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  • Hollander House

    Well, this post was over a year in coming and I am pleased to finally get to release this story to the general public.

    I have started a blog OTB Designworks here that will, over the course of the next few months, take you through the journey of an incredible home/sculpture we are constructing.

    All the design work, from concepting to final blueprinting was done with Sketchup and Layout, and I will go quite in depth about techniques and workflows as I get to certain portions of the story. To whet your appetite a bit, there will be satellite draped vector based topography, panoramic mapped cylinders to show the views, ridiculously complex woodworking (35' tapered octagonal bastard valleys, anyone?), and HD animations.

    My plan is for the blog to provide an environment of inspiration, as well to be educational experience, and I know all of you will really enjoy what we have going on here in Montana.

    Oh, did I mention that we are fabricating in Montana and shipping to New York?

    So, please take a few minutes and click over and check it out; I am sure you will find it worth your time. And, of course, I welcome all comments, suggestions, and dialogue, so don't hesitate to comment or ask questions.

    I look forward to further discussions and I will update this thread as I add posts to the blog.

    Cheers, Chuck

  • #2
    Here are a few image of the Sketchup model to get things going.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kannonbal View Post
      Here are a few image of the Sketchup model to get things going.
      Hi Chuck, sounds interesting. A mod will no doubt shortly come along and tell you this but can you perhaps read the posting requirements at the top of the forum before posting your project? it will detail what information you are required to post. Until we see all the required information it will be hard to comment.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the heads up, superJim! I will post up the necessary information ASAP.

        Comment


        • #5
          OK, here is some information about this project.

          This is a residential home that is being fabricated in Montana and will be shipped to New York for installation.

          After extensive revisions and fine tuning, it ended up with a 2200 sqft walk out basement, a 2400 sqft main, timber framed level, and a 1000 sqft loft.

          All of the concepting and design was done with Sketchup (first ver7 and then ver8) and the blueprints were drawn in Layout 3.

          We had the home engineered by a company out of Missoula.

          As far as design parameters, I will go into great depth about this during the course of my blog but, to distill our overriding philosophy into a few sentences it would read something like this. We are deeply concerned about the merging of art and structure and we view our creations as sculptures you can live in, rather than a house with some artistic touches. We use a mix of as-is materials and new materials, and we love to integrate different materials into our design (timber framing, steel, glass, etc.) Our design process is more like a free form jazz arrangement than any sort of a traditional, sit down in the office, talk for a bit, and here is your design process.

          I will add images of the final floor plans and configurations, but I don't want to get ahead of the blog, and I have just started talking about the initial concepting, so it will be a bit of time before I get to the final plan.

          Of course, I am trying to show, through the blog, the amount of time and effort that went into getting to the final design, and I would do everyone a disservice if they didn't get to experience the evolution of the sculpture/home, because the final plan didn't spring fully formed from anyone's mind.

          As far as client requirements, this was definitely a moving target we were shooting for. As the design evolved, so, to, did the requirements. We had long ago eliminated the loft, for example, but, as we changed the overall structure, suddenly a loft was undeniably appropriate and it went back in. The initial consultation was primarily about a 2500 sqft cabin/cottage, and, as you can see, it definitely grew from that. The client provided us with a kitchen design she wanted basically copied, we started with that, reconfigured it a countless number of times, and ended up with a design almost identical to the initial drawing. But, it took all of the investigations into configurations for the client to "know" that the one she chose was the perfect one. The 3D model was indispensable for this part of the process.

          Thanks for the interest and I look forward to many interesting and provocative conversations!

