Staff Spotlight: Matt Lindsay...

Q: Where are you from?

I grew up in Maine in a pretty small town outside of Portland (which I think of as the primary Portland). The town is called North Yarmouth and is a rural area outside of the surrounding suburbs. We never moved around when I was younger, my parents still live in the same house that I grew up in. I would say I had a pretty typical childhood in terms of activities. My friends and I played a lot outside and played sports in school. I left home after my sophomore year in high school to attend boarding school in Massachusetts for my last two years. Boarding school was hard, but I loved it. Most of my closest friends in San Francisco (and in life) are from my time there.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I went to Cornell and studied in the five-year architecture program. I chose Cornell because I got in and enjoyed my accepted student visit to the campus. I don’t think that I quite knew what to expect studying architecture and found the program really challenging. I was always a good student in high school, but architecture was like nothing I had ever done before and I initially struggled with the creative process.

Q: Who is in your family?

I’m the oldest of two; I have a younger sister who’s five years younger. Starting in the spring, she’ll be going to graduate school for occupational therapy. My parents moved to Maine in the late 70s after both growing up out-of-state — my mom is from New Jersey and Illinois and my dad is from New York. They’re both great — super nice people who were incredibly supportive and never really had an agenda for me growing up. They always wanted me to be my own person and maintained a very low-pressure household. I think I put way more pressure on myself growing up than they did.

My wife Abby I met in San Francisco, but she’s also from the east coast—Philadelphia. She’s a medical sales rep and is way more organized and perhaps even more type A than I am (we’re both kind of type A…). Plus, she’s hilarious and fun. We took a trip to Europe a few months ago where we did some hiking and spent time with her family — her parents were celebrating their 65th birthdays and retirement.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

It was in high school that I first identified an interest in architecture. It was an implied interest—I was good at math and enjoyed art, and I never felt like I was very strong in humanities. I also knew that I loved building and making things; I got really into wood shop at kid at summer camp. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college I kind of looked at all the interests that I had and architecture was at the intersection of all of them.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

I’m very detail oriented so I love working on projects with a high level of craft and an imbedded logic. I enjoy the projects that have a kind of governing system that guides the design — the Santa Cruz House is a good example. Along with that, every architect always wants a good client who knows when to provide input and when to step back and trust their designer. I also like projects that have unique constraints—like site or program—because they provide some complexity to the project and give us the opportunity to be creative.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

Almost three years. I started in September of 2015 right before I got married. I moved out to SF in October of 2010, so I have been here about 8 years ago. Before starting at Feldman, I worked for a smaller firm in San Francisco for a little over 4 years.

Q: What makes our office unique?

I would say the lack of ego and diversity of interests. I also find it funny that several people in our office care about sports! I’ve never worked in an architecture firm where anyone has ever cared about sports. Here, at least 40-50% have an invested interest and everyone else is just ‘forced’ to participate in things like March Madness.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

Besides just being around my coworkers, I really enjoy the opportunity to learn from them. There is an enormous collective knowledge about building and design in the office and I really love sharing, collaborating, and learning from everyone around me.

Q: What are five features you would include in your dream home?

It’s funny because I don’t have a clear answer, but it’s something I think about probably way too much. It comes up a lot, especially in conversations with my wife. I think I would have a similar answer to many people in the office in that I like modern design.

I want something that has an indoor outdoor connection, something that is beautiful and livable without being stark. Also, I would love to have a wood shop and social kitchen space—my wife and I cook a lot and we inevitably spend parties crammed into our small kitchen with friends. The last thing I’d like is a garden.  Something that looks pretty but is also functional; where we can grow vegetables.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

I really admire an architect I worked for in Maine—Carol Wilson. Her practice is small and her process is pretty old school but she does beautiful modern projects in a state that is not known for progressive architecture.

I also think I have been influenced by living in Bay Area in that I have a lot of respect for entrepreneurs, especially in the design field. I’m interested in people who studied architecture or design and went on to build a business/passion outside of or adjacent to the industry.  For example, one of the founders of WeWork started as an architect.  I’m always up for a good origin story.

