Neil Denari‘s firm NMDA was recently awarded the commission for the Wildwood School, a 65,000 square foot building for 500 students on Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Other firms considered for the commission included Koning Eizenberg and Gensler. Since the selection was based on a team, not a scheme, “We are starting from scratch basically,” Denari said, adding that the “politics, culture, and academic agendas of the school are directly in line with our ideas as architects.” Stay tuned to see how that translates into a design. Meanwhile Denari is waiting for approval on another ground up structure in the area: 9000 Wilshire, a curvaceous, highly three dimensional speculative office building in Beverly Hills.
[Editor's Note: The following review was authored by Gideon Fink Shapiro and Phillip M. Crosby.]
A generation’s worth of experimentation with generative digital design techniques has seemingly created a “new normal” for architecture. But what exactly are the parameters of this “normal” condition? On November 14th and 15th Winka Dubbeldam, principal of Archi-Tectonics and the new Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, called together some of contemporary architecture’s most prominent proponents of generative digital design techniques for a symposium, The New Normal, examining how these techniques have transformed the field over the past twenty years. According to Ms. Dubbeldam and her colleagues in Penn’s post-professional program who organized the symposium, digital tools have “fundamentally altered the way in which we conceptualize, design, and fabricate architecture.” Participants were asked not only to reflect upon the recent past, but also to speculate on future possibilities.
With an invaluable series of programs on the lineup at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo next month, there couldn’t possibly be another reason to attend, could there? As part of the expo, GlassBuild is collaborating with the National Glass Association’s (NGA) Glass Magazine and The Architect’s Newspaper, bringing over 150 architects to Atlanta for the opportunity to earn five (5) AIA CEU credits at Glass+Performance! Register now for a day of meaningful education and experience the cutting-edge technology and high-performance products the glass and glazing industry has to offer.
Join AN, in collaboration with Glass Magazine, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on September 11 for The Architect’s Forum Glass+Performance, an exciting symposium featuring keynote speaker Neil M. Denari. In addition to lunch and three-day access to the GlassBuild America trade show floor, the gathering place for North American glass, window, and door industries, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from Denari, who has taught at UCLA, Columbia, the Bartlett, UC Berkeley, Princeton, and Harvard GSD, and is the author of two bestselling books, Interrupted Projections (1996) and Gyroscopic Horizons (1999).
Live At Glassbuild Architects Forum: Experts Talk Engineering Big Glass For Herzog & de Meuron’s Miami Art Museum
There are many reasons not to miss the new Architects Forum at Glassbuild this year. For one, Neil Denari will be giving the keynote speech. For two, members of the project team will be giving a presentation on the design, prototype testing, and construction of the facade of Herzog & de Meuron’s new Miami Art Museum. This unique building features integrated plantings, multiple micro climates, and some of the biggest expanses of glass in all of Miami Dade County. The presentation will be led by Peter Arbour, a facade designer with a Master of Architecture from Yale University who currently works in the New York office of German facade builder seele.
GlassBuild is the largest trade show for the glass industry in the United States, showcasing the latest in glass products, cutting-edge technology, and educational workshops. On September 11 in Atlanta, The Architect’s Newspaper is teaming up with Glass Magazine to create an intensive one day workshop designed specifically for architects. Featuring Neil Denari as a keynote speaker, The Architect’s Forum will include case studies and technical workshops on both high performance and decorative glass. Presentations on materials and guided show tours compliment an in-depth look at the new glass facade of Herzog & de Meuron’s Miami Art Museum followed by a presentation on advances in structural glass. Learn more and register today here.
Without a doubt the big winner at Wednesday’s AIA/LA Design Awards, held in the shadow of Cesar Pelli’s almost-done Red Building at the Pacific Design Center, was Neil Denari. In an unprecedented display of dominance his firm‘s No Mass House took home Best in Show for unbuilt work (Next LA Awards), his firm’s HL23 Residential Tower in New York took home Best in Show for built work (Design Awards) and then Denari won the AIA/LA Gold Medal. Now that’s a good night. (By the way, we thought Best In Show was reserved for dog shows, but that’s besides the point…) In accepting the medal Denari, who was born in Texas, talked about being inspired not only by the light and sunshine of California, but also by its darkness, a tension that’s palpable in his work. To check out more of the design awards winners check out the AIA/LA’s new app on iTunes. And to check out the new Red Building you’ll have to wait until it’s finished early next year.
Heckling Hadid. The New York Times reports that the city council in Elk Grove, California is reconsidering its Bilbao moment. Once upon a time before the recession, the community hoped a community center designed by Zaha Hadid would bring acclaim to the suburban city. Now as plans are being reconsidered, the council only sees a “squid” or an “animal from another planet.”
LA on HL. Usually found prowling around the west coast, Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the LA Times, has found his way to New York and takes a look at HL23, that condo tower perched above Manhattaned beloved High Line by LA architect Neil Denari.
Gimme (Smartly Planned) Shelter. It turns out that when Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell isn’t rocking out, he’s pondering smart growth. Smart Planet relays a recent event at the National Press Club where Leavell and co-author J. Marshall Craig talk transportation, sustainability, and community growth.
Ennis House Blues. Curbed reports that Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1924 Ennis House in LA just can’t seem to find a buyer since it was put on the market in 2009. Originally listed at $15 million, the price has steadily dropped to its current $5.9 mil.
We were scouting cool party spaces recently and caught this view from the 9th floor of Neil Denari’s HL23 on the High Line. Lower floors of the 14-story condo, now nearing completion, are going to feel pretty vulnerable to nose-pressers strolling up the rail-bed park who will be just feet away from their living room glass walls. But on the upper floors, views of the length of High Line will unfurl as alluringly as the Yellow Brick Road. Right now, it’s possible to make out the stretch of emerald lawn section at 23rd Street, waiting for its sunbathers.
The high-end cotton label Supima is planting its flag—or rather, a field of cotton plants imported from Texas—under the High Line this summer, in a public outdoor event space designed by Brooklyn’s Konyk Architecture. Dotted with movable cotton-bale seating and set atop a plywood “walkable mural,” the space will host a variety of events beginning the week of July 15 and continues through New York Fashion Week in September, just in time for those cotton bolls to bloom beneath Neil Denari’s soon-to-liftoff HL23. Read More
HITCHIN’ A RIDE
With its price hikes, worker strife, and bureaucratic image, LA METRO doesn’t exactly set the standard for good press. But that appears to be changing as the transit authority has hired two of our favorite writers to supply in-house news and consulting. After being laid off by the Los Angeles Times in March, transit reporter Steve Hymon was hired by Metro to put together its new transit blog, The Source. On November 20, AN contributor Sam Hall Kaplan announced that he had been hired by Metro to be a transportation planning manager, with a focus on “crafting a user-friendly interface in Downtown LA between the Metro and the proposed California High Speed Rail,” in particular for stations and streetscapes. Eavesdrop hopes there’s one more spot for a guy who would like to check out the coolest cities and their metro systems for ideas—say Paris, Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo. Read More