Tag Archives: architecture

Manzanita project update: May 2014

This past Tuesday, my assistant designer and I drove to Manzanita to spend the day on site, taking notes and meeting our site manager and craftsman, Tod. We are moving ahead at a freight-train pace and sometimes it can be hard to keep up. There is always a million things we need to review and never enough time in the day to address everything. We are all pushing this project along and are seeing the goal in sight. Luckily for us, the day was gorgeous and added a bit of lightheartedness to our day.

Here are some detail shots from our day.



the patina on the copper gutters and downspouts are stunning


ipe cover for the meter and emergency shut off


inspecting the under cabinet lighting and plug molds



interior of the newly constructed sauna. the cedar smells amazing.


ipe cedar skylights copper


hello beautiful



new concrete pad poured for the stairs off of the deck

house numbers

looking good in the neighborhood

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custom rail around the sauna heater prevents any burns. rocks were cleaned and placed by the owner on her last visit.

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admiring the quiet and calm of the coast and view from the deck

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beautiful light in the guest room

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Featured on HGTV

A couple of weeks ago, SBaird Design was contacted by a writer from HGTV online. The writer, Colleen, had seen images of some of our work through Houzz and then on our website. After a bit of back in forth and a culling of images and projects, one image of Shannon’s former home + design project in West Linn caught their eye. SBaird Design and Shannon’s hard work to lovingly restore a Mid Century classic is included in an article about successful room dividers. Check out #17!


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update on manzanita project

sign on property for precision home and hardscape – general contractor and my company


the roof has been taking off, rain has intruded, the hole in the floor is where the old chimney was, the blue tape is the size of the new windows that will be installed soon.


we started sanding the beams so that we could see what happened when the stain was removed

all of the siding is removed now


the original tile floor in the entry which we intend to keep



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Art in the Garden Lecture:

Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, Author Azby Brown

(images courtesy of Just Enough’s website)

Portland Japanese Garden hosts a lecture on green living next Friday, January 28th with Tokyo-based author Azby Brown.

Friday, January 28, 2011
5:30-7:30pm; Pavilion
$10 members / $15 non-members
Reservations required, space is limited
Purchase on-line or call (503) 542-0280

(from Portland Japanese Garden’s website)

Inspired by his first visit to Katsura Imperial Villa in the 1980s, Tokyo-based author Azby Brown went on to pursue a career in architectural design, ultimately writing The Genius of Japanese Carpentry and a number of other successful books, including Small Spaces, The Japanese Dream House, and The Very Small Home. A graduate of Yale, Brown is a professor of architectural design at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, and founder and director of the Future Design Institute in Tokyo. His presentation will be on his latest book, Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, published in 2010.

Through words and sketches, Just Enough tells how people lived 200 years ago during the late Edo period in Japan, when traditional technology and culture were at the peak of development, just before the opening of Japan to the West. Brown shows how people in the 18th-19th centuries dealt with some of the same issues we are facing today—energy, water, materials, food, and population—and forged from these challenges a society that was conservation-minded, waste-free, well-housed, well-fed, and economically robust, and that has bequeathed to us enduring standards of art and beauty.

The lecture will include reflections on Katsura Imperial Villa as the inspiration for Brown’s lifelong career in Japanese architecture and design, as well as his insights into the lessons to be learned from traditional Japan on ways of living green in a densely populated urban society.

A book-signing will follow the lecture.  Buy the book here!

Azby Brown:

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Azby Brown is an artist and designer who has lived in Japan since 1985. He is the author of The Genius of Japanese Carpentry (1995), Small Spaces (1996), The Japanese Dream House (2001) and The Very Small Home (2005). His most recent book, Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan was published in 2010. On the faculty of the Kanazawa Institute of Technology since 1995, he is the director of the KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo.

Read More: Essay by Azby Brown on The Design Observer Group website.

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John Pawson – one of my favorite architects

A long time ago…a friend recommended that I read the book ‘John Pawson’s Works’ -

Ever since, I have been moved – even rendered breathless – by his minimalism and almost sanctuary architecture along with the details of his work. His own home has proven to be a laboratory for his ideals and I often wonder what it would be like to live so monastically.

“It was never just about painting everything white, I set out to create comfortable spaces – visually comfortable spaces. My mind always feels a little scrambled, so being in simple rooms helps me to think straight.” – John Pawson

calvin klein store – paris

pawson residence

pawson residence

walsh house

monastery – czech republic


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Phenomenal evening with Jeff Kovel

Attended a Q&A session/lecture with visionary Portland architect Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture at Rejuvenation Wednesday night. The event, part of the Architecture and Design Festival, was a benefit for the Street of Eames Fund. Jeff discussed several of his cutting edge designs, the design process, and his vision for the future of modernism.


Doug Fir Lounge, courtesy of skylabarchitecture.com



Hoke Residence, courtesy of skylabarchitecture.com



HOMB modular prefab home, courtesy of skylabarchitecture.com


On Modernism:

“You can build modern with historical elements.”

Case in point:  Departure Restaurant & Lounge, located on top of the historic Meier & Frank building, re-established the symmetry of the landmark building and used a form very similar to a Mansard roof that has been carved away.


Departure Restaurant & Lounge, courtesy of skylabarchitecture.com


My favorite part of the evening was when Jeff spoke about Flavor Paper, a Brooklyn based wallpaper screen printing studio and showroom.  Manufacturing takes place on the ground floor, the showroom is located above, the owner’s penthouse is located on the top floor, and a roof with a planted meadow tops it all off.

One of the most stunning elements is the mirrored awning and ceiling that were installed so passers-by can see the printers at work.

I’m intrigued by the luminescent violet square on the sidewalk, which Jeff explained was the existing access ladder to the basement mechanical rooms.  Since the storefront frames a view of the screen printing studio, Jeff designed a sidewalk panel to serve as a display for the store.


Flavor Paper (Brooklyn, NY), courtesy of skylabarchitecture.com



Flavor Paper (mirrored awning and ceiling), courtesy of skylabarchitecture.com


At the end of the evening, I had a one-on-one Q&A with Jeff:

Q:  What’s your favorite color?

A:  Violet.

Q:  What is your favorite Portland restaurant for satisfying design?

A:  The bar at The Ringside.

Q:  Can your modular, prefab home be used for narrow applications, such as an ADU?

A:  Yes.

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