by Maggie Flickinger
Barrett Studio architects is proud to have been named “Best of Houzz 2013.” This honor goes to professionals with project images most often added to Houzzer’s Ideabooks. Since we first uploaded a few images six months ago, we’ve added more and more, and now our images have been added to over 10,000 Ideabooks!
Houzz is an amazing visual resource, with over a million photos of quality architectural & interior design spaces from all over the world. Feel free to browse our images below, and you can get even more involved by clicking through and asking us – or other designers – questions about their photos! Even though it sometimes means playing detective and digging through our archives, we really enjoy being connected with design enthusiasts this way…feel free to use us as an information resource, and we’ll do our best to find answers / solutions for you!
by Maggie Flickinger
Lush and radiant, Pantone’s Color of the Year, Emerald Green, is energizing but sophisticated. Deeply connected to nature, Emerald is a powerfully saturated accent color that manages to be vibrant, yet deep. It looks smashing with greys & blacks for drama, or with stark whites for sleek elegance - it’s a natural for any architect’s palette! If bright on bright on bright is your theme, pair Emerald Green with Dandelion and Turquoise for an exuberant jolt of summer. Here are a few emerald green faves making the rounds at our studio…
Dramatic Emerald Green Soapstone could easily take center stage in a modern kitchen, with understated blonde cabinetry, a crisp white backsplash, and neutral grey or white flooring. The movement in the stone’s surface could seem dated, but when balanced by clean detailing and larger field tiles, this colorpop countertop exudes contemporary luxury. Functionality doesn’t take a backseat: soapstone features excellent heat, and acid-resistance. Quarried in Brazil & offered in Colorado through Arizona Tile, sustainability points are higher than European or Asian quarried natural stones.
Classic form paired with innovative materials is a foolproof formula, and one taken advantage of in the Produzione Privata Acquamiki Lamp. Designed by renowned Italian architect Michele de Lucchi, the lamp juxtaposes a sumptuously curvaceous silhouette with delicate mouth-blown Murano glass, tinted with a hint of emerald. Illuminate the Acquamiki with a vintage-style filament bulb for a retro look, or with a high-tech LED bulb for energy savings and modern flair.
Hand thrown ceramic sinks lend an artisanal touch to the bathroom – reinforcing the art and ritual of bathing and ablution. Michael & Nancy Linsley helm Linsley Studios, bringing their unique aesthetic and years of experience to architectural ceramics. This particular matte finish sink features a double cascade and a fluid intermingling of vibrant greens and blues, reminiscent of tropical waterfalls. Inset in a glossy black granite countertop, the colors become even more striking. Click here for more on the Linsley’s home & studio.
Are you a color virgin who longs to bring in color but hesitates when it comes to permanent pops? The Bow Bin wastebasket brings in a modest amount of emerald green, making it the perfect accent for the color adverse. Its generous proportions means it could do double duty as a laundry collector or toy bin – this beauty shouldn’t be hidden in the mudroom! Storage with a social conscience, the Bow Bin is made by the indigenous Aeta people, preserving traditional rattan weaving techniques, and benefiting the people through the NGO Preda.
by Amy Kirtland
This past summer I was a guest speaker at Las Chicas de Matematicas, a week long in-residence math camp for high school girls, held at the University of Northern Colorado. The goal of the camp is to introduce college level math to high school students while also exposing them to campus life and working professionals who use math in their careers. The young women from previous years’ camps had requested that an architect speak at this year’s camp, and that’s where I enter the story.
I was asked to speak about my career as an architect, how I use math in my daily work-life, and how I balance my professional and personal life. Considering that over 10 years of my professional career have been spent at Barrett Studio, I decided to use the studio’s design work as a focus for my presentation. At Barrett Studio we “listen to the land,” using climatic and site factors as informers of design. This can include data gathering and analysis of weather patterns, calculating sun angles, GIS mapping, and good old time spent on site as an observer. The data we collect and the experiences we have inform and directly influence the design of the structure, sometimes quite figuratively.
As I began to assemble the slides and piece my presentation together, it evolved from a discussion of site analysis into a discussion of nature’s beauty and biomimicry – taking inspiration from or emulating nature and its processes, through examination, to solve human problems – as design formulator. Biomimicry in architecture can be a formal or morphic study, or the investigation of a natural system can become more complex and include mathematics or processes. Below are a few images of biomimicry within our work and other architects’ work.
The Milwaukee Art Museum mimics a bird in flight as its kinetic brise-soleil unfurls day and night.
During and after my presentation, the girls were very engaged and asking lots of questions…I had piqued their interests! They were particularly intrigued by the Casa Viento windsurfing retreat and how we used and abstracted not only the physical form of the cactus, but also its internal mechanisms. The exotic location of the retreat was also a point of interest for the students. It is always refreshing to see raised hands and wide open eyes when you finish a presentation. I wanted to show these students that architecture can combine art, science, and math to create unique spaces that we inhabit and experience life within. I’ve found that thoughtful design can be aesthetically pleasing, functionally adept, and intellectually stimulating. Perhaps the architecture I presented germinated the seed in the next budding architect!
by Maggie Flickinger
If you’re tapped into the Conscious Living community, you’ve heard of cottage living, microhousing, and the tiny house movement – driving square footages down and eco cred up. But how low can you go? Of course, you wouldn’t want to make any horrifyingly planet-killing mistakes like using unreclaimed nails, but otherwise, this intrepid new homeowner from Portland has our nano-living stamp of approval.
