Images that Inspire Us

Images that Inspire Us

Instead of showing you our work and explaining our ideas, this entry is about some of the places and things that have inspired us. We presented these images in person at the AIA East Bay office when they hosted a “Pecha Kucha” Slide Show to introduce the Home Tour architects.

1. Modernist architects from Northern California
This is an example of architecture that’s 50 years old; it expresses the materials so honestly and is just a simple rectangular room with beautiful light. Don Knorr Hilmer House, Atherton, CA from Serraino, Pierluigi. NorCalMod. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2006 p. 150.

2. Modernist architects from Southern California, example: John Lautner Shaffer House, Los Angeles, CA from Hess, Alan. The Architecture of John Lautner. New York: Rizzoli, 1999. Find out more about this architect at

John Lautner

3. California, beautiful landscape and plate tectonics. In the Carrizo Plain, the San Andreas Fault cuts across the land clearer than anywhere else. There are so many unique, beautiful, and interesting landscapes in this state. Collier, Michael. A Land in Motion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

4. Portuguese architects. Even before we went to Portugal, we had admired the culture and their modernist architects. Here are some examples of the work of Alvaro Siza: the Portuguese National Pavilion and the Serralves Museum in Lisbon.

Another favorite architect is Eduardo Souto de Moura. Mola, Francesc Zamora. Eduardo Souto de Moura Architect. Barcelona: Loft, 2009 p. 115.

5. Donald Judd. We recently visited Marfa, Texas. In 1979, Judd purchased 340 acres of what used to be Fort D.A. Russell. The buildings provide space for the work of a limited number of contemporary artists. This is The Arena, a former gymnasium for the soldiers.

One of the 15 untitled works in concrete by Donald Judd, 1980-84.

6. Andy Goldsworthy. A lot of the work we do is renovations. There is no better equivalent to renovating a building in the art world than the work of this artist who makes art from site specific found objects.

7. Saab 900. This was our car for 13 years. From the sound the doors made to the quirky round windshield, it made you aware of good design.

8. Volvo 1800 Coupe Wagon. What a dreamy car.

9. Hoover Dam. This beautiful engineering marvel is the symbol of the story of conquering the west and getting water to the desert. Learn this story with Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner, 1986.

10. Meteor Crater, AZ. This made the list because it has been a large part of Eliza’s life. Her great grandfather, D. M. Barringer was the first person to say this formation was caused by a meteorite. Now the site is owned by her family’s company, The Barringer Crater Company. Photo from

11. Louis Kahn Exeter Academy Library. We recently visited this library for the first time and we are glad we did.

12. Seattle, WA Public Library, OMA/Rem Koolhas

13. New York: The High Line. Its about time a project like this was built. What a welcome bit of open space for the city.

14. 9 Delusions. This is a painting by Eliza’s teacher, Ana Guerra. It has an iridescent quality that didn’t make it to the photo.