Diamond in the Rough

by Ken Avery

Moving to Portland, Oregon in 2007 was the beginning of a new life rich with opportunities for discovery and growth. St. Johns suspension bridgePeninsula Park, Portland’s original rose gardenOn east side of the river in Portland lies a vast network of very pedestrian friendly, tree lined residential streets. Throug... Read More


Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake

by Carl Baker

When Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau cured his Tuberculosis by spending as much time as possible outdoors in the environs of Saranac Lake NY, his prescription for a cure (complete bed-rest while simultaneously breathing fresh mountain air) led to a new building type. The architectural fashions of the day were modified to... Read More


Off the Grid: William Wurster's Steep Ravine Cabins

by Carl Baker

Last week we were lucky enough to spend a night at Steep Ravine cabins, the humble yet perfectly sited shelters designed by William Wurster in the 1940s just above Stinson Beach in Marin. Since the Park Service took ownership of them in the 70's, the cabins have hosted a nearly continuous stream of 'campers' who pr... Read More


Angkor Wat

by Arturo V. Bárcenas

While travelling through Southeast Asia, I visited one of the most imposing and archaeologically significant sites in the world. Angkor Wat, as the complex is known, is the world’s largest religious monument, covering an area of about 154 square miles near the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. Its main structures were built ... Read More


I like painting with watercolors.

by Joel Barkley

My first summer in college I studied landscape architecture in Italy.  I learned how to watercolor by spending an entire day sitting in one spot in a garden: Villa Gamberaia, Villa Petraia, Bomarzo…—no food, no wine, just painting with a block of smelly Fabriano cotton paper,  three little tubes of paint, and ... Read More


I’ve Looked at Parks from Both Sides Now…

by Joel Barkley

from east and west, and still somehow, it's parks' illusions I recall. I really don't know parks... at all.I am presently working on two apartments that overlook Manhattan's Central Park. One is on the East Side and one is on the West Side. Every Wednesday, I traverse the park from one side to the other for construction me... Read More


Sign here, Michael Graves

by Joel Barkley

I blossomed early, and was told at age six that I should become an architect.  I moonlighted in high school designing house additions, then got an undergraduate degree in architecture.The portfolio that eventually got me into Princeton in 1991, where Michael Graves had taught the introductory graduate design studio sin... Read More


Mies' Last Building

by Joel Barkley

Mies. The last building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe stands in vibrant downtown Louisville, Kentucky.  The American Life Insurance Building's story echoes that of Mies' Seagram Building a decade earlier in that it also came about by way of a daughter's suggestion.  It is an oft-told story, Phyllis Lam... Read More


The Barbican Sink

by Joel Barkley

If a television set mated with a urinal, what would it look like?I first saw this sink in World of Interiors back in 2005 or so.  That magazine always has an old world strangeness that this particular sink totally embodies. It is set up like a 1960's TV, with hot and cold arranged in VHF/UHF fashion, and the reces... Read More


Where the Boys Are

by Joel Barkley

My first time in Fort Lauderdale was in the hot, lonely off season of August 1987. A twenty year old with a free weekend, I was expecting “Where the Boys Are” with Connie Francis. The 1960 film was glamorous spring break nirvana, with lots of frugging teenagers. I didn’t find it, nearly three decades after they f... Read More


For Your Memorial Day Reading

by Joel Barkley

I was quoted on outdoor kitchens in this month's Architectural Digest. Sometimes you don't even want see it from the outside! Here's one of our outdoor kitchens, from Architectural Digest's June 2011 issue. Trust us, it's there, tucked behind the white stucco form at left. Happy Memorial Day - now fire up the... Read More


Book Report: Las Casas del Pedregal: 1947-1968

by Joel Barkley

Today I will be reporting on Las Casas del Pedregal: 1947-1968.  A brief report—I haven’t actually read it, as I can’t read Spanish—but never mind.  It is the most hauntingly, beautifully sublime compilation of modernist images I’ve seen since middle school, when the miraculously stylized film strip vers... Read More


One from the Shoe Box

by Joel Barkley

I found an old box of construction photos of a favorite project from about 15 years back. I think the images are so good they should see the light of day. As with all projects, I started with a watercolor for our first client meeting. (The above watercolor was painted by me in the olden days and not created by a m... Read More


The Real Thing

by Joel Barkley

Tiles from Heath Ceramics always surprise me with their perfect balance of variation and consistency, clarity and mystery, depth and surface. They are always showing just enough hand to be handmade but free of forced "artistry." They are serious.They are still made in their bohemian Sausalito, California, factory, the same ... Read More


Camelbacks of Portland

by Joel Barkley

Our idea.We're very excited about being part of the recently announced 21st Century Shotgun Project in Louisville, Kentucky. We are designing a small, affordable, and green infill house to contribute to the revitalization of Portland, a riverside neighborhood in the west end of the city. Many of the vern... Read More


How Modern My Marina

by Joel Barkley

National Geographic, June 1967.It was the memory of a picture from my grandmother's saved 1967 National Geographic that brought me to Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City; couples embracing in a modern balcony dance, the lights of Chicago twinkling off to flat infinity. At the time of their construction in 1963, the twin ... Read More


Backyard Safari

by Joel Barkley

Rutgers TomatoesI have a big flower and vegetable garden this summer, so not much travel for me. It's been fun following friends' vacations on my new favorite, Instagram, while I weed, dirty. Here are some of the pictures I've taken:Sedum Autumn JoyMarigoldZinniaSunflowerFaunaI'm not photographing poignant architectural det... Read More


Molly Denver on a Different Kind of Summer Break

by Joel Barkley

his guest post was written by Molly Denver, architect at Ike Kligerman Barkley. I’ve always wanted to be an architect, and feel incredibly lucky that I get to do what I love. It is for this reason that, about seven years ago, I decided to find a way to give back, and began leading international teams with Habitat for... Read More


Five Things I've Learned from Interior Designers

by Joel Barkley

1. Alexa Hampton: Good art goes with anything.Ike Kligerman Barkley and Alexa Hampton in Architectural Digest's "A Sophisticated Connecticut Home." Photo by Durston Saylor.Look at the picture above! It works!2. Paul Wiseman: Never decorate with tile.Paul Wiseman's own house in Veranda's "California Dreaming." I’ve le... Read More


I've looked at piers from both sides now

by Joel Barkley

Job sites can be brimming (or rife) with serendipity.IKB project architect Andy Urbany surveys the scene.Just yesterday, at one of our fledgling houses, I upset the proud mason by paying more attention to the backside of his tapered fieldstone pier than to the front of it. It brought Frank Lloyd Wright's (see post last week... Read More


Our American Architect for the 4th of July

by Joel Barkley

I've always liked and thought about houses, and in elementary school I wanted to be a "house builder." In spite of weekends making my parents take me to construction sites, my teachers and friends all seemed to point me toward architecture instead. Maybe because I drew all the time, or because I wasn't handy.I was a vernacu... Read More


Little Houses

by Joel Barkley

I grew up in very small houses. As a child I daydreamed constantly about larger houses, inventing elaborate mansions in my brain.  Occasionally I'd try out a grand scheme and draw one of them up. Once I even told my fourth grade teacher the fib that my family planned to build one of them.At work, I do sort of the ... Read More


Horace Gifford

by Joel Barkley

This past fall, John Ike mentioned Horace Gifford - a little known architect who designed beautiful modern beach houses on Fire Island. Christopher Rawlins, who, like me, is an alumnus of both Georgia Tech and Princeton, has recently written a much-needed book on Gifford. “Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Arc... Read More


Floor Patterns and Floor Plans

by Joel Barkley

Service lavatory floor, McGraw Hill Building, New York CityI’ve been taking pictures of random ashlar floor patterns.I like their pinwheel effect, their centrifugal energy on the floor suggests an infinite possibility of directions.Ground Level Floor, New Orleans Athletic ClubPiet Mondrian's Composition with Gray and Ligh... Read More


"Does Lacroix do Kitchens?"

by Joel Barkley

There’s an episode of the 1990s British television comedy “Absolutely Fabulous” in which Edina Monsoon’s kitchen burns. She needs to rebuild it, and after pleading aloud the title of this entry, she has a design epiphany.She and best friend Patsy spontaneously hop on the Concorde to steal, or at least photograph, a ... Read More


Spanish Wells

by Joel Barkley

Nicky Haslam and I are up to something. Like most designers and architects we both love to design and rarely stop doing it, or at least thinking about it.  On a beach vacation in Barbados over New Years, we interrupted the flow of glamorous luncheons and parties with Nicky’s friends to do some work dev... Read More


I like painting with watercolors.

by Joel Barkley

My first summer in college I studied landscape architecture in Italy.  I learned how to watercolor by spending an entire day sitting in one spot in a garden: Villa Gamberaia, Villa Petraia, Bomarzo…—no food, no wine, just painting with a block of smelly Fabriano cotton paper,  three little tubes of paint, and ... Read More


Shaping Up

by Joel Barkley

Vertiginous breakfast room: framing underway for a new house.  We can start to feel the spaces inside and out.Skinny stacked porches Street frontThermal opening in board-formed concreteHybrid steel and woodLong gallery view with shoring... Read More


