable database of Utah’s historic architects and their works sponsored by the Utah Center for Architecture. If you haven’t ever attended a PechaKucha event, here’s what you need to know: the presenter shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and the presenter has to keep up. Why this format? As stated on PechaKucha’s website: “Because architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect — or most creative people for that matter — and they’ll go on forever! Give PowerPoint to anyone else and they have the same problem.” It’s a lively format and keeps things moving along. Monday’s event features several creative types in fashion, photography, architecture, etc. You can find out more info and get tickets here. If you can’t make it to PechaKucha, plan to come to the official launch of the Utah Architects Project Thursday, October 17 at the Ladies Literary Club from 6:30 – 8 PM. More info here.
Two of our recent renovation projects will be open to the public in this Saturday’s Green Homes Tour hosted by the US Green Build Council Utah Chapter. You can visit this recently completed home in the 9th & 9th neighborhood and another major home remodel in the final stages of construction on Michigan Avenue. This is a great opportunity to see sustainable products and learn about payback incentives. The event tour runs from 10 am to 2 pm and is free and open to the public. Register here to receive a map and more details.
Our latest adaptive reuse project involves converting an historic service garage into a neighborhood coffee house, the Publik at 3rd Ave & G Street in Salt Lake City’s Avenues district. Owners Matt Bourgeois and Missy Greis will soon be serving their own roasted coffee and cafe menu items. (See here for a recent article on dining options in the Avenues, including Publik.)
The Avenues neighborhood is home to Salt Lake City’s largest local historic district, which helps explain the slow moving progress of the renovation and addition to the building. Recently, the Historic Landmark Commission determined that the proposed plans are appropriate for the character of the neighborhood and unanimously approved the project. Here are a few main points of the design guidelines used in that decision:
We’re always happy to work on a good adaptive reuse project that helps to revitalize a neighborhood and create a sense of community. Visit our Old & New Pinterest board to see examples of other buildings being converted for new uses.
Here’s a current project under construction in the historic district of Old Town Park City. The home is situated on an infill site along King Road and meets Park City historic design guidelines.
The form and scale of the house relate to the adjacent historic miners’ cabins.
Over the past decade, we’ve worked on many remodeling projects throughout the Salt Lake Valley and beyond, converting unused warehouses to creative spaces for local businesses and renovating all kinds of homes built over the past century. A well considered remodel breathes new life and vitality into neighborhoods while utilizing existing resources. Our portfolio reflects finished projects. We thought it might be fun to post a few before images of some of the more dramatic transformations. Today we are focusing on residential projects.
Utah Style and Design featured this Country Club home renovation on the cover of their recent spring issue. The program of the Parley’s House reversed the dining and family rooms, better connecting the house to the backyard with a glazed steel window and door. A new ceiling profile and lighting creates warmth and visual interest.
Floor-to-ceiling wood paneling covered the walls of this 1960s home in the 9th & 9th neighborhood. Carefully considered finishes, a new light monitor with clerestory windows, and LED lighting transformed a dark interior into an energy efficient and light-filled space.
The kitchen in this 1920s home in the Yalecrest neighborhood was renovated a few times over the years. Opening up the ceiling and reworking the floor plan dramatically increased the functionality and appeal of the kitchen. Sunset magazine and Fine Homebuilding provide details of the renovation.
Sometimes remodels focus on capturing unused or underutilized spaces like this unfinished basement in the Wasatch Hollow neighborhood:
Attic spaces also provide an opportunity to capture existing space, as was the case for this tudor in the Yalecrest neighborhood:
If you’re considering a home remodel, it pays to do a little research. Construction costs on renovations vary broadly–from $150-$250 and up per square foot. This recent post on Remodelista has some good advice to consider. We also liked this post, complete with before and after photos of a remodeled California bungalow.
The owners of this single family residence in the Yalecrest neighborhood of Salt Lake City won a Preservation Award at this year’s Utah Heritage Foundation’s Awards Banquet. (See the full story here.) Jon and Donna Dewey contacted us a few years ago when they were seeking to renovate their home to capture existing unused attic space and create additional space within the existing roofline, all while minimally changing the appearance of the home.
By adding a second cross gable to the upper story, space was added without overwhelming the home, representing a typical addition for a single level brick tudor home that is sensitive to the original design.
The homeowners managed to stay in their home throughout the remodel–not something we’d recommend for most clients, though they seemed to genuinely enjoy the process of watching the renovation take shape.