Q: What’s your design process like?

I have a tendency to be quite linear in my process. I have to constantly force myself to step back and question my assumptions. I’m a very logical person by nature so I like identifying problems and creating rule or parameters for myself. I think I’m happiest designing once I have a guiding concept and I can dive into the details to execute the design.

Q: What time period would you choose to live in (past or potential future)

Can I go back to the eight years that Obama was in office?

2018 Furniture Society Conference...

By Nick Polansky

This year I was invited to speak at the 2018 Furniture Society Conference, a 4-day event including presentations from furniture makers and artists from across the nation. This year’s theme was Nexus, which looks at the intersection of technology and art as it relates to the evolving field of furniture making. It took place at Dogpatch Studios on June 13-16. There talks ranged from Women in Technology, to a girl’s project-based learning school, Project H Design in Oakland where underserved communities are given access to technology and the built environment. Other talks honored the great Wendelle Castle and the keynote Speaker Allan Wexler gave a talk presenting his new book “Absurd thinking between Art and Design.” I felt right at home.

My own talk was about my work that began during my Artist Residency at Autodesk in 2015. It was a simple talk about cutting wood. I was nervous, knowing I was not a trained furniture maker but my experience with digital tooling and material exploration allowed me to tell a compelling story. At first I shared basic milling patterns from rift sawn, plain sawn, and quarter sawn and described the properties of each resulting grain type. I then shared my work cutting planks of wood with a table saw and band saw, two analogue tools found in most wood working shops. The wood was cut with thin kerfs allowing it to flex and expand, changing the properties of hard wood to a “soft wood”. I wanted to transfer this operation to a tool with capabilities that these conventional tools did not have and one foreign to wood working.

While at Autodesk I had access a 55,000 psi waterjet cutter. The interesting advantage to this tool besides being able to cut through 5” of stainless steel or stone, was that it could pierce in the center of the material with no lead in or lead out. I used the tool to cut a series of kerf patterns into varies sizes and types of wood. I then steamed the wood and jacked the forms open with wedges and threaded rods. The result were large accordions that could take a 2×8 and expand into a 2×16 with beautiful bent patterns. I created a screen, a column, and a bench. They bridge the threshold of function and art.

The images and diagrams were presented in simple and clear drawings and black and white photographs. The vocabulary was kept simple and straight forward and resulted in a lively discussion following the talk. The majority of the room was interested in the process and potentials. For instance, could an entire log be cut on a waterjet? What types of joints could you make? Could you do this without a waterjet? The keynote speaker for the conference, Allan Wexler, was in the audience and he was impressed by the work and encouraged me to continue exploring. He thought the process and presentation was both technologically precise and brutally analogue, the balance I continue to achieve in my work. He said they represented a limit beyond which they would no longer exist, as if frozen moments of destruction.

The conference gave me great confidence to continue sharing and creating more work. On October 11 I will be showing alongside Cathy Liu at Matarozzi & Pelisnger Builders. I look forward to sharing the unique work with artists and architects, builders, and clients as I continue my art practice of finding balance.

Third Thursday August 2018: Amy Campos...

By Serena Brown

After a few months of summer schedules and overseas trips for many of our designers, it was nice to reconvene altogether for the first Third Thursday of the autumn season. Amy Campos, an associate Professor of Interior Design at California College of the Arts and good friend of our very own Lindsey Theobald, stopped by last Thursday evening to introduce her new book to our office. The book, Interiors Beyond Architecture challenges the previous narrative of interior design, and introduces various case studies that question the ambiguity surrounding the boundaries between architecture and interiors.

Revolving around themes of shifting identity, ownership, community, and space, each case study tackles a different facet of the discussion surrounding interior design and attempts to provide a new take on the age old discipline. Historically, interior design has been viewed and treated as subset of architecture, however for as long as the two have been intertwined, the complexity of the relationship has been studied and challenged.

