Fall 2014 Newsletter

The fall of 2014 has been full of sun, sand and fun! Feldman Architecture, Kendall Wilkinson Interiors, Peninsula Custom Homes, and Strandberg Engineering participated with over 25 teams and 1,000 volunteers in this October’s LEAP Sandcastle competition. Working with students from the Jefferson Elementary School, staff members created an extraordinary sandcastle based on the theme “Food, Glorious Food.” Our team managed to raise nearly $20,000 to support LEAP in its efforts to provide arts education in schools which are otherwise unable to fund arts classes.

In September, the Fitty Wun House (left) was featured on the 2014 San Francisco Living: Home Tours as a part of the AIASF Architecture in the City Festival. Nearly 800 people toured through a handful of homes in the City. We received congratulations and positive feedback on our project from many participants. Big thanks goes out to our wonderful clients and the project’s General Contractor, Design Line Construction, who sponsored the tour. If you missed the tours, the home was featured in San Francisco magazine in October, showcasing some of the fun features of this family-centered home.

Custom Home and Builder awarded the firm an Honor Award in the renovation category of the 2014 Awards program. And the eco-historical Victorian Update (below), which achieved Platinum status in the LEED for Homes program and includes many sustainable design elements, is featured in the book and on the cover of Sustainable Residential Interiors by Wiley Publications.

Fall 2014 has also brought opportunities for new projects and we are pleased to welcome 3 new staff members to the firm. Helmina Kim, LEED AP, a graduate of The Cooper Union in NYC, joins us with many years of residential experience and an interest to lead the firm in sustainable design, research and education and sustain our efforts to keep the firm at the forefront in green design. Anjali Iyer has over thirteen years of experience having spent a significant portion of her career in her hometown of Bangalore, India working for a world renowned architect specializing in contemporary residential design. Rounding out the newest international members of our team is Katharine Hebden, a recent architectural graduate, who is joining us from New Zealand for the coming year and will be contributing her design talents, as well as model-building/3D graphic presentations skills to the firm’s ongoing projects.

To welcome our new staff, we celebrated with a night of bowling at the Presidio Bowling Center in which Kat showed off her athletic talents as she innocently knocked down strike after strike and impressed her new colleagues. Lindsey’s daughter, Lucie (right), did pretty well too!

2014 is ending with a bang – and we are very excited about the firm’s current work and prospects for 2015. And the Giants won the World Series for the third time in five years!  Go Giants!!

LEAP Sandcastle Contest

A few weekends ago Feldman Architecture had the opportunity to partner with Kendall Wilkinson Design, Peninsula Custom Homes, and Strandberg Engineering in supporting Jefferson Elementary School with the construction of a sand sculpture at the 31st Annual LEAP Sandcastle Competition.

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With a group of 50 children, volunteers, and coworkers our team, “Sands of Thyme,” shoveled sand, poured water, and sculpted delicious food in the form of a Picnic at the Beach for the “Food, Glorious Food” themed competition.  We extend a huge “THANK YOU” to Jefferson Elementary School and the many generous donors for collaborating in the wonderful event.  Can’t wait ‘til next year!
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The Feldman Architecture Focus Mix

As you may have noticed if you venture to our office, many of us enjoy listening to music while we work. Some people like the background noise, some of us like how different music can break up the day, and others use headphones as a “Do Not Disturb” sign. We thought it would be interesting to share what we’re all tuned into from time to time. This edition is for those times when we really need to hunker down and get stuff done. Choices ran the gamut from classical to pop to post-rock and beyond. So here it is, The Feldman Architecture Focus Mix:


Tracklist:
Loud Pipes – Ratatat (Bridgett)
Angel - Massive Attack (Hannah)
Division - Moby (Caroline)
La Femme d’Argent - Air (Jonathan)
The Richest Man in Babylon - Thievery Corporation (Hannah)
Golden Arrow - Darkside (Nick)
Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers (Daniel)
All Things Must Pass - George Harrison (Aaron)
Red Eyes - The War on Drugs (Daniel)
Everything In Its Right Place/Maiden Voyage - Robert Glasper (Tai)
Attaboy - Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile (Humbeen)
The Well-Tempered Clavier (Prelude and Fugue in E-Flat Major), performed by Glenn Gould - J.S. Bach (Kevin)

Some folks couldn’t narrow it down to one song, so here are a few Pandora stations and albums people often have playing:
Cat Power (Caroline)
M. Ward (Caroline)
Arcade Fire (Caroline)
Bach (Lindsey)
Lana del Rey (Lindsey)
Franki Valli (Steven)
John Legend (Steven)
Eminem (Steven)
Rihanna (Steven)
Floating Coffin - Thee Oh Sees (Jess)
23 - Blonde Redhead (Jess)
Check Your Head - Beastie Boys (Chris)
Restorations - Restorations (Ben)

Zen Buddhist Temples in Japan

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Earlier this summer, I had the chance to visit Japan and traveled to many Zen Buddhist temples in Kyoto. Kyoto is located in an inland river valley and is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. Many of the temples I visited are situated on the outskirts of the city at the base of the mountains where the city ends and the forest begins making for an incredible contrast between urban and rural space. In a way, these temples are a transitory space with one foot in nature and the other in setting is perhaps best described in the Japanese concept of ma, which can mean blankness or distance. Ma is a transitory experiential concept; for example, it is the silence between sounds which gives shape to music.
IMG_2439The focal point of many of these temples is a garden with a large open space and meandering paths. The temples themselves surround these open spaces, which can consist of ponds or dry landscape gardens, or karesansui , and are highly manicured. While these gardens are essentially courtyard spaces, they are never seen in isolation from nature. Often, a view from the engawa, or veranda, of a temple will extend from the garden to the mountains or city beyond which demonstrates the concept of shakkei or borrowed scenery. The karesansui are so detailed that attention is paid to the scale and coloration of the millions of tiny white rocks and sculpted moss that resonate when seen against the fine backdrop of the trees or buildings beyond.

IMG_3009These gardens cultivate an appreciation of ma and therefore an awareness of one’s own consciousness. Like viewing a painting, they are meant to be viewed from afar and are physically inaccessible. Walking through the temple grounds, the emptiness of the gardens heightens one’s awareness of the physicality of the structures themselves and the details of construction in the same way the color blue when placed against the color red highlights the redness of red and vice versa. In this way, the ma of these gardens makes nature more natural and the cities more concrete.

-Aaron

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