          Cheers, Chuck

          Comment


          • #6
            An initial floorplan is up on the blog now. While the final house would be bigger, the overall configuration would change little from this initial floorplan.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kannonbal View Post
              An initial floorplan is up on the blog now. While the final house would be bigger, the overall configuration would change little from this initial floorplan.
              I'd advise you to post the plans and any other drawings and related information here if you are after some inpt/critique, asking people to leave this site and visit your site is not really in the spirit of the site, and as your website is a commercial venture, could even be considered as advertising/spam.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by superjim View Post
                I'd advise you to post the plans and any other drawings and related information here if you are after some inpt/critique, asking people to leave this site and visit your site is not really in the spirit of the site, and as your website is a commercial venture, could even be considered as advertising/spam.
                Hell, PPB doesn't need mods... we have superjim

                kannonbal, please do post more information as jim suggested. It will get you a lot better response and I'm curious see more of this.

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                • #9
                  Most of my output is usually animations and slideshows and I was using the blog as a place to link all of the files to, as I upload them to Youtube. I was trying to build a bit of excitement and not jump right to the finish, mainly because the design process was a long exploration, with myriad evolutions, and I was going to try to convey that process.

                  But, I much more value comments/crits than anything else, so here are some of the blueprints and I will get more images of the model up here in the next day, or so.

                  I will embed the video clips as I go, too, so everyone can see where this started from and how it evolved.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    here are some more blueprint pages, and links to the first couple of animations.





                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wizum View Post
                      Hell, PPB doesn't need mods... we have superjim

                      kannonbal, please do post more information as jim suggested. It will get you a lot better response and I'm curious see more of this.
                      Ha! No thanks, I'll leave the moderating to those with a reasonable standard of ethics and common decency, I just thought I'd give the man some warning before one of the "big guns" steps in and sends this thread to trash bin obscurity!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And thanks for that, Jim!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kannonbal View Post
                          will, over the course of the next few months, take you through the journey of an incredible home/sculpture we are constructing.
                          At first I didn't get it, maybe there is more to come I thought. But it seems there isn't. This is a house, it is not a sculpture, not even a tiny little bit. And it is not incredible as far as I can discern. Why do you think it is? please explain

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                          • #14
                            Firstly, I appreciate your initial skepticism; and I can understand a reticence to be accepting (or even intrigued) by a thread posted by some somebody who nobody knows and, for all anyone knows (or cares), is just another narcissistic westerner who is captivated by their own totem pole. Also, and more importantly, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to this thread and to provide me the opportunity to react to your comments. I also realize that it is my responsibility as the designer and fabricator of this project to try to explain just what it is in my opinion that separates this from, at least, any other project I have been involved with in my 20 years as an artist and woodworker.

                            Existential conversations concerning what is art, and what isn't, have probably existed since the first caveman dipped his or her hands in blood and pressed them to the cave wall. My first inclination when presented with such a forceful rejection of an artistic claim is to explore the possibility that we are encountering a language issue, or, perhaps more likely, we are running up against the wall of western aesthetic thought.

                            As far as the language goes, as my favorite philosopher Ludwig Wittengenstein might agree, it would be an unfulfilling process for us to discuss the word sculpture and whether something is, or is not, one. I am firmly not in the camp that tries to wring every last bit of utility out of a word like art, or sculpture, by claiming that everything is art and should be celebrated as such. If everything is art, then the word art no longer carries any meaning to anyone, and loses its function as a way to communicate between people. Our impasse is identical to two people looking at, for example, a Jackson Pollack painting. Someone who looks at it, declares that it is nothing but paint splatters and rejects it out of hand as not art, is, in my opinion, no more or less correct than the one knows they are looking at a work of art. Never shall the two meet in the conceptual middle, right? And being a purely subjective decision, that is where the discourse ends between them.

                            Ever since I first started painting, 22 years ago, I was interested in the grey area between "high"art and "utilitarian" use. One of the things that drove me to furniture design and fabricating was the desire to create an object that can provoke an aesthetic conversation every bit as cerebral as a discussion of a painting, but, at the same time, having an objective goodness that is undeniable to anyone. The chair might be ugly to one person and beautiful to the next, but anyone who sits in it will agree, immediately, that it is a very comfortable and pleasing chair. Is it still a sculpture if it has utility beyond aesthetic appeal? I guess that is a personal and subjective decision. But to say that, as soon as it is a chair, it is not even a tiny bit a sculpture, seems to me to be a bit too black and white, especially since we are walking in the murky waters of language.

