Koning Eizenberg blends old and new

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(Eric Staudenmaier)

(Eric Staudenmaier)

In 2006, the 28th St. YMCA was added to the City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments List, and in 2009 it was added to the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.

In 1926, just three years after becoming the first African-American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Paul R. Williams designed a landmark YMCA building on 28th Street in Los Angeles. Nearly ninety years later, the building has been restored, and transformed, into a modern multi-family housing complex. Koning Eizenberg Architects (KEA) worked on the project for Jim Bonner, FAIA, architect and executive director of the nonprofit affordable housing organization Clifford Beers Housing. The architects restored the historic 52-unit building, reorganizing the layout into 24 studio apartments, and constructed a new 5-story, 25 studio apartment building next door.  The project features a perforated metal screen scrim wall, an integrated photovoltaic panel wall, restored historic stone work. and a shared roof deck that programmatically connects the historic building with it’s modern neighbor.
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Tree-like diagrid columns connect two greenspaces in Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Architecture, East, Envelope
Friday, November 6, 2015
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Setbacks on the upper levels allow the exterior columns to slope at an angle following the “sky exposure plane” of New York City's zoning code (courtesy Handel Architects)

Setbacks on the upper levels allow the exterior columns to slope at an angle following the “sky exposure plane” of New York City’s zoning code (courtesy Handel Architects)

Unbroken bands of window walls sit beyond an exterior concrete structural frame.

Completed earlier this year, a new market rate rental building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side by Handel Architects features a striking exposed cast-in-place concrete diagrid “exoskeleton” structure. The system is designed in response to required zoning code setbacks that restrict building area to a mere 35’ wide at times. The project, named after it’s address at 170 Amsterdam, is located two blocks north of Lincoln Center, situated between two greenspaces – Central Park and the Lincoln Tower superblock – via 68th Street. The lobby is a prominent glassy space containing a mix of community programs, formally and programmatically connecting the two sides of the building together, while abstracted tree-like columns punctuate the building envelope.
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The History and Future of the Los Angeles Dingbat

West
Friday, February 7, 2014
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DINGBAT 2.0 EXAMINES THE DINGBAT APARTMENT AS BOTH HISTORIC ARTIFACT AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEM (LA FORUM)

DINGBAT 2.0 EXAMINES THE DINGBAT APARTMENT AS BOTH HISTORIC ARTIFACT AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEM (LA FORUM)

“Dingbat” is a word with many meanings. It’s a synonym for nitwit. In typography, it’s a symbol used in place of a letter. And in Los Angeles, it’s a particular type of multi-family housing, dominant in the 1950s and 1960s and alternately maligned and embraced over the decades.

Dingbat 2.0, an upcoming publication from the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design (LA Forum), explores the history and future of dingbat apartments. The subject of a current Kickstarter campaign, Dingbat 2.0 brings together essays on the origins of the Los Angeles dingbat with highlights from the LA Forum’s 2010 Dingbat 2.0 competition, in which participants were asked to reconfigure the dingbat for today’s urban reality.

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