April 2007 Table of Contents

From the Editor
what custom really means From the Editor what custom really means

What truly qualifies as a custom home? Houses that are designed from scratch for a particular site and a specific client's program. A real human being's program—not a hypothetical demographic profile, even if it's very narrowly defined. Read more

Home Front
home front on the boards / green in accra

California-based Stephen H. Kanner, FAIA, has expanded his practice to another West coast—the one in Africa. Accra, the capital of Ghana, has captured both his attention and his creative passion. Read more

home front america's favorite dwellings

Just 17 residential buildings earned slots in The American Institute of Architects' top 150 buildings survey, but they're keepers. In honor of its 150th anniversary, the institute commissioned a Harris Interactive poll of more than 1,800 members of the American public, asking them to rank their favorite examples of American architecture. They chose from a larger list of 248 buildings suggested by a random sample of more than 2,400 AIA members. What do you think about the list? Here's your opportunity to set the rankings straight. Read more

K+B Studio
K + B Studio / Kitchen sincerely austere

How does one insert ultramodern living spaces into a former industrial military building? Acanthus Ferguson Mann Architects of Bristol, England, accomplished it with a kitchen and bath retrofit that's bold enough to hold its own inside the heavyweight building, yet is also sleek and translucent. Read more

theory vs. practice perspective theory vs. practice

Our studio relationship began at Princeton University, which we attended as both undergraduate and graduate students. There we established a way of thinking about architecture that we have tried to maintain as we have progressed from an academic environme Read more

practice shop talk

savvy architects are investing long-term by owning their buildings. Read more

Architects' Choice
Secret Attachment Architects' Choice Secret Attachment

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: EB-TY hidden deck fasteners allow for consistent spacing between boards. Read more

G Whiz Architects' Choice G Whiz

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: G-U Hardware's lift-slide hardware consist of aluminum-constructed handles and aluminum-alloy fittings that can be used to move large panels. Read more

Into the Light Architects' Choice Into the Light

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: Polygal structured sheets are polycarbonate multi wall materials with 200 times the impact strength of glass, while weighing considerably less. Read more

Brass Brand Architects' Choice Brass Brand

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: Sugatsune's concealed hinges are solid-brass, 8-inch door hinges that can support a door weight of 110 pounds. Read more

Roll On Architects' Choice Roll On

Audrey Matlock Architect: Cotterman's single-mounted rolling ladder is an indoor-use ladder that can extend from 50 inches to 110 inches high. Read more

Gray Matter Architects' Choice Gray Matter

Audrey Matlock Architect: Concrete flooring from the Portland Cement Association offers a strong, low-maintenance alternative to other flooring surfaces. Read more

Slim Pick Architects' Choice Slim Pick

Audrey Matlock Architect: Delray Lighting's T5 fluorescent light is a linear fixture made from a cast zinc-aluminum alloy. It comes in 2-foot, 3-foot and 4-foot lengths and can be mounted horizontally and vertically. Read more

Metal Magic Architects' Choice Metal Magic

Max Strang Architecture: Modern Masters' Metal Effects is a water-based decorative painting system that can create patinaed and oxidized metal finishes for architectural applications. Read more

Foiling Aluminum Architects' Choice Foiling Aluminum

Max Strang Architecture: Galvalume aluminum zinc-coated sheets are lightweight panels that can be used for wall applications. Read more

Going Global Architects' Choice Going Global

Max Strang Architecture: Enviromental Graphics' wall panels are applied like regular wallpaper, but is printed on 80-pound paper. Read more

Storm Chaser Architects' Choice Storm Chaser

Max Strang Architecture: PGT Industries' WinGuard windows are made with impact-resistant laminated glass and come with either vinyl or aluminum frames. Read more

Set With Erecta Architects' Choice Set With Erecta

Richardson Architects: Metro Wire Super Erecta shelving can support up to 800 pounds and its heights and widths range from 14 x 24 inches to 36 x 72 inches. Read more

