a week of wee

Every Tuesday we have a meeting to go over current weeHouse projects. We call it a weeCap (yeah, I know, we stretch that 'wee' word, don't wee?). I think the best part is probably the bagels, but the next best is getting updates on where our clients 'are' with their process:

* the Cobleskill, NY weeHouse now has its foundation, and the 'set' is 'set' for mid-August (there might be delays, but hey! it's a date)

* the Esopus, NY weeHouse is being fabricated as I type, and is scheduled to be 'set' in late July (again, might change...)

* the near Oceanside, OR weeHouse is also in the middle of fabrication and is happening this late summer/Fall

and we anticipate a 'set' in the area of Dundee, NY in 2008 as well.

You can see pictures of these homes on the Web site under Genuine weeHouses > Gallery > In Progress. We traditionally name the weeHouses after their geographic location, but sometimes we actually get clever and come up with something different. When you build your own weeHouse, feel free to weigh-in on that.

Other news is that the build-a-wee section of the site IS, honestly, close to 'being there'. We have high hopes that it'll be as coolio as the build-a-Mini Cooper site! Our goal is to get it done by mid- to late-July. Thanks for your patience.

That's about it for this week ... with the exception of the DOG DAYS OF SUMMER post.

Attached is a new picture of the FIRST AlchePup: Siena. Named after the lovely Italian city, she's a bone-i-fied member of doggie-AARP at 14 (human years). Clearly she has the Italian/Sophia Loren beauty and longevity secrets down. We all adore her, and thank you for understanding when you hear her barking (rather than us) on the phone as you call in.

Dog Days of Summer

Summer Fridays at Alchemy = brats-on-a-dock (brats as in bratwurst, not as in ill-mannered people)! Alchemists and their friends (we often have guests for the bbq) love brats and chips and potato salads of all sorts (and chocolate, but you'll have to wait for a Beth-post on that). Alchepups love the thrill-of-the-spill(s) that inevitably happen!

Since the whole day tends to get a little whacky, I thought we'd call summer Fridays "Dog Days" here at the Alchemy Blogspot. Hazelnut will start it all out (seen here in her weeTee), but I'm sure Siena, Max, and everyone's favorite (good thing dogs can't read) Rocketdog! will have their 15 minutes of fame, too.

Since there are no "purrfect" Alchemists, you'll have to help us out. Have a pix of a weefee(line)? Send it to me at info@alchemyarch.com and I'll see if I can't get the dogs to share the limelight. Extra points if they're in a weeHouse, but of course.

Cheers to your weekend!

weeHouse in upstate New York

June 27: new pictures of the foundation going in ... thanks to the weeHouse owners!


Although the design and planning has been going on for a while, NOW! is the time for the foundation preparation for a standard weeHouse PAIR to be placed about 45 miles west of Albany, near Cobleskill, NY. It's a cool project for us (Scott is the Project Manager) for a variety of reasons: great clients, lovely site, sensitive design and detail planning, and we also have a weeHouse PAIR being built for the Oceanside, OR area this Fall (Beth is the Project Manager). In other words, weeHouses from coast-to-coast!

The clients have graciously provided these 'prep' photos, and will be updating us along the way. As they do, we'll keep you posted. We respect our client's privacy, and will provide updates only that they're comfortable with. We trust you'll understand.

Meanwhile, here are some stats that you might be interested in:
* financing is being done by a local bank
* process started with Alchemy in October 2007; site work (client started from scratch which means even putting in their own septic and well systems) and preliminary design happened throughout the winter of 2007-2008
* site work started in Spring 2008
* house is due to be 'set' in Fall 2008
* floor plan follows the weeHouse side x side PAIR that has two bedrooms and one bath; client added screen porch (great idea!) using Alchemy's additional design services and also worked with their general contractor to customize a walk-in basement; another great upgrade they opted for is in-floor heat (which eliminates forced air and provides economic savings in the long run)
* total square footage (including exterior deck and porch) = 1250
* client maintaining some weeHouse standard options featuring Andersen windows, Kohler fixtures, Teragren bamboo flooring, and Bosch appliances (dishwasher, cooktop, oven) along with other products listed in our specs
* (06/08): price for weeHouse PAIR in NY is listed at $189K; this house with additional design options/fees is still coming in at under $200K (about $160/SF); additional costs include site work, basement, transportation, and set/hook-up fees (many of these are priced differently by region)

More later!

