B&V Slams with NW EcoBuilding Guild

They call it a slam, but it’s not a competition. It’s a celebration of green building in the Pacific Northwest.

Green Building Slam

Green Building Slam Event, Kane Hall , UW Campus

On Saturday evening at Kane Hall on the UW campus, 10 thoughtful green projects were presented slam-style to an audience of supporters and peers, curated and sponsored by the Northwest Eco Building Guild. Projects ranging from a tiny (yet mighty) kitchen remodel to a suburban community of solar powered homes and everything in between.

Jeff Pelletier (left) of Board & Vellum with Jason Legat of Model Remodel presenting Ada's Technical Bookstore & Cafe

Jeff Pelletier (left) of Board & Vellum with Jason Legat of Model Remodel presenting Ada’s Technical Bookstore & Cafe

Board & Vellum co-presented with Model Remodel to showcase our little green gem, Ada’s Technical Bookstore & Cafe. Ada’s was very well received and was the only retail project presented during the slam.

Standout projects included a net zero home situated in the middle of the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve in Coupeville, a Langley community compound privately developed by concerned citizens (and architects) who felt they needed to diversify the neighborhood, and a thoughtfully designed island passive house built deep in the forest with attention toward as little disruption of the land as possible.

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Check out all the presenters on the Eco Building Guild’s Facebook page.

The Best Ice Cream Shop 2014

A few may know that I come from a family of gelato artisans and own a gelato shop, Nutty Squirrel Gelato, with my husband in Maple Valley, WA.

Strawberry Gelato

It would have been so easy to open a place in Seattle, we live and work here… But we knew that there were already good gelato shops in Seattle, (like my parents’ shop in Wallingford). What we wanted was to be more than a place for a frozen treat. We wanted to bring something special to an overlooked neighborhood that was ready for some fun. We wanted our shop to be a social hub, an incubator of ideas, and become an integral part of the community. So, we discovered Maple Valley, a small town with a proud history, surrounded by natural beauty (Check out Lake Wilderness Park – it’s stunning!), a great school district, and young families hungering for sweets.

We wanted our shop to reflect the local culture from its menu to its architecture, and to cultivate a relationship with our patrons. Having a limited construction budget, we spent our money where it mattered most:

  • Buying the quality equipment that will allow us to make our authentic gelato in small batches using natural, fresh and local ingredients. Being adventurous and creating new recipes.
  • Carving out spaces for the community to express ideas, news, artistic talent – we organized the first ever “Maple Valley Artwalk” and proudly display the work of local artists. We also have a chalk wall that our patrons have used to ask out prom dates, to celebrate birthdays etc.
  • Letting children to be children, by designating a play area for them –which we also use for organizing events like story-time with the local favorite “Librarian Sharon” or the Halloween costume photo shoots.
  • Having décor that can change with seasons, and interact with the an evolving community – our CNC-cut maple tree installed in our kid play area becomes the “giving tree” around the holiday season.
  • Also being mobile, with a gelato cart / trike, which we can ride to soccer games, events, weddings etc.

Our name – Nutty Squirrel – came about because we wanted a natural icon that was both fun and local. “Squirrels” are everywhere in the NW and the “Nutty” in our name represents the many nut flavors of gelato, but also represents the fact that we want to be fun and approachable.

taco tuesday

Taco Tuesday at the Nutty Squirrel

We opened our doors to Maple Valley Residents on Halloween just over 2 years ago, and we stayed true to our vision from the very first day. We feel so cherished and appreciated in this community. We are thrilled to open our doors every day which gives us the opportunity to make new friends on a regular basis. However,  it wasn’t until the Best of Western Washington results were released just last week that we truly understand just how much we are loved back!

