Thursday, February 21, 2013


Curiously, on more than a few occasions, after setting the budget for a project, and designing assiduously to meet that goal, I discover clients increase the scope and the budget, sometimes dramatically. My challenge then becomes how to adapt the design we created to fit the new reality of a larger program. Many times, if we had just started with the higher budget and greater scope to begin with, the project design could be that much better.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Look to ArchitectureWeek - No. 574
for the article "Foundations of Passive House" by Franca Trubiano. It is an excellent update and quick summary of Passivehaus - the one established building standard that meet's California's energy standard for 2020 today. It is worth noting that Passive House is applicable to more than just houses as 'haus' actually translates to buildings - commercial, residential, institutional, public space.

Shown here are two projects, in Berlin and Kamakura, discussed in the article:

By Architektur Werkstatt Vallentin

By Key Architects


The Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek resides on six acres and showcases 3.5 acres of developed gardens. A Certified Wildlife Habitat and Certified Green Business, the gardens demonstrate sustainable gardening practices such as integrated pest management and water conserving practices.   Today, no toxins are used in the gardens.  Visitors are amazed to see 1,000 healthy rose bushes without the use of any pesticides or chemicals.
Visitors can enjoy a broad range of plants situated in more than twenty-four demonstration gardens and learning sites, all with handicapped accessible pathways.

A living museum and outdoor classroom, the gardens serve both students and teachers who use the gardens and adjacent pond for research and study.  Home gardeners benefit from the "demonstration gardens" themselves while photographers and artists find seasonal, if not daily, inspiration. 

Additionally, the Gardens have a Gazebo that is especially popular for weddings. From a sketch by Mathiesen Landscape Architects of a 5 sided cupola on the 10 sided main Gazebo structure, we developed the working drawings, the permit set, created the timber frame, and built, with a wonderful group of volunteers, this special gazebo. Of note, the 10 main posts are pentagonal in shape. To learn more


Thursday, February 7, 2013


While fine residential building design is, in large part, our focus, Kumaran Design also designs public spaces and light commercial. Here is a list:

Projects: Commercial and Public Spaces

Anchor Bay Restaurant               Concept

Auto Repair Shop                       New Facility

Buddha Hut                               JFK Airport Vegi Fast Foods Concept

Bulldog Brothers                        Street Fa├žade Redesign Concept

Cloud View Winery                    Winery + an additional
Earth Sheltered  Barrel
                                                Storage Building and Tasting Room Concept
Heather Farms Gazebo               Ceremonial Gazebo

Heather Farms Gift Shop            Concept

San Marga Visitor Center            Kauai Botanical Gardens Concept

San Marga Restrooms                 Kauai Botanical Gardens - ready for permitting

Sea Ranch Chapel                      Prayer and Meditation Chapel

GK Office                                  Whole Building Office Renovations under construction

Ukiah Methodist Church             New Church Concept

Uncommon Brewers                   Brewery + Tasting Room 

Kumaran Design offers excellent design and practical, cost effective solutions.  Let's see how we can help you.