Tag Archives: design

London House Steps into Dimension


I have a confession: I’m a city girl who loathes steps. I’ve always had one-story apartments wherever I’ve lived (with one slight exception): in Chicago, Florida, China, Peru. But that’s a personal issue. It contradicts my love of urban density and my understanding that larger, more luxurious abodes that fit on a simple one-story plan in a major metropolitan area. Therefore while I would dream of living in a residence with so many stories, I can certainly appreciate the design of London-based Belsize Architects Sheldon House.

There are three primary reasons to like it: the visual play of dimensions that create a sense of mystery, the cool tones and bridging of in/exterior realms done via not just one but two methods, and the designer’s use of context.

The Sheldon house, in London, is situated on a long, narrow plot that the designer was skillfully able to build a U-shaped form into. Meanwhile the designers insisted upon sustaining a sense of neighborly appreciation. They respected the house’s existing forms for context yet subtly introduced new architectural themes, yielding a classic Modernist feel that blends in rather than commands attention. Furthermore, the new design was implemented without expanding the volume of the house’s modest predecessor. 

A triple-height atrium softly descends like DuChamp’s Nude Descending the Staircase. It brings daylight into the house through a variety of window shapes and sizes, and it extends views from each floor to a nearby golf course and gardens. The circulation spaces are arranged around the edge of the atrium. The main gathering and eating areas are located like a warm embrace within the lower levels.

The atrium and inherently stepped arrangement articulates the overall form of the house. They work together to create a succession of tiered levels, according to the architects. Walk down the steps to the basement pool area, the composition of which offers safety like a harbor. Its vertical and horizontal emphases, its deep and reflective surfaces, and its multiple ability to blur the indoors and out and serve as a circulation method may make this the focal point of the house. The pool partially extends between a landscaped rear garden and a sunken courtyard.

Playful use of vertical and horizontal glass planes encourages visitors to pause upon introduction to the house. There I would run amongst staircases letting the mysteries of the home reveal themselves. 

Media Mondays: DropSend Helps Designers & Writers


For interior designers, architects, photographers, writers, and gracious knows how many other professionals, DropSend repeatedly proves useful. The web site allows easy transferal of one or multiple large files such as photos. It’s easy to use, even for those who aren’t computer-tech savvy.
As a freelance writer who works with photographers, editors, architects, and designers all over the world, I receive and send several large photo files. I’m not tech savvy enough to have discovered a reliable method of compressing these. In fact I’d say it doesn’t exist yet, else why would all of these particular professionals use DropSend?
The site has several account levels. Free, naturally, allows customers to send only a few files each month. I use a $9/month level that allows me to send 45 files and/or store some 10 gigs. You can send individual emails up to 2 GBs. You can store images, too, which especially helps when sending multiple pitches. Memberships are available for larger organizations with multiple users.
Again single or multiple simultaneous uploads are a cinch. They do take a while, mostly because the site sustains the high quality images professional book and magazine publishers require. A simple dialogue box communicates the upload’s process while you’re free to continue working on other things. Speaking of communication, DropSend sends an email to inform users when the file has been picked up.
Here’s how it works.
An architect uploads a dozen or so images, in 300-dpi or higher in a single send file. He can leave a message to accompany the images, though usually through emails I know to expect the files. I don’t have to be a member of DropSend to receive the images, and I wasn’t initially but once I tired of sending these images piecemeal in multiple emails to my editors I recognized the value of membership. I have two weeks in which to download the photos. I download them permanently, write my piece to these photos, then send an editor some I’ve selected to represent the project in a pitch. The editor receives an email containing the images from DropSend. She checks them out with my pitch. She agrees to the story. I write up the entire piece, which I send in my regular email, and send the rest of the images from DropSend.
The whole process is simple and saves abundant time and hassle, especially compare to sending multiple emails of only a few images apiece. Take a tour.
The site has its competitors, to be sure, but none compares.