The homeowners now have a generous master bedroom suite in the captured space upstairs.
The Yalecrest neighborhood is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The design of the home met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as well as a local review by the Salt Lake Historic Landmarks Commission. Because the home was considered a contributing structure within the national historic district, the home also qualified for the Utah Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
Before photos by Jon Dewey
After photos by Sara Bateman
Located near the base of Mt. Olympus in the Salt Lake valley, this modest-sized contemporary courtyard house consists of three primary components:
(1) south-facing gabled forms with living, dining, and bedroom spaces;
(2) an upper level with 2 bedrooms;
(3) and an exterior courtyard connecting common spaces.
The arrival sequence is a procession across the front of the house and into the entry area adjacent to the living and dining spaces. The circulation filters around both sides of a floating kitchen ‘core’ and into a combined kitchen/living space which opens to an exterior courtyard. Clean floor-to-ceiling glazing allows the landscape to flow into the house and other large windows create apertures to large evergreen trees surrounding the site. This is an abstract, restrained project which is an essay on the local material culture traditions of the place. Brick cladding provides a clean, durable exterior finish. Sustainable cedar wood rain-screen cladding and cedar shake roofing respond to the natural context and reference traditional structures in the area.
There was a time when all comings and goings were through the front door of a home. In our autocentric culture we regularly miss the opportunity to use the front door, more often than not opting for a side entrance or one from a garage instead. Still, the front door marks the transition spot from the bustle of the street to the intimacy of a home and can create a welcoming feeling to all who come there. Some recent projects and images from around the web have prompted a few thoughts on how to create an inviting entry space.
A brightly painted door on the home pictured below clearly marks the entrance while the covered porch provides protection from the elements and a small transitional shelter.
The glass doors and sidelights of this covered porch suggest a graceful entry spot and provide a glimpse of activity inside.
The full-width porch on the house pictured below creates an important visual element of composition while also providing an outdoor room with views to the street.
The front door of this mountainside home beckons from a distance. The pathway crosses over a bridge and leads to the front steps which accommodate a grade change. A glass roof covering the porch maximizes light into the home’s entry foyer. Lush plantings and the sounds of the creek below create a sensory experience for visitors to the home.
Trees and planting beds frame a diagonal stone entry approach to a simple but elegant porch on this 1940s brick rambler.
A large sycamore tree anchors the front of the home pictured below. A stone masonry porch and broad door distinctly mark the entrance.
Wide steps, gas lanterns and plantings delineate the formal entry experience to the front door. (Note the visual trick here: the door visible from the steps is not actually the front door, but rather a side door.)
Several elements combine to create a whimsical entry in the photos below: the oversized steel door, a framed eye chart, the George Nakashima bench, and a Downton Abbey-like doorbell that announces the arrival of guests.
This beach house project on Puget Sound has no entry at all from the street side. Instead, a side-entry path with stone pavers leads to the “back” of the house where a front door faces the water, a custom of waterfront houses.
Visit our Welcome Home pinterest board to see more examples of inviting front entries.
For last week’s Design Review, we visited the First Ave project located in the Avenues neighborhood, a local historic district in the heart of Salt Lake City.
While the exterior work was completed some time ago, the owners recently completed the interior work. Here are a few thoughts from everyone in the office after visiting the home:
1. Architects create solutions. After initially visiting the site a few years ago (see here for the before photo and the story of the project), Aaron and Warren came up with the idea to carve out the center of the house to let light and conversation pass between the two levels.
2. Small additions such as a dormer, a skylight, a light well, and a little insulation can create big changes. These particular additions made a cold, dark uninhabitable space into a hidden gem and cozy bonus room.
3. The project illustrates how it is possible to live both responsibly and comfortably. The owner utilized a small existing building footprint, created minimal square footage and did not require a large garage. Reducing square footage is the basis of a sustainable house.
4. We enjoyed seeing how the clients put their own touches into the design by using creative finishes and modifying furniture to fit their needs and budget.
5. The existing housing stock of our historic neighborhoods is a key to the vitality and sustainability of our cities. Capturing even modest spaces in existing houses extends the livability of the home.
“Windows are the eyes of the house. They connect it to the world around it, framing a view from the inside and offering a glimpse of interior life to the passerby. Windows, more than any other single element, will determine the character of your house” (Marianne Cusato, Get Your House Right, 87).
