July 10, 2005
How crazy-making to read Dan Neil's column "Feels Like End Times" (800 Words, June 12), noting Elizabeth Kolbert's excellent and frightening series in the New Yorker on climate change, the Bush administration's dismantling of environmental regulations and the "Collapse?" exhibit at the Natural History Museum, juxtaposed with the piece about "visionary Venice designer" Jennifer Siegal, who wants to build environmentally friendly prefab houses ("Unsustainable?" by Eryn Brown, June 12). The problem is a government that puts roadblocks in front of Siegal and her buyers with regulations that have no flexibility for environmental innovation.
January 6, 2008 |
There may be 2,500 square feet of Ray Kappe-designed sleekness in Steve Glenn's Santa Monica home, but just before festivities started on a fall evening, the chief executive of eco-friendly developer LivingHomes was still worrying about where to put his guests . . . and their yoga mats. This was the third time Glenn had hosted one of his spirited "yoga potlucks," but his cedar/steel/glass prefab pad had never held more than 25 yogis, and twice that number had RSVP'd. "I'm counting on a high L.A. flake factor," he said, rolling back the shag rugs and pushing an Eames lounger out of the way. The evening's instructor, Ted McDonald of Brentwood's MahaYoga, was setting up speakers on the roof just in case.
January 31, 2013 |
When Bay Area designers Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe of Just Fine Design/Build unveiled their mod chicken coop Chick-in-a-Box at a 2010 Maker Faire , they thought they were on to something. Chickens had moved from the farm to the backyard, after all, and coops had become popular design fodder for architects and artisans alike. But McElroy and Wolpe found little interest in their $1,200 handmade chicken coop, regardless of its post-and-beam-style composition or striking butterfly roof that doubles as a water catchment system.
HOME & GARDEN
June 13, 2009 |
Renovation of a 1950s manufactured house sounds like code for a tear-down. But Ben Thorne and Eliza Howard think differently, perhaps because their home is Los Angeles' best-known example of the modernist prefab houses by the General Panel Corp. If that moniker doesn't ring a bell, then the name of one of its architects might: Walter Gropius, founder of the legendary German design school, the Bauhaus.
July 6, 2008 |
When Buster Keaton gets a build-it-yourself house in the 1920 short "One Week," he winds up spending seven days constructing a pieced-together dwelling with windows askew and a pitched roof that looks tipsy. Prefab has come a long way since then. If you have about 700 square feet and $223,000 to spare, you can order a smart guesthouse or office from L.A. architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner. The new Rincon 5 is a clean, rectangular box of a house with a bamboo floor, well-proportioned deck and breezeway.
August 20, 2008 |
“Architecture School,” which begins tonight on the Sundance Channel, is a rich and satisfying documentary series that incidentally rings some of the same bells as reality shows like "Project Runway" and "Top Chef" (talented folk design houses in competition) and "Flipping Out" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (they build the winner). There's a little of "The Real World" in it as well -- the designers are all young, and sometimes they go to bars where music is played.