Inspiration in Shropshire

by Joel Barkley

From left: Joel Barkley; Birch Coffey; Tim Knox - Director, Sir John Soane's Museum; Chas A. Miller - Executive Director, Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation; and Stefano Aluffi-Pentini - Director, A Private View of Italy Last month I joined a group of fellow architecture lovers on a trip to Shropshire.  The Sir John So... Read More


Lifting a Brick House

by Joel Barkley

Last week I went down south to observe the raising of an 1820 brick house. It lies in a floodplain, and the safer height will prepare both the house and us for the significant renovation we're about to undertake.I've lifted a wooden house before, but this was my first solid masonry structure. Edwards Moving and Rigging... Read More


Town then Country

by Joel Barkley

When Philip Johnson died in 2005, the New York Chapter of the AIA requested reminiscences about him for their online journal eOculus.  These were mine:I was twice a guest of Philip Johnson. The first time, I schemed my way into his office in the Lipstick (now Madoff) Building to show him the thesis project I'd just com... Read More


My Soddy

by Joel Barkley

Two happy years of my awkward youth were spent attending Soddy-Daisy Junior High School, near the town of Soddy, Tennessee, a beautiful place nestled between Walden's Ridge and the Tennessee River, just up the road from Daisy.  I've heard that Soddy's funny name came from "soddies", which are clammy turf huts.  Wh... Read More


The Pentagon and Indian Pinks

by Joel Barkley

Last year when we landed a project on the north shore of Long Island, I thought I'd try a new shape.  It was May, high garden season, and while thinking about the floor plan and layout, I was inspired by wildflowers. These bright red Indian Pinks, which I'd bought a year earlier at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve nea... Read More


Workmanlike Kitchens

by Joel Barkley

Next time you watch Rosemary's Baby, note some product placement:   in Mia Farrow's Dakota apartment lurks the same red and orange cookbook that bewitched me and bedeviled my mother, the Life Picture Cookbook (below.)  Mom didn't cook from it, but complained about always stepping over it.  The book never stay... Read More


"Get My Good Side."

by Joel Barkley

As in portraiture, three-quarter views of houses can be flattering.My friend and collaborator Todd Klein (Todd Klein Inc.) shares a liking of the Chief Vann House in Chatsworth, Georgia. I saw it for the first time this weekend. Todd pointed out to me the wonderful asymmetry of the garden front.Top image: From the angl... Read More



by Joel Barkley

No trips to Morocco for me.  A knee injury has kept me close to home and feeling very blue.  And the hue of this color that transports my brain temporally is turquoise.  When I was young in Tennessee, the 1960’s building of my high school had faded turquoise spandrel panels.  They were to me the embodi... Read More


Tribeca Loft

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

When our clients, a couple with a young daughter, purchased this loft in a former warehouse in Manhattan’s Tribeca district, it was a 50-by-80-foot box, evincing traditional details—steel beams, cast-iron columns, an exposed-joist ceiling—and a subsequently added foot-deep concrete floor. The brief was simple... Read More


Jethro Coffin House Reimagined

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

A group of NYSID students designed two rooms in the Jethro Coffin House, the oldest house on Nantucket, for Nantucket by Design, a festival of design taking place this week, organized by the Nantucket Historical Association. The house was built in 1686 as a wedding gift to Jethro Coffin and his ... Read More


A Week in Nantucket

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

This week we were invited to speak at the Nantucket By Design luncheon benefiting the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA).  Celebrating creative design across many fields and disciplines the week of events, formerly the August Antiques Show and the Antiques & Design Show of Nantucket, builds on 38 years of histo... Read More


Vive La France!

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

In honor of Bastille Day, we  celebrate two important French architects that continue to inspire us today: Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Auguste Perret. Claude-Nicolas LedouxA fashionable architect in the 18th century, Ledoux began his career designing private houses in the Neoclassical style for the upper echelon of ... Read More


A Mood of Sunny Summers Past

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

"Summer sky, summer sea, summer breeze - a house built to savor them all" An enticing title for the cover story of the July 1968 issue of House Beautiful, written by Editor Elizabeth Sverbeyeff. This week we took a look back at summer houses buried in our precious collection of design magazines from the late ... Read More


May The Fourth Be With You

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

In case you missed it, this Wednesday was May 4th - an important Internationally-celebrated holiday: Star Wars Day.  The holiday's moniker was first used by British Conservatives in a Newspaper ad celebrating Margaret Thatcher's victory in 1979.  The message read "May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulation... Read More


Purple Rain

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

Today is a sad day.This morning it was announced that the artist formerly known as Prince passed away in his home at age 57.  In honor of this creative genius who had a particular affinity for the color purple we've pulled together some of our favorite purple rooms. #PrinceForever.James Turrell, Breathing Light.Dan Fla... Read More


Light it Up: Exploring the Urban Electric Co. Workshop in Charleston

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

We took our 2016 Strategic Planning Retreat to the architectural gem that is Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to its rich history, delectable low-country cuisine, and exquisite beauty, Charleston is also home to the bespoke "bench-made" lighting fixture company, Urban Electric Co., that graciously hosted a day of lea... Read More


Looking Back at 2014

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

2014 has been a fun and busy year at Ike Kligerman Barkley.We've had the privilege to continue working with the best craftspeople, clients and collaborators we know - and feel grateful that we've met so many more this year! Looking back at a great 2014 and forward to a fantastic 2015:New projects, small and large, near and ... Read More


Stanford White Award: The Black and White House

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

We're thrilled to announce that Ike Kligerman Barkley has received a 2014 Stanford White Award! The Black and White House is recognized in the Residential Category, for new buildings over 5000 square feet. This house drew on English and Swedish country precedents, specifically details from the 18th century home of... Read More


Ike Kligerman Barkley's Favorite NYC Buildings - Part II

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

There are nearly as many favorite buildings in New York as there are people who love them. Here are Ike Kligerman Barkley's favorite structures in Gotham, Part II. (Check out Part I!)The Metropolitan Museum of Art always seems to evolve and grow.  Since its first days as a Ruskin Gothic structure to its now internation... Read More


Ike Kligerman Barkley Celebrates Oktoberfest

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

This past weekend the staff of Ike Kligerman Barkley celebrated the annual fall picnic by marking Oktoberfest at the Pilsener Haus Biergarten. Employees came by plane (at least the San Francisco staff), train, boat and bus to mark another year at Ike Kligerman Barkley. There were plenty of familiar faces, a few new babies t... Read More


Celebrating the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show with Carlton Hobbs and Ike Kligerman Barkley

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

This past Tuesday evening, we were honored to host, along with Carlton Hobbs, a party celebrating the upcoming San Francisco Fall Antiques Show. It was a glittering night at the Carlton Hobbs townhouse, showing support for an excellent show that benefits an excellent cause - the Enterprise for High School Students. We ... Read More


Ike Kligerman Barkley's Favorite NYC Buildings - Part I

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

Five boroughs, thousands of blocks, millions of people. We're lucky to be headquartered in a metropolis that continues to change and continues to inspire - especially architecturally. This week, we asked the Ike Kligerman Barkley staff about their favorite buildings in New York City. From the offbeat to the classic, the new... Read More


The Inaugural Julia Morgan Awards

by Ike Kligerman Barkley

Last night, Ike Kligerman Barkley was recognized with the inaugural Julia Morgan Award from the ICAA-Northern California Chapter in the Commercial, Civic and Institutional Architecture category for the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building at Stanford University. A glamorous crowd descended on the spectacular Carolands for ... Read More


More than a Reading Room

by Rachel C.

With the Industrial Revolution (literally) gaining speed throughout the US and Europe, the mid-1800s ushered in a new era of architectural expectation, design, and construction. French architect Henri Labrouste embraced the technical and architectural questions of this era and essentially redefined modern architecture ... Read More


Serafina Agriturismo

by Joe Carline

800 feet above the Gulf of Salerno in the town of Furore, Italy, sits Serafina Agriturismo, a stunning family run farm and Inn. Farmhouse Serafina began as a working farm with a side business of catering to hungry trekkers looking for lunch. It is now a full B&B and agricultural tourism destination.Once you find the... Read More


Cedar, that's a wrap!

by Joe Carline

In our office, we get excited about cedar. There is no better material to blend a building into its landscape. Whether for a grand estate or humble barn, cedar can adapt to the occasion. Not only are cedar shingles beautiful and versatile, they are simple to produce, naturally rot and insect resistant, requir... Read More


Walls Will Talk

by Joe Carline

Architectural concrete, specifically board-formed, has solidified as a central tenet of Pacific Northwest modernism. A niche industry has sprouted around it and endless products and techniques are now available to make the walls say precisely what we want.Embarking on our first major concrete project in the home of the ... Read More


Sheila Hicks: dedicated to experimentation

by Patricia Cassidy

If you attended The Salon at the Park Avenue Armory this past November, it was hard to miss the works of Sheila Hicks brought to you by Demisch Danant Gallery. The Salon at the Park Avenue Armory, Sheila Hicks.Textile Fresco, c. 1969Five panels formed from twisted skeins of linen, silk, cotton118.11 H x 133.86 i... Read More


