In terms of non-architectural books, this is probably the most interesting book I've read in a long time. In The Thoreau You Don't Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant, Robert Sullivan thoroughly and cleverly tells the real story of Henry David Thorough. It's a different story than the one we've all become accustomed to hearing. But it's fascinating and compelling. And if you've ever thought of invoking the name of Thoreau in support of this or that environmental cause, give it a read before doing so.
A couple months ago, we mentioned Blue Sky Homes, as well as the prototype project of the Blue Sky Homes’ Building System. As the story goes with prefab, a short eight (8) weeks after installing the footings, the prototype is now complete. Dave McAdam, owner of the Yucca Valley prototype, sent me these images of the completed home — it’s a stunning example of clean, efficient, contemporary, desert architecture.
Chances are, if you've ever researched modern homes online, you've seen the name Gregory La Vardera. In addition to maintaining a house plan blog (and contributing to a number of other sites and forums), he's on Houseplans.com, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and probably a thousand other services. Frankly, he's all over the place, and he's trying to incite the kind of housing rebellion we're interested in seeing. In a blog article dated May 14, 2009, La Vardera describes the ReModern Movement — a time when people build their own modern or green house — and provides a list of reasons for why now is the time:
- Top 10 green living myths.
- 12 tips for avoiding green product litigation.
- 10 practical strategies for marketing green homes.
- How to find cash back for building green.
- Who will be left behind by the green job boom?
- Airtight homes invite air quality issues.
- Biodiesel and building green.
- The emancipated earth.
Remodeling is big these days, and Boulder-based VaST Architecture has a knack for transforming rundown places into vibrant spaces (as they did with a co-work space called the Candy Shop). VaST recently helped Gregg Olsen convert his Boulder, Colorado, 1960s, split-level home into an efficient abode with modern interior design. The interior and exterior renovation was completed at a cost of $107 psf.
Several years in the making, Laguna Beach now gets its Susi Q Senior and Community Center. The project is the culmination of the efforts of many — designed by LPA, Inc., built by Swinerton Builders, and project management by Griffin Structures Inc. — and includes 8,200 square feet for the Senior Center and 8,000 square feet for the Community Center. The pictures below show a beautiful, fresh, and contemporary space with clean lines, but let's also take note of a few sustainable design elements: