Though we moved into our new office in April, we’ve been reluctant to post photos until everything is ‘just right’. Well, 9 months later, we’re ready to deliver. Originally, the suite was divided into several smaller offices and storage areas, and our first big design move was to open up the space to the north facing wall of windows and to refinish the concrete floors. Two spaces – the conference room and the printer/storage rooms - are defined by a simple board cladding stained black while the rest of the walls and surfaces are painted light. The reception desk is clad to match the black stained panels.
A favorite space is the conference room with sliding glass and steel panels and an oversized conference table which we can all fit around for lunch, seminars or dice games. The kitchen was ordered from IKEA and ‘dressed up’ with a couple of simple design moves. As many in our office bike to work, we found a tension bike rack that allows us to stack two bikes on each rack in the hallway. We also worked with well-known artist Catherine Wagner to select a few of her photographs for the new space and emerging artist Meghan Urback who we commissioned to create two unique pieces for us. While we miss the diversity around SOMA, we enjoy having more elbow room, lots of light and extra desks for interns and graphics.
Special thanks for helping us settle in:
Tom Kessenich, General Contractor
Kyle Mortz, Art of Construction
Steve Nichols, Mueller Nichols
Jay Bakaler, MetroEighteen
Rocket Science Consulting
Phil Tiffin, 522 Industries
Aaron Robinson, Aaron Robinson Cabinets & Design
Manuel Hidalgo, Commercial Woodworking
Christopher Naefke Cabinets
Light Waves Imaging
I recently spent a long weekend in Palm Springs that included an architecture tour guided by Michael Stern, the author of Julius Shulman: Palm Springs. The tour was a great way to experience homes by Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Donald Wexler, Albert Frey and other well-known mid-century architects. These homes represent many of the same principles that guide residential architecture today including a strong visual connection to the outdoors, simplicity of form, honesty of materials and responsiveness to place.
Pre-fabricated kitchen in site built home, Donald Wexler
Kaufman House, Richard Neutra
Feldman Architecture Summer 2012 Newsletter
This spring has been a busy one for Feldman Architecture. As we continue to settle into our new digs near Levi's Plaza, we welcome visitors to the office.
The Mill Valley Cabins have created a splash on several blogs including a feature in Remodelista, an upcoming article in Elle Décor, and recognition in the Custom Home Awards for merit in design of an Outdoor Building.
We completed photography of the eco+historical Victorian Update here in San Francisco. The design of the home was developed in conjunction with eco+historical and shortly after the completion of construction was placed on the market to be swept up very quickly. The home features several sustainable features and is pursuing LEED platinum accreditation. This summer we look forward to photographing a handful of new projects completed here in San Francisco and the Peninsula.
The Walnut Farm Retreat is nearing completion. This is our second house featuring rammed earth walls and nearing its certification in the LEED for Homes program where we’re aiming for LEED Gold. Some of the highlights of the construction were recently profiled on inhabitat.com.
Jonathan traveled in June to Washington, DC where he sat on Hanley Wood’s Builder Choice awards jury which will be published in October. Staff have been traveling in Oregon, Los Angeles, Michigan, London and Hawaii as the summer season kicks off. All are bringing back inspiration from amazing projects that they’ve seen on their travels. Matt just returned from the AIDS Lifecycle biking for one week down to LA and raising about $4000 for the cause.
Recently, Camille departed to pursue work in LA and we wish her the best of luck after 3 great years with the firm. We have 2 new employees, Dora Chan and Aaron Lim, who are both settling comfortably into the Feldman family. Check out their profiles on our Staff pages [or add link]. We are also enjoying the company and fresh perspective of AJ Cross, an intern and recent graduate of the BArch program at California College of the Arts, and also of Nelly Lam, MArch candidate at Cornell University, who will both be working with us for the summer.