NEW! project completed in Minneapolis

Sometimes our name, Alchemy, resonates perfectly with a project we do. This recent completed project explains that. Geoffrey Warner and Alchemy sought to evoke a celebration of optics, transparency and “seeing differently” as impetuses behind the optical shop façade treatment. A crystalline envelope of 5/8” thick greenhouse polycarbonate grows out of the storefront openings. The skin is manipulated to form offset and distorted frames around the existing windows to bring together ideas of frame and optics. The polycarbonate is all self-supporting.

Design work was undertaken using 3-d computer modeling then flattened, allowing for efficient model and physical production with a CNC router. Instead of working drawings, a perfect scale model of the skin was used as a 3-d guide to installation, with all pieces numbered in small and full scales. Custom translucent urethane straps were cut to provide a continuous “stitched” seam at the edges. The aluminum sign boxes were laser-cut and welded to contain the store identity. Very low-energy LED lights color-phase in and out to illuminate the façade.

Enjoy the view!

Design and Fabrication: Alchemy Architects - Geoffrey Warner, Scott Ervin, Khanh Nguyen, Blake Lloya
Graphic Design + Identity: Werner Designwerks
Lighting Design: Jim Marvy
Panel Fabrication: Atomic Sheetmetal
Signage Lettering: Archetype Signs
Installation: K-A Construction and Alchemy
SPECS Optical is owned by John Oliva and Nancy Krant, and is located at 2204 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis (just off of Franklin and Hennepin, near the Uptown neighborhood)

Ever see this cool "video" of a weeHouse set?

This "video" is actually a series of photographs taken during the Linden Hills (Minneapolis) not-so-weeHouse 'set' last Fall. I like it because you see a variety of stages of a modular, prefab house ... the 'boxes' themselves, the exterior partial finish (final siding details added on-site), and the interior shots of what those 'seams' look like before a contractor/builder tapes and drywalls them 'up' to look smooth and beautiful. You also get an idea of how duct work and electrical is integrated into the walls. Not exactly an artful piece (!), hopefully you'll enjoy seeing some weeDetails this way.

NEW! not-so-weeHouse in PA

Owners of the Johnson Creek weeHouse have graciously provided some great new pictures of their 4 box weeHouse in Pennsylvania. Please go to our Web site to see the updated shots that include some lovely interiors.

P.S. If for some reason the link won't work for you (you need to have Flash on your computer), try entering the following URL in your browser:


go to weehouse.com>genuine weeHouse>gallery>weeHouses>[4th pix from the left, top row]

Prefab in Chicago

Happy to share this link:


about prefab in the Midwest with you. It's great to see MKD team-up with the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry!

weeWares FIRST

Excitment! First purchase from the weeWare section of weehouse.com happened this week. Here's a picture of Hazelnut, one of the AlchePups, and Betsy, Chief Propagandist, getting ready to mail weeHouse's Disingenuous Doorbell to the Netherlands. (Hazel always goes with to the Post Office ... it's a favorite outing.)

Go Europa!

Walker on the Green ... Artist Inspired Mini-Golf

Alchemists Geoffrey Warner and Blake Loya, with help from Khanh Nguyen and other Alchemists, provided a fabulous hole of mini-golf for the Walker Art Center's Walker on the Green Summer 2008 event. Below are pix from the artists' reception night. Wish you were there! Please visit the Walker Art Center Site: http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=4403     for more details! The course is open all summer long.


Prefab at the MOMA ... coming soon!

Alchemy is very excited that prefab architecture will be featured at the MOMA in NYC this summer/fall (mid-July-October). We all hope to make the trek from the Minnie to the Big Apple to see it ... but meanwhile, thought you'd all enjoy this link to the Web site. You can see the five prefabs in various stages of build ... and get a sneak-peak at what goes into some prefabs. Although the "wee" isn't featured there, there will be two "wee's" coming to upstate NY this Fall as well. We'll keep you posted on the see-a-wee status as we are planning to have a lovely Open House to celebrate our two clients!

Here's the link:


It's been a while ...

Admittedly, when we set up this blog, we had high hopes for weekly, if not daily, postings. *SIGH* Best laid plans ... We have been updating the weeHouse's Facebook page ... that's pretty cool. Also, we have updated our Web site with new photographs, weeWares, and pricing!

And we now will be more intentional (promise) about keeping weeHouse and Alchemy LLC fans up-to-date here.

Also, we so would like to hear from you ...
please, send us your comments, your inquiries, and your thoughts on the wee-wide-world.

We look forward to a more active dialog.

Betsy Gabler, Propagandist(ette) at Large
and the Alchemists: Geoffrey, Scott, Beth, Bryan, and Khanh
oh, and the AlchePups: Siena, Hazelnut, Rocket Dog, and Max