Unbelievabubble! Inflatable Mania Overcomes USC Students

Dean's List, West
Friday, March 30, 2012
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Students check out one of the three installations.

Students examine "Sheer Pressure" from inside and out. (Pouya Goshayeshi)

In the interest of getting students to build physical things, three years ago, USC introduced Top Fuel, a week-long design-build workshop accompanied by lectures, exhibitions, and panels. This year’s workshop, “Filters Funnels Flows,” wrapped up earlier this week. It focused on pneumatic (aka inflatable) structures, teaching students about the “inseparable relation between form and performance of pneumatic systems.” Indeed, produce the wrong form here (or material, or structure) and the piece doesn’t inflate. Students also explored lighting, temperature, and other environmental issues.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Addressing Water Scarcity at A+D

West
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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Tom Kosbau's winning vision for the Drylands Design Competition uses the LA River as a fertile agrarian center.

Tom Kosbau's winning vision for the Drylands Design Competition uses the LA River as a fertile agrarian center.

Last Thursday, we visited the opening of the A+D Museum’s new show, Drylands Design. While politicians squabble about oil and other resources, the show drives home the point that water is the reserve that will become the most fraught in the future as populations increase and climate change worsens. The Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University culled the exhibit from the winners of their Drylands Design Competition, which encouraged architects, engineers, and urban designers to respond to the challenges of coming water scarcity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Google Fires Ingenhoven from Mountain View Headquarters Project

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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An early conception of the campus created by the city of Mountain View.

You can’t even, well, Google it yet, but we’ve picked some meaty news from the grapevine: Google has fired German firm Ingenhoven Architects as the designers of its new headquarters in Mountain View, California. The building, to be located on 18.6 acres next to the current “Googleplex,” off of North Shoreline Boulevard, would measure a maximum of 595,000 square feet and house 2,500 to 3,000 employees, including executives, engineers, and scientists.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Manufacturing in the Future Happens on the Construction Site

Newsletter, West
Thursday, March 22, 2012
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In our recent story about architectural manufacturing in Southern California we alluded to LA-based curtain wall specialists Enclos‘ dream of manufacturing on-site through semi trailers that contain mini-factories inside. The assembly line trailers, known as “Cassette Wall Assembly Mobile Facilities,” would pull into the site and open up via hinges, rollers or adjustable panels. They could solve the problem of shipping glass curtain wall pieces long distances by putting all production onsite. “Auto-assemble robotic technology,” along with conveyer belts, suction cups (to move the glass), silicone pumps (for glazing), and of course human elbow grease could produce units quickly, accurately and, in many cases, in custom fashion. Here’s a video of that process. Welcome to the future, people.

Eavesdrop> AIA/LA Has Architecture Center Envy

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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AN’s annual resource list may be published every year but it is never the same. Painstakingly drawn from extensive interviews by our editors with the architects and builders of the best architecture of 2011, these names are the too-often unacknowledged cornerstones that guarantee the quality and excellence of today’s architecture. We both herald and share them with you.

New York's Center for Architecture: model for LA?

It appears that AIA/LA is serious about opening a new architecture center, a storefront, multi-use space similar to that of the Center for Architecture in New York (above). According to a now expired post on Idealist.org, they’re looking for (and rumored to have already hired) a new fulltime “Campaign Director” for an $8 to 15 million capital campaign to “support the acquisition and renovation of an existing building for the new Center for Architecture and Urban Design Los Angeles,” and “create an endowment to maintain this new property.”

According to the post the center will be “a highly collaborative organization that builds strong relationships with other organizations to carry out its mission.” The center is rumored to contain not just AIA offices and exhibition and event spaces, but perhaps spaces for the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and the Urban Land Institute’s Los Angeles chapter.

Architects Design Fashions for A+D Museum’s Celebrate Fundraiser

West
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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Richard Meier's white linen blazer has a colorful and chaotic collage lining.

Richard Meier's white linen blazer has a colorful and chaotic collage lining.

This Saturday, LA’s A+D Museum will host its annual fundraising banquet, Celebrate. This year’s event will not only include music from KCRW DJ Raul Campos (himself a trained urban planner) and some impressive celebs (including our favorite architecture fan Moby), but it will feature a runway show with custom clothing and accessories by architects and designers like Richard Meier, Neil Denari, Predock Frane, BMW Designworks, Karim Rashid, Robert A.M. Stern and  many others. The runway show and live auction will be hosted by LA humorist Charles Phoenix and by Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s DnA.

