Sprout Design/Build – B.A.C. competition entry

BSA Sprout Entry


Add-on 13 Competition Story2

Add-on: A two-phase competition for a freestanding, affordable, ACCESSORY dwelling unit on Cape Cod, 2013


This competition came to my attention two weeks ago by chance.  While reading a book on Craig Ellwood’s life as a Modern Architect, I came across a reference to a house Marcel Breuer designed in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.  It happened to compare the somewhat un-orthidox use of field-stones in in both houses fireplaces, both built in the 1950’s modern style.  This reminded me of the other modernist houses built on the Outer Cape in Massachusetts, I had a admired while driving, biking, and walking the National Seashore Park since youth.

There is a restoration effort currently underway to save many of these dwellings from the McMansion ball.  An online search brought me to the Cape Cod Modern House Trust run by Peter McMahon.  Started in 2006 its mission is to save as many of these houses as possible.  The trust, based in Wellfleet,  is finishing up restoring the third of seven beach lifestyle houses they currently own.  Not having visited these projects in person, I do not have images posted and do not reprint them without owner permission and credit.  To see and read more about these cool Cape Cod Modern Houses visit    http://www.ccmht.org  which is where I found out about the Add-on 13 Competition  see addon13.blogspot.com

With only ten days notice, I entered the competition to design an 800sq ft affordable house on a sandy bayside lot in Wellfleet.  It was a great exercise to start and finish a house design so quickly with so much detail.  Many times forcing myself through decisions at certain points in the process, knowing changes make the project unravel with no time for recovery.  The competition asked for a concept, not detailed house.  It was difficult  if not impossible for me to separate the formal gestures from the functional necessities. Understanding the structural framing connections and how that effects the ceiling heights and sheathing  method is especially important in a small building.  This structure will also dictate inside wall options and limitations, which of course provide privacy and circulation inside and out .  Is a house design which must be modified severely to inhabitable a viable concept?  Is a house design entirely prescribed on the first try the best idea?


Hoping to visit the Cape this Spring to visit as many of these houses as I can with my new wide angle camera lens!

YMCA bench for the Veterans Memorial in Arlington Virginia. Fabricated in three pieces.


Vintage drawings

I have kept my artwork private most of my life. There are many reasons for this, most selfish. This is an easy one to publish as a start, but not easy to identify the subjects . It was drawn more recently(2006 or so).
The samsonite suitcases are full of paintings and drawings dating back to 2000. Lost the older work in my house fire on west st.


Precise steel reinforcement

These are photos of an outdoor concrete bench project for the YMCA. From top to bottom:
The large piece after pouring.
The large piece ready to pour.
The small triangle ready to pour.
The small piece being poured.



These are images of steel reinforcement being fabricated for an outdoor concrete bench. The 6 x 6″ remesh is cut flat and folded like orgami to create the verticals. It had to be exact since a tolerance of less than 1/16″ on all sides was needed. It was built 1/8″ shallow to allow a wrap of diamond lathe on the face. It is placed 1/2″ from the exterior walls to give tension strength. Next is attaching 7/16″ diameter (stainless steel) threaded rods wired onto the remesh vertically at certain load points. These rods need to protrude from the top at 2-7/8″ above the concrete trowel line.
Next…a second layer of 6×6″ remesh using the threaded rods as a standoff, giving a 1/2″ gap from the outer layer of metal will be tied in.
Will update on the bolt pattern and protrusion placement method as this piece will be fastened to a base plate of concrete.
The kicker…the embossed memorial lettering across the front top edge!


Day 2. The large threaded rod fasteners are in place and a second layer of metal has been begun.
Had to invent a spacer to offset the two layers of metal. This will allow concrete flow between layers. The solurion was simple in the end!





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