TJCAIA News Blog

Friend of Faux

October 12th, 2009

Those of you who have visited our office may have seen the impressive wall mural painted by Christine Sorensen. We asked her about her work in faux finishes, decorative painting (even furniture), murals and commissioned canvases.

  • Q: Where would we see your work?
  • A: I work mostly in private residences, but also in commercial settings. My passion is to transform homes by bringing beauty and harmony of colors. I have been blessed with artistic discernment, a profusion of creativity, and ideas which many local designers have used and enjoyed. My work is very detailed, clean and goes far beyond anything seen in the field of decorative painting.
  • Q: Where does your influences come from?
  • A: My influence is European. French and Italian masters have been my inspiration, plus the revealed beauty found in nature. I love working with my clients, using their ideas, or being given the freedom to bring my own thoughts, so that every project will harmonize perfectly its surroundings.
  • Q: What sets your work apart?
  • A: My clients appreciate my strong sense of nuances and choosing the rights colors. My wall glazing (interior and exterior) have dressed many houses, adding true elegance and life. It is more than just good technique.
  • Q: How long have you been doing your artwork?
  • A: I have been in business for nine years on the Monterey Peninsula and throughout California. A large sample of my work can be viewed on my website.

Christine Sorensen, owner of A French Touch, can be reached at (831) 883-2968 and www.afrenchtouch.net.

-TJC

Mural by Christine Sorensen

Mural by Christine Sorensen

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Modern Museum

October 6th, 2009

If you have ever been to a science museum, you know what to expect: wild animals preserved in threatening poses, strange bugs from across the planet and, if your lucky, some dinosaur bones. Things have changed a bit at the California Academy of Sciences. Last year they completed a major overhaul to their facility in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and transformed it into the greenest museum in the world (LEED Platinum). The usual bugs and bones remain, but the exhibits have been designed to increase visibility and interaction. You can walk through a four-story glass orb that contains the rainforest exhibit, explore the amazing aquarium, stare at the night sky in the planetarium, or watch researchers do their actual work in front of you.

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

My favorite exhibit is the building itself.

It is packed with green features but none are obtrusive. The average visitor may not notice the solar array, computer-controlled natural ventilation, or rainwater collection, but they will definitely notice the result: a beautiful, light-filled, comfortable museum which prompts you to spend the day learning. The grandest green feature it its 2.5 acre green roof which looks like a green carpet floating above the whole museum. Architect Renzo Piano sketched it with one undulating line. From the observation deck you can enjoy an impressive view of the native plantings and species that call the roof their home, as well as the rest of the park and city beyond. I wish my office was up there; it is amazing.

-James

More info:
California Academy of Sciences
Inhabitat article about Cal Academy

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Your Town – September 28, 2009

September 27th, 2009

on_air

Tom Carleton has lined up another group of stimulating guests for this month’s installment custome writing of the Your Town radio and television program. The live one-hour broadcast is scheduled for 5 PM and will be repeated at 12 midnight (PST) on Monday, September 28, 2009.

In the first segment, Roger Williams (Opus Custom Dream Houses) will describe recent trends in prefabricated houses. In the second segment, Anna Foglia (Sun Street Centers) will describe fund raising efforts to renovate their Men’s Residence, and Karen Nardozza (Nardozza Associates) will describe the marketing program for Sun Street Centers. In the third segment, Bob Perkins (Monterey Count Farm Bureau) will review food safety procedures for Salinas Valley growers.

Listen on KNRY 1240AM; watch on Channel 24; and go to the simulcast on the Internet at www.ampmedia.org. Join us for thought-provoking discussions on the 4th Monday of each month.

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Graphic Openings

September 22nd, 2009

Windows are both functional and aesthetic. Windows viagra usa transmit light, and any cat will demonstrate the warming effect of sun through south-facing glass. We all know how to slide or crank a window open to manually control ventilation. We understand the benefits of replacing older single-pane windows with double-pane units with insulating value. But windows are more than openings in a wall.

The shape and placement of windows on a side of a building can be, and should be intentional. If you think of window openings as figures and the side of a building as the background, you can arrange the rectangles into a balanced composition, as you would in a two-dimensional graphic design. The arranging and shaping of windows can be a satisfying exercise in design.

Graphic Windows

Graphic Windows

In traditional houses, rectangular windows were often evenly spaced on either side of the front door in a formal symmetrical pattern. (For example, the Virginia Governor’s mansion.) In modern homes, the windows can be vertical or horizontal slots pulled down to the floor and up to the ceiling, or around a corner in asymmetrical arrangements. (For example,the 1937 Walter Gropius residence in Lincoln, Massachusetts.)

