Announcing the Gehry Prize.  Announcing the Gehry Prize Frank Gehry has won every architecture award you can think of, from the Pritzker to the AIA Gold Medal. Now he has one named after him, thanks to his $100,000 donation to SCI-Arc. The Gehry Prize will be awarded annually to the school’s best graduate thesis. The first prize will be handed out this Sunday at SCI-Arc’s graduation. Gehry has been a SCI-Arc trustee since 1990, and has been involved with the school since its inception in 1972. Which reminds us: SCI-Arc will be 40 next year.

 

Political Overreach? Lehrer’s Community Center Scrapped

Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
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Lehrer Architect's San Angelo Community Center. (Courtesy Lehrer Architects)

Lehrer Architect’s San Angelo Community Center. (Courtesy Lehrer Architects)

Despite the recent opening of LA County’s Grand Park, County Supervisor Gloria Molina generally seems to have it in for contemporary design. Add to her list of architect victims Lehrer Architects, whose striking San Angelo Community Center north of Los Angeles was set to move forward, receiving community reviews and preliminary local sign off. In stepped Molina, who apparently didn’t like the modern look of the project. She killed it immediately. Now that’s power.

Congressmen Attack New LA Courthouse Proposal

West
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
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One of Downtown LA’s two existing courthouses, on Spring Street. (fark.com)

Two congressmen really seem to have it in for the planned new U.S. courthouse and federal building in downtown Los Angeles, for which several prominent LA firms have been shortlisted.

According to the LA Times, California Representative Jeff Denham earlier this month called the proposal a “sham,” insisting that the judiciary should be able to share courtrooms more efficiently at their current spaces (there are currently two federal courthouses downtown).

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> California’s Designing Women, 1896 to 1986

West
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
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(Courtesy The Autry)

(Courtesy The Autry)

California’s Designing Women
The Autry in Griffith Park
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles
Through January 6, 2013

It was uncommon for women to practice industrial design throughout late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, California’s newness and frequent population growth provided various opportunities for women to get involved with the creation and production of design. Autry National Center’s California’s Designing Women, 1896–1986 with works from over fifty women designers from California celebrates female designers who made major contributions to Californian and American design. The exhibition displays approximately 240 examples of textiles, ceramics, furniture, lighting, tapestries, jewelry, clothing, and graphics all inspired by California’s amalgam of society which include Indigenous American, Chinese, Japanese, Anglo, and Mexican cultures. Upholding California’s reputation for unlimited creativity, the displayed work includes materials such as wood, abalone, glass cotton, steel, silver, acetate, acrylic, and fiberglass, spanning a century of design movements from arts and crafts to art deco to mid-century modern and beyond.

Facebook Likes Gehry: Sprawling Expansion Unveiled for Menlo Park

West
Monday, August 27, 2012
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Frank Gehry's plans for a new Facebook campus. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

Frank Gehry’s plans for a new Facebook campus. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

Perhaps trying to regain its mojo after a difficult summer on the stock market, Facebook has selected Frank Gehry to design an expansion to its Menlo Park Campus in California. The project, scheduled to break ground next year, will include a quirky 420,000-square-foot warehouse topped by a sprawling garden. The cavernous space will contain open offices for as many as 2,800 software engineers, according to Everett Katigbak, Facebook’s environmental design manager. The firm wouldn’t reveal the project’s price tag.

Continue reading after the jump.

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.

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