Tuesday, September 10, 2013

[ Rheanne White Salon ] : pre-opening photos

The salon is now ready for its formal opening of October 15th, 2013. The project has been completed it's build-out and is receiving some minor finishing touches (artwork for the walls, neon front sign). Follow this client on twitter to follow the salon's progress: @rheannewhite (twitter) / Rheanne White (facebook)

Click on pictures for full size photos:

[ Main Space ] - looking towards the main salon floor. Elements include custom chairs by Takara Belmont, linear lighting by aamsco (alinea LEDs) and bartco (BT6), refinished old-growth hardwood floors.

[ Main Space ] - looking towards the entrance. Drying station to the left with custom cyclone hair drying units wall mounted above hickory millwork with black leather upholstery.

[ Main Space ] 

[ Reception ] - Custom hickory reception millwork at entrance, guest banquette seating of hickory millwork with leather upholstery, wallpaper by flat vernacular, and custom lighting at the ceiling.

[ Main Space @ Stair ] - View of main space by custom hickory railing.

[ Shampoo / Drying ] - View at shampoo stations and drying stations.

[ Reception ] - Alternate view at reception area showing storage at custom desk millwork

[ Restroom ] - Linear blue/white tile with vertical sconces and custom hickory sink base

[ Detail ] - View at custom hickory stair rail

[ Detail ] - View at custom hickory millwork with shelving for product display. Background of 'Flat Vernacular - Wave' wallpaper.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[ a necessary second act ] - GreenspaceNYC post

Blog post below originally posted at GreenspaceNYC as a lead in for the [ second life ] : remix event on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at the HINYC on the UWS of Manhattan.

Please consider joining us at the event.




“Listen up, you couch potatoes: each recycled beer can saves enough electricity to run a television for three hours.” 
- Denis Hayes
I’m spent all of my adult life designing things, mostly buildings. One thing that is common in any creative or production-related project is the amount of resources that are wasted in process. A simple renovation might involve many actions and result in staggeringly large amounts of waste. Demolition of existing materials without properly sorting materials will result in landfill waste, shipping fixtures from separate locations can result in higher carbon emissions, and packaging waste can multiply the materials destroyed in process.
“According to some accounts, more than 90% of materials extracted to make durable goods in the United States become waste almost immediately … the product itself contains on average only 5% of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it.” 
– Michael Braungart and William McDonough
If you haven’t read the book Cradle to Cradle, you should. It explores the processes through which we create and manufacture the everyday goods we rely on. A striking example is the way that shoes are manufactured.
Leather is a natural resource made of a renewable material (the individual cows may disagree with that assessment). The blending of this material with chromium, which is used to tan and treat the leather, makes the resulting material less than the sum of it’s raw parts which means that the resultant materials cannot be reused in a similar manner. They can perhaps be down-cycled into a lesser use, but their ‘highest and best use’ is a thing of the past.
“A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.” - John Sawhill
When we create, we have a responsibility to think not only of primary function, but also to preserve as much value and energy in future use. It is challenging to manufacture, design, and plan all creative processes within a true ‘zero impact’ or ‘cradle to cradle’ framework. Items and materials degrade, some waste is present, and some marginal utility will likely not make economic sense in the process. But a good faith effort by designers and manufacturers to squeeze the full utility of resources, both in the near and short term, is integral to our society continuing to function at its highest levels of productivity.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” - New England proverb
I will confess that the ecological impact of my designs is not always given the weight that it would receive in a perfect world. Often the client has needs that are met by manufacturers, further from the project site. Sometimes the light that is more efficient is removed in favor of a less efficient light that the client aesthetically loves. These decisions are not made in a vacuum and many considerations (cost, ecological impact, aesthetic tenor, and schedule) are factored into design decisions in real time.
The value in an event like Second Life: Remix is in the realization, demonstration, and celebration that many common items, much like some of us, deserve second chances at achieving utility. I find it inspiring that we will have a night dedicated to unlocking a materials second life and perhaps providing us all with a roadmap of how to reshape the worlds we live one piece of waste at a time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

[ brooklyn brownstone renovation ] - progress photos 12.05.12

The brownstone interior renovation in Cobble Hill is coming to a close. 

Progress is as follows:

  • The walls are closed with all base plumbing and electric in the base design complete.
  • The shop drawings for millwork and deck have been approved and are in fabrication.
  • Door hardware is on order (Pam at decow.com has been very helpful on this).
Major remaining scope items:
  • Floors (vintage blond wide plank flooring that has been protected by linoleum for years) are being done this week. 
  • Installation of ordered plumbing and lighting
  • Installation of millwork, deck, and new LPC approved windows.
Here are the construction shots from 12.05.12, still a work in progress, the design should be apparent soon:

[ master bath ] - framed, recess for cabinet cut

[ master bath ] - new shower with full body sprays pre-install

[ master bath ] - new alcove whirlpool with wall mount plumbing hookups
[ master bedroom ] - new sheetrock, clean finish, new oak flooring to be finished (samples this week)
[ kitchen ] - removing rear plaster to run new electric to exterior deck

[ kitchen ] - existing pocket door with new track installed, new plywood ceiling to accept vintage tin ceiling
[ great room ] - conduit to run AV wires to above mantle TV / AV location

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

[ Hurricane Sandy Aftermath ] - Brooklyn, partial: 10.30.12

First off, if you're reading this, we're fine and have all power and necessities. Other areas of the city are facing much longer odds and need far more attention than this area.


