08 October 2015

your old seattle house

The world was definitely a different place 80 years ago; the first technicolor Mickey Mouse short film was released, the first paperback books were being produced, and the average cost for a new home was $3450.00. Ever wonder what your old house looked like back then? Who built your house and when?

There's an easy way to find out! In 1937, the King County Assessor took photos and made property record cards for almost every house in Seattle. These are public record and for a small fee you can get a copy and start your trip down memory lane.

Here's how to get it:

1. Find your parcel number. Go to the King County Parcel Viewer and type in your address. Here's ours at 85 Columbia St. 

2. Email Puget Sound Regional Archives with your address and parcel number: PSBranchArchives@sos.wa.gov

3. In about a week, the Archive will pull your house's file and email you with their findings. Usually they'll find one photo and one property record card. If you're lucky they'll have a photo from the 1950s. At this point they'll ask for payment which can be done over the phone with a credit card. Tip: Ask for digital scans to be emailed to you -- these are higher quality and cost less.

3. Wait about 1 week. Check your email. Here's the photo we got of the DJC Building from 1937.

It's hard to imagine life without smartphones, wifi, and all our other modern amenities but how fun is it to get a glimpse of what your home looked like back in the day? It makes us a little sentimental, a little wistful... or is that just excitement about having a new photo to post for Throwback Thursday?!

In any case, good luck and share your findings with us! Happy reminiscing!

02 October 2015

two is better than one

Nothing sounds less minimal than a building with two facades but we’ll blame it on the fall – we are loving buildings with an extra layer. No siding material is without its drawbacks – glass lets in light and views but also the heat, steel offers strength but terrible insulation, masonry is labor intensive and requires careful waterproofing – but combining them in unexpected ways balances their drawbacks while letting them flaunt their strengths. Whether its glass peeking through a masonry façade, sun screens to keep out the heat, or a perforated corten steel shell to filter sunlight, we think sometimes two is better than one. Here are a few of our favorites:

Shanghai design firm Neri & Hu’s façade for The Commune Social – a neighborhood tapas, dessert, and cocktail bar- uses raw steel and glass to create a modern frame for the masonry beyond. We like the extra insulating potential of the air space in between too!

A cool application of kinetic architecture, the motorized façade panels cladding Bushwick Brooklyn’s Wycoff Exchange by Andre Kikoski create inviting awnings during the day, while providing an extra layer of security for the building at night. We love how this project maximizes on a façade’s ability to direct a building's relationship with its surroundings.

The new wing of the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastian, Spain by Nieto Sobejano reminds us of the surrounding cliff sides and was designed with a perforated steel sheet outer layer meant to encourage an eventual plant covering. Sunlight filters through to the museum interior during the day and at night, the starry effect is spectacular!

OKE, the new cultural house in Ortuella, also in Basque country uses a perforated corten skin to unify the banded windows and concrete structure within, creating a single visual mass. We love the glowing effect at night.
Herzog and de Meuron’s Dominus winery answers extreme temperature swings with gabions, or wire containers filled with stones with natural insulating properties. The gabions are filled “more or less densely as needed so that parts of the walls are very impenetrable while others allow the passage of light.”

Dominique Perrault’s Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris uses a second skin of wood called, “sun fliters” to diffuse the lights and bustle of the city outside and create a peaceful interior for study and retreat. 

25 September 2015

October Art Walk

If you haven't heard, Atelier Drome has been participating in Pioneer Square's First Thursday Art Walk since the beginning of this year. For October, we're excited to host photographer Costinel Anciu and his amazing work. We'll be opening our studio doors, next Thursday October 1st, from 5-8pm so please stop by for some awesome photography and light refreshments! Click here for more information!

“Born and raised in Romania, calling Seattle home since 2006. After receiving his BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Corcoran College of Art+Design in Washington DC., he started his career as a wedding photographer to the awarded photographer Michael Bennett Kress and as a darkroom technician and photo studio assistant to portrait photographer Leslie Cashen. His work has been exhibited at the corcoran Museum of Art, the Foundry Gallery in Seattle and Portland and his new body of work can be viewed at the JAX building in Queen Anne. He teaches intro to photography workshops in Seattle, photo workshop tours in Transylvania, Romania and works as a freelance photographer.

