Going Dutch in SF Next Week

West
Monday, November 8, 2010
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Dutch firm UN Studio's Dance Palace in St. Petersburg. Firm founder Caroline Bos will be speaking next week.

In case you didn’t watch the World Cup this year, orange is the official color of the Netherlands. And it’s the inspiration for a week of Dutch design events in San Francisco starting on November 14 called Seeing Orange. The week will feature Dutch creativity that includes not just architecture (hi Rem and friends..) but design, fashion, graphic arts, and so on. One of our favorite events is a bike tour (makes sense.. have you ever been to Amsterdam?) of Dutch design highlights led by architect David Baker and urban planner Robert Bregoff. The tour will visit places like My Dutch Bike, which sells handmade Dutch cycles and gear, Hedge Gallery, which features art by Dutch designers, Propeller, showing off sleek Dutch furniture and accessories, and several other destinations. Another highlight: UN Studio founder Caroline Bos will talk with CCA students and faculty about the firm’s “Deep Planning” techniques. Sounds mysterious, but great. The full list of events is here. No word yet on whether there will be any of those great Dutch pancakes, but we’ll keep you posted..

Does New LA firm name spell doom??

West
Thursday, November 4, 2010
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Southerland worked on Assembledge's Sunset Plaza Residence

We hear from our friends at Curbed LA that Kevin Southerland, a principal at LA firm Assembledge+, has left to form his own firm, architecture 350. And while we’re very fond of Southerland’s work, and of sustainable architecture, we’re a little overwhelmed with the name, which, according to his new site, “refers to the parts per million amount of carbon dioxide that a global consensus of scientists has deemed sustainable for human life to carry on as we know it.” Whoah. The name is relevant because we’ve reached 382, which seems like a very very concerning statistic. Does this mean that life as we know it is about to end? Meanwhile we look forward to seeing what the firm comes up with. They’ll be located on Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills, and will focus on (of course)  sustainable, contemporary residential projects.

Kanner's Many Talents on Display at A+D Tomorrow

West
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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Kanner's sketch of his Metro-Hollywood project in LA

LA’s A+D Museum tomorrow evening launches an exhibit celebrating the work of its founder, Stephen Kanner. Kanner died this summer at age 54, a tragic loss for the LA architecture community. The show will feature images and models of Kanner Architects’ work and several of Kanner’s personal artworks and sketches. Many will be surprised by the depth of Kanner’s talents—he could sketch almost any building or neighborhood with exact precision, his cartoons were artful and hilarious, and he excelled at painting, model-making, and even carpet design— or even the breadth of his architecture, so this show is a must-see. A memorial service for Kanner will be held immediately following the opening.

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Voters Help Out CA Architects

West
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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Despite the sting felt countrywide by largely left-leaning architects, architects in California have a lot to smile about after yesterday’s elections: particularly because a number of ballot propositions went their way. Most importantly Prop 23, which aimed to suspend AB 32, the state’s anti-pollution, pro-sustainability legislation, was trounced, preserving green building and retrofitting funds not to mention important environmental and anti-sprawl measures. Also the defeat of Prop 22, which prohibits the state from taking certain local funds (like city redevelopment funds), to replenish its coffers should help preserve money that architects often tap into. On the negative side—particularly for landscape architects—Prop 21, which would have increased vehicle license fees to help fund state parks, was defeated. And of course prop 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California, went down as well. Sorry architects. You can’t have everything!

Some of Our Faves from the AIA LA Awards

West
Thursday, October 28, 2010
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Eric Owen Moss’s Samitaur Tower, one of our faves

AIA/LA hosted its annual Design Awards last night at LACMA, an event that while not too full of people (that pesky recession) was full of astoundingly good projects. The AIA made us really happy, awarding AN a Presidential Award (Thanks AIA/LA President Paul Danna) for “Architectural Interpreter”. Aw Shucks.. Other notable winners included Firm of the Year Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects and Gold Medal winner Brenda Levin. Since there were a hefty number of Design Award winners, we’ve decided to pick out a few of our favorites. And so without further ado we present the first ever, completely unofficial, AIA/LA Awards Awards! Read More

Brace for the Shulman Extravaganza

West
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
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©Undine Prohl

This weekend marks what would have been the 100th birthday of legendary LA photographer Julius Shulman, on 10/10/10. To commemorate the event there are no less than three major events happening around the city (and probably more that we don’t know of). This includes a symposium celebrating his legacy at Woodbury University this Saturday, a MAK Center tour of the famous houses he photographed this Sunday, and a show of his early, personal work put on by his gallerist, Craig Krull, opening on October 16. Get ready to celebrate our favorite cranky shutterbug, who happens to be the best architectural photographer LA has ever seen.

