August 25, 2015

Make a Splash During the Final Days of Summer

Part 2 of Summer Haus is a very brief and very biased tour of our favorite pools. Take off your clothes, hold your nose, and jump in! Oh, and remember to reapply your sunscreen.

Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, Italy

hadrians villa - Raddotto(photo Carole Raddato, Flickr)

The Emperor Hadrian employed thousands of slaves to build his sprawling country retreat outside Rome in the 2nd Century AD. The estate cover 250 acres and boasts a treasury of art from across the Empire, particularly Greece and Egypt. This oval pool, the Canopus, must have been the scene of many a Bacchanalian toga party. The caryatids aren’t talking.

 

Donnell Garden, California

donnell pool_no restrictions(photo Charles Birnbaum, Cultural Landscape Foundation)

Living the American dream at the father of kidney-shaped pools. This iconic California landscape, designed by modernist landscape architect Thomas Church in the 1950s, is an outstanding example of laid back but sophisticated outdoor living. The biomorphic sculpture is by Adaline Kent.

McCarren Pool, BrooklynRogers-Marvel-McCarren-Pool_photo Rogers Marvel(photo Rogers Marvel)

McCarren pool(photo Rogers Marvel)

Closer to home, we have Robert Moses to thank for Brooklyn’s McCarren Pool – and for nine other free, gigantic New York City pools for the 99%. Moses was a keen swimmer who competed on the Yale swim team and swam a mile a day into his 80s. Rogers Marvel Architects renovated the pool in 2012, using the original swimmer’s storage baskets on the lobby ceiling.

The Library, Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh_Samui_pool(photo The Library)

A base of mosaic glass tiles in orange, yellow and blood gives this pool its alarming color.

Bondi Iceberg, Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi wave_no restrictions

The Bondi Icebergs pools are right next to Bondi Beach and allow swimmers a safe environment. It's one of the oldes Surf Live Saving Club's of Australia.

“Be a man, not a mollusk,” proclaim the membership rules of the Bondi Iceberg Club, so called because winter swimming is compulsory for members. The dramatic Bondi Baths, overflowing into the ocean, have been a landmark of Bondi Beach for over 100 years.

Infinity Pool, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Marina Bay - wiki commons(photos Wikipedia Commons)

Marina_Bay_Sands_in_the_evening_-wiki commons(photos Wikipedia Commons)

Eat you heart out, SoHo house: This dizzying pool, on the roof of the Moshe Safdie-designed, triple-towered Marina Bay Hotel, is the world’s highest and largest rooftop infinity pool. Not for those with vertigo, this watery aerie cantilevers 65 meters off the towers, and looms 57 stories above the city.

 

 

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August 16, 2015

Stuck in the city this summer? ‘Escape’ with your Netflix queue

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 7.31.55 PM

Welcome to our inaugural Summer Haus edition! We are still weeks away from the final days of summer, so let’s lather on the sunscreen, take a sip of our cold brew, and delve into Hausman’s very first summer guide.

Dreaming of taking a vacation to the south of France and reliving the Bohemian 1900s surrounded by Belle Époque architecture, or maybe spending the day exploring both the inside and outside of Frank Gehry’s designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. While the Parisians close shop for all of August, most of us do not have the luxury of taking such a leisurely holiday. But don’t fret, let me introduce the ‘staycation.’ You don’t have to deal with long car rides, traumatic airports, tight airplanes, and lost luggage. You can ‘escape’ to exotic locations, travel through time, and explore astounding architecture without leaving the comfort of your couch (or bed). Here’s a short movie guide that will transport you to a different world.

Art Nouveau

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Midnight in Paris (2011) featuring Art Nouveau, “new art” of the beginning of the 20th century

Art Deco 

Metropolis - art deco

Metropolis (1927) influenced by New York City’s 1920’s Art Deco

Ghostbuster - Art Deco (Shandor Building)

Ghostbusters (1984) at 55 Central Park West, New York

Eclectic

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Blade Runner (1982) features the Bradbury building inspired by a 1880’s sci-fi novel, featuring a Victorian inspired five story atrium with intricate iron details, including Mexican tiles and Italian marble. The Bradbury is also featured in Double Indemnity, 500 Days of Summer, and The Artist

Modernism

Ben Rose House

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) features a Modern residential designed by A. James Speyer, who studied under Mies can der Rohe

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Mon Oncle’s (1958) Villa Arpel

Gattaca -Frank Lloyd Wright

Gattaca (1997) Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center

Prairie School

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North by Northwest (1959) could not afford Frank Lloyd Wright’s fees, so here’s a little Hollywood trivia, this prairie-style house is actually just a movie set

Let us know of any other movies that you thought should have made it on the list. Leave a comment below!

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July 31, 2015

Maximize Your Growth Potential: Put Your Best Relationships Forward

Slide1Summer is in full swing, but it’s not too late to start developing a solid business strategy for the Fall, so we’ll round out our snapshot of “A Three-Phase Program to Fast-Track Your Design Business for Profit.” Dr. Tami Hausman participated in the panel at the 2015 AIA National Convention in May, along with Lisa Henry, CEO of Greenway Group, and Steve Whitehorn, managing principal of Whitehorn Financial Group.

In this installment, Steve stresses the importance of strong relationships to build a successful practice.

Get into The “Relationship” Business

The financial success of any firm is built upon its personal relationships. However, many firms often fail to realize this basic truth. Firms spend an overwhelming proportion of their marketing budgets on the pursuit of new clients, rather than nurturing existing connections. This approach is outmoded and counterproductive, as projects from repeat clients constitute the majority of many firms’ businesses.

According to Donna Fenn, contributing writer for Inc. Magazine, acquiring new clients can be costly, while existing relationships are more reliable and profitable. In fact, repeat clients spend close to 70% more than new ones. By investing in its existing clients, firms earn trust and fortify alliances. For example, if an architect needs to renegotiate a fee during the design process, a long- term contact is more likely to give approval than a first-time client.

Trust, confidence and chemistry 

Good relationships are about three things: trust, confidence, and chemistry.  Firms benefit greatly from nurturing their best connections and letting go of those that aren’t working. If the chemistry isn’t there, then let it go.  Parting ways with a big project client may seem counterintuitive. However, difficult clients waste resources and diminish profits.

If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way: The Economist’s “80/20 Rule” demonstrates that 80% of any businesses’ profits are generated by 20% of its customers. By keeping strong client relationships and discarding unprofitable alliances, firms free up time and energy to devote to their top 20% clients, resulting in greater financial stability overall.

Good relationships equal profitability

Architects can’t afford to spend time on projects that aren’t working, especially as they’re subject to unique pressures that often result in diminished budgets and strained cash flow. By recognizing that client relationships directly influence profitability and paying close attention to their best assets, firms can move forward with stability and confidence.

 

Steve Whitehorn is the author of the upcoming book, Ensuring Your Firm’s Legacy, and Managing Principal of Whitehorn Financial Group, Inc. The firm is the creator of The A/E Empowerment Program®, a three-step process that helps firms create a more significant legacy and empowers them to achieve greater impact on their projects, relationships, and communities.

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