Articles - October, 2007

mkLoft, Solar-ready Green Townhouse

Mkloft

Today, Michelle Kaufmann Designs officially announced their newest home, the mkLoft.  MkLoft is a townhouse loft home with 2 bedrooms, 1 loft, and 2 bathrooms, all wrapped up in a modern package.  The home has double-height living space, comes solar-ready, and has all the wonderful, green materials and interior details that come standard in MKD homes:  high-performance mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, fsc-certified cabinetry, etc. 

One of the cool things about mkLoft is its scalability.  Units can be 2-story or 3-story, live/work or residential, and the lower level can be parking, retail, or studio.  You name it.  You can have one or one hundred units, depending on your project needs.  Developers can rely on the expertise of MKD for predictability in time and cost.  mkLoft prices out at $130 – $140 psf, and you’re in the lower price range if the project calls for +40 units.  mkLoft is the ultimate multifamily solution for developers wanting to go green.

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[Podcast] San Francisco Federal Building, Thom Mayne

There’s an interesting podcast with architect Thom Mayne, principal at Morphosis, and Andrew Blum (contributing editor at Metropolis and Wired).  This article at Treehugger explains the building’s green features and striking exterior.  Notably, it’s designed to use about half as much energy as a similar-sized office building.  Via Andrew Blum.

Neutra's Kaufmann House, On the Auction Block

Kaufmann House

Do you live in a house that has so much embedded history and character that it would be a major disaster if something ever happened to it?  There are homes like that.  A long time ago, a Pittsburgh department store businessman named Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr., retained Frank Lloyd Wright to design a weekend home.  That home is the famous Fallingwater.  Kaufmann also commissioned Richard Neutra for home in Palm Springs.  That home is the 1946 Kaufmann House, a masterpiece of glass, steel, and stone.  But, as the story goes, it hasn’t always received masterpiece treatment. 

If the house could speak, I think, it would have an interesting story to tell.  Barry Manilow lived in The Kaufmann House for a bit.  It was neglected and abandoned for some duration of time, when Brent and Beth Harris stumbled upon it.  They bought it for a paltry $1.5 million and hired Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner to restore it.  I heard Marmol talk about its restoration about a year ago — they proceeded cautiously and deliberately to bring all the subtle details back.  The Harris couple acquired some surrounding plots of land and brought the glory of the original back to life. 

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