A Sukkah in the City...

This past weekend, a team of volunteers from the Congregation Emanu-El gathered to realize Jonathan’s sukkah design in the temple’s courtyard.  Constructed for the Jewish festival of Sukkot, a sukkah is a temporary hut intended to replicate the wilderness dwellings built by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt to the Holy Land.  Traditionally, a sukkah has three sides, branches for a roof, and serves as a space for eating, gathering, and sometimes sleeping during the holiday.  Always, the roof should be thin enough that one can see the stars from within the dwelling.

Like traditionally simple sukkahs, Jonathan’s design celebrates the harvest with modesty.  Twelve burlap panels are suspended in the temple’s courtyard, rising in height as they slope up around the fountain at the space’s center and towards the doors of the temple itself.  Each constructed of four slender wooden beams creating a rectangular frame for the burlap, the panels billow and bend gracefully in the wind and leave bold, geometric shadows on the bricks below.

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“We challenged a group of architects to design a sukkah using creative form and the whole courtyard,” Rabbi Jonathan Singer explained to me on Saturday, emphasizing his desire to expand upon the temple’s previous smaller, wooden structures and create a site open to the entire community.  Even during its construction that afternoon, the suspended panel design proved inclusive; with direction from Jonathan and the other architects present, families stapled the burlap screens’ sides to the wooden beams and knelt to tuck uneven edges beneath the frame.  A congregation member and his son had stopped to help on their way to a soccer game, another woman had dedicated her entire afternoon to the project, and a mother ran to pick up another staple gun with her son in tow.  Rabbi Singer himself pulled a pair of scissors from his pocket to help the volunteers, saying “In the season of our joy, we remember with humility not to compartmentalize ourselves from nature.”

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The sukkah will remain in place for the duration of the holiday, which ends on Sunday, October 4th.  For more creative sukkah designs, check out this gallery of entrants in 2010’s Sukkah City competition, which selected 12 designs to be constructed and displayed in New York City’s Union Square Park: http://www.sukkahcity.com/

– Abigail

Update: The sukkah continues to welcome the community with great success throughout the holiday.  Sunday evening, a crowd of people enjoyed fulfilling the mitzvah of eating in the sukkah, and the courtyard has since hosted preschool breakfasts, staff lunches, the congregation’s Youth Education family day, and Wednesday night’s Women’s Group gathering.

Summer 2015 Newsletter...

Happy summer from Feldman Architecture! This summer brings new projects, fresh faces, and a surprising amount of hot weather in San Francisco. Our new endeavors are a diverse group of projects ranging from residential projects in Santa Cruz, Tiburon, Los Altos Hills, and Menlo Park to a civic installation to a commercial kitchen.

The Summer issue of Luxe Interiors + Designcurrently on stands features our Spring Ranch project on the cover. The article focuses on the sustainable features such as rammed earth and thoughtful configurations that promote passive heating and cooling throughout the year. The ultimate goal of an environmentally conscious structure that marries into the landscape is part of what makes this house special and the orientation frames the sweeping views toward the owner’s 500-acre ranch.

This month, the IIDA Northern California Chapter is hosting a tour of our Presidio VC Offices to celebrate the project winning an Honor Award in their 2015 awards program. We continue to be overwhelmed by the response to our premier commercial endeavor. The tour will be led by the project architects and spaces are available through the IIDA website if you would like to attend.

In other news, spring was the optimal moment to capture two recently completed projects within the context of mature landscaping in Carmel and Portola Valley. The Portola Valley Ranch shoot is a new residence on our website and above is a sneak peek at the Carmel house.

On September 24th, Jonathan will be co-chairing the DIFFA Designs fundraising event, presented by Roche Bobois. DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids) has granted more than $41 million to organizations nationwide that provide direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventative education for those at risk. Jonathan is delighted to take part in an evening for such a good cause.

The Feldman crew is excited to announce that we are once again taking part in the LEAP Sandcastle Contest in October, teaming up with Peninsula Custom Homes, ZFA Structural Engineers, and Thuilot Associates. This year’s theme is “Sand Cinema” and our team is known as the Coastbusters!We love being able to utilize our experience in the field of architecture and collaborate with colleagues for such a great cause. We will be getting our hands dirty and supporting students from Jefferson Elementary School again this year in NorCal’s largest sandcastle building contest on October 10th at Ocean Beach. A big fundraising event is in the works for September so stay tuned! You can find out about more team fundraising activities as the details develop or donate by visiting our LEAP team page here.

In an effort to properly showcase the talented crew behind the firm we had an in-house photo shoot to have new staff photos taken and a group shot of the entire team! We were actually able to get one shot where nobody blinked including our mascot Briar Wu. We will be updating our staff pages as soon as Jonathan decides which version of his ‘blue steel’ he likes best.
We would like to give a big welcome to two new employees, Ahlam Reiley and Nick Polansky. Ahlam is a licensed, LEED architect with commercial and residential experience in the Bay Area and in the Middle East. Nick is an MIT graduate and designer with residential and restaurant experience who recently completed an artist-in-residence program at Autodesk Pier 9. Their range of talent is an exciting addition to the Feldman team.
We’d also like to officially acknowledge our summer intern, Evan McCurdy (above left). He joined us from UC Berkeley’s Bachelor of Architecture program. We gave Evan a well-rounded glimpse of the life of an architect. When asked about the highlights of his experience at Feldman, Evan said, “FA has put me on 13 different projects, taken me on numerous site visits and thrown me into several client meetings. I have learned a great deal here as the fly on the wall, but even more as a man on a horse. Thanks for the horseback ride FA.”

Have a wonderful rest of your summer, and we’ll see you in the fall!

Sou Fujimoto Exhibit...

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A quick report from my visit of “Sou Fujimoto: FUTURE OF THE FUTURE” exhibit at Gallery-Ma in Tokyo.

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You can see the rigor/seriousness for the exploration of new and unconventional ideas in these models, but you can also see that there is a sense of humor and curiosity in his approach, and I really enjoyed that duality. Some of the models looked like ideas only kids would come up with: a pine cone as a shelter?

You also saw ideas being recycled/reimagined/reinvestigated. In some instances, parts of models were literally repurposed and reincorporated into the subsequent iteration of the study models. Forms were derived from these explorations, but the explorations were never just for the sake of form-making.

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I have seen a number of great exhibits in this space over the years but I found this one to be extra special. It helped that they had amazing contents to work with, but I was really impressed with the presentation. The two rooms and the courtyard were filled with a series of study models. The scales of the models worked really well with the scales of the spaces, and the models were curated to tell a very concise visual story of  the Sou Fujimoto’s philosophy through the evolution in his design.

– Tai

Fujimoto 3http://www.toto.co.jp/gallerma/ex150417/index_e.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axbGK5gydSA

 

Stage 3 – Tour of California...

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Early morning van ride to the Livermore Start.

Our friends at Murray Engineers, Renaissance Stone Care & Waterproofing, Von Clemm Construction & VIA hosted an event that invited approximately 50 local tradespeople/bicycling enthusiasts to ride Stage 3 of the Tour of California before the pros hit the course. About 50 participants were shuttled from the Los Altos for a 7am start in Livermore. The ride was fully supported with rest stops, lunch on top of Mt. Hamilton and VIP access at the Finish Line of the stage. Finishing a couple hours ahead of the pros gave everyone time to change clothes, enjoy food and drink, relax, watch the remainder of the race on TVs, cheer on the Pros at the finish line and the enjoy the festival. I enjoyed a well-earned post ride meal of (9) tacos, multiple desserts, (3) cokes, and 2 quarts of water. Here are some photos from the day.

– Chris K.

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Invited attendees (Architects, Engineers, Builders, Contractors)

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View from the backside of Mt. Hamilton looking back towards Livermore.

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Andy Murray being interviewed by Frankie Andreu.

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Chris and Andy at the finish line after completing 77miles and 8000ft of climbing.

Spring 2015 Newsletter...

The spring brings ramped up construction, photo shoots, and some great exposure for Feldman Architecture. In February, we learned that the Presidio VC Offices won anHonor Award from the Northern California Chapter of the International Interior Design Association. And a few weeks ago, the San Francisco chapter of the AIA recognized the project with an Merit Award in their annual awards ceremony. We’re thrilled that our first Corporate Interiors project has been so well received, and we are excited to extend our reach into the commercial field. To see additional photos of the project, look at our website.
In publication news, our Wall Street Journal debut featured the Fitty Wun House including a nice write-up on the owners. A short video accompanied the online version of the article that really captures the true intent of the design to make the center of the home a courtyard for the family to interact from anywhere in the space.

