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FUSE Friday at the Movies

So what do you do on FUSE Friday when you’re a Trekkie? Take the whole office out to see the new Star Trek movie “Star Trek Into Darkness“!

20130524_131305_resizedA couple of Fridays ago, the offices of Catapult and Fuse met at the Cineplex Odeon South Common, loaded up on popcorn and pop, and turned ‘FUSE Friday’ into ‘FUSE Friday Out of Office’. We got our 3D glasses and sat down for a really awesome movie experience.

So, the verdict? As a die-hard Trekkie, I would like a little less J.J. Abrams and a little more Gene Roddenberry. But really when it comes down to it, just to see our favourite characters on the big screen is a treat. All the quirks are present, even the classic Bones line: “My god Jim, I am a doctor not a …”.

I’d strongly recommend you see the movie in 3D if you have the chance because it really gives you a great perspective on the enormity of the Enterprise. The Enterprise really is another character in the movie, and to see it in 3D and on the big screen blows me away.

FUSE gives the movie a  thumbs up. And from an architecture point of view, the movie gets a double thumbs up. The futuristic San Francisco looks like it naturally evolved to how it was presented. My only complaint is that everything is grey or chrome. If anything, would like to see more colour in future architecture and design. I am guessing that artistic license was taken to give the sense of a futuristic city but in a way that doesn’t take away from the characters or action.

We like to do fun activities like this as a team because it gets the creative juices flowing. So, thank you to the whole FUSE Architecture + Design office, and our office cohabitants Catapult Marketing, for coming to the movie and humoring the Trekkies in us.

The only problem is now how to top this FUSE Friday??

House by the Zoo Pt. 2

In House by the Zoo Pt. 1, you can see two videos of the original home being moved to a southern Alberta community to make way for the new infill home. Here is the second part of the post.

The House by the Zoo was a fun and challenging project to work on. We knew the clients wanted something that looked unique, had an urban feel, and respected the environment. The house was completed in 2012. These pictures were taken late fall (hence the golden leaves) and when the landscaping had been freshly installed!

1

The exterior of the house used three types of siding: Hardieplank, Cedar, and Metal. The final look is a sleek, modern industrial look that really stands out.

Probably one of the biggest decisions at the beginning of the project was the type of exterior we would use. The main requirements were to make the house energy efficient and quiet. We decided to use ICF Insulated Concrete Forms to construct all of the exterior walls on the house. Traditionally, ICF walls were typically used for basement foundations but they are now being used in walls and floors. Key features of ICF include:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Sound absorbstion
  • Fire protection
  • Excellent air quality
  • Strong structure
2

Despite its industrial elements, the home blends seamlessly with the the neighbourhood and landscape.

To meet their energy efficiency goals, we used RSI (thermal resistance) to determine the insulation of their walls. In this case an ICF wall has a higher thermal resistance than a stud wall, so this means that the ICF walls will retain heat and cool-off better. Also, the ICF wall is a ‘monolithic concrete’, therefore it has more thermal mass to hold temperature. The mass of the wall is very important because it helps with something called the ‘STC rating’ . The higher the rating, the quieter the house is. Typically, a stud wall has a STC rating around 37, but the ICF wall hovers around 56. Altogether, an ICF wall mean a quiet home for you and your family.

3

A modern, urban masterpiece by Fuse Architecture + Design.

We are so pleased with how this house turned out. The House by the Zoo was one of the first residential projects undertaken by Fuse Architecture + Design. Coming soon, we’ll be unveiling updates on the interior, and thoughts from the happy owners.

We Have a New Project Up in Our Portfolio!

The Simons family was looking to remain in their 1950’s bungalow, but make it fit their family and lifetsyle. They decided to fully-finish the basement and expand the living space on the mainfloor and basement.

This rendering shows the addition of a front entrance to the SImons bungalow.

This rendering shows the addition of a front entrance to the Simons bungalow.

On the main floor, we removed some old, undersized bedrooms, and added a master bedroom and dining area. Down in the basement, configured the layout to hold a family room, play room, and an artist studio. In total, we are adding 600 ft to their 1200 ft bungalow.

 

 

 

House by the Zoo Pt. 1

It began as an existing two-story house, on an amazing corner lot in Laurier Heights. It’s proximity to the Edmonton Valley Zoo puts it in one of Edmonton’s most historic neighbourhoods.

Before we could get started on this infill build, the original home was sold and moved to a community in southern Alberta. Re-locating original homes has become a popular method of clearing land. It avoids dumping the materials in a landfill, and ensures that most of the original house gets recycled and reused.

Take a look at these two videos to see the moving process! As you can see, it required a police escort, arborist and two epcor trucks.

