Monday, November 15, 2010

Day #22 - A Cafe made of Books...(sort of)

I know Maria and I are taking a break from our Craigslist quest, but I couldn't help myself with this one..... New York presents just another reason to visit (or re-visit) with this new cafe.

Take a second to check out this new java stop which uses books as its floors and walls (designed to replicate the NY library....but sideways)! So cool. We heart this one.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#21 - Hiatus

After a long discussion, Maria and I have decided that we need to put our mission to build a house entirely out of the free section of craigslist on hold until June 2011. We have found ourselves overwhelmed as we have entered the last year of the UW Master's in Landscape Architecture program... and the thesis writing process and... learning to stand unassisted and.... learning to eat solid foods and... Italian History and... public art installations (etc. etc.).....

We still feel that the exploration of alternative design and dwelling is very exciting and we feel that we won't be able to accomplish much with so many other obligations nagging at us on a daily basis. Maria and I are all or nothing kind of girls... and it bothers us to not be able to pursue something full force!
Thank you for following our journey thus far, and please post links or interesting articles - or ideas as you have them. Who knows, maybe you will even hear from us prior to June 2011. Happy October 2010 - June 2011. Hugs. Kristi & Maria

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day #20 - Going underground

Long story short, I was browsing architectural competitions and found an interesting one for the Ashanti Region of Ghana . As I pondered what I would design there (maybe enter the competition if I can find some time?) I thought it would be interesting to create underground/mound houses built into the landscape. It would also be interesting to add zones for reforestation and food gardens integrated into the development. This led me to look for architecture that was truly integrated in the landscape in the most literal sense of the idea. I did a quick search and stumbled upon Peter Vetsch.

This could truly be the solution for "unbuildable" lots that contain steep slopes in Seattle! :) It also redfines the concept of a green roof!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day #19 - Awesome architecture.

Maria and I have to go back to graduate school this week (we are very sad that summer is officially over), so we will probably only post once a week. If I can't find a job next summer, we will be back to daily posts - so never fear - the economy still sucks! :)

Anyway, I love this link as it directs you to really cool and really weird architecture - including my most favoritist architect (yes, poor grammar intentional) Antoni Gaudi (quick fact, the term "gaudy" is not related to Gaudi... that is a myth circulated by designers who favor cheap architecture over awesomeness). The two photos (source the weblink) are the only buildings I have actually been to (that I can recall) - both are awesomely odd...although I must say that the "turning torso" is amongst the oddest as the entire town consists of no more than 4 - 6 story buildings and this building really, really sticks out.

If you are bored at work/school today - click on this link and scroll. Very awesome!

As far as our pursuit goes, we are still seeking land (or water) to begin our quest. Maria and I remain forever optimistic and will see if a letter writing campaign will get us anywhere (letters are yet to be sent as the property search takes a while).

Day #18 - Dwell in an Animal Shaped Buidling

We were inspired to check out buildings shaped like animals (thx. for planting the seed Clayton). If I could wake up my foggy brain (Maria was so excited about this idea she had to wake up every 2 hours last night to discuss it over milk)... I think I recently saw a few articles on this very topic with some very cutting edge architecture. Considering I can't remember where/when/or why I saw those articles, I checked out this blog who has some interesting images to get our collective creative juices flowing this morning.
The sky really is the limit (or is it?) when it comes to building shape and function.
(top photo - Macau Pavilion at Shanghai world expo 2010. middle - The Sheep Building, Tirau, Waikato, New Zealand - bottom photo: fish building, seattle)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day #17 - Strawbale Houses!

We can't quite remember if we touched on construction techniques using straw bales, but what the heck... Maria has already had the experience of "bucking bales" at Great Grandma's farm, so we might as well spend a blog session on looking at a technology is not new (visit Warwick, England for example). It appears that there are only a small handful of straw bale homes in the greater Seattle metro area. We think these lovely homes would make a great addition to one of Seattle's neighborhoods.

If you really think about it, it is mind boggling, with all the technology that we as a society have access to, that we all keep building in a very traditional PNW way (wooden stick frame on a concrete foundation w/ tile/shingle/shake roofing). Whether we look back into time, or create construction techniques that are completely new - it is time to figure out alternative ways of building homes!

If you are truly inspired, here is a link to build your own.
ps. if today's entry doesn't make any sense, my sidekick decided she needed to wake up and play half of the night - sleep deprivation is to blame for my poor grasp of grammar and the English language in general!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day #16 - We are back.

This summer's adventures included Chicago, West Virginia, Virginia, Boston, NYC, Saturna Island and San Diego. Amongst those places we witnessed everything from suburbia to its finest to - tiny urban apartments - to small beach bungalows. It is amazing the wide variety of dwelling options there are in the United States alone. A commonality amongst all the living options were that most were built with new materials.... I didn't see a salvaged house amongst our travels.

However, we did witness instances of re-use, re-imagined spaces and some interesting architecture on not-so-desirable land. The older cities definitely seem to be the front runners on these subject matters.... come on suburbia - you gotta try it too :)!

Anyway, as we search for a small piece of this earth in which to try to build a craigslist house, we found this shed in the free section. Total living space would be 128sq feet - which is a little less than half of what we live in now.... maybe we could add a second story?
Maria and I have decided to turn up the heat for the search of land. We will likely be searching via the lovely City of Seattle's DPD property tools and then write letters. We will keep you posted!