Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

December 22, 2016

14 of my Favorite Things About Portland, Oregon

by: Taz Loomans

Tweet In early 2013 Portland was like a new love interest that I had fallen hard for. I was enamored with just about everything in the city. I gained 10lbs just cause I wanted to try all the food and I couldn’t get enough of the Blue Star Donuts, the Waffle Window and Lauretta Jeans Pie Shop. I traipsed around the city taking photographs of the gorgeous flowers, the beautiful bridges, and the many group bike rides I went on. Four years later, just like any love interest, the shine has worn off and I’ve settled into a calmer, less…

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April 01, 2016

A Tribute to Zaha Hadid

by: Taz Loomans

Tweet I don’t like starchitects. But I was very sad to hear about the death of Zaha Hadid yesterday. At 65, it was too soon, considering architects tend to mature and do some of their best work late in their careers. (For example, Frank Lloyd Wright received the commission to design the Guggenheim Museum when he was 76 and designed the Price Tower when he was 85.) Dame Hadid had a lot of great architecture still left in her, and it is a true loss for the world never to see it. I have a lot of mixed feelings about…

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March 15, 2016

A Review of the Film The Competition

by: Taz Loomans

Tweet The ego of a starchitect is too big even to fit in his grandiose skyscraper. Nowhere is this more evident than in the documentary called The Competition that chronicles the process of four of the world’s biggest starchitects submitting ideas for a competition to design the National Museum of Andorra. The four architects are Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Dominique Perrault, and Frank Gehry and the movie follows their firms as they put together their submissions. The film gives you a VIP pass into the offices of these starchitects and reveals glimpses of how these much admired creatives practice their…

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Tweet Sometimes you don’t have all the answers, but thankfully having all the answers is not a prerequisite to building confidence. I’ve struggled for a long time and still do at times with lacking confidence as an architect, even after being assigned large projects and getting my license and being put in charge of teams. The nagging lack of confidence persisted despite other people’s confidence in me. Over time I’ve found that confidence doesn’t come from being perfect and knowing everything, but from a deep reserve within that we can draw on when things get tough. There are many ways…

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Tweet “Construction is a very costly endeavor, costing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars and it is a huge responsibility for architects to be the steward of that kind of money in the form of a building,” says Rosa Sheng,┬áSenior Associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Chair of Equity by Design. This huge responsibility along with the tremendous breadth and ever changing amount of technical knowledge that is required to be an architect and an education that conditions people to think that they are failures if they do not become starchitects often leads to confidence issues in architects, especially…

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December 19, 2015

How to Build Confidence as an Architect, Part I

by: Taz Loomans

Tweet Some years ago I designed a stair for an office building that was too narrow. It was supposed to be a minimum of 48 inches wide, but I designed it to be 36 inches wide. No one caught it, not my supervisor, not the firm’s quality assurance team, and not even the contractor until he had already ordered the steel, which was the wrong size. My firm had to pay for new steel for the correct size stair. I was so ashamed and this hurt my confidence so much, that it was part of the reason I left architecture…

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Tweet If you live in a tiny house on wheels, you may be woken up in the middle of the night and asked to vacate your house. That’s because living in a tiny house on wheels (THOW) is illegal in most of Portland, unless it is parked on an RV lot. It is perfectly legal to park tiny houses on wheels in a lot of places, including someone’s back yard. But living there is a whole other story. Why Tiny Homes on Wheels are an Important Part of Available Housing Stock: With Portland’s housing crisis, the particular issue of tiny…

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October 22, 2015

5 Reasons to Build an ADU

by: Taz Loomans

Tweet [I originally wrote this article for the Communitecture blog, where I work as an architect.] What do accessory dwelling units (ADU) have to do with Portland’s state of emergency for housing? Everything. Accessory dwellings are the great compromise between adding density and preserving the single-family fabric that Portlanders have come to love and depend on. They are a great answer to adding housing options in the city without giving up much of the character that makes Portland what it is. [Side Note for Those Not Familiar with ADUs: What the heck is an accessory dwelling unit? It’s what a…

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August 03, 2015

An Entreaty to Young Women in Architecture

by: Taz Loomans

Tweet Architecture is all about art and beauty and feeling good inside a building right? Wrong. Architecture is also all about codes and actual wood framing sizes vs nominal and how are you going to make sure that skylight won’t leak. Recently, I started working for a firm called Communitecture as a project manager/project architect. We are so busy that we are looking for another person who can lead projects by herself as well. We’ve talked with quite a few people and looked at quite a few resumes. What has become apparent in our search is that there are plenty…

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Tweet If you’ve seen the curvy and colorful cob structures around the city of Portland, chances are good that you’re seeing the work of the Village Building Convergence (VBC), an annual placemaking festival organized by City Repair which is celebrating its 15th year. The 10-day festival is underway this week and its going stronger than ever. It’s main mission is to facilitate hands-on volunteer labor towards making various community-building projects around the city become a reality. This year’s projects include 22 intersection painting projects, 8 landscaping/gardening projects and 9 building projects, such as making earthen plaster walls for buildings, cob…

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