The Monterey Design Conference kicked off at Asilomar Conference grounds in Pacific Grove, Designed by Julia Morgan in 1913. Here, every two years, architects and designers gather to hear from local and international industry leaders who are shaping the future of our built environments. A group of us ventured down south from San Francisco to soak it all in, finding no shortage of inspiration from the speaker discussions, workshops, and perhaps most of all from the surrounding coastal landscape in which we were all happily immersed together for the weekend.
Between conference events we also found time to enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company; Matt, Jon, and Bridgett got out for early morning runs along the ridgelines of the preserve, Jess made egg sandwiches breakfast, Kevin helped his team win at the board game Cranium, and Bridgett even made a fabulous vegan chocolate cake!
Tai and Elaine joined us on Saturday to tour the Feldman houses completed and under construction in the Preserve, and on Sunday our most recently completed Preserve project The Butterfly House was on tour for the conference. We returned after the weekend feeling refreshed and inspired.
– Matthew and Kevin
The team at Feldman makes the most of their weekends. See below! All images were taken Labor Day Weekend 2013.
Bridgett hiked to The Tourist Club on Mount Tamalpais.
Caroline was at Flora Grubb along with the resident cat.
Chris driving back from Paso Robles.
Hannah snapped a pic of the America’s Cup.
With the Bay Bridge closed for the weekend, Jess took a ferry to the East Bay.
Jonathan training the next generation of architects.
Kevin hiking in the Marin Headlands.
Lindsey and her girls at the Larkspur Marin Country Mart.
Michael found a friend at the Monterey County Fair.
Sunset from Nick’s rooftop.
Brett at a trailhead in Lucas Valley.
Steven’s daughter at the Salk Institute.
“For me, this is what it’s all about: finding sources of inspiration outside of architecture and bringing it back [to our work]”. This was Tai’s takeaway from two recent field trips that got the Feldman Architecture team got out of the office and into the field. Both offered the opportunity to gain better understanding of the raw materials and the processes that are used to manipulate them: first wood at Arborica in Marshall and then concrete at Concreteworks in Oakland.
When he realized he was feeling burnt out on the restaurant business, Evan Shively, the acclaimed chef, hung up his apron and bought a piece of land outside Marshall in Sonoma County to pursue his second dream. His vision is a lumber yard; not just any lumber yard, but a specialized mill that transforms reclaimed old-growth timbers into pieces of art. Most of the trees are over 400 years old, and the wood can take 20 years to age at a rate that maximizes stability. “It takes someone unique,” recalls Tai, “someone with an artistic eye for the material as well as the patience and the long view to carve out this kind of a business. Evan feels a responsibility to use the wood in ways that it will be most appreciated. He has learned to let the wood itself be his source of inspiration, working with the wood rather than against it.”
Andrew Kudless was working on concrete panels to be erected at the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France, and the Feldman team got a peak behind the scenes at the project. In collaboration with Concreteworks, a local fabrication studio that specializes in concrete furniture and fixtures, Andrew is testing the limits of textiles as formwork for concrete. The pieces for the FRAC commission employ Andrew’s innovative fabric-based form making combined with Concretework’s new fiberglass reinforcing technology, allowing almost endless exploration of thin-shell concrete forms. “It’s exciting to see local craftspeople who are spearheading a revolution in concrete,” said Tai. “By manipulating the production process, they are pushing the envelope and teaching us new ways to engage with a familiar material.” The installation just went up at the FRAC center, so if you find yourself in France, make sure to check it out.
We are very pleased to release a special announcement that Steven Stept, AIA, has joined Feldman Architecture as a Principal of the firm! Steven brings to us over 25 years of experience with an expertise in residential architecture. Steven has extensive studio leadership experience and has been recognized for his skillful and efficient manner in managing staff and projects; achieving clients’ budgets, schedules and goals on assignments of varying complexity and delivery methods. His ability to establish a team approach involving staff, consultants, clients, and users has been instrumental in producing highly successful projects – not only custom residential but also multi-family residential developments, commercial interiors and institutional projects.
Steven will apply his considerable background and skill to help enrich the work of Feldman Architecture as it focuses on making its designs and process worthy of the increasing challenges of our exciting new projects. He will add a seasoned design voice to Feldman’s already collaborative process and provide even more rigor to the firm’s production and management, while freeing up Jonathan to focus more on design and business development. Steven also brings a handful of wonderful projects and clients with him – which the whole firm will enjoy guiding to completion.
We look forward to introducing you to Steven in person when you next visit our office, and in the meantime, please find Steven’s bio here.
With this summer comes sun, swim, America’s Cup racing and lots of projects under construction for Feldman Architecture. The office has been a little quieter of late as site visits become more frequent. And for those in the office, we frequently step outside to look down the street and see an AC75 cruising by.
In the news, our Telegraph Hill Renovation was profiled in San Francisco’s Best of the Bay Area issue this July. Photos of this spectacular home and its stunning 360° views are now up on our website. The San Francisco Chronicle profiled The Shack which was one of the sites on the Marin Home Tour in May. The Tour brought hundreds of design enthusiasts through five homes in Marin and also led to an interview with Jonathan on Curbed SF which we encourage you to check out. Finally, the Forest Hills Renovation is appearing in the Summer issue of Modern Luxury Interiors California – check out pages 54-56.
In hardcover, three Feldman projects were profiled in Loft Publications’ new 150 Best Balcony and Terrace Ideas; these include 2Bar, Open Box and the Pacific Heights Townhouse. We’re pleased to announce that the Butterfly House in Carmel will be featured on the Home Tours for the Monterey Design Conference held on September 27, 28 and 29th at Asilomar. Check out the bobcat that’s been visiting the clients at Butterfly on a regular basis and enjoying their beautiful concrete walls!
The eco+historical Victorian Update, in collaboration with developer Joshua Mogal of eco+historical, was awarded LEED Platinum this spring bringing the tally up to 4 Feldman homes certified under the LEED for Homes program. We recently finished photography at the Santa Cruz Haus, also a LEED Platinum home. Several more are in the pipeline and awaiting final certification.
Feldman continues to edit two blog sites and with GreenArchitectureNotes.com, we are launching a new series which features the reclaiming of unused urban space. Our first post profiles Chicago’s efforts to reuse the Bloomingdale Train Line for a new system of trails and the second edition looks at the Lowline in NYC’s Lower East Side. We are always looking for projects to feature so if you have something new, please submit to one of the staff members.
In house, we sadly said goodbye to Elaine Uang in June as she begins new ventures in architecture, planning and community building in Palo Alto. Thankfully, after one year in Los Angeles, Camille Cladouhos returned to San Francisco and to Feldman just as Elaine was saying goodbye. And in personal news, Hannah recently married her sweetheart, Patrick, at City Hall and they’re anxiously anticipating the arrival of Baby Brown-Lopes in September.
On Thursday, June 13th Feldman Architecture hosted Bay Area Young Architects (BAYA) for their monthly Firm Presentation and Tour. With beverages and snacks in hand, 30-40 people gathered to get the inside scoop of the firm’s ethos, work, and design process through 5 completed and ongoing projects. As Jonathan moderated the discussion, attendees were lead through the stories of context and particular conditions of each project by their respective project managers.
Thank you BAYA for a wonderful evening of good conversation and architecture.