Energy Efficiency in Historic Architecture

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To understand the appropriate treatment of Historic Architecture, one must consider its foundational efficiencies. The true value of historic architecture is in preservation of its original conditions; it is then it most serves the environment and can continue to provide effective service, retaining its unique style and character, thereby being used and enjoyed for even more generations. The  “embodied energy” savings and inherent character of historic materials is what is … Read More →

Then and Now; One

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  Francisco Terrace by Frank Lloyd Wright 1895 While cleaning out some of my bookshelves I came across The Life and Works of Frank Lloyd Wright -Thomas A. Heinz (ISBN 1-58663-765-7) It was page 286 that caught my attention. Francisco Terrace; ”Wright was as innovative in his designs for low-cost housing as he was for expensive estates intended for the wealthy. At Francisco Terrace, he kept the bedrooms separate form the other … Read More →

Lawrence Simons FAIA – Retires

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Larry Simmons FAIA  turned 80 in May of 2017 and liquidated his extensive real-estate holdings. He retired from architectural practice and development in February of 2017. It was a process that most likely took years to plan and execute. However Larry in his signature modesty did not talk about it much. You can read more in the Press Democrat article here. Larry is perhaps the most significant Sonoma County architect … Read More →

Frank Gehry and the power of encouragement.

F.P. Ghery Louis Vuitton Foundation 2014

              This is a story about the influence and power of mentors on our lives and the world around us. I had the honor of being the last associate of Calvin C. Straub FAIA (1920-1998) and to have this great man, who was also a significant architect and instructor of architecture, mentor me in the early years of my professional career. During his high … Read More →

Zaha Hadid enters history….

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We lost Zaha Hadid: Thursday March 24 2016 she was 65.  You can read more here. She considered herself one who “pushes boundaries” yet as one who still respects traditional architecture, I think the pushing of too many boundaries is one of our biggest problems as architects today. Without boundaries you have little order, architecture is actually all about principles of ordering things. As my friend Richard Doria stated once … Read More →

Calvin C. Straub FAIA (1920-1998)

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Calvin Chester Straub FAIA (1920–1998) was an American born architect who made a significant impact on architecture through design and education. His modesty, confidence, and passion for life combined with a no nonsense focus on strategic accomplishment were typical of his WWII generation. Straub was a professor of Architecture at University of Southern California (1946–1961) and Arizona State University (1961–1988). He also created an important body of work as the senior partner of Buff, Straub and Hensmen, … Read More →

Julia Morgan (1872-1957) Architect of Beauty

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The second edition of “Julia Morgan, Architect of Beauty” was recently available at Costco. This in no small way displays the continuing interest in the architecture of this amazing American architect. I did not notice any other local architects in attendance at the presentation by Author Mark Anthony Wilson on her work at the Petaluma Rail Station in May 2013, but the room was full of an enthusiastic public. In … Read More →

Is Modern Architecture Avant-garde?

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I love great modern architecture. Regrettably, other than new materials, little that is truly innovative or fresh has been contributed to the idom of modernist design in recent decades.   In my consideration the idea train for modern architecture got to the station about 1964 and everyone is still standing around applauding. In a recent interview in Salon.com Camille Paglia spoke my very mind.  For architecture to be un-tethered from it’s … Read More →

Artisan Architecture’s Residential Architectural Image Bank

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Historic Architecture is a source book for developing future ideas, or preserving the best of previous ones. Ada Louise Huxtable wrote in the New York Times on February 5th 1978 that. “Every Age cuts and pastes history to suite its own purposes; art always has an ax to grind. Classical Rome became the Renaissance in the eyes of the fifteenth century. Every great artist is re-created in the chosen image … Read More →

His drawings move his ashes stay…the news on Frank Lloyd Wright

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The archives of Frank Lloyd Wright, widely regarded as one of the greatest architects of modern times, have been moved to New York City to become part of the permanent collections of Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art. This is the end of an Architectural Era.  Wrights homes- Taliesin West in Scottsdale Arizona and Taliesin East in Wisconsin where the place of his residence, studio, school and architectural … Read More →