Whoops! It's been a whole year since last posting. What as year it has been.
We have managed to keep ourselves safe while continuing to do the work. We've been busy working on our ground-up retail & healthcare infill project in South Dallas along with several health clinic projects, a coffee shop and a few residential projects. The main theme over that past year seems to be patience & grace. With the disrupted work flow, we've all had to adjust.
So to catch up, I'll be sharing a few projects in the days. Weeks? This is the retail & medical office space we are creating in Dallas. The site is an existing shopping center which was built in the '80s around an anchor grocery store which was never completed. Our buildings will infill the gaping hole that was left + will revitalize the site: new landscape, lighting, signage, and building canopies. Can't wait to share more.
We are thankful to be celebrating 5 years of providing professional architectural services under the Thrasher Works banner. The concept of Thrasher Works has evolved over the years. It all started on 12/12/2012 with the registration of the web domain. At the time, Bart was both concentrating on design/build renovation projects & designing furniture while I was still working for another local architecture firm. I figured Thrasher Works would be my 'out' but there was no solid plan to get there.
Fast forward just three years and we tossed everything into air. Bart began his residential real estate career with David Griffin & Company Realtors while I began practicing architecture full time as Thrasher Works.
Now we are celebrating 5 successful years! It's all thanks to our fantastic clients & friends. It's because of you that we continue to grow and push ourselves to do bigger and better things. Thank you!
Over the course of my career, I've spent countless hours in the healthcare design arena. Whether hospital department renovations (my first and still favorite was creating an MRI suite for both in and out-patient use), medical clinics (ranging from imaging, general practice, dental/orthodontics, and dialysis care), or ground-up ambulatory surgery centers, I've always found this particular brand of architectural design the most rewarding.
Therefore, I'm very pleased to see the Lubbock health care center we've been working on for this past year will soon be complete.
The project entails the renovation of 6,500 sq ft of existing building space (built in the 1980s as a porcelain lab) + the addition of approximately 1,000 sf to create a new medical office center that will house two separate health clinics plus an executive business center. Construction is expected to be complete in September.
I had the blessing of a quiet evening the other day and took advantage of the situation by catching up on the fourth season of Downton Abby. It's the little vices in life that can make things worth it, right?
The sponsor of PBS' Masterpiece is Ralph Lauren which, of course, means a prominent commercial. It is a steady stream of models set against fabulous surroundings, reminiscent of the post-Edwardian era of the show. The voice over is Ralph Lauren explaining how design is a creative journey which starts with a feeling and evolves with the influences of the world around him. He creates a world for his heroine, his muse. It's a well crafted narrative which left me with an incredible sense of jealousy.
How indulgent it must be to create something which must only satisfy you. Now I'm sure his fashion house has critics to please and there is money to be made and a reputation to be upheld. What I'm really speaking to is the fact that in designing a line of clothing, in the most simplest way, one is simply creating what they think is best. There is no board or committee to dictate your direction. There are no codes to follow- no one's life will be at risk. There is no governing body to impose an ordinance outlining how one must carry out their creative process.
Now certainly I sound like I'm complaining. I'm really not--it's just a bit difficult to remember that those boundaries within which an architect must work within to actually 'create the world around themselves' can be just as inspiring if not simply challenging. Blah blah blah. So, to cheer myself up, I Googled "Sexiest Buildings". It seems curves are in these days.
The search revealed Calatrava's Milwauke has been declared the sexiest building. Not bad though I can't say I've been to Milwaukee. As of late, I prefer Aqua which is in Chicago...one of the sexiest towns when it comes to architecture. I love the curves but there is so much else--from the modern, to Art Deco, to historic.
Here's Bart and I at The Bean in 2012? That seems so long ago. I hope this year brings more opportunities to seek out sexy buildings. With any luck, it will also bring the opportunity to design just such buildings with the gleeful abandon of a fashion designer!
Since moving into our home almost three years ago, there has been one room which you just have to kind of ignore...to put it politely. Bart had to tear apart the ceiling and walls prior to moving in so the floor above would be properly supported. Since then, it's been in an eternal state of disarray. Not exactly a showcase.
