26 February 2010

things that make us happy!

We have been given “Happy 101 award” by our good friend Rob Edmonds, to list ten things that make us happy. SO I am going to start and let jules finish.
1. Vancouver - we both love living here, and love the days when the view of the spectacular North Shore catches our breath. It's also really hard being away from family and friends so I think that makes us appreciate it much more.

2. George - our husky pup, text book case, word for word, typical husky. She is only a year and already singing allot.

3. Ireland - the people, the places, the food, the drink, enough said.
"all that i am, or ever hope to be was fashioned on ground once home to me"

4. London - we both miss london a lot, but I don't think either of us could go and live there again, it wears you out when you live there, you either survive or it chews you up and spits you out. It spat me out after 5 years and jules after 10 years, so we both have alot of memories and a lot of favourite haunts, these are just a few.

ok my turn now,

5. anyone who knows me knows snowboarding is a large part of my life. I was bitten over ten years ago, its an addiction, and one that I don't see ever giving up. I'm still fall on my backside loads, land on my head, you name it but there really is no better feeling than strapping in for that first run, dry mouthed thinking of nothing else, shutting the world out and flying just flying, flying down, hitting that sweet spot, magic carpet taking you wherever you want to go, feeling the fizz of snow kicked up by your turns hitting your trailing hand, legs burning and you stop to wait... for friends or just because its just jaw droppingly beautiful, and silence the sort of silence only snow in a landscape can bring...and again drop, fizz, butterflies, burn, smiling faces, again ? f*ck yeh.

ps, i stole this shot of me from my pal Dean's website, sure he wont mind he knows what I'm talking about...still havent forgiven you for that goat track ;)

6. 'Bright kids just messing around with ideas....let's play it by ear' there has probably been no greater influence on the way I think about design, what turns me on and what I try to achieve in professional life than The Bartlett School of architecture, Peter Cook, Neil Spiller and a whole host of others drive this design school into places others fear to go. Their summer shows are incredible, their students some of the sharpest minds in the world and what they produce helps shape the way we think about our world. Beautiful, sometimes scary, challenging and at times plain weird, always incredible.

7. Pioneers, heroes, eccentrics and men who just went and did it and did it with style. Here's a few.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Chris Bonington twice when I was a kid, Colne Municipal Hall, must have been late 70's early 80's. He was showing 35mm slide shows of his trips to far flung places with names I couldn't pronounce.

Fred Dibnah,fearless steeple jack,a man who left his wife for the love of a steam engine, or was it the other way round, Northern, proud, uncompromising.

Bill Drummond a man who burnt a million quid in the name of art. Live and lived their lives by their own rules.

8. Acid house, blaming my old mate fletch for this one, it wasnt the pills thrills and bellyaches, it wasnt the scene, it wasnt even really the music...although that was pretty damn good and a big tune still gives me goose bumps and a funny shivery feeling, it was primarily the people, it was like sharing a secret and knowing it was going to be huge, really huge. Still pretty epic when a big tune drops and the place goes mental. An attitude, maybe a feeling I dont know really.

9. The North. Lancashire. A place, a people, an attitude, the weather, the wild windswept landscape, the sweet smell of the moors in spring time, the humour, the food...yes the food, the down to earth no nonsense honesty, the place that made me and that goes with you where ever you end up.

10. The Wild. Its a big one yes, its places, people, weather, unsanitized, untamed, alive, vital. There isnt enough of it in the world these days.

Thanks Rob, kind of nice to take a few minutes to think about this. So now to hand on the honour, Dan, what makes you happy ?

forgotten courtyard

If you are in Vancouver you have to check this courtyard out, transformed by our friends Chris and Inge at ASIR studio. I only wish this was a permanent feature and more of these spaces opened up into usable courtyards.

Set in one of Chinatown's oldest and almost forgotten courtyards, (at 51 E Pender) GO! transforms one of Vancouver's many underused, under-lit areas into an illuminated canopy of light and space.

