Exciting News!

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First, an up-date from the Yardarm:

Spraying the first and second floor columns with fire-proof paint:



Some drywall, and painting on the third floor:



Adding the flashing on the roof:



And the new development project from Rendition Developments. Turning this at 2151 Ontario Street:



Into this:

new site


Update at the Yardarm

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TI’s underway, glazing and painting ticking along, sidewalks being poured. And, the building is fully leased! Woo!

Drywall on the first floor.
drywall first floor

Framing in the offices on the third floor.
TI's third floor


Go Big or Go Home

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Oh, yes it is! Tree House Friday!  And today we take a little trip around the world looking at some really big ones.

According to this is the world’s largest tree house at 10 stories tall and around 10,000 square feet. It was built by Horace Burges in Crossville, Tennessee.

(Photo via
(Photo via


Built in Alwick Garden in Northumberland, UK. This 6000 square foot tree house has its own restaurant and gift shop.


(Photo via
(Photo via

And just in case you don’t believe this is a tree house… here is the tree underneath it all.

(Photo via
(Photo via


Not as big, but very impressive is this castle-shaped tree house in the Dordogne, France. It boasts a bathroom, bedroom and a hot tub.


(Photo via
(Photo via


And, finally, just because – this Costa Rican tree house built from a vintage 1965 Boeing 727.

(Photo via
(Photo via

I Love a Good Staircase

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It’s one of those architectural elements which you can either take for granted or elevate to an artistic and innovative expression.

I am always on the lookout for great staircase ideas.

I really like the clean lines and simple materials on this one. This is definitely the kind of thing I would have in my own house… were I to build a new house anytime soon:


(Photo via VSCO Grid/ Visual Supply Co) (Photo via VSCO Grid/ Visual Supply Co)


The other end of the spectrum is this golden, ornate one:


(Photo via mbfirefly on flickr ) (Photo via mbfirefly on flickr )


This innovative one from Faraone, the Italian manufacturer is beautiful and a bit terrifying at the same time:


(Photo via ) (Photo via )


And for function and charm, this one from a bookseller’s in Venice:


( Photo via ) ( Photo via )


Update from the Site

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Happy 2015!

To make up for having stretched out my blogging holiday well into the new year I am offering up a blog sandwich today… well technically more like two pieces of blog toast – with butter.

Let me take you on a walk-through of the Yardarm Building at Ontario and Sixth.


view from the street

The view from the street: glazing going in, and concrete remediation in full swing.



parking level pretty much completed.

The parking level is pretty much all completed.


prepping for drywall

Prepping for drywall on the first floor.


second floor _1

second floor _2

Second floor progress.­­­­­­­­­


second floor view

The view from the second floor.


third floor view

The third floor.


And onto the roof!

rooftop looking south

Looking south:

rooftop looking west

Looking west:


rooftop looking north

Looking north:


Another beautiful day in the city.


It’s Tree house Friday 2015!

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Wow time flies!  Here we are already into January, and high time for some new mind-bending tree houses.


This first one is the hundred year tree house design part of the Patient Gardener Project created by Visiondivision in conjunction with a group of students. The aim is to patiently – very patiently grow and bend a ring of ten cherry trees into this living two story tree house.


(Photo via (Photo via


This next one is by Patrick Dougherty, who crafts giant, human-sized nest-like houses by weaving and growing trees together into fantastical shapes. They are part sculpture, part house and wholly amazing. For more see his web-site


(Photo via Patrick Dougherty ) (Photo via Patrick Dougherty )




So, what are you going to buy your kids for Christmas?

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Most of us probably began our construction and design interests early in life with a building set under the tree one Christmas morning.

My personal favorite was Meccano – with Lego as a close second. This was something I never really got over. A few Christmases ago I got this:

(Photo via Amazon) (Photo via Amazon)
This year over the holidays, I am going to build this:

(Photo via Amazon) (Photo via Amazon)


But – for some truly inspiring and impressive building set action, check out these:

This is a Lego aircraft carrier built by Malle Hawking from 200,000 Lego bricks.

(Photo via creativebloq) (Photo via creativebloq)
This is futuristic Japan built for the Build Up Japan Project. It was created by Japanese school children from 1.8 million Lego bricks.

(Photo via creativebloq) (Photo via creativebloq)


And my favorite… a 23 ton X-Wing constructed from 5.3 million Lego bricks. You’re welcome.

(Photo via (Photo via


It’s Tree House Friday Again! Yay!

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It’s time to get your tree house freak on again.

This first one in honor of the new Star Wars trailer… kind of a Jedi tree house – not to be confused with an Ewok tree house.

(Photo via (Photo via


The second is just awesome. I love how the tree limbs stick out through the walls.

(Photo via (Photo via


Necessity is the mutha’ of invention

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So here’s the thing about Vancouver. It rains.

Not just a little. It rains and rains… and then it rains some more.

And all that water coming into the building on the job-site needs to go somewhere.

That’s why it’s great to have someone like Al Lombardi – Site Superintendent at The Yardarm, Sixth and Ontario.

IMG_2236 (640x480)


Yes, that’s a traffic cone. And yes, that’s the water draining out of the building. Smart huh?

Here’s a few more ingenious ideas that I like:

A soap dish that doesn’t ruin your soap.

(Photo via (Photo via


Hash-brown waffles… mmm…

(Via Pinterest) (Via Pinterest)



It’s Tree House Friday!

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As a kid I LOVED The Swiss Family Robinson TV show. Yes, utterly cheese-tastic 1970’s TV but, come on… the tree house!  Who didn’t want to live in the tree house?

So, I scrounged all the boards I could from around our house.  Straightened all the bent nails my dad gave me – did parents know how to keep kids occupied back them or what? Then, I set out to build something like this:

(Photo via (Photo via

But ended up with something like this:


(That’s Janet from next door, see how impressed she is.)

Strangely, this did not damper my enthusiasm for tree houses or tree house building.  Hence – Tree House Friday. Enjoy.

A tree house for dining: Yellow TreeHouse Restaurant in Aukland New Zealand.

(Photo via worldarchitecture (Photo via worldarchitecture

An abandoned tree house

(Photo via (Photo via

And an extreme tree house

(Photo via (Photo via