Architecture (113)

The Temple of Promise Built for Burning Man

Temple of Promise, the unbuilt temple for Burning Man 2014

Lloyd,

Humans’ first large structures were long houses. Simple pit houses with a circle of lengths of branches or trees were expanded for larger groups by taking those same short spans and arranging them along a line: a Long House. These basis structures are indigenous to almost all ancient cultures. I felt that the temple at burning man needed to be a reference to our most ancient structures; well before the rise of organized religions. These were spaces for the first assembly of a tribe. A time when we all knew each other, when we all built the building, and we all shared risks, adventures, celebrations and solemn moments. The Temple of Promise was about simplicity of sharing as a group.

When I was 15 or 16, I found Shelter in the local library on the same shelf as Frank Lloyd Wright. The two sets of images gripped my and never let go. Wright’s work was both art and craft mixed with aspiration, while Shelter was accessible, immediate and endearing. My copy of Shelter was worn at the edges within a year was very quickly pile of loose but revered pages. Thirty years later, after working in the trades, completing architecture school, and working in the East Coast, Europe, Asia and Australia and moving to the West Coast, I opened boxes of old possessions. Shelter greeted me from the pile. You can only imagine my joy when I realized that it was written and published just a few miles from where I now called home. I can never fully express the joy and insight Shelter has given me. It gave me a direction and remains a strong reference in my life.

Thank you, Lloyd Kahn,
–Ross

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Layout of Pages on Last Home in Our Book, Small Homes

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Staircase between the two units, in the backyard. Photo by Lloyd Kahn

Just did layout of the last home in our next book, Small Homes: The Right Size. It’s a two-family home converted to a duplex in San Francisco. Downstairs is Jay Nelson, his wife Rachel Kaye, and their daughter Romy; upstairs is Dalia Burde — all three are artists (probably Romy too).

This is what’s called a tenants-in-common agreement, where two parties buy a home together. Listen up, people looking for homes in cities, here’s a way to cut costs in half, with the important prerequisite that you’re compatible (and remain so) with each other.

Want to get it done!

Next we’re working on the front matter and back matter, as well as the all-important, the big kahuna — the cover. We’re probably changing from a single home on the cover to a collage of 14 photos. I’m going to put up our cover choices here for general feedback pretty soon.

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Prefab Homes Made in California

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britespace-avava-systems-4-jpg-650x0_q70_crop-smartunknown-2California-based AVAVA Systems is one of these companies offering high-end, flat-pack, prefabricated small homes with an emphasis on ease of assembly, sustainable materials and seismic strength. The company’s flagship product is the Britespace, which comes in three sizes: 264, 352 and 480 square feet. They all use AVAVA’s innovative framing system, which is not only strong but is relatively simple to put together, taking only a matter of weeks, rather than months, to completely build the home. Incidentally, the system was first successfully tested by founders David Wilson and Michael Kozel during the Burning Man arts festival in 2005, to show that it could be a better alternative to the 150-year-old stick framing system…

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Villa Malaparte

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Villa Malaparte, built in 1938 by the Rationalist architect Adalberto Libera in Punta Massullo on the Isle of Capri, is considered to be one of the best examples of Modern Italian architecture. The house, a red structure with inverted pyramid stairs, sits 32 meters over a cliff on the Gulf of Salerno. It is completely isolated from civilization, only accessible by foot or by boat.

The house was commissioned by the Italian writer, Curzio Malaparte whose eccentric character eventually led him to dominate the design process, causing serious conflict with Libera. Malaparte wanted the house to reflect his own personal character and become a place for solitary contemplation and writing.…

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