Artist statement:
“ I strongly believe that every photograph has to captivate its viewer and make a statement.My work is produced with great attention to detail, discovering unique perspectives of both, familiar and new subjects.It is one of the things that sets me apart…The other being my friendly,easy-going personality of course..”

Costinel Anciu

18 September 2015

Park(ing) Day 2015

Park(ing) Day is an event we look forward to every year and this year was no exception. Previous years, we custom built some chairs and even designed a mini-golf course. This year, we opted for more relaxing vibe, setting up an outdoor lounge with games and space to unwind. All around the city there were parklets with flower making stations, a bubble garden, and more! We loved the chance to enjoy the Pioneer Square neighborhood, meet great people, and participate in such a fun event. Now to start planning for next year....

Read more about the event here

11 September 2015

architecture worth courting

If you're like us, you're not quite ready to let go of summer quite yet. We're desperate to cling tightly onto the last rays of sunshine so this week, we're loving these beautiful courtyards. We love natural light and integrating the outdoors with architecture, For us, especially in Seattle, any glimpse of sun is something to celebrate and a beautifully designed courtyard makes it easy. Check out more of Remodelista's courtyard projects here.

04 September 2015

architecture vs. climate change

Glass pavilion filters and channels rising water from the Seine
A house that adjusts to local weather patterns
A skatepark that doubles as a drainage canal and rainwater collection
Floating House in London

Solar-Powered House in Thailand

Here at Atelier Drome, we are big believers in sustainable design. Whether it is our island studio with nearly zero energy use or our soon to be completed 4-star Built Green certified apartments, we strive for design solutions that enhance both the earth and our lives. Seeing designs like this, with the potential to radically combat the effects of natural disaster and climate change is inspiring and perhaps even a call to action to be even more mindful in our design process! Read more about these designs here and let us know what you think!

28 August 2015

white balloons in covent garden

French artist Charles Pétillon unveiled his Heartbeat Installation at Covent Garden earlier this week and we fell in love right away. The latest in his Invasions series, Heartbeat is 100,000 white balloons that create a cluster above the lively and historic Covent Garden Market Building. The artist wanted to, "represent the Market Building as the beating heart of this area – connecting its past with the present day to allow visitors to re-examine its role at the heart of London's life." Click here to learn more about this installation!

21 August 2015

castles made of sand

Admittedly, Seattle isn't exactly well-known for its luxurious sandy beaches. But that didn't prevent us from trying to build sandcastles back in our day. So we know exactly how difficult it is to get a bucket of sand to release perfectly into a building block for our castles, making these incredible sand castles by Calvin Seibert all the more impressive. We can hardly believe these geometrically precise castles are actually made of sand. Maybe we should dust off our sand castle equipment before the summer ends and see what we can whip up! To see more of Seibert's amazing sand castle architecture, click here.

14 August 2015

functional sculpture

How cool is this cabinet design from artist Sebastian ErraZurziz? At first glance, it's just a minimalist cabinet but upon closer inspection, the object comes alive as a functional sculpture. We love how the flexibility does not compromise its performance as a cabinet. Read more about the project here!

07 August 2015

London Tower is Falling Down

This water tower, located in central London was completely transformed by the owners from a crumbling architectural remnant of the 19th century to a beautiful modern living space with unbeatable views. We're completely in love with the enormous windows and the rooftop terrace and would gladly take the gray of London to spend some time in this beautiful home. Read more about the project here!

31 July 2015

summer days, drifting away

It's Seafair Weekend here in Seattle and if you weren't already planning on spending time in the water, the scorching temperatures might change your mind. But if beaches and big crowds aren't your thing, how amazing would it be to have one of these modern pools in your back yard? We're definitely feeling serious pool envy. Check out more awesome modern designs here