A Solo Sojourn to Spain

by Patricia Cassidy

This trip happened on a whim, looking for a summer retreat, I booked a ticket to Spain. Spain seemed to fit all my requirements. A country celebrated for its rich history of art and architecture, food and siestas, before I knew it I was on my way.I started my trip in Madrid. Where I spent most of my time hopping f... Read More


Beyond the Dunes: My Trip to the United Arab Emirates

by Patricia Cassidy

Recently, I was invited to a friend’s wedding in Dubai. This would be my first trip to the Middle East, and I wasn’t sure what to expect upon my arrival. I had a feeling my nights would be filled with traditional Pakistani events, but wasn’t sure if I would have time to explore the city in general.The Emirates Pal... Read More


Australian Modernism – Robin Boyd and My Grandparents’ ‘Peninsula I’ Home

by Doug Crisp

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in some architectural detective work, located on the other side of the globe in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia.The Robin Boyd Foundation, which represents one of Australia’s greatest architects, was compiling an exhibition and map database of his work for display at t... Read More


Brutalist Paris

by Doug Crisp

On a recent trip to Paris I decided I would attempt to see some of the lesser known (and perhaps less respected) architectural landmarks. Most of these buildings were social housing complexes located on the outskirts of the city in areas that weren't exactly on the 'must-see' Paris list.I had read about these complexes ... Read More


Le Corbusier Pilgrimage

by Doug Crisp

During the late summer of 2016 I took an architectural pilgrimage of sorts, tracing some of the pivotal works of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. 15th century chateau in Trélissac.Noted as one of the founding fathers of Modernist architecture, Corbusier’s works were in startling opposition to the popular ... Read More


Practice, Practice, Practice!

by Molly Denver

This past weekend marked an exciting event in my family.  My sister-in-law, Stacy, sang at Carnegie Hall with the Monmouth Civic Chorus. They performed Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. Sitting in the great hall, I could not help closing my eyes and wishing I could be transported into the past.  Amazing... Read More


Welcome to the Dollhouse

by Molly Denver

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a fascination with dollhouses.  My dad built one for my sister and I which I recall being yellow, with graffiti that I personally contributed. The dolls didn’t matter to me, just the house itself.Dad built all the furniture and helped me build some, showing me how to att... Read More


Putting the Cart Behind the Horse

by Molly Denver

A few years ago, we got a book for Christmas, "Journeys of a Lifetime" put out by National Geographic.  Whenever we leaf through, we find ourselves feeling an acute wanderlust.  We decided to experience one of those journeys firsthand by renting a horse and caravan in Wicklow County, Ireland.The idea of ridin... Read More


Garret Room

by Molly Denver

At Christmas this year, my husband and I found ourselves hosting 10 family members in our small house, so we had to create more bedrooms in a hurry.  We decided to take on the attic.  I couldn’t find a proper “before” picture, but this is it in its early stages.First, we put down plywood over the floor j... Read More


Chicken Coops

by Molly Denver

Spring is here and I’ve added a new task to my already rather long To-Do list. I need to build a chicken coop. I have some good friends who run Snowdance Farm in Livingston Manor, NY, and they told us that they rent out chickens for the summer to people who want to raise chickens but not to commit to dealing ... Read More


A House in the Country

by Molly Denver

It began as a lark. Every weekend, my husband Brewster and I would pack the dog into our car and head out wherever our whims took us within a few hours of the city. The idea morphed, and we decided to focus these weekend jaunts to find a second home. Historic photo of our new farm, 1930.Historic photo of our n... Read More


Beaux Arts Ball

by Molly Denver

During my years studying at Notre Dame, the School of Architecture was known for a yearly themed costume ball. It was called Beaux Arts Ball.  The tradition of the Beaux Arts Ball began at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 19th century.  It was an opportunity for students and locals to debauch, wearing costumes... Read More



by Dora Dmitriev

Over the holiday break I took a trip to Pittsburgh, PA to visit my friend. The freezing temperatures made exploring Pittsburgh unpleasant, so we tried to stay indoors as much as possible. However, one outdoor attraction made bearing the cold worthwhile. Hug Robot at Randyland entranceWithin an average looking neig... Read More


Hassan II Mosque

by Dora Dmitriev

Before visiting Morocco last month, I had a very hard time deciding which cities to visit in just a week. Everything I read hinted that Casablanca was one of the more disappointing cities to see in Morocco as its name (associated with the award-winning 1942 movie) carried a lot of weight and romanticized the city. Funn... Read More


Jardin Majorelle

by Dora Dmitriev

As you turn onto the Rue Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech, Morocco, you hear many different languages coming from the line of tourists waiting to enter the Jardin Majorelle. The famous garden was started in 1923 when artist Jacques Majorelle bought a four-acre plot of land on the border of a palm grove. Eventually Majore... Read More


Modern Memphis Movement

by Dora Dmitriev

In 1981 Memphis Milano or The Modern Memphis Movement began in Milan. A group of designers led by Ettore Sottsass gathered to start a revolution against serious and functional modernist design. The group was named after Bob Dylan’s song "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues" as it was believed that they list... Read More


Maze Man

by Dora Dmitriev

With crisper, more fall-like weather upon us, one starts to think of all the great fall activities to enjoy. A popular activity that comes to mind are corn mazes. Mazes are an entertaining form of recreation. They ultimately give us the same feeling we had from childhood games-they bring about our curiosity and awa... Read More


Mechelen Patershof Hotel

by Dora Dmitriev

Built by the Franciscan monks in 1867, the "Paterskirk" in Mechelen, Belgium looks like an ordinary church- which is what I thought it was prior to entering. As I walked in I was greeted by a doorman ready to take my suitcase.Street view of Martin's PatershofIn 2009 the Paterskirk church opened as a 4-star hotel known ... Read More


The New York Earth Room

by Dora Dmitriev

In a highly desired 3,600 square foot Soho loft with pristine white walls and large windows, lies 280,000 pounds of dirt. The 22-inch-high layer of dirt is 40 years old and is The New York Earth Room, an interior earth sculpture by American artist Walter De Maria. This is the third Earth Room sculpture executed by... Read More


Grassmayr Bell Foundry

by Dora Dmitriev

Since 1599 the Grassmayr Bell Foundry in Innsbruck, Austria has been casting bronze bells ranging from small concert bells to iconic church bells weighing several tons. The Grassmayr family has carried on the bell making craft for 14 generations. This year the foundry set another record with the 25-ton bell nicknamed "B... Read More


Art of the In-Between

by Dora Dmitriev

On view at The Met until September 4th is the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” exhibit. Although best to avoid on rainy weekends, this exhibit is worth a visit for its architectural design and most notably its fashion. Past/Present/Future (above)    Birth/Marriage/Death (Below)The ... Read More


A Parisian Hidden Gem: The Sainte-Chapelle

by Dora Dmitriev

In the heart of Paris, France stands a small Gothic chapel with a humble exterior but a truly breathtaking interior. The Sainte-Chapelle (“Holy Chapel”) was built in the 13th century by Pierre de Montreuil for Louis IX to use as his royal chapel and to house relics of the Passion. The Lower Chapel served pa... Read More


Darwin D. Martin House

by Andrew Dolan

The Darwin D. Martin House; Buffalo, NYAs a young American child aspiring to one day design homes, I idolized Frank Lloyd Wright. Of all his homes that I’ve toured, my favorite is his Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, NY. The first time I visited the house, the complex was abandoned and half the home had been demoli... Read More



by Andrew Dolan

In the eighth grade, one of my childhood best friends and I made a pact that when we each turned 25 we’d buy an old boat, convert it into a beautiful residence, then sail it through the Panama Canal (not sure why there specifically) and travel the world. At the ripe age of fifteen, I would have told you that there wa... Read More


Home Conservatories

by Andrew Dolan

Today, clients look for a very diverse range of amenities in their homes; fitness centers, wine cellars, home theatres, spas and even golf simulators. Of all the things that clients tend to look for, a conservatory is rarely on the top of the list, let alone on the list at all. Perhaps the idea of a home conservatory, o... Read More


Scouting Sinker Cypress

by Alexander R. Eng

There’s a lot more to being an architect than drawing all day.  One of the most important parts of my job is sourcing materials for the design of a house.  Materials give personality, character, and texture to a home.This is where my story of scouting sinker cypress comes in.  At the turn of the 20th ce... Read More


New York Botanical Holiday Train Show

by Sara Frantz

As a child, I spent many hours crafting fairy homes in the forest behind my house out of your basic fairy house building materials: moss, rocks, sticks, flowers, Elmer’s glue… Sara Frantz, 1999, age 10. Fairy home construction in Lee, MA. Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination have envisioned and brought to... Read More


Happy Birthday Mr. President: A Tribute Trip to TJ

by Sara Frantz

Presidents, they're everywhere. If the election's got you down and you couldn’t snag tickets to see Hamilton the musical this weekend, this could provide just the right pinch of "kosher for a dinner party" politics.For those of you who have yet to visit our office, this bust of Jefferson sits fittingly in the ot... Read More