©Designboom

There were a few case studies in particular that stood out to our designers, the first of which being ‘The Wheel’ by Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley, an experiment in tandem living. The two artists lived on a wheel-like structure for 10 days, coordinating schedules and movement for every activity. The project dealt with ideas of spatial identity and embracing uncertainty and the way occupants “can use space in innovative ways to further their own sense of agency and self-determination” (Schweder, 69). It was fascinating to see the ways the artists’ lives become intermingled to the point of coordinating their bathroom and sleep schedules!

The idea of designers as ‘professional imaginers’ (not imagineers!) came up a few times in our discussion of media’s influence on design and vice versa. Architects, designers, and all artistic individuals essentially imagine for a living, describing things that don’t yet exist and communicating those ideas to the public, often times through media. Amy invited us to ponder how we know what we know about different fields, including our own, alluding to the influence of media in shaping our realities. Due to the growth of shows on HGTV and other design-based channels, designers have been given more opportunities to project their ideas into the mainstream, affecting not just the artistic sector, but the day-to-day realities of the average consumer.

Of course the question of sustainability in architecture was also a topic of conversation, us being an office focused on sustainable design.  Amy and our designers agree that designing a building or space to “last forever” isn’t sustainable, but she encouraged us to embrace the fleeting nature of design. Many interior firms create for the season, with consumers trading out pieces of furniture as they would trade out articles of clothing. Just as fast fashion is detrimental to the world around us, ‘fast design’ is no different. As designers we have the opportunity to shift and change that conversation surrounding sustainability and design—encouraging consumers towards better practices, and building pieces to improve the environment around us, rather than harm it.

The discussion eventually wound down after confronting the same cyclical question from which we began: is viewing the separation of interior design and architecture a positive or negative, or does it matter at all? The answer to that question is more complex than an hour of conversation can solve, but I invite you to ponder it all the same.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Amy, for coming in and waking up our brains at 4pm on a Thursday. I’m sure her students appreciate her and her knowledge just as we do, and we hope to see her again soon!

To read more of Amy’s work, check out here new book, Interiors Beyond Architecture, which can be found HERE.

Staff Spotlight: Liza Karimova...

Q: Where are you from?

I’m from Moscow, Russia, but I was born in Austria. I moved here about five years ago to attend university and before that I was living in Switzerland for a few years. I’ve lived in four different countries so far.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I went to UC Berkeley for architecture. In addition to the standard undergraduate curriculum I took some material science engineering classes.

Before attending university here, I visited California only once, but I really liked it. UC Berkeley was actually the only school I applied to in California and when I decided to come here my parents had a bit of a shock. They didn’t want me to move so far away from my family after already being in boarding school for 4 years. It took a bit of convincing but here I am!

Q: Who is in your family?

My parents, two dogs, and a twin brother who looks nothing like me! He’s much taller and blonde. I also have a tiny parrot who I haven’t seen in ages. Technically he’s a replacement parrot since they don’t live very long… I don’t know what he’s called anymore!

Q: What is one talent you wish you had?

I wish I could do a backflip… my goal is to learn how to do one before I die.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

In high school I always enjoyed art, physics, and English and I thought architecture was a good way to combine all three. I also attended after-school art classes for four years, where we created for hours every day after regular school.

Honestly though, at first I really didn’t want to do it because my parents were pressuring me into it. Until one summer I took an architecture course at USC. It was the first time I stayed up all night working on a project, which I weirdly found really fun and fulfilling.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

I really enjoy projects that have some room for the unknown, where the design process can be like an experiment. It fascinates me to design living and working spaces, because it reveals so much about human nature. I have always enjoyed the sciences, so this is that part of me speaking.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

Just over a year! Not counting my internship.

Q: What makes our office unique?

A lot of people say that it feels like a family – which is true, minus the drama. Everyone is so laid back! I love how comfortable we feel around each other.

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

There’s so much positivity and laughter! People really care about staying happy and making beautiful architecture. I also love our roof deck, I go there quite a lot.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

I wouldn’t say that I have a role model, but I do have people I’m inspired by. Most of them are on the conceptual side of architecture. For example I like the work of John Hejduk and Martin Heidegger. They think outside the box and outside constraints of reality. I guess their work is more concerned with the human condition, temporality, and symbolism.

