Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Framing, Football, and Fall...

Some BIG beams have gone in at Casa Gertruda that makes you wonder..."What in the world was holding the original back corner of the home up?" The master bathroom corner has a double cantilever that was there originally.....but somewhat  precariously supported.  So, we have installed some substantial  parallam beams to support it...the right way! Nothing is falling down on our watch!

During the pour of our concrete footings, one of the steel posts was installed...this will be partially exposed (remember we are going for the modern look) at the beginning of the staircase.  The lower portion will be wrapped with tongue and groove walnut wood panels, and the upper portion will be exposed steel, painted black. 

While I know we desperately need rain in So Cal's drought.....a little part of me can't help but sing "rain, rain, go away...come back another day!" We are seriously hoping the rain does not impede progress on framing.  Lumber drop is today.....hoping we see lots of framing soon...weather permitting.

In the meantime, Jeff and I are trying to distract ourselves.....
Here's what we have been up to...
Yes...we are a divided house....
(and even though Jeff has the most mischievous look ever... the Bruins took it this year!)
I might need to find a way to inexplicably lose Jeff's hat in our move back home to Casa!
And last week, the Trojans dominated over Notre Dame.
A huge thank you to our
Gertruda neighbors, Kathie and Joe,
 for finding us amazing tickets!
But really......football is almost over.....we can only distract ourselves for so long!
It's hammer time!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A solid foundation

Everything worthy of standing the test of time needs a solid foundation upon which to rest. Whether it be a strong foundation of values from which we live, our strong and steady bonds with our friends and family, a foundation of trust from which we build our relationships, or the solid education and life experience from which we build our careers...
We can't start to build upon shaky ground....
Same goes for Casa Gertruda!
This past week the footings were poured.  The concrete truck arrived and it was time for the pour...
We had shored up much of the raised foundation and existing exterior walls, so we needed some stability!

Tomorrow, George our contractor, and I will go over all the window openings and exterior doors so that we have exact sizes and the orders can be placed.  That means.....framing is just around the corner!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Framing Exposed...

Progress continues at Casa Gertruda. Dirt has been dug out for our new footings. And with all the framing exposed, we have been reviewing the existing framing. As is often the case, some conditions aren't exactly as we expected them to be. That's the joy of remodeling as opposed to brand new construction! Yes, there was a note of sarcasm there...

So we had a framing jobsite meeting yesterday with our framer, Robert, who goes by the long-held nickname "Turtle," and Rasheed our structural engineer. We spent a lot of time looking up at the existing framing.....

And more time looking up....

But in the end, we came up with solutions for all of it...
That's what I call great teamwork!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Now the very beginning of building begins!

Casa Gertruda still looks somewhat sad and skeletal....

Even the stairs are gone!

But footing work has begun.  And that means,  framing is just around the corner.

In the meantime, let's look at the renderings so we don't lose sight of where we are headed!

At the Master Bathroom corner

At the office corner window (front of the house)
Master bathroom interior view
We are starting something new in my office....the construction site signs at each project will show what the finished home will look like.
Just put up Casa Gertruda's sign today!
What do you think?
Share your comments here

Friday, October 17, 2014

A very bare house...

This week was the conclusion of demolition. And boy did they demolish!!! Our house seems so naked! But I'm happy to say that there is no sense of panic...no one is freaking out...
I had been concerned that either Jeff or I would get that stomach churning feeling of worry, kind of like, "Oh dear what have we done?"  But, there was not even a hint of that. Instead we are tremendously excited to continue the adventure!

Monday, October 13, 2014

CASA GERTRUDA: Worse before it gets better...

Keep Following the blog:  Architect4Life.blogspot.com to stay tuned to the Casa Gertruda saga...
"Umm Jeff...what was that you said? You wanted to reconsider doing a remodel? OOPS!"