Every year, King5 organizes the Best of Western Washington, an online competition where Puget Sound residents vote online for their favorites. This year over 400K votes were cast, in 221 categories (from “Best Ugliest Dog” to “Best Local Band”. And, we won the Best Ice Cream  Shop 2014 

We are ecstatic to share the news and so proud to be a member of the Maple Valley community who voted us to the top among some pretty steep competition. Come visit us the next time you’re in the area.

 

Music and Architecture

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Last Sunday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to be sitting in the 2nd balcony of Benaroya Hall, listening to the Seattle Symphony perform the lilting vibrato of Mozart’s Requiem – a fitting end to Halloween weekend and the Day of the Dead – when it occurred to me that I’ve always associated architecture with art, but more specifically as musical art. With the reverberations of string music buffeting my ears, and the chorale behind them lifting voices of their own, my eyes instinctively rose to the pipe organ backdrop on stage, and the faceted ceiling, private boxes and amber lighting of the interior performance hall.

Music definitely takes shape. Just close your eyes and imagine the length of notes like a kind of Morse Code, the beat as a vertical downward slash… it’s not too far from what written music looks like, by the way. I was a string musician in my early years; at age 6 I picked up the viola because I thought violins were too squeaky and cellos too large. The viola was just right – a wood stringed instrument played in an oddball clef (the alto clef, shared only by one other instrument, the alto saxophone) that is continuously the butt of all orchestra jokes. But, it fit my style, and it wasn’t a wind instrument (the ones you blow into). Wind instruments, and brass in particular, are kind of disgusting when they fill up with your saliva… alas I digress…

This is not a blog post talking about the science behind acoustics, like sound dampening panels or “live” surfaces such as bare concrete and wood. I’m talking about how architecture sounds. When you look at the façade of a building, do you recognize a regular repetition of forms? Is it symmetrical? Tall? Short? Decorated with little brackets under a roof overhang? Step outside the box for a minute and assign a note to each part of the design… imagine regular occurrences of windows as a beat, imagine the height of the building as how long you can hear it. Imagine that bold color the crazy owner chose to paint their siding as volume – I mean how loud the sound is – is it a color that shouts insults at you? Or is it whispering?

A lot of the same adjectives we use in architecture mean exactly the same thing in music. Is this material smooth to the touch? Rough? A curving wall is smooth, and so is a long sustained note of music. Syncopated? Like a snare drum? Just like combed brick. What does “rough” sound like, you ask? Well, you know how many people talking at once turns into background noise at a restaurant? It’s kind of like that. Is window glazing reflective? So can it be with music. (Ever need to just put on a record that reminds you of something else? Sounds like reflection to me.) See? This is fun.

If architecture is an art, then it is certainly as subjective as art is. No one thing is right for everyone. We all have tastes, preferences, we all dream, some people take more risks than others. Now let’s look at some buildings. You can look at whole buildings or pieces of them. How does that piece make you feel? Is it harmonious or jarring? Not all music is perfect. In a symphony of 100+ members, I can guarantee you that someone makes a mistake somewhere. Can you pick out the wrong note in the following picture?

 

Yes, it’s that replacement vinyl window. We don’t advocate this. Not ever.

Yes, it’s that replacement vinyl window. We don’t advocate this. Not ever.

Now here’s a picture of the new One World Trade Center in New York from a visit earlier this year.

What do you think this sounds like?

What do you think this sounds like?

Remember, the simpler the building (shape, size, etc.) the more poignant the quality… in this case I’d say it’s as close to a true note (not sharp or flat) as you can get. It fades from a boom to nothingness. It doesn’t waver in tone, but there are slight imperfections in the quality (those glazing strips which haven’t been removed yet). I attribute order in design (base, middle, top) to classicism, and since this building ignores that, I’d even call it digital. Or electronic. It’s reflective, and brilliant in sunlight. A bright piece of music, indeed.

Now what about the Guggenheim?

I read this as a lot of base, as in low, thudding beats, like a subwoofer. Some people like that kind of stuff. A lot of gangsta-rap sounds like the Guggenheim, for instance.

