Noever Out At MAK

International, West
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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We’ve learned that after 25 years at it’s helm, Peter Noever has announced plans to step down as head of Vienna’s MAK (Museum of Applied Arts). Here in LA, Noever opened the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood and also added the Fitzpatrick-Leland House in the Hollywood Hills to the MAK’s stable.

According to The Art Newspaper, the Austrian Green Party had “submitted an inquiry to parliament this fall following allegations that he had mismanaged resources.” This includes problems with the recent Austrian entry at the Venice Bienale. “There has been a media campaign against me,” Noever told The Art Newspaper. According to the paper Noever has since been offered a job working with former Guggenheim director Thomas Krens.

Wait a minute… Two spurned high ego museum directors working together? Now THIS should be interesting.

Gehry Goes Back To School

West
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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After years in the spotlight it appears that University of Southern California (USC) uber-alum Frank Gehry has decided it’s time to give back. The school announced today that Gehry has been named the school’s Judge Widney Professor of Architecture. He’s also taught at Columbia and Yale, but this is his first time teaching at his Alma Mater.

It’s not clear yet what classes he’s going to lead. Gehry, 81, graduated from USC (B.Arch) back in 1954. He’s arguably the school’s most famous alumnus, but there is good competition, including architects Thom Mayne and Gregory Ain, astronaut Neil Armstrong, filmmaker George Lucas, and, of course, O.J. Simpson.

This Is Your Brain On Architecture

National
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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An interesting piece in this month’s Architect magazine about architects’ personalities. After giving 100 architects Myers-Briggs tests, business consultant Robert Gaarder discovered that many scored ENTJ, which stands for Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging. That combination, said Gaarder, only shows up in about 2 percent of the normal population.

But what does it all mean?

See CRA Sprint

West
Friday, January 14, 2011
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..But maybe not for long.

We learn from our friends at Curbed LA that LA’s CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) is scrambling to put away funds for about a billion dollars in projects before being potentially done away with later this year. You see, earlier this month California Governor Jerry Brown proposed— among $12.5 billion in budget cuts— “phasing out” funding for all of the state’s redevelopment agencies, a move that, according to Brown, “will return billions in property tax revenues to schools, cities and counties and help pay for public safety, education and other services.”

According to Curbed, the CRA just “quickly put together a draft agreement with the city that socks away $938 million for future projects.” That includes money for The Broad‘s new parking garage, for a new office tower on Vine Street in Hollywood. No matter what you think of redevelopment agencies, the move will hurt architects and builders. So stay tuned next week for AN‘s comprehensive article on just how much it will hurt. Sounds fun, right?

Coolhaus Branches Out Doggie Style

National, West
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
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The Phydough truck premiered at the Americana at Brand in Glendale

Our favorite mobile, architecture-loving ice cream sandwich maker, Coolhaus, has added another truck to its growing arsenal. But this time the treats aren’t for humans. The new truck, Phydough, sells gourmet dog treats, ranging from duckfat-flavored biscuits to foie gras doggie ice cream.

Yes, this is no joke. Coolhaus founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started as consultants on the project—overseen by Patrick Guilfoyle, owner of Burbank-based doggie daycare Doubledog Dare Ya, which as far as we know is one of the world’s only dog kennels located in a contemporary-style home—but are now helping to operate the truck as well.
And world domination is on the horizon. Read more.

Thursday is D Day for Broad Museum

West
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
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Site of the museum, on LA's Grand Avenue.

Finally. The design for Eli Broad’s new contemporary art museum in Downtown LA, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is being unveiled on Thursday, according to a press release sent out today. The event will take place at 11:00 am at Walt Disney Concert Hall (next to the new museum site), giving us lazy journalists plenty of time to make it. According to the release, the museum will be “home to the worldwide headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation,” and will provide a home for Broad’s collection of more than 2,000 works by 200 artists. Since the museum saga has dragged out over several years between several cities, and because he’s hired one of the country’s top architects, Mr. Broad has done an excellent job of building our expectations. Hope it’s good!

Street Artists In The News

West
Friday, December 17, 2010
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We're guessing WEHO City Council decided to listen to this guy

Shortly after street artist BLU’s installation on the wall of the Geffen Contemporary in downtown LA was whitewashed, we learn via Curbed LA what our Eavesdrop column had rumored weeks before: that another street artist, Shepard Fairey, is in the architecture news as well.

