On View> Noguchi: California Legacy at the Laguna Art Museum

West
Friday, August 26, 2011
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(Courtesy Laguna Art Museum)

(Courtesy Laguna Art Museum)

Noguchi: California Legacy
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA
Through October 2

Noguchi: California Legacy features three bodies of work that capture the connection Los Angeles-born sculptor Isamu Noguchi had with the California landscape. California Scenario: The Courage of the Imagination celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Segerstrom commission at the South Coast Plaza sculpture garden; a gallery is illuminated by Noguchi’s famed Akari lights for the 1986 Venice Biennale in What is Sculpture?, shown above; and for Noguchi at Gemini G.E.L., his sculpture for atelier Gemini G.E.L. Los Angeles in 1982 are reproduced as flattened steel plates, described by Noguchi as “short poems pertaining to California where I was born, and to the world I have known.”

More images after the jump.

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Excerpt> Cityscapes by John King Rewards the Careful Observer

West
Thursday, August 25, 2011
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A shed for kayaks is one of 50 buildings highlighted in Cityscapes. (Courtesy John King/Heyday)

As the San Francisco Chronicle‘s urban design critic for the last decade, John King is one of the Bay Area’s most influential champions of good architecture. He chronicles the city’s projects, both large and small, with an eye to how they how they affect the city. (Most recently, he sounded the alarm about how the America’s Cup, with its proposed yacht dock, could change the waterfront for the worse.) His new book of short essays, Cityscapes (Heyday, 2011, $14.95), is based on his weekly column of the same name.

Continue reading after the jump.

Support Ball-Nogues Desert Drama

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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Everyone’s favorite installation architects, Ball-Nogues Studio, are producing one of their most ambitious works to date: The Yucca Crater, a 24-foot-tall installation in the middle of the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree. The project’s wavy wood shell will contain rock climbing holds on its interior, rising out of eight feet of water (the basin, the firm describes, is a nod to abandoned suburban swimming pools scattered across the Mojave).

The wood will come from the formwork of another Ball-Nogues project, Talus Dome, in Edmonton, Canada. It is being built for High Desert Test Sites (HDTS), an initiative that invites artists to create experimental projects scattered among towns near Joshua Tree National Park like Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms.

Continue reading after the jump.

Slideshow> Foster & Apple Render the Cupertino Ring

West
Friday, August 19, 2011
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Apple's planned Cupertino campus. (Courtesy Foster & Partners)

Apple's planned Cupertino campus. (Courtesy Foster & Partners)

The official Foster + Partners design has (finally) been released for the new Apple campus in Cupertino. At a recent Cupertino City Council meeting Steve Jobs said he was excited to centralize his campus with a building for 12,000 employees on a site currently dominated by parking lots. In the time since the Cupertino meeting, the not-so-secret news that Foster & Partners designed the giant ring has also been confirmed. The low-lying complex, described as being built at a “human scale” and largely off the grid, is expected to open in 2015. In reference to the overall design and the building’s glass curvature Jobs noted, “It’s a little like a spaceship landed.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Explore California’s “Accidental” Sea

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
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We just came across The Accidental Sea, a fascinating documentary about California’s bewildering Salton Sea, an artificial lake created by flooding the Colorado River southeast of Palm Springs. It quickly turned into a resort and then (after subsequent environmental degradation) into a ghost town. The film by Ransom Riggs explores the history of the site and looks at the eeriness there now, from rusted out cars to abandoned spas and homes. Makes you wonder about the tenuousness of our civilization and makes you want to explore California’s other modern ghost towns like California City, an 80,000 acre development once intended to be the third largest city in the state (it’s population is now just over 8,000 people).

Read More

Touring LA Architecture By… Bike?

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
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Bikers visiting Pierre Koenig's Case Study House 22

Los Angeles is a great city for architecture. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to breeze past landmarks inside our cars with barely a moment’s notice. A group of young designers and cyclists in LA are looking to slow you down and up your appreciation level by setting up regular free bicycle tours to some of the city’s most iconic architectural sights.

Continue reading after the jump.

AT&T Gives Landmark Whittier Building A Boost

West
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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We all know AT&T’s wireless service is, well, less than perfect. But at least they’re working on it, making about $450 million worth of improvements in the LA area over the last two years. Here’s an example: last week the technology giant installed a cell site inside the historic National Bank of Whittier buildingin uptown Whittier, California to boost its coverage in that area. The six-story Beaux Arts-style landmark building, home to Richard Nixon’s first law office and recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by Los Angeles father and son architect team John and Donald B. Parkinson in 1923. To preserve the building’s charm, the antenna site is fully concealed inside specially-built radio cabinets located on the top floor.  The site is the only completely indoor one among 15 other Whittier cell structures. Other upgrades in the LA area (and there are a slew—many look, ahem, like trees) include a site close to the Chateau Marmont and one near the Greek Theatre.

