Creative Architecture

There is architecture, and then there is creative architecture. Most architectural projects begin with a precedent, a design rooted in a defined architectural style. For us, it is often the Mountain and Arts and Crafts styles. While most architectural projects are based on some architectural style or movement, innovative and creative projects stem from the open minds of homeowners teaming with inventive architects. I have selected five recent projects from various architects that ignite my creativity.

(Written by Jesse Hart, a creative University of Idaho Architecture student who interned with us)  

The Creative Architecture of Frank Gehry's Dancing House in Prague

Frank Gehry’s Dancing House in Prague

Dancing House, designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, is located in Prague, Czech Republic. This project bends perspective and distorts the view of the built world; buildings like this reform what we think is possible.  It was originally named Fred and Ginger, to emulate the famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers (Fred’s on the right).

This creative treehouse makes for whimsical hobbit architecture

Treehouse by Blue Forest

Built by the British luxury tree-house design-build firm Blue Forest, this project looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie. The shape is inspired by a tree, but is like nothing else I have seen. It definitely begs a second look.

A fun, creative treehouse

Treehouse Point Bed & Breakfast

Designed and built by Pete Nelson, TreeHouse Point Bed and Breakfast near Seattle, with includes several tree-houses, sparks my childhood creativity. Tree-house dreams don’t end with childhood, but continue into adulthood. This project is a prime example of this.

A creative garage remodel

Repurposed Garage by Graypants

This old mid-1900’s garage in Vashon, Washington was repurposed by Graypants.  While not as surreal as the previous projects, it is creative in a different way. Being able to rethink the old, and to bring the dead back to life, requires a creative mind.

A creative multi-purpose building

L’arbre Blanc – Designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects, NLA, and OXO Architects

Above it the multi-purpose tower L’Arbre Blanc (White Tree) in Montpellier, France, was designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects, NLA, and OXO Architects. Inspired by the functionality of a tree, the balconies create shade and absorb sunlight. It is appreciable to look to nature for functional design inspiration; being able to do this requires a creative, problem-solving mind.

These projects show me how far a little creativity can go. I am thankful for ingenuity in the design world, for architecture being pushed in a direction it has never been; for fresh ideas and new perspectives. Where does your creativity take you?

Jesse Hart – Hendricks Architecture

As architects designing custom homes and other projects, we love hearing new ideas from clients and making them a reality.  Imaginative minds produce creative architecture.  Contact us here.

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A Whimsical Steel Bandshell for Sandpoint’s Farmin Park

Hendricks Architecture, in cooperation with  Sandpoint Rotary, has designed a whimsical steel bandshell for the Farmin Park bandstand in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Project will be funded by Sandpoint Rotary and the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency.  Rotary members have been donating their time in coordination and fund raising, and will also have a hand in construction.

Farmin Park Bandshell

The Farmin Park Bandshell

The bandshell is designed to emulate other whimsical elements in the park, as well as the existing curved bandstand, and other rustic elements throughout downtown Sandpoint.  A curved steel roof structure will be supported by curved steel columns.  Two circular struts will enclose custom steel Rotary wheel emblems.  All steel will have a pre-rusted “weathered” finish.  The underside of the roof will have matching acoustic insulation to help with sound reverberation. Construction is scheduled for Summer of 2012.

Farmin Park is set in the middle of downtown Sandpoint.  The  Sandpoint Farmer’s Market occurs at the park Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings from May through October.  The bandstand is set at the far point of the park and houses a scheduled musician at every event.

The 3D rendering was provided by Tom Russell, an architect at Hendricks Architecture.  Special thanks also to the Rotary members who have been donating their time on this project, including Project Chairman Bob Linscott, Project Manager Sean Fitzpatrick, Presidents Jerri Anderson & Matt Kerr, Secretary Pierce Smith, Treasurer Sue Poppino,  as well as Kim Woodruff from City Parks and Rec, and Consultants Terry Hecox, Dick Creed, Carlos Suarez and Tom Brunner.

For updated info and photos on the bandshell, see Steel Bandshell in Sandpoint.

John Hendricks is an AIA architect at Hendricks Architecture.  We are a mountain architectural  firm in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Click to Subscribe to Hendricks Architecture’s Blog

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Fun Architecture: The Storybook Style in Disneyland

After visiting Hollywoodland and the Hansel and Gretel cottage, the last stop on our spur of the moment Southern California Storybook style tour was a family trip to Disneyland. We actually made the trip to see family and friends, but I owed a Disneyland day to my wife and kids after architect dad dragged them to the other places. Besides, Disneyland has some fun Storybook style architecture of it’s own, and arguably the most whimsical and imaginative. This particular style is sometimes referred to as the Disneyesque style.