We live in a 1920s neighborhood where there are typically several remodels in progress at any given time. On a walk last September, I noticed one particular project that stood out for 3 reasons: the beautiful windows, its design restraint, and the well-proportioned facade. I later found out that a good friend of ours, Louise Hill, designed the remodel. Years ago, Louise and Warren both worked in Seattle for Tom Bosworth, a noted residential architect. Tom’s designs are characterized by their use of daylight, symmetry, and restraint. It’s easy to see his influence in the residential work of both Louise and Warren.
Louise graciously agreed to give us a tour of the remodel in progress for one of our weekly Design Reviews. In their work at Bosworth’s office, Warren and Louise spent countless hours hand drafting interior and exterior window elevations, and detailing proportions and operation of a variety of window types: double hung, awning, casement, etc. Properly detailed windows ensure that views are framed and that the windows contribute to the experience of the room during the day and night. Digital modeling has changed the way we draw windows, but it has not replaced the need to carefully consider the design of our windows to the world.
Thanks to Louise for sharing her project with us. To see several examples of carefully detailed windows, visit our windows pinterest board.
It’s no small thing to go from this:
Undertaking a home remodel or new construction project is a daunting task, but there are many resources available that help clarify the entire process. Several informative posts from around the blogosphere have caught our attention in recent months. As we move into a new year, we’d like to share several of them.
We love Build LLC’s blog. They’ve taken the time to document details of construction and several of their posts last year have focused on specifics, like demolition, everything you ever wanted to know about a concrete pour, and notes on what to watch for when using an existing foundation. (Admittedly for most of us, none of this is terribly interesting until it’s your concrete pour and your dime.) To see all of their technical posts, visit here. Perhaps a little more fun to dream about–especially as we are enveloped in a winter wonderland here in Utah–is how to create a landscape plan. (One of my favorite discoveries when we moved to Utah from Seattle a decade ago was Red Butte Garden. Visit their website for information on native Utah plants.) And the reality check? Construction IS expensive, though a potentially great investment if done right that will yield priceless benefits for years to come. For the grand finale of the year, Build Blog posted an evaluation of a case study home they wrapped up, complete with costs and timeline.
We recently learned of this blog, an online photo library of construction details with an equally extensive index to browse, i.e. cedar shingles, radiant flooring, and even a green wall is documented. Because this blog is out of the Northwest, some construction practices will be different due to the climate, but it’s still a very helpful resource in understanding the level of detail in a well designed construction project.
Houzz.com also has several idea books and articles on topics of interest to homeowners. Their photo library continues to grow, now approaching 1 million, up from 250,000 earlier this year. We’ve blogged about them before, but are including a few links here that may be of interest to our residential clients, including contractor tips, elements of green building, and tips on how to work with an architect.
Residential Architect recently published an article on the color forecast for 2013 and top design trends of the past year–fun to browse through. A couple of other color resources we’ve discovered in recent months, both from Sherwin-Williams: chip it that allows you to take any photo from around the web and create a color palette from it, and this color tool app. Though colors often look different on a computer monitor, it’s at least a starting point.
And a little food for thought if launching into a residential project. Though we missed the Wall Street Journal’s article about a recent study of how families live in their homes, Dan Gregory blogged about it here. Seriously worth considering before drafting up a wish list for a new home.
In November, we heard a seminar from these Canadian architects at the Residential Architect symposium in Chicago. They are producing an entire video library with advice on just about everything to do with home design. We love their “slow home” design philosophy in response to the mass produced “fast homes” of the past few decades. Pretty entertaining stuff and we’re amazed (and grateful) at their stamina and commitment to educating the general public about basic design principles. Kudos to them.
If you have any favorite online resources related to home remodeling and construction, we’d love to know about them.
Happy New Year!
We recently headed north to Ogden for a tour of the historic Egyptian Theater and a morning of sketching. We welcomed the opportunity to brush up on sketching skills, an art that seems to be falling by the wayside as the computer becomes the tool of choice for most architects. While virtually all of our projects are rendered on the computer, the ability to communicate through sketches during client meetings remains an important tool for us. Below are some of our observations from the workshop.
From Anna: “To the left is a sketch I drew of the Egyptian Theater. In this half-day sketching course, we learned that there are four key ingredients in a drawing: edges, form, value, and color. We didn’t get into the color portion during our short course, but my sketch shows a 20-minute attempt at defining edges, form and value.
