Strong as an Oak

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JANUARY 2023 – There is something so romantic and compelling about timber beam construction. A canopy of sturdy oak branches overhead, protecting you and making you feel like you are nestled safely in a wooded glen, the delightful texture of the exposed beams, a reminder of our connection to the earth and nature. Visited my cousin’s build site this month and got to marvel first-hand at all of the progress that had been made on the house. Had the good fortune of being able to work with him on the designs and to see it come together is fantastic. Transferring the experience of the plans from 2D to 3D was quite remarkable and the space feels even richer and well-crafted than I could have hoped.

Views of the surrounding woods and neighboring pond are fantastic. The view above is from the second floor with the glorious oak timbers in all their glory on display. Windows will be arriving on site in several weeks, making the building watertight and signalling the beginning of the next stage of construction efforts. Having visited the site previously, it is so exciting to see the shapes and forms from my computer coming to life, whereas before I only had my imagination to deliver such views. Enormously proud of my cousin and his family and what they have undertaken, is going to such a wonderful home for them.

With the Spring Semester at University kicking off again I have been reading a number of books recommended to me by my academic advisor. One such title that I’ve been enjoying is the book ‘Lawns Into Meadows’ by (aptly named) Owen Wormser. A fellow New Englander, Owen’s book is on creating regenerative landscapes that are good for rehabilitating soil and the earth and working with (versus against) nature to create picturesque residential green spaces. So, for example, instead of creating a large lawn of grass and an effective mono-culture on your property, instead create a meadow that provides habitat for flowers, butterflies, and an entire host of other living beings. I am curious to learn more about landscape architecture and design and that will be a big focus of my studies this semester. Having a lawn that doesn’t require mowing is also a pretty cool concept, having spent many a weekend mowing lawns over the years.

Still developing my own taste and design thesis and sensibility for what I like when it comes to landscape design. I’d like to learn a lot more about different species (native and alike) that can be incorporated into the residential built environment to work well with green building designs.

Thanks as always for stopping by, catch you all next time!

~ CS