I read this as a lot of base, as in low, thudding beats, like a subwoofer. Some people like that kind of stuff. A lot of gangsta-rap sounds like the Guggenheim, for instance.

What about the Pacific Science Center arches?

I’d almost say this is more a single instrument, like a xylophone, chimes, or maybe a simple triangle. There’s something so mathematical about a parabola.

I’d almost say this is more a single instrument, like a xylophone, chimes, or maybe a simple triangle. There’s something so mathematical about a parabola.

Here are some other guidelines for this that can help narrow your search in assigning music to buildings. For instance, the era of the structure should also match the kind of music available at the time. A Mies van der Rohe house cannot sound like Bjork. (Or can it? Maybe a modern church can sound like a Gregorian chant… I don’t know.) I challenge you on that. Another observation might be that the more common a building is (a set of cookie-cutter subdivision houses, for example) the more it sounds like everything else… i.e. it isn’t a unique piece of music either.

To keep this conversation going, I ask you, the viewer, to choose some music for the following Seattle buildings:

1) The Seattle Library

821_1seattle_public_library_oma_rem_koolhaas_james_ewing

 

 

2) Smith Tower smithtower

 

3) Any other building you want, but please send us a picture!

Postscript, on the idea of renovation:

This is why remodels and additions are so tricky – it’s like you are amending a piece of music. You are potentially taking Mozart’s most famous work and writing a different ending to it. Or changing the tempo. It’s a big responsibility, and we don’t take it lightly.

Now, we do understand that each piece of music is performed by an individual. Each house is also owned by an individual. It’s about how you personalize your house that enhances (or diminishes) what it is, and what it conveys to the viewer, the neighborhood. We’re here to help you do that, but we are also going to ask what drew your eye to your house in the first place, because there’s likely something there that is worth keeping.

Have a good week, and tune in next time to see what other crazy ideas we’re exploring!

Board & Velluween

A wandering gypsy presents an interior design scheme to a client on Halloween

A wandering gypsy presents an interior design scheme to a client at the office on Halloween.

October 31st is often a day where things can get a little silly at the office, it being The Great State of Nevada Day and all. But, since Matt Hagen was on vacation, we decided to forgo any and all plans to dress up as Poker Table Dealers or Reno Showgirls and instead celebrate the lesser known Halloween, with costumes, spooky snacks (see below), and other B&V trademarks galore!

Tina is a venerable genius at Halloween snack crafting. It goes without saying that Sara's boozy baked pumpkin cupcakes were beyond amazing.

Tina is a venerable genius at Halloween snack crafting. It goes without saying that Sara’s boozy baked pumpkin cupcakes were beyond amazing.

Here is a sampling of some of the many costumes on parade at the B&V World HQ:

(Clockwise from top left: I was a monarch butterfly with a mullet, Ryan was a Cher-Inspired Gladiator, Robert was Beaker from The Muppets, Brian was a CAD Monkey (architecture joke), and David was Charlie Brown.

(Clockwise from top left: I was a monarch butterfly with a mullet, Ryan was a Cher-Inspired Gladiator, Robert was Beaker from The Muppets, Brian was a CAD Monkey (architecture joke), and David was Charlie Brown.

Sara was an Interior Designer or Flight Stewardess or Elephant, Krishane (Robert's girlfriend) was Carl Sagan, Jeff was one of the Singers from Abba, and Ryan transitioned into a Homeless Person as the day went on...

Sara was an Interior Designer or Flight Stewardess or Elephant, Krishane (Robert’s girlfriend) was Carl Sagan, Jeff was one of the Singers from Abba, and Ryan transitioned into a Homeless Person as the day went on…

No Board & Vellum celebration would be complete without a little sass point photo…

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Because we’re YOUR advocates for great architecture. And of course, a little Pellepeering for good measure.

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Happy Halloween from Board & Vellum!

Introducing Jeff!

