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Latest Articles in Steel

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Plan of Steel

The Blue Sky prototype home tiptoes gracefully across the desert landscape just north of Joshua Tree National Park. Nestled amid piñon and juniper trees and outcroppings of boulders, the house’s six steel columns permit a seasonal stream to run underneath it. The clever steel frame allows the house to float above the wilderness—a concession to the lightness on the land that its owner, architects, and engineers so clearly wanted. Figuring out how to achieve this lightness, however, was anything but clear. When David McAdam, co-owner and chief dreamer of Blue Sky Homes, bought 2.5 acres of cactus-studded land near Palm Springs, California, he didn’t know what kind of getaway he wanted to build, but he did know one thing: no wood. “It’s boring, and I see how it works in the desert. It gets destroyed,” he says, remembering the damage he’d seen other houses suffer in the unrelenting sun. If the material isn’t handled perfectly, arid conditions turn it into a pretzel. So if not wood, then what?
March 7, 2010
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The Shipping Muse

Shipping containers are ubiquitous in Houston, though unlike the four that make up this new home, they're usually filled with foreign goods rather than flourishing lives.
August 31, 2009
Architect Grant explains that the recessed orange wall with built-in storage shelving is a counterpoint to the view of Boston in the opposite direction.

Urban Usonian

It might have seemed like an oxymoron to Frank Lloyd Wright, but it’s a reality in this Boston photographer’s flat, designed to fit into a preexisting 1,500-square-foot space.
August 3, 2009
For his lakeside retreat just outside Mexico City, architect Bernardo Gomez-Pimienta designed everything from the house to the chairs to the china. Here, his wife, Loredana Dall' Amico, checks out the view from the balcony.

Reflections on a Lake

Unobtrusively distinct from its neighbors, a weekend house in Mexico assimilates the colors of the surrounding landscape on surfaces of glass, steel, and concrete.
July 28, 2009
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Stainless Chef

Designer John Picard isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty in the kitchen, or washing the sand off his feet in the bathroom. This ecological pioneer’s half-lot home is designed for maximum efficiency—and comfort.
July 27, 2009
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Kaleidoscopic Cabinet

A dazzling display of colored windows wraps the custom-furniture-filled Venice, California, home of architect Lorcan O’Herlihy.
July 2, 2009
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Domestic Democracy

In a code-happy L.A. suburb, how do you break the mold without breaking the law? Architects Alice Fung and Michael Blatt steer clear of anarchy with a little democratic design.
June 15, 2009
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Steel and Magnolias

What sort of house might a man with the title “recycling coordinator” live in?
June 14, 2009
cade cave

Caving in Wine Country

While stem heights and glass colors change with the whims of culinary fashion, the shape of a wine glass has remained essentially the same for several centuries. One could argue it's a design that can't be improved upon—molded for optimal aeration, swirling, sniffing and sipping. Wineries themselves, on the other hand, are often used as an opportunity for architectural experimentation, since attracting visitors depends partly on atmosphere.
May 4, 2009
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