Blog posts for November 2013

the LowDO housoffice | revealing the past

November 15, 2013. By ashley. 0 comment(s).

LowDO is slowly but steadily transforming its Southtown San Antonio location into a vibrant office space. In doing so, we want to create an inspirational office environment that celebrates the historic nature of the 1907 building that we are renovating.

The "Beauregard House" has, in its 100+ years on this site (one mile south of the Alamo), functioned as a private home, a multi-resident apartment building, a bed+breakfast, and most recently the crashpad/workspace for some software developers. While the building hasn't always received much TLC, it does have a remarkable set of remnants from these various stages of existence. So before we act as designers, we get to play the role of archeologists, uncovering clues about the past of this soon-to-be LowDO living+working housoffice.

Peeling carpet back to reveal where an outdoor porch was added-onto in order to form an enclosed dining room. Peeling drywall off to reveal various layers of paint and wallpaper on cedar shiplap.

Walls that have been opened, closed, opened and closed again. The wood pattern suggests windows that originally existed were removed in favor of closing them and inserting a door, which later was also closed off. We have uncovered three brick chimneys in the house; those and the transom windows above the doors represent some of the strategies for passive climate control that kept this house livable for most of the past 100 years (and still do, until we install an HVAC system). We have no idea what the square opening in the wall (that the yellow ladder is resting against) at the upper level was for, other than aethetic value.

We may never have the answers to some burning questions about the house, such as, "What year are these soda cans from?" (They were found among the studs in the walls.)

The house has its fair share of quirks and surprises, but it also has an incredible richness of material layered into its architecture. We look forward to utilizing these existing materials in concert with new (experimental?) finishes and details.

But before we start adding...we have some subtracting (delicate editing really) to do. Next up: three walls and half a floor come down.

Come make with us

November 2, 2013. By dk. 0 comment(s).
Are you a young architect, artist, designer or computer programmer interested in making stuff? Low Design Office is hiring for project-based design work through the first quarter of 2014.

LOWDO is an architecture and design studio based in San Antonio, Texas and Tema, Ghana that aims for more with less: we make high performance buildings, landscapes, tools and systems with low environmental impact and low energetics (efficient use of materials, optimized operations and maintenance, low carbon footprint). We contend that low is the new minimalism: meaningful aesthetics and design innovation emerge from bottom-up responses to low supply.

To date our team has worked on projects on five continents that span social design, community engagement and low-cost sustainable construction with a practical, hands-on commitment to innovative environmental research through design/build. We are looking for dynamic, highly motivated and proactive candidates with strong design, graphics and 3D modeling skills who are precise, detail-oriented and capable of working independently.

Preferred Qualifications:

. Bachelors or Masters Degree in Architecture, Art, Design or Computer Science
. Proficiency with AutoCAD and Rhino
. Working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator)
. Experience with rendering, illustration and graphic design
. Capable of concept design and development, rapid iteration at high level
. Hands-on ability to build physical models, prototypes, construction and finish carpentry
. Any experience in the following is a plus: web development, mobile, hardware, robotics and mechatronics, metal-work, environmental science, videography and media communications

Interested candidates should submit a PDF portfolio to lowdo@lowdo.net with portfolio, resume and cover letter indicating your timeframe of availability and preference for Ghana or Texas office. Please note that given volume not all submissions may receive a response.