The lecturer for this course, Dave Cassil of Architectural Nexus, discussed how drawing is being taught today and drew comparisons with the masters of the past such as Rembrandt, Degas and da Vinci. Cassil’s greatest concern is that young architects today rely too heavily on computer generated images, and are losing the craft of sketching. While I feel that computer renderings are necessary to keep pace with the demands on architecture in the modern world, I also feel that they will eventually become dated when a good hand sketch will never lose its charm. With the time constraints in today’s fast-paced world we may never develop drawing skills to rival the masters, but I truly hope that the hand sketch will always have a place in architectural design.”
“Those who never make mistakes lose a great many chances to learn something” (John Luther).
“The lecturer, Dave Cassil, critiqued several sketches done by Degas, da Vinci, and Rembrandt. Some of the images displayed on the screen were simply uninspiring. In showing us these sketches, he emphasized the importance of the process. He pointed out that although some of the sketches may not have been impressive to look at, they were important to the artist and to their journey from beginning to end. This left me thinking about mistakes, which can be a positive learning tool. . . . After the lecture we spent some time sketching. I had nearly finished the sketch I was working on when Cassil asked if he might take a look at my drawing. The mistakes I had made led him to teach me. I learned more that day from my mistakes than I could have ever learned by doing everything right. Below are 3 sketches, representing my first attempt, the instructor’s sketch, and my final sketch after his observations.”
“Our hands and entire bodies possess embodied skills and wisdom” (Juhani Pallasmaa, The Thinking Hand).
“It is good for the soul to hunker down with the purpose to sketch with graphite on paper. Most of the time we are drafting and modeling with a mouse. Digital technology is a valuable tool but it is just one of our tools. I benefited from an exercise in remembering that the eye is connected to the hand and whole body.”
“I ventured outside and after a few false starts came across this framed view of the Wasatch from 25th Street. Below is my 3-minute sketch.”
With Thanksgiving feasts fast approaching, it seems appropriate to mention the kitchen table. We recently ordered this bumper sticker because we love dinner time and have seen how it has helped our own little family over the years. As our oldest son is now a senior in high school, this simple evening tradition has taken on even greater weight and meaning for us. I love to cook; we all love to eat, and it provides the perfect backdrop for reconnecting, unwinding and processing the day. (There’s some pretty compelling research and writing on the positive value of family dinner for the health of a child–see here.)
While Warren enjoys designing various building types, the intimacy of creating a home for a family remains very satisfying. In most cases, the kitchen/dining area serves as the heart of the home and the place where families most like to gather and linger. So, with that in mind, Warren put together a presentation for “You on View” at the most recent Reinvention Conference in Chicago, featuring several of Warren’s residential projects from the past few years. The quote is taken from The Family at Home, by Anita Kaushal and expresses exactly what we feel about the nurturing potential of the home, and specifically the kitchen table. Because really, home is all about family.
Wishing everyone a joyful Thanksgiving feast with loved ones at the table this week.
Photo credits: Roe Osborn, Sara Bateman Photography, Mark Weinberg Photography
Our final destination on Residential Architect’s housing tour was to Crab Tree Farm near Lake Michigan, an idyllic setting on a pleasant fall afternoon. While several of the buildings on the farm were constructed decades ago, Vinci Hamp Architects recently designed a new guest house for the owners. The home blends harmoniously with the older buildings on the property to create an inviting and welcoming gathering spot. And oh, was it inviting. (more…)
In October we attended Residential Architect’s annual Reinvention conference in Chicago. Like last year, the housing tour was a highlight of the event for us, giving us the opportunity to see the work of talented residential architects. We visited four homes, two of them infill urban projects and the remaining two outside of the city. Many photos later, we’re featuring in this post the urban projects. Studio Dwell designed the first home we toured, Bucktown Residence 3. Located on a tight lot, the project manages to create a feeling of spaciousness and elegance despite close proximity to neighbors. (See the professional photos here.) (more…)
For the past several months, we’ve been working on a new mixed-use building in Provo. The site for the project is an open gap in the block face of historic East Center Street, located in the heart of the Provo Downtown Historic District. The Paramount Theater originally occupied this space as part of a vibrant downtown core in the late 19th century. By filling the architectural gap, this mixed-use project restores continuity and vitality to a walkable Center Street with 41 units of housing and ground level retail spaces. (more…)
While rehabilitating an old warehouse in downtown Salt Lake City a few years ago, we came across some unique salvage materials that were just too interesting to ignore. The contractor on the Westgate Projects, Chris Nielson of Evergreene Construction, uncovered a few different types of doors that have been cleaned up and put to use in current projects. (more…)
We’re delighted to be part of Salt Lake Design Week’s Studio Crawl again this year. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly an architect does, or would like to see what projects we have on the boards, or would just like a bite to eat and a little conversation, please come by! We’d love to see you. (more…)
We received an e-mail today announcing that Sarah Susanka’s book, Not So Big Remodeling has just been released in paperback. So why are we posting that here? Well, a few reasons. We’re seeing an uptick in calls about potential remodeling projects and consider this book an excellent resource for visually showing and explaining “not so big” principles of remodeling, something we espouse. The “not so big” way seeks to maximize a home’s potential by working within the existing footprint, creating a bump out, or adding on just a little. Hundreds of photos illustrate these concepts, and honestly, who doesn’t love a good before and after photo? One of our projects, (our own home) was featured in this book and reminded me of the process we went through when we decided to remodel. Warren’s design utilized unfinished attic space, reconfigured existing spaces, featured a bump out in the dining room and a modest addition to the rear of the house, adding only 450 square feet to the footprint of the house (see first two before & after photos below). Not So Big Remodeling is available at the Salt Lake City Public Library and online. (more…)
Is urbanism more than the lifestyle of city dwellers?
