Michelle Kaufmann Goes to the Birds

Since the surprise shuttering last year of her award-winning, prefabricated green homes company, MK Designs, San Francisco architect Michelle Kaufmann has been busy as ever. Her latest project perfectly melds her eco-expertise and her eye for appealing aesthetics.

The Presidio Habitats Project is sponsored by the same folks (The FOR-SITE Foundation) who brought us Andy Goldsworthy’s felled-wood “Spire” in 2008. These new installations, which begin in May, will include 11 creatively constructed animal habitats in the heart of the Presidio. Kaufmann’s design, which she reveals on her newly launched website, is a hummingbird habitat made up of sawed-off sections of rusted steel pipes, arranged in various sizes and configurations and made lovely with water features and plantings. The "Habitats" project, with its art-meets-environmental-activism vibe, is reminiscent of Fritz Haeg’s 2008 show Animal Estates, which was commissioned by the SFMOMA. Nothing like some animals in our museums and art in our parks to make us remember what makes this city special. Sigh!

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