Hello, my name is Jeff Pelletier and I’m excited to be the newest employee here at Board and….wait a second, I own this joint.

Jeff Pelletier

It occurred to us a while back that while everyone here has a great post up introducing them to everyone, my intro to everyone went away when we swapped out website designs.  So while you can easily get to know every one of the great people here at Board & Vellum, it may be hard to get more info on me aside from my bio on the About page. So, I thought I would take some time and tell everyone a bit about me and how I came to run this awesome company.

I was born back in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and attended Cornell University where I received my Bachelors of Architecture.  Cornell really shaped my views toward dedication to the craft and also was the place where I met my partner-in-crime, my husband Christopher, in my second year of the five year program.  After college we moved to New York City where I worked in the World Trade Center at Mancini Duffy until we decided to re-locate to Seattle in September of 2001 (yes, that was very good timing and thankfully everyone I knew back in New York was able to get out of harm’s way).  I haven’t looked back since.

travel collage

While in Seattle I’ve worked on custom residential projects, retail, and multi-family / high-rise projects.  Before Board & Vellum, I was an Associate at GGLO (which I can’t say enough good things about) and they taught me the skills to be bold, considerate, and prepared to take the risk to run my own firm (whether they realize that or not, they don’t actively encourage people to leave!).  In early 2011, during the miserable recession days, I took the leap to found Board & Vellum.  A lot of people thought I was crazy but I was determined to use my drive  and determination to be an advocate for a great bunch of early clients.  I was fortunate to make it work, survive, and grow to where we are now.

professional collage

On the personal side, I have known since I was 2 years old that I wanted to be an Architect (although my Mom, upon seeing me build little homes out of wood blocks and fill them with plastic furniture, used to joke that maybe I just wanted to be a furniture mover. I’m very grateful she supported me going in the Architecture direction instead!). I was one of the kids with a room filled with LEGO bricks (and to be fair, I’m actually an adult now with a room filled with LEGO, some things never change). I absolutely love what I do.

lego-collage

I also LOVE this great city of Seattle. The shared passion of the people here is infectious and being able to give back to this city is one of my greatest pleasures as it gives so much back to me in return.

Here in this City, my husband and I are raising our two young sons along with our two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs, Helo and Athena (named after Battlestar Galactica characters of course!).  In my free time (let’s be honest, I run a company and have two young kids, saying that I have “free” time is mildly humorous), I love to travel, ski on groomed cruisers, hike, cook ridiculously complicated meals, drinking wine (good or bad), and spend time with my family and friends.  I’m an extrovert and never afraid to jump into a party and bring people along with me.  Life is a privilege and it should be a damn good time.

In the meantime, I hope to see you around the office some day.  Always free to swing on by and say hey or meet up for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.  Cheers!

personal collage

We Promise to Think of Anne Every Time We Eat Mexican. Which Will Be Really Often.

I can’t believe the time has come for me to write this post. I have wanted to move closer to family (and sunshine) for many years, but in ten short months my job at Board & Vellum has become one of the things I will miss the most about Seattle.

We moved here nine years ago when my husband started grad school at UW, and now that baby makes three we are headed to his hometown of Fayetteville, AR – a beautiful college town nestled in the mountains of the Natural State, a short drive from my hometown outside of Dallas.

My new home

My new home

Board & Vellum is such a special place. We work hard, have fun, eat a lot, have a little wine occasionally, really enjoy each other’s company, and create some pretty awesome architecture. 