Q: What’s your design process like?

I try to stick to one simple idea but I almost always get side-tracked. And that often ends up being the best part- happy accidents! Although when I overthink things, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether an idea is good or just absurd. I always fluctuate between a logical and scientific approach, and a more intuitive one – sometimes, it’s hard to find the right balance of both!

Q: If someone designed a drink after you, what would be in it/what would it taste like?

A caramel latte, sometimes with a few shots of whiskey.

 

Constructing the Coastal Shelter...

By Mike Trentacosti

As architects/designers, we are trained and trusted with designing, drawing, and supervising the construction of our projects. Very rarely do we find ourselves on a job site rolling up our sleeves and picking up a hammer. This is a dichotomy in our profession that I have often questioned. How, as architects and designers, are we expected to know how to properly draw our buildings if we have never built one ourselves? How are we to detail properly if we do not know the construction sequencing that must take place in order to build that detail correctly and for it to function? Rarely do we as architects get to design, draw, and construct our projects ourselves. So when the opportunity arose recently for me to go help a fellow architect and close friend build his own project, it was an experience I could not pass up.

It all started with a phone call a little over two years ago, from one of my closest friends I had met while studying environmental design at the University of Colorado. During that call, we discussed his plans to purchase a piece of land just off of Highway 1 somewhere between Port Orford and Golden Beach, on the iconic Pacific Northwest coast of Oregon. At the time I had no idea where this was, but judging from the photos he had sent me, the land looked like something out of a movie. Towering redwoods intermixed with that famous Pacific Northwest rain forest. Fog in the mornings and crystal clear blue skies in the afternoon. It was truly magnificent. At the time of the call, I had just returned from a design-build studio praxis where we built a tiny structure, and I was yearning for another opportunity to get my hands dirty and pick up a hammer.  As the months passed though, I didn’t hear anything from him and began to wonder if he had followed through on his plans to purchase the property after all.

Finally, a few months ago, I got the call. “Hey buddy, I purchased the land! I’m going to start designing an accessory structure soon, stay tuned.” At that point, I had no idea when the project was finally going to get started, but I knew it was an opportunity I’d wait for. After that phone call, we started having monthly design charrettes over the phone or through face-time, and as they went on the project began to come to life. Next thing I knew, May was rolling around and the dates had been set. My buddy Cam was going to be taking off from his job from late July into early August, with the bulk of the work coming sometime during the final week of the build. So with that information I began to plan my trip. Over another phone call we discussed options of where I should fly into; the land being so remote that there are only a few realistic options for getting to it. Portland was 5 hours north, so that was out. Eugene was three hours northeast, so that was also out. Which left me with my only option. I was to fly into a small remote airport just south of the Oregon/ California border. I reluctantly booked my flight, unsure of what I was getting myself into, and set my plans to travel to Oregon.

As the trip rapidly approached, I began to dive deeper into the project. Phone calls became more and more frequent. We began to construct a list of materials, tools, and a building schedule. The site was still in flux but would be chalked out later. Itineraries were set and the team was rapidly coming together.  The build team was to consist of three friends from architecture school, one artist, and myself. A dream team, if you will. Some of us had building experience while others had little to no experience. So right from the get go, I knew it was going to be a learning opportunity for all of us.

Before any of us knew it, it was time to get the project going. I made one last phone call to Cam to wish him the best of luck and let him know that I would be seeing him very soon. As the weeks leading up to my departure approached and passed I began to wonder what was going on with the build. I had reached out to Cam a few times during the weeks leading up, but I was often left in the dark on the build. After our brief conversations, I was frequently left to ponder whether the build was actually even happening or if everything on site was okay. But really, he was keeping me in the dark to ensure that he got the most out of my reaction when I first saw the project. Finally the day came for me to leave. As I sat at my gate about to board a small 20 seat “puddle jumper”, the thought crossed my mind one more time, “What the heck have I gotten myself into?” I gave Cam one last call, confirmed he was going to be there when I landed, and boarded my flight.