The legendary/notorious “Hope” poster creator was just chosen by the West Hollywood city council to design an art piece for the almost-complete West Hollywood Library (MDA Johnson Favaro’s really really big white structure across from the PDC with an equally big garage ) more than a year after the council un-selected him amidst controversy.

This is getting confusing… The library is also working with artist David Wiseman, whose swoopy white forms seem well matched to the building’s swoopy white aesthetic.

LA Stadium Designs To Be Unveiled

West
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
.

Is there another large downtown venue in store?

In a breathless press release, developer AEG and its partners have revealed that they will be unveiling renderings from the three finalists for the proposed downtown LA stadium tomorrow evening at 5pm (December 15).

According to Sports Business Journal, the three firms chosen via an RFP are HKS,  HNTB, and Gensler (who designed the Ritz Carlton/JW Marriott where the press conference will be held.. hmm..).

The stadium’s proposed location is the site of the LA Convention Center’s West Hall. We will of course share the renderings with you after the presser, so stay tuned.

Of course, LA still has no football team, nor does it have an approved location for a stadium. But this is Hollywood! We know how to dream!

In other downtown news, City Council on Thursday will vote on the fate of the proposed Wilshire Grand redevelopment, which would include two large towers designed by AC Martin. Stay tuned everybody!

USC Reviews Go Way Way Up

West
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Inside the 50th floor of City National Plaza's North Tower yesterday.

Limited by the constraints of its scattered design buildings, USC’s School of Architecture yesterday held its final reviews on the 50th and 51st floors of City National Plaza’s North Tower in Downtown LA. The giant review, called Blue Tape: Super Review, included 48 studios, about 70 professors, and over 700 students, including those studying architecture and urban design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Yours truly got to sit in on Jennifer Siegal’s studio: Generation Mobile: exploring the deployable free-range cuisine truck culture, which featured some mind-bending re-imaginings of today’s fairly traditional food trucks. The two floors, which used to contain offices for Bank of America (sorry guys) was donated by Thomas Properties, which owns both of the towers at City National. The 52-story buildings, by the way, were designed by A.C. Martin in 1972. We wonder where they’ll do their next reviews? Read More

Lost In The Architecture

West
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
.

37 first year SCI-Arc students have just finished a mesmerizing new installation in the school’s parking lot called Sway. The project is made of 228 thin bundled steel rods, bolted into the ground and joined via flexible (and wild) wire units above. The vast and tightly-packed array of bendy rods are responsive to subtle changes in wind force (and not-so-subtle pushing by visitors), enabling the structure to move around like trees in a forest, or a collection of organisms. At night they catch the light in changing and surprising ways.

The 1A Studi0—which produces a large installation every year— was led by professors Nathan Bishop, Eric Kahn and Jenny Wu. Bishop accurately called the piece an “encompassing environment.” Which is what makes it so great: the chance to walk right into the art and interact with it.

Check out more pix after the jump.

The Coolest Video We’ve Ever Seen

International
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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Street artist Blu recently made LA headlines when his commissioned mural for MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary (featuring coffins draped by dollar bills) was subsequently whitewashed by MOCA itself. In a statement, MOCA called the mural, which was across from the LA Veterans’ Affairs Hospital, “inappropriate,” and the move has angered (to say the least) the street art community.

For those of you unfamiliar with Blu, please take a look at this video, called Big Bang Big Boom. There are no special effects, just stop-action animation; a dazzling combination of architecture and art. It’s unclear where he shot this piece, but he obviously needed to find an area with lots of empty, and largely abandoned, walls and lots. We’re blown away, so to speak.

Filed Under: , , ,

NBC Tries To Forget Conan Through Architecture

West
Monday, December 13, 2010
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Conan's NBC set, before the big breakup..

Most of us move on from difficult breakups by eating ice cream or going on long walks. Not NBC. They build things. Now that Conan O’Brien has started his own show on TBS, NBC  has awarded IA with a commission to redesign his former Tonight Show sound stage in Studio City (which reportedly cost $50 million to build) into a two story newsroom for local and network news. IA has signed a non-disclosure agreement, so they can’t talk about it. But according to the RFP, the 70,000 square foot project, awarded earlier this fall, will include studios, control rooms, edit rooms, offices and and storage. It should be finished by June 2012. So basically they want to obliterate any memory of Conan? Well, yes, our inside source tells us, that’s exactly it…

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