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The Cabin Fever 2012 Design Competition entries are now live on our website.  Enjoy viewing the amazing work of the architects...and please share!

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Barker O’Donoghue is thrilled to announce the 2012 award winners of our Cabin Fever design competition.

The announcements were made, and the designs revealed for the first time, in a celebration last night with the team, jurors, advisors and friends.

To say that we were blown away by the effort, creativity and enthusiasm of the Cabin Fever 2012 architectural teams is an understatement.  A telling sign of how compelling we find them is that, even after having them in hand for a couple weeks now, Crispin still sits nightly at his dining room table paging through the designs.  Our deepest gratitude to all the teams for bringing the “wow“.

We will be posting all the entries on the Cabin Fever page for your viewing pleasure shortly—we’ll send another post when they’re live—along with some photos and links.

Without further ado…




First Place:


Honorable Mentions:

Spirit Awards:


First Prize, Jury Award:

First Prize, Architecture for Humanity Award:


Tomorrow evening we have the great good fortune to gather for the Cabin Fever awards reception with the brilliant architects and jurors who have collaborated to make our first year of this new design competition so successful. That in and of itself will be mad and fabulously fun.

The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of our winning entries for each of the competition categories: “DNA Cabin” and “Temporary Housing Module”. It will also be the teams’ first look at the other entries, as we’ve kept it all quite hush-hush.

Look for a proper announcement right here on Friday!


The second of our two charette weekends for Cabin Fever participants starts today!

The remaining six architecture firms will be transported to our idyllic Gold Country competition site to begin scheming their entries for the DNA Cabin and Transitional Housing Module.

The property looks down at this scenic, 1-mile long, winding lake through a forest of Ponderosa pines…we love California.



It’s time we let the cat out of the bag…

The eleven fabulous firms who are participating in the Cabin Fever 2012 design competition are:


Andy Rodgers Design Studio

Apparatus Architecture

Boor Bridges Architecture

ChrDAUER Architects

Envelope A+D

John Lum Architects

jones haydu

Levy Art + Architecture

Sagan Piechota Architecture

William Duff Architects


Game on!


The  first of our two Cabin Fever 2012 charette weekends starts today!

To kick off our Cabin Fever design competition, all participating architectural firms are attending one of two charette weekends out at the project site this month, the first of which is this weekend.

Barker O’Donoghue is transporting everyone to the land where the winning cabins will be built for a fully hosted, rustic stay, and setting them free to explore, sketch and relax, and to scheme about their competition entries.  We’ve been hard at work up there preparing, and look very much forward to the weekend’s festivities.

We will be posting updates about the competition as we go; check back early next week for images and anecdotes from charette #1!


Barker O’Donoghue is humbled and thrilled to be joined in our inaugural year of CABIN FEVER by a fantastic group of jurors.

for both awards:

Joshua Aidlin, Aidlin Darling Design

John Randolph, Randolph Designs

Sharon Risedorph, Sharon Risedorph Photography

William Stout, William Stout Architectural Books / William Stout Publishers

and, joining the above for the emergency shelter award:

Cameron Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity


moderated by Catherine Dauer, Straightforward Creative




After much dreaming and imagining, we are very excited to be launching our design competition this year!

Dubbed “CABIN FEVER”, we have invited a group of fantastic local architects to re-imagine the cabin and design what they will to be built on a remote parcel of California’s gorgeous Gold Country.

CABIN FEVER 2012 has two categories:  emergency shelter, and off-the-grid cabin.  For the former, we hope to contribute to the next generation of smart solutions.  For the latter, we seek to fuel collaborations and fabrications far outside the box.

Stay tuned for more details!




AIA SF has selected our St. Germain project with John Lum for their 2012 San Francisco Home Tours.  Check it out in our portfolio…then come visit and see our workmanship in person!

More info and tickets can be found on the AIA SF website.


This month Barker O’Donoghue was invited by our good friend Sandra Vivanco—Principal at A+D, and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts—to provide technical assistance and collaborative help with a project her students are creating for the annual San Francisco Carnaval parade. We are very excited to be involved in this.

As you’ll see, the structure is quite unusual, and a nice aside for us from the more construction projects we are usually involved in. We called on our good buddy Joe O’Brien who provided the perfect platform on which to erect the structure.

Given the opportunity Barker O’Donoghue will turn our hand at building just about anything. We love a novel challenge, and what the students came up with is awesome! We think it looks like a digital analog of a wave breaking, and with the dancers performing under and around this sculpture it should be quite the spectacle come this Saturday. We will be there – hope to see you. Check it out.

-Crispin Barker



CCa Studio Spring 2012: Body in Spectacle, Professor Sandra Vivanco,

Lead student designers: Chris Baas, Kat VanCleave

Student Team: Emily Alongi, Vincent Nieto, Matthew Puckett, Oscar Ramirez, Hugh Vanho

Technical consultants:  Barker O’Donoghue Master Builders,

FLUIDEZ responds to the challenge of designing a float for the 2012 San Francisco Carnaval Parade. The annual theme, “Crossing Borders, Bridging Cultures”, combined with cultural local celebrations such as the Year of the Water Dragon, provided the departure point for the initial design iterations. Throughout the design development, the team worked closely with a group of high school students as part of a collaboration between California College of the Arts and Out- of-Site, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching art in San Francisco public high schools.

The formal articulation was conceived intuitively through a series of physical and three- dimensional models, and was carefully refined in response to structural considerations and dimensional constraints. The resulting exoskeleton merges a free form with a geometric grid, creating a sense of tension and playful drama, embodying the culture of Carnaval.

The desire for homogenous materiality surfaced early in the design process as a way of evoking a sense of continuity and movement that would support the structure’s dual purpose– a kinetic sculpture moving through the Mission street parade and as an installation piece designed to spatialize a gallery, creating both interior and exterior environments. Through a series of experimental material explorations, birch plywood was selected as the primary material. The final design is a culmination of intuitive design informed by structural considerations and refined by qualities inherent to the chosen materiality and the process of making.

Size:  30ft L x 8ft W x 9ft H (at its highest point)

Material: Baltic birch plywood, steel hardware