NEW @FC3ARCHITECT RESIDENCE ON THE BOARDS – From Cape Cod to Center Hall Colonial

The latest designs for this new expanded home consist of a modern spin on a center hall colonial.  We achieve this by expanding the existing cape cod residence on the right side and the rear of the home.  New master bedroom suite and bedrooms are on the new second floor.   The new addition allows us to re-position the stairs to create a center hall.  The front of the home remains traditional with formal living and dining spaces on each side of the hall.  Access to the great room and new kitchen is provided through pocket doors.  The new kitchen will boost a built in breakfast nook and double-island design while the great room boosts a gas-fired fireplace.

SITE-PLAN-RENDER

1864 - Bisset 332 Oak Avenue Woodbridge NJ EX-PHOTO-02EXISTING RESIDENCE

FIRST-FLOOR-RENDER-013-D RENDERING OF FIRST FLOOR

FIRST-FLOOR-RENDER-023-D RENDERING OF FIRST FLOOR

FIRST-FLOOR-RENDER-033-D RENDERING OF FIRST FLOOR

SECOND-FLOOR-RENDER-013-D RENDERING OF SECOND FLOOR

SECOND-FLOOR-RENDER-023-D RENDERING OF SECOND FLOOR

SECOND-FLOOR-RENDER-033-D RENDERING OF SECOND FLOOREXTERIOR-RENDER-013-D RENDERING OF EXTERIOR

EXTERIOR-RENDER-023-D RENDERING OF EXTERIOREXTERIOR-RENDER-033-D RENDERING OF EXTERIOR

EXTERIOR-ELEV-RENDER-01PROPOSED FRONT ELEVATION

EXTERIOR-ELEV-RENDER-02PROPOSED RIGHT ELEVATION

EXTERIOR-ELEV-RENDER-03PROPOSED LEFT ELEVATION

EXTERIOR-ELEV-RENDER-04PROPOSED RIGHT ELEVATION

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this project. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


NEW @FC3ARCHITECT RESIDENCE ON THE BOARDS – From Plain Saltbox to Mediterranean-Style Residence

The latest designs for this new expanded home consist of a modern spin on a Mediterranean-style county home with spanish tile roof.  We achieve this by expanding the existing two-story home to the left of the existing garage and the the entrance of the existing home.  Updated second floor layouts allow for outdoor living space over the new garage addition. The new front addition boosts a new curved staircase connecting the main level living space with the bedroom spaces above.  A new foyer and dining room is created reusing existing rooms in the house.  The interior will elaborate on the theme by integrating curved archways and stone details.  The front facade was designed with order in mind – arches and columns provide rhythm and elegance for this new home.  The client opted for cast iron railings both inside and outside.

CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-00CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-03CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-04CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-12CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-08CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-09CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-10CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-07CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE- PROPOSED-06CONCEPTUAL-RESIDENCE-PROPOSED-05

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this project. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


History of Architecture

Jacqueline Gargus is a professor of architecture at the Knowlton School. Educated at Wellesley College and the University of Pennsylvania, she joined the Knowlton School faculty in 1988. She has also taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, and the Technical University of Vienna. She is the author of Ideas of Order: A Formal Approach to Architecture (Kendall Hunt, 1994) and the multimedia digital video textbook, Architectural History 1, produced by iTunes University. Her most recent book is Architecture Guide: China (2016), co-authored with Evan Chakroff and Addison Godel.

Follow this link for access to over 40 youtube videos that take you from antiquity through mid-1800’s.

History of Architecture Youtube Playlist

If you just cannot get enough (like me) click here for another 100 episodes: iTunes History of Architecture Course

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

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FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


What is the Thinking Hand in Architecture (and why we, as architects, must defend the natural slowness and diversity of experience) #ilmaBlog #Discourse #Theory #Architecture #Design

ILMA The Thinking Hand 01

2009 Book, The Thinking Hand written byArchitect Juhani Pallasmaa

In The Thinking Hand, Architect Juhani Pallasmaa reveals the miraculous potential of the human hand. He shows how the pencil in the hand of the artist or architect becomes the bridge between the imagining mind and the emerging image. The book surveys the multiple essences of the hand, its biological evolution and its role in the shaping of culture, highlighting how the hand–tool union and eye–hand–mind fusion are essential for dexterity and how ultimately the body and the senses play a crucial role in memory and creative work. Pallasmaa here continues the exploration begun in his classic work The Eyes of the Skin by further investigating the interplay of emotion and imagination, intelligence and making, theory and life, once again redefining the task of art and architecture through well-grounded human truths.