This question was raised during a recent discussion with some local planning and design minds in relation to defining the vision for the Utah Center for Architecture. The architects, planners, landscape architects, urbanists, educators and community leaders that make up the board of the UCFA defined their mission as “a catalyst for creating better places by increasing knowledge of how the built environment shapes our lives, communities and culture.” (more…)
A few years ago when we were gearing up for our own home remodel here in Salt Lake City, I had file folders stuffed with favorite images from various home magazines. These days, instead of tearing apart magazines to save an idea, a few favorite web resources help me save ideas. While there are many, many blogs and websites out there dedicated to home design & renovation, three websites stand out that help facilitate image collection and organization. (more…)
The other day I dropped by a friend’s house in my neighborhood. She’s gearing up for a major home remodel and commented that she was meeting with an interior designer the next day, but wasn’t even sure what to ask. We’ve probably all felt like that at one time or another before meeting with a professional, and there are probably people who hesitate to call an architect for that very reason. The American Institute of Architects has provided a handy list of questions on their website for those thinking about hiring an architect: (more…)
When designing a building, the context and surrounding landscape are often the greatest considerations in positioning a building on its site. The landscape can drive a structural form, suggest a palette of materials, and root a building to its unique place and time. This is why, as architects, it is important to consider landscape design and the outdoor rooms just as we might consider the structure of the building or the indoor spaces. (more…)
Architectural Record recently mused about the possibility of a genetic predisposition for choosing architecture as a profession (All in the Family: Architectural DNA). I’ve no idea whether or not there was a genetic tendency for Warren, but his father practiced architecture for over 40 years in Salt Lake and his influence on his son is unmistakable. While Warren didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming an architect–it wasn’t until he was well into his college career that he changed course to pursue a design degree–this profession has been a good one for him. Like his father, he received his degree in architecture from the University of Washington. We recently came across these photos in an old scrapbook of his father’s studio days at the UW: (more…)
On Friday afternoons, we meet as an office for design review meetings. We each take a turn coming up with the topic for the week, whether it’s presenting a project on the boards, developing an idea on our minds, or visiting a project under construction. Basically, anything that helps us gain new perspectives for our work is fair game. For last week’s design review, we left the office to attend Salt Lake Mayor’s Green Team Meeting. Here’s what was e-mailed to us in advance:
The current issue of Utah Style and Design features one of our latest remodeling projects on the cover. The homeowners wanted a contemporary, open kitchen and living area that could accommodate family and friend gatherings. Visit our portfolio section to see photos of the completed project and editor Brad Mee’s blog to see some before/after pictures and learn a bit more about the project. (more…)
We tried to resist this contest, but the pull of Legos AND modern home design were too great. So, we recently gathered some architects and designer-type friends and their families here in Salt Lake, ordered a few pizzas and hosted a design build event just hours before the contest deadline. (more…)
Setting: This single-story Victorian cottage is located in the Avenues Historic District, the oldest residential neighborhood in Salt Lake City. It’s a short walk to the Cathedral of the Madeline and downtown area from the home.
Clients: A married professional couple, Adam & Lee, who lived in the house for several years prior to starting their remodeling project.
