Lisa's feature!

Lisa's feature!

Lisa, Principal Architect here at 2 Point, was featured in an October article from the Illinois Association of Realtors, tackling complacency and pushing facts about the investment that green building allows.  It was also featured in our buildings newsletter put on by the Green Exchange! Click to read more about Lisa's interview and for the link to the entire newsletter at the Illinois Association of REALTORS web page.

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Hello, Prius!

Hello, Prius! With our new, dark gray Toyota Prius, we have finally entered into Hybrid territory, and the miles per gallon are pretty exciting on this side of the fence!  Ron is slightly obsessed with monitoring his driving... it is amazing how much fuel anyone can save by avoiding those 'stomp-on-the-pedal' take offs.

So- give us a shout (or honk) if you see us around town!

Thanks for all the awesome naming suggestions via our Facebook page... we'll be announcing her name shortly!

Designing in the New Year

Here at 2 Point, we are passionate about the environment and good design.  While our blog has been heavy on green building, green living, and green events, we've been slacking on the design side!

Today, as I was flipping through a few tomes from our extensive design library, I came across these cute little train station shelters that are found all over Hanover, Germany.  They were designed by Despang Architekten.

I love how they use the same simple glass canopied design for each shelter, but make a big statement by changing just one material.  Isn't it interesting how haphazard the natural stones seem in comparison to the large, uniform scale of the dark tiles.  Also, the vertical and horizontal wood shelters not only play up the directionality of the material, but how the planks are installed (Mind the gap!).

Materials are a key component of any architectural project.  Select your materials wisely, detail their installation carefully, and reap the rewards of a good design!

Okay- that's the design-aerobics for today...

Which station is your favorite?  I think I would be happy waiting for the train at any of these!

Gobble Gobble!

2 Point Perspective - Turkey Coop

So what does a turkey have to do the architecture? Well, we've all heard of chicken coops, but did you know that there are also turkey coops? Neither did we... that is until we used the reclaimed wood from a disassembled turkey coop for our GreenChoice Bank project.

When we designed the GreenChoice Bank headquarters (set to open when the Green Exchange launches next summer), we designed an elegant wall of curving wood - turkey shout out - which acted as a backdrop for the space.  When the GreenChoice branches in Lockport and Cicero were being designed, we utilized the same element to maintain a consistent look and used the reclaimed wood to complete the look.  


Check out the before and afters!

Solar Panels on the Brain!

2 Point Perspective - Solar Panels

We have solar panels on the brain! And, as we just made the down payment, will soon have solar panels on our roof! Everyone has been talking about solar panels lately so I was shocked to find out just how few people, even those in the green movement, actually have them. With our home's location on a Landmark street, we had to get approval, but with the low profile panels (installed horizontally), you can’t see a thing from the street!

Have you thought about solar panels? If not, you may rethink after you hear about the benefits and the payback time.  With a 30% federal tax incentive, a 30% DCEO state rebate, and often with manufacturers’ rebates to boot, the paybacks really can hit the 5-7 year period. After that, every kilowatt you produce is free energy! Plus, you get to feel good about the fact that you are using clean power instead of coal (cough, cough) or nuclear (toxic waste, anyone?).

So what about the worries that many people have? Here are a few honest answers.

-Will the incentives stick around? Probably for a while -Will panels get more affordable? Yes, but the incentives may wane simultaneously. -Do I have to be a multi-millionaire? No. Some installers even help with financing. -Is panel quality going to improve? Possibly, but most panels now come with a warranty stating that in 25 years, they will still be operating at 80% efficiency. Not too shabby.

Solar panels do require a down payment, which is probably the primary reason that most people don’t move ahead. But if you do have a few bucks lying around, instead of investing back in the wildly unpredictable market, consider investing in our planet. As energy prices continue to rise (and they will), your investment will pay back quickly.

And, of course, don’t forget about the best feature of solar panels… bragging rights!

"Designer" Pumpkins

As you all know, fall is the time for creating all things pumpkin, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin cookies, and of course the famous pumpkin jack-o-lantern. Last month 2 Point Perspective was asked to contribute a pumpkin of our own design for a CREW (Commercial Real-estate Executive Women) event.  “Last Call for Fall” was held at Aqua Tower and architects and designers from around the city were asked to submit their "designer pumpkins" to be a part of CREW’s annual fundraiser.

Since the pumpkins would be going to a lucky guest and brought back to his/her home, we were not to create an overly cumbersome, crazy architect type jack-o-lantern.  This was for the best, as we realized creating Aqua Tower out of a gourd would be rather difficult!

In preparation for our pumpkin entry, team 2 Point decided to have a lunch time carving session and we skinned, shaved, sliced and scooped our practice pumpkins until we carved our finale piece!

Our pumpkin literally meant the world to us

We hope whoever got to take it home enjoyed it as much as we did!  And a special thanks to CREW for including us in their event!

How 2 Point Saved Halloween! (kinda)

You may think that Architects aren't super heroes...and you would be right. However, I was talking with a lovely recent client of ours, Paula Johnson, and she did make me feel like a super-star just for a moment!

The story starts with a cute, modest home in the historic part of Highland Park. The Johnson family had been living in the home for a few years, with one continual gripe.  The home had no front door.  Really.

There was a back door- as you might suspect-  on the back of the house.  But the other entry door was quite a mystery.  (Sorry, not a spooky Halloween mystery, but a 'no one could find the door' type mystery.)  The door wasn't on the front of the home, nor on the driveway side.  In fact, you had to walk across the front lawn, and along a property-line sidewalk to get there.  The upside was that they didn't get a lot of solicitations!

After assessing all their home frustrations, we created an updated floor plan that gave the Johnson's a front door, an entry vestibule (good for energy savings), and a front porch.  Not to mention a much appreciated master bathroom!

With the updates to the front of the home it now looks friendly and welcoming, and has a lot more character as well.  But the thing that made my day was when Paula said:

"We can't wait for Halloween now that we have a front door!"

Happy Halloween to everyone!

Local Food and Local Architects

With the grand opening of City Provisions Deli last month, chef Cleetus Friedman and team have taken local food to a new level! Here at 2 Point, we were proud to be the architect, for what is sure to become a Chicago institution.

2 Point Perspective - City Provisions Deli

When you stop by (1818 West Wilson), check out the amazing bloody mary mix, the chocolate-cherry granola bars, and the blue-cheese stuffed olives that nearly started a war here in the office. (Next time we’ll buy 2 jars, okay!) We hope you’ll also look past the tasty food to the “city-meets-farm” aesthetic. We were going for a look that would embody the local and sustainable food for which City Provisions has become known.

Now when Friedman carries in locally grown tomatoes and strawberries, they’ll be shelved on reclaimed wood and lit by energy efficient bulbs. The clean, straightforward floor plan is brought to life with materials that tell a story: repurposed wood from demolished buildings, farm-inspired murals that utilize low-VOC paints, and a energy-saving tankless hot water heaters. Every aspect of City Provisions has been constructed with an emphasis on keeping it sustainable, keeping it local, and keeping it green.

If These Walls Could Talk..

The homes we choose, and what we then choose to do with them says a lot about us! How do you live and what are your priorities? Where do you relax and what helps you relax? What are your triggers for stress? What do you need or not need?

2 Point Perspective - Emotionally Intelligent Home

All of these questions define the psychology of your perfect home. Whether you’re designing a new home or redefining your domicile, what considerations are at play when you create your list of “must haves” vs. “nice to haves”? What do these things say about practicality? Status? Security? Efficiency? Are you creating a home that will welcome visitors, or seeking a sanctuary and private space?

A growing body of research concerns emotionally intelligent design, and highlights the increased understanding and importance of neuroscience in design and decoration. In this arena, a host of considerations are at work, from optimizing space to accentuate the positive and deliver mood and health benefits, to design or purchase decisions that ignore practicalities and unknowingly mine the subconscious. The architectural dream-scapes of the film Inception come to mind.

While our perfect homes would all have different layouts, amenities, and aesthetics, understanding the reasoning behind our preferences is a key in getting them right. Like any possession, a perfect home does not create a perfect life; however, most of us would agree that coming home to an abode that promotes harmony and order would support a more peaceful existence.

Whether you know that you’d like vaulted ceilings and dramatic entryways, or cozier nooks that bring people together, working with an architect who asks the right questions and analyzes your answers can help you to understand what your perfect home is all about. Next, you're on the road to making it a reality!

Your perfect home says a lot about you. Are you listening?