Posts tagged with "Los Angeles":

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Lovell Health House hosts temporary art exhibition of Eva Claessens’ artwork

While the future of Richard Neutra’s world-famous Lovell Health House remains uncertain, as its current owner is seeking a preservation-minded buyer, new life has been breathed into the Los Angeles home as it temporarily takes on a new function. Belgium-born, Uruguay-based artist Eva Claessens has taken over the home’s main living and outdoor spaces for a three-day pop-up exhibition of her paintings and prints that runs from February 23 through February 25. The event marks Claessens’ U.S. debut, as well as the home’s first time hosting an art exhibition. When seeing the work hung up casually throughout the structure’s interiors and its grounds, however, one might assume the space had always intended to display large-scale artwork. The home has the air of a lived-in gallery thanks to the crisp white walls and wide-open spaces, originally designed for individual and group exercises led by naturopathic doctor Philip Lovell. “A white gallery did not feel like the right place for me to show my work,” said Claessens in a press statement. “I wanted to find a place that reflected my aesthetic and the way I live. I live my life very much the same way as Dr. Lovell did, and my work reflects this.” The artist’s minimal yet gestural brushwork and interpersonal subject matter can also be compared to Neutra’s sketches, which often used as few lines of charcoal as possible to render entire scenes and the lives within them. The Lovell House’s current state of cosmetic disrepair fueled the artist’s creativity while curating her exhibition. “I see houses as living artwork and love restoring old houses,” she continued. “The more ruin they [are] in, the more my imagination [can] run free.” That is why Claessens is collaborating with photographer Yoshihiro Makino and filmmaker Romain Dussaulx to document the three-day exhibition as a short film to be screened at the LA Design Festival later this year. “This project,”  said Claessens, “is a marriage of four artists; Neutra’s architecture and my work with Yoshi’s photography and Romain’s storytelling.”
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Anna Neimark brings a full-scale megalith to SCI-Arc Gallery

For her first project within the SCI-Arc GalleryAnna Neimark has produced a space that blurs the lines between exhibition and installation. Upon entering Rude forms among us, visitors may first be struck by the latter appropriation of the space as they encounter a dark, hulking structure occupying the majority of the gallery’s floor space. Before it was built at a full-scale within these walls, the installation was a proposal for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) Neimark designed as co-founder and principal of Los Angeles-based architecture firm First Office. “Without too many explanations,” the gallery text reads, “we happen upon a rude form that brings us to a time that is at some remove from our own. Its resolution is low, not high. Its joints are butted, not mitered. Its gaps are shimmed, not sculpted. It al­ludes to the architecture of forgotten narratives, eroded tectonics, and mud­dled grammar.” While this is indeed the “rude form” the title warns us about prior to entry, we are quick to learn that, above all, the structure is forthright—both in its construction and interior circulation. The deliberately slapdash method of assembly, in other words, exposes its inner workings to align it with other buildings of expressive tectonics with little to hide. Yet the object is especially forthright in its design origins, thanks to the imagery and text along the gallery walls—the exhibition half of the space. Neimark collaborated with Frédérique Gaillard, head of the photo library at the Natural History Museum in Toulouse, France, to curate and transport photographs of the Dolmen de Vaour, a megalithic tomb made of upright stone, that were taken by 19th-century naturalist and explorer Eugène Trutat. Like other ancient stone structures, the Dolmen de Vaour has stood the test of time despite its peculiar configuration, and the faithful documentation provided by Trutat over 140 years ago appears to revel in the tomb’s inherent awkwardness. Even the ADU’s interior, devoid of the domestic functions originally planned for it, is treated as a gallery space of its own. One area contains two “portrait” photographs of the Dolmen de Vaour on a pedestal, and another places a miniature model of the ADU itself below a faraway spotlight that elevates its clumsy composition to holy heights. Altogether, Rude forms among us advocates and builds on the legacy of timelessness that is not of symmetrical structures and illusions of precision, but rather that of imperfection and the apparent honesty that it can project. Rude forms among us was created in partnership with the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Toulouse, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Alliance Française de Los Angeles, and will be on display until March 15.
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Los Angeles’s TECH+ Expo brought together innovations in project delivery