Background: Because of the home’s location within a local historic district and a previous owner’s detailed listing of modifications over the years, Adam and Lee were able to find out many details about their property. (more…)
There is a current counter trend to shop, grow, dine, and support local enterprise. When prompted, Google Images instantly renders hundreds of “Buy Local” logos from “Buy Local Portland” (Maine) to “Local First Portland” (Oregon) and every place between. This includes a fine campaign by Local First Utah, a non-profit organization that “seeks to strengthen communities and local economies by promoting, preserving, and protecting local, independently owned businesses throughout Utah.”
Setting: A residential neighborhood in the Richmond Beach area of Seattle.
Clients: If you read the previous post on this house, you may remember this renovated beach bungalow. At the time of the remodel a decade ago, the clients had two children; they’ve since welcomed two more children to their family. (more…)
As we’re gearing up for 2012 and making plans, we can’t help but look back at the past year, reflect, and note a few milestones:
1. The year 2011 marked a time of working with existing space: every project completed during the past year was either a renovation or addition to an existing building or house. This may be a commentary on the recession and financing crunch of 2009-2010 where existing building projects had more luck finding financing than new construction. Or it may have just been the chance we had to work in some of Salt Lake’s more interesting historic neighborhoods and old buildings. (more…)
We had a little fun this holiday season with a residential design challenge on a smaller scale than most of our projects. How hard would it be to make a bunch of gingerbread houses and get a few families together for an evening of decorating? (more…)
We just returned from Phoenix where we attended Reinvention 2011, an architectural symposium organized by publisher Hanley Wood. We try to go at least once a year to a conference for the chance to see our practice with fresh eyes and be inspired as we visit with architects from all over the country; this was our first Reinvention that we’ve attended and it won’t be our last. Reinvention caters specifically to architects who design residential work. As Warren has several interesting residential projects on the boards, the timing couldn’t have been better. We spent the first day on a tour of 5 homes designed by local Phoenix architects. (more…)
One recurring theme in recent years at conferences sponsored by the American Institute of Architects is the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, a smart approach to construction both for its green elements and the preservation of history. Warren has worked on a number of these preservation projects in Salt Lake City. The first such project, The Westgate Lofts, was completed a few years ago, and involved converting an old warehouse building to mixed-use housing and retail spaces. (more…)
Drop by our office on Tuesday, November 15 between 4 and 6 PM as we participate in Salt Lake Design Week Studio Crawl. Tuesday’s Open Studio Crawl features design and architecture firms in the East District. Come by and see our renovated office space and check out what we’ve got on the boards. See you Tuesday!
Taylor Woolley was a native Salt Lake architect who worked in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park studio and and later at Taliesin in Wisconsin. Woolley travelled with Wright in Europe and contributed to the drawing and production of the Wasmuth Portfolio, a two-volume folio of Wright’s early work, published in Berlin in 1910.
The Yale Avenue Ray House, built in 1915 was one of Utah’s earliest examples of Prairie Style homes with its extended hipped eaves, horizontal belt course, and ganged windows. The influence of Wright is unmistakable. The current owners, Mike & Jenny Pulsipher, gave us the challenge and opportunity to design an addition that would respect the original house while providing needed space for their family. The solution included south-facing covered balconies and a new master bedroom over a new family room space, all oriented toward a contained backyard. (more…)
For ages, I’ve been meaning to post about houzz.com as a valuable resource for those gearing up for a remodel or planning a new home. It’s a well-organized resource that allows the user to create idea books right on their website. Users can browse the site by filtering for individual rooms and spaces (“home office,” “patio,” “kitchen”) and style (“contemporary,” “eclectic,” etc.) and then save any images to individual idea books. We’ve created idea books on their site and have enjoyed searching the reservoir of images that are readily available (most are uploaded to the site by architects and interior designers). Beats tearing apart magazines, though I still have plenty of those kind of images in my files, too. And clients have sent us links to their own idea books to help us better understand their tastes and preferences.
In 2008 Warren launched one of our most ambitious remodeling projects ever, that of our own office building. As his wife, to say I was a little concerned would be a bit of an understatement, but happily his vision won over my worries (be sure to scroll down to see the “after” photo). The most recent issue of Utah Style and Design features the story of our office remodel (see pages 44-46). Utah Style has also posted a “behind-the-scenes” narrative of the photo shoot on their blog. To see photos of the finished interior, visit the portfolio section of our website. Better yet, if you are in the area, give us a call to schedule a tour of the building.