Taliesin Nights

by Kendall Herman

If you know someone currently trying to make art in New York City, you’ve likely heard of Marfa, Texas. Marfa is a small town in the Chihuahua desert that has been gradually claimed by artist imports—New Yorkers flocking to the community for inspiration and a chance to be part of a modern art movement.On a recent tr... Read More


Open Kitchen, Open Opportunity

by Kendall Herman

In the 1950s, the advent of the open-plan kitchen put women at the very center of suburban home life. It was a time when suburban homeownership was the American Dream, and the media propagated the woman’s role as housewife. In our Nantucket House, the Kitchen opens up not only to the dining area but to the living ... Read More


Life in Color: Discovering SF Architecture

by Kendall Herman

Born and bred on the East Coast, I have long been enamored of the brownstones of Boston and Brooklyn Heights. Their historical character and neighborhood charm have been, to me, unrivaled by even the most regal estates and sleek modern towers. But on a recent trip to San Francisco, the technicolor city streets tempted me aw... Read More


Midtown Streetscapes: A Wishlist

by Kendall Herman

As the first signs of spring ripple throughout New York City (and the infamously frigid office AC returns) I’m reminded of the importance of stepping away from my desk and taking a moment to recharge outdoors. Unfortunately for our office, and thousands of other companies located in midtown Manhattan, the surrounding ... Read More


A Tribute to Paul Revere Williams

by Samantha Herzog

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to pay a special tribute to architect Paul Revere Williams.  Beverly Hills Hotel ExteriorHis granddaughter Karen E. Hudson wrote Paul R. Williams, Architect; A Legacy of Style – a biography and survey of his work, and a favorite in our IKB library.  Best... Read More


The Chapel at Sea Ranch

by Samantha Herzog

Part of my job is help source inspiration for potential and upcoming projects.  For most of our projects in California, my search leads me back to the Chapel at Sea Ranch.The full exterior of the Chapel at Sea Ranch.Built by Architect and Artist James Hubbel, the chapel took 9 months to construct, with the help of loca... Read More


Architectural League x Ike Kligerman Barkley

by Samantha Herzog

On Friday, November 4th we had the honor of hosting the Architectural League at our office for their First Friday Happy Hour. The front of the event handout drawn by our Principal Architect Alex Eng.The event gave us an opportunity to look at our design process on finished houses, projects under construction and those ... Read More


A Seat at the Table: At the Intersection of Fashion, Architecture and Art

by Samantha Herzog

On Friday, September 30th, Solange released a new album “A Seat at the Table”.  With it came two music videos - Cranes in the Sky and Don't Touch My Hair. Frame by frame, watching these videos was like flipping through a Rolodex of every designer I think is cool right now.  The pink p... Read More


Writing on the Wall

by Samantha Herzog

It all began with Cornbread.Cornbread in front of his famous tag. That was the tag of the very first graffiti writer, a high school student who began spray-painting his nickname all over Philadelphia in 1967 seeking the attention of a crush. TAKI 183, one of the most influential Graffiti artists, with his early ta... Read More


Cheers: A Collection of Beautiful Bars

by Samantha Herzog

“For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.”  Friedrich NietzscheIn the spirit of National Beer day, I'm offering up a *craft* list of my favorite bars - as much for the richness of their design as for their alc... Read More



by Fred Holland

In the heart of Oktoberfest, beer has been on the brain more than usual.  I have always been a beer aficionado but I like to think my palate has progressed quite a bit since my fraternity days drinking Milwaukee's Best (which is not in fact Milwaukee's best) and Rolling Rock.  I have also worked in the business of... Read More


The Azores

by Yi Huang

Recently, I had the chance to travel to the Azores, a volcanic island chain located roughly 1,600 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal.  Far away from the streets of continental Portugal, the Azores felt like a snapshot of a time long past - a simpler life.  Although known more for its lush greenery and yearlong mi... Read More


East End Family Compound

by John Ike

The medical injunction “first do no harm” can be as useful to architects as it is to doctors. In the case of this renovation and extension of a 1980s shingled Dutch gambrel residence on eastern Long Island, I believe it helped get us the job, as we were the first architects who didn’t recommend tearing the place down.... Read More


A House in the Catskills

by John Ike

I like limitations. When an old house sets the tone and you're forced to respond, magic can happen.  Such was the case with this Catskills renovation, but really much more addition.  Where do the old and new meet? See if you can figure it out. Massive stacked bluestone piers support the roof of the porch... Read More


Have a Seat

by John Ike

There is no shortage of chairs in which to sit down in our office.  Robed Buddhist, meditating in yoga position, thinks of a chair. New Yorker Cartoon by Larry HatWhile the office standard is the Knoll Aeron chair, Tom, Joel and I all have Eames.  That is sort of the beginning.Our large conference room has Brno ch... Read More


Yawn: Getting into bed with Italian Modern Design

by John Ike

 Although Italians are well known for their ability to live stylish lives, drive stylish cars and wear stylish clothes, they are no slackers when it comes to sleep.  Find below a few of our favorite Italian Designers and the beds they've designed:Luciano Frigerio Frigerio was born in 1928 in Desio, Italy. &nb... Read More


Stopover in Helsinki

by John Ike

I bookended my trip to Japan with stopovers in Helsinki. Helsinki feels like everybody is on Ecstasy - between the midnight sun and the idyllic weather the entire city is transformed - you can't help but bask in it. Here are some of the architectural highlights from masters such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto, ... Read More


Living in a Lautner

by John Ike

It’s not often that you get to really test drive a piece of architecture by one of the masters.  Such was the case a few weeks ago as I caught the tail end of the Palm Springs Modernism show.  Darren Bradley, a friend and architectural photographer from San Diego was speaking at the show, and he recommended ... Read More


Latest Find: Chihuly Pendletons

by John Ike

I was lucky enough to be invited to dinner at my San Diego friends Marie Tartar and Steve Eilenberg. Steve and Marie are accomplished radiologists, but their true passion is travel which they document as strikingly gifted photographers (which you can see on their website Aperture Photo Arts).  This renaissanc... Read More


Modern Paradise: Honolulu's Mid-century Architecture

by John Ike

While in San Diego earlier this month, I dropped by Tiki Oasis, a weekend-long celebration of Tiki culture - which was kind of like a Comic Con for the over fifty set. My friend, the talented architectural photographer Darren Bradley, was speaking on Honolulu’s modern architecture.His talk was one of an oddball assortm... Read More


Smooth Move: Tadelakt Plaster for Today

by John Ike

In our practice at Ike Kligerman Barkley, we reference historical traditions while incorporating them into modern designs. This is at the heart of what I love about architecture and design, the ability to call on the past in a way that feels fresh and contemporary. I’ve recently become intrigued by the possibilities of... Read More


Love is in the Air

by John Ike

In the ongoing saga of my San Diego house I’m finally in the fun stage. I’m working with Dave Hampton, a native San Diegan, who is incredibly knowledgeable about twentieth century San Diego artists and craftspeople, and is helping me acquire things that were created during that period.   Completely ... Read More


The Big Picture

by John Ike

My daughter Sally recently sent me a photo she took with her GoPro, captured while snorkeling with a friend in Hawaii, where she goes to school. The shot was striking. I was again amazed by how much incredible photography is produced by rank photographers on a daily basis. It’s truly a revolution in photography ... Read More


Documenting Architecture for People: Julius Shulman

by John Ike

I recently had my house in San Diego photographed – I’m hoping to rent it out on VRBO (or Behomm, which I just heard about recently) and needed some groovy pictures to show for it. I found a local photographer named Darren Bradley to document it. He’s an architectural photography buff, but does his photo work as a... Read More


Weaving Palmas de Iraka in Colombia

by John Ike

A short while ago, Joe Hakimian, of rug purveyor FJ Hakimian, was traveling in Colombia with a friend. While checking out a Bogota crafts fair, he stumbled across a series of beautiful baskets. They were woven out of Palmas de Iraka, which grow naturally along the banks of the Amazon and other tropical rivers in South ... Read More


No Reservations, Hawaiian Style

by John Ike

Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations may have ended a couple years back, but I like to think I continue the legacy, without the camera crew, limitless budget and group of chef friends. We are similarly passionate about our dining: the man had as much gusto for fine restaurants as he did for the best hole-in-the-wall joint.B... Read More


Fluff N' Stuff

by John Ike

As temperatures start to drop, some minds wander to the sweater season, warm drinks, fires in the hearth. But my mind wanders to cozy furniture. And there’s none cozier than the cuddly, droll designs of sheepskin, fur and fluff that came out in the mid-20th century. In the current Bruun Rasmussen auction there a... Read More


Gone to Seed

by John Ike

As I tune up my San Diego house, the property has gone to seed. In spite of - or perhaps because of - my neglect, many of the existing hardy plants insist on prospering.  Joel's harvestUnlike Joel’s garden out here, which he cares for and chronicles dutifully, mine is at the moment living by its own rules. I took som... Read More


A Hot Tub for the Harbor

by John Ike

Work on my San Diego house is underway. It’s currently in an en plein air state, with all of its framing exposed, but I’m looking forward to the days I can relax, cook, and enjoy the Southern California breeze with a roof above my head. I recently chose the hot tub for the back porch. It will have its own small dec... Read More


