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!
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:
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)
Lana del Rey (Lindsey)
Franki Valli (Steven)
John Legend (Steven)
Floating Coffin – Thee Oh Sees (Jess)
23 – Blonde Redhead (Jess)
Check Your Head – Beastie Boys (Chris)
Restorations – Restorations (Ben)
Earlier this summer, I had the chance to visit Japan and traveled to many Zen Buddhist temples in Kyoto. Kyoto is located in an inland river valley and is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. Many of the temples I visited are situated on the outskirts of the city at the base of the mountains where the city ends and the forest begins making for an incredible contrast between urban and rural space. In a way, these temples are a transitory space with one foot in nature and the other in setting is perhaps best described in the Japanese concept of ma, which can mean blankness or distance. Ma is a transitory experiential concept; for example, it is the silence between sounds which gives shape to music.
The focal point of many of these temples is a garden with a large open space and meandering paths. The temples themselves surround these open spaces, which can consist of ponds or dry landscape gardens, or karesansui , and are highly manicured. While these gardens are essentially courtyard spaces, they are never seen in isolation from nature. Often, a view from the engawa, or veranda, of a temple will extend from the garden to the mountains or city beyond which demonstrates the concept of shakkei or borrowed scenery. The karesansui are so detailed that attention is paid to the scale and coloration of the millions of tiny white rocks and sculpted moss that resonate when seen against the fine backdrop of the trees or buildings beyond.
These gardens cultivate an appreciation of ma and therefore an awareness of one’s own consciousness. Like viewing a painting, they are meant to be viewed from afar and are physically inaccessible. Walking through the temple grounds, the emptiness of the gardens heightens one’s awareness of the physicality of the structures themselves and the details of construction in the same way the color blue when placed against the color red highlights the redness of red and vice versa. In this way, the ma of these gardens makes nature more natural and the cities more concrete.
World Cup fever is upon us – so we hope you are enjoying the ‘kick-off’ of summer as many of us are with the occasional office break to view the action and root on our favorite teams. Speaking of action – the firm had plenty of activity, exposure, and several new faces join us this past spring.
In April, the Butterfly House in the Santa Lucia Preserve was featured on the cover of Dwell Magazine. We are thankful for the beautiful coverage of the project with a wonderful story by Emily Thelin and fantastic photos by Joe Fletcher. To celebrate, the Feldman team hosted a party at the Barrel House in San Francisco, an amazing former speakeasy, with dinner and drinks by Dosa and music by Cure for Gravity.
We are excited to announce LEED Gold status has been achieved for the Salamander House in the LEED for Homes program. Congratulations to our Salamander clients and design team for embarking on this challenging but rewarding path to certification! Feldman Architecture has now managed its 5th LEED certification, 4 Platinum and 1 Gold, with several more homes currently in the USGBC’s system.
Upcoming this fall, as a part of the AIA San Francisco’s Architecture in the City festival in September, the Fitty Wun House will be featured on the AIA Home Tours as one of several homes opened to architecture aficionados to tour on the weekend of September 20-21st. This yearly event can sell out so don’t miss this opportunity for a fun-filled day of architectural adventure. Please visit the AIA website at www.aiasf.org/hometours for tickets.
Finally, we are excited to welcome 3 new staff members to the firm. Ben Welty, originally from South Carolina, brings several years of high-end residential experience and Jessica Gill, a recent graduate from RISD and Reed College hailing from across the Bay in Berkeley, are already busy working on a variety of new commissions. Bianca Mills joined as our new Office Manager and with several years of experience in architecture and related creative fields is a wonderful addition to our team. This summer, we are also hosting Pavan Vadgama from UC Berkeley who is completing a summer course on Professional Practice which includes working in our office. We also note that his FIFA bracket is perfect to date; he has picked all of the winners so far! To celebrate the new members of the firm, Brett Moyer hosted a party at his lovely remodeled Eichler home in Marin where everyone enjoyed the sun, drinks and delicious food while getting to know our new colleagues.
We look forward to working with many of you throughout 2014. Enjoy your summer!
Earlier this Spring I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to take in firsthand the urban transportation infrastructure, social policies, and landscape qualities of Curitiba. While it lies off the beaten path for many tourists, there are a tremendous amount of lessons and insights that can be gleamed from the city and its history of sustainable design practices.
A common thread running through many the programs, infrastructure, and buildings is a keen eye for what already exists in the environment. As an example, the main public transportation system was directly influenced by historical roads that organized the city, one running north/south (from cattle herding) and one running east/west (from the ocean to the mountains). This in turn led to a linear axial organization of zoning and residential density along transportation corridors.
The park system of Curitiba also offers a window into this way of thinking, from both landscape and cultural perspectives. Some parks, such as Parque Barigui, respond to the need for flood control while others, such as Parque do Papa offer scenarios for resident immigrant populations to maintain connections to traditional ways of buildings and living.
In response to material use, several public buildings and much of the park infrastructure is built from salvaged telephone poles. A story told while visiting the Department for the Environment was given of how an individual one day called the Department wondering what could be done with an excess of wood telephone poles as new metal ones were being erected. It happened to be a time when the Department of the Environment was constructing and planning a campus of buildings for itself. Instead burning, incinerating, or discarding the telephone poles the Department used them to construct their buildings and park infrastructure.
