Monday, August 30, 2010

Modern Kitchen Renovation - Circa 2008

It's dawned upon me lately it'd be nice to have a little more modern eye candy here on CincinnatiModernation. What follows is a kitchen renovation I designed and completed in 2008. The project involved a very nice MCM home in the Wyoming suburb of Cincinnati. Unfortunately the existing kitchen had no character whatsoever.
Removing an existing wall now serves as the opening into the new kitchen extending the open floor plan of the existing house. The original low kitchen ceiling was removed to extend the sloped ceilings throughout the first level. An existing exterior attic vent was removed and replaced with glass to mirror the large expanse of glass between the dining and kitchen spaces. The custom hanging island cabinet anchors the new space.
Contrasting Ikea cabinets and stainless Kitchenaid appliances compliment the stark color pallette. The new ceiling and window wall was lined with cement board while the flooring was renewed with cork. Only one hole was needed for the faucet in the Corian island counter beyond the large underset stainless steel sink. New Bertoia stools were a must to line the new island.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flat Roof Replacement - Day 6 & 7

Since I'm a bit behind in Roof Replacement Posts, I'm going to start consolidating. We'll take a look at and review Day 6 & 7 in this post. I'm measuring by days for reference and to illustrate how many working days it takes to this huge project. To the left, Day 6 began with redoing Day 3's hiccups with additional layers of tapered insulation. It was nice to see the roofers using levels this go round.
Why did the roof still pond after a new install you might ask? Simply, the roofers weren't leveling their installation to confirm postive slope to the drain. The existing structure of our house surely has settled and moved a bit since 1953. It had become apparent leveling the plywood would be critical on the varying existing wood structure. With a level horizontal surface the tapered insulation is able to do its job in providing positive slope to the drains. Day 6's completion tied in nicely to Day 5's tapered.

Here's another view of the north wing of the roof. There's a large diamond shaped cricket that does the heavy draining on this area. Water tests showed Day 6's remediation to drain well.

Day 7 kicked off with sweltering heat and more tear off. By now the same old same old stuff. Remove existing 4 layers of roof, insulate the roof cavity, then glue and screw 3/4" T&G plywood to the roof rafters and so on with the rest of the tapered and rubber membrane. If you look close to the photo on the left you can see the use of shims to assist the plywood leveling.

A close up of the roofer leveling with shims. I'm very glad I insisted they use levels. Had I not been supervising the roof progress, we would have ended up with another pond to fish in on our roof. I don't think many flat roof homeowners would climb the ladder to inspect progress and geek out on a roof install. I call it necessary, that's just me.

I can't resist the awe of what we had for an existing roof, layers of nasty wetness. With the roof almost completely insulated we are noticing our AC in more productive to cool these hot summer days inside.

This is not the time capsule I had hoped to find in our house. This area had the worst ponding on the house, thus the most juicy. Note in this close up the deterioration of the original plywood as it's sunk into the purlin spacing. The purlins had plenty of rot and many needed replaced throughout this area. Don't you want to just take a bite of this pie?

Day 7 complete, it was time for a water test. The results to the left after a couple of hours, a unsatisfying long puddle along the cricket which is supposed to have positive slope to the drain. Here's the educational part of the show. Basically after a good rain (per code) a flat roof is expected to have no water on it within 48 hours of typical weather. This allows enough time for any puddles to evaporate. While the water in this photo does evaporate in the given time, I can't help but be frustrated with the lack of care the roofers could have taken to level the plywood.

I'll digress with my frustration of roof puddles and look at another dilemma, our now revealed original fascia. To start, this was the original color of the house. Now we knew Gene had Gened up this house in every way he could. His installation of beige aluminum over the fascia had to be for a reason. Although the original color was good to see, it's going to be some work to remove and repair a majority of the redwood around the roof.

Here you can see the rotting / deterioration / lack of maintenance up close. This is the inside corner on our porch. Our fascia is composed of a 1x8 upper band and 1x10 lower band. Almost all of it is going to have to come down. While we plan to reuse this redwood, new redwood is not cheap. At least the beige is gone.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ultimate Mid Century Modern Swap - Part 2

The MCM swap is complete. Upon returning from Indianapolis last night, a bit of patience was needed for the pouring rain to subside. Then I was finally able to construct our new Preway fireplace on our front porch. I have always drooled over having one of these to use outside for our outdoor firepit.

I have come close to buying a red one and a dark blue Malm brand one in the past, but this swap was one that I couldn't pass on. There were two major manufacturers of these types of Atomic style fireplaces, Malm and Preway. DWR is selling the Malm brand for $1,500, gulp. The Preway's on the other hand, are hit and miss, a google image search shows no shortage of eye candy.

I am still geeking out that we acquired a white one, color at it's purest, and for now a nice contrast to the dark grey color of the house. Many thanks to Baz over at Atomic Indy for the swap. I'm sure he was up all night placing his Maragret Wenstrup pieces in various configurations around his Atomic Ranch.

