Los Angeles Announces Makeover Candidates for Great Streets Program

Improvements are already planned on this stretch of Figueroa Street south of Downtown Los Angeles (above), but a new Great Streets plan brings improvements to additional portions of the street. (Courtesy MyFigueroa)

Improvements are already planned on this stretch of Figueroa Street south of Downtown Los Angeles (above), but a new Great Streets plan brings improvements to additional portions of the street. (Courtesy MyFigueroa)

As the United States’ prototypical car-oriented freeway town, Los Angeles continues to edge its way toward becoming a pedestrian-friendly metropolis. The city’s Great Streets Initiative, a program intended to redesign public space to be more pedestrian- and cyclist-friend, officially moved forward this week as Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the first 15 streets that will be targeted for improvement throughout the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Menil’s Modulated Light: Museum’s Design Creates a Light Choreography Through Space

Light Modulation starts outside the building (MDI/ Johnston Marklee)

Light Modulation starts outside the building (MDI/ Johnston Marklee)

The architecture of Johnston Marklee’s recently-unveiled Menil Drawing Institute has wowed most observers and critics, including our own. But an equally significant element of the $40 million project is its lighting, a combination of innovation and subtlety, natural and artificial light.

Continue reading after the jump.

Moving West: Jonathan Massey To Direct California College of the Art’s Architecture Department

Dean's List, Shft+Alt+Del, West
Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Jonathan Massey (Steve Sartori)

Jonathan Massey. (Steve Sartori)

In the second significant departure this week from the Syracuse University School of Architecture, professor Jonathan Massey has been named the Director of Architecture at California College of the Arts (CCA). Massey, who chaired the Bachelor of Architecture program at Syracuse from 2007 to 2011, succeeds Ila Berman in the position.

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Zaha Hadid’s Los Angeles Opera Set Completes Mozart Trilogy

Architecture, Art, On View, West
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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Hadid's set for Cosi fan tutee. (Mathew Imaging)

Hadid’s set for Cosi fan tutee. (Mathew Imaging)

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has a thing for star architects. As part of a trilogy of Mozart operas directed by Gustavo Dudamel (himself a global celebrity), in 2012  Frank Gehry designed the set for Don Giovanni, in 2013 Jean Nouvel designed one for The Marriage of Figaro, and this month Zaha Hadid Architects has designed the backdrop for Così fan tutee, the trilogy’s finale.

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Another Lautner-Designed Building in Los Angeles Threatened With Demolition

AbilityFirst's Paul Weston Work Center, John Lautner's most recent endangered building (Los Angeles Conservancy)

AbilityFirst’s Paul Weston Work Center, John Lautner’s most recent endangered building. (Los Angeles Conservancy)

According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, yet another John Lautner building is in imminent danger. This time it’s the architect’s Crippled Children’s Society Rehabilitation Center, now known as the AbilityFirst Paul Weston Work Center, in Woodland Hills. Current owner AbilityFirst and Oakmont Senior Living, the potential buyer, submitted for a demolition and new construction permit in February, hoping to build a new Eldercare facility on the site, and the project was presented at a city Zoning Administration public hearing this week.

Continue reading after the jump.

Neil Denari Designing New School In Los Angeles

Architecture, News, West
Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Neil Denari. (Courtesy NMDA)

Neil Denari. (Courtesy NMDA)

Neil Denari‘s firm NMDA was recently awarded the commission for the Wildwood School, a 65,000 square foot building for 500 students on Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Other firms considered for the commission included Koning Eizenberg and Gensler. Since the selection was based on a team, not a scheme, “We are starting from scratch basically,” Denari said, adding that the “politics, culture, and academic agendas of the school are directly in line with our ideas as architects.” Stay tuned to see how that translates into a design. Meanwhile Denari is waiting for approval on another ground up structure in the area: 9000 Wilshire, a curvaceous, highly three dimensional speculative office building in Beverly Hills.