A Favorite Folly

by John Ike

Folly architecture is derived from the French word for ‘foolish.’ Follies aim to do what the fool was supposed to in royal courts – delight. Follies vary greatly in site, location, form, and décor, but they all value their decorative value a little more than their functional value. They’re fun. Multiple follie... Read More


International Orange

by John Ike

Last weekend, I bought a gallon of paint the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. (Sherwin Williams makes it - they’re the bridge’s official paint supplier.)It’s known as “International Orange,” and it’s a great shade: iconic and attention-grabbing. It falls somewhere between Safety Orange and Fire Engine Red.When p... Read More


Another from the Shoe Box

by John Ike

In the spirit of Joel’s shoe box archive, we blew the dust off a project from twenty years ago, the interior decoration of a grand old house in New Jersey.A ceramic display by Mongiardino.At the time I was enamored with Henri Samuel and Renzo Mongiardino, two icons of the past century. They both were experts at mixing gen... Read More


Art for the Masses

by John Ike

Over the years, Keith York, who runs Modern San Diego, has introduced me to some of his mid-century buds in the region. The community is tight knit, and includes all sorts of artists, artisans, and owners of small companies native to California. It’s a group of people who live "mid-century," surrounded by works from the m... Read More


Nice Bike

by John Ike

I was in San Diego last weekend, preparing for another polar vortex in New York by getting sun while I could.  On Monday, I went to the beach in the morning to see the big surf generated from some distant storm.At Sunset Cliffs, I met a guy named Eric who was riding a moped he built. The design was simple and clea... Read More


The Swedish way: Vackrare vardagsvaror

by John Ike

Several years ago, I was turned on to Swedish furniture from the 1920s by my friend Paul Jackson. He is the owner of Jacksons, a historical design gallery that opened thirty years ago in Stockholm, and three years ago in Berlin.I’ve made several trips to Sweden, and always include a stop in Stockholm, sometimes just to se... Read More


AD 100

by John Ike

We're absolutely honored and thrilled to be included in this year's AD100. Check out the January 2014 issue of Architectural Digest for the full list!... Read More


My Little Grass Shack - Well, Almost

by John Ike

Happiness is: A. Checking out chickens grazing on a vast lawn B. Watching the sun sinking slowly into the Pacific C. Sipping Kona Big Waves with my daughter D. Doing all of the above from the front porch of our adorable 19th century oceanfront cottageYou may have guessed it: D, all of the above. I realized it last week... Read More


A Ponti Pilgrimage

by John Ike

Last week I again found myself out of town; but this trip I was much further from home, and I was much more prepared for my accommodations. I was in Naples (which I loved, from its tiny latterie to the huge, fascist post office) on a Sir John Soane’s Museum trip, but found a moment to steal away to pay homage to the exube... Read More


Mastering the Art of Hotel Booking: Julia Morgan

by John Ike

Even when staying in a city I know well, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants traveler. I've gotten to booking hotels on Hotel Tonight, an app that gets you cheap fares when you book late. In theory, it retains some of the serendipity and spontaneity of traveling. Mostly it just gets you a good deal. When visiting San... Read More


When in Doubt - James Turrell

by John Ike

The other day, Joel Barkley and I were talking about the ins and outs of giving a project presentation. We joked that when you’re at a loss for something to say, just invoke the name “James Turrell.”The artist is everywhere these days: his massive installation at the Guggenheim in New York, his major retrospective at ... Read More


Comfort Food in CA

by John Ike

Work on the West Coast has been bringing me to coastal California. Lately, when flying into the SFO, I find myself skipping a stop in San Francisco and driving right over the Bay Bridge into Oakland, arriving at the door of a soul food mecca just east of the 805. Brown Sugar Kitchen is run by Tanya Holland, a Connectic... Read More


California Dreamin'

by John Ike

The warm weather has finally arrived to the East Coast. Privets are filling out in the Hamptons, gardens on several of our projects are starting to bloom, and the NYC humidity is making its glorious debut just in time for Memorial Day.Courtesy of T Magazine. The mass exodus to the outdoors we all do this time of year h... Read More


Lei Day

by John Ike

It’s May 1st, hence “Lei Day” in the state of Hawaii. Last week, while having dinner in San Diego to celebrate the purchase of my new house in Point Loma, I got to telling brother-sister realtor team Suzanne Drace and Keith York (Modern San Diego) about my youngest daughter’s decision to attend the University of Haw... Read More


Newton Bar

by John Ike

We’re not talking about the cakey cookie with fig filling, but rather the ultra chic Berlin bar named after Helmut Newton, the Berlin born photographer, whose erotic fetishistic black and white fashion photos for Vogue perfectly embody what you expect from Berlin.Last week, while visiting Berlin for the Leaders of Design ... Read More


You Know It's a Great Project When...

by John Ike

… you’re fortunate enough to have a client and a team that’s interested in top quality metal work. We’re working on just such a project with the talented San Francisco design team headed by Jay Jeffers.Top quality metal work starts here, in the Historical Arts and Casting foundry. Right away we identified sever... Read More


Kevin Wegner on New York's Best Kept Secret Garden

by John Ike

This week, good friend Kevin Wegner, Senior Associate Principal at Kohn Pederson Fox, guest blogs about a little garden tucked away on an unexpected island. - John IkeI never cease to be amazed by the number of design savvy New Yorkers I encounter who have absolutely no idea that one of the finest Chinese gardens outsi... Read More


Vacation planning for 2014

by John Ike

It’s been cold the past couple of weeks and next year I want to make sure that I’m out of here. I want to go to Caracas. Although Havana would probably be a more sensible location if I’m looking for a little Latin Socialism mixed with an ample dose of decaying urbanity, there’s an allure to the lawlessness and isola... Read More


Travel is great for inspiration.

by John Ike

Travel is great for inspiration, but movies and books can do the trick as well.  This recent holiday crop of movies was particularly good.  The most visually stunning was the Life of Pi.  Whether or not the movie lived up to the book is debatable, but there is no denying the visual images set a new standard f... Read More


Roland Terry

by John Ike

My current obsession is Roland Terry, Seattle architect and designer.  He trained in a traditional Beaux Arts curriculum at the University of Washington in the 1930s and came of age in the new wave of Modernism sweeping the Northwest in the Forties. The work really resonates with me because of its stylistic diversity a... Read More


Alys Beach

by John Ike

With the devastation of super storm Sandy fresh on everyone’s mind, I can’t help but appreciate the lessons we’ve learned during the small part we’ve played in the design of Alys Beach, a beautiful, yet virtually hurricane proof community built directly on the Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle.  The entire... Read More


Other London House Museums

by John Ike

Pardon me while I milk this recent London trip one more time. House museums played a prominent role in this visit.  Tom, Joel and I attended the opening of the Sir John Soane's Museum Conservation Wing funded largely by IKB friends and clients, John and Cynthia Gunn. With a few hours in between festivities, I took time... Read More


Fall Gardens Outside of London

by John Ike

Joel, Tom and I were all in London last week.  Tom will elaborate in his next entry, but while there Tom, Kristin Kligerman and I rented a car and took the long way to Heathrow via the Kent and Sussex, southeast of London to check out a couple of notable gardens.Sissinghurst CastleThis garden is built on the ruins of a... Read More


Patty's Cakes

by John Ike

As Fall approaches our summer interns will be returning to school.  Patty Cassidy, who's been with us four summers, is incredible.  She'll be a great Interior Designer one day, but one of the talents we'll miss most are her cakes.  They're full of wit, humor and are just plain beautiful! Check them out and re... Read More


Modern San Diego

by John Ike

One of my favorite websites is modernsandiego.com.  The site is the brainchild of, Keith York, a native San Diegan, a former television producer, and a serious architectural buff.  The site focuses on Mid Century architecture, and blends basic information and anecdotal stories with scholarship and great period pho... Read More


Way Uptown

by John Ike

My daughter and her boyfriend are planning to return to New York from the West Coast for graduate school at Columbia in the fall, and have begun to search for an apartment. Things are different from when I moved to New York in 1976 to attend Columbia Architecture School. My girlfriend (now wife) and I walked door to door an... Read More


Both Sides of the Bayou

by John Ike

I was in Houston recently for a party hosted by Luxe magazine at the Memorial Drive home of Larry Hokanson, custom carpet czar, and his partner, gifted interior designer Michael Siller.   Two hundred and fifty chit chatting, cocktailing guests basked in Michael’s sumptuous interiors, which grace the cover of Lux... Read More


Jules Wabbes

by John Ike

If you're in SoHo east of Broadway, before you head to Torrisi Italian Specialties at 250 Mulberry to sample their incomparable eggplant parmigiana, check out E.R. Butler Company, the hardware showroom at 55 Prince Street, just east of Lafayette. In addition to their impressive selection of hardware, their windows are curre... Read More


The Blue Gatto

by John Ike

Is there an automotive equivalent to our houses? I’d like to think so.The Gatto story sure sounds familiar.  A multi-year collaboration between enthusiast / owner Bill Grimsley and designer / builder Moal Coachworks to create a totally unique sports car that “bears the influence of great coach builders, but is deri... Read More


