AROUND THE WORLD 1

At the mid-point of their careers, many of my favorite architects left their practices and re-invented themselves.  The most famous (or infamous) of these was Frank Lloyd Wright, who, just over a hundred years ago when divorce was unusual, ran away from his wife and children to Europe with his mistress.  I’m running away with my wife and two daughters for a sabbatical journey around the world in 2012-13.

It’s hard to do, not just because of the logisitcs themselves, but because I love my work and, at the moment, have great projects and great clients (they usually go hand in hand).  But it was a family vision and the window is small for the speed at which children grow up, so we are off and wandering.   I expect that, as a lover of architecture, visiting some of the greatest buildings in human history will be reward enough (on top of spending so much time with my family).  That combined with the “down-time” from work will certainly have my creative juices flowing on the return to Sedona.  Whether I re-invent myself or not, I already am looking forward to coming home to design new buildings.  In Sedona… and elsewhere as well!

your manual

 

Adding images to a gallery:

Click gallery, add gallery/images:

in this dialog you can choose files from your hard drive and choose the gallery to upload it to.

On the manage gallery page you will see the ID of each gallery. This is important, because galleries are being inserted into the page or post by a short code. Please get the short code for the slideshow of the type used in your website by copying from the other pages or posts and see how it is done there. Please do not format this code in bold or italics, it can cause errors.

I usually crop the or resize the images before uploading, to save space and upload time. The gallery software itself is set to automatically rescale them to maximum 800 pixels wide and high.

 

Creating a quote:

WordPress has an easy way of creating so-called block quotes:

you select the text you want to have shown as a block quote [we use it to display quotes above the slideshows]

just select the paragraph you want to have shown as a block quote, and click the quotation icon. You will see the text being indented in edit mode. The special formatting with red line around and grayish background will automatically appear on the webpage.

 

Portfolio pages

Portfolio pages are specially programmed to display the headline and featured image of the posts of a certain category. Example: “portfolio” shows all four posts of the category portfolio. Since this technology could only be used once in our system, we had to create sub – portfolio posts, such as “private residential”, “public buildings”, “in progress” etc.

The sequence is showing the latest first. Change the sequence by changing the date.

These posts of the only ones, where you might have to switch to HTML mode [when you edit a post or page, you will always see two tabs on the right side of the icons: visual at HML]. I have prepared a sample, where you just have to copy and paste the code for one line of projects [for example Aerie I and Beyond the Beyond]. After that you can switch to visual mode, change the headlines, link them to the right post, exchange picture, link it to the same post.

 

Blog pages

Whenever you write a blog-post, just assign it to the category architectural-musings and select under Post Template “Testimonial Blog”.

 

Sidebar images

In order to insert an image to the sidebar widget, you nee the url (=link) where the image is located.

In order to do that, go to Media – add new, upload it to your library. In the edit dialogue, you will find the File URL.

Copy and paste it into the sidebar widget (Appearance > Widgets > Primary Sidebar).

You will notice that all widgets have at their bottom a field “Widget logic “. It relates to limitations that can be defined, like where to show it: is_page( ’294′ ) means that this widget only shows on page or post 294. How to know that number? Just look into the list of posts and pages – the id is close to the right side.

 

Testimonials

To add a testimonial, click Posts > new, write the headline (which becomes the headline of the post), insert the text and image (probably right aligned), on the right sidebar checkmark the Testimonials Category, a bit lower the Post Template Testimonial Blog.

The sequence is showing the latest first. Change the sequence by changing the date.

Inner Courtyard

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Instead of a gated subdivision, this home is in the center of West Sedona.  The street facade is like a fortress so when the inner courtyard is revealed it comes as a surprise to most visitors.  Creating two buildings out of the program transforms a lot that is not that big into a seemingly very large lot.

Although surrounded by neighbors, the design and the landscaping screen them out so, from within the house and outdoor terraces one feels complete privacy.  The south side has a porch roof that hovers without visible supports in order to frame the sweeping view.  One can look back through the entire great room to the views to the north, where the central courtyard is becoming a lush landscape, a place where one is sheltered from winds and is a sun trap in winter.

Panorama

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The name says it all:  the clients wanted to maximize their panoramic outlook and the design did just that.

 

Professional photographs by Natalie Stetz.

Meditation Center

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A meditation center was created on the grounds of an old church and we had to remodel existing, non-descript buildings on a somewhat dry and barren lot.  The budget forced us to keep new buildings in simple forms that worked with the old ones and therefore what unified the complex was the palette of materials and grammar of construction, especially with arcades that connected the parts together as a whole.
More than any other project, what would make this one successful would be the landscaping and luckily there were master gardeners within the meditation community that took the concept and ran with it, transforming the property completely as they created a little Eden in what was once a very un-welcoming site.  Now neighbors look on a lush and private landscape where most of the buildings are hidden from view.
The most important quality an architect can have from a client is trust:  this is an example of how it works both ways.  The color scheme was the client’s concept, and having faith in them proved right for creating a serene environment without going the usual terracotta or green “Sedona” route.

Slopes of Haleakala

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A site in Maui poised between heaven and earth, on idyllic, sloping pastureland with ocean views on each side of the island.  An extended design process that was always for the better, with clients refining and refining the plan towards a smaller, simpler concept.  They have been at it for many years, long before they hired me, and are very aware of how precious this land is and the importance of doing the right design.

Enchantment II

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Spectacular cliff views, including a high alcove with ruins, set the stage for this project.  Discerning and enthusiastic clients, a great client-builder relationship, and the fantastic setting have made this project an absolute pleasure to build.

Beyond the Beyond

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A quintessential Sedona site:  high on a cliff with the sound and views of Oak Creek running below and the iconic Cathedral Rock in the distance beyond.  Regular sightings of deer, coyote, and bobcat, along with the constant presence of the big birds:  ravens, hawks, herons, and the occasional bald eagle.  A place of wonder.
The architect is building this himself, with his own hands, an “off-grid” house for his family.

Aerie I

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Views in every direction, including distant horizon views with red rock monuments below, an unusual vantage point for Sedona.  A high “aerie” room was requested to enjoy this panorama.  Another long process— which often results in better designs— where the clients held off for a spell to move to and live in Sedona.  Their experience in doing that has led to refinements in the design and we are ready to break ground.

Photos

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Here are a few photos of the region.  Since we will be on sabbatical, the best place to see more is at the family travel website, www.vanblockfamilytravelers.com, although I might try to post an interesting architectural image on this site on occasion.

Charles Van Block   Architects, Inc.  -  2675 W Hwy 89a #1239  -  Sedona AZ 86336  - Tel: 928-607-6446 -  Email

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