Pallasmaa notes that, “…architecture provides our most important existential icons by which we can understand both our culture and ourselves. Architecture is an art form of the eye, the hand, the head and the heart. The practice of architecture calls for the eye in the sense of requiring precise and perceptive observation. It requires the skills of the hand, which must be understood as an active instrument of processing ideas in the Heideggeran sense. As architecture is an art of constructing and physical making, its processes and origins are essential ingredients of its very expression…”

Linking art and architecture he continues, “…as today’s consumer, media and information culture increasingly manipulate the human mind through thematized environments, commercial conditioning and benumbing entertainment, art has the mission to defend the autonomy of individual experience and provide an existential ground for the human condition. One of the primary tasks of art is to safeguard the authenticity and independence of human experience.”

Pallasmaa asserts that,

“Confidence in future architecture must be based on the knowledge of its specific task; architects need to set themselves tasks that no one else knows how to imagine. Existential meanings of inhabiting space can be articulated by the art of architecture alone. Thus architecture continues to have a great human task in mediating between the world and ourselves and in providing a horizon of understanding in the human existential condition.

The task of architecture is to maintain the differentiation and hierarchical and qualitative articulation of existential space. Instead of participating in the process of further speeding up the experience of the world, architecture has to slow down experience, halt time, and defend the natural slowness and diversity of experience. Architecture must defend us against excessive exposure, noise and communication. Finally, the task of architecture is to maintain and defend silence. The duty of architecture and art is to survey ideals and new modes of perception and experience, and thus open up and widen the boundaries of our lived world.”

(Source: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+Thinking+Hand%3A+Existential+and+Embodied+Wisdom+in+Architecture-p-9780470779293)

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


The History of Western Architecture in Photos

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Happy Friday and enjoy the brief history lesson!

Prehistoric Times: Stonehenge in Amesbury, United Kingdom
Jason Hawkes/Getty Images

Ancient Egypt: The Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren) in Giza, Egypt
Lansbricae (Luis Leclere)/Getty Images (cropped)

Classical: The Pantheon, Rome
Werner Forman Archive/Heritage Images/Getty Images (cropped)

Byzantine: Church of Hagia Eirene, Istanbul, Turkey
Salvator Barki/Getty Images (cropped)

Romanesque: Basilica of St. Sernin, Toulouse, France
Anger O./AgenceImages courtesy Getty Images

Gothic: Notre Dame de Chartres, France
Alessandro Vannini/Getty Images (cropped)

Renaissance: Villa Rotonda (Villa Almerico-Capra), near Venice, Italy
Massimo Maria Canevarolo via Wikimedia Commons

Baroque: Palace of Versailles, France
Loop Images Tiara Anggamulia/Getty Images (cropped)

Rococo: Catherine Palace near Saint Petersburg, Russia
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Neoclassicism: The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Architect of the Capitol

Art Nouveau: Hôtel Lutetia, 1910, Paris, France
Justin Lorget/chesnot/Corbis via Getty Images

Beaux Arts: The Paris Opéra, Paris, France
Francisco Andrade/Getty Images (cropped)

Neo-Gothic: The 1924 Tribune Tower in Chicago
Glowimage/Getty Images (cropped)

Art Deco: The 1930 Chrysler Building in New York City
CreativeDream/Getty Images

Modernism: De La Warr Pavilion, 1935, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, U.K.
Peter Thompson Heritage Images/Getty Images

Postmodernism: Celebration Place, Celebration, Florida
Jackie Craven

Neo-Modernism and Parametricism: Heydar Aliyev Centre, 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Prehistoric to Parametric: Prehistoric Stonehenge (left) and Moshe Safdie’s 2011 Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore (right)
Left: Grant Faint / Right: photo by William Cho

(Source: Craven, Jackie. “Architecture Timeline – Western Influences on Building Design.” ThoughtCo, Apr. 21, 2018, thoughtco.com/architecture-timeline-historic-periods-styles-175996)

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


What is the Role of the Architect in the Future of AR Design?

