Nov 13 2011

house projects 2011

I finally realized summer is the only time I am going to do any major house design projects since the endless hours and LA sun certainly help to get the most of 12 hour workdays. this year it was installing new hardwood floors, building a tv cabinet and installing some new light fixtures and some other smaller tweaks. I had the pleasure of finally visiting Anderson Plywood, which I had passed a couple dozen times over the decade or so in LA but I had never ventured in. well worth visiting as the staff is the most knowledgable I have met. They are mostly all South African and seem to know everything there is know about wood, plywood, machine tools and finishing. They work with you as well and are non-confrontational- which typically when you work with experts – they have a way of talking down to you if your don’t know their ‘shorthand’. They guys were far better than that.

The projects were completed in two weeks and have made our home a far better environment. Until next summer…

this is the av cabinet I built in the livingroom out of both birch plywood and walnut laminate plywood

here are some views of the completed projects

May 18 2011

california academy of sciences

we finally visited the new california academy of sciences, designed by renzo piano, during a weekend trip to san francisco. I really liked the entire approach from the park into the wide view and up the stairs into the main space. the spaces were organized so you essentially unwrap different elements as you go through the various spaces and levels – but you don’t fully understand the whole experience until it is complete. really lovely place to spend a day…

Mar 5 2011

noah’s ark

this is the permanent noah’s ark exhibit at the skirball center in los angeles – close to the getty museum. it’s an extremely well built and creatively designed series of spaces – well-scaled for children to explore, climb on, and touch…

from their website:
“Inside a floor-to-ceiling wooden ark, filled to the rafters with whimsical animals, you and your family will play, build, climb, explore, make music, make friends, and more. Conduct a storm, help construct the ark, and bask in the glow of a beautiful rainbow. Mingle with hundreds of fancifully handcrafted animals—from cuddly companions to life-sized puppets—all crafted from recycled materials and everyday objects, including bottle caps, bicycle parts, baseball mitts, croquet balls, mop heads, and rear-view mirrors…”

Feb 24 2011

tieringen – private house

we have had the pleasure of visiting our friend’s house in tieringen – near stuttgart – the past couple of years. the house overlooks a valley and traditional german village. it is a crisp glass box that nestles itself along a hillside and the upper level cantilevers in a gesture to the valley below. surprisingly it is a very livable dwelling – perhaps it is because we know the family so well who is already living there. the house is designed by werner sobek and is a sustainably designed – it is a fully zero emissions and has zero energy use as well.

from architectural record:
“…From the slope to the south of the house, one immediately apprehends its straightforward parti. A glass-and-steel volume, approximately 23 feet deep and 56 feet long, devoted to the living, dining, and kitchen areas, rests on a deeper, steel-framed base, containing bedrooms, roomy baths, and an office. Enclosed by charcoal-black, non-load-bearing, precast-concrete panels, this volume is about 31 feet deep and 54 feet long. Operable, double-paned, narrow windows, between 16 inches and 3 feet in width and a little over 8 feet high, bring light and air into these lower-level quarters. A third, beige-precast-concrete volume, linked by a terrace and roof deck, contains the garage and service equipment for the 4,200-square-foot residence.”

Dec 27 2010

snow globe jars

roman and milo came home from winter camp here in LA with these. seems like a great way to make a snow globe and create something rather unique…

Dec 24 2010

the boys room – in apartment therapy

Names: Roman, Milo, Luca
Ages: 9, 5 and 2
Location: Bel Air, CA
Room size: 11′ x 12′ (roughly)

With a two-bedroom house and three young boys to accomodate, Irwin Miller had to get creative. His innovative use of all the nooks, recesses and alcoves results in a comfortable, efficient room that gives all three brothers their own place as well as an inspiring shared space. read more…

Dec 24 2010

swiss treats

some favorites from our last trip to zurich and basel. we love the zurich zoo and the best part about european museums, zoos or any cultural place – is great edible food and drinks for lunch. The Confiserie Sprüngli has the best little ‘luxembergerli’ mini-macaroons that I have ever had. I was able to smuggle this chunk of parmigiano reggiano bought at carrefour for about 5 dollars. I put it in the kid’s backback at customs. crepes with a morel cream sauce and vitello tonnato in a basel cafe and a turtle bread from migros market.

Confiserie Sprüngli AG
Bahnhofstrasse 21
8001 CH-Zürich

Dec 20 2010

fresh pasta making

I am amazed that the recipe for making egg pasta is so deceptively simple. it’s really all about the best ingredients when you have something as simple as this…

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. water, plus more as needed

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the all-purpose and semolina flours, salt and olive oil. Beat on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds. In a small pitcher or other pourable container, whisk together the eggs and water. With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture and beat until the flour has been absorbed into the egg mixture, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and, using your hands, squeeze a small amount of dough into a ball. It should be moist enough to hold together but not sticky; if it is too dry, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into 2 balls. Wrap separately with plastic wrap, then flatten each ball into a disk. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (williams-sonoma recipe)

Dec 9 2010

paper santa

roman made this after school – I like the 2 separate parts connected by red yarn…

Dec 5 2010

banqueting house – some interiors

a few shots of when we stayed there. no tv, just quiet fireplace living…and a mac laptop for roman. very peaceful