SANF April 2016 : Page 54

THE LOOKER PROCESS 1. A bygone logger with futuristic taste: the Eames rocker. 2. Schwartz’s Boonville Cabin perches atop a pair of wooden skids raised on hand-drilled concrete piers. 3. The structure is supported by a series of wooden moment frames. 4. Sloping wall panels channel natural light from the skylights above. 5. Nineteenth-century lumberjacks in front of a rendering of the cabin. 6. Two skylights run the length of the cabin. Home Depot Time Machine Incorporating 19th-century specters into a modern cabin’s architectural renderings. By Lauren Murrow 2 1 An architectural rendering serves as an illustrative blueprint, a 3-D mod-eled vision of a building not yet real-ized. It doesn’t usually involve ghosts. But as the renderings on these pages demonstrate, sometimes the best way to envision the future is by grabbing hold of the past. Such was the case when archi-tect Neal Schwartz of Schwartz and Architecture was hired to design a home and a cluster of small cabins on a 20-acre plot in Boonville, a rus-tic Anderson Valley town that’s per-haps best known for having created its own folk language, Boontling, in the 19th century. “It’s this quirky and insular kind of community tucked away in the hills,” Schwartz says. As he and designer Christopher Baile began drawing up plans for the site, they were intrigued by the potential for a contemporary guest cabin in what was formerly logging country, where skid trails crisscrossing the land still mark the path of the lum-ber. The pair started compiling pho-tos of Northern California logging communities from the 1860s and ’70s for inspiration. “The logging huts they built back then had all the qualities we wanted for these cab-ins,” says Schwartz. “They were rel-atively inexpensive, mobile, flexible, and modular.” The photos from that time mark the early days of the cam-era, depicting washed-out images of campsites, dining establishments, and dance halls. Consulting the grainy logging-camp photos while mocking up Schwartz’s modern-day cabins, Baile found himself going down a Boonville rabbit hole: He began to insert black-and-white figures from the past into his 3-D modeled computer render-CHRISTOPHER BAILE WITH SCHWARTZ AND ARCHITECTURE 54 San Francisco | April 2016

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