January 2009 Table of Contents

From the Editor
the new, new reality From the Editor the new, new reality

Looking back reveals many similarities to previous downturns—and one big difference. Read more

Home Front
après le downturn après le downturn

We asked visionary architects, designers, and cultural philosophers to predict how the downturn may transform housing. Here's what they told us: "The world is becoming both aesthetically conscious and information savvy. In this digital age, people want to Read more

Green Piece
green piece native sun

One trickle-down effect of the green revolution is the growing recognition that social and economic sustainability should be part of the picture. KRDB of Austin, Texas, aims to cover those bases at SOL (Solutions Oriented Living), a mixed-income community Read more

the low-down green pieces the low-down

Gerber's Ultra Flush high-efficiency toilet uses only 1.1 gallons of water per flush. Read more

superior blends green pieces superior blends

Sonoma Cast Stone has developed a new family of kinder, gentler concrete mixes. Read more

on a roll green pieces on a roll

Hoping to form a combination as successful as the iconic chocolate peanut butter cup, CertainTeed is mixing its residential roofing products with Energy Conversion Devices' thin-film flexible solar laminates. Read more

K+B Studio
K + B Studio / Bath bay watch

Unlike the kitchen, the master bath upstairs is anything but subdued. Here, the clients wanted a luxurious retreat from which they could savor the spectacular views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, and other prime San Francisco Bay locales. Read more

a place for everything K + B Studio / Kitchen a place for everything

Mark English, AIA, renovated this Sausalito, Calif., house to serve as a weekend retreat. But he did such a great job designing for his clients' lifestyle that the couple now live and work in the house full time. Read more

an honest appraisal practice an honest appraisal

From the bailout of failed investment banks to the deflating real estate market, the question of how to calculate value is on a lot of people's minds these days. During the joyride, houses of every ilk were routinely overpriced as appraisals became unmoor Read more

Profiles
robert luntz, aia, and joseph tanney, aia word on the street robert luntz, aia, and joseph tanney, aia

Joseph Tanney, AIA, recalls the early 1990s’ recession with a hint of nostalgia. “We had just started; we were too dumb to know what was going on,” says the co-architect, with partner Robert Luntz, AIA, of the first Dwell Home. Read more

mark peters, aia word on the street mark peters, aia

Mark Peters, AIA, hadn't realized his young firm would be hitting the five-year milestone in 2009—until it was pointed out to him. “The years just kind of pass by when you're busy,” he explains. Read more

william moore, aia word on the street william moore, aia

William Moore, AIA, started his Denver-based design/build firm in 1996, after he could only find work as a carpenter. Read more

david arkin, aia, leed ap, and anni tilt word on the street david arkin, aia, leed ap, and anni tilt

David Arkin, AIA, LEED AP, and Anni Tilt have a hard time turning people away. Clients seek out the firm for its expertise in sustainable design, and the husband-and-wife-led team enjoys taking on a mix of residential, commercial, and community projects. Read more

jay janette, aia, and david goldberg, aia word on the street jay janette, aia, and david goldberg, aia

Seattle-based Mithun always considered itself a regional firm with a strong focus on residential planning and design work, but in 2008 the collective opened a San Francisco office in a move forward as a more diverse and, it hopes, recession-proof company. Read more

eric naslund, faia, and john sheehan, aia word on the street eric naslund, faia, and john sheehan, aia

When the principals at Studio E Architects fell into designing a charter school a few years ago, little did they know the project type would help see them through the current downturn. Read more

christine l. albertsson, aia, and todd p. hansen, aia word on the street christine l. albertsson, aia, and todd p. hansen, aia

Last summer, Albertsson Hansen Architecture seemed on track for one of its best years ever. The Minneapolis firm had found a niche designing residential remodels and new houses, and had added staff each year since its start in 2000. Read more

j. carson looney, faia word on the street j. carson looney, faia

Memphis, Tenn.-based Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) is an award-winning 25-year-old firm that had only reduced staff once prior to 2008. Read more

the lowdown on the downturn

Joseph Tanney, AIA, recalls the early 1990s' recession with a hint of nostalgia. "We had just started; we were too dumb to know what was going on," says the co-architect, with partner Robert Luntz, AIA, of the first Read more

michael g. imber, faia word on the street michael g. imber, faia

A few years ago, Michael G. Imber, FAIA, was approached about working on a large development. His firm designs primarily high-end custom residential and has since its inception in 1992, so Imber thought carefully before accepting the offer. Read more

chuck swartz, aia, leed ap, and beth reader, aia word on the street chuck swartz, aia, leed ap, and beth reader, aia

Reader & Swartz Architects was founded during a recession. “Beth got laid off and I had the brilliant idea of quitting and starting our own firm,” says Chuck Swartz, AIA, LEED AP. Read more

Practice venerable voices

"Fasten your seat belts, because things happen very quickly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to hold onto staff when you don't have the work. Because of the diversity of our projects, we didn't really feel the last two downturns, but combined w Read more

word on the street

As creeping paralysis makes its way across the U.S. economy, residential architects are beginning to feel parts of their practices go numb. Read more

Shelter Lab
Shelter Lab alley appeal

What began as a conversation about the brutalities of gentrification in urban neighborhoods may result in a new type of housing in Austin, Texas. Read more

Doctor Spec
great walls doctor spec great walls

John Dennis Murphey, AIA, used to specify his exterior walls the way everyone else did—with 2x4 studs, fiberglass insulation, sheathing, and so on—but very little about his walls is the same anymore. Today he designs high-performing exterior walls that ar Read more

Products
déjà flue New Material déjà flue

EcoSmart's Retro fireplace was inspired by 1960s pop culture motifs, with rounded corners and a tube design that suits various architectural styles. Read more

studio time studio time

The Studio Collection is a line of home technology devices affordably priced from around $7.50 (for wall plates) to $1,380 (for a whole-house audio system). Read more

give me liberty give me liberty

Liberty is a new collection of colorful transparent glass mosaic tiles from Miami-based Trend USA. Read more

Workspace
workspace boora architects

Where do we go from here? That was the existential (and practical) question Boora Architects faced in fall 2005, with the end of its lease at the historic Morgan Building in downtown Portland, Ore., looming. Read more

Close X