Shortlist For Sixth Street Viaduct Competition

Newsletter, West
Friday, August 24, 2012
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Sixth Street Viaduct as it looks now(John Humble)

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering has announced three finalists in an international design competition for the $401 million Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. The three finalists—AECOM, HNTB, and Parsons Brinckerhoff—will be asked to design an “iconic” cable-stayed bridge across the LA River between the LA Arts District and Boyle Heights. The project is complicated by overhead high voltage lines, a change of alignment that will remove a kink in the roadway, and numerous right of way and jurisdiction issues near the river.

Continue reading after the jump.

Petition Scrambles to Save Frank Lloyd Wright House From Demolition

Newsletter, West
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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The David Wright House. (Courtesy Curbed LA)

The David Wright House. (Courtesy Curbed LA)

Just a couple months ago, a house by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son Lloyd—the Moore House—was destroyed in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. AN called its loss the “archi-crime of the year,” but now developers in Phoenix, Arizona could one-up the razing with the demolition of an original Frank Lloyd Wright designed for another of his sons, David. The threatened David Wright House is a spiral-planned textile block masterpiece that predates the Guggenheim (the most famous Wright spiral), and an effort is underway to save the property.

More after the jump.

Chris Burden Builds a “Small Skyscraper” in Old Town Pasadena

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Chris Burden's <em>Small Skyscraper</em> (Sam Lubell / AN)

Chris Burden’s Small Skyscraper (Sam Lubell / AN)

Next time you visit old town Pasadena you may be in for a suprise. When you slink down an alley off of Fair Oaks and Colorado, the next thing you see will be a four-story, 35-foot-tall skyscraper, sitting in the middle of a courtyard. It’s an installation by artist Chris Burden (yes, he’s the one that did the cool lights and all the matchbox cars at LACMA) called Small Skyscraper (Quasi Legal Skyscraper).

Burden collaborated with LA architects Taalman Koch on the open design, which conists of slabs of 2x4s supported by a thin aluminum frame. Burden started envisioning the project back in the 90s, but at that time the idea was for a solid structure made of concrete blocks. This one is lightweight and seems almost like an erector set. Presented by the Armory Center for the Arts, Small Skyscraper will be on display until November.

More photos after the jump.

On View> “Local Color” Celebrates Experiments With Bright Hues

Newsletter, West
Monday, August 20, 2012
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(Courtesy San Jose Museum of Art)

Bean Finneran’s Yellow Cone (14,000 curves), 2005. (Courtesy San Jose Museum of Art)

Local Color
San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market Street
San Jose, CA
Through January 13, 2013

The way people experience color can be subjective, as preference for a particular color is a personal one. Artists, however, have evoked certain emotions such as pleasure or gloom by manipulating color in value and hue in their pieces. San Jose Museum of Art’s Local Color explores the effects of color through a range of works selected from their permanent collection, displaying over twenty artists who experimented with color. Viewers will be able to experience a myriad of emotions as they venture through this multihued exhibition which will include simple black and white pieces as well as saturated, colorful works. From the modest palette of blue, gray and black in the hypnotic painting Wheel by Barbara Takenaga to the luscious and bright colors featured in Bischoff’s photographs of Barbie dolls, the exhibition’s various pieces will allow visitors to recognize color itself as a medium in art.

Will Maltzan’s “Lens” in St. Petersburg Be Too Murky?

East, West
Monday, August 20, 2012
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Visitors to The Lens probably won’t be able to see all these cool creatures. (Michael Maltzan Architecture)

Last January, Florida welcomed Michael Maltzan Architecture’s stunning proposal for the St.Petersburg Pier, featuring a new tidal reef, a civic green, raised walking paths, a waterpark and many other attractions. Recently however, local marine scientists have concluded that the tidal reef element of the design is simply too good to be true, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times. Named “The Lens,” Maltzan’s scheme calls for a figure-8 spatial organization, in which a loop provides a view into the clear water below. But Tampa Bay’s estuary waters are murky—not because of pollution but simply because of sediment—making the water too foggy for any kind of tidal viewing. Maltzan’s ideal emerald waters are expected to remain a fantasy, but scientist and architects are still trying to find others ways to provide an underwater view in the Lens.

Continue reading after the jump.

Hard Core Cake-Off: Architects Bake Cakes & Eat Them, Too

Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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A Guggenheim cake under construction, although unrelated to the exhibit. (Michelle Schrank/Flickr)

A Guggenheim cake under construction, although unrelated to the exhibit. (Michelle Schrank/Flickr)

On a recent sunny day in Silver Lake the Materials & Applications gallery got folks together to eat cake. In honor of the group’s 10th anniversary M&A hosted an architectural bake-off called “Elevate Your Cake,” with groovy deliciousness by an impressive group of designers. They included Predock Frane; Chu + Gooding; Escher GuneWardena Architecture; Gensler; Deegan Day; Deutsch; Patterns; Noah Riley Design; Warren Techentin; Barbara Bestor; MASS; Osborn; Modal Design; Taalman Koch; and Andy Goldman.