Pike Place

by Mia Jung

On a recent visit to a Seattle job site, I found a few spare hours to explore the city. Per numerous suggestions, I went downtown, to the Pike Place Market. Historic photo, North on Pike Place Historic photo The Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously operating farmers’ markets in the countr... Read More


TEFAF New York

by Mia Jung

This week I had the opportunity to go to the The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) at the Park Avenue Armory.  Normally the fair is held in Maastricht, one of the oldest Dutch cities known for its medieval architecture, and draws up to 75,000 visitors. This year, TEFAF brings two spin off fairs to New York.  The firs... Read More


An Unlikely Pair: The Shingle Style meets South America

by Mia Jung

Four years ago I received an ominous voicemail: "I think you are the designer I've been looking for."The client asked me to visit his newly built home in suburban Boston.  When I got there I was not surprised – it was a typical New England Shingle Style house – something we are known for at Ike Kligerman Barkl... Read More


Parma's Teatro Farnese

by Thomas A. Kligerman

My recent trip to Italy led me to the city of Parma, as I retraced portions of Sir John Soane’s Grand Tour (1778-80)... He had two years to do it- I barely had two months! While I was in Parma, I came upon a massive and looming building at the edge of the Parma River. Nothing on its exterior prepared me for what la... Read More


American Academy in Rome

by Thomas A. Kligerman

So I am heading to Rome. Looking up at the Pantheon to the 27 ft diameter oculus. The American Academy will be my home for the next six weeks where I will be a Visiting Scholar. The sabbatical will afford me the time to pursue a number of things besides time to reflect.  Coffers in the dome of the Pantheon. T... Read More


A Tale of Two Houses; London and Paris

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Humans invent things--it's just the way we are.  We use new technologies all they time and they open up new possibilities and things we haven't considered before. Soane's house on Lincoln's Inn Fields. But sometimes our ideas outstrip available technology, and solutions to new ideas are found with previous ge... Read More


Watch Hill Aerie

by Thomas A. Kligerman

 Ever since I was ten years old, I have spent nearly every summer in a small oceanside town in New England. Set on a point of land that juts out into the Atlantic, it is dotted with simple shingle cottages, many built in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Despite the passage of time, those cottages have never l... Read More



by Thomas A. Kligerman

After a summer of constantly being away or traveling for work, when Labor Day rolled around I decided to stay home and have a New York staycation. Kykuit as you arrive by carriage. The shallow steps at the porch are designed for easy exit from your horse drawn brougham.We visited places that had been on the bucket list... Read More


New York Public Library

by Thomas A. Kligerman

As a follow up to my journal on the Boston Public Library by McKim Mead & White, today I stopped by the New York Public Library right in our own neighborhood on 42nd street.  The New York Public Library from 5th Avenue.The two libraries have a lot in common.  Both Beaux Arts Symmetrical buildings built around ... Read More


Boston Public Library

by Thomas A. Kligerman

View of the Boston Public Library from across Copley Square. My back is to H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church... but that's another story. The other week I had the opportunity to spend a day in the Boston Public Library.  I hadn't been there since I was an architecture student longer ago than I care to remember.The ... Read More



by Thomas A. Kligerman

Nantucket has been top of mind lately, as John Ike, Joel Barkley and I are heading out there Tuesday morning to take part in all the Nantucket by Design festivities. I grew up in New England and I love going to the island to see all the great buildings, in fact I've even be lucky enough to design some. Nantucket, ... Read More


Wooden Boats Revisited

by Thomas A. Kligerman

They engage all five senses.  Visually, of course—rare is the straight line on a boat.  Surfaces dip and twist in multiple directions.  The sheer (the curve of the deck along the length of the boat) and the way the hull falls away are ever-changing making these boats true sculpture—different from every an... Read More


10 Days in Japan

by Thomas A. Kligerman

John and I just got back from an incredible trip to Japan with the Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation.  View of a house sitting on a moat in the Palace Gardens in Tokyo.The focus was architecture, art and culture. Neon night--after dinner stroll in the Roppongi Hills neighborhood in Tokyo.We started in Tokyo,... Read More


Villa Savoye

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Une maison est une machine-à-habiter.  Le Corbusier famously said that houses were machines made for living. He wondered, why should houses look so traditional when we live in the Machine Age? His Villa Savoye is a stunning example of this philosophy.The villa was built in 1929, during an age ripe with innovation. Loc... Read More


From the Library: An Architecture Book in time for Easter Weekend

by Thomas A. Kligerman

It’s so important to remember to look up. To me the most important part of a building is the ceiling and there’s rarely been a book on ceilings as beautiful as David Stephenson’s Visions of Heaven: The Dome in European Architecture published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2005.  Following his first bo... Read More


A Cuban Moment

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Over the holiday break, I went on a Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation trip to Cuba with a dozen friends to look at art and architecture. Since my last visit four years ago, things have change subtly. The art scene is exploding, there are more restaurants and the food has improved.  Apart from that, however, not much h... Read More


A Shingle Style Pilgrimage in Newport: Stanford White's Isaac Bell House

by Thomas A. Kligerman

As an architect from the northeast who often designs in the shingle style, I have long been fascinated with the shingle style homes that dot New England towns. Courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County. I’ve written before on The Journal about my fondness for these residences, but there are some ... Read More


My Window with André: Working with André Leon Talley at Rizzoli

by Thomas A. Kligerman

I recently had the opportunity to work side by side with the famous André Leon Talley, while he was creating the inaugural window display for the new Rizzoli bookstore on Broadway at 26th Street, and I was wrapping up the construction process at the space.As Talley notes in his article for Vogue, it ... Read More


Soane's Bank of England: Back from the Wrecking Ball

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Sir John Soane's Bank of England, Tivoli Corner.New Yorkers are acutely aware of the destruction of McKim Mead & White's Pennsylvania Station.  The loss of New York's grandest train station and arguably its most important classical building has forever altered the way the city conceives of its historic landmarks.S... Read More


Ferries of Long Island

by Thomas A. Kligerman

The best way to arrive anywhere is by water. And luckily for me, many of my projects are on the ocean or a beautiful lake. I have worked in the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Rhode Island not to mention Orcas Island, Cabo San Lucas and Maui.  There are others but working on thi... Read More


Three Mesas

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Plateaus, tablelands, promontories. I grew up calling them mesas – the flat topped hills with steep ledges, set high above the rest of the landscape. A couple years in the Southwest solidified my interest in their strange forms, and as a kid who was fascinated by buildings, it helped that some of architecture’s oldest, ... Read More


Women Master Builders, Part Two: Marjorie Merriweather Post's Mar-A-Lago

by Thomas A. Kligerman

My last post on women master builders featured Doris Duke's paradisical Honolulu retreat, Shangri La. Just over a decade before Duke began on her compound, another female patron was putting together her own estate lying nearly 5,000 miles east. - Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Palm Beach pile, Mar-A-Lago. Another exotic nam... Read More


Penn Station: New York's Ultimate TBT

by Thomas A. Kligerman

The oft-told tale. In 1963 McKim Mead & White's great train station, rivaling (and copying) imperial Roman buildings, is torn down only to be replaced by a building that could most kindly be called banal. On this Thursday - another "throwback Thursday," if you will - I thought I would explore the story of the struc... Read More


Costume Change: Dressing up a favorite Lutyens house

by Thomas A. Kligerman

This past weekend I was in London. While walking back from a visit to the Sir John Soane's Museum, I passed a small building by the great Edwardian architect, Edwin Landseer Lutyens.(He was named for the painter and sculptor, Edwin Landseer, who perhaps most famously sculpted the lions in Trafalgar Square.) The building... Read More


Guess who's coming to dinner (Or, some thoughts on Stanford White)

by Thomas A. Kligerman

You can have dinner with three famous people, dead or alive. Who would you choose? For as long as I can remember, I’ve answered that one of my guests would be Stanford White. White was an absolutely brilliant architect, delineator, artist; he was a designer-of-all-things, with seemingly infinite creativity. He was al... Read More


Glass Houses: Conservatories Near and Far

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Madrid's Palacio de Cristal, of 1887.  I’m currently working on a conservatory for one of my projects. It’s a fun thing to design, especially on the cold, dreary days that make you miss the sunny, verdant ones of summer. Conservatory design spread in the Victorian era, when parks and patrons commissi... Read More


All that Glitters

by Thomas A. Kligerman

For a project to go well, an architect needs to understand a lot of different professions: contractor, lighting designer, interior decorator, mason, and more. But these last couple months I’ve found myself trying to understand a more unfamiliar role – Director. With another kind of "Director" - SFFAS Director Arian... Read More


The Rainbow Room Lives On

by Thomas A. Kligerman

At the end of this month, the quintessentially New York Rainbow Room will open its doors again. (It closed in 2009 following the financial crisis.) Originally opening on October 3, 1934, it will be just a few days shy of its 80th birthday. There’s no place quite like it in the city. The space is glamorously Deco. The... Read More


