This fall brings lots of exciting happenings around the Feldman office – new faces, new clients and projects, and the completion of several stunning projects including a fabulous office renovation at the Presidio.
In the news, Remodeling Magazine chose our Noe Valley Remodel as Project of the Year in the 2013 Design Awards; check out the video with one of the judges noting several features of the project. The Shack won a Merit Award in the Builder’s Choice and Custom Home Design Awards for Best Outdoor Space, recognizing the building’s strong indoor-outdoor relationship and Loretta Gargan’s beautiful garden design. We were also pleased to be part of the AIACC’s Monterey Design Conference Home Tours in late September, bringing architects and architecture enthusiasts to see our recently finished Butterfly House in the Santa Lucia Preserve. Check out Matthew’s blog post on the conference to get a closer look at the weekend down south which many staff members enjoyed! We’re also working on a re-design of the website to be launched in early 2014.
Dwell featured the Shack in the September issue, focusing once again on the great outdoor space in that project, and the October issue of San Francisco magazine included Mill Valley Cabins in the Design Scout section. The eco+historical Victorian Update was profiled by Ecohome Magazine, highlighting many of its green features and our collaboration with eco+historical. Also, photographer Russell Abraham released a new book, Rural Modern, which highlights modern residences from around the United States including the Caterpillar House.
‘In-house’ we also have big news with Steven Stept joining Feldman Architecture as Principal in August. Brett Moyer was named an Associate as well, recognizing his leadership within the firm as well as his dedication to clients and projects including the soon-to-be completed Ranch o|h, the soon to-be-completed modern farmhouse in Palo Alto, and the award-winning Shack. Michael Bautista and Daniel Holbrook also joined our team this month; be sure to check out their bios on our website. And finally, Hannah and Patrick Brown-Lopes welcomed Philippa (Pippa) Maya to their family. We’re wishing them the best in Hannah’s leave, and look forward to seeing the new face around the office when she returns!
Monterey Design Conference
The Monterey Design Conference kicked off at Asilomar Conference grounds in Pacific Grove, Designed by Julia Morgan in 1913. Here, every two years, architects and designers gather to hear from local and international industry leaders who are shaping the future of our built environments. A group of us ventured down south from San Francisco to soak it all in, finding no shortage of inspiration from the speaker discussions, workshops, and perhaps most of all from the surrounding coastal landscape in which we were all happily immersed together for the weekend.
Between conference events we also found time to enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company; Matt, Jon, and Bridgett got out for early morning runs along the ridgelines of the preserve, Jess made egg sandwiches breakfast, Kevin helped his team win at the board game Cranium, and Bridgett even made a fabulous vegan chocolate cake!
Tai and Elaine joined us on Saturday to tour the Feldman houses completed and under construction in the Preserve, and on Sunday our most recently completed Preserve project The Butterfly House was on tour for the conference. We returned after the weekend feeling refreshed and inspired.
- Matthew and Kevin
The team at Feldman makes the most of their weekends. See below! All images were taken Labor Day Weekend 2013.
Bridgett hiked to The Tourist Club on Mount Tamalpais.
Caroline was at Flora Grubb along with the resident cat.
Chris driving back from Paso Robles.
Hannah snapped a pic of the America’s Cup.
With the Bay Bridge closed for the weekend, Jess took a ferry to the East Bay.
Jonathan training the next generation of architects.
Kevin hiking in the Marin Headlands.
Lindsey and her girls at the Larkspur Marin Country Mart.
Michael and a friend at the Monterey County Fair.
Sunset from Nick’s rooftop.
Brett at a trailhead in Lucas Valley.
Steven’s daughter at the Salk Institute.
Feldman Field Trips
“For me, this is what it’s all about: finding sources of inspiration outside of architecture and bringing it back [to our work]”. This was Tai’s takeaway from two recent field trips that got the Feldman Architecture team got out of the office and into the field. Both offered the opportunity to gain better understanding of the raw materials and the processes that are used to manipulate them: first wood at Arborica in Marshall and then concrete at Concreteworks in Oakland.
When he realized he was feeling burnt out on the restaurant business, Evan Shively, the acclaimed chef, hung up his apron and bought a piece of land outside Marshall in Sonoma County to pursue his second dream. His vision is a lumber yard; not just any lumber yard, but a specialized mill that transforms reclaimed old-growth timbers into pieces of art. Most of the trees are over 400 years old, and the wood can take 20 years to age at a rate that maximizes stability. “It takes someone unique,” recalls Tai, “someone with an artistic eye for the material as well as the patience and the long view to carve out this kind of a business. Evan feels a responsibility to use the wood in ways that it will be most appreciated. He has learned to let the wood itself be his source of inspiration, working with the wood rather than against it."
