published August 26 2013
tags bruder klaus sacred zumthor

Sacred Space

I’ve been meaning for a while to create some posts about architecture that makes me feel.

There is no project I’ve ever seen that makes me feel as if it would place the user in a more correct posture than Peter Zumthor’s Bruder Klaus Field Chapel.

I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing it first hand, but even little photographs on my computer screen make me feel as if worship would be the only suitable reaction.

Maybe the fact that the structure is simply a monolithic menhir lends to it’s impressiveness, but I think it’s the ghost of old life on the interior that makes it feel sacred. Speaking of it in these terms probably takes away from it rather than adding anything, so I’ll stop.


published August 9 2013
tags houzz poor


The whole world is using Houzz it seems. Seems like I’m late to the party once again. So here I go, playing catch up.

Remodeling and Home Design
Toronto Architects & Designers

published June 28 2013
tags muskoka lake sacred space

Sacred Space

I’m currently winding down a few precious days in Muskoka and don’t know how I’ll return to reality.

As a displaced, northern BC boy, I haven’t spent all of my summers here and hadn’t ever gotten used to the magic that most/many Torontonians know so well. As we drove up to the rental for the first time, I was feeling a sense of apprehension. The flora didn’t seem representative of this magic ‘essence’ I had experienced fleetingly on a short, previous visit to the area. As soon as we arrived; however, there it was, unmistakable.

Besides “unmistakable”, I wonder if this ‘essence’ isn’t also undefinable. Certainly people were capturing it on canvases far before it was captured by photography, so it’s easily understood. That must mean that someone smarter than I has easily captured it in words as well. For me, it’s just a sense of peacefulness. It’s more forcefully pronounced around sunset, but it feels that this peacefulness is here all day, every day.

I’m working through a bunch of thoughts that will highlight architecture that evokes this same sense of awe and peace. There is some, some of which I’ve been lucky enough to experience firsthand. That will be coming shortly. For now though, I’m just going to sit here.


published May 20 2013
tags moto guzzi motorcycle

Moto Guzzi

In an attempt to get the ol’ Blog juices rolling, we’ve entertained the idea of a series on Sacred Spaces. Prior to that though, we thought we’d take a quick stab at something else we’re becoming increasingly passionate about…motorcycles!

I love the scene in “Searching for Bobby Fischer” when Ben Kingsley’s character is anxiously asked about an expensive chess lesson and responds that chess didn’t come up. The insinuation, obviously, is that there are many facets of thought and inspiration all indirectly tied into being a true creative.

Increasingly, while poring over beautiful motorbike sites such as BikeEXIF and Deus Ex Machina we find ourselves amazed that some of our favorite customs are done by architects who also love motorcycles.

A great example is Architect Eric Meglasson from Oregon who has started a side business called Spin Cycle Industries with a friend whose paying job is Graphic Design.

Another notable example is Matt Machine who left?! architecture to focus on building some of the most beautiful bikes in the world. The Moto Guzzi Le Mans featured in this video inspired my recent purchase of a 1964 Moto Guzzi Stornello (even though there is little correlation outside of the name) more than any other build.

I typically don’t get too excited about Italian design (usually feeling more connected to things Japanese and Scandinavian, and perfectly curated for us all at Mjolk!); but when it comes to motorcycles, they grab me more than the beauty that has come from Japan, Britain, USA, etc… We are extremely excited to show you the transformation of our rusty little “Starling” (Stornello) over the next number of months!


published April 8 2013

That’s where all the Windex went!

I recently tweeted this photo from the website of D’Arcy Jones Design, a Vancouver-based architect who has been getting plenty of attention because of his beautiful and thoughtful work. Apparently, the guy also has a sense of humour.

Whereas a plan is a horizontal cut through a building, a building section is a vertical cut that shows various construction details and structure. Unfortunately, it appears that Jones’ clients were asleep at the same time the section was cut. They were apparently ignoring whatever Spidey sense was tingling and came up worse for wear.

It’s nice that the typical architect that you meet these days is a down to earth, humorous, thoughtful and humble person; as opposed to the Saab convertible driving, bow-tie and Corbusian glasses wearing architect of yesteryear that proved he was superior to the average human by the amount of frou-frou he could add into his multiple layers of trim and millwork.

My sister and her husband are planning to build in the area of the Friesen Wong House and recently spoke with Jones after interviewing the home’s contractor. Even understanding that his services would not be required (unless a certain Toronto based designer fails to land the job) he took time out of his schedule and spent time speaking through the design and how well the communication and building process of the contractor in question had been.