Ennis On the Block

Other
Friday, June 19, 2009
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Reuters today reports that Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Ennis House in Los Feliz has been put on the market for $15 million, potentially taking it out of the public realm. The textile block house, which looks a lot like a large Mayan Temple, was made famous for its role in Blade Runner and a slew of other movies and tv shows. According to Ennis House Foundation president James DeMeo, the foundation just didn’t have the ability to keep it going: “We’ve made a lot of progress, but at this point a private owner with the right vision and sufficient resources can better preserve the house than we can as a small nonprofit.” Read More

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View From The Top

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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Yesterday we took a construction tour of Gensler’s new 55-story  Marriott/ Ritz Carlton tower at LA Live, at the south end of downtown LA. A  great tour overall, with plenty of spectacular vistas and an opportunity to see the innards of what will be one of LA’s most iconic buildings (stay tuned for an “In Construction” feature on the project in our next issue). The highlight was checking out the scene from the helicopter pad on top. The lowlight was checking out the sign on the first floor noting “this job site has worked 0007 days without any accidents.” Read More

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Art Galleries Growing?

Other
Monday, June 15, 2009
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New Blum + Poe Gallery, Culver City

New Blum + Poe Gallery, Culver City

At a time when most art galleries are struggling, it seems some of the big guys are doing just fine. First our friends at Escher Gunewardena, who designed the Blum + Poe gallery in Culver City, tell us they are opening a much larger Blum + Poe  space down the street (rendering above) this fall. And now we hear from Art News (and thanks to a link from LA Curbed), that Richard Meier is doubling the size of the Gagosian Beverly Hills Gallery to 11,600 square feet. The project is set to open next year. Meier designed the original Gagosian gallery in Los Angeles in 1994-95 by converting an existing storefront.

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Denari Starstruck Again

Other
Monday, June 15, 2009
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Stepping Up: Denari's Endeavor Talent Agency

The LA Times reports what we already knew:  LA architect Neil Denari, who already designed the Endeavor Talent Agency headquarters, is now working on the interiors for WME Entertainment in Beverly Hills. WME was recently created in a merger between the Endeavor talent agency and William Morris. Its director is Ari Emanuel (Rahm’s brother, and the inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s character on Entourage).  The agency will occupy a six-story building designed by Gensler (who recently lost the interiors commission for the project) that is under construction on North Beverly Drive. Denari will design 170,000 square feet of interior space, including a 200-seat screening room.

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Growing Smarter

Other
Friday, June 12, 2009
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Before and after: how to turn a pavement into a paved paradise

A Greenbelt Alliance case study turning bleakness into civic pride

If you’re going to unveil a grand plan for development, you might as well do it from a place where you can see a big chunk of it. So it was a clever idea to launch the new Grow Smart Bay Area initiative from San Francisco’s Carnelian Room, 52 stories up, with its splendid panoramic views of the waterfront. The proposal, launched earlier this week, was put together by the Greenbelt Alliance, a Bay Area smart-growth advocacy group that just celebrated its 50th anniversary. It anticipates how the Bay Area can accommodate an anticipated 2 million more residents by 2035 without overflowing into the surrounding open space. Read More

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Come To The Cabaret

Other
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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Last night we had the pleasure of checking out Last Remaining Seats, the L.A. Conservancy’s series of classic films inside the historic theatres of Los Angeles. Last night featured Cabaret, starring Liza Minelli and Michael York (York gave the introduction to the event) in the unmatchable Los Angeles Theater, a huge baroque palace on Broadway full of crystal chandeliers and impossibly ornate details. Guests were even welcome to visit the crusty old projection room (with its ancient dials and dressing room), the windswept rooftop, the subterranean ballroom, and the luxurious bathrooms. Other classic theaters hosting the event in other weeks include the Orpheum and the Million Dollar, which have been restored in recent years, and host music, theater, and even church services. More pictures of the festivities here: Read More

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Down The Drain In That Other Venice

Other
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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Artist Mike Boucher was excited to bring American suburbia to the Venice Biennale, constructing a floating McMansion—complete with cheesy yellow vinyl siding—set to grace the city’s famed canals. Unfortunately the house tilted off a failed pontoon and sank; a disaster for the artist (who actually seems to find the whole thing hilarious), but a good symbol for our housing market back in the USA.

