Late Bloomr: Silver Lake Centerpiece Delayed

West
Thursday, April 19, 2012
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Rendering of "Bloomrs," planned as a future Silver Lake landmark (All That Is Solid)

Rendering of "Bloomrs," planned as a future Silver Lake landmark (All That Is Solid)

The building of a proposed neighborhood symbol on the corner of Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards in Silver Lake has been pushed back due to lack of funds. After winning the Envisioning Silver Lake competition last summer, LA firm ALLTHATISSOLID (ATIS) has been working with the city’s Bureau of Street Services (BSS) to scale back and refine the design, called “Bloomrs,” to fit the $100,000 budget with room for curbing and other street improvements included. The saddle-shaped structure, made of Cor-ten steel, has already been re-designed to occupy a smaller footprint and rises to a shorter height.

Continue reading after the jump.

Everybody Walks In LA.  Everybody Walks In LA Or at least that’s the goal of Los Angeles Walks!, a pedestrian advocacy group that aims to make walking accessible and safe in a city that has long been stereotyped as car-centric. Among other things the group recommends improvements to dangerous intersections through better crosswalk design, better way finding, road diets (aka street slimming), and various policy changes. This Saturday evening the group is hosting the Los Angeles Walks Karaoke Fundraiser at Atwater Crossing in LA’s Atwater Village. Get out there and sing! And if you drive there, at least park a few blocks away…

 

Menil Drawing Institute Shortlist Announced.  Menil Drawing Institute Shortlist Announced The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas has announced a shortlist for the new Menil Drawing Institute, which includes David Chipperfield Architects, Johnston Marklee, Tatiana Bilbao/mx.a, and SANAA. The building will be the largest freestanding space devoted to drawings. The competitors certainly have a high bar to meet. Renzo Piano’s building for the Menil collection is considered one of the best places to view art in the country. “In this year, when we observe the 25th anniversary of our great museum building by Renzo Piano, we are pleased to begin realizing our vision for the future by selecting the next architect to design a major building for the Menil campus,” said Josef Helfenstein, director of the collection, in a statement. “By taking on the challenge of designing MDI—the only facility of its kind—the architect will create a home for our largest, fastest-growing but most delicate collection of artworks, while also providing an important new focal point for the entire campus.”

 

On View> Pedro E. Guerrero: A Retrospective

West
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
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(Pedro Guerrero / Woodbury)

(Pedro Guerrero / Woodbury)

Pedro E. Guerrero: A Retrospective
WUHO Gallery
6518 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Through April 25

At age 22, Pedro E. Guerrero made a spontaneous visit to Taliesin West to meet Frank Lloyd Wright; upon seeing his portfolio Wright immediately gave Guerrero the position of principal photographer. Guerrero’s relationship with Wright would define his career; nearly all publications about Wright include his work. Moving to New York, Guerrero went on to work for journals including Architectural Record and Vogue, documenting the works of modernists like Saarinen and Breuer. His photography approaches architecture as sculpture, displaying an eye for composition and form that led to close personal and working relationships with Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.

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Twenty Years Later, Las Vegas’ Starship Enterprise That Almost Was

West
Monday, April 9, 2012
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1992 Downtown Las Vegas proposal that was nearly built. (Courtesy Goddard Group)

1992 Downtown Las Vegas proposal that was nearly built. (Courtesy Goddard Group)

The above might be the most spectacular project to (n)ever happen. In 1992, The Fremont Street Experience, by the Jerde Partnership, became the project that was built to save downtown Las Vegas, at a time when the boom of casinos along “The Strip” was siphoning business from the city’s core. But no one knew—until now—that apparently the real winner of that project’s competition was Gary Goddard and his team, who claim to have proposed to build a full-scale Starship Enterprise in downtown Las Vegas. The spectacular mirage-city in the Nevada desert is the only place where a project this amazing could ever (not) happen.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Celebrate Earth Day With a “Neutra Run-Walk” in Silver Lake

West
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
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Silver Lake Reservoir, home of the Neutra Run-Walk for Health.

Silver Lake Reservoir, home of the Neutra Run-Walk for Health.