Never before in the modern history of technology has the architect, the designer, been a more important part of technology’s future. Architects have been curating and ideating on the development of ‘place’ for centuries. Gensler covers how they are leveraging AR in the coverage of AI, the Internet of Things, and Cloud computing, and how to design places using game engine technology.

Speaker: Alan Robles of Gensler

Over 24 years exploring the relationship between users and their surroundings, Alan’s been creating experience environments for clients and projects of every scale around the world. In his role at Gensler he explores the opportunities found at the fringes of the design practice, searching for the edges of the play space of each design opportunity.

(Source: bit.ly/visionsummit17)

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


ILMA Architect of the Week: Adolf Loos

Do You Like Modern Architecture?

You can thank Adolf Franz Karl Viktor Maria Loos (December 10, 1870 – August 23, 1933).

Adolf  Loos was an Austrian and Czech architect and influential European theorist of modern architecture. His essay Ornament and Crime advocated smooth and clear surfaces in contrast to the lavish decorations of the fin de siècle and also to the more modern aesthetic principles of the Vienna Secession, exemplified in his design of LooshausVienna. Loos became a pioneer of modern architecture and contributed a body of theory and criticism of Modernism in architecture and design and developed the “Raumplan” (literally spatial plan) method of arranging interior spaces, exemplified in Villa Müller in Prague.

Adolf Loos Architect 02 Moller House

Villa Müller Elevation

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Villa Müller Floor Plan of Mezzanine

Adolf Loos Architect 01

The Looshaus is a building in Vienna designed by Adolf Loos, regarded as one of the central buildings of Viennese Modernism. It marks the departure from historicism, but also from the floral decor of Secession, an an art movement formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus.

At age 23, Loos traveled to the United States and stayed there for three years from 1893–96. While in the United States, he mainly lived with relatives in the Philadelphia area, supported himself with odd jobs and also visited other cities such as the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, St. Louis and New York. Loos returned to Vienna in 1896 and made it his permanent residence. He was a prominent figure in the city and a friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arnold Schönberg, Peter Altenberg and Karl Kraus.

Inspired by his years in the New World he devoted himself to architecture. After briefly associating himself with the Vienna Secession in 1896, he rejected the style and advocated a new, plain, unadorned architecture. A utilitarian approach to use the entire floor plan completed his concept. Loos’s early commissions consisted of interior designs for shops and cafés in Vienna.

Modern architecture is a group of styles of architecture which emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II. It was based upon new technologies of construction, particularly the use of glasssteel and reinforced concrete; and upon a rejection of the traditional neoclassical architecture and Beaux-Arts styles that were popular in the 19th century.  They also rejected embellishments.

Modern architecture continued to be the dominant architectural style for institutional and corporate buildings into 1980s, when it was largely deposed by postmodernism.

Notable architects important to the history and development of the modernist movement include Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Konstantin Melnikov, Erich Mendelsohn, Richard Neutra, Louis Sullivan, Gerrit Rietveld, Bruno Taut, Gunnar Asplund, Arne Jacobsen, Oscar Niemeyer and Alvar Aalto.

Adolf Loos’ lamentation Ornament and Crime made a lasting impression on le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe and left behind a body of attractive commercial and domestic work blending simplicity and great material warmth.

