architecture (486)

Peter Calthorpe Proposes Turning Dying California Strip Malls into Much‑Needed Housing

Strip malls are dying, largely due to online sales and, most recently, the Covid crisis. Architect Peter Calthorpe proposes redeveloping this land to provide housing. For example, the roughly 40-mile strip called El Camino Real between San Francisco and San Jose, California — which includes Silicon valley — could be utilized to provide housing in one of the highest-rent areas of the world. Here is Peter’s proposal:

To Solve California’s Housing Crisis, Reinvent the Strip (PDF)

Peter Calthorpe Proposes Turning Dying California Strip Malls Into Much-Needed Housing

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Tiny House

Tiny HouseTiny (10 by 10) building — my latest. Curved roof like gypsy wagon (vardo or Basque shepherd’s wagon) plus windows at eye level give tiny rooms a feeling of spaciousness. This is the first autumn for this building.

Billy Cummings did a lot of the work here. Construction details (including making the curved rafters) and interior photos in The Half-Acre Homestead.

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Photo of Zome Workshop in France by Yogan

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Photos from yogan carpenter of his friend Robin’s workshop in SW France, with a zome roof. Again, yogan has photographed a building shown in Home Work (page 49) but gotten better shots. This is really a nice idea: using a dome as roof on vertical walls. It’s in a section in the book on countercultural builders in France. (A friend of ours who lives in Amsterdam says that France is the California of Europe.)

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Louie Frazier and the Connection Between Our Books Shelter and Home Work

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I was photographing Jack Williams’ house in Point Arena, Calif. in 2000, and he said, “There’s someone up here who wants to meet you.”

We drove about 5 miles out of town, down into a riverfront valley, and I saw this beautiful little building. The two doors were open, and this guy, who I’d never seen before came out with an old tattered copy of Shelter, and he told me to crouch down in the doorway and look at the building’s framing. See this? He said? I built it from this painting (of a Mandan earth lodge) in Shelter.

Wow I thought, If Shelter inspired something like this, it’s time to do a sequel.

So Home Work, published in 2004 was born, and it featured lots of buildings inspired by Shelter.

BTW, the other day Louie said that back in the day, the saying was: “Turn on, tune in, drop out, and read Shelter.”

Note: With a 30% discount for 2 or more books, you can now get both Shelter and Home Work for $41 with free shipping: www.shelterpub.com

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Surfer’s Shack by Bruno Atkey on the “Wild Coast” of British Columbia

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Surfer’s shack built by Bruno Atkey on the “Wild Coast,” about 40 miles by north of Tofino (reachable only by sea–no roads), on the west side of Vancouver Island. We went in Bruno’s 17-foot aluminum fishing boat, with 50 HP rope-pull-starter outboard motor), stayed there a couple of nights, fished, surfed, drank whiskey, and took a driftwood-fired sauna when I was shooting photos for Builders of the Pacific Coast. Bruno was one of the first surfers on Vancouver Island.

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