23 February 2010

the welch / rascal hybrid

tonal variation

getting the correct tone on the concrete isnt always easy, light playing off surfaces,
texture difference and time all play their part

more black on black with a blaze of autumn colour

the Liquidamber should be a spectacular blaze of Autumn colour

black on black

22 February 2010

residential architecture

Right or wrong I do judge architects on the quality of their single family residential work for me it can epitomise their vision and style, that at least in theory should relate to the more commercial projects they do. At the moment no one does this better for me than david adjaye. I love the fact you can see that passion in all his work. Lets hope that vision, passion, and style comes through in all our work as we develop.

18 February 2010

16 February 2010

style icon

dinner parties


never really been too fond of this way of spending an evening
(probably from being forced to wear a dinner suit...public 'posh'
school...pass the port to the left or was it right)..anyway this caught
my imagination. I really do hope it was filled with lots of old duffers, twirly
moustaches, monocles and inappropriately dressed ladies...

like mussels on a beach

inspired by the constantly changing shoreline and the wet exposed
shells of mussels and clams our Point Grey project is getting closer to
completion...more soon...

10 February 2010

the howies catalogue

true to form it looks to be another beautifully crafted object from our long time favourite welsh company. almost a cult item with its vegetable based inks and ethical stance, always something i looked forward to landing on the doormat in the UK, as much for the clothing as it was for the reading and graphic content. clever folk and bucket loads of soul, lets hope this stays with them now that one of the big boys owns em.

08 February 2010

vancouver olympic architecture

interesting article on vancouver olympic architecture in the NY times

recently I have been comparing the london olympics and the vancouver olympic architecture/ design. london is seemingly going all out for the starchitects such as zaha hadid and peter cook whilst vancouver have went more for the home grown talent. personally i would have liked to see some more progressive flamboyant design in the architecture and the landscape architecture, that I think vancouver companies are more than capable off, which leads me to think where did the restrictions come from, the city, the developers or laziness.

whilst there is something very admirable with vancouver supporting the local design community I have to wonder what the world will think next week when the eye comes to this city. I don't think it is really making vancouver a world class player, you have to play with the big boys to be one yourself!

perhaps an opportunity missed by VANOC.

vancouver's olympic village

zaha hadid - london olympics

peter cook/ hok - london olympics

studio by Hamworth Tompkins

if only we were looking for a studio in suffolk, uk or we could transport this to vancouver. shortlisted for the AJ small projects, love the use of cor-ten in juxtaposition with the old brick.

06 February 2010

navajo style

a couple of things turning me onto this lately...
one of which is the nike macropus lite shoe and the other is the move against the obvious mid century modern for the ace hotel in palm springs anywhere that is described by the LA times with the words 'laid-back hippy vibe' and 'albert frey meets timothy leary' gets my vote any day....oh and the shoes are something else....

05 February 2010

you should read this, especially if you don't snowboard

fantastic photo essay by jake stangel its why i still and will always ride sideways

thanks to 10 engines for posting

shackleton's whisky

Reading with interest that Shackleton's whisky has just been discovered buried underneath his hut in the antartic. Likely to be more peaty and smoky than the crop of current lighter modern whiskies, fingers crossed it survived down there in the cold. I hope they had a few bottles tucked away for that 800 mile jaunt in open top lifeboats.

04 February 2010

restaurant box

fantastic restaurant boxes from tham & videgard vancouver could do with a few of these dotted along the beaches and robson square! looks like a healthier food option and i even see someone walking off with a beer, how very european, we need to adopt that attitude to vancouver.

at night the cube is closed and acts as a big lamp to guide late nightclubbers in the area.tva-restaurant box-2

swedish architecture

i am loving these houses by tham & videgard.

02 February 2010

the emperors castle

meticulous, crafted narration, fantastical content beautifully executed

augmented reality and other things

fantastic video piece on the not so distant future possibilities of

augmented reality via BLDG BLOG is the ipad a step in this direction ?


some mornings you just need some inspiration to get started
for me, this morning that came from james gorst architects with this stunning image.
surprisingly it wasn't the architecture but these gorgeous white alliums.

The Walrus | March 2010 | "A Tale of Two Cities" by Gary Stephen Ross

The Walrus | March 2010 | "A Tale of Two Cities" by Gary Stephen Ross

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