Petition Scrambles to Save Frank Lloyd Wright House From Demolition

Newsletter, West
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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The David Wright House. (Courtesy Curbed LA)

The David Wright House. (Courtesy Curbed LA)

Just a couple months ago, a house by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son Lloyd—the Moore House—was destroyed in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. AN called its loss the “archi-crime of the year,” but now developers in Phoenix, Arizona could one-up the razing with the demolition of an original Frank Lloyd Wright designed for another of his sons, David. The threatened David Wright House is a spiral-planned textile block masterpiece that predates the Guggenheim (the most famous Wright spiral), and an effort is underway to save the property.

More after the jump.

Chris Burden Builds a “Small Skyscraper” in Old Town Pasadena

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Chris Burden's <em>Small Skyscraper</em> (Sam Lubell / AN)

Chris Burden’s Small Skyscraper (Sam Lubell / AN)

Next time you visit old town Pasadena you may be in for a suprise. When you slink down an alley off of Fair Oaks and Colorado, the next thing you see will be a four-story, 35-foot-tall skyscraper, sitting in the middle of a courtyard. It’s an installation by artist Chris Burden (yes, he’s the one that did the cool lights and all the matchbox cars at LACMA) called Small Skyscraper (Quasi Legal Skyscraper).

Burden collaborated with LA architects Taalman Koch on the open design, which conists of slabs of 2x4s supported by a thin aluminum frame. Burden started envisioning the project back in the 90s, but at that time the idea was for a solid structure made of concrete blocks. This one is lightweight and seems almost like an erector set. Presented by the Armory Center for the Arts, Small Skyscraper will be on display until November.

More photos after the jump.

Art Elevates Neutra and Koenig Icons in Los Angeles

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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Mobile from Architectones at the VDL (Joshua White)

Mobile from Architectones at the VDL (Joshua White)

Art’s power can be magnified by architecture. French artist Xavier Veilhan knew that well when he took over two of LA’s most famous houses last week: Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House 21. The installation at the VDL, called Architectones, consisted of VDL-inspired sculptures in the garden, the front yard, in most of the home’s rooms, on the rooftop, and even in the reflecting pool.

Nods to Neutra himself and to the modernist movement included a large steel profile of the architect, as well as an evocative mobile and models of rather menacing-looking boats, flags, rockets, and cars.

A couple of days later came the finale: a haunting performance installation at CSH 21 that transformed reflecting pools with black ink and made the transparent house opaque with dry ice-produced smoke.

Check out more images after the jump.

Event> Archi-Filmmaker Evan Mather In Focus

West
Thursday, August 9, 2012
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While feature length architecture documentaries like My ArchitectVisual Acoustics and Unfinished Spaces have received oscar nominations and international acclaim (sometimes both), there’s always room in our hearts for shorts. One of the most talented filmmakers in this genre is Evan Mather, who has put together a string of the briefer variety. Eight of his shorts will be screened tomorrow evening at LA’s A+D Museum as part of its on screen series.

Continue reading after the jump.

Aging Hollywood Tower Getting Tech-Funded Makeover

West
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
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(Via Curbed LA)

(Via Curbed LA)

Things seem to be humming again in Hollywood. Big-time tech developer Kilroy Realty has just bought the Sunset Media Center, a 22-story tower just east of the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. According to Curbed LA, The company plans an extensive renovation of the glass-clad mid-century building’s lobby, common areas, and tenant spaces (see image above). Most of the building’s tenants are digital entertainment companies, including Nielsen Media Research and Prometheus Entertainment. As usual, the company has not yet revealed the architect (maybe they don’t have one yet?), but we’re checking into that.

Slideshow> Hollywood Hills Construction Defies Gravity

West
Monday, July 30, 2012
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(All images courtesy Yves Lefay)

(All images courtesy Yves Lefay)

On Friday we revealed Francois Perrin’s precariously-situated house, a sleek stack of glass boxes embedded into the Hollywood Hills on a concrete base. Terrain aside, the project is stunning for its views of the city, for its glassy connection between indoor and outdoor space, and for its minimal lines. Perhaps even more amazing, though, is how the house was built in the first place, requiring crews to literally move mountains and dangle from cables off the side of a ravine. To reveal the process beneath the building, AN compiled a slideshow of the work in action.

Check out a construction slideshow after the jump.