Andrew Kudless was working on concrete panels to be erected at the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France, and the Feldman team got a peak behind the scenes at the project. In collaboration with Concreteworks, a local fabrication studio that specializes in concrete furniture and fixtures, Andrew is testing the limits of textiles as formwork for concrete. The pieces for the FRAC commission employ Andrew’s innovative fabric-based form making combined with Concretework’s new fiberglass reinforcing technology, allowing almost endless exploration of thin-shell concrete forms. “It’s exciting to see local craftspeople who are spearheading a revolution in concrete,” said Tai. “By manipulating the production process, they are pushing the envelope and teaching us new ways to engage with a familiar material.” The installation just went up at the FRAC center, so if you find yourself in France, make sure to check it out.
Steven Stept, AIA Joins Feldman Architecture
We are very pleased to release a special announcement that Steven Stept, AIA, has joined Feldman Architecture as a Principal of the firm! Steven brings to us over 25 years of experience with an expertise in residential architecture. Steven has extensive studio leadership experience and has been recognized for his skillful and efficient manner in managing staff and projects; achieving clients' budgets, schedules and goals on assignments of varying complexity and delivery methods. His ability to establish a team approach involving staff, consultants, clients, and users has been instrumental in producing highly successful projects – not only custom residential but also multi-family residential developments, commercial interiors and institutional projects.
Steven will apply his considerable background and skill to help enrich the work of Feldman Architecture as it focuses on making its designs and process worthy of the increasing challenges of our exciting new projects. He will add a seasoned design voice to Feldman’s already collaborative process and provide even more rigor to the firm’s production and management, while freeing up Jonathan to focus more on design and business development. Steven also brings a handful of wonderful projects and clients with him – which the whole firm will enjoy guiding to completion.
We look forward to introducing you to Steven in person when you next visit our office, and in the meantime, please find Steven’s bio here.
Summer 2013 Newsletter
With this summer comes sun, swim, America’s Cup racing and lots of projects under construction for Feldman Architecture. The office has been a little quieter of late as site visits become more frequent. And for those in the office, we frequently step outside to look down the street and see an AC75 cruising by.
In the news, our Telegraph Hill Renovation was profiled in San Francisco’s Best of the Bay Area issue this July. Photos of this spectacular home and its stunning 360° views are now up on our website. The San Francisco Chronicle profiled The Shack which was one of the sites on the Marin Home Tour in May. The Tour brought hundreds of design enthusiasts through five homes in Marin and also led to an interview with Jonathan on Curbed SF which we encourage you to check out. Finally, the Forest Hills Renovation is appearing in the Summer issue of Modern Luxury Interiors California – check out pages 54-56.
In hardcover, three Feldman projects were profiled in Loft Publications’ new 150 Best Balcony and Terrace Ideas; these include 2Bar, Open Box and the Pacific Heights Townhouse. We’re pleased to announce that the Butterfly House in Carmel will be featured on the Home Tours for the Monterey Design Conference held on September 27, 28 and 29th at Asilomar. Check out the bobcat that’s been visiting the clients at Butterfly on a regular basis and enjoying their beautiful concrete walls!
The eco+historical Victorian Update, in collaboration with developer Joshua Mogal of eco+historical, was awarded LEED Platinum this spring bringing the tally up to 4 Feldman homes certified under the LEED for Homes program. We recently finished photography at the Santa Cruz Haus, also a LEED Platinum home. Several more are in the pipeline and awaiting final certification.
Feldman continues to edit two blog sites and with GreenArchitectureNotes.com, we are launching a new series which features the reclaiming of unused urban space. Our first post profiles Chicago’s efforts to reuse the Bloomingdale Train Line for a new system of trails and the second edition looks at the Lowline in NYC’s Lower East Side. We are always looking for projects to feature so if you have something new, please submit to one of the staff members.
In house, we sadly said goodbye to Elaine Uang in June as she begins new ventures in architecture, planning and community building in Palo Alto. Thankfully, after one year in Los Angeles, Camille Cladouhos returned to San Francisco and to Feldman just as Elaine was saying goodbye. And in personal news, Hannah recently married her sweetheart, Patrick, at City Hall and they’re anxiously anticipating the arrival of Baby Brown-Lopes in September.