Moon Glow Architects' Choice Moon Glow

Richardson Architects: The Flos Romeo Moon S1 pendant is an 8 1/3-inch tall light fixture that hangs from a steel suspension cable. Read more

Crystal Persuasion Architects' Choice Crystal Persuasion

Richardson Architects: DuPont's Zodiaq surfacing is made from 93 percent quartz crystal, giving it a depth and radiance and making it strong, durable, and heat- and scratch-resistant. Read more

Over the Edge Architects' Choice Over the Edge

Richardson Architects: Tydix low-profile edge pulls are made from solid brass or solid bronze and come in diameters of ¼-inch, 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, and ½-inch. Read more

Tanks Again Architects' Choice Tanks Again

Richardson Architects: Rinnai's on-demand tankless water heaters deliver a continuous supply of hot water for as long as needed and the full line of heaters range between outputs of 15,000 to 237,000 BTU. Read more

Sound Cork Architects' Choice Sound Cork

Moskow Architects: Amorim Flooring's Wicanders cork deadens sound, functions as a thermal insulator and can be used for both flooring and wall applications. Read more

Fixed Slate Architects' Choice Fixed Slate

Moskow Architects: Camara Slate Products' unfading green slate tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and are available in six natural colors. Read more

Cable Provider Architects' Choice Cable Provider

Moskow Architects: Feeney Architectural Products' CableRail is a stainless steel railing system that comes in 5 foot increments spanning up to 70 feet. Read more

Slow Burn Architects' Choice Slow Burn

Moskow Architects: RAIS's Komba wood-burning stove is powerful enough to heat up to 1,292 square feet of space and feature a soapstone baking liner and top plate. Read more

Weather Foe Architects' Choice Weather Foe

Cole Prévost: Parklex 1000 is a versatile wood-resin composite panel that can be used for cabinetry or as a rainscreen. Parklex has a natural wood surface that resists rain, extreme sunlight, wind, and snow. Read more

Gropius Grip Architects' Choice Gropius Grip

Cole Prévost: TECNOLINE's 1923 Bauhaus door lever comes in four different finishes, two different designs and comes in lengths of either 4¾ inches or 4 5/16 inches. Read more

Room for Squares Architects' Choice Room for Squares

Cole Prévost: Dornbracht's Maro faucet in made from cast brass and projects 9½ inches and rises 13½ inches high. Read more

Above It All Architects' Choice Above It All

Michelle Kaufmann Designs: deXstone's GratedeX decking system is comprised of a fiberglass underlayment that's installed over traditional wood framing. It uses stainless steel fasteners and adhesive to accept natural stone or tile. Read more

Fresh Breeze Architects' Choice Fresh Breeze

Michelle Kaufmann Designs: NanaWall folding glass patio doors are available in custom sizes and can be fabricated in such species as sapeli mahogany and speced with aluminum cladding. Read more

Hot Spot Architects' Choice Hot Spot

Michelle Kaufmann Designs: Takagi tankless water heaters conserve energy and are offered in a variety of capacities. Read more

Greater Good Architects' Choice Greater Good

Michelle Kaufmann Designs: Heath Ceramics' recycled tiles can be used for floors, walls, pools, or fountains and are available in more than 80 crackle, matte, and glossy glazes. Read more

Trough Love Architects' Choice Trough Love

Michelle Kaufmann Designs: Kohler's stainless steel trough sink is 33 inches long with a basin depth of nearly 6 inches. A wire rack and wire storage basket are included accessories. Read more

Run, Spot, Run Architects' Choice Run, Spot, Run

Donald Powers Architects: Seiho's Aluminum SpotDiffuser is ideal for moving conditioned air from an inaccessible place to a work environment, according to the manufacturer. The unit is crafted from heavy-gauge anodized aluminum in sizes ranging from 3 inc Read more

Real Appeal Architects' Choice Real Appeal

Donald Powers Architects: No. 1 Grade Blue Label shingles are a premium-grade product for roofs and sidewalls and can be steamed for curved applications. The shingles are comprised of 100 percent defect-free heartwood with a 100 percent edge grain. Read more

