Tramonto Residence Featured in Residential Design Magazine

Our award-winning Tramonto Residence was published in Residential Design: Read Online.

From the Article:

“From one side, this terraced house looks as if it grew from the steep green slope on which it stands. From the other, it seems to float above it, a pavilion on a scrubby perch. Large yet eminently livable, the Pacific Palisades House is a case study for the way design can be used to connect a new building – even a sprawling 14,500 square feet – to its surroundings. And rather than overshadowing its environment, it harbors green spaces that nurture the family of five.

Granted, the site’s qualities are pretty compelling. The property abuts Topanga State Park on the north, while the east side overlooks Los Liones Canyon and to the south is a view of the Santa Monica shoreline. However, the 2-acre parcel is also in a landslide zone. ShubinDonaldson partners Russell Shubin, AIA, and Robin Donaldson, AIA, took these conditions in stride when they began to site it, along with a 2,500-square-foot accessory building that contains guest quarters and a gym and spa…”

Robin Donaldson, AIA joins MCASB’s ‘In Conversation’ Series, discussing exhibitions.

As part of MCASB’s ‘In Conversation’ Series, Robin Donaldson shared insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes of exhibitions alongside Ninette Paloma, and Aerial Performer.

From MCASB’s Event page:

“Have you ever wondered what it takes to make an exhibition? How to exhibit music? Ninette Paloma, Aerial Performer, and Robin Donaldson, Architect, share insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes of exhibitions in this panel presentation moderated by Abaseh Mirvali, Executive Director, Chief Curator, & CEO at MCASB, that features the performing arts and the spaces they inhabit.”

View the full video of the event on MCASB’s event page here: In Conversation | Exhibition Makers Vol. 4

Director of Research & Development F. Myles Sciotto speaks at the New School of Architecture and Design

In August, Director of Research & Development Dr. F. Myles Sciotto spoke at the Neuroscience for Architecture, Urbanism and Design Summer Intersession at the New School of Architecture and Design – discussing the technologies and tools that empower our profession.

Tramonto Residence Featured in Interior Design Magazine

Our award-winning Tramonto Residence was published in the Interior Design Magazine June Issue: Read Online.

From the Article:

“The Pacific Palisades holds no shortage of contemporary houses. Stunning, some. Large, many. This collaboration between ShubinDonaldson and Magni Kalman Design is decidedly both.

What makes the property a standout, for starters, is its views of a state park on one side and the Pacific Ocean opposite. The site itself, however, was challenging, a hillside that had never been built on. Regardless, architects Russell Shubin and Robin Donaldson were convinced of its viability. They proposed a plan that responds to the topo­graphy, with a 14,500-square-foot main house, plus 2,500 square feet for a separate building containing a gym, sauna, and game room.

…Approaching, past the walls that conceal the infinity pool, deck, and terrace, you get that this house is no monolithic box. The architecture immediately reads modernist yet organic. “Handcrafted rather than machine-made,” Shubin notes. Donaldson adds, “Creating architectural assemblages that articulate a distinction between materials is important to us.” Ergo the way the giant slatted panels outside the window walls can swing back and forth, serving as sunshades. Or the way the entry staircase’s treads float upward over a triangular reflecting pool lined with river rocks. Why opt for hard flooring when a shimmery water feature would be ever so celebratory?…”


Check out the full story of this unique home and join the conversation on Interior Design: Tramonto Residence Featured in Interior Design

Employee Appreciation Day 2019 – LA and OC office

On Friday June 7th our LA and OC offices took to the race-track at K1 Speed for our yearly employee appreciation day.

Here’s to all the great work our team has been able to accomplish this year!





Robin Donaldson participates in week-long residency at Maple St. Construct

From June 3rd through June 7th Robin Donaldson participated in an artistic residency at Maple St. Construct in Omaha Nebraska.

