September 28, 2022
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Their philosophy is best summed up in the words of Wallace Stevens’ 1928 poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

I. Among twenty snowy mountains
   The only moving thing
   Was the eye of a blackbird

“In these [thirteen] short, haiku-like stanzas, he creates depth and space with an economy of means,” said Ken Radtkey, founder and principal architect of Blackbird Architects. “We want to have the most effect with the least effort, so that poetic economy of means in our design solution is what we strive for.”

Perhaps you have noticed Blackbird’s office building, sandwiched between a freeway underpass and an industrial area at Garden and Gutierrez Streets, as you drove by. It is the sort of building that, if you have seen it, you are not likely to forget it. Occupying a lot scarcely 20 feet across, it features a rooftop patio, fruit trees and huge windows allowing natural light to flood its interior workspace. Remarkable in its simplicity and efficient use of space, it is what Radtkey calls the elegant solution — simple, but effective.

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