My plane ride was only about 45 minutes, so I found myself in this small remote airport in Crescent City California before I knew it. Of course Cam wasn’t there when I landed, so there was a brief moment of concern, but I found a small picnic table out front of the airport and plopped myself down and waited. After about ten minutes of waiting, I finally saw Cam rapidly approaching. I threw my bag in the back and jumped in. The first thing I noticed was how dirty he was. He was sitting there in the driver’s seat covered in a thick coat of dirt, carpenter pencil behind his ear and a smile on his face. “What’s up buddy… you ready?”

I thought I was ready, but boy was I in for a treat. We departed on our hour and half trip up the coast to the property and for the entirety of the journey I was left in awe of the pure beauty, power, and surrealism that the Pacific Northwest coast has to offer. Once we finally got to his property, it was dark out, so unfortunately I wasn’t fully able to take in full view of the land just yet. I jumped out of the car, greeted my buddies, grabbed a beer and demanded that Cam show me the site. Until this point I had only seen a couple pictures of the project, so I had no idea what state the build was at, nor did I have any real clue as to what the project looked like. With some convincing, we finally began our short but strenuous hike down to the site. As we approached the bottom of the hill he made me stop and slowly turn my light on to what was the building. At first glance I was astounded. But this was still when it was dark out. Therefore I was only able to take in what my headlamp could shed its light on. But there it was, tall sleek V columns protruding up out of the structural framing, with the roof sloping upwards, gently returning back to the hills beyond. I turned back to Cam, and with a smile on his face he said “wait till the morning bud”. We hung around the site for a couple more minutes then climbed back up the hill and hung out around camp, catching up with some old friends for the remainder of the night.

The next morning I was the first one up and eagerly unzipped my tent, only to find one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever witnessed. For an hour or so, I was the only one up, and I just sat there and took in the view. After some coffee, a few stories, and laughs, we all slowly made our way down to the site. As I climbed down the hill, this time with a handful of lumber and my tool belt strapped to my back, I began to get the full experience of the site.

Little by little, step by step, the building started to unveil itself to me, only to be finally framed by the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. The building was perfectly sited on the corner of a hill gently touching back to the land. I sat there for a few moments in absolute awe. I practically dropped all the lumber. I turned back to Cam, who just smiled back at me. Not a word was said between us in that interaction but somehow we both knew what the other was thinking.

Finally, I collected myself and got down to it. I discussed with Cam my role on the build and we got right to it. I was in charge of hanging all of the slatted 2×2 members that were to wrap the entirety of the building. Cam and I sat there for a few minutes discussing and drawing out the sequencing of the design and detailing of the rain screen. Then, piece by piece, we assembled the slatted wall. As we went along, we experienced ups and we experienced downs. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned. That’s the beauty of building. It’s never perfect but it’s what you take out of the process that stays with you longer than the successes of the build. I think those are some of the most important lessons that I was able to take out of this project. Every build is different, each offering its own hardships and lessons, but it’s overcoming those challenges that ultimately helps you progress as a designer and builder.

Over the few days I was on site, we experienced quite a few of these challenging moments. We would work from sunup till past sundown. We worked until we weren’t able to see in front of our faces and we were only able to build what was lit by our headlamps or lanterns. It was as true of a learning experience that I have ever had.

Then as quickly as it started, it ended. The last day of the build was upon us. There was a lot left to do. When we woke up that morning, there was an unspoken determination amongst us that the goal of the day was to progress the project as far as we could before we had to wrap up to shoot the project with whatever light remained. When the day finally wrapped up, we rushed to clean up the site. Then we all of took one collective moment before the shoot to sit on the deck as a group, enjoy a cold beer and soak in everything that had led up to this moment. It was in that moment that I turned around and caught Cam in a moment of reflection. It’s moments like that as an architect that you strive for. He sat back and soaked in what he was able to not only design but create with his own two hands. This as an architect is the moment in which you realize you were able to take a drawing, consisting of only lines, and turn it into something real. That moment where you see your true potential, where you realize you took a pile of raw lumber, pieced it together, and turned it into a true sculpture; when you see the idea you imagined finally come to fruition.  That night, we wrapped up the photo shoot, cleaned up the site some more, and just sat on the deck and enjoyed our last moments with the structure*

