Serenity + Energy Now

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C. and en route to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (an altogether amazing and worthy subject of another article), I had an opportunity to visit Payette’s award-winning project at George Washington University – the Milken Institute, an incredibly rich and vibrant building, prominently located on Washington Circle. Recipient of the coveted AIA COTE Top Ten Award, this building was also recognized by the AIA through its Honors for Interior Architecture; AIA/NYRead more

Reflecting on the state of architecture

On the treachery of photography; or, how I learned to stop worrying and appreciate Frank Gehry … A few months ago I was contacted by the editor of Wooster magazine, the alumni magazine of the College of Wooster, asking if I would be interested in contributing to a feature for an upcoming issue where architects who have designed buildings on campus reflect on the state of architecture in the US. Her questions included: How do you think American architecture is faringRead more

Week 11 – Punch List

It’s getting down to the little stuff, and though we haven’t quite reached Substantial Completion, we went ahead and started the punch list last week. Kitchen: there’s really just one thing left – finishing the electrical sub-panel installation so that all the appliances are getting power. From there, it’s cover plates and touching up plaster and paint. Kitchen details Bathroom: the exhaust fan was installed incorrectly and has to be replaced. But all the lighting is installed now and looks great. The other bigRead more

Weeks 08-10 – Acceleration

We’re racing to the finish. After many weeks of incremental change, we are now seeing leaps of progress as everything starts coming together. We should be punch-listing in another week. May 30: choosing paint color for the bathroom (and making quasi-Rothkos in the process). The verdict: Benjamin Moore “Healing Aloe” #1562, in Pearl finish. End of week 10: bathroom nearly complete. Most of the fixtures are in, just have to install the faucet on the sink and install the shower glass.Read more

Week 07 – Accommodation

Big week. Lots of changes. Flooring, cabinets, and tile mostly in. Fingers crossed for a few key deliveries to come in on time during the next week so that we can finish on time. Still targeting Substantial Completion at the end of the month. I. The Kitchen It’s getting hard to keep track of what’s happened week to week, but I’m pretty sure on Monday, they laid a base coat of paint in the kitchen to get the final wall colorRead more

Week 06 – Beginning Finishes

Things are moving quickly now. After weeks of living with demolition and raw construction, we can start to envision how things will turn out as the finishes start going in. Last Saturday, the plumber installed tubing for the radiant floor, and Monday the tile installer came in to get the lay of the land. I spent part of the day laying out all the limestone flooring in our living room to get the grain and pattern right. Meanwhile, Charles and CraigRead more

Week 05 – Infrastructure

This week we passed all the rough inspections, and things are starting to move rather quickly. Kitchen cabinets arrive next Friday, so the pressure is on to install the radiant heat and finish flooring this week. One of the biggest changes this week was re-enclosing the kitchen, which was kind of odd after weeks of seeing through the bathroom into the kitchen. Charles installed continuous half-inch plywood as blocking for the cabinetry. Drywall will go on top this coming week. From AprilRead more

Weeks 03-04 – Roughing It

Demolition is done, the dumpster is gone. Aside from losing hot water twice, a natural gas leak, and having no heat since Thursday night (as nighttime temperatures dipped back into the 30s), things are going pretty well. Shots from April 14:  new framing going up in the bathroom This is the fun part, both in terms of starting to see everything come together but also the process of checking dimensions and working with the contractor to stay at least one stepRead more

Heath Ceramics

Our Heath Ceramics tile order arrived Monday before last. After UPS damaged roughly half of our quarry tile shipment, we were rather apprehensive about how well they survived the journey from California. I finally had time over the weekend to unwrap all 141 of them, and to our relief, they all arrived in perfect condition, except one piece, which had a chip in the glaze. Not a big deal. Had there been significant damage or breakage, it would have set us back at leastRead more

Week 02 – Major Demo

Demolition is mostly done now, and the guys have started on rough carpentry. The big change this week was the transition from selective demo in the kitchen to full gut of the bathroom. We have definitely passed the point of no return … From April 6, showing the open partition between kitchen and bath and old bead board in the bathroom that had been covered by sheetrock, probably since the 1980s. You can see where the old cast iron diffuser used to be, nowRead more