Behind the Scenes: An Architectural Photo Shoot

by Thomas A. Kligerman

So what goes on at a photoshoot? The short answer: a lot. I’ve been asked this question many times before, and now seems a good time to answer it in full, as we finish up shooting houses before the days get shorter and the leaves start to fall. From left to right, Aaron Binaco, Anita Sarsidi, Alyssa Urban, William Wa... Read More


The Weekapaug Chapel

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Summers in Weekapaug start at the chapel.  People congregate at the simple, white stucco building at the back of a slightly rolling lawn with typical New England coast boulders (erratics) popping through the grass. This first gathering of the season is the Blessing of the Fleet, a service centered on the sea. We assemb... Read More


Frunk and Trunk: A Tale of the Tesla

by Thomas A. Kligerman

 Google's driver-less car. (Really?)Mobility has always been a source of fascination to those looking toward the future. Walt Disney, designing the original EPCOT (the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), had a monorail connecting all parts of the entertainment empire, along with the WEDWay PeopleMover, a sor... Read More


Fire in Glasgow

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Last week, the iconic Glasgow School of Art in Scotland fell victim to a fire that started in the basement and leapt up to the glass atrium on the top floor.  The building was a landmark for designers, students, and the architecturally curious the world over – and luckily, it seems it will continue to be that. There... Read More


Buenos Aires, Scotland: the Estancia Villa Maria

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Back in cold and rainy New York, it’s strange to think that only a couple days ago I was in sunny Buenos Aires for the annual Leaders of Design Council conference.But traveling North-South will do that to you. After an eleven hour flight, the timezone only changes one hour, but the season changes completely (and so does t... Read More


Bungalow Heaven

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Walk around for a while in any American town, and you’ll probably find a bungalow. Or should I say you’ll probably find a bunch, clustered together, unassuming, petite. They’re a staple of American residential architecture that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately - partly because there are so many to think about!S... Read More


Architect of City and Country, Skyscraper and Suburb

by Thomas A. Kligerman

It seems an Ike Kligerman Barkley tradition to think about Frank Lloyd Wright on National Holidays. I continued it this President’s Day by paying a short visit to the exhibition dedicated to – as Joel wrote on the Fourth of July – “Our American Architect.”  “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Disp... Read More


Women Master Builders, Part I: Doris Duke and Shangri La

by Thomas A. Kligerman

The raw cold of this January has my mind straying to warmer climes (I'm not the only one). But as I jump between thoughts of Palm Beach and the Bahamas, Los Angeles and Aruba, I keep coming back to a white washed compound on a bluff overlooking the Pacific.Mughal suite with stairs leading to the Jai Pavilion.Shangri La, as ... Read More


A Cozy Red House

by Thomas A. Kligerman

English architecture always seems to say “home” to me, no matter where it might be located. I get the feeling from small thatch roofed cottages and from Sir John Soane’s labrynthian townhouse – if only I could actually call that home. But perhaps the “homiest” feeling I get is from houses of the Arts and Crafts ... Read More


All the Houses Fit to Print

by Thomas A. Kligerman

A sharpie, a sketchpad, and a wide array of magic markers; a compass and a computer (with CAD or Revit or Rhino); a good library, a good drafting table, good natural light. And generally a large cup of coffee.I’ve been thinking what’s in an architect’s “toolkit” these days, particularly after a visit to Columbia U... Read More


For the Record

by Thomas A. Kligerman

The Ike Kligerman Barkley archive seeps out of all corners of our office, and beyond. Large plans are rolled up or stacked in flat files; hand rendered drawings are framed on walls; models in basswood, painted plastic, cardboard and plasticine adorn filing cabinets or open bookshelves. We also have a separate storage site t... Read More


President by Day, Architect by Night

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Thomas Jefferson: great president, innovative thinker, fantastic writer, but last week, I was reminded just how good of an architect he was.I was struck by it time and time again while on a Leaders of Design Council trip to the rolling blue-green hills that surround Charlottesville, Virginia. Our group visited four of Jeffe... Read More


No Guts, No Glory

by Thomas A. Kligerman

This guest post was written by Chris Lucas, architect at Ike Kligerman Barkley. No guts, no glory. It’s a common phrase in sports, but in the architecture world it takes on different meaning: the “glory” of a finished project would be nothing if not for its “guts” – the fundamental systems that lie behind a... Read More


'Tis a Gift to Be Simple

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Last week, on a trip to Los Angeles with John Ike, John Toya, and Joel Barkley, I found a free moment to visit the Schindler Chace House in West Hollywood. The diminutive home sits on a geometrically terraced lot concealed from the street by a scrim of bamboo and flanked by recently built apartment blocks. This small, ... Read More


Twin Gables: A Lifelong Obsession

by Thomas A. Kligerman

For years I've spent my summers in a small New England oceanfront town. It is dotted with simple shingle style cottages, many which were built before the turn of the last century. Since my first decade of life, they've remained prominent in my memory. I love so many of them, but I’m particularly obsessed with a select few... Read More


In Deep (or Shallow) Water

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Water is the great human mesmerizer. Perhaps it’s because somewhere, a million generations back, our forebearers emerged from the ocean - or perhaps it's that we're in the middle of a heat wave. Either way, whether it’s the sight of a fountain, the roll of breakers on a beach, or the sound of a nearby stream, water hold... Read More


A Quick Break for Le Corbusier

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Looks like Corbusier could have used a break from the office as well. There are a lot of things I like about this blog. I’ll admit - one of them is its ability to get me out of the office. “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” the recently opened retrospective at MoMA of the Swiss modernist, then, was an... Read More


Everything you always wanted to know about Citi Bike*

by Thomas A. Kligerman

*But were afraid to askAllow me to throw my hat into the cacophonous ring that is the launch of New York City’s bike share program, Citi Bike.To put it simply, I’m a huge fan. Never have I enjoyed going to the office so much - bringing my helmet from home and getting a bike from a docking station next to the train or pa... Read More


On Sir John Soane

by Thomas A. Kligerman

A portrait of Sir John Soane hangs in the Museum's dining room. Courtesy Sir John Soane's Museum.Next Tuesday, May 14th, we’ll be celebrating the legacy of Sir John Soane at the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation’s annual gala. This year we’re honoring Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank OM, and the Museum of ... Read More


A Rainy Day, and a Light-Filled Labrouste Exhibition

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Last week, I took a mid-afternoon trip to the Museum of Modern Art to see the long anticipated and highly praised exhibition Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light. Curated by Barry Bergdoll, it’s the the 19th century French architect’s first solo exhibition in the United States, and a deserved one at that.The hall... Read More


Dispatch from Berlin: The Altes Museum

by Thomas A. Kligerman

John Ike and I are currently in Berlin, attending the Leaders of Design Council's annual conference. Between talks and site visits, I couldn't help but sneak in a couple hours at the Altes Museum, a building I consider to be one of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's greatest works. The structure, located on Berlin's Museum Island, w... Read More


Giving Back

by Thomas A. Kligerman

One evening in late April, I found myself harmonizing alongside Keith and Chippy Irvine at the Sir John Soane Museum Gala. The iconic Rainbow Room was packed with men in tails and women in gowns as far as the eye could see.Together we warbled a rollicking tune Chippy had composed after a Cole Porter song. (It went something... Read More


Model Seduction

by Thomas A. Kligerman

IKB's Rocky Mountain House in basswoodWhen visitors come to our office, they all stop to ponder the models on display. No matter how much time you’ve spent looking at them—as a first year architecture intern, a 30 year veteran, or a prospective client—a building in miniature, a model, is always seductive. Even a bad b... Read More


Books: The IKB Library.

by Thomas A. Kligerman

One of life's greatest pleasures is being surrounded by books--the more, the better.  At IKB, we have been building a library since we founded our office. A single shelf-full along the back wall of a tiny office shared by John Ike and me our first year in business, the library has grown steadily to thousands of volumes... Read More


Barrier Free Is No Barrier to Design

by Thomas A. Kligerman

So, in early October, while at a Santa Fe, New Mexico conference hosted by the Leaders of Design Council, I injured my knee.  Surgery followed and then crutches, a cane and now, twelve weeks of physical therapy.  It has been tough to get around!  Climbing stairs is a challenge—forget about going back down.&... Read More


Dispatch from Santa Fe: The Elegant Adobe

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Despite my East Coast Brooks Brothers appearance I can eat the hottest red or green chili with the best of them, having spent my high school years living in New Mexico in the 1970s.  Being a typical teen drag racing my hopped up ‘68 Dodge Charger RT on Albuquerque’s south side didn’t stop me from being drawn to t... Read More


Architecture and The Art of Drawing

by Thomas A. Kligerman

What has happened to the art of drawing?  The computer, a powerful, necessary and seductive tool in the design process, has taken over the way architects work much the way video games have enraptured kids who used to read or ride bicycles.Michael Graves’ New York Times September 2nd opinion piece on the importance of... Read More


Martini Spoken Here

by Thomas A. Kligerman

—or nearly anywhere as far as I’m concerned.  The simplest, noblest and most elegant of cocktails, the martini literally stands above all others—Fred Astaire among dancers.  Allegedly invented in 1911 by Knickerbocker Hotel bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia, the martini has undergone refinement upon refine... Read More


