Realism in Murals

I love building murals that add great architectural detail to a blank facade.  In french, it’s called Trompe L’Oeil (to trick the eye).  Don’t get me wrong, regular murals are good too, but the artists that try to tie the mural into the building always impress me.

Growing up in St. Louis, every time we drove by this building I was fascinated: Continue reading

Allergies in the home?

I’m allergic to cats.  Not dramatically allergic, but if you have a cat and I come to your house, after about an hour or two my eyes will start to water, itch and burn.  It’s not a pleasant feeling, so I try to be careful when I go to a house that has cats.  If I do, I take a claritan or benadryl before I go and try not to touch anything that could have fur embedded in it.

I figure that the house below must be allergic to cats and got a new 90 year old single woman with 42 cats that just moved in.  Does Benjamin Moore make a paint with an anti-histamine?


October Project Update

Forgive my absence, but the architecture business decided to pick up just when my wife had a new baby, so things have been hectic to say the least! So here’s what’s been going on at Design on the Square:

Propel Braddock Hills Charter High School, Pittsburgh, PA:

Rendering of the Commons Area of the new Propel Braddock Hills Charter High School by Lami Grubb

This project is now out to bid and permitting! This 46,000 sf charter school project for 400 students will start construction before the end of the year and be open for students by August 2011. Construction is estimated to be around $2.5 million.

West Hanover Condos, Trenton, NJ:

Proposed New Condos on West Hanover - Front Elevation

Proposed New Condos on West Hanover - Side View

Proposed New Condos on West Hanover - Rear View

A new project that is moving very quickly – this abandoned building will be getting a new facade and a great deal of work inside to build it out as four high-end condos.

The client had a previous architect do some preliminary plans and was unhappy with the results which were mundane and typical apartment style units, excessive hallways that wasted space, uninspired facades, non-code compliant spaces, and, worst of all, bedrooms at ground level adjacent to the sidewalk.

Second Floor Plan

By shifting the stairs away from the outside wall, moving the entry doors, and designing the units for maximum living space, each of the four units were able to grow by about 150 sf, enough to add a half bath to each unit. By creating a light well on the side of the building, we are able to create an enormous wall of windows in each room of the second floor and in all but one bedroom of each of the the first floor units.

The 11′ ceiling, large open living spaces (20’x24′), walls of almost all glass, wood floors and exposed duct work, these condos will definitely achieve the loft style that the client is looking for. Added amenities include a rooftop deck with work out room/party space and a view of the State Capitol! The clients are submitting this project for LEED certification, so use of recycled and recyclable materials, energy efficient equipment and high insulation values will all be included as this moves forward.

The Sterling Building, Trenton, NJ:
Unfortunately, the Sterling Building renovation is now on hold while the developer waits on the economy to catch up with the vision for the project.
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More Building Fails and a few Wins

Since I haven’t been posting steadily, I thought a little re-posting of hilarious stuff would be a good substitute…

Bad planning

You won't even notice the train noise.

I always feel like... someone is watching me...

In case of fire, jump from the roof and hope you can catch hold of the top rung.

Intentional, but creepy

Barbie's Gingerbread House

One was bad enough...

Cool in the movies, not cool next door

Complete Ineptitude Continue reading

Cool Vacation Spot

Poniente Beachfront of Benidorm
Poniente Beachfront of Benidorm (Spain)

If I get to go to Spain, I hope to have the chance to check out this new promenade featured in this month’s Architectural Record.  The Poniente Beachfront of Benidorm
is a mile long beach front construct designed by the Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB) after winning a design competition for the project.

From the Architectural Record article: “Completed in 2009, the architects’ solution is a sinuous structure comprising a sculptural concrete shell and brilliantly color-coded, landscaped tile paths punctuated by stairways and ramps that provide universal access to the town and beach. A slender “boardwalk” winds around the base for strolling, bicycling, and jogging.”

Poniente Beachfront of Benidorm
Poniente Beachfront of Benidorm (Spain)

Weekend Warrior – Part 2

Hopefully, you’ve read Part 1 already…  here is

Weekend Warrior – Part 2

When we bought our house, we took the ugly green/gray room directly across from the master bedroom and made a gender neutral nursery (we had not yet found out it would be a boy).  Now that our second child is on the way, and it’s a girl, I thought we would just leave the room the same – boy was I wrong!  Between the wife’s nesting feelings and the extended family’s excitement over a little girl, the room was going to be redone.  Luckily, the gender-neutral decor would only have to be partially redone.

Ugly green/gray room when we bought in 2007

as we started the gender-neutral paint job

the nursery in yellow and green for our first child

now fully girl-ready

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