When Artists Design Infrastructure: Basket-like Bridge Energizes San Gabriel Valley

West
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
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The Gold Line Bridge over the EB 210 Freeway in Arcadia. (Courtesy METRO Los Angeles)

The Gold Line Bridge over the EB 210 Freeway in Arcadia. (Courtesy METRO Los Angeles)

The expansion of LA’s Metro Rail Gold Line is well underway with a stunning new piece of infrastructure: The Gold Line Bridge. Completed last week, the 584-foot dual-track bridge, stretching over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway, will provide a light rail connection between the existing Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena and Azusa’s future Arcadia Station. The rail line itself is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Made from steel reinforced concrete with added quartz, mica crystals, and mirrored glass, the monochromatic, abstract design, conceived by artist Andrew Leicester, pays homage to the region’s historic American Indian basket-weaving tradition and includes a carriageway and a post-and-lintel support beam system. The 25-foot baskets adorning each of the posts, “metaphorically represent the Native Americans of the region…and pay tribute to the iconic sculptural traditions of Route 66,” wrote Leicester.

Continue reading after the jump.

Give To Never Built: A Look at the Los Angeles That Never Was

West
Monday, December 17, 2012
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AN‘s West Coast Editor Sam Lubell is curating an exhibition at LA’s A+D Architecture and Design Museum that examines a whole new world called Never Built: Los Angeles. The show explores the amazing schemes dreamed up for the city over the years that never happened, including buildings by some of the most famous architects in the world (Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, etc.), as well as unbuilt subways, parks, amusement parks (Disneyland in Burbank!), and even flying buses. The show, organized around a giant floor graphic of LA, will create an alternative city through models, prints, installations, drawings, and animations. If you’d like to donate to the exhibition, check out the kickstarter link here. Proceeds will pay for building and installing the exhibition.

Shuttle Shhhh: Details About Endeavor’s Permanent Home Take Flight

Eavesdroplet, West
Monday, December 17, 2012
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The Space Shuttle Endeavor in its new Los Angeles home. (Sam Lubell / AN)

The Space Shuttle Endeavor in its new Los Angeles home. (Sam Lubell / AN)

Amid the hubbub surrounding the Space Shuttle Endeavor landing inside its temporary digs at the California Science Center (our favorite part at the opening: James Ingram crooning I believe I can Fly, with LA Mayor Villaraigosa dancing in a trance behind him), the museum has done its best to keep the plans for the orbiter’s future home under wraps. But we’ve managed to uncover some tantalizing details of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center: For one, the new building by ZGF will measure around 200 feet tall, enough to accommodate the spacecraft and its booster rockets standing upright. It may also feature a slide to the base of the Space Shuttle. Now that’s what we’re talking about.

LA Story: The Many Lives of LA Architect Mark Mack

Eavesdroplet, West
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Zoom Productions Sphere 2 offices by Mark Mack in Salzburg. (Courtesy Mark Mack)

Zoom Productions Sphere 2 offices by Mark Mack in Salzburg. (Courtesy Mark Mack)

LA architect Mark Mack has decided to take on several careers instead of the traditional single-job model. In addition to practicing architecture, he is now a screenwriter, chef, and DJ. He’s working on a screenplay about the early lives of Neutra and Schindler; he’s opening up a takeout restaurant focusing on small bites; and he’s spinning old and new songs on vinyl records. Surprised? Why? For all of us in LA it’s just a matter of time…

 

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Unveiled> SOM’s Los Angeles Courthouse Is a Shimmering White Cube

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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The courthouse will take the form of a faceted white cube. (Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

The courthouse will take the form of a faceted white cube. (Courtesy Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Last month AN reported that SOM had won the commission to design the new $400 million federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Today, designs for the new facility were unveiled (via our friends at LA Downtown News and Curbed LA), showing a cube-shaped structure with a porous white surface. So far only two renderings have hit the web, but SOM has promised to share more with us soon.

More information after the jump.

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Video> Hollywood Sign Facelift Complete in Time for 90th Anniversary

West
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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Hollywood After Refurbishment (Alex Pitt Photography)

The Hollywood sign, whose facelift we’ve been tracking in recent weeks, has been fully restored. After nine-weeks of  priming and painting, the nine shiny white letters are once again the talk of Tinseltown. Thanks to Sherwin Williams and the Hollywood Sign Trust, who funded the facelift, the 45-foot-tall letters gracing LA’s Mount Lee are all set for its upcoming 90th anniversary celebration next year. And if you missed it in person, check out the time lapse video documenting this milestone below.

Check out the time-lapse video after the jump.

