Archive for July, 2009

Designing the Bridges, Railings and Stairs

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Bryan keeps hearing Bill Brown’s words,

“The bridges, railings and stairs are critical to your project. These are what everyone will touch and feel. The hardware on the railings are like jewelry – don’t make a mistake.”

Although Jo-Anne, Nik, Kate and Lucky are in Kelowna, Bryan continues to focus on designing the bridges, railings and stairs.

New Renderings

ArchiCAD makes it very easy to create renderings of a project.  The structure and materials must be modeled in three dimensions, which helps to understand the design much better. 

Bryan continues to learn ArchiCAD.

Our trademark red front door.  Note how the two beams 'frame' the door entrance.  These beams will extend into the atrium.

Our trademark red front door. Note how the two beams 'frame' the door entrance. These beams will extend into the atrium.

Looking to the foyer.  Note the flange of the steel beam modeled in the roof.  Also, note how the posts are now stainless steel.

Looking to the foyer. Note the flange of the steel beam modeled in the roof. Also, note how the posts are now stainless steel.

Looking down the stairs.  Note how thin the Bridge Foyer looks.  We're getting there.

Looking down the stairs. Note how thin the Bridge Foyer looks. We're getting there.

View from the bottom of the stairs looking up.  The treads and risers are in contrasting materials so it is easier to make the three dimensional model.

View from the bottom of the stairs looking up. The treads and risers are in contrasting materials so it is easier to make the three dimensional model.

Looking at the profile at the bottom of the stairs.  We are definitely getting better with the design.

Looking at the profile at the bottom of the stairs. We are definitely getting better with the design.

Hosting Paul Marcaccio’s Visit

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Paul had a narrow window to fly into San Jose for a quick site visit.  He did.

Catching Up with Paul

Since Jo-Anne, Nik, Kate and Lucky (the puppy) were in Kelowna, Bryan was extremely flexible and could host Paul’s visit and meet whatever timing was required.  Due to a number of issues, Paul caught a flight from Toronto to SFO, arriving on Saturday evening.

After a well-coordinated pick up at SFO, Paul and Bryan caught up over dinner in Los Gatos.

The plan for today was to do some measurements with Bryan’s new laser level.  With the concrete floor, two bridges, stairs, etc., establishing the elevation for the finished floor is critical.  Based on the advice from the general contractor that installed a GlassWalk bridge in Atherton, we invested in a top-of-the-line laser level.  Now, it was time to learn how to use it.

On Site

Paul and Bryan spent several hours on Sunday using the laser level and measuring elevations.  However, they were somewhat stumped on how to rotate the laser to show a straight line on the concrete.  And, technical support was not available on Sunday. 

After a light meal, Bryan drove Paul back to SFO so he could catch the red-eye to Toronto.

As always, a great visit with Paul.

Paul reviews progress on Sunday morning.

Paul reviews progress on Sunday morning.

Ah, some wasps are making a home just outside our site office.  This is not good.

Ah, some wasps are making a home just outside our site office. This is not good.

Paul reviews the bearing wall in the lower level.

Paul reviews the bearing wall in the lower level.

Preparing the East and West Walls

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

As part of our remodel of the main floor, we need to meet the structural requirements on the east and west walls.  This requires removing the sheetrock to expose the 2×4 studs and so we can form the concrete wall under the sill plate that the east and west walls will be attached to.

Removing the Sheetrock and Insulation

Bryan had a small crew come in and remove the sheetrock, insulation and sundry other items with surgical precision.  The arrived and were gone in less than three hours.  They returned with the ticket from the landfill, so they could be paid.

Removing the sheetrock and insulation from the west wall.

Removing the sheetrock and insulation from the west wall.

West wall, looking very 'clean' only minutes later.

West wall, looking very

The original studs are looking good.  Having a the wall exposed will allow work to progress much easier and faster.

The original studs are looking good. Having a the wall exposed will allow work to progress much easier and faster.

East wall, inside garage, showing electric panel.

East wall, inside garage, showing electric panel.

Checking in With John Rider and Joel Lemons

We need some detailed design work for the bridges and stairs, so Bryan started working with John Rider and Joel Lemons of Jrider+Design, located on Hamilton Avenue in Campbell, California.

John Rider, working with ArchiCAD in his studio on Hamilton Avenue.

John Rider, working with ArchiCAD in his studio on Hamilton Avenue.

Joel Lemons, also busy working with ArchiCAD.

Joel Lemons, also busy working with ArchiCAD.

New Renderings

After Joel did some magic with our ArchiCAD model, Bryan did some new renderings to show the railing and bridge designs that we’re considering.

Rendering showing view from Foyer, across bridge, through the living room to the statue.

Rendering showing view from Foyer, across bridge, through the living room to the statue.

Looking back to front door, across the railings.

Looking back to front door, across the railings.

Looking down from Bridge Hall.

Looking down from Bridge Hall.

Looking up from under Bridge Hall to Bridge Foyer.

Looking up from under Bridge Hall to Bridge Foyer.

Cruising Back to Vancouver

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

It was our last day on the Volendam.  The weather continued to hold and we played several hands of bridge. Cruises often have a ‘winner take all’ bingo game on their final night. 

Good luck!

John, Joy, Darryl and Elaine playing bridge.  You can see Bryan's notebook in the background.  (Can you believe how Elaine sorts her cards?)

John, Joy, Darryl and Elaine playing bridge. You can see Bryan's notebook computer in the background. (Can you believe how Elaine sorts her cards?)

The winning bingo!  Elaine encouraged Nik, Kate and Joy to pool their cards and split any winnings equally.  They did.  And they won $2,100!  A very nice way to end a successful cruise to Alaska.

The winning bingo! Elaine encouraged Nik, Kate and Joy to pool their cards and split any winnings equally. They did. And they won $2,100! A very nice way to end a successful cruise to Alaska.

Fishing in Ketchikan, Alaska

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Three generations went fishing today.  John, Bryan John and Nikolas John.  And then we had the celebration dinner.

Fishing in Ketchikan

Having three generations go fishing on a beautiful day in Alaska was memorable.  Ketchikan receives over 13 feet or rain each year and there aren’t many sunny days.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky today.

After the successful fishing trip, we had the ’50-75-80′ celebration dinner, complete with cake.  Bryan’s sister, Joy, turns 50 this year, their mother, Elaine, turns 75 and their father, John, turned 80.  Hence, the 50-75-80 celebration cruise to Alaska.

Successful fishermen!

Successful fishermen!

Dinner in the dining room on the Volendam.

Dinner in the dining room on the Volendam.

Joy (left) and Melanie (right).

Joy (left) and Melanie (right).

The 50-75-80 celebration cake!

The 50-75-80 celebration cake!

Cruising in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

It was spectacular!  We had a great day cruising in Glacier Bay.  Beautiful sunshine, watching whales, seeing the glacier ‘calve’.

We spent 90 minutes enjoying the views of the glacier from the Volendam.  It was magic!

We spent 90 minutes enjoying the views of the glacier from the Volendam. It was magic!

Nickolas Spiller and Nikolas Mekechuk.  Nick played on the Canadian team in the 2008 Little League World Series.

Nickolas Spiller and Nikolas Mekechuk. Nick played on the Canadian team in the 2008 Little League World Series.