That’s right, this was no amateur night. These were serious architectural cakes. Chu + Gooding’s cake, “Inopportune Totem,” looked like a porcupine had mated with a death-by-chocolate. Warren Techentin’s entry, “cubisphere,” was made up of Japanese Mochi and chocolate cake balls. It looked like a cube made of colorful (but edible) golf and ping pong balls stacked on each other. After several of the cakes were raffled off everybody got down to business: eating the rest.

Art Elevates Neutra and Koenig Icons in Los Angeles

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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Mobile from Architectones at the VDL (Joshua White)

Mobile from Architectones at the VDL (Joshua White)

Art’s power can be magnified by architecture. French artist Xavier Veilhan knew that well when he took over two of LA’s most famous houses last week: Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House 21. The installation at the VDL, called Architectones, consisted of VDL-inspired sculptures in the garden, the front yard, in most of the home’s rooms, on the rooftop, and even in the reflecting pool.

Nods to Neutra himself and to the modernist movement included a large steel profile of the architect, as well as an evocative mobile and models of rather menacing-looking boats, flags, rockets, and cars.

A couple of days later came the finale: a haunting performance installation at CSH 21 that transformed reflecting pools with black ink and made the transparent house opaque with dry ice-produced smoke.

Check out more images after the jump.

Back to the Future in Los Angeles: Giant Waterwheel to Irrigate State Park

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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(Courtesy Zev Yaroslavsky)

Courtesy Zev Yaroslavsky

Los Angeles is putting a new spin on an old technology, returning to one of the oldest forms of irrigation: the water wheel. Aqueducts have played a significant role in Los Angeles’ history, such as a waterwheel placed on the Zanja Madre—the Mother Ditch—in the 1860s that brought water from Rio Porciuncula to the Los Angeles River. As a dedication for the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a new waterwheel designed by Metabolic Studio‘s Lauren Bon, will be installed near the same site by November 5th, 2013. Bon, an Annenberg heiress, artist, and philanthropist, gained notoriety for her Not a Cornfield installation that involved transforming 32 acres of brownfields into a fertile planting ground.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pop-Up Shipping Container Retail & Community Center by Ilan Dei Brightens Venice

West
Monday, August 13, 2012
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(Edie Kahula Pereira)

(Edie Kahula Pereira)

Known for his bright, modernist pieces, Venice designer and fabricator Ilan Dei gets up close and personal at his eye-catching pop-up on 1650 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Made out of three converted shipping containers rendered in brilliant colors with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, the installation exudes an inviting appeal even on this busy, uber-trendy street.  “1650 Abbot Kinney has been an empty lot and a site for pop-ups for many years. I drive or cycle by everyday to and from our design studio,” said Dei, who quickly pounced when the site became available.

Continue reading after the jump.

Event> Archi-Filmmaker Evan Mather In Focus

West
Thursday, August 9, 2012
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While feature length architecture documentaries like My ArchitectVisual Acoustics and Unfinished Spaces have received oscar nominations and international acclaim (sometimes both), there’s always room in our hearts for shorts. One of the most talented filmmakers in this genre is Evan Mather, who has put together a string of the briefer variety. Eight of his shorts will be screened tomorrow evening at LA’s A+D Museum as part of its on screen series.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> MAK Center Offers a Sneak Peek of the SCI-Arc Media Archive

West
Thursday, August 9, 2012
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(Courtesy MAK Center)

(Courtesy MAK Center)

Out Spoken
MAK Center
835 North Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA
Through August 12

The SCI-Arc Media Archive, comprising four decades of lectures, symposia, and events from many of the most creative contemporary architects and thinkers, is scheduled to go online this fall. In anticipation of this resource becoming publicly accessible, the MAK Center (above) presents selected material from the archive curated by architects and architectural historians, each composing a singular argument out of their selections. Focusing on Peter Cook’s record 11 talks, architect Roger Sherman presents “Cook Off,” portraying the architect as a SCI-Arc “doppelganger” and lens through which the school may consider its “alternative” status. Scholar Dr. Paulette Singley offers “Teasers, Ticklers, and Twizzlers,” a look at interdisciplinary performance and architectural research. The architect, historian, and curator Anthony Fontenot presents “City Talk,” reflecting on the evolving dialogue on cities at SCI-Arc with a monitor dedicated to excerpts from each decade. Architect Marcelyn Gow investigates the role of drawing in architectural practice with “Drawn Out,” focusing on its evolution in our era of computational design.

Aging Hollywood Tower Getting Tech-Funded Makeover

West
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
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(Via Curbed LA)

(Via Curbed LA)

Things seem to be humming again in Hollywood. Big-time tech developer Kilroy Realty has just bought the Sunset Media Center, a 22-story tower just east of the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. According to Curbed LA, The company plans an extensive renovation of the glass-clad mid-century building’s lobby, common areas, and tenant spaces (see image above). Most of the building’s tenants are digital entertainment companies, including Nielsen Media Research and Prometheus Entertainment. As usual, the company has not yet revealed the architect (maybe they don’t have one yet?), but we’re checking into that.

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