Monday, May 11, 2015

The Things We Carried

I've run hot and cold with decor that celebrates objects and curiosities. Some houses cry for collectibles on the shelves, while others need the clean, clear expanse of an empty countertop.  Many objects in our homes serve as tangible reminders of the past, nostalgia for a moment in time.  Nosing around this antique store in Hudson, NY over the weekend, I enjoyed the complex mix of colors and textures, the sleek lines of mid-century furniture juxtaposed against handcrafted sculpture of a head.  The effect was a space so cohesively dense that it was seemingly impossible to separate one item from the bunch. Thus I was content to simply snap some pics.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Andrew Geller's Westhampton Pearlroth House

 Pearlroth house in Westhampton, NY, facing south.

Entrance into house

Jonathan Pearlroth with a view of the copper roofing

Geometry in the roofline

Built- in bunk beds

Guest blogger  Jane Jagger is no stranger to LI architect Andrew Geller's work.  Having restored a Geller-designed home with her husband, Steven, in Huntington Bay, NY, Jagger was gracious enough to photograph Geller's Westhampton gem for me-- the Pearlroth house. While celebrating the release of a new book by Jake Gorst,  Andrew Geller: Deconstructed, Jagger captured the angles and geometry of this iconic beach house.  As luck would have it, Bouler Pfluger Architects has been commissioned to design a beach house right next door. Certainly Dune Road has changed since Geller designed this pure, minimal geometric design; however the spirited architecture remains a tradition.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Statement Furniture

When James worked with sculptor Richard Anderson on this chair for a fellow architect, the hope was that the chair would not only reflect the function of providing seating, but serve as a sculptural element in the gentleman's home. The same principle holds true for the new BPA office furnishings in both Bay Shore and Brooklyn.  Using a combination of steel and beautiful selections of wood, James and Nick designed free standing and built-in furnishings that express the materiality of construction while serving the functionality of the office.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Recent Sketches: West Islip

The initial stages of an architectural project are a design challenge based on many factors including site, program, zoning, budget, and aesthetics.  Trying to arrange the flow of the house in coordination with its footprint while remaining within the zoning guidelines of setbacks and lot coverage is only compounded when working on a waterfront home. Challenges like these require patient problem solving and the cumulative experience of previous projects.  Once the program seems resolved, then it's time to work on the form of the building, a balancing act of shapes and textures.  Above are sketches for a new waterfront project in West Islip, with views overlooking the Great South Bay.  These sketches will now be drafted using AutoCAD.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

BPA-designed kitchens: top, Old Field, NY; bottom, Captree, NY

The history of the kitchen is one of my favorite topics.  Perhaps no other room speaks so directly to cultural, technological, and social changes in human lifestyle.  Whether we gather around the open pit hearth or the granite kitchen island, kitchens offer a duality between the work of preparing food and the hopes for a convivial, communal experience.  Today's kitchen, laid out to maximize prep surfaces and efficiency, offers a myriad of cooking opportunities while remaining centrally located as not to miss all the action.  It is a space full of aspirations of the life we wish we could lead-- the Viking oven installed for the apply pie you might bake someday instead of the takeout food you reheat regularly.  Traditional or modern, the kitchen is certainly the heart of a house, turning it into a home.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sandy Cottage: An Eye to the Future

After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, BPA's engagement in rebuilding and elevating homes in low lying, FEMA zones increased overnight.  Many of these modest homes had structural issues even before the storm, and it became clear that many would need to be rebuilt from scratch.  Exploring structural elements that are aesthetically progressive, affordable to build, and FEMA compliant, BPA has designed Sandy Cottage, which uses an efficient and consolidated structural system in order to reduce material and labor costs. With the option for solar panels and water capture, this energy efficient home helps rebuild neighborhoods with an eye towards meeting the needs of the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Local and Green: The New Brinkmann Hardware Store

Many years ago, BPA started its practice in Sayville, NY, so we were quite familiar with Brinkmann's local hardware and paint store. In fact, we still own and use the barbecue grill they recommended to us twenty years ago.  Helpful service and high-quality products make it quite easy to support this family-owned business. Combatting an era of impersonal corporate big-box stores, Brinkmann's Hardware Store has grown and is currently working with BPA to create a store that will reflect its values: tradition, community, and environmental responsibility.  The 18,000 square foot space will now house hardware, paint, and office space under one solar roof.  Yes, 120 KW of photovoltaic panels combined with a geo-thermal system will set this building on the path to net-zero energy, creating an efficient building which will serve as a model for both its consumers and other commercial buildings.  With one foot planted in the family tradition and the other in the alternative energy future, it is very exciting for us to chronicle this project from start to finish.  Stay tuned!