-TJC

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A “Symbol of World Peace”

September 15th, 2009

The architect of the World Trade Center, Minoru Yamasaki, described the symbolic importance of the twin towers this way:

“Paramount in importance is the relation of the world trade center to world peace, since the communication and understanding between nations implicit in trade is basic to peace. Man identifies himself with and is as dedicated to world peace as he has been to the great causes in the past. The architectural opportunity exists in this project to make this complex of buildings a symbol of man’s dedication to world peace.”

(This statement and drawings were provided by Peter Winter, whose father was the “Assistant Chief Engineer for Design”  for the Port Authority from the planning to completion of construction of the World Trade Center. Renderings by Carlos Diniz, Los Angeles)

World Trade Center Rendering

World Trade Center rendering

I recommend that you watch “102 Minutes“, a video collection from the events of 9/11. (Viewer discretion is advised).

World Trade Center - Rendering

World Trade Center rendering

World Trade Center - Rendering

World Trade Center rendering

-TJC

Restoring the White House

September 8th, 2009

The distinctive “White House”, a few blocks from Hartnell College on West Alisal Street, is a landmark in Salinas. The white paint and porch columns identify its neo-classic style. When we had our construction sign out front, we received a number of telephone calls asking what we were doing to the house. You will not see our work from the street, I explained, because we remodeled a guest suite at the rear of the building. The owners carefully selected bathroom tile patterns and colors reminiscent of the previous century. The vintage light fixtures complete the retro look. Baggett Construction took extra care in building the addition. We particularly enjoy restoring landmarks and enjoy working with clients who love their homes.

-TJC

Salinas' White House

Salinas' White House

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Healthy Buildings

September 1st, 2009

As an architectural student, I wanted to believe that people would benefit directly from good design. Recent studies seem to support this thesis. For example, a study confirms that allowing daylight into interior spaces is good for the inhabitants.
“People have a natural attraction and need for daylight. Studies have shown that daylighting has a direct impact on well-being, productivity and overall sense of satisfaction.” (More Info)

Windows provide many benefits

Windows provide many benefits

Among green features in building design, the term, “daylighting,” refers to natural light entering an interior space through windows and skylights during the day. Daylighting reduces energy consumption by reducing the need for electric light fixtures. In schools, “students’ stress levels and attention spans are positively affected” by daylighting. There is even “a positive link between daylight and better exam results.” (More info) In workplaces too, “research has shown that daylight increases productivity and reduces absenteeism.” (More info)

You will also have a calmer environment when people can connect to the outdoors. So soak up the daylight. You will feel better if you do.
-TJC

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Your Town – August 24th, 2009

August 24th, 2009

on_air

Tom Carleton has lined up another group of stimulating guests for this month’s installment of the Your Town television (Channel 24) and radio (KNRY 1240AM) program. It will also be simulcast on the Internet at www.ampmedia.org. The live one-hour broadcast is scheduled for 5 PM and it is repeated at midnight on Monday, August 24, 2009 (the 4th Monday of the month).

Dana Cleary, Director of Real Estate Development at CHISPA, will tell us all about their new housing projects. Then Elizabeth Martinez, Director of the Salinas Public Libraries, will review recent events and accomplishments. Later Andrew Brownstone, a geologist and owner of Biosphere Consulting, will explain everything you ever wanted to know about alternative waste water treatment systems.

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Keeping It Together

August 18th, 2009

We have all seen TV coverage of houses collapsing in hurricanes; plywood sheets flying in tornadoes, and roofs peeling off in high winds. After each natural disaster, officials investigate the cause of structural failures and rewrite the building codes to lessen future damage. The current state building codes require parts of new houses to be reinforced against high winds and earth tremors. When wood buildings are framed, carpenters now install metal plates to connect roof rafters to tops of walls, appropriately nicknamed “hurricane clips.” Wood walls are connected to the concrete foundation with anchor bolts and “hold downs.” Window openings in walls are reinforced with long metal straps. The sides of garage door openings are strengthened with metal frames intended to resist twisting or crumbling. Numerous connections are now required to reinforce houses so that they survive the inevitable “big one.” It is the little things that count.

Under Construction

Under Construction

-TJC

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From Autos to Students

August 12th, 2009

Last night, the five members of the City of Monterey Planning Commission unanimously voted to grant a “use permit” to Calvary Christian High School to operate a private high school at a former auto dealership. TJC designed the dealership at 601 E. Franklin Street in 2004; he has assisted Tim Wong, CCHS Director, with processing the permits for the new renovations.

Concept Drawing for Auto Dealership

Concept Drawing for Auto Dealership

We would like to thank commission members for their support. And we would like to thank the city planning staff for their extra efforts to work on a short schedule to accommodate the school calendar.

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