Feldman Architecture Hosts BAYA Meeting
On Thursday, June 13th Feldman Architecture hosted Bay Area Young Architects (BAYA) for their monthly Firm Presentation and Tour. With beverages and snacks in hand, 30-40 people gathered to get the inside scoop of the firm's ethos, work, and design process through 5 completed and ongoing projects. As Jonathan moderated the discussion, attendees were lead through the stories of context and particular conditions of each project by their respective project managers.
Thank you BAYA for a wonderful evening of good conversation and architecture.
Biking in Bishop
There are often many reasons to embrace the chance of a long weekend. This spring after a yearlong effort, and a dozen design iterations, I happily packed up the truck and headed to the eastern sierras to enjoy one of the last waning weekends of spring. With me I packed my newly created 15.25 lbs of custom carbon awesomeness; each screw, painted line, and individual piece of technology researched, scrutinized and ultimately selected/designed by me.
Much like building a home, the process of building a bike like this is collaborative effort, with each person adding his or her expertise, technology and refinement. For this bike I enlisted the efforts of two separate frame-building companies, a paint shop, a mechanic, and over 10 individual component manufacturers.
My destination, Bishop, CA, lies in the Owens River Valley halfway between Mammoth Mountain and Mt. Whitney. Bounded to the west by the dramatic Eastern Sierras and to the east by the White Mountains (boundary between California & Nevada), this beautiful area of high desert has only a few offerings in the way of flat roads. Head off in any direction and you are quickly greeted by miles of climbing. Hopefully you have plenty of time to take in the traffic free roads and the scenery.
On one of my riding days, I headed north from Bishop for 30 miles and after 4000 feet of climbing was stopped by the snow line. I stretched my neck and shoulders, tucked in behind the handlebars, and enjoyed my well earned 20+ mile mountain descent back towards town, a mix of moderate to steep pitches, with open and technical curves. White-knuckle speeds in excess of 50 mph were moderated only by my mind looking down at 23 mm tires and my not so protective lycra suit. Balanced, predictable and well equipped, the bike was only limited by my nerves and ever-fatiguing arms.
Wow… looking forward to summer!
The Troglodytes of the Loire Valley
Driving on the back roads of the Loire in France, you can’t help but notice the caves throughout the Valley – many of which have windows, doors, shutters, awnings, courtyards, etc.. Dating back to the 11th century, the soft white limestone, tufa or tuffeau, of the area was quarried extensively leaving deep clefts and caves in the hillsides. These caves or troglodytes represent one of the most dramatic forms of adaptive reuse that I’ve witnessed as they have been converted into homes, stables, storage units and even abbeys, hotels, restaurants, and churches. The abandoned quarries and caves were recognized by the inhabitants of the area for their potential as low-cost dwellings and also in darker times for their defensive potential. Several of the caves are said to have been used by the Resistance during World War II to hide those fleeing from the Nazis to unoccupied, southern France.
I had the pleasure of staying in one of the troglodytes for a few nights last month. The property where we stayed was formerly part of the neighboring castle’s grounds, and the caves were part of the castle’s farm providing storage and stables. The property included two large troglodytes where two sides of the buildings are honed from the rock that was quarried from the hillside long ago. Walls, windows, floors and roofs were all added and the castle’s stable has now been converted into a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. Two additional caves also exist on the site and are currently used for storage and laundry, but have been plumbed for future use as guestrooms. Without intervention, the caves maintain throughout the year a steady temperature of 12° Celsius or about 54°Fahrenheit which for the Loire means that the caves are also used extensively for wine making. Adding to the charm of the caves, you can sometimes see fossils in the walls and remnants of some of the former uses, such as a trough from the former farm which runs the length of one room and now acts as a ledge. For me, I couldn’t help but wonder about the 1000 years of inhabitants who have occupied the space and think of the stories and history they have seen. - Hannah
This fall I’ve had a few opportunities to travel outside of the Bay. There’s nothing like getting out of the daily routine to rediscover inspiration all around you in big ways and in more subtle moments. But there’s also something great about coming home with fresh eyes and noticing all over again the inspiration right outside of your own back door.
A sunny Sunday afternoon brings locals and tourists alike to activate New York City’s High Line.
Colonial Mérida Cathedral, circa 1598. A collage of traditional “seconds” tiles in a courtyard house, Yucatán, Mexico.
Then, in a sidewalk of Baltimore’s Butcher’s hill I’m reminded of home by someone’s tiny tribute to California. It’s true, we have a wealth of inspiration right here in California, from the peaks memorialized in Ansel Adams’ photography to the view from my deck: above, the craggy tops of the Ritters Range, Ansel Adams wilderness, and below a view of downtown Oakland across Lake Merritt. It's good to be home. -Bridgett