Post by Sander Architects Client Thomas Small (The Briard House)
Hello and thanks for visiting! I am Thomas Aujero Small and along with Joanna and Hobbes, am one of the owners of this house. There is so much to say about this house and how we have all arrived at this point in time that I don’t know where to start. But maybe I should start with Whitney, as it really is entirely his fault. We never intended to build a house, at this stage in our lives. We wanted to move out of our town house and move up, modestly, into a different house, that we might improve or renovate. We searched and debated, over a couple of years. We decided on Culver City, as the last affordable place on the west side and looked seriously at a few properties. Our real estate agent, Colin Maduzia was a joy to work with and infinitely patient. We gradually discovered that the Rancho Higuera neighborhood was exactly what we wanted, and that Carson Street was excellent. Beautiful, mature laurel fig trees and wonderful old street lamps line the sidewalks of a long block that ends in a cul-de-sac. You can walk to downtown Culver City in ten minutes, and the Helms Bakery complex as well. The new transit station for the Expo Line of the light rail that will go downtown will also be built very nearby, hopefully within the next few years. So, location, location, location, we found a gorgeous, sustainable location. Walking, and public transit, what a surprise in central Los Angeles!
Post by Sander Architects Client Joanna Brody (The Briard House)
Hello everyone and thanks for visiting. I am Joanna Brody, one half of the Brody-Small client. I own a public relations firm that focuses on social and environmental causes and issues (www.brody-pr.com – shameless plug #1). Commissioning this house has been nothing short of an amazing experience and a total blast. When we tell people we are building a house, responses range from “I’ve always wanted to do that” to “I hope your marriage is strong” to “Are you still speaking to your architects?” Well, we are privileged to be able to do this, our marriage is stronger than ever, and not only do we still speak to our architects, we socialize with them on a regular basis and they have become dear friends! (www.sander-architects.com – shameless and totally deserved plug #2). And we have an amazing contractor to boot, Sean Icaza of Icaza Construction (shameless and totally deserved plug #3).
Now we gave this team some tough, tough criteria: A piece of art (Whitney only does art), green and inexpensive. It’s sort of like the saying – You want it fast, cheap and good? Pick two! Well our amazing team is succeeding on all three fronts. We have been blessed with a talented, creative and push-the-envelope group of architects, designers, builders and subcontractors who are excited to bring this project to life despite – or maybe because of – the ultra-challenging brief.
If you’re looking for a real international adventure this year, you might check out the Hotel ElquiDomos in the Chilean Andes. From this high camp in Coquimbo you can gaze at the stars through some of the cleanest air on the planet. And if you stay at the hotel, you can even look through the opening in the top of your dome tent.
Built with sustainability in mind, Hotel ElquiDomos’ “rooms” are actual dome-shaped, canvass-covered Eco Domes from the company Eco Domos. The domes include loft beds and plenty of space to keep your hiking, star-gazing and general out-in-the woods gear.
Not since Erno Rubik released his little toy puzzle has the cube seen so much attention. London-based architect David Adjaye teamed up with photographer Ed Reeve to create a moderately sized home in East London’s Hackney suburb. The buzz about this 150 square meter prefabricated cube: it’s completely covered in timbers instead of brick or cement like neighboring buildings, which reduces its carbon footprint. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Owning a home always comes with its share of inconveniences. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At least according to ZenKaya.
The word “zen” means “a trouble free experience” and “kaya” means “home”. Together they represent the philosophy of South Africa-based ZenKaya, whose prefabricated lodges are unique forward move in sustainable building and designed to be trouble free. It’s a lofty undertaking.
Designer Eric Bigot says his interest in prefab was born out in New York and Japan, where construction methods are more rationalized and cost effective. ZenKaya’s offerings combine these methods with cutting edge design to bring you their idea of a trouble free turnkey. They drop it off, avoiding on-site disturbance and minimizing waste, and you move in.
Want to see a house assembled before your eyes? Check out the above video featuring the installation of a NomadHome.
If you want more detailed information, you’re either out of luck or in for a chuckle. If you believe the verbiage on the official NomadHome site (which is clumsily — and often hilariously — translated from what appears to be German), the NomadHome is “a home for the people of today”, designed to provide flexibility in today’s ever-evolving world, especially for those they call the “fleeing fledglings” and “part time settled mobile homers”. Which I guess means this isn’t the home for me. After all, I’m an accomplished fleer and I like my mobile homer settled full time. Video after the jump.
The artist lifestyle is alive and seems to be thriving in the rougher side of New York City. Ad Hoc Art covers the Bushwick art scene. A scene exploding around the Morgan Avenue subway stop. Ad Hoc Art was the first of nearly a dozen innovative new spaces exhibiting both local and international artists working outside the Chelsea establishment.
While living green means making healthier choices for ourselves and for the planet, living “G” is about so much more. As the definitive voice for the modern urban human, the latest collaboration of G Living and BPM magazine takes you up close and personal to the latest in sustainable architecture and brings you functional, sleek and affordable gadgets that will take you beyond the ever-growing edge of off-the-grid living. And that’s only on the first few pages.
It’s beyond in-your-face. It’s in your life. And it’s within your grasp.
For example, did you know there was a company in Venice, California that produces ecologically based sports gear? Arbor Sports rocks everything from the waves to the slopes with natural materials like sustainable bamboo and koa. Not only do they manufacture the hippest, cleanest looking boards and accessories, they guarantee that your inward heelflip will have a conscience.
Inhabitat today is reporting The super sized green future city in the middle east, Masdar, is breaking ground on the largest solar plant in the region. The solar plant is expected to reduce 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The city is being designed by Foster + Partners which have a goal to design the worlds most sustainable city. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I don’t read Popular Mechanics very much, but seems like they are dabbling in green topics these days. Which is great, really, but they always seem to have a little edge about the subject. This latest green article is about a Monster Size Adobe semi-green house, which is the show case house at the New American Home Show. Popular Mechanics writer Harry Sawyers, doesn’t like the house, not because of the green details, but simply because it’s a bloated 8,000 sqft home, advertised as green.
I think Harry is missing the positive side of the bloated house. Yes, it’s big, fancy, expensive, but how is that any different than all the other bloated houses out there? At least now people who own a house like this, also want to buy green mass amounts of Green Stuff. See what I mean? More they want Green, the faster we all head to a green future, in our stylish, fancy, super green, petite houses. So, more power to the bloat house people! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
As a first-time homeowner searching for stylish and eco-friendly furniture, I was pleased to stumble across British-based interior design company, One Eco Home. Designers Helen Mudie and Kate Millbank partnered up after deciding the current marketplace lacked products for the home that were both sustainable and desirable. Hoping to help fill this void, their line includes home furnishings and accessories ranging from sofas, dinettes, and media centers to lighting fixtures, rugs, and tableware. All of the products are made with a respect for nature, an eye toward sustainability, and a demand for quality and style.
Interesting development closer to home: Sander Architects, the architecture firm we co-live (share office space) with and whose beautiful Canal House we use as our Studio for G Living Live, has taken their G building ideas and entered into the Leed Residential program. One of the firm’s residences, The Fin House, yet another Venice Canal house, was accepted into the pilot LEED program for residential architecture. This is the program by which LEED will develop their list of criteria for residential projects.
Greg Reitz, Green Building Advisor to the City of Santa Monica, is the consultant on the project.