Bye Bye House pt. 1

Bye Bye House pt. 2

 Bye bye old house!

Lebbeus Woods Dies

Lebbeus Woods, one of the great architects of our times died today at the age of 72. He was an architect, an artist and theorist. He created amazing theoretical architecture through his amazing drawings and models. Check out his work at www.lebbeuswoods.net His conceptual “scab architecture” was politically ingenious and absolutely out of this world. I got to see Lebbeus Woods in a lecture in the early 90’s and after that lecture I was hooked on architecture and the thought of eventually becoming an architect. Check out his blog and read some of the comments, he touched a lot of people in the architecture and art world.

 

Mike

 

Another FUSE Friday

The week has been busy coming back from vacations and getting back into the groove of things. So now that summer is winding down we are getting back to opening and enjoying a bottle of wine on FUSE Friday’s. Sunnybrae from the Okanogan. Absolutely delicious. Cheers 

The Joys of Lakeland

Our family spent Canada Day Weekend at the cabin. Cabin is the preferred word in Saskatchewan for these lakeside retreats. I have been going to this particular spot on Christopher Lake since 1965 and to me it is one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

 

Christopher Lake Saskatchewan Canada

The perfect view from the cabin

At the cabin life slows down, the watch is taken off, the cell phone is turned off and technology use is reduced. The cabin has yet to be declared a technology free zone but even after a few days the need to surf is gone and replaced with the joys of swimming, canoeing and sailing. At the cabin the reading list gets tackled and sleep occurs when and for as long as desired. Good food and wine along KD and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows are enjoyed and savoured. My energy and spirit are renewed and life is great whether the sun is out or its raining or snowing.

 

For me, this escape to the cabin at the lake is one of my great pleasures any time of the year, no guilt involved. Allan Casey in his book Lakeland mentions that 60 percent of the world’s lakes are found in Canada. This geological fact is a gift. Whether you have a cabin on, camp by, fly or canoe into one of these lakes, they should be celebrated, enjoyed and protected. We are blessed to live where we do. Have a great summer at the lake.

Cheers Grant

Edmonton Art + Edmonton Architecture

Art and Architecture go hand in hand. We as architects find inspiration everywhere we go but especially in art. So instead of having blank walls to not inspire us, we invite local new artists to display and sell their artwork in our studio.

FUSE is lucky enough to have the super talented artist Jennie Vegt displaying her artwork in our studio.

FUSE Architecture + Design meeting room

Really helps our creativity when we are surrounded by such talent.

To see more of Jennie’s creations you can go to her website or watch this video to find out more about her. Check out this article in the Edmonton Journal to find out even more about Jennie.

The problem with having such a talented artist displaying art in our office is that our clients keep buying her paintings therefore our walls become bare again. Thankfully though Jennie keeps bringing in new pieces for our empty walls.

Look for her at the Old Strathcona 17th Annual Art Walk Festival this weekend and buy some of her art.

Cheers, Mike

IT’S NOT ALL ARCHITECTURE

So we were sitting around the FUSEBOX (FUSE boardroom) table (designed and built by yours truly)for our monthly office meeting and we finally decided to have our own little internal t-shirt design competition. This is the perfect opportunity to use and tone our creative muscle on something other than architecture.

Of course we decided to invite our “outstanding” marketing firm “Catapult Marketing” that cohabitates in the office to join in the fun. What we forgot was that they have their all-star graphic designer “Lesley Pocklington”. So maybe we will have to get her to design with one hand tied behind her back.

We also invited the keener consultant aka “hired-gun” Lukas Woch from Ergo Design Studio who is already working on his design even though he has until July 3rd when we collaboratively pick the winning T-shirt design. 

Oh look he is cheating using the magic juice (A nice Cabernet “Yali”  from the Colchoguo Valley in Chile) to help with his design. Must be FUSE Friday.

So if your interested we will be posting the wining design early in July. Should be a fun one and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with since we have such a talented group.

 

Cheers Mike

 

From Alderaan to Architecture

35 years ago in a galaxy far, far away…..

Star Wars is 35 years old today. Why is this significant to FUSE? It’s a world that shaped our generation and made me the dreamer designer that I am today, it “forced” me to think on a grand scale.

How does this relate to architecture? When we are in school we are trained to not only look at the small details but how those details fit into the larger whole. Star Wars is a fabricated world that embodies an entire solar system and is designed down to smallest of details. The references to Star Wars happen daily in our office, always bringing us back to the carefree, fun days of our childhood. If we do forget to think about those youthful days, we have a constant reminder on our shelf.

May the force be with you.