An architectural Banksy lurks behind the well-tailored facade of Marmol Radziner.
While the architecture and design-build practice is best known for its modern and high-end contemporary designs—they recently received two preservation awards one from the California Preservation Design Awards for the rehab of Richard Neutra’s 1955 Kronish House and the Pioneer in Modern Restoration & New Design Award from the Palm Springs Modern Committee—the firm recently revealed that it has a radical soul.
Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center will officially open on November 9 with its inaugural exhibition, An Eloquent Modernist, E. Stewart Williams, Architect. Williams is a member of the group of early post-World War II architects that landed in the Coachella desert and helped turn the resort into a fledgling center of modern design mostly for vacation and retirement homes but also of schools, commercial buildings, and civic monuments.
A molded-glass sheet suitable for interior and exterior applications, the relief pattern is continuous between panels.
“In Sophie’s restaurant at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago, we installed a wall of digitally-engineered Liquidkristal by Lasvit. The optical effects of cascading ripples of glass create playful reflections, painterly distortions, and elegant abstract patterns that are beautiful in their subtlety and striking in their boldness.”
—Andre Kikoski, Andre Kikoski Architect, New York City
Well, it happened. After years of strife over the project, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved the $2 billion, 1.5 million square foot redevelopment of the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Back in 2009 the developer, Next Century Associates, threatened to tear down Minoru Yamasaki’s curving midcentury Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel to make way for the project. But a parade of preservationists, including the LA Conservancy and Diane Keaton, stood in their way. The result: a compromise in which the hotel would be preserved by Marmol Radziner and surrounded by two three-sided, 46-story residential towers by Pei Cobb Freed as well as a 100,000-square-foot retail plaza and over two acres of public open space by Rios Clementi Hale. The executive architect is Gensler. City Council certified the scheme’s Environmental Impact Report and approved a 15-year development agreement. Let the construction begin on another major Los Angeles development. Momentum is building.
Richard Neutra’s VDL House in Silver Lake has been fitted with a new rooftop installation called Fort da Sampler, by Mexico City-based artist Santiago Borja. The project is centered around a temporary textile loom literally made out of the famous house’s horizontal rooftop steel beams. Now THAT’s a new use for architecture… On the loom the artist, along with the help of a crafstwoman from Chiapas, created a woolen artwork fitted with colorful, Myan-inspired symbols. The project is the first art installation at the home, and curator Sarah Lorenzen says she hopes there are more to follow. She also shares the news that the first of three phases of renovation at the house—centered on the roof and the adjacent garden unit— has been completed pro bono by LA firm Marmol Radziner. This includes new parapets, new plaster, repaired trellises, a partially waterproofed and resealed roof, new planters and landscaping, and the transfer of all plumbing to the inside of the building. Future phases will include site drainage, a new roof deck, more waterproofing, repaired windows, and refinished interiors.