So each time Bart starts a cabinet job I look on with excitement and envy. When will we finally be able to create the kitchen I will actually want to cook in? It better happen soon...my son deserves a home cooked meal! In just three years, we've designed six different options for our kitchen. I imagine there will be six more before we finally cut the first piece of wood. Luckily, we know a few things about what you just got to have.
Here is a must-have list I've devised so far...illustrated with Bart's latest project.
The list can go on and on, encompassing lighting, appliances, and flooring. There are so many things I hope to do differently this time. If, in fact, this time ever comes. Until then, I'll continue to work on design number seven. And eight. And nine.
And for you...in the meantime...please go and vote for Thrasher Works in the Mission Main Street Grant contest.
In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing more about Thrasher Works and how we hope to expand and improve our business with just such a grant. Watch for details here and on Facebook.
Seriously, you must go vote. For Thrasher Works. Go!
the point at which a plan or project is realized.
So this is obviously crazy to post...why purposefully jinx yourself? But then you must ask, 'can you jinx an person that isn't superstitious?' I. Think. Not.
Thrasher Works has been asked to look further into our Folly designs so it may serve as a multifunctional backyard structure for a local couple here in Dallas. The proposed program is to provide a porch for backyard enjoyment, a shop, and a small garage for lawn equipment and motorcycles. Super exciting, right?
Design approach: represent the three program elements by featuring three distinct structures uncoiling.
At first, this tried to take on an vertical uncoiling effect which really just threw the whole thing off into a over powering mess. We came to the conclusion that the follies needed to be offset horizontally offering additional inlets for light and circulation.
Of course, I'm partial and tend to think it's perfect. But even I realize it's all a process...one step at a time, right? This is definitely a project I look forward to working on and getting right.
Next up, Folly-Turned-Weekend Home. Minimal and sleek. I wonder how well Bart can pull off concrete that is as smooth as butter?
Looking to do some further development on the Box with a Ribbon home design. It's getting raised and doubled!
Is it me or does this sketch kind of remind you of the Star Wars Walker?
So, I present the Backyard Folly + Porch. This, of course, was Bart's suggestion though we worked out the details together. Brilliant, isn't it? I can't believe the design didn't present itself sooner. Of course one needs a covered porch. How else can you enjoy the outdoors? In Texas. In the summer, no less!
So that is it. The Backyard Folly is finally out of my system. Well, unless there is someone out there who would like us to build one! And why not? Just think how jealous the Jones' will be to see your fantastically unique, comfortably modern, backyard studio?....or workshop, or yoga room, or cabana....Compare that to their boring old shed. Brilliant.
Did you read that? That second definition..."a costly ornamental building with no purpose". Ouch. I suppose my definition of a folly is much more forgiving and broad. I've always seen a folly as a hidden jewel of a structure. Something obviously foreign in its environment but something that enhances its surroundings just the same. When done right, it offers refuge and peace.
In college, I was fortunate enough to spend a year in Stuttgart, Germany on a year-long study abroad trip. Different than my husband's own experience where he traveled with his UTA professors and classmates, I was shipped off with a handful of other KU students from all different studies. I was one of just a handful of architectural students. The abundant weekends and vacations allowed for numerous trips around Europe, though without a professor, it was up to me to discover the architectural wonders, both modern and historic.
The photos above are from my trip to Paris. Forgive the quality...these are actually photos of prints -imagine the day before digital cameras or even mobile phones. This is Parc de la Villette in NE Paris. It was designed by Bernard Tschumi, one of my favorite architects back in the day. There are thirty-five follies throughout the park, placed on a grid, offering organization and points of reference. Over the years, I've referenced this park and its red buildings set against the greenery of the gardens...not to mention all the cultural buildings and pedestrian bridges.
Here is my idea of a folly: a functional yet flexible space using simple materials. Though alien looking set in this natural setting, the shape is actually derived from nature: the coil of the snail's shell. The small scale of the two-room footprint lends itself to simple functions: a studio, an afternoon retreat, or an isolated band room. The beauty is realized by its placement among a lush forest or perhaps the exact opposite, a rolling prairie.