Check out the archi-fashions after the jump.

Salesforce’s Pastel Campus on Hold In SF.  Salesforce's Pastel Campus on Hold In SF The SF Chronicle reports that tech company Salesforce.com has put its big plans for a 2 million square foot Mission Bay campus on hold. Recently deceased architect Ricardo Legoretta was to lead the project, which would have included four colorful buildings and a large public plaza on 14 acres across from the UCSF Mission Bay  campus. The company will instead rent big blocks of space throughout the city until it decides what to do with the site. Stay tuned for more.  

 

Porter Leaving Altoon + Porter for Jerde

Shft+Alt+Del, West
Monday, February 27, 2012
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Altoon + Porter's Marina City marketplace in Qingdao, China (Altoon + Porter)

Altoon + Porter's Marina City marketplace in Qingdao, China (Altoon + Porter)

After three decades at LA firm Altoon + Porter,  founding partner James F. Porter is leaving to become a principal at the Jerde Partnership. Porter, who met business partner Ron Altoon while working at Frank Gehry’s office in the ’70s, co-founded Altoon + Porter in 1984. Hoping to leave more room for young partners, Altoon + Porter included a clause in their partnership specifying that they retire at age 65. “Sixty five came along in a nanosecond,” said Porter, who managed to adjust the agreement to stay on a little longer. But at age 70, it was time to go, he said.

Continue reading after the jump.

Modernism Week Surprise: Palm Springs Preparing Architecture Center

West
Friday, February 24, 2012
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Rendering of the future museum (Palm Springs Art Museum)

Rendering of the future museum (Palm Springs Art Museum)

Last weekend at Palm Springs Modernism Week we stumbled upon a treasure for architecture fans. The Palm Springs Art Museum is renovating E. Stewart Williams’ 1960 Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building, turning it into the future home of the Edward Harris Center for Architecture and Design. Williams’ International Style bank, featuring floating slabs, floor to ceiling glazing, and ultra thin columns, will contain exhibit space, public program areas, offices, an archival study center and a museum store (located in the former bank vault). On its lower level it will contain a 2,700 square foot area for the museum’s collection. The center is scheduled to open in Fall 2013, says the museum. We can’t wait! Historic pictures and renderings of the future space after the jump.

More images after the jump.

Designer Charged After LA House Fire

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
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The Hollywood Hills home has been repaired following the 2011 fire. (Courtesy MLS)

Designer Gerhard Becker was charged with involuntary manslaughter last week after the Hollywood Hills mansion that he designed  burned down.  According to the LA Times prosecutors claim that Becker installed outdoor fireplaces inside the $11 million, 13,500 square foot home at 154 Viewsite Terrace after inspections were completed. The home was set to host Germany’s “Next Top Model” TV series (we’re not making this up). The fire, which occurred in February 2011, killed veteran fireman Glenn Allen. According to the Times, Becker told investigators last year that “he did not consider them to be fireplaces but rather architectural features or decorations.” But LA assistant District Attorney disagrees: “This man built an 18-foot fire trough designed for outdoors inside the home. It was a recipe for disaster. He essentially put this fireplace on 2-by-4s.”

Construction Watch: Tattuplex

West
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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Meet architect Tom Marble’s Tattuplex. The steel-framed duplex, cantilevering off a steep hill in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood is being built for nurse and buddhist-monk-in-training Tim Tattu. The project’s steel frame was fabricated off-site by Ecosteel, allowing it to be bolted together onsite in just a few days. And of course, it has one of the most beautiful construction sites imaginable, overlooking the Silver Lake reservoir.  Read More

Damien Hirst Dabbles in Homebuilding.  Damien Hirst Dabbles in Homebuilding  Hirst's "Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (Sotheby's/PA) Artist Damien Hirst, known for, among many other things, suspending dead animals in formaldehyde, is also considered to be the world’s richest artist (he’s reportedly worth over $300 million). He’s investing some of that money in the development of 500 new “eco-houses” near North Devon, on the southwest tip of Great Britain. The residences, which will feature rooftop turbines, solar panels and sophisticated insulation, are slated to break ground early next year. One of the firms working on the drawings is London firm MRJ Rundell + Associates, whose founder Mike Rundell told a North Devon newspaper of Hirst “He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings. He wants these houses to be the kind of homes he would want to live in.”

 

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