I have to admit, it was nice to see the rustic landing dock building on Tom Sawyer’s Island in Frontierland, which reflects a little of the mountain style I design. I can only imagine what it would be like to integrate the mountain style with the Toontown style.

Rustic Architecture in Disneyland - Tom Sawyer's Island

Rustic Architecture in Disneyland – Tom Sawyer’s Island

When I was in grade school I was fascinated with the architecture of Disneyland. I loved that the Pirates of the Caribbean had fun, yet authentic exterior architecture on the interior. Plus the fact that every “themed land” at Disneyland had it’s own architecture, and in these were villages with their own separate architectural styles.

This Bavarian Village in Fantasyland houses Peter Pan's Flight.

This Bavarian Village in Fantasyland houses Peter Pan’s Flight.

When I graduated from Texas Tech in 1990 I had job offers, but I still sent resumes to Frank Gehry, as well as Disney’s Imagineering department. Architecture without limits seemed like the way to go. We were in a mini-recession, and Gehry’s receptionist told me they had a stack of resumes two feet high. Disney sent me a postcard of Mickey Mouse, who kindly told me they weren’t hiring.

Lopsided Architecture in Fantasyland - Pinocchio's Daring Journey

Lopsided Architecture in Fantasyland – Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

I eventually took a path into the mountain architecture style, where there are a few limits. Snow loads, for example, are something you don’t need to worry about in Disneyland.

The architects and engineers in the Imagineering department have done a great job throughout the years. They truly have no limits, designing whimsical approaches to historic architecture, or creating exaggerated storybook images. The former in places like New Orleans Square and Fantasyland, and the latter in Mickey’s Toontown.

Mickey's House in Toontown

Mickey’s House in Toontown

Mickey’s ToonTown is a newer “themed land” in Disneyland, opening in 1993. The colorful, wacky, skewed, completely off plumb architecture in ToonTown captures the imaginations of children and many adults as well. Ironically enough, this area, partly themed after Roger Rabbit’s hometown, was originally considered to be named Hollywoodland, an historic storybook themed neighborhood in Los Angeles.

The Wacky Storybook Style of the Toontown Town Square

The Wacky Storybook Style of the Toontown Town Square

Cartoon Architecture - Goofy's Playhouse in Toontown

Cartoon Architecture – Goofy’s Playhouse in Toontown

John Hendricks, Architect AIA

Hendricks Architecture specializes in custom residential design on the planet Earth. We’re located in Sandpoint, Idaho.

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Previous Post: Storybook Style: Hansel and Gretel Cottage

Storybook Style: Hansel and Gretel Cottage

The Spadena House in Beverly Hills, California is one of the most recognizable homes of Storybook style architecture. Nicknamed “The Witch’s House”, this Hansel and Gretel cottage is the last thing you would expect to see in posh Beverly Hills. As an architect, my main critique would be that it needs more windows for natural light on the interior. But then again, who’s going to argue with a witch and her privacy demands.

In 1926 the home appeared in Dixon’s magazine, and was described as “A New Home With an Aged ‘Old World’ Appearance”. The article noted, “All lines in the designs are irregular, crooked and distorted, even the metal bars in the windows are not made straight. All of which, together with color used in painting the house, gives an old weather-beaten appearance.”

The Storybook Style Spadena House is pure Hansel and Gretel.

The Storybook Style Spadena House is pure Hansel and Gretel.

The house was designed in 1921 by an art director, and was built in Culver City to provide offices and dressing rooms for the Willat movie studio. The building doubled as a movie set and appeared in several silent films in the 1920s. The building soon became widely influential among maverick architects in search of new ideas.

Architect Charles Moore once described the home as the “quintessential Hansel and Gretel House”, and the home is believed to have greatly influenced the architecture of Disneyland, as well as Disney’s Imagineering department.

The Spadena House is often referred to as "The Witch's House"

The Spadena House is often referred to as “The Witch’s House”

The building moved to Beverly Hills in 1934 and has since served as a private residence, beginning with the Spadena Family. The Spadena House is the perfect example of an original Storybook house where it cartoonishly has no lines that are straight or plumb, and it was meant to appear rusticated. The roof has a seawave pattern that appears to leak horrendously and will fall in at any time. The front of the home is surrounded by a moat-like pond and gnarled, twisted trees. I would bet at Halloween that many children (and adults) wouldn’t dare steal a peak into one of the dark windows framed by the saggy wooden window shutters. But then again, how could you not?

John Hendricks, AIA Architect

Hendricks Architecture specializes in residential design, most specifically in the design of mountain style homes and cabins. See Storybook Cabin Plan for an example of one of our Storybook homes, and for more information on the Storybook Style. We’re located in Sandpoint, Idaho.

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