Friday, July 30, 2010

DIA Expansion

Santiago Calatrava's graceful designs first caught my eye in architecture school, and he quickly became a favorite of mine.  So naturally, I was very excited to see the unveiling of his new plans for the south terminal expansion and added rail component of DIA.  I am undeniably thrilled about the concept of connecting the airport to downtown Denver with public transportation, and a hotel at DIA is long overdue, so altogether, this seemed like a win-win proposition.

Watching the sexy video, I found myself making yummy noises at the experience conveyed of the drive under the proposed graceful train bridge upon approach to the terminals.  But then, much to my own surprise, my heart sank a bit as I realized that DIA's very recognizable existing structure -- line of iconic tent peaks -- was hidden completely behind the mass and placement of the new building set to the south.

I'm not sure to what extent the program, which includes the rail station, retail and hotel, could have been either lowered, or perhaps narrowed and made more vertical -- a single graceful tower perhaps in juxtaposition to the tent forms?  I can imagine several alternatives which might have more believably complemented the existing architectural peaks which have become so iconic for Denver.  It is, granted, a significant challenge given that the existing forms can be powerfully read as both references to our land's tribal histories and our grand mountains.

This building, which on it's own provides an interesting reference to a wingspan of an airplane itself (which is a bit ironic to me, as it is the rail and hotel component and not, in fact, the airport), has certain grace and the forms themselves seem well suited to airport design, but it does not read, to me at least, as the complement to the existing airport that it claims to be.  Instead it seems to stand in stark competition with what was already a beautiful and strong iconic structure.

I am not surprised that the (local, Denver) architect of the original structure, Fentress Architects does not have a public comment as of yet.  And I can't help but wonder what they would have drawn....

To see the video larger, and for more information visit this article on the unveiling at the Denver Post.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bicycle Rush Hour, Utrecht (Netherlands)

Amazing.  Try to spot any private cars in here?!  Wonderful model for what is possible in our urban centers...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How COOL is This?

I'm guessing that you, Jodie, are going to be thinking, "Why haven't I thought of this yet?" when you see this awesome cat hammock coffee table... I WANT one!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

Found this adorable little book the other day while shopping for Gabe's birthday, and I can't wait to find it again!  Full of quick moments of inspiration, vignette sketches of architecture theory and a great book design + binding to boot!

In the tradition of Francis Ching books (Form Space + Order) (the old edition, of course - why did they have to type set that book anyway when it was so perfect with Ching's handwriting?!), this little gem is boiled down to bare essentials.  Would be a fun book to keep next to an architect's desk (or any designer's for that matter) for a quick flip to find a thought of inspiration during a challenging design question.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This is where my head is... Collections and retrospectives as time capsules and capturing past and present time in print.
Le Book. Check it out:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Found this old ink drawing of my vision of Detroit with two new mid-rise structures. The two twin buildings with retractable sun screens over the roof gardens (right foreground). Funny that I thought shade was important when there is so little sun to start with. Hope to someday witness a thriving Detroit.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Nose to the grindstone for the past few weeks designing a new residence. Targeting LEED Gold certification. Wonderful clients and a gorgeous site. Outcome:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Volcanic Inspiration + Aspiration

Damn!  Stumbled upon another book that I wish I had photographed first:

I have only been close enough to one active volcano, Arenal in Costa Rica, to experience her stunning power.  I felt as if I was witnessing the breath of our planet.  Crazy concept to listen to the earth breathing!  I was speechless for days, watching in awe the cycle of life on a geologic scale, hearing the pulse of ejecting lava, feeling the crumbling of rock under pressure... Feminine, Powerful, Beautiful.

Someday, I will complete my coffee table photography book celebrating the richness, incredible beauty and inspiration to be found in the presence of a volcano.  Until then, photos I took back then serve to remind me of travels I have been fortunate enough to experience, and inspire me to keep working towards shooting more volcanos!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Splash of Color

Just found this colorful photo from last year's Nutcracker in Telluride, and thought I'd share with you (thought a splash of color might be nice after your white-out drive on Sunday!)
I love when a photograph feels like a painting - like the image was literally brushed with exposure and light.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Working on a logo. What does it say to you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Organic Patterns

Jodie's gorgeous snowy fence photo made me think of how much I love finding patterns that grow organically and found repetition in the landscape... A running fence over rolling hills, opacity and layering in branches, a hint of a creek popping through deep, luscious snow...
It is a wintery post for today, but the sun rose on snow covered branches in Denver this morning and I love it!

Crested Butte, CO

Today's gorgeous snowy landscape reminded me of a fun fence photo I took on our last trip to Crested Butte. So many of my favorite elements...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Inspired

God's Architects is a documentary that tells the stories of five divinely inspired artist-architects and their enigmatic creations.The film details how and why these oft-marginalized creators, with neither funding nor blueprints, construct their self-made environments. Photo from Emilie Taylor's and Zack Godshall's website. Look forward to watching these inspired artists' visions.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Oh, yes! Light transmitting concrete - designing it into my next project... LitraCon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

N85 House by Morphogenesis

A little architectural food for thought coming to you from New Delhi tonight, from an architecture firm in India called Morphogenesis.
Granted the climate is a bit warmer than Telluride's, but I am intrigued by the blurring of indoor/outdoor spaces, and I absolutely love the overlapping spaces and the central, sculptural stair... and the photos are gorgeous, too!

The house has patterns and repetition, transparency, opacity, connection, lovely light and great texture. The description at the Contemporist website talks of the layering of spatial program given the complexity of intergenerational living and cultural demands of the Indian family, which I find enormously interesting. Plus, how cool is it that "there is an entire eco-system living and growing in the heart of the house"
I found the house on a great blog I found tonight (thank you, twitter!) called the Contemporist that if you don't already enjoy, check it out! 
(I wish I had photographed these, but alas, this Photography is by Amit Mehra, Andre Fanthome, and Edmund Sumner)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Maps

Map drawn on a trip to the Eastern Block. Good food, great company and amazing scenery.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Streets

If you are into mapping, and hand sketched maps in particular, you must check out one of my all-time favorite books, Great Streets, by Alan Jacobs.  It is a stunning collection that I came across in, where else, a Mapping Class (in grad school) of hand sketched studies, and draws upon cities from all over the world.  Included are gorgeous drawings, from simple solid / void type maps, to sectional "maps" which study pedestrian / automobile / tree / building facade relationships across a street, and then beautiful perspective sketches to tie it all together.
It is a must see for sure!

Love Maps

The Hand Drawn Map Association has a goal to share found or created maps with the widest audience group possible. Check out all the maps.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Repetition. So many of my sketch book pages are covered with fences. The rhythm is captivating, almost audible. The photograph was taken in Ganzi, China - thousands of prayer flags emphasize this idea of irregular, pleasing recurrence.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Mining, Alta Lakes

Jo's last post reminded me of these photos from about a year ago on a trip up to Alta Lakes.

What is it about structure that is designed out of pure utility that leads to such pure design... patterns and layers are driven by function end up resulting in such unassuming, yet compelling forms.

Even ruins of such simple vernacular forms can make for fun studies in light, repetition, form and relationships.

Soudan Mine, MN

Love functional mining architecture: texture, layers and materials. This photograph captures those ideas for me; moreover, the imagery infuses new ideas.

Jodie's Font

By the way, if you are grooving on those two gorgeous handwritten fonts in our header, like I am, they were the first (of what I'm hoping will be many) of Jodie's font creations after I found this cool link where you can design and create your own TTF... seriously had Jodie written all over it!!  I can't wait to try my hand at a few, too...