This Is Charlottesville: And Baby Makes Three

Joey Conover and Jeff Erkelens of local design and build firm Latitude 38 were nice enough to let me into their home to snap a few pics. To sum up the experience, I. LOVE. THEIR. HOME. To put it more eloquently…the three story structure is located downtown off of West Main Street. It felt fitting to shoot as Spring begins since the interior features bright colors, bold patterns, and beautiful light. The home includes such unique features as a green roof and an indoor climbing wall, of all things, which Jeff says he used to climb to get to his third floor master suite – until Joey asked him to stop! The couple recently welcomed baby Eleanor into their lives and are moving in the fall into another custom-built home that’s a little more family-friendly (fewer steps will be involved…) Check back later in the week for a sneak preview of Latitude 38’s latest project!

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Architectural Digestif

I’ve been waiting for Mila Kunis to appear on the cover of a magazine other than Cosmo or Nylon for the past…well, like three weeks really, but it’s felt like so much longer. Ever since I saw Black Swan I’ve been a bit obsessed, because we’re sort of the same person. How so, you ask?

1) A friend told me via Facebook that she and I are, “basically the same size.” I like to think “psychosexual ballerina” is a step up from “elf lord (children’s division)”, so I’m going with it.
2) We’re both brunettes.
3) We’re both funny and sexy; it’s too much, stop it!
4) We both have ethnic-sounding last names.

That’s one more than I thought we had in common when I started writing that list! The issue also has a profile on Nicolas Ghesquière that handily covers his entire career up until now, but I was most impressed with what I found in the back of the issue.
According to an article titled “Where In The World is David Adjaye?”, the architect is slated to break ground for his National Museum of African American History on the National Mall next year, with completion scheduled for 2015. As a person who lives in the shadow of a giant unfinished construction project, I have to wonder – will Adjaye’s vision come to fruition or run out of resources and funding? While living in China I noticed that big projects just don’t run out of money. Construction seems to have special funding from some deity who’s really keen on development in Asia and every major city feels as if it exists simultaneously in two worlds, one light years ahead of the other. Acutely modern design is apparent everywhere, on a more intimate scale at spaces like Beijing’s Green Tea House restaurant, where I dined and where months later designer Phillip Lim would celebrate his label’s fifth anniversary (do you like how I subtly drew that parallel between myself and an important, successful person?) and Philippe Starck’s swanky Lan Club, as well as the country’s well-known public buildings, such as the National Center for the Performing Arts, the CCTV broadcast building and, of course, the Bird’s Nest. That’s not to mention Shanghai’s famously futuristic skyline or Hong Kong’s contemporary icons of modern architecture. Taking it all in I couldn’t help but wonder, why do I feel as if New York hasn’t gotten a big budget update in the last half century? I can’t think of a U.S. city that has space for developing gorgeous new buildings on a whim (or one willing to relocate the poor to make space, as happened in China for the Olympic stadium as well as the World Expo.) The most interesting U.S. design project I’ve recently read about is a parking garage in Miami, of all things, so needless to say I’m rather “stoked” for this museum. Let’s all take up Buddhism in an effort to confuse the gods and try to siphon away some of that inexplicable funding…

The guy who designed this is coming to America!

Local Flavor: Tastes Like Modern Architecture

One of my favorite things about Charlottesville is its local design talent. Architect William McDonough co-authored the progressive design book Cradle to Cradle and was spotlighted for his work with sustainable building practices a few years ago in House & Garden (before it folded…sadface.)

The above house belongs to W.G. Clark, another local architect who works at the University of Virginia. I could use big words and thoughtful sentences to express how I feel about it, or I could just say it is awesome. I want to turn up music really loud and dance around in it in my socks. On a scale of 1-10, how weird would it be to show up unannounced at his doorstep? “Oh, you’re not my grandmother. I mean, I’m selling Girl Scout cookies? Uh…your house is pretty may I go to there?”

C-Ville: Abode Features – NEW! January 2011: A place between places.

P.S. Here’s another brief piece on the home!

Architectural Digest

This is the area right around the hostel I kept going back to in the evenings. The buildings are new, but traditional in style and very beautiful!