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A Field Guide to Ugly Houses - Ugly by Design

another post in the ongoing series A Field Guide to Ugly Houses

UBD -Ugly By Design

Of the many types of ugly that inflict the American house, Ugly by Design, although not the most pervasive, it is certainly the most offensive.  These houses clearly fall into the "what were they thinking" category of a design idea gone wrong. Sometimes Ugly by Design is the result of a once-interesting and innovative design idea that has past its shelf-date.

Midwestern churches


As I have talked about in a couple of recent posts on the flatness of the Midwest, a simple building standing in that relentlessly horizontal landscape is a powerful, singular moment.  This is even more apparent when it is a church, rising upward to heaven, a determinedly vertical building contrasting the vast horizon.

an architect's education - figure drawing

ADVICE to future architects

I have been asked on more than a few occasions what advice I would give to a teenager who may be interested in being an architect.  I try to avoid the cranky, cynical responses that most of us can toss out with aplomb.  More often than not I talk about the passion necessary to see you through the grind of thousands of hours work trying to just get the basics down right.  And the passion required to see you through years of working in offices, often 60+ hours per week, detailing mind-numbingly boring buildings before you get the chance to really be in charge of the design of a building. And then I am asked, most often by inquiring parents, what classes or skills their child should undertake in preparation for architecture school.  And to that question I always reply the same: drawing.

The cost of building in Boulder


Housing construction costs have risen sharply in the last few years.  This means that not only the large, market developer home builder prices are up, but so are those of the small general contractors and all the associated trades - plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.  

That is very apparent especially in Boulder.

ranch redux - from plain jane builder house to crafted modern home

ranch redux - from plain jane builder house to crafted modern home

Re-imaging South Boulder - some before and after photos of some of our projects in South Boulder, transforming generic builder houses from the 1960’s into finely crafted modern homes fine-tuned for their specific sites and homeowner’s needs