Hardi Boy Architects' Choice Hardi Boy

Donald Powers Architects: James Hardie's Hardiplank fiber-cement siding is a durable exterior that resembles wood and resists rotting, cracking and moisture. Read more

Petal Push Architects' Choice Petal Push

Donald Powers Architects: Ikea's Knappa pendant lamp is made from white polypropylene and measures 18 inches wide and 14¼ inches tall. Read more

Light Bridge Architects' Choice Light Bridge

Donald Powers Architects: Lighting fixtures from Brass Light Galleries offer a wide range of opitons for shades and glass types and bridge the gaps among architectural styles, according to architect Donald Powers. Read more

Wild Tile Architects' Choice Wild Tile

COOP 15: Royal Mosa's Romain series of unglazed floor tiles are uniquely manufactured giving them a useful versatility for flooring applications. Read more

The Anti-Log Architects' Choice The Anti-Log

COOP 15: Moderustic glass rocks function as a decorative alternative to conventional gas fireplace designs and are processed to burn clean with no cinders, embers, or smells. Read more

High and Dry Architects' Choice High and Dry

COOP 15: Cembonit cement-based cladding sheets are crafted from cement, cellulose fibers, and fillers. Sheets come in thicknesses of ¼ inch and 5/16 inch and measure up to 4 feet by 10 feet. Read more

Original Species Architects' Choice Original Species

Van Dam Architecture and Design: Available in casement, awning, double-hung, and slider styles, Kolbe & Kolbe's all-wood windows' exterior components are immersed in a life-prolonging preservative treatment before assembly. Read more

Warm Steel Architects' Choice Warm Steel

Van Dam Architecture and Design: Ideal Roofing's corrugated steel roofs are oven-baked and pre-painted and can be custom-cut to lengths of up to 40 feet in 30 colors. Read more

Cool Design Architects' Choice Cool Design

Van Dam Architecture and Design: Sub-Zero's handbuilt refrigerator/freezers are designed with dual cooling systems, electronic controls, and an alarm to alert homeowners when the door is ajar. Read more

Right Light Architects' Choice Right Light

Van Dam Architecture and Design: Belfer's 6230 Varial sconce light fixture is made from cast aluminum and operates on a 100-watt or 150-watt halogen bulb. Read more

Rules of Refraction Architects' Choice Rules of Refraction

Steely Architecture: Interstyle's Cobblestones Series glass tiles are impervious to liquids and resistant to fading, staining, and discoloration. The mosaics are 1-inch-by-1-inch and are mesh-mounted on 12-inch-square sheets. Read more

Shipshape Architects' Choice Shipshape

Steely Architecture: Stelton's 17-inch-tall oil-fueled ship's lamp is made of stainless steel and its sleek design helps give it an added architectural element. Read more

Directors' Cut Architects' Choice Directors' Cut

Steely Architecture: Valli&Valli's vcr line of door hardware is made of solid brass or zinc with chrome, satin chrome, and stainless steel finishes. Read more

Fire in the Sky Architects' Choice Fire in the Sky

Steely Architecture: Fireorb is a 24 x 13-inch fire window made of spun-steel that is suspended from the ceiling. Read more

Red State Architects' Choice Red State

Baylis Architects: Western Red Cedar's wood siding contains natural preservatives that resist moisture, decay, and insect damage. Read more

Easy Does It Architects' Choice Easy Does It

Baylis Architects: Taylor Metal Products' Easy Lock standing-seam metal roofing comes in 16-gauge and 24-gauge steel that can withstand wind gusts of up to 140 miles per hour, according to the manufacturer. Read more

Axor Answer Architects' Choice Axor Answer

Baylis Architects: Hansgrohe's Axor plumbing line includes styles for the kitchen and bath and can be speced in chrome, brushed nickel, and satinox, as well as with PVD finishes. Read more

Glass Menagerie Architects' Choice Glass Menagerie

Val Glitsch, FAIA, Architect: Ann Sacks' line of glass tile features tiles mesh-mounted on sheets measuring 12 or 13 square inches. Read more

