Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
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
Thursday, September 23, 2010
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!
Monday, September 20, 2010
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 :)!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
And, forgive me, but I had to post a couple pics of our travels (Monticello, Harvard, NYC and Boston).
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Today's post is so off topic it isn't even funny...but I stumbled upon a inspirational neighborhood event this weekend right up the street. A group of neighbors got together, applied for a neighborhood matching grant, acquired all the necessary permits and painted a gorgeous turtle on the intersection of 41st and Interlaken in Wallingford. I was on my way out the door for a run and stopped by and painted for a while. Maria and Dan joined me for a bit (Maria liked the bright colors and the commotion of kids running everywhere.)
Anyway, if there is a point to this story, it is that the original idea to do this was prompted by a little girl seeing the "ladybug" farther north in the neighborhood and asking her Dad if they could paint a turtle at the intersection of her house. A neighbor of the family was excited about the idea and took up the charge. This past weekend, I randomly met great neighbors and was inspired at the amount of work relative strangers could accomplish in a small amount of time... all of which was begun by the idea of a little girl.
So, the next time you feel like a project won't happen, just remember that turtles can be painted in an intersection within a weekends time (during an economic downturn) and it makes people happy - really happy actually. I know it is "just a turtle", but in Seattle (a city well known for tons of permits, process etc.) this is actually no small feat!
I shouldn't admit this (especially as a future landscape architect!) but I sometimes doubt the relevance of public art/installations in times when people need food, education and shelter. However, although most of the people participating owned million dollar homes, a few of us didn't. One person (pretty well known in the hood) most likely doesn't even have a home and he came by for the event and seemed to have a good time as well.
Bottom line, if it took a turle to get to know each other at the cost of $1200 of neighborhood matching grant funds, so be it. In my humble opinion, it was money very well spent and will likely result in people taking care of each other on a more individual basis as far as food, education and shelter. Now people know each other, there is a common bond and an event to look forward to next summer (ie. turtle painting touch ups).
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Details about building "alternative homes" Source: http://www.city-data.com/forum/hawaii/113519-yurt-homes-hawaii-5.html
Photo courtesy of http://www.ulaantaij.com/images/Ulaantaij-Simply-Yurts2.gif http://www.woodlandyurts.co.uk/Yurt_Facts/Build_Your_Own.html (diagram photo)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Anyway, we will leave you with an interesting fact. Today alone there were 250 listing for free items on craigslist. Isn't that crazy? From dog diapers, to a picture window, to a boat, to rhododendrons.... pretty amazing.
The opportunities are endless.... all I need is a tiny little piece of land.... think happy vibes.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Potential Land Value.
I am looking for donated property that no one is using or wants (and isn't likely "build-able" for the traditional house). If I succeed in finding a piece of property and constructing a real house and will be of some sort of real estate value. I am not trying to do this to "make money"... I am trying to see if it is possible to build a house from the craigslist free section and create a beautiful home from salvaged materials.
So, our pledge is that if we are donated land and can actually build a house and if we ever sell it or make money from it in anyway (ie. rent it out), we will donate 65% of the proceeds to charity in the name of the generous property owner.
Why 65%? I am assuming there will be some significant costs to construction this house such as potential power/sewer hook-up, permit and labor. Additionally, there will be closing costs (etc. etc. etc.) At this point I am a 3rd year MLA (Master's in Landscape Arch) student facing a bleak job market, so I want to make sure there is a way to cover those aforementioned costs at some point in the future.
If the property owner doesn't have a charity in mind, Camino Seguro (Safe Passage) is near and dear to my heart and would be my charity of choice.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
- I picked up my first "free" items last Friday.
- 2 white plastic outdoor chairs
- a plastic side table
- 100 yards of upholstery fabric
Granted, I don't think these items will result in a house, but talk about great free stuff! If you think about the potential worth of that fabric alone, you are talking 1oo's of dollars of salvaged materials (ha, pun intended). I really do think this house building idea is a feasible one. There are windows, insulation, entire mobile homes, sand, paint, furniture, siding (etc etc.) - available in the free section....
I really do need a piece of land quickly... with 3 of us living in a 375 sq ft condo, I don't have much (ok...any) room to store things.
So, in the meantime, Maria and I are daydreaming about living in a tree fort that sort of looks like a bird's nest? Pretty cool stuff.
Anyway, we both mentioned how we probably couldn't sell our places for what we bought them for and so forth and so on. I realized as we were chatting that we weren't really complaining about the state of affairs, we were finding adventure and freedom in this random stretch of life and we parted saying "good luck in these unique times" ...with sheepish grins that we were both off to whatever adventure we might pursue.
So the whole point of that story is affirmation that life is worth more than a paycheck, healthy real estate prices, huge living spaces and nice cars (although a paycheck would be nice... I will totally admit that) and to go crazy and live your dreams....
And... if all else fails, you can live in a really cool steel container house (see picture and link to article)
Although I originally envisioned starting a home from scratch.... it is also interesting to contemplate modernizing a mobile home. I know that there are $1,000's of dollars involved in moving a mobile home, but still.... reduce, reuse recycle - -right?
Thanks to Lea Anne for reminding me that a house doesn't necessarily need to be built on land. I found a few boats.... not quite livable, but interesting none the less....
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
After attending AIA's "New Edge/New Blood" Exhibit last night http://www.aiaseattle.org/new_edge , I was particularly struck by Grey's Design for both his "sheds" and his gorgeous resin chandeliers http://www.greydesignstudio.com/lighting/large/large_1.htm . (top picture)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
As we search for "free land", we will try to keep up our spirits with also searching for cool ideas. Today's features including a home made from one man's junk, a beer bottle house and a house built out of a rail car.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
#1 Everything must come from craigslist.org's free section
#2 It is not cheating to post that we need something in the free section and see if we get a response.
#3 We can use what we already have (which is limited to a few tools such as a jigsaw and a drill)
#4 The cost of transporting/picking up free stuff we will pay out of pocket if necessary.
#5 Have fun...