Fun times at B&V...Office Retreat and Small Business Proud Event

Fun times at B&V…Office Retreat and Small Business Proud Event

A few things that make this a magical place that I will miss:

  • We are a young firm, but we are not only all about modern. We love making any style house a wonderful place to live.
  • Everyone is so passionate not just about the practice of architecture, but the mechanics of the practice of architecture. Strong emotions and lively disagreements erupt during Standardpalooza, where we discuss/argue our points of view about dimensioning, line types, font alignment, and other topics that only truly nerdy architects and designers could get so fired up about.  Do I dare put the question out there: should there be 2 or 3 line types for contour lines? B&Vers really care about these things.
  • I will miss Design Crits with wine, card games with wine, tacos with margaritas; a “Board & Diabetes” sugar fest, late work nights with “Juan Candy” pizza to power us through a deadline, and all of the wonderful food and overpriced coffee on 15th, mostly our beloved terrible Mexican food (sorry Sketch Mex. I am from Texas).
  • We have awesome clients. I’m not just saying that. We really do. Clients that do things like bring you three huge bags of baby clothes. Oh, and let you into their lives and space and share in the very important, stressful, intimate process of creating their ideal home.
  • On that note, I love that not every home we work on is a million dollar art piece. Sure, we love these. These are the types of homes that win awards and get you into magazines. Call Board & Vellum if you need one! But personally, it’s not really my thing. I like working with people who have a vision for their space and need some professional help. It’s my passion to solve tough problems and work within strict parameters of budget, space, and site. Even though we don’t do much of it at Board & Vellum, I even love working with (gasp!) developers, because really, that’s where most of us live–in a house, apartment or condo that someone designed, hopefully somewhat thoughtfully, on spec.
  • Most of all, I will miss the people: the nerdiest (in a good way), funniest, Lego-obsessed, Croc-hating, champagne-cupcake-baking, Nevada-loving, Swedish-Fish-eating, SketchUp-model-obsessing, as-built-mastering, Revit-evangelizing, Toby-defying, Luxury-loving, gambling-I.O.U.-writing, peak-beard-contributing group of folks you would ever want to work with.

I really hate formal goodbyes and am really bad at them, and I’ll still be somewhat in touch as I wrap up some projects, so I’ll just say….see y’all later.

Ten Projects. Ten slides. Ten minutes.

GBS 10x10x10 Logo

The Northwest Eco Building Guild is once again sponsoring it’s Green Building Slam and Board & Vellum is presenting! We’re partnering with Model Remodel to present our ten minute dissertation on why Ada’s Technical Bookstore & Cafe is so very cool… and green! The focus is local, sustainable building projects, and Ada’s couldn’t be a more appropriate project for the slam.

The event kicks off at the UW’s Kane Hall on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 5-10 p.m. If you want to cheer us on, get your tickets here.

 

Fashion & Architecture: For the Love of Design

Fold, dart, pleat, wrap, drape, envelope, skin. It’s all about form and function. Pushing the form as far as you can without sacrificing function. Beauty and balance elevating the basic necessities of clothing and shelter.

While doing some internet research on the subject I came across a post on my favorite eco-conscious blog, ecouterre. The image comparisons are great representatives of the connection between architecture and fashion.

Made to order from three-dimensionally printed nylon, Continuum Fashion’s “Strvct” features the same triangulated buttressing that gives bridges their strength. Unlike actual bridges, however, the pump is wearable. Lined with a patent-leather inner sole, the shoe includes a coating of synthetic rubber on the bottom for traction.

Made to order from three-dimensionally printed nylon, Continuum Fashion’s “Strvct” features the same triangulated buttressing that gives bridges their strength. Unlike actual bridges, however, the pump is wearable. Lined with a patent-leather inner sole, the shoe includes a coating of synthetic rubber on the bottom for traction.

Fashion relies on structure and shape and aspires to beauty in many of the same ways as architecture. Fashion is self-expression, while architecture conveys a cultural identity reflecting the needs of those who will live within its walls. Both create space and volume out of flat, two-dimensional materials.

When Yesterday's News commissioned Lara Miller to create a tea-dyed frock out of newspaper, the Chicago designer didn't have to look far for inspiration. Her muse? The Aqua, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified "post-architectural" skyscraper by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang.

