Now this looks like a good idea: a group of architects and engineers called Urban Air are trying to turn a billboard next to LA’s 10 Freeway into a suspended bamboo garden. The technique: they remove the signage, install planters and then the bamboo, and then install water misters and sensors to make sure it’s properly irrigated. Voila! If it’s successful with the first sign the group wants to create similar gardens across the country. The ambitious plan is being crowd-funded through Kickstarter and with 46 days left has raised nearly $6,000 of its $100,000 goal as of this publishing. You can check out their Kickstarter campaign and contribute here.
Before the show closes on Monday, head over to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s COLA Visual Arts Awards Exhibition to view artist/architect Heather Flood’s Wonder Wall, an intriguing application of graphic design principles in 3D construction. Inspired by the visual color effects of the tartan—a plaid cloth where interweaving thread colors give way to the appearance of a new blended color— Flood turned strips of perforated colored aluminum into a gyrating wall of mesmerizing color.
Wonder Wall is composed of interlocking vertical and horizontal anodized aluminum strips that gently rotate. Rendered in high-contrast colors (blue, yellow, and green), the piece tricks the eye for a moment to reveal new colors where the aluminum strips overlap, similar to the visual play where weft and warp threads cross each other at right angles in tartans.
“I’ve always wanted to work on a project where I could really explore the visual effects produced by a graphic means of construction,” said Flood. She is looking to extend the concept into her architectural practice, perhaps as an architectural facade, enclosure, or fencing system. The exhibition features seven other talented local artists, so make sure to visit this weekend.
This evening from 4:30-7:30 Los Angeles-based architect and hipster icon Barbara Bestor is introducing her line of gift items for LA brand SOLA (that stands for Sisters of Los Angeles) at Silver Lake store Yolk. Bestor created the vivid graphic designs for the mugs, glasses, i-phone cases, keychains, t-shirts, and more. The event will also reveal Bestor’s redesigned YOLK exterior, with its fierce yellow, red and blue patterns stemming from designs already found inside the store.
Seattle has approved Skanska USA’s controversial five-story “deep green” Brooks Sports headquarters building dubbed Stone34 at Stone Way North and North 34th Street under a new code provision that allows the developer to build 20 feet higher than zoning normally allows. While community leaders and activists opposed the project, claiming that it is out of scale with the neighborhood, Skanska says the extra height is necessary to make the project work economically.
We’ve finally gotten a reveal of Millenium Hollywood, the two residential and hotel towers planned on either side of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. The verdict: What Capitol Records Building? New renderings suggest the landmark 1956 Welton Becket-designed structure could basically disappear from view.
Cecil Balmond, who famously left ARUP to start his own firm, Cecil Balmond Studio, a couple years ago, has a mesmerizing new project. The ethereal light sculpture, dubbed Snow Words, stretches out towards the Alaskan sky and illuminates the lobby of the new Crime Detection Laboratory in Anchorage. Suspended between a glazed skylight and a mirrored floor, the 30-foot-high beacon, which opened last month, seems to float within its laser-cut cylindrical shell. Made of LED-lit rods calibrated to a unique sequence, the installation commemorates the officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Shimoda Design Group’s Museum of Neon Art, whose future had been placed in Jeopardy with the closing of California’s redevelopment agencies, has been saved, says the Glendale News-Press. Last week an oversight board composed of various Glendale officials voted to leave the museum’s contract in place. The two-story, 7,300 square foot building with an adjacent 5,000 square foot plaza is anticipated to become the southern anchor for Glendale’s emerging arts and entertainment district. It will contain, among many other items, the Virginia Court Motel Diver, a large, bright red and white marquee dating from the 1940’s that will be placed on the museum’s roof; and a 20-foot-tall Clayton Plumbers Sign, with its giant neon faucet and neon blue drips, which will be located in the open air plaza.
Architects do a lot of things outside of CAD details. Don’t believe us? Check out Unfrozen Music tomorrow night at the Santa Monica Public Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium, hosted by AN West Coast Editor Sam Lubell. The concert will feature classical piano, chamber music, and jazz performed by LA architects like John Friedman Alice Kimm’s Alice Kimm, Gensler’s Terrence Young, NBBJ’s Gary Popenoe. And trust us, these guys are good. This is our third year going. More details here.
Naoya Hatakeyoma: Natural Stories
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
Through November 4
Naoya Hatakeyoma’s award winning photography contrasts the reciprocal impact of human industries on the natural world and that of natural forces on human activities. His photographs, ranging in topic from German coalmines to the underground Tokyo sewer systems, chronicle manmade industrial formations from their time of creation to their degeneration and ultimate decay, all captured in a seemingly objective yet sublime manner. Through this impartial method, devoid of speculation and sentiment, Hatakeyoma’s images garner the greatest impression on the viewer. Hatakeyoma was born in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture in 1958. His latest work, Rikuzentakata illustrates the devastation caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in his birthplace. In the first ever solo U.S museum exhibition, curated by Lisa J. Sutcliffe, SFMOMA showcases more than 100 photographs and 2 video installations spanning Hatakeyoma’s entire career.
We just got our first look at next year’s SCI-Arc graduation pavilion, League of Shadows, by Los Angeles-firm P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. Whoah. The pavilion, which will seat 1,200 people, will be built in the SCI-Arc parking lot for graduation events in spring 2013. The three-fingered structure will be made up of multi-story, angled frames (ahem) patterned with dark, vaulted, and layered multi-colored fabric strips, with seams like sails. The pavilion’s significant height will provide long shadows (hence the project’s name) and its location on the south end of the SCI-Arc parking lot will make it a sign for the school. Entries from the four competing architects will be on display in the SCI-Arc Library Gallery from October 19 to December 2.