Another One Bites The Dust

West
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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Courtesy ICF International

At the same time that Palm Springs is celebrating all things Modern at its Modernism Week, we just came across the pretty-much-completed demolition of Beverly Hills’ 1961 Friars Club at 9900 Santa Monica Boulevard. The windowless, space age Modern building, designed by  Sidney Eisenshtat, was one of several important structures by the architect, including Temple Emmanuel in Beverly Hills, Sinai Temple in Westwood, and the Wilshire Triangle Center. Read More

BOOM BOOM BOOM In The Desert

West
Friday, February 11, 2011
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Ok, get ready for the strangest, most audacious project you’ve seen in a long time. Our friends at Architizer just tipped us off to BOOM, a $250 million community being developed in Rancho Mirage, outside of Palm Springs, that includes some pretty inventive, or (maybe more like it) wacky designs by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, LOT-EK, J.Mayer H., and seven more firms. The ultra-expressive project, set to begin construction next year, will include 300 residences built in eight neighborhoods, each designed by a different firm (important note: the developer, Matthias Hollwich, is a co-founder of Architizer). Read More

Video> Mayne Gets Artsy & Art-itecture Round Up

West
Thursday, February 10, 2011
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Thom Mayne explains his art (still from Form video)

Thom Mayne explains his art (still from Form video)

LA starchitect Thom Mayne recently took some time to share his art/sculpture with our friends at Form magazine. The three-dimensional pieces reveal his love for investigating hard-edged metallic shards, architectural movement, faceted surfaces, hovering forms and general chaos; all major forces in his architecture.

Watch Thom Mayne discuss his art and see more art by architects after the click.

Scarpa is King of the World (Updated!)

West
Monday, February 7, 2011
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Colorado Court (Courtesy Brooks & Scarpa)

Colorado Court (Courtesy Brooks & Scarpa)

[ Updated 02.08.2011: Added the interview video, a gallery of Scarpa's 502 Colorado project, and more. ]

You know you’ve hit the big time when you’re not only invited to appear on Oprah, but you’re interviewed by Leonard DiCaprio on Oprah. Such is the case with Larry Scarpa, of Santa Monica firm Brooks + Scarpa, who talked to Leo about his former firm Pugh + Scarpa’s  502 Colorado in Santa Monica, which DiCaprio calls the “first green affordable housing project in the country.”

Click through to watch the interview, see the project, and more!

Extreme Makeover Paul Williams Edition

West
Friday, February 4, 2011
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Photo by Sam Lubell

Yesterday we got a sneak peak at the Paul Williams Showcase House in La Canada Flintridge, which 25 (yes 25) designers are working to completely restore and open for tours from April 17 to May 15.

Read more after the jump.

Lighting Inspired By Cronkite

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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Architects and lighting designers united last week for Spark, an evening sponsored by the Professional Lighting Designers Association (PLDA) and the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, featuring presentations on the theme of “Inspiration” at the V Lounge in Santa Monica. The Pecha Kucha format, in which 10 speakers are allowed to spend only 20 seconds on each of their 20 slides, shed (ahem..) light on lighting, architecture, and the ways they combine to create space. Read More

Metal Flower Blossoms In Downtown LA

West
Friday, January 28, 2011
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From our friends at Culver City Patch we’ve found a video about David and Brian Hurley, a father-son welding team called Aero Welding that helped put together LA design firm Electroland’s new Metallotus. It’s a 30-foot-long, 1,400 pound stainless steel lotus flower  suspended 30 feet above the courtyard of the Medallion project in Downtown LA. The lotus (a symbol of downtown’s rebirth), supported by several steel cables, changes color and intensity at night thanks to programmed LED lights in the corners of the courtyard. It’s nice to see the sweat equity that goes into this kind of work. It took the Hurleys a number of weeks to complete the project—a combination of stainless steel tubes and stainless steel mesh— achieving details, curvatures, and joints that Electroland principal Cameron McNall describes as “beautiful.”  Read More

For SCI-Arc, There Is No Place Like Home

West
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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After years of trying, it looks like SCI-Arc is finally going to own its building in Downtown LA’s Arts District. According to the school the project should close escrow before this May. According to blogdowntown, the school will pay $23.1 million for the 100,000-square-foot building and its surrounding 4.75 acre lot. The deal had been held up because of property owner Meruelo Maddux’s continuing bankruptcy, but the company just settled with its debtor, Legendary Investors Group, which has pledged to honor the deal. “We don’t want to be renters anymore. SCI-Arc is absolutely committed to downtown,” SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss told AN when recently discussing the project. Interesting facts about the building: The quarter-mile-long Santa Fe Train Depot was converted into the school’s campus in 2000. Built in 1907, the depot was designed by Harrison Albright. At 1,250 feet long, if it were upended, it would be as tall as the Empire State Building.

Kappe House Like You′ve Never Seen It

West
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Could this be the future of architectural photography? The LA Times this weekend published a wonderful virtual tour of Ray Kappe’s own house on a heavily wooded lot in the Palisades. Thanks to huge glass walls, skylights, clerestories, floating interior planes and cantilevered wooden decks, trellises and platforms, the house appears to float over its sloping site.

It’s truly one of the most spectacular houses ever built. And the tours of its facade, main room, kitchen, and deck do it more justice than any two dimensional pictures could. Now if only Kappe could get more props himself. When is he gonna win a Pritzker already?

Tiny Lautner Hotel Just About Done

West
Monday, January 24, 2011
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The Hotel Lautner, still under construction. (photo by Sam Lubell)

Now THIS is what we call a hotel. On March 4 interior designer Tracy Beckmann and furniture maker Ryan Trowbridge will open the Hotel Lautner: their painstaking renovation of John Lautner’s Desert Hot Springs (CA) Motel, originally built in 1947, and still one of Lautner’s masterpieces. We stumbled upon the renovation this weekend on a trip to Palm Springs and bring you the details.

Find out more after the jump.

Noever Out At MAK

International, West
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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We’ve learned that after 25 years at it’s helm, Peter Noever has announced plans to step down as head of Vienna’s MAK (Museum of Applied Arts). Here in LA, Noever opened the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood and also added the Fitzpatrick-Leland House in the Hollywood Hills to the MAK’s stable.

According to The Art Newspaper, the Austrian Green Party had “submitted an inquiry to parliament this fall following allegations that he had mismanaged resources.” This includes problems with the recent Austrian entry at the Venice Bienale. “There has been a media campaign against me,” Noever told The Art Newspaper. According to the paper Noever has since been offered a job working with former Guggenheim director Thomas Krens.

Wait a minute… Two spurned high ego museum directors working together? Now THIS should be interesting.

Gehry Goes Back To School

West
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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After years in the spotlight it appears that University of Southern California (USC) uber-alum Frank Gehry has decided it’s time to give back. The school announced today that Gehry has been named the school’s Judge Widney Professor of Architecture. He’s also taught at Columbia and Yale, but this is his first time teaching at his Alma Mater.

It’s not clear yet what classes he’s going to lead. Gehry, 81, graduated from USC (B.Arch) back in 1954. He’s arguably the school’s most famous alumnus, but there is good competition, including architects Thom Mayne and Gregory Ain, astronaut Neil Armstrong, filmmaker George Lucas, and, of course, O.J. Simpson.

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