Kudos from a customer: warms the heart

Hi Mike,

…. I was very pleased to work with Joe Montalvo and his team of tradesmen.  I credit him with the way costs were contained; they ended  up being very close to the estimates and allowances we assembled last July.  There were surprises and complications along the way of course, but we worked together to solve problems.  There is one more inspection and Joe won’t call for it until fans are installed in the crawlspace as specified.  The cost of the project came out to be very close to your estimate of nearly a year ago, when initial discussions were leading up to actual drawings and specifications.

 

The remodel has improved the look of the house immensely.  The reconfigured interior space is great, and we really like the Velux skylights you recommended.  I will soon have new furniture and then the space can begin to feel like home again.  The patio is especially terrific.  Reorienting it along the long axis of the house, under the new trusses has made a huge difference in function and appearance. 

 

Many thanks for getting us to this point.  The house is a better fit now, and we should have many good years to enjoy it.

 

Judy

 

Container Architecture in an Urban setting

Container architecture is a trendy modality that is gaining traction.  When driven to consider this motif strictly by ‘low budget’ the results can be disasterous.  There are emerging examples of how this design specialty can add an edgy vibe in a low density environment, even in a ‘quasi urban’ setting.   

 

Ideally, infill development has design details that contribute to a neighborhood’s economic vitality. Examples include high quality materials, permanent landscaping, creative and innovative use of light, color, and form; massing which is compatible with the existing streetscape, and thoughtful provisions for such mundance necessities as utilities, trash, security, and ‘eyes on the street’ at all hours. 

 

Using Containers in architecture is a new and evolving motif that can in theory achieve desired goals, but the highest degree of design experience talent and resources are required to do so with this modality as compared to more conventional development. A well thought out design whether using containers or not adds stability, visual appeal, economic vitality and beauty in façade and landscape treatment.  


Here is an example of a container ‘restaurant’ structure that is in downtown Carlsbad.  In it’s context, I believe this has been a successful installation.  Part of the story is that the container motif helped avoid any excavation on this former gas station occupied parcel with serious ground contamination that prevented excavation.  Landscape consisted of stabilized decomposed granite and artificial turf, with wrought iron fencing.  There are probably other examples of how this design challenge has been ‘pulled off ‘ – along with I’m afraid many examples of attempts which have been less than successful. 

 

For an example of what would be a visual disaster in a similar urban location, here is a different example of a ‘container art gallery’.  While this project has won design awards – it works only in its suburban setting as a temporary installation space.  In an urban setting it would have been a visual disaster.  The interiors are lovely – but this composition is not so friendly on the exterior.  More here: http://aiasf.org/programs/competition/design-awards/2012/triskelion/

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Design Studies for a new Second Story

Another Land Park Transformation taking shape: From One story to Two.  Sustainability includes making better use of small homes on small parcels to accommodate the needs of modern families.  In the traditional close in neighborhoods of Sacramento like Land Park and East Sacramento, respecting the neighborhood includes respecting the traditional context.

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AIA Retreat for 2013

Bob Chase AIA, incoming AIACV President, gathered the incoming board and others for a four hour Board Retreat on Friday the 18th .  This was an intense and lively session laying out AIACV vision for creating value for its members in 2013 and beyond. 

 

The meeting began with an update on the National AIA Repositioning initiative presented by Michael F. Malinowski AIA.  Mike is one of three architects from California that serve on the National Board; and he is a member of AIA’s Repositioning Committee. 

 

A major announcement is expected in March at the Grassroots Conference in Washington DC:  A roadmap for action to address the opportunities and disconnects that have come to light in the year- long data gathering effort that touched over 30,000 architects, clients, and the public.

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