On the heels of our joint success at the 2015 LEAP Sandcastle Contest, where we joined forces with ZFA, PCH, and the students of Jefferson Elementary to build a Jabba the Hutt sand monstrosity, Stefan Thuilot visited our office to share some insight and images of some more elegant projects. Many of the projects Stefan shared were carefully crafted garden designs for private residences, and their understated aesthetics seemed both carefully planned and natural, engaging with the original site instead of supplanting it. Using fire and water as dynamic design components, Steven weaves disparate elements of each garden puzzle into a coherent whole to heighten the sensory experience it offers.
Stefan’s exploration of indoor-outdoor living spaces requires extensive collaboration with architects like FA itself, and it was interesting to take a peek at the opposite side of that back and forth.
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.
“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.”
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/
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.
A quick report from my visit of “Sou Fujimoto: FUTURE OF THE FUTURE” exhibit at Gallery-Ma in Tokyo.
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.
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.
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.
Invited attendees (Architects, Engineers, Builders, Contractors)
View from the backside of Mt. Hamilton looking back towards Livermore.
Andy Murray being interviewed by Frankie Andreu.
Chris and Andy at the finish line after completing 77miles and 8000ft of climbing.
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.
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!!
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.
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!