I went on another field trip yesterday. I toured this house under construction here in La Jolla (small beach city just north of downtown San Diego) thanks to the WIA (women in architecture) group here in San Diego that organizes architecturally related learning activities for women in design, good stuff. The house is designed by Laura Ducharme's office, and is being constructed by Wardell Builders.
The house is decorated throughout with reclaimed (apparently from an 80 year old grain elevator in Canada) wood columns and beams. The reclaimed wood came from Vintage Timber Works in Temecula (just north and east of San Diego- they grow wine in Temecula!) The columns and beams add a great deal of visual intrigue and interest to the house, and are beautiful in their rusticity. Laura said that they were sought out because the inspiration for the interior of the house came from Japanese farm houses. Traditional Japanese architecture is composed of a lot of stoically large wood structural members, and the joinery of the wood becomes the decoration of the architecture in and of itself because the joints are so refined that the connections become beautiful.
Though beautiful, the columns, being the first line of defense of water at the exterior, proved to need a clever water proofing solution in that, being aged, and pretty irregular with checks that could run the depth of the beam which could allow water intrusion into the house- the exterior of the column needed waterproofing. Wardell Builders figured out that if they ripped off the face of the column, wrapped the front face of the column in waterproofing, installed a dam along the bottom of the columns at the slab, and then bolted a decorative face (the ripped off part) back to the now waterproofed face of the column, then they will have protected the interior of the house from water intrusion - clever right?
Sorry - boring slab waterproofing detail, but I'm including it for myself (sometimes the blog is a good place to store visual information!) This pic is not of the slab waterproofing, I think that sheet metal dam is just another line of defense at the floor line- I think again it's the liquid Miracote C over burlap to create a watertight dam. The concrete slab sits directly over Stego 15 ml ontop of gravel.
The windows on the project will all look like this one- gorgeous window from Albertini - hand constructed entirely out of wood in Italy of course! They are beautiful windows, but waterproofing comes secondary to Albertini (unlike Marvin, etc where they build a flange into the aluminum extrusions to help with waterproofing.)
OK, probably not too interesting again to everyone, but here is the detail that I sketched of Wardell Builders waterproofing lapping at the windows - specifically the window sill.
And, it being La Jolla, this is the view from their roof deck. Pretty special. I hope that wasn't overly technical. Can not stress enough how fortunate anyone is to have skilled builders working on your project who care about the quality of their work too by the way. I also cannot stress how much thought and consideration goes into designing such a uniquely, supremely edited, detailed house as this - the designers work very hard at all the smallest details. I can not wait to see this house finished!