Feds Hope for Extensive Solar Projects in the West

West
Thursday, July 26, 2012
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Rendering of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert (Ivanpah)

New federal solar incentives should be bringing a lot more solar energy to the west. Unveiled yesterday, the government’s strategy calls for solar projects on 285,000 acres of federal land in six western states, and the opening of 19 million acres of California’s Mojave Desert for power plants that could generate up to 24,000 megawatts by 2030.

The 17 “solar zones” were chosen because they avoided major environmental, cultural, or other conflicts, a move that has been praised by several environmental groups. Incentives include lower land lease payments and reduced bond costs, and the plan is expected to be finalized in about a month. “It’s hard to overstate what a significant milestone this is for our administration,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told the LA Times.

Frank Gehry Goes Contextual in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

National, Newsletter
Friday, July 13, 2012
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(Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right.)

(Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right.)

Make It Right, Brad Pitt’s development of contemporary, LEED Platinum homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward—an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina and still far from recovered—has a new addition: Frank Gehry. Gehry’s new duplex on the site was completed this week. The surprisingly simple design (especially considering some of the expressive homes in the development) features a waterproof solar canopy, a roof terrace and six covered porches. Still one could argue that Gehry’s stilt-raised design, with its fiber cement siding (that looks like local clapboard siding), metal roofs and focus on outdoor space, is one of the most contextual of the bunch.

A Lifeline in Sight for Orange County Great Park?

West
Thursday, July 12, 2012
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The OC Great Park's North Lawn (Sam Lubell)

One of the biggest casualties since the death of California Redevelopment has been the Orange County Great Park. The 1,360-acre expanse on the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station near Irvine has seen more than $1 billion in funds redirected to other state priorities, putting its future in severe jeopardy.

One (very) partial solution just emerged, according to the LA Times: developer Fivepoint Communities would more than double the number of residences  surrounding the park in exchange for chipping in $200 million to the city of Irvine to aid with park construction.

Of course that’s just a small fraction of what’s needed, leaving many wondering if the park, which is not even one-tenth complete, will ever be finished. But City Council member Larry Agran disagrees: “The fact of the matter is, the Great Park will be built. It may take longer than 20, 25 years, maybe 30 or 40 years. We’re making progress, and major construction is underway right now at the Great Park.”

Shortlist to Replace Los Angeles’ Iconic Sixth Street Bridge Revealed

West
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Sixth Street Viaduct (John Humble)

We learn from our friends at Curbed that Los Angeles’ Sixth Street Viaduct Competition, replacing one of the most famous—and fragile—landmarks in LA, has a shortlist. The 3,500-foot-long, art deco span was recently deemed beyond repair, and the winner will build a $401 million, cable-stayed bridge in its place. The teams, all present at an LA Bureau of Engineering meeting last night, are AECOM, ARUP, HNTB, Parsons, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and SOM. Three of those teams will present their plans in September, with a winner chosen in October.

Mixed Use Complex Planned for Downtown LA

West
Friday, June 29, 2012
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(Astani Enterprises)

Downturn? What downturn? It looks like Downtown Los Angeles will get its first mixed-use development in some time when construction begins on the Eighth and Grand project on the south edge of downtown. Developer Sonny Astani recently sold the land to limited liability corporation CPIVG8, who the LA Times says will probably start work “in the next couple months.” The $300 million building is set to have 700 residential units, a rooftop pool, 36,000 square feet of retail and nearly an acre of open space (and perhaps too many parking spaces: 737). Renderings show a wavy glass, steel and concrete facade, but that design appears to still be schematic. In fact no architect has been mentioned in any story on the project and calls to the developer about an architect have not been returned. We’ll keep you posted when a design and an architect are confirmed.

MSG Buys Midcentury LA Forum Arena

West
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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Historic image of the LA Forum. (hmdavid/Flickr)

Historic image of the LA Forum. (hmdavid/Flickr)

For months rumors have swirled that developer Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) would buy the midcentury modern LA Forum arena in Inglewood, former home of the LA Lakers and LA Kings. (Its architect, Charles Luckman, also designed Madison Square Garden.)  That deal is now official, according to Crain’s New York, who said the company just paid $23 million for the property. MSG will begin a “comprehensive renovation” of the arena later this year, and details of that job will be released this fall. The company is currently working on an $850 million renovation of Madison Square Garden, itself a taxing job that is set to be done by next year.

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