Well, now that we’ve seen this shining example, we’re embarrassed that the smallest homes we’ve designed clock in at just around 1,000 square feet. Always up for a challenge, Barrett Studio is now exploring space and energy saving solutions for our clients such as:
- A living moss wall Murphy bed does double duty purifying your air and softening your sleep!
- Install Kinetic Power Harnessing Treadmills for your pets: They run all day so your electric meter doesn’t!
- The “Vertebrae:” a swiss army knife bathroom!
- Invest in a pair of binoculars and scrap your space & energy hogging flat screen TV – we bet your neighbors have cable!
- Why waste all that counter space while you’re sleeping? Grab an Ostrich pillow to turn your kitchen into a bedroom!
- Aggressive scheduling of your kids’ sleepovers eliminates the need for bedrooms at your house!
And the ultimate idea from David Barrett himself: Net Zero energy = Net Zero Square Footage: Socially acceptable couch surfing means you stay with friends and family eschewing a home all together.
Funnily Yours in Commitment to Our Planet,
The Barrett Studio Gang
David’s 35-year practice, rooted in deep listening to both people and our ecology, has been recognized with his being named as a 2013 inductee into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. Less than 4% of AIA members hold this distinguished honor, one of the highest of the profession.
Fellowship honors architects who have not only achieved a standard of excellence in the profession individually, but who also have made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. While assembling the submission package, David had the opportunity to reflect on the past 35 years of his career, and what he’s passionate about moving forward. Two patterns arose: design for people – a keen interest in humanism that is sometimes professionally devalued in favor of “capital-A” architecture – and a deeply flowing biophilia paired with ecological patterning as a design tool.
David’s practice has revolved around embodying the architect as approachable collaborator and provocateur, bringing playfulness to the process and meaning to the results. Through projects as diverse as the Holiday Urban Neighborhood and the Twin Buttes Ecovillage, the Dushanbe Friendship Center, the Eagle Rock School, and myriad green homes, David has spread his strong belief that we can sustain a healthy planet by listening to her cues.
Energizing alignments with like-minded builders, landscape architects, engineers, and visionary clients deserve recognition also – it takes a village!
Following the honor of being named a Fellow, David looks forward to continuing this bright path of bringing people into experiences of natural wonder through the built environment.
The design publication Western Art & Architecture has profiled David Barrett as “One to Watch” in their Illuminations section. Featuring Barrett Studio’s Home on the Range – which graces the magazine’s cover as well – David’s work is described as “at once striking, beautiful, and humble.”
David speaks to his philosophy of “architecture as relationship: between structure & earth, client & architect, materials & space, and even time. For David, architecture is not about the way something looks, but rather how it came to be and how it continues to unfold.“
For the complete article, head to Western Art & Architecture’s website, or pick up a copy on newsstands through November.
by Maggie Flickinger
Amidst a set of sizzling summer days, the Colorado Green Building Guild Green Playhouse auction was a welcome relief with cooler temps and even a brief afternoon shower. All the better for spending the afternoon outside, admiring the green playhouses and chatting with the architect + builder teams.
It was amazing to see our team’s contribution – the WonkyPlay – in action! BW Construction did a phenomenal job bringing David’s concept sketch to life. Kids stooped low under the top half of the dutch door, clambered up and down through the windows, and whooshed out the back via the slide. The also admired the hand painted gecko on the door, and were curious about the rain chains and covered garden. A few of them even found the secret “Hidey Hole” and fun stuff inside. Parents asked lots of questions about the bright green upcycled carpet tubes that made up the upper half of WonkyPlay’s walls.
Our team was thrilled when WonkyPlay secured the highest bid in the live auction! In the “People’s Choice” round, whoever bid the highest got to pick whichever playhouse they wanted: after a feverish bidding war, the victor, Grandma Linda chose WonkyPlay! She wanted WonkyPlay to bring hours of fun to her grandchildren, and her daughter & son-in-law had just bought a home with a great yard in Niwot. It was truly a special moment to see all of our work and love being rewarded by the huge smiles on the winning family’s faces!
But WonkyPlay certainly wasn’t alone in this adventure. Many other playhouses from local architect + builder teams kept everyone entertained throughout the afternoon. From charred trees to reusable shopping bags woven together with thrift store belts, the creative material use was inspiring. Each playhouse was auctioned off to a loving family, raising over $12,000 total for the Growing Gardens.
We so appreciated being a part of this incredible community effort along with so many other talented folks from the Boulder area. And…our cogs are definitely spinning, devising more child-geared fun for next year!