As noted by The Australian in the article Looking at Adolf Loos, modern architecture as it evolved through the middle decades of the 20th century, might have been better – more individualistic, humanistic and warmer in tone – if it had been more deeply attuned to the quirky legacy of Adolf Loos than the rigidities of Bauhaus-inspired internationalism. If Adolf Loos is our contemporary, it is not before time.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


An Introduction to the Architecture of the Italian Renaissance By Classical Architect and Artist ‪@FTerryArchitect ‬#RIBA #Architecture #Education #ilmaBlog

Earlier this year UK-based Francis Terry MA (Cantab), Dip Arch, RIBA Director, gave his office a wonderful presentation I would like to share with my audience:

Francis is part of a new generation of classical architects who have recently gained a reputation for designing high quality works of architecture. Francis’s pursuit of architecture grew out of his passion for drawing and his love of historic buildings. He studied architecture at Cambridge University qualifying in 1994. While at Cambridge, he used his architectural skills to design numerous stage sets for various dramatic societies including The Footlights, The Cambridge Opera Society and The European Theatre Group.

Terry along with his colleague also talk about classical architecture in modern times at a recent TEDx Talk:

More Information available by clicking here. Not only does his website display great examples of classical architecture but he has a great blog with interesting writings and videos.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Understanding Classical Proportions in Architecture & Design #ILMA #ClassicalArchitecture #Design

662A391D-65D7-4ECA-9A3E-35D07140F9B4.jpegThe following is an easy to understand reference guide to understanding the basics of classical proportions:

Further reading:

  • Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius (Author), Herbert Langford Warren (Illustrator), Morris Hickey Morgan (Translator)
  • The American Vignola: A Guide to the Making of Classical Architecture by William R. Ware
  • The Five Books of Architecture by Sebastino Serlio
  • Canon of the Five Orders of Architecture by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola (Author), John Leeke (Translator), David Watkin (Introduction)
  • The Four Books of Architecture by Andrea Palladio (Author), Adolf K. Placzek (Introduction)

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Precedents in Architectural Composition: Measured Drawing at the Morris-Jumel Mansion Drawing Course for Architects & Students Hosted by ICAA

Great opportunity to earn 6 AIA LUs and 6 Credits Toward the Certificate in Classical Architecture.  New York City Event, September 21 & 22, 2018.  Follow link below for additional information about the event.   The course is intended for both students and seasoned architects, as drawings can be tailored to experience level. No specific artist training is required. Basic pencil drawing and drafting skills are recommended, including knowledge of the use of an architectural scale and tape measure. A passion for classical architecture and a love of drawing are required.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) is a nonprofit membership organization committed to promoting and preserving the practice, understanding, and appreciation of classical design.

chrisman-featured

“Regarding Roman Buildings, I began to measure all their parts minutely and with the greatest care. I became so assiduous an investigator of such things that, being unable to find anything that was not made with fine judgment and beautiful proportions. I repeatedly visited various parts of Italy and abroad in order to understand the totality of buildings from their parts and commit them to drawings.”
– Andrea Palladio, Forward to The Four Books on Architecture

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Prototyping Future Worlds with Futurist Architect Filmmaker @Liam_Young featured on Mind & Machine Podcast with Host @AugustBradley #Technology #Art #Film #ilmaBlog

Earlier this week I heard a great podcast on Mind & Machine, hosted by August Bradley I wanted to share with you.
MIND & MACHINE: Future Technology, Futurist Ideas (Published on Apr 9, 2018)

Liam Young, Speculative Architect, Futurist, Sci-fi Shaper, Extreme Explorer, Provocateur, Technology Storyteller, who uses his design background combined with experience in crafting environments to prototype new worlds — worlds that reveal unexpected aspects of how we live today and how we will live in the future. Liam teaches speculative architecture and world building at Sci Arc, a leading architecture school. He founded Unknown Fields, a nomadic studio documenting expeditions to the ends of the earth, exploring unusual forgotten landscapes, and obsolete ecologies. And Liam has co-founded Tomorrows Thoughts Today, a futures think tank envisioning fantastic speculative urban settings of tomorrow.
Podcast version at: https://is.gd/MM_on_iTunes

More about and from Liam at:

http://www.propela.co.uk/liamyoung
MIND & MACHINE features interviews by August Bradley with leaders in transformational technologies.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/augustbradley
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mindandmachine
Website: https://www.MindAndMachine.io

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

 


History, Revolution‬, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Architecture Featuring ‪@DuoDickinson‬ via @EntreArchitect [Updated]

This post was revised to include a weblink to a subsequent follow up podcast which was equally brilliant.A few weeks ago I heard a great podcast on EntreArchitect about Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Architecture.
Find Duo online at DuoDickinson.com and check out his blog Saved by Design or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

FREE DOWNLOAD AUDIO – Part 1

FREE DOWNLOAD AUDIO – Part 2

(Source: https://entrearchitect.com/podcast/artificial-intelligence-and-the-future-of-architecture and https://entrearchitect.com/podcast/history-revolution-future-architecture/)

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


How Many Architects Are There in the World?

