Saturday, January 28, 2012


One of the things that is interesting about designing a kitchen is that it is usually the heart and soul of the project – a role it has always had. As the kitchen goes, so often goes the rest of the house – this is where technology interfaces with ambiance, and the outcome, always important, can be quite striking.   

As with the rest of our design approach our kitchen designs are primarily concerned with their functional role in both the larger and smaller scheme of things (their relationship to other rooms and to the appliances, cookware, and utensils). The aesthetics evolve out of the kitchen's form and function, although with a watchful eye on the rest of the house as well.

(1 ) and (2)

BRUNSELL (Obie House):  The clients requested a kitchen that would not separate cooks from guests.  The tiled island is thought of as a de facto kitchen and includes the cooktop, grill, sink, and chopping block.  There is a separate bar with sink as well as adjacent walls containing pantry, small appliance counter, and major appliances

TIN ROOF:  Here the kitchen is open to the rest of the house and is built around a large stainless steel island.  A backup area holds appliances, walk-in pantry, sloped shelving, and additional counter space.  Dish storage is in an antique hutch set into a wall of exposed 2x10 framing.

(3) and (4)
HOWGUINNLAND:  The awkwardness of the existing room layout led to relocating a new kitchen (rotated 45°) within an oversized living space to create more comfortable room scales.  The kitchen is capped with a large pyramidal skylight which is in turn fitted with a light modulating cone of perforated sheet metal.  Soft light filters down through the holes to illuminate the kitchen while the rest reflects into adjacent rooms as backlighting (4).

SAN FRANCISCO REMODEL: The clients' indecision about open or closed kitchen cabinetry led to the embodiment of both – slatted faces of red birch (recalling the client's boyhood memories). The location at the back of an old Victorian necessitated exposing the exhaust duct which has subsequently been celebrated as a feature element (3).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Santa Rosa City Hall Council Chambers Show

Obie will have twenty-nine pen/brush and ink drawing giclées on exhibit from January 10 through March 1 at Santa Rosa City Hall.  A reception will be held on January 20 from 5 to 7 PM.  The Council Chambers are upstairs and the address is 100 Santa Rosa Avenue.  Please call (707) 543-3010 for viewing hours.  Below are the announcement, City Hall, and the artist's statement.


My life as an architect has clearly affected the way I view the world – and the art work I respond to.  I'm sure it is no accident that my drawings strive to evoke a sense of space as well as form.  Not just the positive and negative composition space on paper, but space imagined by the mind's eye as well. I've always been more interested in the unknown than that with which I am already familiar.  Accordingly, the compositions are suggestive and/or intriguing rather than literal and/or appealing to our sense of traditional beauty.


Having always been drawn to nature I find that biomorphic imagery comes quite readily. Each drawing begins with a thumbnail sketch which is enlarged and loosely transferred onto the final drawing surface.  The pen (or brush) and ink drawing can evolve considerably with technique playing an active roll in the process – I want the technique to be an expressive aspect of the work. Hopefully the finished drawing is a balance of order and chaos, a combination of the familiar and unfamiliar and, most importantly, an image that resonates with the viewer.


All drawings exhibited are limited edition giclées (archival inks on acid free papers) with medium and large images on 310 g/m2 German etching paper.  Drawings are priced unmatted and unframed with mats and frames available at nominal cost.