When Yesterday’s News commissioned Lara Miller to create a tea-dyed frock out of newspaper, the Chicago designer didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Her muse? The Aqua, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified “post-architectural” skyscraper by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang.

Throughout history fashion and architecture have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, echoing one another in form and appearance. I can only surmise that the reason I’ve worked for architects and designers for over 15 years stems from a shared passion. How things go together, whether that be buildings or ball gowns.

Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones counts the geodesic structures of Buckminster Fuller among her myriad influences, particularly with her Fall/Winter 2011 debut collection. Jones had a hand in the jewelry that complements each look, several of which harken to Fuller’s self-bracing triangular forms.

Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones counts the geodesic structures of Buckminster Fuller among her myriad influences, particularly with her Fall/Winter 2011 debut collection. Jones had a hand in the jewelry that complements each look, several of which harken to Fuller’s self-bracing triangular forms.

One of the most significant differences, however, is the fact that fashion is, by its own definition, ephemeral or fleetingly “of the moment.” As Heidi Klum says on Project Runway, “one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.” Architecture is made to last. The most successful projects have a monumental, permanent presence.

 

Love and Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave District

One of the many reasons working at Board and Vellum is awesome is the location of our office. While many people assume I grew up Children of The Corn Style when they learn I spent the first two thirds of my life in Ohio, or putting out pesky river fires when I clarify that I grew up just outside of Cleveland, the truth is I was raised in Lakewood, a suburb that was—and by all accounts remains– a densely populated, safe, urban neighborhood. I walked to school, and everywhere else I wanted to go for years, and some of my favorite memories are of the fun had traipsing around the town with friends at all stages of my childhood.

This is Lakewood, Ohio. She is awesome.

This is Lakewood, Ohio. She is awesome.

Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, something hugely appealing and welcoming to me. While downtown Seattle itself boasts a quite walkable core, there is something about the scale of each of the many neighborhoods that feels very much like home to me, and a huge reason I love this city. Walk-ability and an evolving tapestry of pedestrian friendly streetcapes was something I took for granted growing up, and has been such a welcome return to my daily life as I’ve settled in to work-life in Capitol Hill.

My introduction to the neighborhood took place in the spring of 2013, when I attended a continuing education class at Seattle Central College. I immediately took a shine to the Broadway area, spending my lunch breaks at Twice Sold Tales or hanging out at Cal Anderson Park. It was a welcome surprise to discover the 15th Ave district this summer, and I delight at the fact that my commute includes experiencing it twice a day.

The best part about 15th Ave East is its size. I’m a sucker for a narrow thoroughfare, and 15th fits this bill with aplomb. At 40’-0” wide, two lanes of through traffic with parking lanes make it prime for pedestrian traffic. Narrow sidewalks add to its coziness and invite patrons in to the many shops, offices and restaurants that line the 3 block stretch that runs from East John to East Mercer. It is amazing how much good stuff is packed in to this small area. In my short time here, strong allegiances have been formed with both the Wandering Goose and Victrola Coffee. My bank account is already quivering at the idea of Christmas and the Red Balloon Company-Casita International-Ada Trifecta.

Clockwise from top left: Victrola: Hands down the best coffee in Seattle, Casita International: Sasquatch on a T-shirt? Yes please, The Wandering Goose: The fried chicken will make you weep, and Ada's Technical Books: B&V's pride and joy and a really awesome place to nerd out over books and beer.

Clockwise from top left: Victrola: Hands down the best coffee in Seattle, Casita International: Sasquatch on a T-shirt? Yes please, The Wandering Goose: The fried chicken will make you weep, and Ada’s Technical Books: B&V’s pride and joy and a really awesome place to nerd out over books and beer.