Salamander House (Warming) Party
We just completed our largest and most ambitious project to date and had the treat of attending a festive house-warming party. 150 guests made the trek to Hollister to enjoy a great summer garden party complete with great food, swimming and bocce ball and, of course, exciting architecture! This challenging house was built by the Talented crew at Stoker and Allaire and the amazing landscape design was by Bernard Trainor and Associates. Here are some of my photos of the great afternoon!
On Saturday, April 28th a crew from Feldman Architecture spent the day volunteering with Rebuilding Together San Francisco. Joining Wells Fargo and Hanson Bridgett, our team of 60+ volunteers helped to renovate the house of Mrs. A who has been there since 1944. Under the great leadership of three general contractors, we reframed an outdoor deck, primed and painted the interior rooms, cleared a large backyard of weeds, replaced bathroom and kitchen appliances, and even created a new home and play area for two large Rottweiler dogs! All in a day’s work!
Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization that connects volunteers with construction projects focusing on the rejuvenation of communities. With projects ranging from single family homes to non-profit organizations and school facilities, the San Francisco chapter has helped over 1,000 houses and 250 facilities since its inception in 1989.
Feldman Architecture had a great time lending a helping hand and look forward to participating in the future! – Kevin Barden
Feldman's Must Read List
‘Tis the season for final exams and design reviews, and in this spirit, we’ve collected a list of favorite books from studies past and present. Anyone who enjoys reading about the built and natural environment would enjoy them.
At Home, by Bill Bryson Matt thinks this book is brilliant! It’s a history of domestic life over the last 150 years; if you’ve ever wondered how incredibly difficult life was for us before electricity, dining rooms, silverware, grocery stores, and even indoor plumbing, read this book. Next time you flush the toilet or open the refrigerator for a snack, you’ll think about just how ‘easy’ home life is here in the 21st century. Enjoy!
Glen Murcutt, by Francoise Fromonot Elaine loves how well Murcutt integrates basic environmental factors (like light, heat, water) into his architecture. This book provides detailed drawings, capturing how he translates those basic elements into architecture.
Learning from Las Vegas, by Venturi, Scott Brown & Izenour Even if you are not a disciple of Post-Modern art and architecture, the thesis of Learning from Las Vegas breaks down the distinctions between high and low. Hannah enjoys this book’s wit and humor as the authors demonstrate how much we can learn from what has been traditionally deemed “low”. And what’s not to love about a decorated duck?
Masters of Light, by Henry Plummer Bridgett finds this book both visually and intellectually inspiring, as it looks at changing thoughts on light across disciplines and at case studies of architecture that are composed of light and shadow.
In Praise of Shadows, by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki Although we do still prefer our cleanly toilets, we are all inspired to “immerse ourselves in the darkness and discoverits own particular beauty…”
Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, by Leonard Koren Modernism is cool, wabi-sabi is warm.Modernism romanticizes technology, wabi-sabi romanticizes nature. Wabi-sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
The Eyes of the Skin, by Juhani Pallasmaa “The body knows and remembers. Architectural meaning derives from archaic responses and reactions remembered by the body and the senses.”
The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard" When the intellectual realm, the realm of ideas, is in balance with the experiential realm, the realm of phenomena, form is animated with meaning. In this balance, architecture has both intellectual and physical intensity, with the potential to touch mind, eye, and soul."
Thinking Architecture, by Peter Zumthor
“Associative, wild, free, ordered and systematic thinking in images, in architectural, spatial, colorful and sensuous pictures – that is my favorite definition of design.”
The Tao of Architecture, by Amos Ih Tiao Chang This is a light read that Tai found to be a good counterpoint to the more cerebral texts required in his university days, when he was more interested in phenomenology than highly theoretical studies in architecture.
Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino
Informal, by Cecil Balmond
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs A must read for several of us in the office and for those who love the city. Jane Jacobs brought to life the concept of the “eyes on the street” which can be seen in action in amazing, transformative programs throughout the US, including Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone.
Wedding in Sea Ranch
Three summers ago, I stopped at The Sea Ranch on my way to San Francisco to visit my future husband. I sketched the small chapel and wondered if and when I got married, if I could limit my guest list to the 8-10 people that could be seated in the chapel.
When the time came, as an architect-and-bride-to-be, I did my due diligence researching wedding venues, but my husband to be had a feeling The Sea Ranch Lodge would be the place. What The Sea Ranch offered was not only Modern Architecture (yes, capitalized) blending with a beautiful landscape – but authenticity. When I took my fiancé to visit, we were reminded of our childhood homes in different ways and felt calm and connected to nature.
Our reactions to this place were no accident. The Sea Ranch was designed as a vacation community in the 1960-1970’s by the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and several architects including William Turnbull, Jr., Joseph Esherick, and Charles Moore. The lodge, community buildings and 10 miles of vacation homes have been built since in strict accordance to an architectural style based on local barns that date to the late 19th century. There is something very unique and effective about the results.
I was unable to limit my guest list to fit into the chapel I had sketched years before - the one dramatic exception to the design guidelines. Instead, family, friends and friends who are also co-workers filled a tent flanked on two sides by the lodge’s guest rooms and wood walk ways. It rained, which was wonderful. Suddenly, everything was spontaneous and somehow better than what I had meticulously planned. Photos occurred in all the right places and a glowing sunset drew a crowd out of the tent just before dessert. - Camille
The Great Triumvirate: Architecture, Beer and Climbing
The Feldman team set out Friday on a field trip of epic proportions: an overnight excursion to the Pinnacles National Monument. Along the way was a stop at the site of one of our projects under construction (see On the Boards: Walnut Farm Retreat) to have dinner and take in the sunset. The following day everyone explore the park at their own pace – hiking, rock climbing and pool-side. - Bridgett (aka Chairwoman of Feldman Social Committee '11)
DAY ONE - Site Visit and BBQ at Walnut Farm Retreat
DAY TWO - Pinnacles
Canstruction: Fear the Beard
This spring, Feldman Architecture teamed up with Fulcrum Engineering to create a structure for this week’s Canstruction benefit for the San Francisco Food Bank. The theme of the event was Spirit of San Francisco, which we took as an opportunity to celebrate the Giants’ victory in the 2010 World Series.
Throughout the Series, Giants’ fans adopted the slogan “Fear the Beard” in support of the famed pitcher, Brian Wilson, who helped bring the team to victory for the first time since 1954. Wilson’s thick, dyed black facial hair became an icon for the team’s tenacity and was the subject of one of the favorite chants among crowds leading up to the series win. The Beard continues to grace t-shirts, hats, and headlines as the Giants continue the 2011 season with high hopes.
Our representation of The Beard, which won an honorable mention at Wednesday’s award ceremony, evokes this spirit which we all experienced in the final days of last year’s World Series. We chose dark colored labels to represent the dyed black beard and shaped the sculpture to best represent the recognizable icon with the full beard, mustache, and tall side burns. Most of the cans are beans, which also answers the Food Bank’s request for high protein canned goods.
Visitors are welcome to check out the amazing Canstructions created by several local architect and engineer firms at the Metreon on the 4th floor through Sunday, June 26th. Further information and details on donations can be found at the Canstruction website.
Canstruction: The Spirit of San Francisco
Canstruction brings together architects, engineers and contractors to design and build massive, sculptural structures from various canned goods. After the event, the cans are donated to local food banks for distribution to those in need. Leading to the donation of over 15 million pounds of food, the event has been held in many cities throughout the country, from Boston to Los Angeles and from Chicago to Austin. This June 22-26th, the Metreon will host the first annual event in San Francisco.
Feldman Architecture is excited to be paired with Fulcrum Structural Engineering for this year’s event. The request of the San Francisco Food Bank is to provide canned goods high in protein, while organizers have asked teams to dream big about the Spirit of San Francisco. Our team has been working for the past 4 weeks, drawing up a 3d Model, working on a method of canstruction, and looking for donations. We’ll post more soon, but in the meantime, if you’d like to help us in gathering cans, please email one of us directly or visit here for further information about donations. - Hannah and the Canstruction team