Going to UVA!

I am taking a few days off work to go back to UVA! The plan: flying into Greensboro on Thursday night and driving with Chris up to Charlottesville on Friday. Saturday is the Club Swim meet and party, and we’ll stay through Sunday afternoon. If you’ll be around, give me a call! I want to catch up with everyone that I can. Excited!!

Tiling with Sergio & Studio

Our friend Sergio Palleroni and his design/build studio from the UT-Austin School of Architecture came into town on Friday to spend the weekend at Patty’s house, lending a hand with construction and studying the landscape in order to go back to Austin and build some structures to complement Patty’s garden. After getting oriented on Friday, everybody spent most of the day Saturday laying slate tile in the living room, bathroom, and laundry room. The tile is beautiful; it is also quite varied, both in coloration and thickness, which means we will need to chisel down the uneven joints. Sunday we …

Framing Ridiculously Fast

Lendell’s house (my first design) is going up almost faster than I can follow. By now they’ve framed and sheathed almost everything and are preparing to start roofing. Thanks go to Hope Force, especially their construction supervisor Brent, and a group of young Pennsylvania framers (At risk of misidentifying them, I think they’re either Amish or Mennonite) who work together seamlessly and have nearly superhuman construction abilities. The house is looking good; I think the high ceilings and unusual kitchen windows should take a fairly ordinary plan and transform it into something special. Better photos to come when I get …

Danny’s House Is (Almost) Done!

I visited Danny to check on the progress of his house. (Previous posts: one, two.) Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia brought it nearly to completion with impressive speed, and now Danny is putting the finishing touches on it himself. It looks great, thanks in part to Danny’s many improvements to the plan, such as the back porch, below: The front room and front door: The kitchen: Overall, it’s coming together very well, thanks to Danny’s ability to deal with our mistakes. He reduced the excessive number of windows I had specified (which left barely any room for things like …

(Belated) Happy Mardi Gras

Well things have been pretty interesting here on the Gulf Coast, with Mardi Gras and other celebrations. On Saturday I went to New Orleans with friends from Hands On for the Endymion parade and some celebrating in the French Quarter. We slept in my car as planned, had breakfast at the Café Fleur-de-lis, and drove back Sunday morning. Carnival in New Orleans is a sight — people everywhere, mostly inebriated, teetering under mounds of beads and some garish outfits. The parade was certainly the most elaborate I have ever seen. After a while, pushing through crowds of people screaming for …

2 1/2 Weeks at Rosetti (Part 2)

As promised, some photos of the finished products of the past 2-3 weeks of work. As the Mississippi State students are working at the house on Fridays, we’re continuing to make progress with trim, and we’re working on choosing materials for the floors, cabinets, stairs, etc. The finished railing! The finished mosaic! Emily working on trimming out the ceiling. Patty chose a rusty orange color for the beams. Very striking now but it will look great with the cabinets (which may also become orange) and the slate floors.

2 1/2 Weeks at Rosetti

The past two and a half weeks have seen Patty’s treehouse come much closer to looking like a finished house. This post is an attempt to document the process; I will get some more finished photos soon. The key to our progress was the serendipitous arrival of Fran Halperin and Eric Christ, partner architects from San Anselmo, California, who have been traveling the country in Hank, their VW van, over the past four or five months. Fran and Eric originally planned to stay for a week or so, but — upon seeing, I think, the extent to which we could …

General Life Updates

Hands On’s 80s Roller Skating Party last night was a blast. Wish I had some pictures… hopefully others will make some available. Felt a little sore today, but still played Tuesday night Ultimate until we got downpoured on. The rear window of my car was smashed while it was sitting in the parking lot at work. No clue what happened. Was it done with a brick? Was it done with a stick? Did they run very far? Why was it done to my car? I got it repaired today, putting me awfully close to having spent more money fixing the …

Joining Up

It’s back to work, but not yet back into the swing of things. I shifted as of yesterday to being paid by AmeriCorps, which doesn’t change much except that I have a new weekly meeting to go to, extra paperwork, and four days of “orientation” at Hands On this week. Orientation is tedious, and I’d rather be doing work, but so it goes. I’m looking forward to this weekend, however, and to hopefully getting a new client next week. Outside of architecture work, I want to resume learning Spanish. For now I am working on reading Los Diarios de motocicleta …

Rebuilding Hoxie Street

Well I am very excited to see progress in my effort to singlehandedly* rebuild Hoxie Street here in East Biloxi! Danny’s house (a combination rehab/rebuild) now has a nearly finished exterior, thanks to the fast work of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia; they started sheetrocking the inside today: And just a block down the street, Habitat has begun digging foundations for Lendell’s house, the first house that I designed from the ground up (10 feet up, in this case). It sounds like this project will be moving faster than I could have hoped for (even despite a few obstacles …