Friday, February 18, 2011

A Radical Chicken Coop for Ghost Town Farm

We here at Just Fine Design/Build have been busy preparing a new chicken coop for Novella Carpenter's Ghost Town Farm in West Oakland. We scrounged a bunch of tired shipping pallets, de-constructed them, planed the slats to a nice sheen, and are now using the bones to construct a massive (8' x 12') chicken palace.

Here's the coop in her infancy. The cantilevered section on the right will house the chickens' sleeping and laying quarters. An egg door will feature a chalkboard-painted surface so Novella can easily keep track of her hens' production.

In the spirit of Novella, we are scavenging what lumber and materials we can. We still need a bunch of rubble and some old corrugated metal roofing material. Anybody out there demolishing a foundation or tearing down a barn?

Novella heard through the JustFineVine how much we love snacks, so she has been keeping us well fed with rabbit sausage, goat milk and yogurt, and greens from her spacious garden. Come to Novella's Open House (Open Farm?) on February 27th, 11am-2pm, where you can try some of these delicious snacks for yourself and gaze upon our new coop (may be only partially finished if this rain doesn't let up!)

In other news, Just Fine Design/Build is taking the Twitter challenge, become our friend or buddy or whatever @JustFineDesign

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Research Mission : Mystery Winery : Yountville, Calif.

Hello faithful readers. Matt and I embarked on a research mission to sunny Yountville, Calif. last week. Thinking about Novella's coop, we came up with a design that uses de-constructed shipping pallets, covered with hardware cloth, and filled with rocks. Something like this, but smaller:

The sign at the winery's front entrance states "No Tours. No Tastings." Not to be deterred, we sweet-talked the guard into letting us wander around for "a little bit." We had the place to ourselves for 20 minutes. The main road drives straight up to this imposing structure, and you can see right through it to the dirt road that meanders through vineyards and up into the hills. It was late afternoon, the sun was out, and very peaceful. Here's Matt, taking it all in.

The sun comes through the stone walls and throws some excellent shadows.

Thanks very much to the winery that values its privacy and perhaps wishes to remain nameless. We understand you don't want a bunch of architecture geeks coming to gawk your walls. But we just had to see it! We welcome all of you to gawk at Novella's coop, which should be up and clucking by the end of February.