We took a drive yesterday to look around and survey the damage in Brooklyn in the aftermath of Sandy.

We started in Red Hook, an industrial area on the coast of Brooklyn.

Throughout the travels, numerous trees were ripped up, but the lot near the Red Hook Ikea had a tree that was ripped up from the root, taking sidewalk and earth with it...

This small power boat arrived at it's dry dock probably due to some flooding that we'll show the effects of in a minute...

Flooding at an industrial office building at Van Brunt street near, street covered to curb, but look carefully at the dark line at the left. That is not a difference in brick color, but rather where the water level rose to. Those are large flood doors, so it's reasonable to put the water at approximately 7 feet above the curb here at high point.

Worth mentioning, the first picture shows a supermarket (Safeway) that apparently took on a large amount of water damage. Spoke with a worker and was told that the entire store was flooded and most of the food supplies ruined. Weeks before that store opens and an already underserved area of Brooklyn takes a major service hit...

When you see rainbow hues in the water, know you're in an industrial area of the city, and see flooding, you have to wonder whether or not you are looking at a future superfund site. Walking about the area was very slippery... 

Driving in the flooded streets. Again the water level here was probably 6-9 feet above what is shown here at peak. This car would have been underwater at high tide.

Here I am in (in my trusty University of Memphis sweatshirt of course) holding my hand at the level the flood waters rose to. Out of frame on the floor above is a studio resident who holed up in his office with a few pints of good beer and rode it out in this coastal building, despite the mandatory evacuation of the Red Hook area, as it was in Area 'A' for coastal flooding.

Said he had two backup options. Panic, and further panic. Said if the water got to the second floor (while it got high, it didn't get that high), he'd jump and swim for it.

A for effort and moxie, D for staying in a dangerous area and not evacuating. This sort of thinking is what can force first responders into dangerous and potentially deadly situations.

The gentleman mentioned above says that across the bay the water rose to the level of the tracks at the earth movers. Pretty impressive.

Dark lines show the water level.

One last observation for Red Hook. Much of the city is at sea level, so water gets in basements pretty easily during normal storms. A historic hurricane? Numerous gas powered pumps were located everywhere


After Red Hook, the next stop was DUMBO, damage was less obvious as this is another area that is coastal already and is used to taking some water on. We parked on Front and started walking towards the water.

Well, this artist got their wish...

A larger building again using a large pump to remove the water from the basement. This will be a recurring theme throughout the city for the coming weeks. When people wonder why the MTA can't open below 34th street for the coming weeks. MTA emergency workers are doing this throughout the system.

Standing in front of the Galapagos Art Space (site of this fun presentation as part of nyc.nerdnite.com) , looking at the bridge. The entire street has some flooding left over. The photographer got a great shot of the bridge reflected in the water.

Fence along the river knocked in.

A car that took a tree to the side. First Round TKO.


After seeing DUMBO, our last stop before heading back to central Brooklyn was Coney Island / Brighton Beach. We drove down the Belt Parkway, which was flooded in some parts...

It was pretty spooky and lightly populated:

But the news was there, so we were hoping to see local anchors lose their hats...

While Coney Island is usually a little light in traffic after the season, this sort of damage is still telling. The last fence is not a chain link fence, but a large solid metal fence. This took a little force.

The trailers supporting construction by the Minor League A team (the Brooklyn Cyclones after the roller coaster and not the storm) have been turned, angled, and one was flipped on its side.

The news here is sand, lots of sand...

Burying fences...

Burying handrails...

Burying the boardwalk...

And burying the roads.

Even burying the amusement park rides off the boardwalk.

The wind damage pulled off signage...

And power...


With observations made, we left for home and tried to dry safely, avoiding some of the road issues.


Obviously, if you've watched the news, other areas have taken a far worse beating. Long Island, parts of Queens, Manhattan under 34th, the Jersey Shore, and urban NNJ have damage tens of times worse than what is documented above. The residents of these neighborhoods are lucky that this is all we're facing and my best wishes and hopes go to those in my region facing far steeper recovery slopes.

Anyway, that's the view from here, I'll update as progress is made...

- AH

Note: Most photo credits (the better ones) by Yasmin Mistry ( idesygn.com / facebook )