In Salt Lake many of our neighborhoods are full of beautiful homes built several decades ago. While they are loaded with charm, they are often impractical for today’s lifestyle and technology, leaving homeowners wondering whether they should renovate their property or move. The November 2011 issue of Fine Homebuilding has an article every one thinking about renovating should read. “12 Restoration Blunders” identifies pitfalls to avoid when planning for a remodel. One in particular caught my eye: Mistake #9: Ignoring Historic Tax Credits. In Salt Lake, there are 10 national historic districts (the city website only lists 8; the Yalecrest and Liberty Wells neighborhoods should also be listed on the registry). The author of the article writes, “Historic-rehabilitation tax credits are the largest incentive available to residential homeowners in the United States, even larger than the sacred mortgage-interest deduction.” We couldn’t agree more. In the past 2 years, five of our projects have qualified for this tax credit, including our own office space.
Another helpful resource to those considering a remodel is a publication put out by the Utah Heritage Foundation. Celebrating Compatible Design: Creating New Spaces in Historic Homes features beautiful photos and drawings of homes throughout the Salt Lake City area that have utilized good design to create functional, contemporary homes that are compatible with their surroundings and retain the historic character of the home. The book explains the hows & whys of good design and looks particularly at compatible additions, dormers, and garages. If you’re considering a remodel in Salt Lake, you will want to get a copy of this book.
Note: Our summer intern, Nate Russell, is heading east to attend Syracuse U for graduate work in architecture. While at our offices, he worked on the schematic design for an interactive web design firm that is relocating to a renovated historic building in the downtown area of Salt Lake. Here are Nate’s thoughts on the area:
I walk down Floral Street (roughly 50 E and 250 S) and look at all the historical remnants that have the feeling of a back alleyway. Ornate lion heads now blackened and worn look down on me from several stories above. An old water tower watches over the area from the top a building. It makes me feel like I have stepped back to the turn of the 19th century. New graffiti battles for room with old advertisements painted on the sides of the aged brick exterior walls and I wonder what the future is for such an interesting place. (more…)
Another book worth reading is The Face of Home: A New Way to Look at the Outside of Your House, by Boston architect Jeremiah Eck. He writes, “When people describe houses they tend to think in absolute terms, using labels that don’t always completely fit…. Well designed houses are often a mix of styles because following one style to the exclusion of all other possibilities can lead to a sterile, predetermined look–a house in a particular style, yes, but one with no real style of its own” (80).
Eck shares 5 principles, or hallmarks, of good design for home exteriors. There’s a progression to the order of the principles that build on each other. He shares several case studies of homes–lots of beautiful, detailed photos–that illustrate the principles from across the nation, from urban neighborhoods to seaside vistas. (more…)
When I moved to the Salt Lake Valley four years ago I noticed, as many visitors do from the East Coast, that Salt Lake is an exceptionally well manicured place. This, of course, makes the area an attractive, comfortable place to live. However, being accustomed to seeing factories, trains, and various modes of infrastructure intersecting, sometimes presumptuously, with homes and businesses, I wondered where all that stuff was kept in Utah. I discovered a path through the infrastructure I was seeking and an invigorating architectural experience by commuting on Trax. (more…)
On week one of the Clear The Air Challenge we at Lloyd Architects are re-connecting with our bike-friendly streets. I am glad to have 600 East on my morning and evening commute path. Perhaps one of the greenest streets in Salt Lake City, the 9-block stretch of 600 East from South Temple to Liberty Park is a great place to see from a bicycle or on foot. (more…)
Today begins one of the most relevant and enlightening annual activities in Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front that I am personally aware of: the Clear The Air Challenge. For the next four weeks those of us that normally fill Utah’s roads and freeways in single occupant vehicles–generally for good and productive purposes–have an opportunity to evaluate how we get from point A to point B and back. I believe this will be the third year that my office has participated in the challenge. Last year, Lloyd Architects was awarded the Clear The Air Challenge Small Business Award, largely on the backs (or legs) of two of our intrepid team members, Aaron Day & Liz Yonashiro. They spent much of the month commuting north and south from Davis & Weber Counties via Frontrunner and bicycle. At 37 miles each way, that is a considerable reduction of carbon emissions.
