For those of you who didn’t get to the Solar Decathlon this year, never fear. AN was at the event, which for the first time was held on the west coast, at the Orange County Great Park. Impressive teams combined edgy design and futuristic sustainability, with, of course, an amazing work ethic. (What were you doing in college? We bet you didn’t design and build a hi-tech house and build it in nine days on a former airplane runway.)
Team Austria took home the top prize, but every home in the competition—from sleek metallic forms to heavy wood cabins—produced more energy than it used, and implemented handfuls of emerging technologies that you’ll hopefully see in most homes in the next decade. AN took a visit to see the 19 homes in person. Take a look for yourself, and make sure to check out the next decathlon in two years.
Amidst all the excitement over the Los Angeles Aqueduct’s 100th anniversary, we should point out that not every engineering marvel related to William Mulholland’s masterpiece was completed. As displayed in the recently-closed show, Never Built Los Angeles, co-curated by this author and Greg Goldin, city officials and architect George A. Howard had planned a 220-foot-tall memorial to the aqueduct, located in the center of Exposition Park’s Rose Garden. Consisting of a fluted, classical column with a fresco-clad base, the memorial would be topped by a statue of “Miss Los Angeles,” who would continuously pour water into a moat below. Genius. Unfortunately World War I put a stop to the plan, and a modest fountain and lily pond, built in 1921, now stand on the spot.
Michael Maltzan is the guest of honor at ForumFest 2013, the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Design’s annual fundraising party. The event will take place this Saturday, November 9, from 6 to 10 pm at the Maltzan-designed Inner-City Arts in Downtown Los Angeles.
Another day, another Kickstarter campaign. On the heels of several successful museum and gallery exhibition campaigns, Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery (WUHO) has decided to start a campaign for an upcoming exhibition celebrating the groundbreaking visual communication work of Los Angeles–based designer Deborah Sussman. Entitled Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles!, the exhibition, which is set to open in December, will be the first retrospective of her early environmental graphic design work, honing in on projects from her days at the Eames Office up to the 1984 Olympics.
Architecture and Engineering giant AECOM has taken a big step to bolster its architecture offerings with the appointment of Ross Wimer, former partner and design director at SOM Chicago, as the leader of its architecture practice in the Americas. Wimer was known for fighting for design at SOM, and he plans to do the same thing at AECOM, where architecture can be overshadowed by much larger, and more profitable work.
National Geographic’s “Greatest Photographs of the American West”
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
1430 Johnson Lane, Eugene, Oregon
Through December 31
Throughout its 125-year history, National Geographic has been home to some of the highest quality photojournalism in the world, captivating its audiences with powerful and spectacular imagery. This fall, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of the University of Oregon is displaying the magazine’s greatest photographs of the American West; a region that has long captivated photographers. The exhibition will run through to December 31.
Included are photographs by Sam Abell, Ansel Adams, William Albert, and many other renowned photographers. The exhibition is organized into four sections, each focusing on various aspects of the American West and its significance to the country’s national identity. From spectacular rock formations to cowboys and Native Americans, this exhibition draws from the significant holdings of the National Geographic Archive. The American West was organized with the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States and Museums West.
“On face value, in Southern California, getting rid of a freeway is sacrilegious,” said Brian Ulaszewski, executive director of nonprofit urban design studio, CityFabrick. Yet that’s just what officials in Long Beach are preparing to do, joining a growing number of international cities looking at highway removal. Using funds from the California Department of Transportation’s Environmental Justice Grant Program, the city, along with CityFabrick, will convert a one-mile stretch of the Terminal Island Freeway into a local road surrounded by more than 20 acres of parkland.
Seattle’s design review board has unanimously approved the three biodome scheme for the NBBJ-designed Amazon headquarters. The five-story building will include flexible brainstorming and work areas filled with plants and trees, while the ground level will include retail space and public viewing spots. Planned for the block is also an Amazon office tower of up to 38 stories, as well as a neighboring public park that will include a dog run area.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national philanthropic organization that provides monetary support for the shoring up of distressed communities, has pledged $100 million in capital to lead an effort to develop 15 low-income neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles. Under the city’s Measure R, plans for expansion of light rail and rapid bus lines within these communities are currently underway. The monetary initiative by LISC will continue development beyond transit, expanding affordable housing, schools, businesses, and community facilities, and will complete market assessments of each neighborhood to strategize locale-specific investment.
The architecture business seems to be—slowly—rounding back into form in Southern California. One indicator? A bunch of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) for major public projects. One of the most significant is the $70 million renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, whose management was taken over by the University of Southern California (USC) this summer. The iconic Parkinson & Parkinson–designed building will undergo long-delayed updates throughout, including improved sight lines, seating, concessions, audio/visual, lighting, restrooms, and much more. The stadium’s last major upgrade came in 1993. The shortlist for the project for now includes Populous, NBBJ, DLR, HNTB, Gensler, and 360 Architecture.
Los Angeles–based artist Cliff Garten has just completed his latest commission: Ribbons, a series of landscapes and sculptures in the courtyard of the Beaux-Arts 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco. The symmetrical design riffs on the existing structure’s classical uniformity by inserting a sculptural collage of paving, seating, fountains, and plantings into the building’s 20,000 square foot courtyard.
Just when we thought the idea of a new football stadium in Los Angeles was completely dead, this just in. The Pasadena Star News reported that the City of Industry is planning to begin grading land for its proposed $800 million stadium, developed by Majestic Realty and designed by architect Dan Meis, who now works for Woods Bagot.