Monday, November 29, 2010

"Massive" Spanish Architecture

Wow. It's hard to get an idea of the scale of this house being that the building elements are so massive, and so basic. Huge concrete I-beams, suspended concrete drainage canals (now used as swimming channels), steel girders and one insanely large 20 ton slab of granite to anchor and weigh the whole puzzle down. If you look close, just beyond the pool, you'll see a large dining table that provides some perspective on the size of this structure. HUGE! 

Designed by Madrid architect Antón García Abril, the house sits up on a hill in Las Matas, Spain. Take a look at the original NY Times article.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Custom Furniture

In keeping with the theme of our last post, here's a shot of some more of our custom furniture that we designed. This installation is in a townhome that has an open floor plan on the main level. When the under-table stools are brought out, 9 people can comfortably sit around the fire. On the back side of the slipper chairs (no arms) is the bench from our previous post. The bench and slipper chairs successfully break up the space without effecting the open floor plan. The other bench shown in our previous post nests in a bay window.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Benches! Defining Space in Floor Plans...

Modern residential designs make use of open floor plans in the main living areas, especially in the urban setting where space is often times limited. These open space plans encourage more social interaction and lend well to an entertaining style of living; often having the kitchen, dining and living areas all within one large room. Without walls, furniture styles and arrangements need to be carefully planned to help break up and define these spaces. Benches successfully bridge the gap between areas by allowing seating on either side, yet keep a low profile to help nurture the benefits of an open space plan. Following are two examples of beautiful upholstered wood benches (if we do say so ourselves) taken from our own custom furniture line:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Purchasing Power

One of the huge perks gained by practicing Interior Design is exposure to amazing products from all over the world. We've been using the same importer for our pots for over 10 years, and they never disappoint! They always have a massive selection with new colors and shapes, and spread them out accordingly across their giant display lot. As practing professionals, we get a wholesale discount with most of our suppliers as well... meaning we usually end up getting some for ourselves! Not a bad deal to get paid to shop, AND score deals. It's a win win for everyone, since our clients also get access to reduced retail pricing via our purchasing power. Living in Seattle and close to the seaport means there are plenty of overseas importers right at our doorstep. And the Seattle Design Center is full of great showrooms for us to browse with clients.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fabulous Residential Pool and Lounge Design

There are so very many reasons this SPG Architects residence would be an amazing place to call home, if only for a week! A highlight for us is the super well designed pool and lounge area. Located in Costa Rica means the climate nurtures a seamless dance between exterior and interior spaces. The multi-level courtyard allows for this dance to take place throughout the home, as do the large full height window walls that open onto the pool lounge area. The home also has excellent outdoor lighting creating a perfect nighttime escape, complete with an exterior bed at one end of the pool! Check out these great images found on

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Follow A Bollen Design on Facebook

Follow A Bollen Design on Facebook to see great daily posts on design, architecture, and all the in-betweens. Posts including super amazing homes, forward thinking green design, lush landscapes, creative accessories and furnishings...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Condo Tower Wall Planter Nodes

These garage wall planters are on a building in downtown Seattle's Denny Triangle area. A great way to treat the facade that walls the garage, rather than a faux front that mimics the rest of the building. That said, we're not a fan of the rest of the building anyway!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New A Bollen Design Website

We're excited for the newly launched and redesigned website for A Bollen Design! The new website focuses on simplicity and clarity. We're leaving behind our old snazzy and over-designed flash website for one that works better with all browsers and smart phones. Our new website balances informative text with portfolio images for a quick yet comprehensive snapshot of our design capabilities... we hope you approve!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Urban Plaza's in Big Development

Wider sidewalks, plaza's and parks... things vital to realize a true pedestrian friendly city. In an effort to maximize return on investment big development unfortunately does not usually include these things. The United States Courthouse in Seattle is a prime example of successful incorporation of public space into a large scale block development. Not to mention a fantastic building. For sure, the design and style of the plaza fits the business of the building, that being a place to uphold the law. And much like the building, the plaza makes use of beautiful materials and design that then balance themselves nicely with the function of the space. The architect was NBBJ and the engineer was MKA, two huge international firms based out of Seattle.

As one makes their way around the south and west sides of the building, they'll be welcomed with continuous steps that turn 90 degrees to parallel both blocks. The steps flow into the natural slope of the western block, growing in number as the grade lowers to the northern side of the block. As you near the entry to the building the steps continue into a water feature and become part of the design of the plaza, thereby meshing function into form.

This shot back towards the entry looks through the iron fist of the law sculpture. Don't mess with the law, but have a seat in our lovely plaza and ponder your freedom. Just be sure to mind the hidden cameras!