Wednesday, May 23, 2012

75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge

7.5 fun facts in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge

The dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.  Pedestrian Day was held on May 27, 1937.

“A Wild Flight of the Imagination” was the title of a promotional pamphlet written in 1922 by chief engineer of the bridge, Joseph Strauss, and city top engineer, Michael O’Shaughnessy.

Theater architect John Eberson originally rendered the bridge’s suspension tower, circa 1930, in his brief work as a consultant to Strauss. One of his more famous theatres in the U.S. is the Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx, New York, which opened in 1929 on the then-thriving Grand Concourse, which was recently restored in 2006.

Eleven men died in the construction of the bridge.  Until February 17, 1937, there had been only one fatality, setting a new all-time record in a field where one man killed for every million dollars spent had been the norm.  On February 17, ten more men lost their lives when a section of scaffold carrying twelve men fell through the safety net. The most conspicuous precaution was the safety net, suspended under the floor of the Bridge from end to end.  During construction, the net saved the lives of 19 men who became known as the “Halfway-to-Hell Club.”

The Golden Gate Bridge is painted Golden Gate Bridge International Orange which was selected by Consulting Architect Irving F. Morrow.

The 4,200 foot long suspension span of the  Golden Gate Bridge was the longest span in the world from the time of its construction in 1937 until New York City’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge was opened on November 21, 1964.  It is 60 feet longer than the Golden Gate Bridge.

On Sunday, May 27, 2012 there will be an event celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Blog by Francisco de León

Monday, May 14, 2012

DAS Guest Blogger Francisco

Which comes first the chicken or the well-designed egg?

Does a chicken have a sense of style? Does the design of a chicken coop affect egg production? Do country chickens live in shabby coops while urban chickens reside in contemporary abodes? These are some of the questions that came to my mind when I found this:

This is indeed a beautifully designed chicken coop. The idea of a chicken roosting in an egg is a clever one that might inspire meditation on recursion. And, of course, this coop would look fabulous in a modernist backyard. I must admit, I am easily seduced by beautiful well-made things.

But what if we asked a chicken what it thinks of this? It might say, “I’m not a fussy chick. All I need is a place that keeps me dry and safe. So yes, this would work but here’s the challenge. The price of this beautiful chicken house is £1950.00 (currently $3,146.52) not including shipping etc. That’s a lot of eggs to lay to pay for this fabulous house.” Does this foreshadow a chicken house foreclosure scandal in our future? Who knows? All I know is that if I were that chicken I’d look for a couple of heavy laying sisters as housemates.

May your roost be finely feathered,

P.S. No chickens were hurt during the writing of this blog entry.

Due to Francisco's chicken coop post some readers have expressed an interest in egg-shaped dwellings for humans. Therefore, we think you might be interested in this (click on link):

Francisco A. de León is a graphic designer with a Bachelor of Architecture. We enjoy his sharp wit and keen observations. He will periodically guest post on our blog. We hope you enjoyed his "eggcentric" point of view.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DAS Architectural Idea

Making an Old Bathtub Look New. 

Renovating a bathroom can be a pricey, disruptive and time consuming endeavor: Demolish everything; Replace the tiles and fixtures. Taking the old and perfectly good bathtub and replacing it with a new one often of poorer quality adds even more cost without great benefits. However leaving the bathtub as is creates an eye sore in an otherwise new bathroom.


One of the ideas we implemented in this project is keeping the old bathtub in place but enclosing it's front with tile. It appears new from the outside and fits in perfectly with the new styling of the bathroom. Two things should be considered when doing this: you need a big enough bathroom as the new ledge will take up 4", you must carefully waterproof the tile ledge and floor. In our case we used the floor tiles for the ledge This visually links the front of the bathroom with the floor, eliminates the ugly standard bathtub front and the room feels more continuous and spacious.

Floor tiles creating the edge
Ledge and Vanity

Ledge with Shower Door Track