The Demolition team had a hard day's work!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Let the games begin! Demo...construction...bring it! Casa G starts now! We are holding on tight for the exciting ride! -Jeff and Karen


Wednesday October 8, 2014
First sign of Progress:

Almost Permit Ready!

Monday, October 6, 2014
This is the before pic! We went to the building department today... Architectural plans approved! Structural plan checker wants just one more calculation from our structural engineer, and then it's time to pull permits!! Construction fence for Casa Gertruda is on its way!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's GO time!

Something exciting is about to happen!  I am getting ready to start a large scale remodel, rebuild, and addition to our home in Redondo Beach!  So now, the tables are turned…and I am not only the architect, but client too! I am sure that the project will be exciting, might be stressful, and quite possibly frightening! I will finally get to feel all of the things my amazing clients go through.

For the last 23 years in this profession, I have done many small remodels on my previous home in Huntington Harbour, California.  Each, however, was done in individual phases. For example, the kitchen was its own project, before that it was the outdoor pool, before that the living room, etc. Never have I moved out of a house for construction. This is a first for me!

I’ve committed myself to sharing the experiences with you…good or bad. So not only will I be blogging about it, but I’m starting an instagram account as well to keep you thoroughly updated!

Right now, the final reviews and approvals are underway at the City Building Department.  We hope to begin construction next week.  So in the meantime let me introduce the key players to you.

My boyfriend, Jeff Webb, is on this journey with me. Earlier in his life, Jeff was a residential general contractor. I’m seriously hoping that makes him well aware of what we are heading into. He has owned the Redondo Beach home for over 15 years, and upon the sale of my Huntington Harbour home, I joined him in Redondo, and we now call Casa Gertruda our home.

The name came about in my office.  My staff and I typically refer to our projects by the client’s last name, but it felt weird in this case. So, Gertruda because of the street it is on, and Casa because it had a nice ring to it.

The general contractor is George Fullerton of Artisan Builders.  I have worked with George for over 7 years. His work is outstanding, his team puts their heart and soul into each project, and they know the level of quality and craftsmanship that I look for. And, most importantly, they are up for the challenge, and excited to work on Jeff’s and my dream home. Having built countless homes together, Artisan Builders knows how to work well with me as the architect…let’s hope I don’t scare them off as the client as well!

Monday, February 3, 2014

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Architecture is Sporting a New Look...

Quote for February:

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way." -Edward de Bono

With the Superbowl just days away, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some fascinating examples of stadium architecture.

Beijing Aquatic Center in Beijing, China

Beijing's Aquatic Center draws its inspiration from the image of bubbles clustered together. It is known as the "Water Cube."   The building has a square form that is counterpart to the Beijing Olympic Stadium's roundness which is located nearby.  The two stadiums create the yin and yang.  A maze of steel beams holds the plastic wall panels together.  The effect when lit up at night is spectacular! 

Beijing National Stadium in Beijing, China

Beijing's National Stadium is often referred to as the "Bird's Nest." The form and latticework of this stadium were inspired by Chinese ceramics.  Taking nearly four and a half years to build, the stadium is seen as a public vessel.  Most people will recall the opening Olympic ceremony in 2008 which dramatically showcased this architectural tour de force.

David S. Ingalls Rink at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut USA

The Ingalls Rink, designed by Eero Saarinen, is a beautiful example of the renowned architect's graceful tensile structures. Given its function as an ice rink, the inspiration for the design is the speed and grace of ice skaters. A concrete arch provides the support for the suspended steel cables.  Designed in 1956, it is commonly referred to as the Yale Whale.

Truly amazing structures that undoubtedly enhance the experience for avid sports spectators.  Architecture has the remarkable power to make any event extraordinary.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I am a huge fan of famous quotes.
They are typically short, but poignant; with few words they make us think. They can be clever, profound, unexpected, or emotive.

I will share with you my favorites each month...consider it my New Year's resolution of sorts. Hopefully some will speak to you.

Quote of the month:

"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous." -Bill Moyers