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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A CLT Home in the PNW

After using Cross Laminated Timbers (CLTs) from KLH to form our fine woodworking shop we were excited to incorporate the big wooden panels into other projects. We’re working again with the CLT manufacturing, design, and engineering teams at KLH, this time to raise a complete CLT home in Scappoose, Oregon.
Our team has been raising/joining the CLTs this week. Here’s an animation of the planned process:
And a few current progress photos from the craftsmen on site:

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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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Find the Beetle: Stowe VT

Mike Beganyi, our New England representative spotted the beetle mallet during the raising of a frame in Stowe, Vermont.

Adaptable to all conditions, our timber framers raised the frame amongst sleet, snow, and the swosh of nearby skiers.

No stranger to the beetle, long-time timber frame craftsman Paul drove a few pegs home while pre-assembling one of the custom finished bents.

This slope-side home is another great project from Shope Reno Wharton being built by Sisler Builders.