Monday, December 1, 2014


There is a nice entry available at Houzz  titled: Design Workshop: 10 Reasons to Put Craft Into Modern Architecture.  

This article sits square with me. No craft - less heart - soul quite hard to find.   Talk to me about your next project. Marrying modern with craft with nature hits a sweet spot. Shall we?

See it here: 

Friday, October 3, 2014


Sometimes, in remodel designs, it is best to keep things simple. Do small things to affect utility,  flow and aesthetics.  For this mid-century modern, for all their noted openness, the kitchen was closed off from the public, living areas.   Hard to entertain to a wall. This we fixed. The other big flaw was the flow. While there was no way to economically change the path of travel through the kitchen. Nudging here and there could at least reduce the disruption at the core kitchen work areas. See the before and after plans and photos below:




Wednesday, September 3, 2014


All photos © Indivar Sivanathan

For floor plan and further details see Heeschen Project under Work

Friday, August 8, 2014


Designed for the gala fundraiser for the Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles held this past June, celebrating surf culture,  West of West  created aero - an experimental surf craft rooted in surfboard design history sculpturally anticipating a radical future. Check it out!

Links to learn more:       and 

Aero is cool!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Of particular note: the beautiful vertical grain fir cabinets were made by the owner.

All photos © Indivar Sivanathan

For floor plan and further details see Heeschen Project under Work

Monday, July 7, 2014


All photos © Indivar Sivanathan

For floor plan and further details see Heeschen Project under Work

Monday, June 23, 2014


We have recently created several pieces of furniture. Thematically, they express 'natural modern'.    Here is a peek at two:

   An Uncommon Bench

Red Lounge Coffee Table

After reading the rest of this blog,   go to to see more.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


What does the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ,
Charlie Rose,
Jerry Brown,  ,
Passive House, , and myself have in common? 

We all know it is time to act on Climate Change. And we all can act.

So what can we do?

For myself, as a designer of buildings we occupy,  you will see many

 references in this blog to the Passive House strategy, the definitive 
approach to increase energy efficiency thus reducing energy use.
Take it seriously. It makes eminent sense.
In our lucky coastal California climate application of the strategy 
adds only a few percentage points to the overall cost of new buildings. 
Retrofits just a little more. So looking forward, take the long view, 
the return is positive both monetarily and globally.

So what can you do?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

the WoodWatch endeavor

Daphne Cothren, Laurel (ARCHITECTURE), is inspired to do for wood what the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program has done for consumers of fish. WoodWatch wants to shift market demand for wood in building toward economically and environmentally sustainable species by providing guidance to decision makers and consumers. The initial rating system is simple:

Avoid - these species are over-harvested or the harvesting itself is accomplished in harmful ways, or both.
Good - okay but with some concerns about how the forest is managed or overall species numbers.
Best - abundant, well-managed and harvested in an environmentally-friendly way that can maintain or increase production in the long term without jeopardizing the ecosystem.

What she is trying to set up really makes sense.  Have you noticed our efforts to save the redwoods has been so successful that this locally grown, self regenerative, sustainable and beautiful tree isn't used very much*. Instead it's plastic and ipe now. After we cut down our redwoods, saw some light and stopped that, we turn a blind eye to old growth tropical forests (ipe et al) which are now fair game. Shame anew.

It is time to push WoodWatch along.

You can contact Daphne @ Laurel Architecture,,, and 925.926.0440

*No doubt, redwoods very much needed saving and being self-generating they are coming back strong. Second and third growth trees can be harvested sustainably.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


First plan shows the original bath room layout. It served a typical 3 bedroom, 1 bath 50's ranch style home.

The design program to update this bathroom was to enlarge it in both size and feel, along with new fixtures, cabinetry, and finishes.  To gain space a linen closet was relocated elsewhere. The small window was replaced with a  much larger bay window. A wall hung Grohe toilet was chosen.  Here's how the bathroom changes manifest in plan and section.