Recently, Architect magazine put out a call for letters from readers to recount their ‘goose-bump’ moments – experiences that thrilled us to the core. (lately it might be as simple as keeping your job or getting a new project to work on!) I wrote of my chance visit to Case Study #22 in 2000 when I was in LA stalking architectural celebrities. They ran my letter – see the image below from the October issue: The world-famous Case Study #22 house designed by architect Pierre Koenig – and even more famously photographed by Julius Shulman – sits on an edge high in the Hollywood Hills. It was built as part of Arts & Architecture magazine’s post-war program which invited select architects in 1945 to design homes “capable of duplication” for the average American. I wouldn’t mind a duplicate! I still recall seeing Shulman’s photograph when I was in college – the image stayed with me, haunted and taunted me. It was a photo of a house, but nothing I’d seen the likes of in my upstate NY life. Barely-there, the house is made up of glass panels and steel posts. The winning gesture is its projection out over the hillside, the drop-off unknown to the viewer. Here’s Shulman’s photograph: Below is a photo I took in 2006 from Sunset Blvd, looking up at the house from below. It seems so tiny and delicate from this angle. I know where to spot it from and always look up when I’m driving in the area. Here’s a photo of me in 2000, having hopped the security gate and walked up to announce myself to the wonderful owners as you read above. It really was like meeting a celebrity: and going back to see it at night was the cherry on the holysh*t cake of getting there in the first place. Not much had changed except that the owners had a catwalk built for easy window maintenance, which I’m standing on. This somewhat muddies the form but it could be taken off in the future. A moment I’ll never forget! I believe there are occasional tours for the public so I may visit again someday.
Monthly Archives: October 2011
The cottage remodel with two apartment is now completed and ready for move-in. Here’s a view in the upper unit living-dining rm / kitchen room toward the front. We went with mid-range / affordable (but tasteful) finishes such as Ikea kitchens because these will be rental units. From the courtyard looking at the front of the cottage at the back. The red wall on the left is a 3-unit building at the front of the same lot. Below are some views of the Ikea kitchens in a white lacquer finish with large white tile backsplash:The cleaning crew hadn’t come yet when I took these photos, hence the dusty floors! We got lots of storage in the 39″ high upper cabinets, taking advantage of the 9’+ high ceilings. Because this building is essentially in the backyard it has lots of greenery outside the windows looking into the neighboring gardens. The front building was remodeled at the same time; I did the design way back in 2007 at my old firm. Above is a view of the Edwardian street facade. The owner worked with a colorist to choose the palette – I really like that it’s all one color! Obviously interior paint was still going on… I’ll go back and take more photos – I think the front door is no longer lime. Using a monotone palette celebrates the original detail in a subtle way, rather than using a different color for each of the million pieces of festoonery. On the left is a photo of the one of the Ikea-finished bathrooms….then looking out the window I took this photo of what I think is a chicken coop in the neighbor’s yard! Cute little corrugated-metal roofed hutch. Maybe rabbits live in it..The new relocated stair and railing.
In mid-September I was part of a 3-architect presentation at Design Within Reach here in San Francisco. It’s part of an on-going series that they host for the AIA Small Firms Committee. Among several guests in attendance was a writer from Apartment Therapy who then blogged about the event – read it here.
Thank you Jackie Ashton!
The upcoming event will be held on Thursday October 20 at the Jackson Street location.