Burning Man Amazes Yet Again

Newsletter, West
Thursday, September 8, 2011
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Temple of Transition (Michael Holden)

Temple of Transition (Michael Holden)

For the second year in a row (check out last year’s report here) we’d like to share some of the most amazing, ridiculous, and inspiring architecture of Burning Man, which just wrapped up in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. And like last year the Playa’s temporary installations didn’t disappoint; displaying an aggressive level of imagination and ambition for Burning Man’s 25th anniversary (has it really been that long?).

The theme this year was Rites of Passage, although we’re not sure the artists here are interested in following any rules. Photographer Michael Holden was on the ground to document the event. Here are our favorites from Burning Man 2011:

Continue reading after the jump.

UCSB Shortlist Has All The Big Names

West
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
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The San Joaquin Apartments will be located within the red circle above (courtesy UCSB)

Yes, things are slow these days, so we’re looking at every RFP we can. One of the biggest in Southern California is for the new San Joaquin Apartments at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), which will include two buildings housing 1,000 students as well as a revitalized neighborhood center. The RFP was issued in June, and we just got our hands on the shortlist, which was posted on August 26. The winner should be announced very shortly. Below are the finalists, including some very impressive names.

Check out the list after the jump.

Eric Owen Moss to Receive Jencks Award

West
Friday, September 2, 2011
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Moss' proposed Jefferson Tower in Culver City

LA architect Eric Owen Moss will receive the 2011 Jencks Award, an annual prize named for British architect and critic Charles Jencks recognizing “major international contributions to the theory and practice of architecture.” Previous winners of the award include Zaha Hadid, Foreign Office Architects, Peter Eisenman, Cecil Balmond, UNStudio, Wolf PrixCoop Himmelb(l)au, Charles Correa, and Steven Holl. The award will be presented on December 6 at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.

Best known for his highly experimental work in Culver City’s Hayden Tract, a former industrial area transformed into creative offices, Moss is now planning several projects around Los Angeles. Below is a small collection of recent and upcoming work from his firm:  Read More

Help! Only Two Votes Needed To Fix California’s Infill Policy

West
Thursday, September 1, 2011
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California Capitol Building. (Courtesy jjkbach)

California Capitol Building. (Courtesy jjkbach)

Okay, let’s take advantage of this Democracy thing, folks… Today you have the rare opportunity to shape urban planning policy in California by convincing a few swing voters in the state’s Senate to support AB 710, the Infill Development and Sustainable Community Act of 2011. Apparently the bill is two votes shy of passage. If passed it would do a number of things to improve the state’s sprawling urban development policy, including… Read More

Support Ball-Nogues Desert Drama

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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Everyone’s favorite installation architects, Ball-Nogues Studio, are producing one of their most ambitious works to date: The Yucca Crater, a 24-foot-tall installation in the middle of the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree. The project’s wavy wood shell will contain rock climbing holds on its interior, rising out of eight feet of water (the basin, the firm describes, is a nod to abandoned suburban swimming pools scattered across the Mojave).

The wood will come from the formwork of another Ball-Nogues project, Talus Dome, in Edmonton, Canada. It is being built for High Desert Test Sites (HDTS), an initiative that invites artists to create experimental projects scattered among towns near Joshua Tree National Park like Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Explore California’s “Accidental” Sea

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
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We just came across The Accidental Sea, a fascinating documentary about California’s bewildering Salton Sea, an artificial lake created by flooding the Colorado River southeast of Palm Springs. It quickly turned into a resort and then (after subsequent environmental degradation) into a ghost town. The film by Ransom Riggs explores the history of the site and looks at the eeriness there now, from rusted out cars to abandoned spas and homes. Makes you wonder about the tenuousness of our civilization and makes you want to explore California’s other modern ghost towns like California City, an 80,000 acre development once intended to be the third largest city in the state (it’s population is now just over 8,000 people).

Read More

Dwell Editor, Design Director Both Leaving

National, Shft+Alt+Del
Thursday, August 11, 2011
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In case you missed the news, Dwell magazine editor-in-chief Sam Grawe (pictured) is stepping down. He had been EIC for five years and with the magazine for eleven. No word yet on why he decided to leave, but we did get this (below) statement from Dwell marketing director Nancy Alonzo, which mentions that Grawe turned down an offer to stay with the magazine as editor at large.

Continue reading after the jump.

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LA Votes to Keep CRA

Other
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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LA City Council is busy these days. Just one day after approving a downtown football stadium it voted today to approve the CRA/LA Continuation Ordinance, a move that will allow its city redevelopment agency to keep running. As part of the state’s so-called “Voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program,” the city had to pay $97 million to the state this year, and will need to pay $26.5 million in future years. The program came as a result of state budget bills that would have simultaneously dissolved the state’s CRAs and given them a monetary out. According to Curbed LA, other cities that have opted in so far include Long Beach and Irvine. We’ll wait to see who else antes up.. Meanwhile the California Redevelopment Association’s lawsuit against the legislation is still pending.

Will Google’s new campus outdo Apple’s?

Newsletter, West
Monday, August 8, 2011
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After Apple unveiled its plans for a spaceship-like new headquarters by (we think) Norman Foster at a recent Cupertino city council meeting, it appears that their chief rival Google is now looking, as usual, to outdo the Apple-ites. We hear from our sources that edgy—and super green—German architect Christoph Ingenhoven is set to design the Google HQ addition, supplementing the massive GooglePlex in Mountainview (which already contains more than 65 buildings).

According to the San Jose Mercury News the company has already leased an additional 9.4 acres from Mountain View at a price of $30 million and is planning to build the new office space there, accommodating new recruits, among others. Perhaps the offices will do a better job of engaging their Silicon Valley environs? Stay tuned. Or just keep Googling it. And check out some Ingenhoven designs below:

Continue reading after the jump.

Honors> Ehrlich Receives California’s Lifetime Achievement Award

West
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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The American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) has named Steven Ehrlich the 2011 Maybeck Award recipient for lifetime achievement in architecture. The award recognizes an architect’s body of work for outstanding design achievement extending over a career of 10 years or more. Named in honor of Bernard Maybeck, only 14 awards have been given since its inception in 1992.  Ehrlich joins Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry and Joseph Esherick, among others.  Read More

Eureka! California Redevelopment Agencies Sue To Save Selves

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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Eureka is right!

As we recently predicted, the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities yesterday filed a lawsuit in the California Supreme Court over the recent passage of bills to eliminate, or at least “ransom” its more than 400 redevelopment agencies. AB 1X 26 eliminates redevelopment agencies while AB 1X 27 allows agencies to exist if they agree to pay their share of $1.7 billion this year and $400 million annually.  Read More

Finally! Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House Sold After Two Year Wait

West
Friday, July 15, 2011
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Courtesy Ennis House Foundation.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles, which went on the market back in June 2009 for $15 million has finally sold for less than a third of that: $4.5 million. Local business mogul Ron Burkle, who also owns the historic Greenacres/Harold Lloyd Estate in Beverly Hills, is, according to Ennis House Foundation Chair Marla Felber, “committed to complete rehabilitation” of the beleaguered house, which despite a recent rehabilitation still needs a lot of work. “While we did receive some other offers, they didn’t come from sources that could meet our main objective of finding a good steward for the house,” Felber told AN, adding that the Foundation was “thrilled,” to find the right buyer for the house, despite the lower sale price.

Continue reading after the jump.

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