Historic Restoration Blends Modern Technique with Art and Culture from California’s Past

For decades, Southern California has beckoned innovative thinkers and encouraged experimentation in all things creative, from fine art and film to fashion, architecture, food and design. In 2011, the Pacific Standard Time festival — a sweeping exhibition running along the coast from San Diego to Los Angeles to Santa Barbara — told the story of California’s artists and innovators in the form of exhibits that trace the history of art and life in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980. With installations at over sixty institutions and a scope beyond that of any local art event to date, Pacific Standard Time reminded us not only of our place in art history, but in human history as well — bringing to the broader Southern California art world a perspective not unlike …

California Hillside Development: Converting Challenge Into Creative Opportunity

Alongside the great beauty, temperate weather and ocean breeze associated with coastal California living, earthquakes and landslides are an unfortunate and oftentimes fearful reality. While instances of destruction are rare, occasional catastrophes — such as the 2007 landslide that destroyed a Mount Soledad home and, according to the Union Tribune, continued to impact the local community for years after the event — remind us of the challenges inherent to building and developing along the Southern California coast. But while ground surface changes due to subsidence, landslides and fault lines can contribute to architectural difficulties, they also lend seasoned architects the chance to push innovative limits — and to create strong, balanced and beautiful homes throughout San Diego and across the greater California landscape. Drainage and excess water are among the chief …

So You Need a Coastal Permit: The Scoop on San Diego Coastal Architecture

Few things strike greater fear into the heart of a homeowner than the knowledge that a new room addition or home renovation will require a coastal permit. We all feel the same about this: in most cases, the design idea is simple, the neighbors love the concept and we just barely have enough time and money to get the project off the ground — and then what feels like a brick wall comes between us and our proposed design plans. Fortunately, all it takes is a little familiarity with the Coastal Commission’s objectives and help from an experienced architect to successfully navigate the permit process. Understanding coastal permits In order to better understand the coastal permit process, it can be helpful to know a little local history. Back …

Going Green: 3 of the Coolest Sustainable Buildings in California

We’ve heard the term “sustainable” but what does it mean when it comes to architecture? A green building — or sustainable construction — is an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly residential or commercial space. Sustainable architecture is important because it serves as the future of community growth and ensures the well-being of our environment as well. From Discovery.com, here are my picks for three of California’s coolest and most sustainable buildings. Each of these buildings use creative ways to preserve precious resources like water and energy by resolving issues surrounding heating, cooling, water runoff and construction waste. While we already know that going green benefits the environment, it will also benefit your wallet as well. To learn more on renovating your dwelling or office space into a green, sustainable building, find …