NanaWall took over the Butterfly House this spring. They filmed with a drone camera that flew outside and through the house. The video, which you can view on their blog, highlights one of our favorite design concepts of seamless indoor to outdoor living. We love seeing these videos of our projects as they offer a new vantage point in which to experience the design that we would not have a chance to see otherwise.

Earlier this spring, the Feldman team had the opportunity to walk through a few of our projects under construction in the South Bay. We visited projects in Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley, and Palo Alto. These projects are all at different phases of construction, with some (Los Altos Hills 2, Palo Alto 2) approaching completion and others (Portola Valley Prairie, Palo Alto 3) in their early stages of construction.

The trip presented the staff with great learning opportunities and a sense of accomplishment to get out in the field and experience the tangible efforts of their designs firsthand, as their hard work moved from the computer screen to life.

We have recently been able to photograph some of our newly completed projects, which will be up on our website soon. Here’s a scouting shot from one of our Healdsburg projects, which sports large counter-weighted doors that open up the great room to spectacular views.

Photo by Jay Graham.
Finally, we’d like to give a big welcome to our newest team member, Lauren Wynveen, who joined our staff in March. Her initiation to the office was joining us at an office event with Riggs Distributing, where the staff competed in an “Iron Chef”-style cooking competition. Lauren must have done some cooking before joining Feldman, because her team won first place for best dish!

After an amazing first half of the year, we’re looking forward seeing where the second half of 2015 will take us. As always, thanks to our extended Feldman Family—we couldn’t do this without you!

Kat, Steven, and Lauren have some fun while mixing up salad.

Winter 2015 Newsletter...

Happy New Year from Feldman Architecture!

We hope your 2015 is off to a good start. We would like to kick off the New Year with a couple of major announcements for the firm that we are excited to share. First, we are pleased to announce the appointment of both Tai Ikegami and Chris Kurrle to Partners. Tai has been with the company for ten years, and has been pivotal in growing the firm from its early days in Jonathan’s basement. Now with two office space upgrades and 16 additional staff, Tai continues to help lead the firm with his design and technical expertise. Chris joined the firm in 2011 and has helped manage our firm’s quick growth in the past few years. Utilizing his strong technical background and diverse design experience, Chris continues to mentor staff through all facets of design and construction. It’s with great pride we welcome Tai and Chris to their new positions. We are excited to have their leadership as the firm continues to grow.

The four partners of Feldman Architecture.
The new partner announcement wasn’t the only big thing to come out of December for Feldman Architecture. Our Presidio VC Office project (pictured above) won a Best of Year Award from Interior Design magazine. We would like to acknowledge our internal team, Caroline Arpa, Lindsey Theobald, and Aaron Lim, and extend a big thank you to the rest of the project team for helping us complete our premier Corporate Interiors endeavor! To receive our prize, Jonathan and Lindsey travelled to NYC in December to attend the awards ceremony. Photographs of the project can be viewed on our website and look for more coverage of the project in the January issue of Interior Design.
In other news, we have a few projects entering their final stages of construction which should be wrapping up in the next couple of months. We are finishing the details on two remodels in the San Francisco neighborhood of Noe Valley, both full remodels including horizontal and vertical additions. In the hills above the town of Healdsburg, we are putting on the finishing touches to a clients’ weekend getaway. We’ll be posting more construction photos to our Facebook page and website, so make sure to keep your eyes out for those.
This year for our company holiday gathering, we enjoyed great food and fine drinks at Central Kitchen in the Mission. We raised a glass to our new partners, our wonderful staff and good things to come in the new year.

Thanks to many of you, 2014 was a spectacular year for Feldman Architecture, and we’re looking forward to what 2015 has in store!

Presidio VC Offices Wins Interior Design Best of Year Award!...

We are pleased to announce that Interior Design selected our Presidio VC Offices project as a winner in their Best of Year Awards program in the Small Office – Corporate category. Jonathan and Lindsey, who worked on the project alongside Caroline, Aaron, and many others, traveled to New York City to attend the award presentation event last week. We are very excited to have been recognized by such a prestigious awards program, especially with our first commercial project! We can’t wait to get working on our next one! Check out some pictures from Jonathan and Lindsey’s trip  and the awards event below.

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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)

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