SFMOMA Planning Posthumous Lebbeus Woods Exhibition

West
Friday, December 7, 2012
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Urban Field, 1987. (Courtesy SFMOMA)

Urban Field, 1987. (Courtesy SFMOMA)

Just weeks after architect Lebbeus Woods’ death at age 72, SFMOMA is getting the word out about a new exhibition of his work that will run from February 16th through June 2nd, 2013. The show, entitled Lebbeus Woods, Architect, will feature 75 pieces from the eccentric designer’s portfolio—most of them mutating forms in pencil— including Nine Reconstructed Boxes (1999) and High Houses (1996), which are currently in the SFMOMA collection. From SFMOMA’s exhibition description:

Acknowledging the parallels between society’s physical and psychological constructions, architect Lebbeus Woods (1940 – 2012) depicted a career-long narrative of how these constructions transform our being. Working mostly with pencil on paper, Woods created an oeuvre of complex worlds—at times abstract and at times explicit—that present shifts, cycles, and repetitions within the built environment. His timeless architecture is not in a particular style or in response to a singular moment in the field; rather, it offers an opportunity to consider how built forms are transformative for the individual and the collective, and how one person contributes to the development and mutation of the built world.

See more images from the museum’s impressive Woods’ collection below.

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Impressive Shortlist at New UC Davis Art Museum

West
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Henning Larsen designed the National Museum of Norway. Will they design UC-Davis' new art museum? (Courtesy Henning Larsen)

Henning Larsen designed the National Museum of Norway. Will they design UC-Davis’ new art museum? (Courtesy Henning Larsen)

Three design-build teams have been shortlisted to design the $30 million Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis. They are: WORKac and Westlake Reed Leskosky with Kitchell; Henning Larsen Architects and Gould Evans with Oliver and Co; and SO–IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson with Whiting-Turner. Each team had four months to prepare a bid for the museum. The museum will be named after Jan Shrem, operator of Clos Pegase winery in the Napa Valley, and his wife Maria Manetti Shrem.

Voters Approve Streetcars Tax Measure in Downtown Los Angeles

West
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
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Return of the historic Red Car? (Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)

Return of the historic Red Car? (Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)

This week, Los Angeles voters approved a local tax on downtown landowners to help pay for a downtown streetcar, which could begin running as early as 2016. The $125 million project would—yes—run on tracks, just like the streetcars that used to dominate the city.

Cars haven’t been chosen yet, but their primary route would go south on Broadway from 1st Street to 11th Street, west to Figueroa Street, north to 7th Street, east to Hill Street, and north, terminating at 1st Street. LA’s transportation agency, Metro, began work on the project in 2011 with the city’s former Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA), with the city itself, and with Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc.

After the votes were counted, 73 percent of downtown voters approved the measure. Now the project needs to get federal approval before officially moving ahead. See more images of the historic Pacific Electric streetcars, which once dominated the city, below.

More images after the jump.

Video> Greg Lynn’s House of the Future Radically Redefines “Mobile Home”

West
Friday, November 30, 2012
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At the recent Interieur 2012 Biennale in Kortrijk, Belgium, Venice, California-based Greg Lynn shared his vision of the future of housing: architecture that rotates to accommodate different uses. The model above, called “RV Prototype” (RV stands for Room Vehicle), part of the Biennale’s Future Primitives exhibition program exploring our future living environment, rotates via a robotic stepper drive and consists of a super-lightweight structure built with a carbon shell lined with a foam core.

As its name suggests, the proposal is just a scale prototype, but if enlarged and tricked out, Lynn argues it could contain living spaces on one side and a kitchen or bedroom on another, for example. All you have to do is spin.  The device is now on a boat returning to Los Angeles from Belgium. We’ll let you know when the future arrives—and where to store your forks and pillow when they’re upside down.

See Lynn’s sketches of the apparatus after the jump.

Could LA’s Transit Measure Still Pass?  By all accounts Measure J, the LA County ballot proposal to extend 2008′s Measure R funds and speed up transit projects around Los Angeles, appears doomed to failure. But it seems that the vote counting isn’t done, and it’s getting closer. According to LA Metro’s blog, The Source, the measure now has 65.66 percent of the vote (up about a half percentage point from earlier tallies), about one percent shy of the 66.67 it needs for approval. There are about 100,000 votes yet to be counted, and by Metro’s own admission it’s unlikely, but possible, that it will pass. Stay tuned for the final update by December 4.

 

San Diego’s Embarcadero Getting Long-Needed Makeover

West
Monday, November 26, 2012
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While it was never topped with a highway like its San Francisco cousin, San Diego’s Embarcadero has long been a car-dominated no-man’s land of wasted opportunity along the city’s stunning bay. No more! Earlier this year the city broke ground on a redevelopment of the area, including new pavilions, plazas, a 105-foot-wide esplanade, and bike and walking paths. The area will be planted with hundreds of new trees and set with new street furniture and decorative lighting.