Monditalia infographic; via ArchDaily

Monditalia infographic; via ArchDaily

(Source: https://architizer.com/blog/inspiration/industry/how-many-architects-are-in-the-world)

And in the U.S.?

There are 109,748 Architects

According to The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, there are 109,748 architects in the United States, according to the 2016 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards. While this represents a minimal drop from the previous year (roughly .4 percent), the survey also reveals that architects increasingly hold licenses in multiple states. In fact, U.S. architects now have 126,554 reciprocal (out-of-state) licenses, a 3 percent increase from 2015.

Conducted annually by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the survey provides exclusive insight into the number of U.S. architects and reciprocal licenses.

The pool of emerging professionals working toward licensure also held steady in 2016, with more than 41,400 candidates taking the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) and/or reporting Architectural Experience Program (AXP) hours.

“Our data confirms that the economy is generating strong demand for initial and reciprocal licensees,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “We’re also seeing continued growth in the number of architects who hold an NCARB Certificate, which facilitates reciprocal licensure across the U.S. and several countries.”

Additional data on the path to licensure will be available in July’s 2017 edition of NCARB by the Numbers.

NCARB collects data on resident and reciprocal licenses from its 54 Member Boards, which include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The survey reflects registration data from January to December 2016.

To learn more about NCARB’s data and the Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, visit www.ncarb.org.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ncarb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NCARB
YouTube: www.youtube.com/NCARBorg
(Source: https://www.ncarb.org/press/number-us-architects-2016)

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Architect of the Week: Eugene Tsui

Eugene Tssui (also spelled Tsui, born September 14, 1954) is an American Architect. His built projects are known for their use of ecological principles and highly experimental “biologic” design, a term coined by Tssui himself in the 2010 issue of World Architecture Review. He has also proposed a number of massive, radical projects, such as a bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar and a 2-mile-high tower capable of housing 1 million residents.

The following article was first published by Nov. 30, 2015, 7 a.m. at Berkeleyside; Tom Dalzell’s blog: http://quirkyberkeley.com.

2727 Mathews Street. Photo: John StoreyThe “Fish House” at 2747 Mathews St. in Berkeley. Photo: John Storey

The “Fish House” at 2747 Mathews St. in Berkeley, designed by Emeryville’s Eugene Tssui, is the least-expected and probably the most-photographed architectural design in Berkeley.

2727 Mathews Street. Photo: John Storey2747 Mathews St. Photo: John Storey

2727 Mathews Street. Photo: John Storey
2747 Mathews St. Photo: John Storey

2727 Mathews Street. Photo: Joe Reifer
2747 Mathews St. Photo: Joe Reifer

The image above was photographed during the June 2008 full moon around midnight, with an exposure time of approximately 6 minutes. It takes the house’s other-wordly element into a whole new other world.

2727 Mathews Street. Photo: John Storey
2747 Mathews St. Photo: John Storey

Crumbled abalone shell is mixed in with the stucco-ish exterior, providing the sparkle.

2727 Mathews Street. Photo: John Storey
2747 Mathews St. Photo: John Storey

What look like flying buttresses — sort of — project from the rear of the house. They serve as slide escapes from the second story in the event of an evacuation.

Tssui designed the home for his parents, who lived in it from 1995 until last year. It is on Mathews Street, just west of San Pablo Park. But for it, Mathews Street is largely a street without quirk.