The next morning, we all woke up at the crack of dawn, grabbed a couple more pictures of the project, packed up our belongings, and said our goodbyes. As we left the land and drove up the coast, I spent those moments reflecting on what I had learned from this trip. It was at that time that I reflected on the power of building. I think as architects, we often take building for granted as we only get to experience it from a one sided perspective. When we get the rare opportunity to experience the other side, it is the lessons that we draw from those success and failures that ultimately make us better designers and architects.

*This project is still ongoing as it is planned to evolve over time with its program

Designed By: Cameron LeBleu
Build Team:
Cameron LeBleu
Rob Hollis
Maxwell Justman
Bryce Duane
Michael Trentacosti
Photography By: Maxwell Justman

 

Staff Spotlight: Ben Welty...

Q: Where are you from?

Summerville, South Carolina. It’s a suburb of Charleston that had a small town feel while I was growing up but has gotten much bigger as urban sprawl has taken hold. Regardless, I have no plans of going back.

Q: Where did you go to school?

I received a BA in Architecture from Clemson University before heading to the University of Kansas to get my Masters. I chose KU to participate in their renowned Studio 804 design/build program.

Q: Who is in your family?

My parents are both retired and still live in the house I grew up in. My brother lives in my hometown as well and I’ve got two nieces and nephews.

My wife is an interior designer. We met at the University of Kansas and both moved out here after graduating. We got married in June of last year and had our reception in our current office back when it was an event space. We held the last event here before it became our design studio. Jonathan and Steven now sit where we had our first dance.

Q: When did you first develop an interest in architecture?

As a kid I was always playing with Legos and exploring houses under construction in my neighborhood. I just walked onto the construction sites on the weekends when no one was around; we didn’t ask. My aunt was a builder so I would spend some time as a kid with her on job sites.

I also took some architecture classes in high school, mostly drafting classes, before formally studying it in college.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

I mostly enjoy working on custom residential projects, specifically single family residential. I like doing new houses and new construction as well as remodels in the city. There are different aspects and challenges to both that I enjoy.

Q: How long have you worked at FA?

Four years this past May. Before starting here I was working at a small firm in SOMA.

Q: What makes our office unique?

Our collaborative design process and the fact that it’s not a top down approach. Everyone gets involved, has a voice, and contributes. And that’s encouraged.

Plus, it’s only a ten minute walk from my house!

Q: What’s your favorite part about coming to work?

It’s so close!

I just enjoy the work that I do and the people I work with. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by such talented individuals who have a passion for what they do. They make me a better architect and designer.

Q: If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

SOUTH Carolina style BBQ pulled pork dressed in Carolina gold, a mustard based BBQ sauce. Not to be confused with the more colloquial Carolina style pulled pork from eastern North Carolina, an amalgamation of poorly cooked meat and an astringent vinegar-based sauce that is masked with a scoop of coleslaw. If you have to put coleslaw on your BBQ, it’s not good BBQ.

Q: Do you have a professional role model?

Not really. I admire different aspects of a lot of people that I try to emulate and learn from, including everyone I’ve ever worked for or with.  I take notice of the qualities in others that I admire. Whatever characteristics I spot in them that make them successful and effective leaders are ones I try to adopt as well.

Q: What’s your design process like?

When assigned a project, I first like to dive into the history behind a site or building as well as its context. A lot can be learned by studying the nuances of a place, and more often than not those studies lead to design inspiration. From there it’s about creating spaces that are appropriate in their surroundings and functional in their purpose.

I like to work in section early on to apply a three dimensional perspective to the conceptual and schematic processes. Otherwise you run the risk of the tail wagging the dog if you try to force this perspective to conform to the two dimensional plan. However, that is not the only thing to be considered as architecture is actually experienced in four dimensions, time being the fourth, so an understanding of how a space will be experienced throughout the course of the day and year is also crucial.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents?

