Assorted images, (and thoughts)…

Today’s post is a random assortment of images taken from rather early on after we acquired the Byrne residence, (most images were taken in 2010), though I do think there’s an image or two Martha took in the spring of 2011, (both the “prism” image and Dining Room image a bit further down in the post).

This image, (below), is one of Martha’s earliest taken at the house – in fact, it might be from the very first time we visited the Byrne residence with Scott Jarson in February of 2010. I’m amazed by the precision of the cut in the steel support for the stairs – it lays perfectly flat on the landing, with the steel plate securing the stairs to the floor hidden on the vertical drop beneath that first step. The cast acrylic treads are fun too!

The next image, (below), was taken from the lower landing, looking back into the house with both doors opened. This view really emphasizes the canyon-like feel created by the canted CMU and canted sheetrock walls, both inside and out. The vertical nature of this portion of the house is accentuated by a 9′ 6″ high door leading from the lower landing out to the recently-reconstructed exterior stairwell leading up to the east deck off the master bedroom.

This image, (below) was one I took looking east from in the Laundry through a narrow pane of glass between the door leading out to the patio beneath the deck and the CMU wall that frames the southern wall of the exterior stairwell mentioned above. The patterns created by sunlight and shadow are ever-changing in this tranquil shaded space.

When the developer was originally selling lots back in the early 1990’s, every lot had a picnic table located on it. Bill and Carol Byrne shared stories with us about sitting at this very table long before construction began, enjoying the distant views to the east, south and west as they contemplated their yet-to-be-built home.

We opted to move the table from out in the desert up onto the patio with the intent of eventually replacing the deteriorating wooden planks, (they’ve splintered rather badly), but leaving the weathered steel frame as it is.

The image, (below), was taken facing east from about halfway down the Gallery, looking back toward the entry/foyer. The long shadows created by the skylight course down the CMU wall, though the interesting pattern is due, in part, to the custom-fabricated steel couplings that tie the roof to the rest of the structure along the entire length of the house, (there are 7 of these supports in total). You catch a glimpse of the stairway leading to the lower level off to the left, as well as a sliver of the exterior stairwell leading back up to the east deck from outside. The low-voltage cable lighting is another unique feature of the Gallery. We’ve since repositioned several of the fixtures to accentuate particular portions of the CMU wall and the opposing sheetrock “core” that encloses the Kitchen and Pantry on the other side of the Gallery.

Bill Byrne graciously offered to leave this wonderful artifact with the house, (below). When Martha and I met Bill and Carol for the first time, Bill shared the story about how a dear friend – and fellow builder – from back east came out for a visit not too long after the house was completed. His friend was awestruck by the complex geometry created by the sloping walls and compound slope of the roof, then wondered if, in fact, Bill might be in need of an “aid”…

After returning home, his friend happened upon this antique level, then carefully inscribed “TO USE ON YOUR NEXT HOUSE” on a piece of clear tape he adhered to the face of the level before shipping it to the Byrne’s. That very same level hangs in the entry/foyer today and is hung perfectly level to the floor, underscoring the degree of precision Bill insisted upon throughout the entire project, right down to the pouring of the concrete floors!

The “solex” mullions in the Living Room create wonderful “rainbows” in different places and at different times throughout the year. This image, (below), is one of Martha’s favorites. She has captured this wonderful effect in a number of photographs, but the play of light on the surface of one of the Florence Knoll Lounge Chairs we have in the Living Room is particularly pleasing.

This next image, (below), is of one of the light fixtures from ALBUM, an Italian company producing low-voltage suspended lighting systems. I’ll probably devote an entire post to how this suspended lighting system has been used in the Master Bathroom and the Office at some point in the future. These are wonderfully-crafted glass fixtures with halogen lights cleverly integrated into each of them, then suspended from a copper conductor. This particular image is taken facing the mirror in the Master Bathroom and highlights the copper conductor that supplies electricity to the bulb, but also acts as the supporting cable to suspend the fixture from the copper supply cable attached to the transformer.

The final photograph in this post, (below), was taken facing to the southwest from the corner of the Dining Room by Martha in the spring of 2011. It is one of our favorite sunset images to date – those wonderful purple hues in the sky picked up in the reflection of the glass table, the pinpoints of light created by the halogen fixtures in the ceiling, and the reflections off the solex glass and the stainless steel table frame and chairs all lend to the visual interest captured in this image. The copper sculpture on the table is by John Garrett, an artist based in Albuquerque, NM.

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