 

Ishigami Wins Port of Kinmen, the Latest High-Design Port in Taiwan

Ishigami + Associates' winning scheme (Kinmen Harbor Bureau)

Ishigami + Associates’ winning scheme (Kinmen Harbor Bureau)

As we’ve noted before, water-surrounded Taiwan has become ground zero for ambitious port projects, from Neil Denari’s Keelung Harbor to Reiser Umemoto’s  Kaohsiung Port Terminal. The latest, the Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center, has just been awarded to Japanese firm Junya Ishigami + Associates, for a series of undulating landform buildings that all but disappear beneath their green roofs. Second and third place went to California firms, Tom Wiscombe Architecture, for a design featuring five crystalline structures hovering over a large box, and Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), for a grid of folded triangular planes weaving through and above a public park. Runners up were Spanish firms EMBT and Josep Mias Gifre.

Continue reading after the jump.

Here’s Rem Koolhaas’ “Floating” Runner-Up Proposal for Los Angeles’ Broad Museum

Architecture, Newsletter, West
Monday, May 12, 2014
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OMA's proposal for the Broad Museum. (Courtesy OMA)

OMA’s proposal for the Broad Museum. (Courtesy OMA)

With Eli Broad hyping his DSR-designed Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, we thought it would be appropriate to share The Broad that never was: OMA’s runner up proposal. As featured in this author’s book, Never Built Los Angeles, Rem Koolhaas’s firm proposed a “floating” box covered in a lacy-patterned metal screen and cantilevered via steel brace frames above Grand Avenue.

More images after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Is Zoltan Pali Out at the Academy Museum?

Eavesdroplet, West
Thursday, May 8, 2014
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02b-academy-museum-losangeles-renzo-piano-archpaper02a-academy-museum-losangeles-renzo-piano-archpaper

 

In sad but spectacular gossip news, we’ve been informed that Culver City firm SPF:a has been removed from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ new museum project in Los Angeles. SPF:a principal Zoltan Pali had been working with Renzo Piano on the project since 2012.

Continue reading after the jump.

The Quotable Eli Broad Weighs in on Los Angeles

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, May 8, 2014
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Rendering of Eli Broad's upcoming museum, The Broad (DS+R)

Rendering of Eli Broad’s upcoming museum, The Broad (DS+R)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s concrete-veiled Los Angeles art museum and its accompanying plaza, The Broad, named for the billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad who commissioned it,  continue to rise in downtown. Meanwhile, across the street, Broad’s longtime project, MOCA, struggles to find its footing. Addressing these two projects, Broad sat down with Los Angeles Magazine, giving an unusually candid interview about the state of the city, his own giving, and much more. Here are some of his most revealing quotes from a man who, this time, departed from his usual tactic of sticking to talking points.

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Dramatic New Sculpture for Boise City Hall Hopes to Activate The City’s Civic Heart

Art, City Terrain, West
Monday, May 5, 2014
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(CTY Studio)

(CTY Studio)

Boise, Idaho–based architects CTY Studio and design company Ecosystems Sciences have won an RFP to design a new public sculpture for Boise’s soon-to-be-renovated City Hall Plaza. Both the sculpture and the plaza are expected to be completed by fall 2015. The $200,000 sculpture, called Terrain, Civics, Ecology, will be made up of nine 20-foot-tall steel panels, arranged in a circle to create an enclosure that pedestrians can walk through.

More after the jump.

Is Los Angeles’ Convention Center Expansion Moving Ahead?

Architecture, Development, West
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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It appears that Populous's plan for the Convention Center expansion is dead. (Populous)

It appears that Populous’ plan for the Convention Center expansion is dead. (Courtesy Populous)

According to LA Downtown News, while AEG’s proposed downtown football stadium, Farmers Field, remains on hold, the city’s Bureau of Engineering will most likely be holding a three-team design competition to rebuild part of its sister project: the LA Convention Center, down the street.

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