of all the burger joints in all the world


I was waiting in the drive-thru line at that iconic California burger stand when I began to think of all the ways that the concrete masonry building was banal.  And yet, with a few interesting moments – the angled drive-up windows, for instance.  My proposal takes that window and wraps it over the entire rear of the building, Mies-like, allowing customers in the car to watch their burgers hop off the line.  The dine-in patio is flanked with stylized palm tree columns, hinting back to Hans Hollein and John Nash before him.  A central oculus sits over the point-of-sale, with the iconic red standing-seam metal roof rendered as a hip.




a bay window


A bay window topped with a full-width gable, leaving small triangular soffits at the eaves.  I noticed this feature on my way to a site meeting in South Los Angeles, and since then have seen it recurring throughout my library – Richardson, Bruce Price, Peabody & Stearns, et al.  So here’s my version: covered in shingles throughout, battered stone walls at grade, four-square windows, the gable becomes a full pediment, and the big reveal – a rounded interior wall.

a mountain-side courtyard home


This house is a line of three squares: a central tree-filled courtyard flanked by a garage/studio impluvium volume on one end, and a large, hip-roofed residence on the other.  The rafters of this roof extend to encapsulate a long porch, the majority of which is screened.  A spiral staircase descends to the bedrooms, which are located below.  The complex is imagined to be sited on a hillside, with the garage square nearly underground, and the residence looking out over the valley below.





richardson, over and over


I can be terribly repetitive.  My sketchbooks will tell you that, where dozens of imperceptibly different iterations of a single project follow one another, page after page.  Similarly, when I start down a trail of inquiry I’m soon immersed.  And when I start drawing, I go on and on.  So is my fascination with Henry Hobson Richardson – and I’ll share three different pieces from my studies:  Top, von Herkomer Residence, 1886; Below, Ames Memorial Library, 1877; Bottom, Trinity Church Rectory, 1880.



a beach cottage


Taking cues from Shingle Style residences mixed with a fair amount of Richardson (red mortar on Flemish-bond brick and rough-faced ashlar masonry much?) and a bit of my own preferences for industrial sash windows and rigid geometries, this little cottage is organized around a nine-square plan, with cramped interior rooms and no central ‘Hall’, thereby favoring the large screened porch at the rear.


kirk, meeting house, and basilica


This church type is actually a collection of types – a Colonial American meeting house makes up the sanctuary, while flanked with the choir and apse of a more traditional Anglican church, accessed by an almost domestic-scaled atrium.  The level of detail and poche changes with each individual element.





schinkel sings


Or rather, his Singakademie sings. . . or something like that.

A standard basilica form sits completely within a Greek-gabled stone volume, but with a wonderful circular stepped dias for the vocalists (er, singers).  This circular form is duplicated in the barrel vaulting at the ceiling.  A Doric peristyle surrounds.  I’ve overlaid plans, sections, and elevations on one another to show the full effect.  A similar theme pervades the church design shown below.


me, myself, and mine


Today is the day I celebrate my birth into this crazy world.  So I’ll take this time to share some personal drawings: my house, or rather the little nooks and crannies of it that I’d like to alter, shift, sheathe, or paint.  There’s a lot of me here, my confusion, my interests, my unrest, as well as where I sleep, read, eat, and otherwise live.  There are bathrooms (above and just below), staircases (below), ceilings (below), gardens (bottom), and wainscotts throughout.  Enjoy.