Monday, May 3, 2010

Sketches of Park Slope

Okay, not really sketches of Park Slope, but a couple of quick views of my most recent project, very much in early stages of design, and already undergoing significant changes (not because it's over budget, but in fact because it can and should be a little bit bigger).
Some of the key aspects:
  • It's a back yard addition to an existing townhouse, incorporating the superstructure of the existing extension, adding to it and re-cladding it.
  • The existing house will go through a systems review, and will have passive solar and superinsulation upgrades.  The 1920's era extension, typical of this neighborhood, has a transparent thermal envelope, free of insulation, and utilizes electric resistance coil heating.  We will write specifications to recycle all salvageable building materials, including the bricks, windows, joists (if we can't use them), subfloors, etc.
  • The new addition, along with an extensive renovation of the garden level interior, will provide new space that will more clearly express a contemporary urban family's lifestyle.  Home office space for parents, space for the children to entertain friends and study, and a kitchen and dining area that allow the family to be together during the making and eating of meals.  

In the next few weeks, we'll have more images as the design progresses.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Symposia, Books, Bikes, Food, Design

This year, so far, has been defined, for me, by my ability to fill in the gaps with enriching participation in things that may lead to financial stability, but mostly provide-in order of importance-pleasure, education, fitness, concentration, sustenance, new ways of thinking.
Last night, case in point, I attended an event called Good Spirits, organized by Edible Brooklyn, Manhattan, et al. Billed as an "occasional pop-up cocktail party," situated at the Bell House, this event provided a wide open window into the current cocktail/food world: tons of plaid, beards, house-made pickles, house-smoked pastrami, house-cured pork belly, house-house house house. I love this stuff. I wish I had a house so I could make something in the house (my gigantic coop apt. alas lacks outdoor space, thus no chance for smoking/grilling/growing).
Architects love, obsess over, order. It's what we do in order to prove that the client paying extra for beauty must have us. It's what we know, it what we teach, it's how we prove the logic of the universe, something of course we really know virtually nothing about, but wish we knew all about.

Teaching architecture requires knowing more about architecture than anyone.  Of course this is never true; the thing is: those who teach architecture typically become distanced from the making of architecture, and therefore know what they know based on attending lectures, looking at magazines/blogs/designer's web sites, forms of media that show 2-D images and expansive or diminutive descriptions, compiling CE credits, drinking and debating the horrid state of building design with architects who build. 
I build, slowly, and learn from the process.  I also learn from my students.  I also learn from research.  I learn from riding, I learn from eating, I learn from talking. 
Now if only I could take photos on a regular basis, I could post them.  I'm learning.

Okay, here's one.  My work:
Well, this project is actually complete now, but I haven't had it photographed professionally.  So for now, this obscure photo of a not quite complete cabinet/door detail will have to suffice.  What is that anyway?  I actually really like this image, but that's so typical of an architect; that whole God's in the details thing.  I think it might actually be true.

About Me

Brooklyn, NY
Kraft Studio is a multi-disciplinary design firm, involved in all types of space design investigations and fabrications.