Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    CaBOOM!!! Day 2

    Day two of CaBoom was not quite as inspiring as day 1, but it's still 1,000,000 times better than going to any Parade of Homes. All the homes were in West Los Angeles, which is an area that seems to have come of age in the late 40's to early 60's and has very much kept that vibe.

    Each day has 5 homes and here I'll post about 3 of them. One I just thought was silly and the other I will post about together with another house by the same architect that was on the tour on day three.

    House 1:

    The first home we toured was an extension of a modest mid century modern home that California is so great for. 
    The architect added probably 500 or 600 feet in the back, while maintaining the integrity of the original home. The materials used were concrete block and clear poly-carbonate panels. I am actually quite partial to concrete block and there was a home on the third day that used it to perfection.

    The added space is used as a large public area and all the walls were lined with custom fabricated steel shelves. Large glass doors  that open on the corner blur the lines between inside space and outside space. This is the great thing about architecture in California. The weather is so nice that you can really take advantage of indoor/outdoor space planning. This is unfortunately not quite as feasible in a 4 season environment like Utah.

    The use of the clear poly-carbonate panels on the outside walls and the large glass walls and windows brought an amazing amount of daylight into the space.

    Custom panels were created to divide the space from the rest of the house and they also served as a place to display the owners art collection.

    Overall I really liked this simple addition of square footage to an existing structure that was architecturally interesting in its own right. It would be good inspiration for someone looking to add square footage to some of the smaller bungalows in the downtown and Sugarhouse areas of Salt Lake.

    House 2:

    The second house on the tour was a new spec house that had some nice finishes and the ONLY basement I have ever seen in Southern California. Overall though, it was kind of boring and I really didn't like the use of the manufactured stone on the outside.

    The house was built with a pre-engineered steel frame that is more typically used for commercial buildings, so in that regard it was an interesting re-purposing of pre-fabricated commercially available products.

    I really liked the way that this house and almost all of the other two story houses on the tour made use of landing space at the top of the stairs for a study or office.

    The basement was cool, and would be a good entertainment area of a house, though it didn't seem to me to be extremely useful space.

    This was the other house the builder built at the same time. I snapped this picture through the screen on a window upstairs, so the quality isn't so great. I thought that the cladding on the exterior of this house was much nicer and worked better than the other.

    House 3:

    This was the fourth house the tour. I skipped the third because as more time passed, I just really didn't like it and the posts are getting ridiculously long as it is.

    When we pulled up to this house, I was a little confused. Just a little rambler, what's up with that?

    They had us walk around to the back of the house where we were greeted by something that is unlike anything I have seen outside of a science fiction movie.

    The architect, Neil M Denari is apparently a pretty big deal. He has designed some pretty impressive sky scraper type buildings in New York and Japan and other places.

    All in all, it was a little too Space Odyssey 2001 and clinical for my tastes, but the craftsmanship was like nothing I have ever seen before. 

    These are light tubes, which use mirrors to bring day light into the house where a skylight doesn't make sense. I thought that these were really cool.

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