Architecture lovers, time to get motivated. This Earth Day (April 22) you can celebrate Richard Neutra’s 120th birthday by participating in the Neutra Run-Walk for Health, a 4k or 8k jaunt around LA’s Silver Lake Reservoir. “Neutra always stood for health, so it made sense to host this event,” said Dion Neutra, son of the famous architect. Neutra says he hopes the walk will become an annual event for the Neutra Institute.

Continue reading after the jump.

New Shortlist Jumpstarts Long-Stalled LA Courthouse

Newsletter, West
Monday, April 2, 2012
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The courthouse site in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Bing)

The courthouse site in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Bing)

The biggest new architecture project in Los Angeles just got a much smaller list of candidates. The General Services Administration (GSA) has released the shortlist for the new U.S. Courthouse in LA, a design-build project where architects are partnered with builders. When completed, the building, located on a 3.7 acre lot at 107 South Broadway, will measure 600,000 square feet. It’s projected to cost $322 million and be completed by 2016.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles, 1945-1980

West
Monday, April 2, 2012
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Choy Residence. (Julius Schulman)

Choy Residence. (Julius Schulman)

Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945–1980)
The Chinese American Museum
425 North Los Angeles St., Los Angeles
Through June 3

As part of the Pacific Standard Time initiative, the Chinese American Museum presents Breaking Ground to showcase the pioneering contributions made by four Southern California–based Chinese American architects. These architects, Eugene K. Choy, Gilbert Leong, Helen Liu Fong, and Gin Wong, all made contributions to the development of postwar California architecture, from Choy and Leong’s playful Chinatown Modernism to Wong’s radical masterplan for LAX and Fong’s development of the Googie style (think neon signage and cantilevered boomerang-shaped roofs). Original and reproduced photographs, blueprints, renderings, and drawings of works by the architects are on display, including original photographs by architectural photographer Julius Shulman (above, The Choy House).

More images after the jump.

Unbelievabubble! Inflatable Mania Overcomes USC Students

Dean's List, West
Friday, March 30, 2012
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Students check out one of the three installations.

Students examine "Sheer Pressure" from inside and out. (Pouya Goshayeshi)

In the interest of getting students to build physical things, three years ago, USC introduced Top Fuel, a week-long design-build workshop accompanied by lectures, exhibitions, and panels. This year’s workshop, “Filters Funnels Flows,” wrapped up earlier this week. It focused on pneumatic (aka inflatable) structures, teaching students about the “inseparable relation between form and performance of pneumatic systems.” Indeed, produce the wrong form here (or material, or structure) and the piece doesn’t inflate. Students also explored lighting, temperature, and other environmental issues.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Disco Inferno At UCLA Creates Amorphous Oddities

Dean's List, West
Friday, March 30, 2012
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(Gustavo Martinez)

In a city obsessed with spectacle, it seems only fitting that graduate architecture students at UCLA would investigate the subject in one of its most literal forms. The students (including the author of this blog post) have designed objects, known collectively as Space Oddities, or Variations on the Disco Ball, for a 10-week technology and construction seminar led by professor Jasson Payne. The pieces, morphed from their disco ball origins, are now neither spherical nor symmetrical. Hung in a darkened gallery, they cast a dizzying array of reflections, shapes, shadows, and forms across the room.

Continue reading after the jump.

Hollywood Freeway Park Gains Allies in High Places

West
Thursday, March 29, 2012
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LA’s proposed 44-acre Hollywood Central Park, which would be set atop the capped 101 Freeway between Santa Monica and Hollywood boulevards, made new friends in Washington last week, according to the LA Daily News. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with local congressman Adam Schiff and Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP), a non-profit formed in 2008 to raise funds for the park. LaHood expressed interest in the project, and provided insights on its development and possible benefits. He also offered to have members of his staff contribute to its planning process.

Continue reading after the jump.

Addressing Water Scarcity at A+D

West
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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Tom Kosbau's winning vision for the Drylands Design Competition uses the LA River as a fertile agrarian center.

Tom Kosbau's winning vision for the Drylands Design Competition uses the LA River as a fertile agrarian center.

Last Thursday, we visited the opening of the A+D Museum’s new show, Drylands Design. While politicians squabble about oil and other resources, the show drives home the point that water is the reserve that will become the most fraught in the future as populations increase and climate change worsens. The Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University culled the exhibit from the winners of their Drylands Design Competition, which encouraged architects, engineers, and urban designers to respond to the challenges of coming water scarcity.

Continue reading after the jump.

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