Eavesdrop> Grimshaw and Gruen Take Union Station

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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Grimshaw and Gruen's vision plan for Union Station. (Courtesy Grimshaw/Gruen)

Grimshaw and Gruen's vision plan for Union Station. (Courtesy Grimshaw/Gruen)

This is big: Our sources divulge that UK firm Grimshaw and LA-based Gruen Associates have won the commission to master plan the six million square feet of entitlements at Union Station in Los Angeles. A formal announcement is expected this coming Monday on Metro’s web site (our leak is unconfirmed), with the Metro board approving the firms after that.  Grimshaw has made a name for itself designing infrastructure and transit stations around the world, including Lower Manhattan’s upcoming Fulton Street Transit Center and London’s Waterloo Station. Gruen recently completed design on phase one of the Expo Line and has served as executive architect on several recent projects, including the Pacific Design Center. The site around Union Station encompasses about 38 acres and is anticipated to become a transit and commercial hub for the city. It will likely include offices, residences, retail, entertainment, parks and a potential high speed rail station.

SCI-Arc Receives $400,000 Placemaking Grant

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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(Courtesy waltarrrrr/Flickr)

SCI-Arc's Los Angeles headquarters. (Courtesy waltarrrrr/Flickr)

SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, will be extending its reach into the community with the creation of three public venues made possible by a $400,000 grant awarded by ArtPlace. The grant, funded by private foundations and public agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, seeks to encourage creative and locally focused placemaking; $15.4 million in grant funds is allocated to 47 projects located across the country. SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss wrote in a statement, “If architecture, as SCI-Arc has always proclaimed, speaks by building, the ArtPlace contribution affords us two special construction moments to ratify what we preach.”

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Ball-Nogues Studio: Yevrus 1, Negative Impression

West
Friday, June 1, 2012
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(Courtesy SCI-Arc Gallery)

(Courtesy SCI-Arc Gallery)

Ball-Nogues Studio: Yevrus 1, Negative Impression
SCI-Arc Gallery
960 East 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA
June 1–July 8

On display at the SCI-Arc Gallery is Los Angeles–based architecture practice Ball-Nogues Studio’s Yevrus 1, Negative Impression, which attempts to call into question the current fashionability of abstracted and digital forms. Through an assemblage of non-architectural objects represented very literally, the project represents a new type of site survey. The objects selected to be part of the structure were picked from the Los Angeles suburban landscape (a pool, above) and become the elements of an installation. The architects used digital scanning technology to make biodegradable paper-pulp castings of 1973 Volkswagen Beetles and speedboats for a lookout tower in the gallery. Yevrus (“survey” spelled backwards) is a new technique pioneered by the firm that rethinks the site survey by utilizing it not as a tool for construction and engineering, but as a methodology of deriving form, creating structures, and realizing meaning.

More images after the jump.

Join Us For A Teaching Moment Next Tuesday

West
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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This editor’s recent piece on the divide between architectural education and architectural practice has spurred a lot of discussion, prompting both high praise for addressing a worsening problem and charges of, ahem, “neoconservatism.” If it’s a debate that interests you, please join us next Tuesday, May 29 at Gensler’s new headquarters for the panel discussion, “A Teaching Moment.” Panelists include UCLA’s Neil Denari, Michael Maltzan, USC’s Alice Kimm, Woodbury’s Barbara Bestor, SCI-Arc’s John Enright, and Gensler’s Li Wen. At the panel we will discuss not only the schism between practice and education, but also new approaches toward technology, urbanism, and more. See you there!

Downtown LA Streetcar Nears Approval

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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Rendering of the proposed streetcar (LA Streetcar Inc)

Rendering of the proposed streetcar (LA Streetcar Inc)

The dream of again riding a streetcar in Downtown LA is one step closer to reality. Blogdowntown reports that an environmental review is now underway for two potential routes. The two paths, each four-miles long, were selected as part of the federally-required Alternatives Analysis (AA) process and were recently sent to METRO’s Planning & Programming Committee and Construction Committee.

More about the routes after the jump.

On View> LACMA Presents Robert Adams: The Place We Live

West
Monday, April 23, 2012
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New development on a former citrus-growing estate, Highland, California, 1983. (Robert Adams/LACMA)

New development on a former citrus-growing estate, Highland, California, 1983. (Robert Adams/LACMA)

Robert Adams: The Place We Live
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Through June 3

In his 45 years photographing the American West, Robert Adams has documented the evolution of landscape and our relationship to it. In response to the rapid development of his surroundings in Colorado Springs and Denver, Adams began photographing a landscape marked by tract housing, highways, and gas stations. His photographs, Adams says, “document a separation from ourselves, and in turn from the natural world that we professed to love.” Nearly 300 prints showcase Adams’ career, from his early shots of Colorado’s desolate terrain to his recent works documenting migrating birds in the Pacific Northwest, with special focus on his portrayal of the Los Angeles region.

View a gallery of Robert Adams’s photography after the jump.

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.

LA the Latest to Join the Nationwide Bike Share Game

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
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A rendering of a bike share station in LA. (Courtesy Bike Nation)

A rendering of a bike share station in LA. (Courtesy Bike Nation)

Over the weekend, over 100,000 pedestrians and cyclists packed the streets of Los Angeles for the city’s CicLAvia open streets initiative, a play off of the the Ciclovia in Bogotá, Columbia which popularized the movement to shut down city streets to cars and turn them over to the community for a day.

But masses of people taking to the streets wasn’t the big news out of LA. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a surprise announcement that the city is the latest to join the bike share craze that’s been pedaling across the nation. When it opens later this year, LA’s bike share system will be among the largest in the country, so AN decided to take stock of where some of the biggest initiatives stand today.

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.

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.

Eavesdrop> AIA/LA Has Architecture Center Envy

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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AN’s annual resource list may be published every year but it is never the same. Painstakingly drawn from extensive interviews by our editors with the architects and builders of the best architecture of 2011, these names are the too-often unacknowledged cornerstones that guarantee the quality and excellence of today’s architecture. We both herald and share them with you.

New York's Center for Architecture: model for LA?

It appears that AIA/LA is serious about opening a new architecture center, a storefront, multi-use space similar to that of the Center for Architecture in New York (above). According to a now expired post on Idealist.org, they’re looking for (and rumored to have already hired) a new fulltime “Campaign Director” for an $8 to 15 million capital campaign to “support the acquisition and renovation of an existing building for the new Center for Architecture and Urban Design Los Angeles,” and “create an endowment to maintain this new property.”

According to the post the center will be “a highly collaborative organization that builds strong relationships with other organizations to carry out its mission.” The center is rumored to contain not just AIA offices and exhibition and event spaces, but perhaps spaces for the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and the Urban Land Institute’s Los Angeles chapter.

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