Phase one, encompassing 1.2 miles, should be done by next summer.  The project, guided by the North Embarcadero Vision Plan, is being paid for by the Port of San Diego and the city of San Diego, acting through the  Centre City Development Corporation.

Check out Embarcadero renderings after the jump.

Tuesday! Discuss Downtown LA’s Resurgence at the A+D Museum

West
Monday, November 12, 2012
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Student rendering of a re-thought MOCA, from Grand Illusion. (USC)

Student rendering of a re-thought MOCA, from Grand Illusion. (USC)

As we’ve reported quite a bit, downtown LA is seeing a formidable resurgence. An equally formidable panel will meet at LA’s A+D Museum on Tuesday to debate the phenomenon, looking at the architectural development of Grand Avenue, adaptive reuse in the historic corridor, hip emergence and clean tech in the arts district, and so on.

Panelists include architect Michael Maltzan; AN West Coast Editor Sam Lubell; KCRW’s Frances Anderton; Ayahlushim Getachew, Senior Vice President at Thomas Properties Group; Bob Hale, Principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios;  and Carol Schatz, President and CEO of Downtown Center Business Improvement District and the Central City Association. The event will also include a signing of Anderton’s illuminating new book on Grand Avenue, Grand Illusion. 

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Saved? Gehry’s LA Aerospace Hall Gets Listing on California Register

Newsletter, West
Friday, November 9, 2012
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Frank Gehry's Air and Space Gallery. (Guggenheim Museum Publications)

Frank Gehry’s Air and Space Gallery. (Guggenheim Museum Publications)

AN found out today that Frank Gehry’s Aerospace Hall at the California Science Center (now known as the Air and Space Gallery) in Los Angeles has now been listed on the California Register by the California Office of Historic Preservation. As we’ve reported, the museum’s fate has been in doubt as the Science Center makes plans for a new building to house the Space Shuttle Endeavor, and refuses to comment on what it plans to do with Gehry’s building, which was shuttered last year.

The listing doesn’t guarantee the building’s protection, but it could slow down any threats. It may trigger an environmental review if another building were to replace it. At the very least, the museum would need to review the impact of a demolition or major change. The angular, metal-clad building, built in 1984, was Gehry’s first major public building.

Anonymous Buyer Saves Frank Lloyd Wright House From Wrecking Ball

West
Friday, November 9, 2012
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Great news! Frank Lloyd Wright’s David & Gladys Wright house in Phoenix won’t be reduced to rubble as developers had hoped. The house, designed for FLW’s son David in 1952, had been threatened with demolition earlier this year, but an anonymous buyer ponied up nearly $2.4 million to save the house. The previous owner, developer 8081 Meridian, had proposed tearing down the house and building two new houses on the property. The spiral-planned, textile block home is one of Wright’s most unusual designs, with an amazing spiral ramp that leads into and lifts the house above the desert. Check out the video walk-through of the home above or a photo slideshow over here. Way to go, anonymous!

Another Hollywood Landmark In Trouble?

West
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
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The recently-renovated Hollywood Palladium. (Coe Architecture)

The recently-renovated Hollywood Palladium. (Coe Architecture)

Last week AN learned that Hollywood’s Capitol Records building may be in for a dwarfing by two new adjacent towers. Now we learn from our friends at Curbed that the historic Hollywood Palladium, renovated in 2008 by Coe Architects, might also be in trouble. Miami developer Crescent Heights is about pay $55 million for the Palladium site, and it’s rumored that they want to build luxury apartments or condos there. The 72-year-old theater apparently has no historic protections, so this could get ugly. Stay tuned.

This Weekend> Tech Refresher With AIACC

West
Friday, November 2, 2012
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Exhibit A: This is a CNC Router. (AXYZ International)

Exhibit A: This is a CNC Router. (AXYZ International)

Feel like technology has left you behind? Check out the AIACC Now Next Future Conference this weekend. Not only does it feature a technology boot came, with hands-on technology training, but it features technology leaders like Kevin Daly from Daly Genik, Dennis Shelden, from Gehry Technologies, and Alisdair McGregor from Arup. Meanwhile topics will include BIM, new manufacturing technologies, Eco districts, and cloud technologies. Yes, you’ll be much cooler after this is over.

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Garten’s Rippling New Bridge In Los Angeles

West
Friday, November 2, 2012
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(Berg&Associates)

(Berg & Associates)

As we’ve noted before, sculptor Cliff Garten is one of the lucky artists who gets to remake the urban landscape. His latest work is the Baldwin Hills Gateway, a 150-foot-long bridge that marks the entry into the Baldwin Hills Parklands, part of the sprawling Kenneth Han State Recreation Area. The eight-foot-high rail, made of water jet cut and rolled anodized aluminum, is perforated by a rippling pattern inspired by the artist’s survey of the entire park, creating interesting patterns of light and shadow on the bridge’s surface. The project, funded by a grant from the Baldwin Hills Conservancy to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, just opened last week.

More photos after the jump.

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