As an extra special bonus, because 15th functions as the eastern edge of Capitol Hill’s commercial area, it takes nothing to find oneself strolling along the tree lined streets of Millionaires Row or, my personal favorite, 16th Ave East, where 10,000 square foot mansions sit across the street from delightfully modest classic brick apartment buildings. This diversity and quirkiness makes the area of town among my favorite spots, though what makes Seattle really special is that it is really only one of a dozen or more neighborhoods that boast unique and vibrant enclaves that invite a sense of community and provide an opportunity to explore without leaving the city.

Clockwise from top left: The fall foliage on 16th is delightful, Can we talk about how adorable this little library is? It's one of  two I get to browse every day, And this brick apartment building on 16th & Republican is my favorite ever.

Clockwise from top left: The fall foliage on 16th is delightful, Can we talk about how adorable this little library is? It’s one of two I get to browse every day, And this brick apartment building on 16th & Republican is my favorite ever.

Lego the Logo – Part One

As part of the office remodel and expansion project, a Board & Vellum logo wall panel was designed to be installed behind the new reception desk.  While it’s not quite finished yet, we are excited to share with you some process and progress photos for this fun little side project in Part One of this two part story.

The basic design consists of two wall panels, one short and one long, coming together at an inside corner behind the reception desk.  The longer panel will have the Board & Vellum logo, an ampersand inside a square, located near the far end from the corner.  Continuing the tradition of Lego in our office, the wall panels will be clad in Lego base plates and the B&V logo will be recreated in Lego plates in the approximate location and size represented by the blue tape square in the photo below.

reception

The next step was to detail how the panels would be fabricated, assembled, and installed.  The basic parameters were the panels should be framed in steel angle, mitered and welded at the corners, and mounted to the wall in such a way that no fasteners would be visible.  To accomplish this, we opted to use a French cleat system which fastens to the back of the panels and also to the wall studs.  The French cleats allow us to hang the panels tightly to the walls without any significant gaps between the back of the panels and the face of the walls.  They also allow us to remove the panels from the wall with ease when necessary, rather than making the panels a permanent, built-in installation.  A couple of small, discretely located “stop” fasteners installed along the top edge will ensure the panels do not jump off the wall cleats during an earthquake.  Below is any early design development sketch that illustrates the fabrication and assembly concepts.

sketch

Next, we fabricated a quick mock-up of the panels at the corner intersection as a proof of concept.  This proved to be a very useful exercise, as we ultimately decided against making the two legs of the steel frame as one continuous piece.  The reasoning behind that decision was two-fold: 1) attempting to match the exact angle of the inside corner of the existing framed walls is not practical and would likely result in a gap at one of the leg ends, and 2) keeping the two panels separate allows the longer panel to be used by itself in any future installation – the shorter panel is open on one end where it butts into the longer panel’s frame, and therefore cannot be used by itself.  Below are a couple of photos of the mock-up illustrating the steel angle frame with a proposed reveal between the frame and plywood backer board.

photo 1

photo 2

Following the mock-up we revised the details and started the fabrication phase.  We’ll let these photos speak for themselves (mostly… there are brief captions) as they illustrate the fabrication process and progress to date.

plywoodThe plywood backer boards, shim/spacer strips, and homemade French cleats are cut and temporarily stored out of the action area.

big frameThe large frame is cut and laid out prior to welding.

weldingWelding the steel angle frame with Oxy/Acetylene and steel filler rod.

grindingGrinding the weld beads flush.

big panelThe large frame with plywood backer board sitting inside… just checking the fit and all is good!

small panelThe small frame with plywood backer board.

reveal detailHere’s a detail shot of the reveal (architecture speak for designed gap) between the frame and panel board.

paintThe frames are painted!  Both frames were drilled and the holes were countersunk for flat-head wood screws that fasten the plywood to the frames from the back – see the second mock-up photo above.

That’s it for this post.  We expect to bring the finished frame and panels in this week and mount them on the walls soon.  In Part Two of this project, we will show you photos of the Lego base plate fastened to the plywood backer board and the application of the Lego plate pieces to create the Board & Vellum logo.  Stay tuned!