Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Plumb, Square & True!

Conventional wisdom would look at this title along with the picture above and probably guess that I was headed towards a blog about perfection in the building world. While watching my business partner Phillip McCloud sight in a building level line through an instrument called a transit, my mind immediately went to the basic tenants of our faith: "plumb," or up and down, is our vertical relationship with our Lord and Savior; "square," or perpendicular to plumb, represents our horizontal relationship with all of God's children throughout the world; and "true," or absolute, denotes The Word of God, or the Bible.

The parallels are uncanny! In our work we constantly strive for perfection. Perfection in the construction industry means perfectly vertical, completely perpendicular to plumb, and totally absolute (true). Sounds like a Sunday School lesson doesn't it?!! Christianity encourages us towards "sanctification" or perfecting our live to become more Christlike. Sanctification directs us toward a stronger vertical relationship with God through prayer; a more horizontal relationship with friends and people we come in contact with as we share our faith; and true, or truth as we scour the scriptures to increase our knowledge of the Almighty.

The Bible reminds us that 'we came into this world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing' (a Hoebeke paraphrase!). So between birth and death if we came with nothing and will leave with nothing, then our role while here on this earth is that of a "steward." We have stewardship responsibilities with everything that is placed in our path - that includes plumb, square, and true. Our relationship with God; our relationship with man; and our relationship with God's word. What about you, are you plumb, square, and true? Might I encourage you to spend some time looking through the transit of life to see how you measure up?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cottage "Planting"

The time has come! While some folks are rooting around in their gardens planting tulip bulbs for the Spring, our sights are set on "planting cottages" in the gardens of the Dallas Arboretum. Mona Crider of La Foofaraw has had her crew workin' fast and furious painting the artwork on the Picasso cottage that is being built in a warehouse in Celina. As you will recall from previous posts (10/20, 11/24 & 12/14) all four of the cottages are mostly pre-fabricated construction. While whole sections will be erected at once, trimming and dressing of the framed carcass' will occur on-site.  Later this week we will ship all the parts and pieces to the Arboretum and begin setting them up.

The Picasso Cottage was the last one to be constructed. A model of the overall project was done by J. Wilson Fuqua Architects, and is shown above. Several pieces of the cottage can be seen in progress throughout this posting. Can't you just imagine all the children laughing and running through all of the openings, having a wonderful time?
The "buzz" has already started, and is growing louder by the minute! On Tuesday The Dallas Arboretum issued a press release recognizing our efforts and foreshadowing the greater exhibit to come. We have been truly humbled by the response - undeserved applause for work not yet completed! We are scheduled to be completed, and party pretty by February 19th.
If it looks like a party - it is! My business partner Phillip McCloud and I have accused the artists of having way too much fun! Just like with everything on this project, it truly has been a labor of love!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Surfin' Christmas!

(Editors Note: Time off re-charges the battery! I have so much to tell that the break for Christmas has obviously restored my thinking. Look for our posts from here forward to be a bit more regular.)

What do you get when you cross total relaxation with an architectural lesson? Seaside, and WaterColor Florida! Overwhelmingly our family wanted to head to the surf for Christmas, so we packed everyone up and headed to WaterColor. The community is truly remarkable! We had a FANTASTIC time!

My love for architecture and design was totally satiated by just wandering around the development. The history is worth repeating.  Way back in 1946 Robert S. Davis purchased 80 acres along the shore of Northwest Florida as a summer retreat for his family. Two  generations later the kids decided to transform that 80 acres into and old-fashioned beach town of wood framed cottages. They hired Andres Duany and his New Urbanism movement which seeks to end suburban sprawl. The result is charming!

Enter huge paper producer The St. Joe Company who owns hundreds of thousands of acres of timber land around Seaside, and WaterColor was born. Same type of architecture; same basic theory of eliminating urban sprawl; add Southern architecture with a lot of screened porches; and build it all on 499 acres, and you have WaterColor. Think of an oyster that encloses a pearl and you have the idea of WaterColor cloistering the much smaller Seaside right in the center!

Few people drive. Everyone rides bikes! Norman Rockwell himself could pop out from behind a tree to paint a melodic scene of Mom, apple pie, and down home family hospitality! It's a great place to unwind...

We count ourselves privileged and very blessed to have spent some wonderful family time down there! Very hard to come back to reality and get in the groove for 2012. Happy New Year to everyone!