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The Sea In Silverlake

Other
Monday, June 1, 2009
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Silver Lake’s newest restaurant is certainly unexpected. First of all Territory is a Barbecue joint, not exactly a So Cal specialty (luckily the owners are from North Carolina and Texas, so they’re legit, and they serve some of the best pulled pork and ribs we’ve had in LA). Second they sell rare and vintage records; and third is the architecture part: it’s located inside one of the strangest buildings in LA. The bright green restaurant is fun, and relatively normal, on the first floor, wth a pleasant patio for noshing with fellow hipsters. But above rises a tall green appendage that makes half the building resemble a lighthouse. One of the owners, chef Curtis Brown (who only uses his grandmother’s recipes), isn’t sure why the building was designed that way when it went up years ago. But he theorizes that it may have originally been a seafood restaurant, hence the nautical theme (it’s most recent incarnation was as a pizza joint.)

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Best. Video. Ever.

Other
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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Our friends at Architecture W in Portland recently completed this masterfully low-tech stop-action video— entitled House of Cards—depicting their plans for a new sustainable house made only out of structural wood panels. “We’ve become bored with glossy computer generated imagery,” explains firm partner Brian White. There’s not much more we can say besides check it out. And notice the strategic use of the Yoda action figure, of course.

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Heading West

Other
Friday, May 15, 2009
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We’re hitching the wagons this weekend to head to the 30th annual Venice Art Walk & Auctions, which include artist studio tours, gallery visits, a silent art auction, live music, and the yummy “food faire”. Of course our first stop will be the Art and Architecture tours of some of Venice’s coolest houses. We can’t wait to see Dennis Gibbens’ Multi-Use Townhouse (above). Here are a few more we’re excited about:

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Pieces Of History

Other
Friday, May 15, 2009
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One of Benjamin Dominguezs La Laguna de San Gabriel historic structures

One of Benjamin Dominguez's La Laguna de San Gabriel historic structures

Yesterday the Los Angeles Conservancy held its annual Preservation Awards at a packed ballroom in the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA. Some interesting tidbits we picked up about the winners: The Biscuit Factory Lofts Downtown used to be a Nabisco bakery, making Oreos and other treats. Cole’s, the famous French Dip restaurant Downtown that opened over 100 years ago, is located in a former terminal for red car street cars. The day prohibition ended Cole’s served 2,000 gallons of beer. Griffith Park’s application for landmark status was 400 pages long. And the La Laguna De San Gabriel Park Historic Structures include Stella the Starfish, Peanut the Green Dolphin, and Ozzie the Octopus. The winners were all impressive. Here’s the list:

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New Practices on the Horizon

Other
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
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Edmonds + Lee, Marblehead Residence

Edmonds + Lee, Marblehead Residence

After spending a while at the AIA convention in San Francisco, we’re excited about new architecture there. One of the highlights of the trip was the AIA SF’s announcement of the winners of New Practices San Francisco, a juried competition based on the work of firms who have been practicing in the Bay Area since 1999 or later (yours truly, AN editor Sam Lubell, was on the jury, which also included Ila Berman, Director of Architecture, California College of the Arts, as well as architects Anne Fougeron,  Jim Jennings, and Cathy Simon).

The winners will be featured in an exhibition at the Center For Architecture in New York from June 4-September 19, and then the exhibition will be on display at the AIA San Francisco Center For Architecture + Design Gallery from November 12-January 29, 2010.

And without further ado, here they are below, along with snippets of their amazing work:

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