Wooden Boats

by Thomas A. Kligerman

They engage all five senses.  Visually, of course—rare is the straight line on a boat.  Surfaces dip and twist in multiple directions.  The sheer (the curve of the deck along the length of the boat) and the way the hull falls away are ever-changing making these boats true sculpture—different from every an... Read More


Good Eats

by Thomas A. Kligerman

Boiled peanuts, dark chocolate mousse cake and New England clam chowder are just some of the things you can grab while on a site visit to one of our projects.  A satisfying benefit of working all across the US of A has nothing to do with architecture, but with ways to recharge by taking a few minutes for some great gru... Read More


Shingle Style

by Thomas A. Kligerman

If someone held a gun to my head and said that I could only design in one style, it would be the Shingle Style.  I love these gray, cedar-sheathed houses that populate America, especially those on the New England Coast.  My first book on architecture (age 9) was Vincent Scully's Shingle Style and, in addition to s... Read More



by Thomas A. Kligerman

I am obsessed with stonework. The one trade that I completely drive nuts is the masons; "tear it out, start over..." They are miserable during construction but always pleased when the dust finally clears. To get the best results I constantly have them ask themselves that if there were no m... Read More


Morocco Blue

by Thomas A. Kligerman

This April I spent six days with a group of architects, interior designers and other industry leaders visiting Morocco.  A beautiful, complex country full of so many inspiring things. One of many threads weaving through much of what one sees: blue, from dusty, dark and worn to brilliant cobalt.From the top: Essaou... Read More



by Margie Lavender

I’ve long had a fascination with social insects, species that live in colonies, manifest group integration, division of labor, and overlap of generations. It all started with the book The Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration, an intriguing read about the cooperation and communication of th... Read More



by Margie Lavender

Another day, another scintillating exploration of the Hudson Valley, this time to Manitoga, Russel Wright’s home and studio built on the rock ledge of an old quarry. View of the Hudson from nearby Cold Spring. Reminds me of a Japanese wood block print.Russel Wright was one of the best known designers of the 19... Read More


Total Eclipse Seeking in Missouri

by Margie Lavender

This summer I journeyed to middle America, in the path of the total eclipse of the sun. A longtime family friend who spends part of her summer each year at her family home in Windsor, Missouri invited us to join her for the occasion. Both small town Missouri and the celestial event greatly exceeded my expectations. It w... Read More


Catskills Escape and a Soiree on the Railway

by Margie Lavender

The first weekend of August, my husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary (and 14 years!) by escaping to the Catskills for The Soiree on the Railway put on by the charming And North collective. We made a weekend of it, arriving at the Arts and Crafts style Deer Mountain Inn in Tannersville, NY Friday evening... Read More


Wood and Canvas Canoe DIYWH (with help)

by Margie Lavender

My husband, Morgen, and I bought a country house in Northwestern Connecticut. I wanted to get a canoe, specifically a basic plastic or Kevlar one that we didn’t have to be precious about – my husband is also an architect and is meticulous and I didn’t want canoeing to be a stressful experience. He asked aroun... Read More


Off the Grid: Mohonk Mountain House

by Margie Lavender

There's a magical place right outside New York City. Lake Mohonk Mountain House. Albert Smiley purchased a small inn and 280 acres of land in 1869, and expanded on the historic resort hotel until 1910.  It sits on the Shawangunk Ridge, on the western side of the Hudson River.Smiley continually expan... Read More


Exploring Manhattan’s Village

by Philip Marcantonio

Six months ago, on a cold February day, I relocated from Detroit to Manhattan. I rented an apartment with a friend from college in the Upper East Side for a few months. Between searching for jobs, interviewing, and seeing old faces, I took the time to explore this great city.I dedicated every afternoon to exploring diffe... Read More


La Sagrada Família

by Bailey Mcgrath

This past summer, I took a mini-grand tour of Europe with some friends, our last stop was Barcelona. After having sat through two semesters of Historical Styles in college, I was eager to see all the architecture that I had learned about. My friends were International Business and Sports Management majors, so I excitedl... Read More


Lakeberry Retreat

by Jennifer Overton

Wild blueberries on the property inspired the name for our cabin in the woods.This past winterIn 2012 my husband and I were looking for a place to getaway on weekends and bring our two boys to connect with nature.  We found this quaint cabin in the Pocono Mountains about two hours from our home in New York.  Sit... Read More


Concrete Jungle

by Ross Padluck

Every July, the climatic conditions in Midtown equate to those of the jungles of Borneo, and my 8-year old Nepenthes pitcher plant begins its dramatic process of producing new pitchers.A new pitcher at the base of the plant.Newly forming pitchers on the upper vines.Nepenthes are a species of tropical carnivorous plants ... Read More


Amish Paradise

by Ross Padluck

October usually finds me on a visit to family in the quaint and picturesque Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – affectionately known as Amish Country. The beautiful countryside is dotted with farm stands bursting with colorful and unique gourds, pumpkins and Amish specialties. What a way to embrace the autumn season! Lan... Read More


Summer House Essentials

by Ross Padluck

With the height of the summer season upon us, summer Fridays conjure up thoughts and anticipation of an early escape from the city to a tranquil weekend retreat.  Whether you’re heading out East this summer, to the Vineyard or up to the Catskills, there are some key essentials to look for whether you're renting... Read More


Drayton Hall: Lowcountry Authenticity

by Ross Padluck

On a recent trip to Charleston, we had the pleasure of adventuring out into the sublime South Carolina Lowcountry to visit Drayton Hall Plantation. Completed in 1742, the Palladian residence of John Drayton is nestled in amongst palmettos and swamps on the west banks of the Ashley River. The three-story brick structure ... Read More


House Beautiful, 1968

by Ross Padluck

You never know what you are going to find when you are doing a renovation. We’re working on an addition to a client’s mid-century home on Long Island. In the process of clearing way for the work, our client came across a box of her late mother’s House Beautiful magazines from 1968. Knowing I’m an admirer of mid... Read More


Lost Paradise

by Ross Padluck

Ross Padluck, Associate at Ike Kligerman Barkley, guest blogs this week. He is the author of Catskill Resorts: Lost Architecture of Paradise.I’ve long been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of abandoned buildings. They’ve become a hobby of mine, and I've photographed and written extensively about them. One place that... Read More


A Litany of Firsts

by Crosbie Roper

In an age of such great opportunity and advancement in the field of architecture, it’s easy to forget those who blazed the trails and cleared the path for us. So during Black History Month, I’d like to take a moment to highlight the bold career of Norma Merrick Sklarek.San Bernardino City Hall, San Bernardino, CABor... Read More



by Elizabeth Sesser and Patricia Cassidy

Finally, we can feel summer in the air here in NYC. It’s going to be 90 degrees today and although it’s a welcomed change, we immediately start to think about how to stay cool. Winter wool sweaters are sent to storage, because of course who has room for all seasons in their apartment, and out comes… Linen!Linen is... Read More


The New York Harbor

by Laura Smiros

The New York Harbor is an amazing place.  We all know millions have traveled through this harbor with twelve million immigrants coming to Ellis Island alone. Today we travel over, under, play on, work on, and live off this remarkable and serene harbor. A quiet Saturday morning on the harborIt is a simple ob... Read More


Relocating to NYC

by Laura Smiros

I recently had to decide where to live in NYC after living on Long Island my whole life. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods in NYC and all have a different vibe. We had a pied-à-terre on Central Park South for a few years, and despite the pedigree, it wasn’t a comfortable neighborhood. It just never felt like a... Read More


Architecture and Animals: A trip to South Africa

by Elizabeth Sussi

I recently took an incredible trip to visit the amazing country of South Africa. We started our adventure with 4 days in Cape Town, followed by 4 days in the Winelands, and ended with a 5-day safari in and around Kruger National Park. Cape Town – A view from the trek up to the Cape of Good Hope Lighthouse.Cape To... Read More


Inspired by the Vine: My Trip to Argentina

by Elizabeth Sussi

As many designers and architects will tell you, traveling provides one of the best opportunities for inspiration and refreshing creativity. The idea of taking something with you, from places or people you experience and translating it into a project, is a tried and true formula.  But there’s a reason it’s so tri... Read More


Recreational Residences

by Tyler Velten

As we pack our station wagons and stow the sunscreen, many Americans are heading to a forest for one final summer adventure. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that there are nearly 7.5 million second family homes in the U.S. Predictably, the highest concentration of these homes is situated in or ... Read More


Key West

by Ashley Walton

After the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, it is great to hear that the Florida Keys will officially reopen to tourists on Sunday October 1st.  While some areas still need more time to recover, the Keys are reopening 3 weeks earlier than expected. I was very lucky to have experienced the Keys earlier this year... Read More


Miami Art and Architecture

by Ashley Walton

Having studied architecture at the University of Miami, I tend to find myself coming back to the area every so often...any chance I get, really! This spring, I took a few days to escape down to explore a little bit of Miami Beach and Wynwood.Miami Beach- Ocean DriveWe started off the trip with a bike ride through South... Read More