Sweeping Spans for Meditation

Kim Son Meditation Center, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist place of repose and worship, will be taking delivery of their 10 glulaminated and steel trusses very soon. The trusses are just over 60’ long, and 16’ high. As seen in the accompanying images, the community’s goal was to express a sweeping sense of structure and space, perhaps a bit like clouds moving across an overhead sky.

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‘Overgood’ Revisited

Maxine, Jake, and Dexter trying out the ‘driveway’ of The Vermont Street Project in Portland, 2008.

In August of 2008, my wife Maxine, our son Jake, Dexter the dog and Annie the cat arrived in our new home of Portland, Oregon with a plan to open a west coast New Energy Works Timberframers.  In retrospect, the idea that we could just pick up everything, move to a city across this big country, find schooling, the grocery store, a place to start a new timber frame shop, customers, design and build our new home, and still be a solid co-worker and leader to our headquarters back in the beautiful Finger Lakes of NY seems a bit outrageous. It was. In the Fall of 2008 the economy was in the biggest downward spiral we’ve seen in our lives, so what at first seemed hard quickly became a challenge of far more epic proportions.

Looking at the backyard. Our build site was on a flag parcel in SW Portland, a lucky find at a time when land was hard to come by.

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Scissors in the Hudson: Carol Kurth, AIA Shares the Story

 

A project popped up on Instagram, catching my attention with its custom timber trusses in a clean and crisp great room. It seemed familiar and I made a call upstairs confirming this was one of our projects, designed by Carol Kurth Architecture + Carol Kurth Interiors, raised in the Hudson Valley. I wanted to know more and was lucky enough to catch Carol Kurth (FAIA, ASID, and LEED AP) and her colleague Christine Lent (AIA) for a chat:

Throwback Thursday! Christine and Carol on the job site last year.

It was easy to hear the smile in Carol and Christine’s voices over the phone. Their energy was palpable and inspiring when talking residential architecture. Turns out like many homes, project planning started a few years back for this ‘mountain lodge’ and evolved over time into a ‘modern lodge’. It never lost the main purpose as: “a weekend retreat for a warm and close extended family who spends lots of time together”.

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Lake Living on Allen’s Point: Raising the Timber Frame

Onlookers huddled in their coats and chatted excitedly on a cool breezy day in upstate New York while our craftsmen raised the frame for Jim and Tina’s home on Cayuga Lake. Multiple generations of the family were joined by a few guests at the site. Seeing the timbers come together and their home take shape brought plenty of smiles from Jim, Tina, their children, and grandchildren.

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