My morning commute is much more modest at about 2.3 miles, basically from Sunnyside Park to Trolley Square. I do find, however, that once at the office with a bike, I can still generally handle my daily trips to my typical destinations: the City/County Building, the AIA Utah office, and our local project sites in the Lower Avenues and over to the Granary District. As we start this year’s challenge, the office crew and I will be tracking miles, but we will also be opening our eyes to see parts of the City that we miss from our windshields. Re-connecting with our city from on foot or on bike may well be a bonus reward, on top of clearer air, stronger legs, and dollars saved at the pump.
Here’s to a healthy challenge!
Advocating sustainability in historic neighborhoods is often like preaching to the choir: the people who live in these neighborhoods have made housing and lifestyle choices that include living on smaller lots and in a smaller building footprint, and the streetscapes favor pedestrians over cars. For much of the last decade, my architectural practice and community service have been focused in the older neighborhoods of Salt Lake that greatly contribute to the vitality and sustainability of the city. Three of these neighborhoods provide an interesting backdrop for a discussion about liveability, adaptability and sustainability.
The University District is a group of neighborhoods that, depending on who you ask, would include Douglas, Reservoir Park, East Bryant, part of South Temple and Federal Heights areas. Sharing a common border with the University of Utah, these neighborhoods are blessed by the the richness and diversity of academic circles– as well as the challenges of parking and the transiency of student rental housing. The University and South Temple Historic District provide regulatory review over development and renovations, but community councils have been pushing the City to expand this local historic designation to include several blocks of East Bryant, an area targeted for multi-family and commercial development expansion in recent years. Bike lanes in the grass median along 200 South are another sure flashpoint in this neighborhood. (more…)
In our first entry of the “Every Building Tells a Story” series, we’re featuring a project Warren completed a few years ago in Seattle.
Setting: A quiet neighborhood set on a hillside in North Seattle with endless views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. The neighborhood is home to an eclectic mix of beach shacks and luxury homes.
Clients: A newly married couple with 2 kids, ages 9 and 12. The husband is a filmmaker and the wife is a sales rep for a sweater and sustainable clothing line.
Background: Shortly after their marriage, Rick and Julie began searching for a suitable home for their family of 4. After an unproductive afternoon of visiting open houses, they asked Warren to meet them at a little cottage that Rick owned in Richmond Beach to explore the possibility of remodeling. Would it be worth pursuing? The house, originally built in 1935, was located on a high-bank waterfront piece of property. Rick had owned the house for several years and stayed there when he was in town–a place suitable for a single man, but needing some serious attention to accommodate a family.
Above: A few before photos of the house under consideration
In April, Warren was invited to speak at a local gathering that was part of a global event, PechaKucha Day: Inspire Japan. The Japanese word “pechukucha” means something like “chit chat” in English. PechaKucha nights have been happening around the world since the first event took place in Tokyo back in 2003. It’s a pretty clever format: architects and other creative people are invited to show 20 images of their choosing on any topic for 20 seconds each; the images forward automatically on a large screen while the speaker tries to keep pace. At the Salt Lake event, Warren was one of a half dozen or so presenters that included a professor from the U, an environmental artist, a furniture designer and others.
The global event served as a fundraiser for reconstruction efforts following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Sendai region, with proceeds going to Architecture for Humanity and ArchiAid. Warren was happy to participate in Salt Lake City’s event because of the 5+ years he spent in Japan as a volunteer, a student and an architect. He has a genuine love for and interest in all things Japanese. In the mid-90s, we lived about an hour outside of Sendai where Warren worked for the Shelter company, a design-build firm specializing in large-scale timber structures. Warren has long been inspired by Japanese architecture, as he explains in his 20 x 20 presentation:
For people thinking about remodeling or building a home, there’s an abundance of great resources available. One such book caught my eye recently. The title alone was enough to lure me in: The Simple Home: The Luxury of Enough, by Sarah Nettleton. I knew when I read the description on the inside flap that I would be reading the entire book:
“A simple home puts us in touch with the simple pleasures of life: the warmth of winter sunlight, the scent of flowers through an open window, a family meal at a communal table. By learning to appreciate the ‘luxury of enough,’ we can delight in the simple abundance of our homes’ most basic pleasures. Finding your own simple home reflects the wisdom of good choices, the elimination of non-essentials, and the celebration of restraint.. . . Along the way, you’ll realize that it isn’t so much the things you put in your house that bring you joy as it is the way the house allow you to revel in the simple pleasures of life.” (more…)
Here are excerpts featuring the Military Drive House from Sarah Susanka and Mark Vassallo’s Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way Your Really Live