                            I, personally, come down much more towards the eastern aesthetic mindset, perhaps best portrayed in Zen Buddhist art. For them, that which makes something "art" is the Buddhist Chi, that which can not be named. Their concern was primarily with portraying the unified and connectedness of everything in this universe, and that is why so many of their paintings are of a circle. It was the attempt to investigate the interconnectivity of the artist and their surroundings; probably the closest we westerners get to that concept is e=mc2. Mass is energy; we are all of one and there is no outside of that. I was always enticed by the concept that that which "hits" us aesthetically is also the one aspect of the object that can never be adequately explained in language, and that that is the disjunct in western aesthetic thought because all they want to do is talk around something and obfuscate the need to just contemplate and allow an awareness of ones part in the whole.

                            So, my take on things is that this structure we are creating is, outside of any utilitarian use, a work of art, and, if we never roofed or sheathed it, could and does stand on its own as a purely aesthetic and artistic creation. You haven't seen them yet, but one of the focal points of the final design are 2 35' long tapered octagonal bastard valleys, each with 28 notches and bearing on 5 bearing points each. I humbly put forward the idea that one of the bastards, isolated and presented in a gallery as a work of art, would captivate and intrigue a viewer as much as or as little as any particular painting.

                            Sorry to be so long winded, but this is a heavy topic and one that is close to my heart. I need to get myself off to work, but I will be talking more about how the creative process and the underlying drive of this home also sets it apart, if only that we did everything in a non-traditional manner and that, perhaps, the entire field of architecture and design might be slowly aligning itself with a new concept of what a home is, and how things should be done, and what, exactly, is the important traits of a "good" design.

                            And while I can relate to you not seeing anything incredible yet (I am just getting going here; we haven't even got to some pictures of the timber frame yet), I also suggest that what makes this home incredible is not any one thing, or any one detail, or technical complexity, or what have you; what makes it incredible is that a few people came together, over the internet, and through a process that was exactly like the process of putting paint on a blank canvas, have perhaps managed to create a structure that isn't like anything you may have seen before and, beyond being a heated space that sheds the weather, is also a sculpture that some lucky human gets to live in.

                            Cheers and I look forward to more chats, Chuck

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kannonbal,

                              First, thanks for following up and posting more stuff directly to thread... that helps alot.

                              Second, I think what gorgon is responding to is an initial reaction, which I admittedly have as well... which is the form and aesthetic of what you have presented is nothing beyond the ordinary.

                              Your followup post to gorgon is well spoken, but yet does not necessarily give justification or defense to his, or even my, criticism. Art is certainly subjective, but to use that as a defense to your design does not do you or your design justice. I would argue that what "artistic" value your project has brought is the process of design and the story you have to share about that process. But, and this is a BIG but, the result of the process has not, from what I have seen so far, created anything beyond the ordinary and therefore lacks in what maybe we could agree as being "art" or a "sculpture".

                              The design and form and even plan of the house is not ground breaking by any means (not that "art" has to be such). From what I see you have created a structure with timber and interesting or expressive connections to a house form that could be stick-built or done so with a number of other means. The two are not dependent of each other. In a sense you have created structural system that really is not expressive at all from the outside... my question in that regard is what drove that decision?

                              What I am getting at is the house design looks nothing different from many homes you could find in a magazine in a grocery store quite frankly. Maybe a little larger in the square footage, but aesthetically there is not a huge difference. There is nothing wrong with gables or more conservative forms, but there just isn't anything from this design that jumps out to me. I know that the work you have put into this and the passion that I'm sure was taken in it's creation is real; I don't want to take that away. But, the final product doesn't really express that same passion.

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