Thursday, April 17, 2014

Casablanca

Casablanca was our first stop of our study trip; it was greener than I thought Morocco would be. Memorable for the Hassan II Mosque by the sea and the very friendly hotel manager who drew a map for my ten K run - " follow the tram tracks and you shouldn't get lost and run west - it is safer that side"
At 5 a.m. the next morning, Louis and I went for our ten K - it was cold but fast, dark but safe - we got many 'salaams' from the devout coming out of mosques along the way.



The Hassan II Mosque by the sea

Map of our run - along the tram lines so we do not get lost

Early morning



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Doha

On the way to Casablanca, we stopped over in Doha, Qatar. The main airport was under construction and the present disembarkation system involved 15-minute bus-rides and different drop off points; colour coded with your boarding passes - blue for final destination, yellow for transit and purple for long transfer.
The transit lounge was abuzz with people looking for toilets, departure gates and duty free goods. (or for me; free wifi) The only highlight during my 4 hour layover was a pack of dates where someone had replaced their seeds with almonds - combining two of my favourite things.





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My mind is in the gutter

Thinking through the details of our latest project has kept me away from my sketch book - so I am showing here the drawings from my other sketch book which I have for projects. I try and work things out  and then pass them on to my colleagues to CAD into construction drawings - it is a good habit to keep so that you have your ideas with you in one place.
Having said that, nothing beats sketching out design  solutions on the back of old blueprints with a colleague - I do better work in a team.


 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Waiting without fretting

I enjoy waiting in public places.

It means that I am not in the office nor at home which means that I am not drawing, talking, cleaning, weeding or any other the number of things that I do to occupy my time. It probably means that I have a book, or a sketchbook with me and a drink in front of me. Sometimes I read and when I am tired of reading - I sketch the people around me.
These are my companions at the IKEA waiting lounge where I was left for an hour with our purchases while the others dashed off for grocery shopping (Who shops for groceries for an hour?)
This woman was eating at the KLCC food court - she was eating very slowly so I thought that she was waiting for someone to join her, but it turns out that she was pre-occupied in some deep thought. Her chopsticks would sometimes stop with noodles dangling in mid flight. 
The guy at the departure certainly could not wait without fretting, I had difficulty drawing him in a single pose until he finally fell asleep. Unfortunately for him, we were to board the plane by then.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Building Bridges

My friends think that I drive my children too hard and force them to do too many chores. I do not agree. Chores are those tasks that you instruct someone to do while you stand and look, it is not a chore if you do the work with them.
I see physical labour as a way of bonding with my family.

Sean testing the ramp as Felicia looks on

the landing is formed by stacking 5x5 " belian posts - the ramp is simply held on place by its weight

we try to use as many of the things we have around the house as possible, or bought cheaply from the hardware store

That is what Sean and I were doing last week - building a bridge between father and son, between the garden and the pavillion. He is a good work partner. Usually I start first, by going into the garden and preparing the materials and he quietly joins me a few minutes later and stays until we are done for the afternoon.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

What's been on my mind...

I have neglected my blog. The following are some excuses...

I have a lot on my plate recently, and even more on my mind - from the mundane to the spiritual. Should I re-plant the tomatoes? Am I mentoring my children adequately? Is my irritability caused by hormonal imbalance? and on top of that, there is work to keep me occupied.

the modular form of the office is offset by the rakish angle of the roof and screen. (washed with coffee)

This has been on my mind in the past weeks - an office building designed to be de-mountable after several years and used elsewhere. The modular building will be constructed in steel with panel cladding and flooring for re-useability - a series of stacked boxes sheltered with an over-sailing roof. The roof pitch is a gentle 5 degrees making it an ideal pedestrian 'ramp' to the top end of the roof.

view of the 'street' - bridges overhead connect the offices with the amenities.

Construction starts soon, I am looking forward to detailing in steel again.