Design

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Julius Comroe described serendipity this way: to look for a needle in a haystack and get out of it with the farmer's daughter. When I was about to graduate from high school, my grand tour "college visitation" was to drive with my dad to one Texas architecture school, Texas Tech. It was not the school, just a school we thought I might like. I walked around a bit and then my dad said, "what do you think, Steve?" I said, "looks good to me. How do I enroll?" College visitations are not done this way anymore, but neither is the education of an architect.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012

 

For me, insanity is super sanity. Normal is psychotic. Normal is lack of imagination, lack of creativity. Jean Dubuffet

In the second week of February in Switzerland and France, most school children have their "ski holiday." Rental cars are scarce as families pack and leave for a week. As it turns out, this was an unexpected gift for us.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We land at 7:36 a.m. and Captain “Bubba” Ransom drawls over the PA system on our 767 aircraft, “Folks, get on your coats, it's 10 degrees here in Geneva with a 30 mph north wind. Oh, and, you're gonna have to climb down the stairs onto the tarmac and run to the waiting buses to get to the terminal.” Captain Ransom's Texas accent is homey and reassuring; the howling wind and the crawl down the stairs is not. We packed our heavy coats in our checked bags, as did all of the others on the airplane, except the Geneva residents. They know about this unusually cold winter in Europe. We are here to work with a client, document historic residential architecture, and be test subjects for Whole Earth Provisions' latest cold weather gear.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
I can recall as a young boy my fascination with "automatic doors." Stepping on those floor mats was the solution to taking my dad places in his wheelchair...I could keep pushing him, as doors 'magically' opened for us. I didn't know the term Universal Design, yet I lived it.
aging4
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
According to the newest research at the Longevity Center at Stanford, you will live a lot longer than you may think that you will. The Baby Boomer generation is redefining the limits of aging and have been called, The Zoomers! According to an article in The Economist, you may also become happier as you age. When many young people think about aging, they fear and dread it. New scientific research surprisingly suggests that the reality of aging is the total opposite: increasing happiness. The most unhappy people identified by the study were in their late 40s. After age 50, with careful planning and design, many people enter into renewed serenity and joy.
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
"We want this to be our last home and we want it to work for us, as we age."

Our architectural firm is hearing the statement above more frequently than ever before from clients. After some demographic and marketing research, we determined that this is not just our trend; it's a paradigm shift in housing needs for the entire U.S. If you want your current home or the one you will design in the future to be flexible for your continuous use, an understanding of the phenomena of "aging in place" is important.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
After the 'never ending day that turns into night and back into day' that is normal European air travel, we land at the stunning, contemporary Barcelona airport. Customs, while not particularly friendly, is uneventful. The Catalan dialect is distinctly different from the only Tex-Mex Spanish we possess, so conversation is limited to sign language and disturbing moans that emerge from our mouths.
butterfly house
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
I was in Carmel last week, and I saw The Butterfly House, probably the most amazing beach house in the world. And guess what, it's on the market! The Butterfly House is one of only five or six truly beach-front properties in Carmel and on beautiful Scenic Drive. And in Carmel I learned that Dick Cheney seriously looked at buying this house at one time as a second home!
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
On our recent trip to Marfa and the Davis Mountains, my architect husband and I recently visited the historic restoration of Fort Davis. As a residential architect with a particular interest in historic preservation, Steve felt it a must to tour the National Park Service treasure. In the book, Texas Public Buildings of the 19th Century, Steve's favorite Texas Tech architecture professor, Willard B. Robinson, writes that the military played an enormous role in civilizing the wilderness, as well as having a spontaneous influence on the general development of communities in the state of Texas.
Monday, August 8th, 2011
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast
...'Good fences make good neighbors'.
waterwheel
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
A small community near the Texas town of Elm Mott is a worthwhile trip 'down the road on 35,' whether you are a professional needing advice on sustainable farming or building practices, or a family seeking fun in an idyllic educational setting. Homemade pastries and lunch at an affordable price is a surprise bonus.
safe room
Monday, May 30th, 2011
It was just another typical spring evening in Texas this week-humid warm air moving into the upper atmosphere. The Civil Defense sirens near our Town Hall begin their ominous wail. I reluctantly take the mirror off the wall of the interior downstairs bathroom. My wife gathers blankets and pillows and any other softening-the blow items she can find. We take our places and huddle together in the bathtub listening to the beating of ping-pong size hail pounding windows, doors, roof, and sides of our home.
Thursday, April 21st, 2011
When I heard that Preservation Texas inaugurated its first ever Texas Modern Month, being celebrated the entire month of April 2011, I wanted to share my experience in the Mid-Century Modern home in which I lived from the age of six until I left home for college. I grew up in Dallas in a Mid-Century Modern home built by my parents and designed by the late Dallas architect, Joe Gordon, in 1952.
not so big
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
Our firm, Stephen B. Chambers Architects, Inc., recently logged into GreenExpo365.com, a virtual interactive green building community, to watch a continuing education for architects webinar featuring Sarah Susanka.
karlachair
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Whether you share a dorm room at college, live in your first small apartment, have a house that is bursting at the seams, or reside in a spacious home, it’s possible to create a space that is yours. You alone can define what sacred space means to you.
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