Frosty Views Architects' Choice Frosty Views

Val Glitsch, FAIA, Architect: American Acrylic's LUMAsite translucent panels are a lightweight alternative to frosted glass. The shatterproof sheets are cast from 100 percent acrylic or modified polyester resins and reinforced with fiberglass. Read more

Tough Choice Architects' Choice Tough Choice

Val Glitsch, FAIA, Architect: IceStone surfacing is made of recycled glass and cement and slabs measure 52½ inches wide, 96 inches long, and 1¼ inches thick. Read more

Raw Hide Architects' Choice Raw Hide

Val Glitsch, FAIA, Architect: Silestone Leather quartz-based surfacing and is made from 93 percent quartz and 7 percent resins and color. Read more

Germane German Architects' Choice Germane German

Val Glitsch, FAIA, Architect: Bulthaup's high-end cabinets allow for versatility and mobility in the kitchen with freestanding units as well as wall-hung units. Read more

Minding the Store Architects' Choice Minding the Store

Giulietti/Schouten, AIA Architects: Arcadia's line of products includes thermally and nonthermally broken storefronts and doors, as well as casement, hopper, and ventilating windows. Read more

A Shoe-In Architects' Choice A Shoe-In

Giulietti/Schouten, AIA Architects: Blackstock's leather tiles provide sound insulation and are made from the same material used for shoe soles. Read more

A Touch of Grass Architects' Choice A Touch of Grass

Giulietti/Schouten, AIA Architects: 3form's line of resin-based panels are made of 100 percent recycled materials. Sheets measure 48 inches wide by 96 inches or 120 inches long. Read more

Greenhouse Glass Architects' Choice Greenhouse Glass

Merle Thorpe Architects: Harmon's custom fabricator combines different building materials for small- and large-scale new-construction and renovation projects. Read more

Sound Off Architects' Choice Sound Off

Merle Thorpe Architects: Loewen's push-out casement windows, when combined with RC-1 resilient furring products from USG, “reduce sound-wave transmission into bedrooms and studies,” according to architect Merle Thorpe. Features include Douglas fir interio Read more

Crossed Star Architects' Choice Crossed Star

Merle Thorpe Architects: Jado's Colonial 850 cross-handle faucet is made from cast brass, uses ceramic disc valves and has three handle options. Read more

Open Casement Architects' Choice Open Casement

Fung + Blatt Architects: Milgard's aluminum casement windows have clean, narrow sight lines, special hinges that allow them to completely open outward, and mechanically joined corners. Read more

Plastic Makes Perfect Architects' Choice Plastic Makes Perfect

Fung + Blatt Architects: GE Plastics' Lexan Thermoclear cellular polycarbonate serves as a light, inexpensive alternative to frosted glass, according to architects Michael Rosner Blatt and Alice Fung. Read more

ROHL With It Architects' Choice ROHL With It

Fung + Blatt Architects: ROHL's Shaws Original handmade kitchen sink is made from acid- and alkali-resistant fireclay and comes in single- and double-bowl configurations. Read more

Industrial Evolution Architects' Choice Industrial Evolution

Fung + Blatt Architects: Chicago Faucet Co.'s line faucets are made with cast brass and ceramic disc valves. Read more

Giving Tanks Architects' Choice Giving Tanks

Fung + Blatt Architects: Noritz's on-demand tankless gas heaters efficiently heat water only when it's needed. Read more

Classic Dimension Architects' Choice Classic Dimension

Fung + Blatt Architects: Hakatai Enterprises' Cartglass mosaic tiles are ¾-inch-thick, come in 43 colors and 23 different blends. Read more

All Bark, No Bite Architects' Choice All Bark, No Bite

Gracia Studio: Lisbon Cork tiles from Lumber Liquidators comes in four colors and as glue-down 6-inch tiles or 12-inch-by-24-inch floating floor planks. Read more

Wood Times Architects' Choice Wood Times

Gracia Studio: The California Redwod Association's natural redwood siding accepts finishes well and is resistant to decay and insects. Read more