Not really. I co-host a podcast that covers Clemson athletics but I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon.

See You Ying!...

On the whole I have had a very good internship experience at Feldman Architecture. I have to say, at first I thought my tasks as an intern would be limited to serving coffee or cleaning up the materials library. However, the office scheduled different tasks for me each day, and also tried to make me work with many different people on staff, really pushing me out of my comfort zone. I was pleased to note that the projects I worked on and kept up with were all interesting and rewarding.

As an international student, English is my second language. Sometimes it is hard for me to speak out during meetings or when I have a question. However, everyone in this firm is so nice and friendly. They are always so patient with me and answer all my questions. It makes me feel like this team is more like a family.

I feel so grateful to have had a chance to be part of the team, even for just two months. I want to say thank you to everyone, especially Steven. From working with you I learned a lot of things which cannot be learned in school. And thank you to Evan, Liza, and Serena, for being my mentors and friends, and for making my internship experience so much more wonderful.

It has been a great honor to meet you guys and I hope I can see you all soon.

-Ying Pan

The Winning Recipes!...

Our office recently hosted an in-house Chili Competition & Margarita Mix-Off. At the end of the evening, Daniel took home the prize for ‘Best Chili’ while Heera claimed the title for ‘Best Margarita’! Recipes below:

Spicy Cadillac Margarita — Heera Basi

Ingredients:
-Ice
-Tequila
-Lime
-Cointreau

Optional:
-Grand Marnier
-Jalapeno

 

Directions

1) Fill glass about 1/2 way with ice
2) Into the glass squeeze juice from 1 lime
3) Stir in 1-2 shots of Tequila (depending on how strong you like it! My recipe has about 1 1/2 shots) and 1 shot of Cointreau
5) You could stop here and enjoy!
OR…
6) Add a float of Grand Marnier on top to make it a “Cadillac” Margarita
7) Add 1-3 Jalapeno slices to give it a kick! Drink will start out mild, but the heat will build!

Green Chicken Chili – Daniel Holbrook

Ingredients:
-3 Poblano peppers
-4 Jalapeño peppers
-1 ½” pounds of Tomatillos
-1 onion
-5 cloves of garlic
-1 beer (similar to Corona or Pacifica)
-1 cup of sour cream
-2 cans of Cannellini Beans
-2 cups of Chicken broth
-1 ½” pounds of boneless skinless chicken thigh
-1 tablespoon of Cumin
-1 teaspoon Chile powder
-1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
-1/2 teaspoon or coriander
-1 teaspoon of honey
-salt and pepper to taste
-Cilantro
-Limes

 

Directions

1) Place Tomatillos, Poblanos and Jalapeños on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until skin is soft and blistered (10 minutes) Remove from oven.  Cover and let cool.
2) Once peppers and tomatillos are cool, remove blistered skin, Seed and rib the peppers and chop.
3) Season chicken with salt, pepper and a half teaspoon of Cumin.  In a heavy bottom pot, sear the chicken until brown on both sides.  Remove chicken and set aside.
4) Add onion and garlic to pot, sauté until translucent.  Add remaining Cumin and other spices, sauté until spices are fragrant.  Add beer to deglaze the pan.
5) Add Tomatillos and Jalapeno’s to the pot along with 2 cups of chicken broth (Save Poblano’s to add later).
6) Return chicken thighs to the pot to finish cooking.
7) Allow soup to simmer for 30-60 minutes.
8) Once simmered, remove chick thighs, then blend soup with an immersion blender.  Slowly stir in sour cream
9) Chop chicken thighs, return chicken to pot.  Add the Beans and Poblanos.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
10) To thicken soup (if needed), remove some broth and beans and blend with immersion blender, then return it to the pot.

Add salt, pepper, honey, and lime to taste.
Serve topped with chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Hoshinoya Fuji: A Japanese Glamping Resort...