Architect Forced To Be Drug Mule.  Tijuana Cultural Center designed by Eugenio Velazquez (Courtesy of Goo Local Tijuana) Architecture and drug smuggling don’t usually occupy the same space in a news story, but today architect Eugenio Velazquez, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, was sentenced to a 6-month term for trying to bring 12.8 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. in a special lane for pre-screened, trusted motorists. Velazquez received a lighter sentence after explaining to the judge that drug traffickers had threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t comply with their demands to smuggle the cocaine. Velazquez has designed several important buildings in Tijuana including a police headquarters and the Tijuana Cultural Center (known as El Cubo). He’s currently working on Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral and plans to move forward with the project.

 

SFMOMA Planning Posthumous Lebbeus Woods Exhibition

West
Friday, December 7, 2012
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Urban Field, 1987. (Courtesy SFMOMA)

Urban Field, 1987. (Courtesy SFMOMA)

Just weeks after architect Lebbeus Woods’ death at age 72, SFMOMA is getting the word out about a new exhibition of his work that will run from February 16th through June 2nd, 2013. The show, entitled Lebbeus Woods, Architect, will feature 75 pieces from the eccentric designer’s portfolio—most of them mutating forms in pencil— including Nine Reconstructed Boxes (1999) and High Houses (1996), which are currently in the SFMOMA collection. From SFMOMA’s exhibition description:

Acknowledging the parallels between society’s physical and psychological constructions, architect Lebbeus Woods (1940 – 2012) depicted a career-long narrative of how these constructions transform our being. Working mostly with pencil on paper, Woods created an oeuvre of complex worlds—at times abstract and at times explicit—that present shifts, cycles, and repetitions within the built environment. His timeless architecture is not in a particular style or in response to a singular moment in the field; rather, it offers an opportunity to consider how built forms are transformative for the individual and the collective, and how one person contributes to the development and mutation of the built world.

See more images from the museum’s impressive Woods’ collection below.

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Impressive Shortlist at New UC Davis Art Museum

West
Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Henning Larsen designed the National Museum of Norway. Will they design UC-Davis' new art museum? (Courtesy Henning Larsen)

Henning Larsen designed the National Museum of Norway. Will they design UC-Davis’ new art museum? (Courtesy Henning Larsen)

Three design-build teams have been shortlisted to design the $30 million Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis. They are: WORKac and Westlake Reed Leskosky with Kitchell; Henning Larsen Architects and Gould Evans with Oliver and Co; and SO–IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson with Whiting-Turner. Each team had four months to prepare a bid for the museum. The museum will be named after Jan Shrem, operator of Clos Pegase winery in the Napa Valley, and his wife Maria Manetti Shrem.

Voters Approve Streetcars Tax Measure in Downtown Los Angeles

West
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
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Return of the historic Red Car? (Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)

Return of the historic Red Car? (Courtesy Metro Transportation Library)

This week, Los Angeles voters approved a local tax on downtown landowners to help pay for a downtown streetcar, which could begin running as early as 2016. The $125 million project would—yes—run on tracks, just like the streetcars that used to dominate the city.

Cars haven’t been chosen yet, but their primary route would go south on Broadway from 1st Street to 11th Street, west to Figueroa Street, north to 7th Street, east to Hill Street, and north, terminating at 1st Street. LA’s transportation agency, Metro, began work on the project in 2011 with the city’s former Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA), with the city itself, and with Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc.

After the votes were counted, 73 percent of downtown voters approved the measure. Now the project needs to get federal approval before officially moving ahead. See more images of the historic Pacific Electric streetcars, which once dominated the city, below.

More images after the jump.

Video> Greg Lynn’s House of the Future Radically Redefines “Mobile Home”

West
Friday, November 30, 2012
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At the recent Interieur 2012 Biennale in Kortrijk, Belgium, Venice, California-based Greg Lynn shared his vision of the future of housing: architecture that rotates to accommodate different uses. The model above, called “RV Prototype” (RV stands for Room Vehicle), part of the Biennale’s Future Primitives exhibition program exploring our future living environment, rotates via a robotic stepper drive and consists of a super-lightweight structure built with a carbon shell lined with a foam core.

As its name suggests, the proposal is just a scale prototype, but if enlarged and tricked out, Lynn argues it could contain living spaces on one side and a kitchen or bedroom on another, for example. All you have to do is spin.  The device is now on a boat returning to Los Angeles from Belgium. We’ll let you know when the future arrives—and where to store your forks and pillow when they’re upside down.

See Lynn’s sketches of the apparatus after the jump.

Long Beach Airport Reimagined as a Locavore Cabana With Fire Pits and Outdoor Seating

West
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Yes, this is an airport. (Courtesy Studio One Eleven)

Yes, this is an airport. (Courtesy Studio One Eleven)

The days of airport as shopping and entertainment destination are in full swing.  Construction of the new 40,000 square foot passenger concourse at the Long Beach Municipal Airport (LGB) will be finished next month. And this is no ordinary concourse. As part of a $140 million modernization project, the two-year renovation not only includes waiting and screening areas, but also two new terminals with 10,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space along with 4,200 square feet of outdoor patio seating containing fire pits, cabanas, and outdoor performance areas.

Continue reading after the jump.

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