Stain Alive Architects' Choice Stain Alive

Gracia Studio: Cabot's water- and oil-based semi-solid wood siding stains are guaranteed not to crack, peel, or blister, even under harsh weather conditions, according to the manufacturer, and are available in 74 colors. Read more

Wall With a View Architects' Choice Wall With a View

Gracia Studio: Suntuf polycarbonate panels from Palram are translucent and fade- and chip-resistant. Read more

Blaze of Glory Architects' Choice Blaze of Glory

Dixon Weinstein Architects: Majestic's Designer Series Regal Group mulitsided fireplace is gas-powered and comes with a standing pilot or electronic ignition. Read more

Bella Bell Architects' Choice Bella Bell

Dixon Weinstein Architects: spOre's illuminated doorbell buttons are light-emitting diodes that consume less than a watt of power and are manufactured with a satin-aluminum finish in amber, blue, green, red, and white. Read more

Plain Good Architects' Choice Plain Good

Dixon Weinstein Architects: LBL Lighting's Plano pendant has an Italian glass shade with nickel metal accents. The telescopic stem measures 42½ inches long and is available in black or white. Read more

Warm by Design Architects' Choice Warm by Design

Roger Ferris + Partners: Agape's Spoon bathtub is crafted from a resin/quartz powder composite that reportedly allows the tub to retain heat. Read more

Forma and Function Architects' Choice Forma and Function

Roger Ferris + Partners: Boffi's collection of kitchen and bath products are manufactured in a diverse mix of materials—stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and wood veneers among them. Base and upper units can be speced in a variety of sizes. Read more

Mixed Media Architects' Choice Mixed Media

Roger Ferris + Partners: Duratherm's custom wood windows and doors come in choices such as African mahogany, cypress, Douglas fir, and teak. Read more

Good Trade Architects' Choice Good Trade

Roger Ferris + Partners: This project by the firm uses a wood curtain wall system with a light-gauge steel frame for maximum wall transparency—a testament, Ferris says, to the versatility of Tradewood Windows and Doors. Read more

Hide and Sleek Architects' Choice Hide and Sleek

Roger Ferris + Partners: Edelman Leather's floor and wall tiles are cut from the thickest parts of the hide and come in a range of sizes, including 2 inches by 8 inches, 4 inches by 8 inches, and 18 inches square. Various colors, shapes, and patterns are available. Read more

architects' choice Architects' Choice architects' choice

In our fast-paced, supersaturated lives, we've reached the point where we're no longer empowered by choice, we're burdened by it. Your clients are overwhelmed by it, you're conflicted by it, and project budgets are stretched by it. That product you're about to spec—is it beautiful enough, practical enough, sustainable enough, durable enough, and economical enough? Do you love it, but you need to make a case for it with your client? Read more

Doctor Spec
doctor spec surface appeal

It's not easy to design a handsome building, no matter what its type. You have to get so many elements just right if you want it to rise above the mediocre or mundane. You have to nail the usual to-do list of massing, scale, proportion, and detail. But gr Read more

Win Column new material Win Column

California Faucets' Shower Column is a free-standing shower fixture that works with both in-wall and concealed valves. Read more

Doctored Imago new material Doctored Imago

The David 23 pendant light fixture is suspended from an 8 foot stainless steel aircraft cable. It features a 1/16-inch thick shade made of heat-encapsulating Imago material. Read more

Building Blox new material Building Blox

Xylem's Blox collection of bath products include a 20-inch wall-mounted vanity that can be speced with a drawer, shelf, or glass door. Read more

super bowls off the shelf super bowls

the best seats in the house. Read more

Digital Home
digital home new perspective

After two failed attempts to corner the market on TV and PC convergence, Microsoft's Vista operating system will try to make the third time the charm. Read more

workspace archimania

When Todd Walker, AIA, founded Archimania with Jeff Blackledge, AIA, in 1995, they were strapped for cash. So their build-out in an industrial building in downtown Memphis, Tenn., tapped into their still-successful formula of doing much more with considerably less. Read more

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