Thursday, May 27, 2010

Victoria Modern

Thought I would post some of my research findings for a new project I am currently working on in Victoria BC.

The highly inventive Trend House, Saanich, 1954, a demonstration house for the lumber industry, was tremendously influential. Modest in size (825 square feet), it was the smallest of the eleven Trend Houses, but easily the most dramatic, with an angular floor plan and soaring roof anchored by a massive central chimney. Throughout his career, Di Castri retained a singular vision of modernism, one that did not shy away from historical references or decorative elaboration.
article courtesy of Modernism In Victoria 1945-1975 by Donald Luxton and Associates.

Trend House brochure

About the Architect
Born in Victoria, John Di Castri showed an interest in the Arts from an early age, becoming a talented architect, writer, musician and skillful painter. As a young man, Di Castri admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and went to study with the formers most eminent pupil, Bruce Goff, at the University of Oklahoma. See below for some of my favorites Di Castri works.

Green Orange Composition 1956

Brown Green Orange Compostion 1971

Totemic Compostion 1958

Returning to Victoria and opening a practice in 1951, Di Castri became the architectural brains behind the modernist movement, displayed in some of Victoria's most well-trodden landmarks; including the addition to the Royal B.C. Museum, Centennial Square, the CNIB building, several local churches, the Trend House and University of Victoria campus buildings.

Improvisation Composition 1956

Westcoast Mysticisim II 1954

Adolescence Composition 1967

Homage to Mondrian 1952

Committed to the fulfillment of man's need for a significant environment, Di Castri injected modernism, low profile, and organic design into Victoria's architectural landscape.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The act of immersing one's self in the coastal forest ecosystem.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Urban Animals

fox in London Underground

image series below courtesy of artist ROA
ROA started painting abandoned buildings and warehouses in the isolated industrial outskirts of his hometown, Ghent, in Belgium. Fixating on the animals he found there, the wildlife became the central subject matter of his work, inspired by their clever ability to adapt as scavengers in order to survive. via

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CBLstudio to Judge New Orleans Based Design Competition

The Emerging Green Builders program of Cascadia Green Building Council in conjunction with the USGBC have invited me to be a Juror for Cascadia's chapter level competition of the Natural Talent Design Competition (NTDC). I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to provide input on the promoting and shaping of affordable, future friendly architectural and landscape development in post Katrina New Orleans.

Competition Details
The Salvation Army joins US Green Building Council this year in hosting USGBC's 2010 NTDC. Entrants will design an affordable ($100,000), 800 square foot green home for an elderly client in the Broadmoor, New Orleans neighborhood. Winners will be announced after the top four entries (2 student teams + 2 emerging professional teams) have been constructed, inhabited and evaluated based on performance.

Judging Rubric
1. Broadmoor Neighborhood Context – 30 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, emphasis will be placed on the Living Building Challenge v 2.0 Site Petal imperatives: 01 Limits to Growth, 02 Urban Agriculture, 03 Habitat Exchange, and 04 Car Free Living

2. Interior Design and Smart Flow – 20 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, emphasis on the interior design will be placed on the following Living Building Challenge v 2.0 imperatives: 10 Biophilia, 11 Red List, 13 Responsible Industry, 14 Appropriate Sourcing, and 16 Human Scale + Humane Places

3. Cost Estimation – 20 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, credible, replicable tax incentives are encouraged as part of the $100,000 budget. – where LBC systems require greater initial capital cost than the $100,000 budget allows

4. Achieving LEED for Homes Platinum – 20 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, Living Building version 2.0 will be the ideal certification standard – highlight how at least one petal (all seven are encouraged) of the Living Building Challenge has been incorporated into the project

5. Inclusive Design for Elderly Occupants – 10 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, inclusive design for the elderly will be considered as part of Living Building version 2.0 imperative 17 Democracy + Social Justice.

6. Educating Occupants – 10 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, emphasis will be placed on Living Building version 2.0 imperative 20 Inspiration and Education.

7. Hurricane Resistance – 10 pts.
For the Cascadia Judging, projects are expected to be resilient in many ways, to survive natural disasters as well as economic.

Site Context
Broadmoor is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Uptown/Carrolton Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Eve Street to the north, Washington Avenue and Toledano Street to the east, South Claiborne Avenue to the south, and Jefferson Avenue, South Rocheblave Street, Nashville Avenue, and Octavia Street to the west. It includes the Broadmoor Historic District which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and increased in its boundaries in 2007.

Broadmoor is low lying ground in New Orleans, and was only substantially developed beginning in the early 20th century after improved drainage was initiated.

Before being developed, the area was a large marsh and was a fishing spot for Uptowners. Early construction were mostly high raised houses for fear of repeats of historic floods, but after decades with little problem more low lying residential structures were built in Broadmoor.

Broadmoor flooded badly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A Bring New Orleans Back Commission preliminary report map showed Broadmoor as a suggested area to be turned into park land; this suggestion is strongly objected to by residents, hundreds of whom were already back in their homes by January 2006.

Fellow Panelists:
Alistair Jackson - O-Brien & Company
Dr. Andrea FrisqueKrieger SRM
Jennifer McDougall Watt - GGLO
Margaret Sprug – The Miller Hull Partnership
Stephen Aiguier – Green Hammer
please follow link below for bios

For more information please visit