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Al Whittle, Architectural Illustrator in UK

Al Whittle is an architectural detailer and illustrator who, with Jenny Broome, run Element Detailing Limited, a small company based in the East Midlands in the United Kingdom. In an era when architects are in general more proficient with CAD programs than pen-and-ink illustration, Al's drawings can help architects and builders visualize their projects. His drawings are really nice. Their studio is timber frame with strawbale walls and a sedum roof. http://www.elementdetailing.com/Site/Welcome.html
This sketch is a detail for a bat lantern roost situated on top of a sedum roof.

Building With Whole Trees


I think the NYTimes is one of the best things on the web. And it's free! (Unlike the Wall Street Journal, naturally.) Here's an article right up our alley. Roald Gundersen is a "forester-architect" who shapes trees while they're still growing in the woods, then uses them to frame buildings. Same as SunRay Kelley and other builders in our book Builders of the Pacific Coast. SunRay, you got a brother out there!
“'It’s eminently more frugal and sustainable than milling trees,' he added.…Loggers pass over such trees because they are too small to mill, but this forester-architect, who founded Gundersen Design in 1991 and built his first house here two years later, has made a career of working with them."
“''Curves are stronger than straight lines,' he explained. 'A single arch supporting a roof can laterally brace the building in all directions.”These are weed trees, so when you take them out, you improve the forest stand and get a building out of it. You haven’t stripped an entire hillside out west to build it, or used a lot of oil to transport the lumber'.”
Article (click here) by Anne Raver
Photos by Paul Kelley for the New York Times

Boletus Edulis

About an hour after I tweeted that I hoped new rains would bring out the mushrooms, Lew walked into the office with these porcinis. It inspired me to go on a running/mushroom safari that afternoon and I got several more pounds. They look so beautiful in the woods, the rich brown domes pushing up through pine needles. I gave some to friends and we had porcini pasta for dinner. We continue to eat more and more local and wild food. Great book for San Francisco Bay Area foragers is The Flavors of Home, by Margit Roos-Collins, A Heyday Press book unfortunately out-of-print.

Silver Surfer


Various people stayed in our house while we were traveling and when we got back, this little guy was sitting on the shelf above the sink. He's got character!

Parisian Street Pianist Roland Godard

I've been playing Roland's CD Et Son Piano A Tout Faire since I ran across him playing his little piano-on-wheels on the Deux Ponts Marie bridge over the Seine near Notre Dame. (See posting of October 24th.) I just found this Youtube clip of him at a Paris flea market. The sound isn't very good (sound is a lot better on his CD), but it shows him doing "All of Me." I can't find anywhere to get his album. If any web sleuth can track down his CD, let me know.

3-Wheeler Pizza Delivery in Germany

I used to see a lot of these little delivery vans when I was stationed in Germany (USAF) in the late '50s. I believe they were Vespas, not sure what this one is. Cute, eh?

Schreinerei Pfeiffer, Carpenters' Pub in Bad Homburg


Here's a photo of the beerhall/restaurant in Bad Homburg I wrote about last month (http://bit.ly/3tCQU7) that is decorated with hundreds of old carpenters' tools.

Church of the Redeemer, Bad Homburg, Germany

I stay in Bad Homburg each year when attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. It's a beautiful and wealthy spa town. Each year I wander around, and usually look into the beautiful Church of the Redeemer, an Evangelical (Protestant) church built by Kaiser Wilhelm II in the early 1900s."…the building is outwardly of a heavy, romanesque revival appearance, while its interior is…in a neo-Byzantine style, with rich marble wall decorations and gold mosaics covering the domed ceiling, leading to the church sometimes being called 'Bad Homburg's Hagia Sophia'" (Wikipedia)

Veiko Lasting—Builder in Estonia


We had a rather large network of builders, gardeners, and practitioners of the home arts in the '70s after we published Shelter. We lost track of most of these people in subsequent years, partly because had a 20-year interlude publishing fitness books, partly because the Whole Earth network faded away. Now that we're back in the home building field, we're assembling a (now online) community of like-minded folks. We have a huge amount of stuff for another general book on building (HomeWork 2) somewhere down the line. Here's an email we just got from Estonia; it's great to be hearing from simpatico people all over the world.

Dear Mr. Lloyd Khan,
My name is Veiko Lasting and I'm from country Estonia. Some years ago I saw one book HomeWork - and now in this spring I ordered it also to myself and soon also Builders of the Pacific Coast and Shelter.
Your books are very inspiering. after my friend Indrek saw how John Welles (HomeWork pg.25) was moving the house solo he started to build sauna also solo :) picture of it added.
I made myself nice cosy apartment, in the middle of Tallinn near old city, to the basement of one old wooden house…

Best regards
Veiko
some of my handworks:
http://www.aivel.ee/vldisain/index.htm

Young Frankenstein Revisited


I'd seen it several times in past years but I guess I never watched it that closely, because last week it had me falling out of my chair in laughter. Jesus! The performances are razor-sharp and inspired. The script is brilliant. And what I missed before is the beautiful photography. Not only is it in black and white, but the lighting is superb, each scene carefully composed. I had remembered Gene Wilder's scene where he is about to enter the room with the monster and he tells his assistants to not let him out of the room, "Do not open this door!!" and Madeline Kahn saying, "Come here, you hot monster!" but there were a dozen other gems, like Cloris Leachman's scene, which has been running through my mind:
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: "Then you and Victor were.…"
Frau Blücher: "YES. YES. Say it. He…vas…my.…BOYFRIEND!"
Here's a 5-minute cut on Youtube of a bunch of scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p5AG0Tqh3A

Toyota iQ 1.0 - 65 miles per gallon


I'm going through notes from my recent trip to Europe this week. Here's what looks like a great little car; it unfortunately won't be available in the USA until late 2010 or so. Toyota does it again. http://bit.ly/2eOCPP

Mossy Hollow Redux

One of the charmers of Builders of the Pacific Coast is "Mossy Hollow," Robbie Newton's green mossy-roofed cabin in the woods that look like part of the surrounding forest. Robbie recently sent us this photo (by Paul), taken of him (Robbie) at the cabin in 1976. A wonderful era! Robbie points out that the house was originally built by John and Margie. Mossy Hollow is in the woods of a small island in British Columbia.

Lamella Roof Construction


My posting of Oct 30 on the gridshell building in the UK drew this response (from Anonymous): "Here is another inventive timber roof system. A carpenter is capable of amazing things!" Which led me to further exploration: http://bit.ly/4hNRje and http://bit.ly/4fXIvP
Photo of house with lamella arched roof in Merseburg, Germany in the '20s