Wishing Rock — By any Other Name

rockWhat’s in a name? Whether generic or unusual, a name gives us identity. This axiom holds true for entertainers – George & Gracie, Madonna and Jacko – and desserts as anyone who’s devoured a squidgy chocolate can attest. But it is especially true for home estates. For purely selfish reasons the architect in me wanted to christen our home site with a unique identity that embodied the estate’s soul and our dream. I’m sure that sounds arrogant or melodramatic to you. Ok, I wanted the same thing other architects have which should come as no surprise since I warned you about my ego in previous posts. James Stagberg has Wind Whistle, John Milnes Baker has Rivendell, and the Kaufman’s have Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. We have Wishing Rock (previously known as Lantana Rock — a name I never fully embraced). While finding the perfect site was a biorhythmic chore, naming this piece of heaven on earth was completely natural. Continue reading

01H: Functional Diagrams — Bursting the Bubble

bubbleAn architect’s design toolkit is overflowing with artistic visual products such as matrices, partis, tables and mass models used to solve architectural problems. One of the most valuable and intriguing is the bubble diagram. The bubble diagram is a simplistic functional diagram drawn with scaleless circles representing spatial entities connected by lines to show relationships. It is basic yet meaningful…and ordinary yet masterful and is critical to studying how a home works. Continue reading

Tiller Battle — I Fought the Land, but the Land Won

tillerThere are many times when ego triumphantly prevails over brains. The outcome is rarely productive, but it makes for a memorable experience. Without trying to remember, I recall two such instances where my ego overrode my brain. I know there are countless others, but I have selectively ignored them to mend a sprained ego. It’s not that my ego is unmanageable (although you may have read other posts contradicting that notion) but in this case, ignorance obstructed my outlook. Both are painful or exhausting memories. The first experience was climbing Mt. Fuji (Japan) and the second, to a much lesser degree, is tilling the land for a wildflower refuge.

Our idea started simple enough. We wanted to reclaim a neglected area on our site to convert an eyesore into a wildflower refuge. Armed with a plan and a healthy dose of attitude, we rented a tiller.

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