For the time being I'm really digging the dominant appearance it has from street view and the periscoping flue as it sits in front of the house. The fireplace came with all the necessary components to install indoors and vent through a wall or roof. I envision that we'll move the new firepit to our back patio area shortly. For the next few days. . . .the neighbors will just have to learn to like it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ultimate Mid Century Modern Swap - Part 1

Does this piece of art look familiar? You may recall back earlier this year my Margaret Wenstrup artwork score. Well today is the day the piece travels to Indianapolis for new ownership with Baz from Atomic Indy. At the recent CF3 swap meet at Bellevue park, the verbal agreement was completed, today the delivery and exchange takes place. You may ask, what are you trading that huge piece of art for? Tomorrow, I'll post a picture of what I'm getting in return.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flat Roof Replacement - Day 5

Things have been busy, thus posts on the roof progress are a bit delayed, no worries, Day 5 is here. Today I was able to catch photos of different phases of the demolition and installation of the tapered installation. To the left is the original built up tar and gravel roof. This is some nasty stuff, while the roofers have been very clean with their demolition, we still are in clean up finding lots of little black gravel around the yard.

Here's a closeup of the vent stack and it's original flashing. The original plywood is still in place in these first two photos.

Later at lunch plenty of progress was being made. Having erred on Day 3's work and subsequent ponding, we made a change to the flat area tapered insulation slope. We opted under the roofer's suggestion to go from 1/8" per foot to 1/4" per foot. Additionally the 'crickets' are being switched from 1/4" per foot to 1/2" per foot. With so much variation at the top of the existing roof joists, shimming and framing as necessary to level the initial installation of the plywood will be imperative.

Another view to put it in perspective. After installing the new tapered thicknesses at this area, the work from Day 3 will be redone next to tie into today's work. All in all there, the existing roof joists and purlins are in pretty good shape this area.

Today I managed to catch the tapered insulation installation, something that has since become very educational. Basically there are underlying planes of the 1/4" tapered insulation. Then crickets tapered at 1/2" are then installed on top of the initial 1/4" per foot slope. A cricket is an elongated ridge that diverts the water to the drains. None of the crickets have been installed in the photo to the left.

Here's a romantic shot of the finish install. The wrinkled in the top center of the photo are temporary. You can see the valleys running diagonally along the large cricket shaped like a diamond. The roofers seal every day's work before leaving in case we get rain between work. With the way the roof has weather has been we've averaged about 2 days of work so far. Craving more? Check out CincinnatiModernation's facebook page for more photos.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mid Century Modern Curb Appeal - Red Roof

And on the 9th day of roof work, we have the first reveal of our original house color, the color often used by Dombar, maroon/ red, similar to Wright's preference of Cherokee Red. While the roof membrane is now completely installed I have about 5 days of work to catch up to which will be featured in the next couple of posts. For now we're enjoying the lack of beige on the front of the house. We have some major work to do on the existing redwood fascia, more to come soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Abrom Dombar 1912-2010

Unfortunate news came today, Abrom Dombar passed away yesterday, he was 98 years old. We recently verified that our house was designed by Abe. It's nice to be a little part of history. To the left are photos of some of his architectural work. Below is some text written by his daughter April & grandson Daniel.

"Abrom was born April 27, 1912, in North Vernon, Indiana, after his parents emigrated from Odessa, Russia (now Ukraine) in 1905. He graduated from Hughes High School in Cincinnati and attended the University of Cincinnati's school of design, art and architecture before joining Wright and one other at the newly founded Taliesin Fellowship as a founding member in 1932.

In Mr. Dombar's second year of college, he was awarded the autobiography of Mr. Wright after being voted the most talented student of the year. Yound Mr. Dombar snuck into a speech being given by Mr. Wright where he learning of Wright's dream to have a fellowship. It was months later that Dombar joined Wright, Edgar Tafel, William Wesley Peters and John Howe to establish the now-famous Taliesin Fellowship.

As accounted in the book The Fellowship by Roger Friedland and Harold Zellman, Wright had wanted Dombar to take over the Fellowship at Taliesin when Wright retired, but Dombar chose to return to Cincinnati to begin his own architectural design practice. While at Taliesin, Dombar went on to live in Bear Run, Pennsylvania where he was the first foreman at Fallingwater, perhaps Wright' most famous work.

Abrom Dombar was a Lieutenant in the Army in WWII serving three years stationed in both France and Germany. During Abrom Dombar's career as an architectural designer he created both commercial and residential properties, always staying true to his creative nature.

Architecture may have brought Dombar some noteriety, but his real passion was as a family man. He was happily married for 67 years to Sarah Penso Varon, who passed away in 2007. He leaves behind a son David Dombar, daughter April Davidow, four grandsons and their wives, and six great grandchildren."

"Most persons back away almost immediately as soon as they hear the term 'modern architecture.' They get a mental picture right away of some flat or oddly-shaped house. That, however does not properly define organic, or modern, architecture. Modern architecture is a building to suit the climate, landscape, and various conditions and to have the house natural to the materials used." - Abrom Dombar, 1937