As architects we work in a profession that is highly collaborative in nature. Despite the painstaking thought and detail that we put into our construction documents, they are still only drawings. We rely on the builders we work with to bring our vision to reality. We are fortunate to live in Vermont where we are surrounded by a network of highly-skilled and dedicated craftsmen to work with. The stuff we build with is big and heavy. Making the pieces all come together is not easy and requires a combination of heavy equipment, hard work and attention to detail. Thanks to all the great craftsmen we have the pleasure of working with!!
A few recent images of this exterior stair. The stair is suspended from the Douglas Fir beam above on stainless steel rods. The stringers were water jet cut and then had channels welded on to receive the stainless rods and to hold the treads. The treads are individual pieces of Ipe held together by stainless steel rods. Another example of the great craftsmanship and attention to detail that has characterized the work on this project!
What a pleasure it is to work with great craftsmen. There are few things more satisfying for us as architects than to see one of our designs built with care and attention to detail. The stair for the Clark Road project is a great example. The clean lines and simple palette of materials make for a sculptural stair that complements the interiors of the house. The craftsmanship brings it to life, enhancing the clarity of the design intent. Thanks to Steve, Will, Zach and Ben for their efforts on the wood components of the stair, thanks to Mike and his crew for the great sheetrock work and thanks to Bob for the excellent painting.
Exterior siding work is nearing completion on this project despite the winter weather. Exterior siding materials used are standing seam metal roofing panels, Douglas Fir wood, and two colors of Eter-Color cement board siding. Eter-Color is a high-density cement board with the color integral to the material (solid throughout) that requires no finish. It is installed over rainscreen strapping with a reveal between each panel. The result is an exceptionally durable and maintenance-free siding. Interior finish work is underway, progress shots coming soon.
A couple of recent photos of the Brewer Parkway renovation project that is being built by TrueNorth Construction. The first photo shows the sliding barn door on the "commuter bike" storage shed, with exposed galvanized track and vertical grain fir panel. The second photo is a view of the southwest corner of the house as seen from the street and gives an indication of the building massing. The addition on the backside of the house may be seen projecting above the lower roof. Clerestory windows in this taller band bring in south light to the back rooms of the house.
Here's a photo of the staircase in my Winding Brook Road house. The stair treads and stringers are LSL (laminated strand lumber). LSL's are generally used as construction grade framing members and are not typically left exposed. I have found that when they are sanded and finished with an oil or urethane they have a beautiful and distinctive appearance. They are initially very rough and require a lot of sanding, but they are also very dense and strong (and therefore durable). The posts and railings for this stair are solid cherry, fabricated by a friend and colleague, Ruud Vekemans. The cables are 3/16" diameter stainless steel with simple and elegant tensioning hardware at the post connections. The outside wall of the stair tilts outward at the top and has a 20' tall insulated translucent window panel, manufactured by Kalwall. Natural light filters through the Kalwall and through the open stair into all levels of the house. At the top of the Kalwall panel there are two hopper windows that are left open from April to October. These windows in this tall open stairwell provide a natural chimney that vents warm air out of the house during the summer months. There is a ceiling fan that pulls air upward which assists this natural venting.