“I think there is a question of time involved here.  If we take time in ordinary experience we have the present, the past and the future.  Now the past is gone; it no longer exists except in memory. The future is just expected.  Now if you draw a line and put the present as the dividing point between past and future, it divides what doesn’t exist from what doesn’t exist.  And that also doesn’t exist… This linear view of time is an abstraction. It’s like a map. You can use this map to guide you, but the map is not the same as the territory.  The map may correspond to some features of the territory, but it is never complete, and also it may be distorted.”  – David Bohm, Unfolding Meaning

For most, time is quite repetitive, we get up have a coffee, go to work, have lunch, go back to work, clock out, go home, check in with the family, have dinner, and go to sleep. For some, weekends might break the monotony with leisurely travels and dinners with friends only to repeat the previous week on Monday. Some are lucky enough to have prolonged vacations giving the repetitive cycle a bit of discomfort. For a few, time is quite valuable, moving at a fast pace with constant obligations and limited moments of slow reflection. For others, time can be bitterly slow, a constant waiting period for some slight change or difference in a routine. Most become quite content with either, falling into the controlling wave that time sets. However, for a few, the individual can briefly control time. This becomes about intention, where a person set on a wave of time unexpectedly decides to get off. Why is this important?  It is important because our work can only be truly judged by playing with the pace of time; otherwise, we get judged by time.  There is a saying that only time will tell…for a few, it should say only time will tell except for the moments they tell time.

Robin Donaldson is an architect and artist who lives a life of precious and expensive time, a repetitive swell of waves of time. For Robin, time is not slowing down and not necessarily extending itself.  For Robin, Maple St. Construct becomes a moment of controlling time, a wave of time at his pace and of his intention. For Robin, the seven days of time he spends in Omaha might be seventy days of time for someone else.  However, that doesn’t matter; what matters is he’s giving himself the time. He’s giving himself the time as only Maple St. Construct presents time…a timeless wave of slow reflection and of course, making stuff.

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Mark Hershman talks at Tangram’s Adaptive Workspaces for Growing Companies Panel

On June 4th 2019 Partner Mark Hershman spoke during a panel discussion regarding the topic: “Adaptive Workspaces for Growing Companies

Joined by industry leaders, Sara Escobar from Hulu, Linda Gross from Live Nation, Tony Kantarjian from Enter Environments, and workplace strategy expert Mark Chaput of Steelcase. The discussion centered around how organizations can plan for growth, the evolving demands from employees and executives alike, and the unknown nature of tomorrow’s work.

Robin Donaldson, AIA stops in at UCSB Architecture Class

On April 29th 2019 Robin Donaldson stopped in at UCSB to talk to the future generations of the field.

Robin Donaldson talks at SBCAST in Santa Barbara with UCSB

On April 25th 2019 Robin Donaldson led a talk titled: “Three Houses:⁣ a story of relationships, tangents, and context in Montecito.”

This talk was part of the Kitchell Architecture & Design Lecture Series, and in partnership with the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UCSB; taking place at SBCAST in Santa Barbara.

The talk went through various moments in Robin’s history of architecture with the following topics:

1 – A regional perspective on practicing contemporary residential architecture in Santa Barbara and Montecito.

2 – Historical insight into a selection of significant houses in the Santa Barbara area.

3 – Thoughts on how the practice and values of designing and building contemporary houses in the area have changed in the last 50 years.

4 –  Discussion surrounding what the next generation of architects and builders should be thinking about in order to continue this legacy.

Masking Launch event at Hennessey + Ingalls

Having taken place in December 2018 in Santa Barbara, California, MASKING was an exhibit of over 40 large scale drawings, representing a year-long conversation between Robin Donaldson, AIA and Mike Nesbit about the role of drawing within contemporary art and architecture.

On March 9th  at Hennessey + Ingall’s – Robin Donaldson, Mike Nesbit, Francesco Siqueiros, and Wes Jones talked about the body of work and launch their book documenting the exhibition.

The book is available on amazon: “Masking” by Robin Donaldson, AIA & Mike Nesbit