sketching: a challenge!!

M.C. Escher - "hands"

Today, I was sitting at my desk, compiling record drawings for a large school project I’ve been working on for the better part of 2 years now, and I got a brilliant idea!

You’re sitting on the edge of your seat, I know.

I’m sending out a challenge to anyone and everyone who might come across this blog to design a single family home out of 2 40′ high cube shipping containers. Dimensions are as follows: 8′-0″ wide x 9′-6″ high x 40′-0″ long. The idea is to generate a floor plan for mom, dad and one child. However you want to make that happen is fine with me. Arrange the containers in any fashion: side by side, staggered, stacked, whatever tickles your fancy.

And this is a sketch contest. I want hand sketches with pen/pencil/sharpie/crayon/whatever and paper. No 3D models, no photoshop collages. Let’s flex that “brain to hand” connection a little and do something fun. Please send your sketches to me via email with a small one paragraph explanation of your design and a quick bio. I’ll post every design that comes in individually. This will be a never ending contest and I would like to post one sketch each week.

There are no cash prizes, but you will receive world renowned fame and recognition on this blog in big bold letters and fancy italics. I might even underline it. How sweet is that!?

Let the sketching begin!

the pod – prototype

Dekalb Market, in Brooklyn, has issued Not Just a Container Contest to design an alternate use for a shipping container to be used at the upcoming open air market.  From their website:

“The goal of the competition is to support the growth of Brooklyn’s creative community by helping a local entrepreneur realize his or her dream of opening a bricks and mortar location and to raise awareness of the Dekalb Market.

In the spirit of the Dekalb Market, Contestants will be judged on the following:

KEY CRITERIA. Design Quality, Sustainability, Community Impact, and Entrepreneurship.

SUGGESTIONS. Uses for the space could be, but are not limited to: a farm structure, store, art installation, work-sell space, restaurant, sports and music venue.

PRIZES. Our winner will be awarded with a container license (work/sell space) rent free for six months, $3K design/construction budget and free consultation, select construction materials from Green Depot, one year membership to 3rd Ward, one year membership to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, press exposure and online feature at”

The competition officially closed April 9th and now we’re waiting to see who is the lucky winner.  For my entry, I decided not to so much focus on a specific function, but rather focus on how to modify a container to be the most versatile and adaptable to changing needs within the Market as a whole.

copywrite 2011 r | one studio arch

As I’m sure these containers are not meant to house permanent tenants, but rather rotating vendors who may or may not be conducting all manor of business, it’s important that the container be designed to a minimum and remain flexible, providing a number of potential options.

By taking one long panel out and fabricating two horizontal “doors” we create both an overhang and a small porch that can be used for display or gathering or seating, etc.  The existing doors for the container can function as a default “entrance” or remain closed depending on the intended use.

copywrite 2011 r | one studio arch

The short rear wall of the container is fashioned with a solid surface counter, base cabinet and upper cabinet storage.  A sink and plumbing can be easily added if necessary with water supplied via hose connection at the rear.  The remaining wall is finished with studs and tongue and groove wood and attached are hinged tables, or platforms, at various heights that can be folded down in several combinations to create small work/display areas as needed.  Electricity is supplied by the two solar panels affixed to the top of the container and are hinged so that when closed the panels can fold flat.  The batteries and other electrical panels are stored in the upper cabinets.

copywrite 2011 r | one studio arch

Ultimately The Pod is a very simple design but with nearly unlimited flexibility to be adapted to almost any use: art gallery/studio, small music venue, office, shop, cafe, produce vendor, etc.  If you’d like to talk about designing and fabricating your own Pod, contact us here and lets get started.

and the winner is…

Recently I did my first book review on Greene and Green Furniture: Poems of Wood and Light by David Mathias.  Reading through it in just a few days (cause it’s that friggin good), I quickly moved on to the next book in my life, The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka and decided to have a small giveaway here on the blog (my wife gets angry when I bring new books home, so a few have to go in order to add more).  And without further ado, the winner of the first R | One Studio Architecture Book Giveaway is:

Joe Brewer – commenter #1!

Congratulations Joe!  An email has been sent to the address you provided and your book will be on it’s way shortly!  I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book as much as I have!

bus shelter

This is a quick rendering that I did for a RFP that I never sent out.  Basically I got too busy with too many side projects that this one slipped right through the cracks and I didn’t even think of it again till I was cleaning out some space on a hard drive and stumbled onto the renderings.

Bus shelters are something of a contentious topic here in Jacksonville.  Which is ironic because we desperately NEED more bus shelters to protect people from the elements.  The reason the subject gets so heated here in good ole Jax is because everyone is in favor of more shelters, BUT on one side are those in favor of adverts and the other side is adamantly opposed to them.

That debate aside, I came across this RFP call to artists to design a bus shelter that would be placed in various sites throughout a small mid western city.  Some initial thoughts that I had on “what makes a good bus shelter” were:

cover from the elements
lighting at night
and yes, adverts

These, to me, make up the basic necessity of the bus shelter.  And I came up with this design which incorporates all of these things.  The shelter provides cover from the elements while still allowing you to see in either direction so you don’t miss your ride; it provides lighting during nighttime hours or during inclement weather via solar power and provides signage and adverts digitally on the rear wall – this is a bit of genius on my part if I do say so myself.  😉

What say you?

daylight render - copywrite 2010 - r | one studio arch

night render - copywrite 2010 - r | one studio arch


I’ve got a couple of upcoming competition entries that I’ll be posting in the next month.  A bus shelter for Creve Coeur, Missouri and a single family residence at the Rivertown Development in St. Johns County Florida.  Gonna be a fun November.


ok, so forget the investigation into affordable housing that I posted about the other day.  I just found this sweet competition in Charleston, SC for a new transit HUB and node transit station prototype.  Check it out.  Competitions like this are incredibly exciting and have the real possibility of being built or at least seen on a larger public stage.  Mass transit is an issue that all architects and designers should be engaged in, so I encourage anyone out there to check this out and put your two cents in.

edp jax shed competition

we’ve submitted our entry for the 2010 edp jax sustainable shed competition.  check it out under competitions.
anyone interested in constructing their own shed, contact us and see how we can help you.