By Heera Basi

While most of the country is basking in the summertime heat, here in San Francisco the summer fog has me dreaming of sunshine and the outdoors. Fortunately, our summer is just around the corner and there is no better or more fabulous way to soak up that experience than GLAMPING! I recently learned of a Japanese resort that epitomizes the Glamping experience – the Hoshinoya Fuji. Ever since learning about this resort, I have been inspired by their design philosophy, approach to hospitality, and connection to the landscape and local surroundings. As a member of the Feldman Architecture Interiors team, I will certainly be looking to this glamping resort for inspiration on my next project!

© NACASA & PARTNERS INC.

The Hoshinoya is an experience based luxury resort company that is equivalent to a lifestyle brand. Their philosophy focuses on much more than just the basic hotel function of providing a place for tourists and travelers to sleep. From the food, activities, siting, and most importantly, the design, the Hoshinoya approach focuses on stimulating all the senses and providing a completely immersive and transformative experience. They market the guest experience through a storytelling narrative – detailing the arrival, stay, and feelings upon departure.

The Hoshinoya Fuji resort is tucked into the foothills of Mount Fuji above Lake Kawaguchi. Appealing to local climbers and tourists looking to get out of the city, the resort offers an elevated and luxurious glamping experience. As they say: “Glamping is a stylish form of play designed to stimulate these dormant senses –without the toil and labor associated with camping– but it requires a suitably sophisticated playground to be effective.” Guests are greeted by the smell of smoke from a large campfire, the sound of leaves crunching under foot, and are encompassed by the forest and eventually the breathtaking views of Mt Fuji.

Azuma Architect & Associates designed the resort to give visitors different levels and qualities of the glamping experience. The site is broken up into two zones: the lower cabin zone and the upper cloud zone.

© NACASA & PARTNERS INC; Hoshinoya Fuji Resort

The cabins are sited such that the approach leads visitors through the woods, and upon entering their individual cabin they are greeted with a majestic view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi. The architecture is not literally evocative of a cabin in the woods, which would be a simplistic and one-dimensional approach. Instead the cabins are made from concrete and glass. What could be seen as an ultra-modern and cold experience in fact breaks down and abstracts the core elements of camping to a glamorous core. Each concrete unit is staggered, and this shifting allows each one to have a view of Fuji beyond. The cabin interiors are also minimalist, alluding to the idea that the outdoor experience is simpler and less adorned. Additionally, each cabin has a balcony that comes fixed with a wood stove to emulate the experience of sitting around a campfire. This understated elegance also accentuates the views of the adjacent lake and natural surroundings, making the views and outdoors the primary focus of the experience.

© NACASA & PARTNERS INC; Hoshinoya Fuji Resort

In contrast to the cabin zone, the upper cloud zone has no dramatic views and instead focuses more internally on the experience of being immersed in the woods.  This zone includes a dining area, café, and gathering space for guests. The wooden platforms that comprise the cloud zone are sited so that they float above the forest.

As a takeaway, just remember: “Glamping is simply a conduit for delivering the finest offerings of the wild.”

Next Step: Scheming a way to visit in person and make this summer daydream a reality!

Bye For Now Parker!...

What a summer it’s been. Full of challenges, new opportunities and downright shenanigans. I can definitely say that I’ve learned so much and enjoyed my time here at Feldman Architecture.

From day one I dived headfirst into the professional world of architecture. Client meetings, marketing plans and renderings threw me right into the daily routine of an architect, and trust me when I say it has been an absolute blast. I had to push myself every day to think critically and creatively, to iterate, and take feedback in every project. My tasks ranged from redesigning the firm’s SketchUp libraries, project renderings and drawings, all the way to editing photos from the amazing Open House at the beginning of the summer.

Along the way I had an incredible group of people helping me learn new skills, new programs, and helping me figure out the vernacular of architecture. I learned so much about what it means to be an architect in the professional world, lessons that I’m sure will be with me and that I will treasure for the rest of my career.

Thanks again to everyone at Feldman Architecture for their unparalleled kindness and for being so welcoming, I hope to see you all again soon.

Cheers and all the best,

-Parker D. Klebahn

 

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