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Mayne Opens Up About Eli Broad

West
Monday, October 4, 2010
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The Daily Beast features a very interesting article about LA’s “Culture King” Eli Broad. The writer, LA Weekly’s Tom Christie, details Broad’s incredible spending spree on culture (not to mention on education and science), from the Broad Stage in Santa Monica to his new museum downtown, putting him in the company of other legendary—and, um, challenging— LA philanthropists like Norton Simon and J. Paul Getty. While art world figures like Michael Govan take their shots, few architects appear willing to talk on record about the intrusive client (Broad calls himself “strong willed” in the story). But one of them is Thom Mayne, who doesn’t pull many punches, although in the end seems to have an affinity for Broad. As for their failed partnership on the downtown museum, Mayne gets in a little dig: “We worked for a while, and we just reached a mutual understanding that we weren’t going to work together… It’s my city, and I didn’t want to produce a building I wasn’t proud of.”. Another revealing tidbit “I think he’s crazy as a loon half the time, and I don’t agree with him. But I have great admiration for him, and I actually like him.” For his part Broad gets in a slap at those who criticize his style: “Why don’t they join in the L.A. cultural life, rather than [sit] back and [offer] commentary?”

Sad Pictures of Lautner Loss in LA

West
Monday, September 27, 2010
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©Mark Haddawy

It’s been three weeks since John Lautner’s sleek and gently curving Shusett House (1950), which Frank Escher calls one of the two major houses of Lautner’s early career, was torn down. Sadly the owner, Enrique Mannheim, refused the overtures of the John Lautner Foundation, while the Beverly Hills City Council refused to issue a stay of execution. Our friends at Architizer were able to obtain pictures of the demolition, taken by photographer Mark Haddawy. Contrasted with images of the house still standing the shots—of the house in shambles, with wood members scattered on the ground and windows and walls gone— are a painful reminder that LA’s preservation movement still lacks the muscle it should, while citizens and municipalities stand idly by. Read More

This Little Piggie

West
Friday, September 17, 2010
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Putting the finishing touches on the exhibit

The new L+M Arts gallery in Venice, designed by wHY Architecture, is set to open with a hip gala on September 25 (We will be featuring it more in the coming weeks). The project is a beautiful renovation of a WPA-era power station, with a lofty new, diamond-shaped brick addition adjacent, attached via a minimal bar that contains the gallery’s offices. We really recommend you take a look. Oh, and while you’re there, you may want to see something that will either make you gleeful or nauseous. Giant, moving animatronic sculptures of George Bush having sex with pigs, by artist Paul McCarthy. There’s really not much more we want to say about this, except to say that these sculptures perform very efficiently. They will haunt our nightmares. Did we say the gallery looks really nice? Here are some more pix to cleanse your mind: Read More

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Elaine Jones We Will Miss You

West
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Caldwell and Jones some time ago..

Overshadowed by the sadness surrounding West Hollywood Urban Designer John Chase’s death was the loss of another great supporter of Southern California architecture: Elaine Jones, the widow of architect A. Quincy Jones. San Francisco writer and publicist Kenny Caldwell, a close friend, writes a stirring tribute on his blog. In it we get—among other smart observations—a glimpse into her dedication to architecture, to her friends, and to the ideals of her late Husband A. Quincy Jones. At a time when “wow” architecture is still dominant, it’s refreshing to hear  another approach. Says Caldwell: “She would say that Quincy’s design was rooted in the experience of the building as people moved through it. I came to appreciate the humility it took to focus on spatial experience over object.”

Clean Tech Deadline Tomorrow

West
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
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For you last-minute types, the deadline to register for AN and SCI-Arc’s Clean Tech Corridor Competition is the end of the day tomorrow. The competition asks architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for Los Angeles’ CleanTech Corridor, a several-mile-long development zone on the eastern edge of downtown LA (which includes a green ideas lab and a Clean Tech Manufacturing Center). Entries should look beyond industrial uses; creating an integrated economic, residential, clean energy, and cultural engine for the city through architectural and urban strategies. That could include not only sustainable architecture and planning, but new energy sources, parks that merge with buildings, new transit schemes, and so on. While registration is due tomorrow, entries are due on September 30. So get a move on!! You can download the brief here.

Say Goodbye To The Pugh in Pugh+Scarpa

West
Sunday, September 12, 2010
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Pugh+Scarpa's Cherokee Lofts

AN has just learned that Gwynne Pugh of well-known Santa Monica firm Pugh + Scarpa has decided to leave the firm to start his own company, Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio. Pugh and Lawrence Scarpa have led the firm for the past 22 years—Pugh actually hired Scarpa in the ’80s. Pugh’s new company, which “specializes in the design of structures, urban design, planning, sustainability, and consultation to companies and public entities,” launched on September 1. In 2011, firm principal (and Scarpa’s wife) Angela Brooks, who now runs Pugh+Scarpa’s sustainable development department, will be elevated to principal-in-charge, precipitating a new firm name: Brooks+Scarpa. The firm would not comment on the changes (and Pugh’s profile is already off the firm’s site), but we will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

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