In the current climate of sustainability awareness, Curitiba offers a wonderful window into synergies generated through the participation of landscape, material, culture, social, and transportation qualities of the built environment.
– Kevin Barden
I attended a four-day Zero Net Energy course co-sponsored by Solar Action Alliance and PG&E. Topics ranged from Home Energy Audits for existing homes to determining the best types of fuel sources to achieve Net Zero Energy on a new home.
Here are a few facts I learned that you might find useful for saving energy in your current home without having to open up any walls or replacing your mechanical system:
- In the market for a new appliance, LED replacement lamps, car or laptop? Check out TopTen USA for the most up to date information on which brand and model are actually achieving the highest ranks in energy and performance.
- Refrigerators with the freezer on top or bottom, (rather than vertically along the side) are more energy efficient.
- EnergyStar has never regulated clothes dryers. Most electric clothes dryers consume as much energy as a new fridge, washing machine, and dishwasher combined!
- What can you do? Gas powered clothes dryers use much less energy and innovations for electric dryers that use technology such as heat exchangers are in the works.
- Biggest “plug load” found in your home? The TV.
- While TVs have made some of the biggest improvements in energy consumption reduction, they have also gotten bigger and we own more of them per household, (proving that regulation does not need to hinder sales)
- The preset mode you have it set in can help save energy. For example, ‘Preset Cinema’ uses less than 125 watts of energy while ‘Preset Vivid’ and the ‘Default Retail Vivid’ usesover 250 watts.
- Idle electric loads average 36% of your electric bill. Do you often leave home and wonder if you left the lights on or the thermostat turned up?
- You can turn lamps and electronics off remotely, (even from your iPhone) with a simple wireless controller installed at the outlet: ByeBye Standby Wireless Remote Control Energy Saving Kit
- Control your lights remotely with wireless light switches: Belkin WeMo Light Switch
- Control your thermostat online: Nest Learning Thermostat and Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat.
Happy New Year from Feldman Architecture!
The end of 2013 brought exciting news for the firm as the Butterfly House, which we worked on with Bernard Trainor + Associates and Groza Construction, won a coveted Design Award from AIA Monterey Bay! Congratulations to the Butterfly House design and construction team.
The design of our office renovation was featured in the special edition of Design Bureau which was released in December. This coincides with the completion of another fabulous office renovation in the Presidio for a VC firm with Novo Construction. We also completed the Sausalito Outlookwith Forsythe Construction and the photos are in. You’ll see that the clients had lots of collectibles, books, and music which required careful planning and coordination to find organized and elegant storage solutions.
You may be flipping between this newsletter and our projects, and if so, you will notice our big news – the launching of a re-vamped website! This website is intended to highlight new work and feature the stunning photography of our projects while being more compatible to viewing the site on a variety of devices. You should notice bigger, bolder images but also note in terms of content that our blog now includes all of the content formerly hosted on Green Architecture Notes. The new blog will continue to highlight all things Feldman and fully integrate our thoughts and research on sustainability – as we do in any of our projects.
This fall, we have been enjoying working with Humbeen Geo, an intern and recent grad of UC Berkeley, so much that we welcome Humbeen as our newest addition to the staff.
Wishing you a happy, prosperous New Year and looking forward to working together throughout 2014!
In September, London hosted its 10th annual Design Festival, an event and exhibition showcasing the country’s best and most inspirations designs, designers, retailers, manufacturers, educators – anyone and anything having to do with design. There were events held all over the city, including massive installations by some of the world’s most exciting and inspiring designers. I love to see art installed off of museum walls, so, although I didn’t actually go to London to see these in person (sigh), the most exciting new designs for me were the installations that took over whole spaces. Two project in particular looked truly transformational: Benjamin Hubert’s Amass screen for the trade show auditorium and Najla El Zein’s windmill gate.
Our office has loved Benjamin Hubert’s lights all year (stay tuned a bio-type post on him soon), so it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of his take on a partition for the Festival’s trade show auditorium. Hubert’s Amass partition is a series of branches delicately hanging from top supports. The result is an ethereal screen in an organic form which both defines the space but also provides enough transparency to let passers-by get a glimpse of the activity within.
The branches actually are injection-moulded polypropylene, assembled from a kit of parts. After the event is over, the branches can be taken apart and reassembled for another event or venue. Hubert’s plan is to sell Amass as screen/partition/wall for other commercial and contract projects. Amass comes as a kit of parts which allows for many variations in assembly. To get a better idea of how these parts come together, check out this video taken of the Amass installation at the Festival.
Like Hubert’s Amass, Najla El Zein Studio’s The Wind Portal also blurs the definition of wall, partition, and door. The portal is a transition element between the Festival’s trade show and the outside, but one that charmingly interacts with those walking by.
The gate is a series of 5,000 windmills precisely placed to and controlled by a computerized wind system, which spins different windmills at different times and at different speeds. The installation isn’t completely about control, as the movement of air caused by passers-by also causes the windmills to turn. It’s thrilling when you can see how your actions directly affect your surroundings and Najla El Zein created a lovely way for that to happen.
Zein says that “the installation aims to make visitors feel and hear that they are transitioning between two spaces. It defines an exaggeration of a specific sensorial movement that each of us experiences throughout our daily lives.” Watch the video to see how people react – it’s wonderful.