Sunday, June 26, 2005

gotta get "back in time"

gamble house

on saturday the 25th, i finally made a trip up to l.a. to see some architecture. one of the "must sees" is the gamble house in pasadena, by the architects green and green. this house is regarded as one of the finest examples of the craftsmen style. although the craftsman style does not top the list on my favorite architectural styles, you can not deny the quality and craft put into the construction of this house. i was also surprised to find out how modern it was for it's time. it was built with indoor plumbing and electric lighting. not bad for 1908. it also stood in stark contrast to the other large houses in the area, which were all done in the victorian style. as much as an architectural icon that this is, i do have to admit that it was only about 5% of the reason i went. the other 95% was for the fact that it is doctor emmett l. brown house in "back to the future". the tour guide was fairly knowledgeable, except he didn't know which bathroom the doc was in when he slipped and hit his head on the sink, and came up for the idea of the flux capacitor. overall the tour was great, even if we couldn't take pictures of the inside.

entry of the house

gamble window

custom address light

Friday, June 24, 2005

the running of the, grunion?

grunion on the shore

last night i went to watch the running of the grunion with some friends. honestly i did not believe this was for real. i assumed that this was in the same category as "snipe" hunting. but as i'm always up for anything that will provide me with comic material, i went. now we were "told" that the grunion come up to shore one hour after high tide. so we waited on the beach, to my surprise there were other "grunion watchers" waiting on the shores. an interesting group to say the least, i'd say a couple of small steps ahead of "trekies" only because these people get outside a little. but as i was out there with them, i really don't have room to talk. anyway we waited and waited, but finally the grunion came, and believe you me it is beyond bizarre. the females ride a wave onto shore, do there business with the males, the males head back to sea, the females bury the eggs, and then catch the next wave, for a more technical explanation here is a link: overall the night was great, it was like being in a discovery channel episode in person. now i just have to get this fish smell off my hands. to see more pictures just click on one.

lone grunion

caught one!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

house for an artist.........not bob ross

front of house

this week i built a study model for a new project in the office. the project is a residence for an artist that lives in near the firm. the general concept of the house is two separate buildings connected by an enclosed breeze-way that creates the primary circulation. the overall program was very simple. three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen/living/dining/, with lots of room for outdoor spaces. the one interesting addition to the program was the studio space. since he is a painter the studio created is on the second level with a tilted roof with high windows to let in indirect northern light. now that the study model is built, we can now tear it, rip it, glue it, and
cut it, all in the name of design.

side of house

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

isn't there a story about this involving pigs?

anza-borrego desert
last weekend i volunteered to help construct a hay bale structure, "i did a report about it in high school," and wanted to check it out. the anza-borrego foundation is building a new archaeological lab, and wanted to use the insulating properties of straw. my friends and i left san diego at 6:30 and traveled the two hour drive out into the desert. after we were given a short lesson on how to build with straw. we were then set to work. [i was surprised to see that there were already two other buildings on the site, one of brick, one of twigs]. most of the time is spent re-binding the bales to the proper size. after you get them to the right size, you can then cut the original bindings, and trim it down with a chainsaw. this new construction method was great, but the best part of the trip was meeting all the other interesting people that came to volunteer. there were architects and designers helping out and then there were old hippies that wanted to build a straw bale structure themselves, and eventually get "off the grid". over all i had a great time, i just wish i would have remembered my gloves.

wedging the bales into place

cutting the bales

lending a helping hand