Flags Flying for Independence Day

July 01, 2016

Happy 4th of July! Today we celebrate our country’s independence with family, fireworks, and our flag raised high.

Happy Birthday Robert Adam!

June 30, 2016

Happy birthday Robert Adam! This week we celebrate the captivating work of a great architect.

Robert Adam, born on July 3rd in 1728, began his career in architecture as an apprentice to his father, William Adam, taking over the family business after his father’s death. Commissioned in 1762 to design the interiors of Syon House, Adam’s iconic architectural style is exhibited in Syon’s Great Hall. He believed deeply in the careful juxtaposition of various architectural forms and styles, including neoclassical, byzantine and baroque, culminating in an effect he called “movement”.

Architects centuries later are still inspired by Adam’s work. At the Inwood Pool Pavilion, we pay homage to Robert Adam’s great hall at Syon House, drawing from its geometry, ornamentation, and flooring.


Crafstmanship: Bronze Lamb’s Tongue Scupper

June 27, 2016

This elegant water spout the recently completed Meadow Lake Residence is deceptively simple in appearance. Its traditional bronze lamb’s tongue scupper form took hours of careful labor to create. The method of casting designer and fabricator Martins Zinsbergs of Waterbearing Designs employed, the lost wax technique, dates back to Roman times. Watch this beautiful short to see how Roman craftsmen in 2000 BC made, and bronze artists in 2016 make, melted metal take form.

Hadrian / Bronze Casting Using The Lost-Wax Technique from Renana Aldor & Kobi Vogman on Vimeo.

Architecture Sotto Voce

April 13, 2016

The musical term sotto voce is used to describe an intentional lowering of the voice for dramatic effect.  If it is not too much of a stretch to imply a musical analogy to architecture – and given the regular use of the words “rhythm” and “accent” to name just two terms pertaining to both music and design, I don’t think it is – there are a number of projects we have encountered over the years that demand sotto voce architecture.  That is, where the natural beauty of a landscape is so overwhelming, it demands a strategy of subtlety – of sotto voce.

As an example of this quality, Estancia del Rio is a project of ours conceived in deference to the landscape, indeed entirely of the landscape.  The fieldstone and adobe building structures seem to grow from the earth and are woven together by open air viga structures and low stone walls.  The Chama River and dramatic desert landscape are the real stars of the show, as it should be.

Table Rock Ranch, as another example, is a project that perhaps best exemplifies sotto voce as a site strategy, in which the most appropriate idea was to create multiple buildings rather than a single grand architectural gesture in order to respect the beautiful Colorado valley and top-notch trout fishing stream that runs through it.

We were happy to hear these thoughts echoed in a recent article for Dorado Magazine by author Jamie Gillin, about her recent tour of Table Rock Ranch.  Bill Curtis describes how the visual impact of the buildings was deliberately suppressed in order to “let the valley win.”  Long views down the valley, coupled with epic fishing and buildings at different scales that could tolerate many different kids of use, support the ranch functioning for both family and business retreat events.

Continuing the musical analogy, Curtis quipped:  “Architecture is like a guitar – it can be in tune or it can be out of tune.  When everything is dialed in to a specific place, architecture gives you a chance to better understand where you are.”


Seeing Red

February 10, 2016

The color of love or the color of anger, red can soothe or it can shout.  Here are some ways we’ve used this versatile color over the years.

A warm brick red on the Swift Street Studio stands in contrast to the lush backyard; a cardinal shade on faceted walls of the Willowick Residence dining room draws the eyes to the plaster oak leaf wreath at the ceiling; belly up to the burgundy upholstery on the sinuous bar in the Del Monte Courtyard Residence; maroon acoustical fabric between the timber structure of St. John’s School Great Hall offers a soothing contrast to the white plaster walls and softens the light from clerestory windows.