A color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a tardigrade found in moss samples. Photo: New York Times
A color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a tardigrade found in moss samples. Photo: New York Times

The house is designed based on the tardigrade, a segmented marine micro-animal. The tardigrade can  survive extreme cold and extreme hot, extreme pressure or a vacuum, radiation doses, and can go without food or water for more than ten years.

When Tssui’s parents moved to Berkeley, they were concerned about earthquakes and wanted him to design a house in which they would be safe no matter what the Richter Scale said. Tssui consulted zoology and learned that the tardigrade is the most indestructible creature on the planet. True to his belief in biomimicry, he created a house based on the architecture of the lowly tardigrade. He believes that the Mathews Street house is safe from fire, earthquake, flood and pest.

Several neighbors from the block of 1920s California bungalows strenuously objected to the house design; the design review process dragged out more than a year. Tssui credits then-mayor Loni Hancock with stepping in and putting an end to the debate in the name of freedom of thought and design.

The house’s proper name is Ojo del Sol or Tai Yang Yen – the Sun’s Eye. The name alludes to the south-facing 15-foot oculus window, a common feature of Byzantine and Neoclassical architecture. The oculus here serves to light and warm the house. Tssui now uses the name given the house by the public, the Fish House, tardigrade or not.

Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey
Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey

Tssui is a visionary architect. His degrees are from the University of Oregon and Cal, but he owes much of his architectural vision to three architects with whom he apprenticed: Victor Prus in Montreal, Bruce Goff in Tyler, Texas, and Frei Otto (tensile and membrane structures of glass and steel) in Germany. After Tssui’s first semester at Columbia’s School of Architecture, Dean of Architecture James Stewart Polshek suggested to Tssui that an apprenticeship might suit him better than Columbia. That was a good call.

Bavinger House, Norman, Oklahoma. Photo: Wikipedia
Bavinger House, Norman, Oklahoma. Photo: Wikipedia

Tssui apprenticed with Goff (previous ILMA of the Week: Bruce A. Goff), an extraordinarily creative and innovative architect from 1977 until 1982. Most of Goff’s built projects were in Oklahoma.

Like Goff, Tssui scorns rectilinear design. Tssui calls his design ethic-biologic, based on the architecture of living things. Biomimicry is another term that might describe Tssui’s approach, finding sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s patterns and strategies.

Watsu Center at Harbin Hot Springs, Middletown, California. Photo courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Watsu Center at Harbin Hot Springs, Middletown, California. Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

Tssui’s built projects include several in the East Bay, as well as the Watsu Center in Middletown, recently damaged by the Valley Fire.

Ultima Tower design. Photo courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Ultima Tower design. Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

Gibralter Bridge design. Photo courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Gibraltar Bridge design. Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

Tssui thinks big, an unspoken advocate of the “go big or go home” school of thought. He has designed a submerged bridge with an island half way across to span the Straits of Gibraltar, as well as a two-mile-high tower to house 1,000,000 people. He has visited Tarifa, Spain and North Africa, talking up his bridge project, which draws on wave power and wind power.

There is nothing about Tssui’s upbringing in Minneapolis that would have predicted his trajectory. His parents were no-nonsense immigrants who left Mainland China as Mao’s revolution swept Communists into power. The outward and physical manifestation of his inner self in high school was to play the prankster — Dennis the Menace constantly in trouble. That he would become a polymath nonpareil would not have been obvious at the time.

Business Card

I have never before today used the term “polymath,” a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. The polymath draws upon complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. Eugene Tssui is a polymath.

I actually came across the word before I saw his business card. I believed that I had thought of something he hadn’t. Obviously I had not. The polymath beat me to it. I think Tssui makes most of the world’s polymaths look lazy and shallow, but there is no way to prove or disprove this.

Courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

Courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

Tssui believes in vigorous, challenging exercise. He studied Northern Praying Mantis, a style of Chinese martial arts. He is a boxer and gymnast of some renown. He eats every other day, and sparingly. What discipline! He sees it as a logical, if not obvious, way to maintain a healthy weight.

Courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

He is a concert pianist and flamenco guitarist. Piano was the instrument of his childhood. He keeps it up, with Chopin at the top of his favorite composer list. He is intrigued by the mathematics of music, but more drawn by the emotion, which he sees as central to human meaning, be it in music, architecture, or any facet of life.

He composes, at times blending his life philosophy with his music, as in “Make What is Wrong, Right”, played “with insistent, battle march feeling” in the five-flats challenging key of D♭major: “We will not be lured by comfort or ease / To make right the acts we know are wrong / And when challenge sends it clarion call / We will act, we will stand, we will fight.”

Tssui began Flamenco dancing in Montreal in 1970, and by 1972 was the principal dancer of the Minneapolis Flamenco Dance Troupe. University of Oregon professor David Tamarin introduced Tssui to flamenco guitar in 1978. Tssui is drawn to flamenco because it exudes pain and suffering and sadness.

Eugene Tssui, wearing a ring given him by a Mongolian shaman. Photo: John Storey
Eugene Tssui, wearing a ring given him by a Mongolian shaman. Photo: John Storey

Photo courtesy: Eugene Tssui.
Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

Tssui has lived for long stretches in China. In recent years he has become fascinated with Mongolia. Mongolian culture and history inform Tssui in many ways, as do the life and writings of Genghis Kahn. His experiences with a Mongolian shaman have made him a more spiritual man, an aspect of life that he had not formerly explored.

He has lectured at Cal, served as a research scholar at Harvard, taught at Ohio University and North Carolina State University and Harbin University and Peking University and South China University of Technology. He speaks fluent Mandarin.

He [also] designs furniture.

Rolling buffet table designed by Eugene Tssui. Photo courtesy of Eugene Tssui.
Rolling buffet table designed by Eugene Tssui. Photo: courtesy Eugene Tssui

He [also] designs clothes.

Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey
Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey

Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey
Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey

Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey
Eugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey

Eugene Tssui. Photo: John StoreyEugene Tssui. Photo: John Storey

The style draws on indigenous Mongolian designs and is highly functional. The sequins on the purple suit shown above, and in the photo of Tssui in front of the Fish House, are small solar panels which can be used to charge a mobile phone.

What’s next for our hometown polymath?

Courtesy of Eugene TssuiCourtesy of Eugene Tssui

Courtesy of Eugene TssuiCourtesy of Eugene Tssui

Courtesy of Eugene TssuiCourtesy of Eugene Tssui

Courtesy of Eugene TssuiCourtesy of Eugene Tssui

He is designing a live/work space to be built in San Pablo. The biologic design is obvious, although the organism that is mimicked is less obvious. He is designing it such that the electricity used in the building will be generated by the user — bicycling or by arms; he will not install solar panels because he finds them toxic when constructed. He is designing it to be cooled and warmed by the earth, and it is aerodynamic for passive ventilation. And so on. Tssui describes himself as someone who asks questions that most people try to avoid. He takes the tough questions and looks for fascinating and universally applicable answers. It is, to say the very least, the product of a creative, answer-seeking polymath mind.

Check out a film on Netflix about Eugene Tsui by clicking here.

And don’t forget to check out Tom Dalzell’s blog: http://quirkyberkeley.com.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Top 20: Technology & Innovation Ideas For Architects

Thank you for all the support and encouragement over the years.  Here are some of our favorite blog posts about technology and innovation related to the field of Architecture:

  1. High Performance Building Design
  2. 3-D Printing
  3. Connected Spaces
  4. Benefits of Using Digital Twins for Construction
  5. Digital Twins
  6. Drone Technology
  7. Artificial Intelligence
  8. Immersive Experience in Architecture
  9. Smart Cities
  10. Big Data in Architecture
  11. Creating High Performance Buildings through Integrative Design Process
  12. Forget Blueprints, Now You Can Print the Building
  13. The 7 Dimensions of Building Information Modeling
  14. Parametric Architecture and Generative Design System
  15. Architecture Robots
  16. Internet of Spaces
  17. Sustainable Design Elements to Consider While Designing a Project
  18. What is a High Performance School?
  19. What is BIM? Should Your Firm Upgrade? by @FrankCunhaIII
  20. Renewable Wave Power Energy

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook