Obie Bowman, Architect
|Lakeside living room
Office with a view into the living area and beyond, to the lake.
To view a larger image, click on any picture above.
San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday June 14, 2003
by Jeannie Matteucci
Lakeside Living- A unique design approach makes a difference for a shoreline
One of the great things about living in Northern California is the opportunity
to have a home by the water.
Conventional wisdom says if you are fortunate enough to own waterfront property,
your first priority -- some might say, only priority -- should be maximizing
the ocean, bay or lake views.
But rules were made to be broken, right?
George Speake; wife Anita Swanson-Speake; their architect, Obie G. Bowman
of Healdsburg; and general contractor Howell Hawkes of Hawkes Construction
of Ukiah are not afraid to think outside of the box. When the Speakes
saw a special 2 1/2-acre wooded lot on a basalt cliff overlooking Clear
Lake with southwest views of Mount Konocti, they knew they had found the
perfect place to build their dream home.
BUILDING BY THE LAKE
The location of this project required some special care and planning (and
extra cost) for additional labor and construction maneuvering.
"Working up so high -- we were 40 feet off the ground in the area by the
living room -- was both fun and a challenge," says Ozzie Erlandson, the
construction superintendent on this job, "and it's always a challenge to
keep a focus on your work when you have a beautiful lake you want to swim,
fish and boat in so close by."
"I always look at things from a construction standpoint," adds Hawkes, "and
I remember going to the property with the owner and architect for the first
time, just wandering around the area. This home is 207 feet long from tip
to tip and steps down a hill. We had to just muscle all the steel into place,
because we couldn't use a crane. There were also some big pieces of glass
that had to be carried by hand into the construction site. It took four
of my men to carry some of those huge pieces of glass."
When safety was an issue, no skimping was involved: Because of the home's
long, slender shape and location, steel frames with welded connections were
used in the framing to prevent future seismic or wind damage.
"It was the unique shape of the house that was interesting to work with,"
says Hawkes. "Building such a long house on a hill was quite a challenge."