Read More

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On View> Seat: An Outdoor Chair Show in San Francisco

West
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
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(Courtesy Respective Designers)
(Courtesy Respective Designers)

Seat: An Outdoor Chair Show
Fort Mason Center
38 Fort Mason
San Francisco
Through May 31, 2012

In collaboration with the Fort Mason Center, curators Topher Delaney and Kika Probst of Seam Studio challenged forty designers to create and build outdoor public seating that would reflect the waterfront site and be able to withstand year-round weather conditions in Northern California.

The seats are displayed throughout selected areas of the thirteen-acre campus that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Center. Each designer loaned their seat for free, and many firms created new partnerships for the project, such as Arup with Jefferson Mack Metal. The West End Terminal Seat, after the jump, designed by Nilus Designs: Architecture was inspired by the natural ecology at Fort Mason, particularly the salty water and wind patterns. Comprised of 208 vertical polycarbonate sections, the porous surfaces of the seat collect site debris and salt, while hollow flutes capture the sounds of the wind currents. The seat is also wired with user-activated LED lights and QR codes that visitors can scan for further information about the exhibit.

More photos after the jump.

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Will Google’s new campus outdo Apple’s?

Newsletter, West
Monday, August 8, 2011
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After Apple unveiled its plans for a spaceship-like new headquarters by (we think) Norman Foster at a recent Cupertino city council meeting, it appears that their chief rival Google is now looking, as usual, to outdo the Apple-ites. We hear from our sources that edgy—and super green—German architect Christoph Ingenhoven is set to design the Google HQ addition, supplementing the massive GooglePlex in Mountainview (which already contains more than 65 buildings).

According to the San Jose Mercury News the company has already leased an additional 9.4 acres from Mountain View at a price of $30 million and is planning to build the new office space there, accommodating new recruits, among others. Perhaps the offices will do a better job of engaging their Silicon Valley environs? Stay tuned. Or just keep Googling it. And check out some Ingenhoven designs below:

Continue reading after the jump.

Rethink/LA Imagines The Future Los Angeles

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
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Architects Taalman Koch reimagine LA's Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant as a recreation area and animal habitat. 

Architects Taalman Koch reimagine LA's Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant as a recreation area and animal habitat.

Los Angeles is a shifty creature, ever-changing and re-inventing itself. As memories of the perfect weekend (aka Carmageddon)  fade into memory, a collaboration of creative professionals is looking to re-focus our collective consciousness on Los Angeles’ past, present, and what it might look like in fifty years. Opening this Thursday at the A+D Museum on Wilshire Boulevard, Rethink/LA’s Perspectives on a Future City captures the voices of local Angelenos—writers, city planners, policymakers, and artists—through sound installations, collages, and videos.

Continue reading after the jump.

Honors> Ehrlich Receives California’s Lifetime Achievement Award

West
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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The American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) has named Steven Ehrlich the 2011 Maybeck Award recipient for lifetime achievement in architecture. The award recognizes an architect’s body of work for outstanding design achievement extending over a career of 10 years or more. Named in honor of Bernard Maybeck, only 14 awards have been given since its inception in 1992.  Ehrlich joins Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry and Joseph Esherick, among others.  Read More

On View> Light Pavilion by Lebbeus Woods & Christoph A. Kumpusch

Newsletter, West
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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Rendering of Woods & Kumpusch's Light Pavilion. (Courtesy MAK)

Rendering of Woods & Kumpusch's Light Pavilion. (Courtesy MAK)

Light Pavilion by Lebbeus Woods and
Christoph A. Kumpusch: Construction
Drawings & In-Process Photographs at the
Mackey Garage Top
MAK Center at the Schindler House
835 North Kings Road
West Hollywood
Through August 6

The Light Pavilion by Lebbeus Woods and Christoph A. Kumpusch was created for Steven Holl’s Sliced Porosity Block project now under construction in Chengdu, China, and will be Lebbeus Woods’ first built work of architecture. A physical intervention into Holl’s rectilinear structure, the pavilion consists of a series of columns and stairs that are illuminated from with and change color, and the luminous effect will be amplified by the pavilion’s mirrored interior walls. The MAK exhibition includes construction drawings and process photographs of the installation, as well as conceptual renderings of this project, above, and other work of Woods and Kumpusch.

See more after the jump.

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