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Thursday, March 21st, 2013

A Range of A-Frames


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As a kid, A-frame houses always fascinated me; we’d look for them on family road trips like we looked for punch buggies and Alaska license plates. It was probably this awesome Fisher Price A-Frame; it was quite a contemporary  step up from the barn and more relaxing than the airplane:

Below is the house that launched a thousand A-frames, designed by architect Andrew Geller in Long Island NY and built in 1955. It’s known as the Reese house and is responsible for the surge in A-frame popularity in the fifties through the seventies. If you’re looking to extend your break from work right now, be sure to read this article by Alastair Gordon and check out more stunning shots of Geller’s work.

It was this super cool A-frame in ReadyMade magazine several years ago that recaptured my imagination, in fact, I’m pretty sure I blogged about it at the time.

These cool A-frames on the beach in Texas sure beat the heck out of a crumbling motel:

A-frames also inspired groovy ads and prints that have big time retro appeal today, like this one from SVPPLY:

If you’re really going for a kitschy look, check out this tall narrow A-frame outhouse:

I don’t know what I love more, the genius new addition on this classic A-frame in Belgium or the way the Panton Chairs look on its deck. See more of this addition by dmvA Architects over at i.d.

Finally, designers are using the the original A-frame silhouette as inspiration for incredible new architecture, like this one located in the Pyrenees, designed by Cadaval & Solà-Morales:

Finding fab a-frames is so easy on the internet that I thought we should have a little collection to admire. We’ll keep collecting them in our new A-frame Pinterest board. If you have any you’d like to share, please shoot us a link in the Comments section.


Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Around the Web: Light Bright Architecture


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Lately the clever ways architects and photographers have been showing off architecture with colorful lights has been catching my eye. Case in point: Hotel G in Hong Kong, found via Tablet.

Those of you who have stuck with this blog for a long time know that I have a think for buildings that remind me of playing Jenga (which I stink at, by the way). I spied this rendering of Vertical Omotesando by WAI Architecture over on design boom and my Jenga hand got the shakes with excitement. I love the smaller lit volumes within the greater tower’s volume. According to the article, this assemblage was inspired by the horizontal rhythm of the buildings on the street below. The icing on the cake is the way they rendered the glowing colors inside.

This sculpture by Brooklyn artist Tom Fruin has been making the rounds, physically and online. It’s called Kolonihavehus, after modest garden sheds in Copenhagen. It’s made of over 1,000 reclaimed pieces of plexiglass. I’m not sure which is more striking; the shot of it all lit up at night, or the way it glows in broad daylight:

If you don’t already know the rest of this building, you’ll be very surprised when you see it, which is what makes this colored wall even more of a delight. It’s the Solar S. Roque Gallery by Manuel Maia Gomes, and it’s located in Vila do Condo, Portugal. Be sure to check out the rest of the virtual tour at ArchDaily.

Spied any Light Bright magic around lately? Please shoot us a link or a photo in the comments section!


Friday, January 25th, 2013

People Who Live In Glass Houses …


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The other day we threw a question to our Facebook friends – Could you live in a glass house (or do ya throw a lot of stones)? I suppose for me it would depend on the setting. I’d want my glass house to to connect with beautiful views as it blurred the lines between inside and out, but I would not want to live in a fishbowl! Here are some gorgeous glass houses to look at while you ponder this question.

The glass standard is Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. I’m so excited that it is now possible to visit – for more information on planning a visit, go to

We spied this amazing house over on Rapson Architects. I’m not sure which I’m more taken with, the house or this amazing photograph with the Rapson chair silhouette drawing the eye at the edge of the deck.

This gorgeous home in Japan caught my eye over on It’s called The Optical Glass House and it’s in downtown Hiroshima, Japan. If you do an Google image search of the architect, Hiroshi Nakamura, prepare for your mind to be blown.

This home by Ohlhausen DuBois Architects in Santa Fe fights the harsh sunlight via clever overhangs.

No idea what the story is, but I’m loving this rendering of the Ice Cube house by Santambrogiomilano.

The view from inside: This home by Thomas Phifer and Partners is on Fisher’s Island, New York.

So what do you say to glass houses, yea or nay? Let us know in the comments section!


Friday, November 30th, 2012

Around the Web This Week


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Hey all! Has this been the world’s longest week or what? I am so excited that it’s finally Friday! There haven’t been many minutes to spare for web surfing (do people still say that, or is it totally 1995?), but we’ve been having fun playing around with our formerly semi-dormant Pinterest account.

1. Pinteresting. If I dive into Jonathan Boivin’s pins, I may never get another post written, so I’m just dipping in a toe. If your eyes need to rest on a lot of cool stuff, check out his Architecture Board. I love a house perched in the woods, especially photographed in snow. Thanks for leading us to the Delta Shelter by Olson Kundig Architects Jonathan!

2. More ethereal architecture. Jonathan’s pins led me over to Gis Van Vaerenbergh’s site, which led me to this amazing project, Reading Between the Lines. A vernacular church reimagined in the landscape, rendered in concrete and steel:

photo by Filip Dujardin

3. Art Basel and shoes. Alright, going in a vastly different direction, I was catching up on a little Neiman Marcus blog action and came across these handpainted Charlotte Olympia Lichtenstein-inspired shoes. In honor of all the Art Basel festivities, Ms. Olympia will be in the Bal Harbour Neiman’s store December 4, hand-painting her Dolly platform pump in the shoe salon. There’s some private event buying and pre-ordering involved. While I wouldn’t dare teeter around on such a platform, I’d put them in a lucite box and admire them:

image via NMDaily

Speaking of Art Basel, I’m in love with this piece, from Spain’s galería elba benítez:

image from Art Basel via galería elba benítez

4. Christmas tunes. What else is going on this week besides trying to avoid bad holiday music? My favorite Christmas song will always be Joan Jett’s version of Little Drummer Boy, with Christmas In Hollis by Run-DMC running a close second, which can be found on the first A Very Special Christmas album with the awesome cover art by the late Keith Haring.

For an entire album that makes for some nice tree-trimming background music, you really can’t go wrong with A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Bringing Up The Barn


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I remember looking for a house with my parents when I was a teenager – one of my favorites was a converted 19th century dairy barn. The center of the first floor had a two-story volume, with a balcony all around it that led to the bedrooms around the perimeter of the second floor. Everything had been painted white. The whole house had the feeling of a rustic gallery. It was super cool and supremely impractical for our family, but it’s stuck with me. Thus, I felt like seeking out some converted barns to share with you today.

Converting a barn can help preserve not only the building but also the feel of the agrarian landscape. These are treasures that all too often are left to rot and fall apart. Here are som wonderful examples of barns-turned-homes for people:

This one is from Colonial Barn Restoration Inc.

The way they converted the large barn door into an entryway with side lites and a transom is especially clever.

Original rustic beams, wood siding and doors keep the feeling of the old barn alive.

Another great thing about barns is that they have tons of space for things like basketball and racquetball courts.

This barn by Kissling Architecture in Fredericksburg, Texas has been converted into a gorgeous ranch house. It’s remarkable how the massing has such modern lines:

The original stone adds so much patina and history, both inside and out:

The way simple, vernacular lines of buildings like barns, built for form over function, compare to the clean lines and simplicity of modern architecture is quite striking. This is especially apparent in this rustic-meets-modern project by Aldridge & Tanno Architects: