The Builder's Elegant Toolkit in Making Good Spaces

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The front cover of the May 2010 issue of Dwell magazine features an interior of Architect Per Bornstein’s home in Gothenburg, Sweden. The downstairs reception area (above image) is built mostly with exposed pine. Regarding the use of wood, Bornstein perhaps proudly explained, “there’s so much wood in Sweden. It’s a cheap material. Everybody can use it. It ages beautifully and it’s instantly cozy.

The photographs by Pia Ulin of Bornstein’s home support what the architect coined as “Corbusian efficiency (in reference to the pioneering architect Le Corbusier). The space occupies just 1,400 feet, but achieves a more expansive size with its uncluttered openness which, from a quote by Le Corbusier, is defined by “Space and light and order.

This is only one example of a building, from the massive history of architecture, carefully designed to achieve a certain effect by employing select tools. Carpenter-turned-Photographer Bruce Greenlaw zooms in on some building tools like the General No. 843-1 pencil compass and scriber, which is still available.

This Stanley No. 92 shoulder/chisel plane is made in Rotherham, England.

Patented by Harry C. Oakes of Wyoming, New York, in September of 1973, this arboreal high-speed-steel Irwin Unibit bores, enlarges and deburrs holes in sheet metal, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum, plastic, and other thin materials.

Accompanying a timeless and enduring international toolkit for building, the elegance of these sample tools motivate people to strive for elegance in the discipline of making, one piece of precious material”from wood to metal”at a time.

Nate Burgos

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