Saturday 11/6 – Barkitecture

This morning I was able to share some recent projects with archi-buddy Jamie Crawley (@falloutstudio) over coffee. The hit of the morning was his project for this year’s Barkitecture – the RIB HOUSE. Which reminded me:

Barkitecture is this Saturday from Noon to 6:00 in the 2nd Street District of Austin. More information can be found at

Anyway, the project is a study in design/construction elegance. Of all of the Barkitecture doghouses I have seen over the years, this is my favorite. By a good measure.

Have a great weekend!

Friday 11/5: Celebrating 35 Years of Serious Commotion – CMPBS

This weekend looks to be another exciting one in Austin, and what could be more Austin than the celebration of '35 years of serious commotion' from local sustainability landmark Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (CMPBS). The founders Pliny Fisk and Gail Vittori, in addition to founding CMPBS, were integral in developing the world-renown Austin Energy Green Building Program. 
There will be plenty of green talent at the event with opening remarks from Lucia Athens, Austin's new Chief Sustainability Officer, David Lake of Lake Flato Architects and CMPBS alum Dawn Danby. If these green heavy hitters aren't enough to get you there, perhaps music from local band Soulhat will be enough to entice you. Whatever the case, all proceeds will benefit a good cause and can be purchased through the CMPBS website –

Riverdale Residence – Progress

I was able to visit the Riverdale Residence recently for a site visit/camping trip with my son. Camping has been an important component of this project and I hope to maintain it as a standard design protocol for all of my rural projects. Camping allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the site as well as the clients. Drinking wine next to a campfire makes for great design!

The home is ‘dried in’ now and all the porches are done, a very important milestone. The clients are self-performing most of the work and this allows them to move at their own pace and enjoy the outdoor living features that were designed to take advantage of the site.

In fact, during a recent weekend long rainstorm, they were able to spend the whole time – with extended family – under the sheltering roof of their modern Dogtrot. Beer in the kitchen, game of washers in the very large Breezeway. Rainstorm be damned!

That was how we planned it.

Vote Tomorrow

"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected."
-Thomas Paine

Early Voting Ends Today in ATX

If you would like to early vote in Austin, today is your last chance. 

MILHouse 2.0 – Ready for Move-In

I was able to visit MILHouse 2.0 last week and take some pre-move-in photos. I am looking forward to seeing this occupied by the happy newlyweds.

We were able to resolve a few things on the second iteration of this home. The Kitchen has been enlarged from original MILHouse to resolve the circulation pinch point that I noted during Cool Home Tour. Since these clients will entertain more, this was a critical issue to resolve. The Hall doors are installed in ceiling mounted pocket doors tracks instead of face-mounted rails, but are contained within a recess so that they flush out with the walls. This eliminated some visual noise (or created functional interest, depending on how you look at it) in the Hallway while allowing the wall cavity behind the door to used for electrical runs instead of a door pocket.

Once again we used cabinets from IKEA for the Bedroom Closets. These units take up less space than a series of walls with doors – critical in a home this small – and allow a huge amount of flexibility. The Kitchen cabinets are from IKEA while the Bath cabinets are custom.

Ready for MILHouse III – who’s interested?

Arthouse Reopening This Weekend!

I am very excited about this weekend and most of all about the updated Arthouse reopening. I have watched the construction, especially the final pieces, including the simple, but awesome painted signage.

The Reopening Party – dinner and/or after party – will be held Friday, October 22, and tickets are still available – $1,000 for the dinner and $125 for the after party.

The Member Preview Party will be held Saturday, October 23, 2010.

The Public Reopening Party will be held on Sunday October 24, 2010 between Noon and 8:00. I am especially looking forward to the 2:00 presentation by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects.
More info can be found and tickets purchased at:

A recent article from the Statesman on Arthouse:

October Home Tours in Austin – HBA Parade of Homes

I previously failed to mention the HBA Parade of Homes as one of the October tours in and around Austin. This year's Parade will be held at Rough Hollow in Lakeway and runs from October 16th – 31st. More info here:
You still have time to attend Austin NARI's Remodeled Home Tour between Noon and 6:00 today. For more info:
Next Sunday, October 24, Launch 787 and DANA will be hosting the Downtown Living Tour between 11:00 and 5:00. For more info:

October Home Tours in Austin

In case you missed the annual AIA Home Tour this year, do not fret. Two more home tours will be taking place before the end of the month featuring remodeled homes and new condos.
This weekend, October 16 & 17, Austin NARI will host their Remodeled Home Tour between Noon and 6:00 both days. For more info:
The following Sunday, October 24, Launch 787 and DANA will be hosting the Downtown Living Tour between 11:00 and 5:00. For more info:

Birdlip Residence – PV Array

This home was designed to use solar power for most of its energy needs. The clients chose to phase the installation of solar panels as rebates were available from the City of Austin (the rebate program had been halted at time of construction, but all infrastructure was put in place). The photos below represent the first phase of a two-phase installation.

Another benefit to phasing the PV system is that the components of the system are better and more cost-effective than they would have been when the house was under construction. As a result, the total system output is larger than originally designed.  Capacity for each installation phase is just over 6 KW, pushing total system capacity to just under 13 KW when both phases are complete!

That is a personal power plant.