Lovell Beach House Bank!

If you're thinking of sending me something for x-mas, think no more: The Lovell Beach House Bank! Made from resin by Landmark Models, this model (sadly, it turns out it is not a bank, although other models are...) was, according to Landmark, "...based on meticulous research of original architectural drawings and photographs of the built structure." However, my inner Schindler-geek (and you know we're talking big-geeky here) wistfully and whispfully notes that the model doesn't reflect the original design and built structure (the windows in the front top story [the sleeping porches]were added to the open patio several years later when it became clear Schindler didn't take pains to design drains large enough to drain rains [say that seven times fast...]). when voices that carried up through the drains disturbed the porch sleepers. Landmark also has models by Wright and a Case Study house.

Thanks to the good folks at PrairieMod for the link.

The original Lovell Beach House:

and the later, modified version:


week 14: MEPing around...

Not much changed on the outside of the house, but there were some subtle changes...

For one, the bride (finally!) has her powder room window:

And the roof lines at the end of the carport have (finally) been fixed:

Much better.

We also now have doors on the garage, although we're hoping that this garage door is here for sizing rather than the final door since we spec'd a fancy-schmancy aluminum and glass door (something we just had a discussion with the builder about).

Most of the work that happened on the house the past week happened on the inside with the MEP: what the cools kids call mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. Actually, nothing on the electrical yet, but the HVAC and plumbing work have started with most of the duct work, vents, and the ERV installed for the HVAC and most of the drain and ventilation pipes installed for the plumbing:

An unintended consequence of having an in-wall drain is the apparent requirement of having a clean-out which, in our case, will protrude out the front wall of the house. :-(  Taller bushes? And lemme tell you, those plumbers aren't delicate when when they work. I bet the stucco guy is going to be irritated when he sees this:

I was hoping that we would be able to avoid the dreaded Medusa's Head of Ductwork, but with all of the solid structural beams criss-crossing the house, it wasn't meant to be... In fact, the difficulties in running the ductwork have led to a $950 change order, a change order that didn't come from something we changed but an unexpected change in the framing required to run the ductwork. Contingency, contingency...

The window (or framing?) guy laid down the base plate for the big honkin' window for the living room. Might there be a big honkin' window in our future this week? We hope so!

We spent a couple hours picking up litter, sweeping the house, picking up nails, trimming the trees, and talking to neighbors. It felt good to do a little "housework". I reckon we'll do some more next week!


black friday purchase for the house

"Ooooo...." said the bride, putting black back into black Friday. "This pillowcase would be perfect for the guest room."



operation Judd

Part of our evil backyard plans is to build a knock-off of a picnic table designed by Donald Judd, the famous minimalist sculptor who made Marfa as well as New York his home (and single-handedly brought Marfa back from the brink of a dusty death). The Donald also made minimalist furniture including his interpretation of a picnic table, examples of which can be seen at his home/complex in Marfa.

There's also a knock-off at the food pavilion in Marfa near the railroad tracks (the Food Shark, the local food trailer, is often there). With Thanksgiving dinner in our bellies (and the Food Sharkers off stuffing themselves elsewheres) we set off to closely inspect, photograph, and measure this knock-off.

The table is quite simple in design although some supporting metalwork complicates the construction (we don't think the Judd originals had metal, but the metal adds support). The metalwork on the seats is not adequate to keep the seats from warping, so we may come up with something better. The photo below shows an extra large version of his table: We plan to build just one section, which will seat 8, 10 to 12 if folks can huddle around the ends. The wide berth in the center allows a lot of room for the food and drink.

Judd stained his outdoor furniture black (I need to search old files for photos of Judd's originals...). These at the food pavilion are "natural" (I'm guessing they were done with treated lumber). We're thinking of doing ours in white if we can.

We'll have one of these by this time next year!


dancing with architecture: iceland

The bride and I love-love-love Iceland. We've been to the land of ice twice so far and plan to go again. The first time, back in 2005, was to see our favorite band, gusgus, play at the Iceland Airwaves music festival. It was a magical trip to a magical land. The country is beautifully desolate and highly photogenic (as long as the light cooperates...). We somehow scored a penthouse suite atop a downtown hotel with 360 degree views of Reykjavik and, by happenchance, got to hang out with members of the band in a local bar (Bjork was there as well, but we didn't see [or recognize] her). We returned in 2009 to see gusgus yet again, this time at a local festival in Seydisfjordur on the opposite side of the island, a perfect reason to drive the ring road and see (almost) all of the country.

You could describe Iceland's buildings as put-your-back-to-the-wind-and-huff-into-your-hands architecture. The original buildings were dusty dugouts hollowed into the mossy soil. Most vernacular buildings are swiss chalet-y and colorful--and clad in corrugated iron with smallish hefty windows to keep out the ice and cold. The perimeter of the island is guarded by utilitarian yet picturesque lighthouses as well as numerous but lonely churches.

Reykjavik has some spirited architecture with the cathedral of the Church of Iceland, designed in 1937, perched above it all on top of the local hill. The shape and structure of the church evokes (belches loudly, one could argue...) the columnar jointing of the basaltic bedrock that forms the country itself. Just outside Reykjavik near the airport at Husavik is the Blue Lagoon, a resort centered about the geothermal outfall from a nearby power plant. The resort and setting is modern, and the architecture can be enjoyed while wading through warm water.