On February 6, The TECH+ Expo transformed the second floor of Los Angeles’s Line Hotel into a showcase of the latest innovations in architectural technology. But rather than exhibiting 3D printers, robot arms, and brick-laying drones, the conference highlighted products designed to streamline design research, project delivery, and the architect-to-client relationship. Chief creative officer of BQE Software, Steven Burns, FAIA, provided a demonstration of CORE, the company’s latest app designed to consolidate the billing, accounting, and reporting necessary to keep an architecture firm afloat. While CORE can distill a firm’s complex financial information in its easy-to-read web format, the company added artificial intelligence (AI) to enable its users to have human-like conversations with the app to simplify its interface even further. Using a fictional company as an example, Burns presented a 5-minute interaction with the app that elucidated everything from then-current financial progress to unpaid bills and variously categorized expense items. In her keynote lecture, Dr. Upali Nanda, director of research for global architecture firm HKS Inc., demonstrated how her firm has pioneered methods of design research that positively contributes to the mental health of its buildings’ occupants. Her presentation began with a valuable quote from Thomas Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota: “Architects have been slow to champion the return on investment that their work can bring, but even a little data can convince clients that spending more can mean saving more.” Dr. Nanda then went on to explain how the data collected at HKS—focused on occupancy outcomes—has improved the performance of its projects while convincing clients to invest in operationally effective and energy-saving technology. “Design is a hypothesis,” Dr. Nanda concluded, “but what happens during occupancy is the outcome.” Several TECH+ participants shared their insights and techniques for improving construction efficiency. Chester Weir, design lead of global construction company Katerra, outlined how his company combined end-to-end integration with technological innovation to produce forward-thinking solutions to global construction issues. The company’s Materials & Supply Chain services, for instance, have aggregated demand across markets to supply building materials for itself and other market sectors. Rudy Armendariz, senior VDC/BIM Manager at Balfour Beatty, elaborated on the challenges his company faced in determining how to construct a people mover at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) without disrupting the airport’s automobile traffic. LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) developed a system for efficiently working on the project within the 5-hour period the construction team is allotted each night. The next TECH+ Expo will be held in New York City on July 16.
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Herzog & de Meuron-designed Berggruen Institute campus is moving forward

The Berggruen Institute, a political think tank founded by billionaire investor and philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen in 2010, is officially moving ahead with the construction of a headquarters in the Santa Monica Mountains. A $500 million endowment has been set aside for the project the institute is calling a “scholars’ campus,” designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and the multinational Gensler, all nestled within landscaping designed by Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch. In 2017, when the project was first announced, Pierre Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron told the Los Angeles Times that the campus “will be a place of knowledge, of research, of curiosity, and also of some privilege at the same time. It will be something that ideally helps to make our societies work again.” While the institute owns a 450-acre parcel, it is proposing to build on fewer than 22 acres, leaving roughly 95 percent of the site in its current condition, and the headquarters will be raised 12 feet above the ground on pillars. The 137,000-square-foot campus will include conference spaces, offices, study quarters and other facilities along a square perimeter. Its hard-edged geometry will be contrasted by two spheres—one a 250-seat lecture hall at the project’s center, and the other a water tower on the roof. A residence for Berggruen and his family will be constructed along the northern edge of the site, while a grouping of 15 living units for visiting scholars will be set closer to the campus. The campus will also include exhibition spaces to complement the institute’s recently announced Transformations of the Human Program, a research-based initiative for which it has selected ten inaugural Artist Fellows, including Pierre Huyghe, Anicka Yi, Martine Syms, and Kahlil Joseph. “We look forward to the ways the artist fellows will expand our understanding of how our definition of humanity is changing,” Berggruen told the Art Newspaper. “It is also a great pleasure to elevate the role of the arts at the Berggruen Institute by commissioning them to make the first works in our envisioned art collection.” Once complete, the Berggruen Institute will move from its current location in the Bradbury Building in Downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Mountains to be closer the Getty Center—another campus-like, billionaire-funded development romantically isolated in the mountains.
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Mr. Brainwash will convert a Richard Meier-designed building into a Beverly Hills art museum

Only three months after the announcement the Paley Center for Media would be departing the Richard Meier-designed home in Beverly Hills it has occupied since 1996, a new tenant has already been confirmed. Thierry Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash), a French street artist who gained notoriety following the release of the 2010 mockumentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, has signed a lease to temporarily transform the 26,500-square-foot space into a museum of his own after scoping out an exhibition space for over a year. “The building, which almost fell into my lap, is my Cinderella slipper," Guetta told the Art Newspaper. "It fits perfectly." Since moving to Los Angeles, Guetta has already taken over several properties throughout the city to produce and store his artwork. The latest lease, however, reflects an initiative to exhibit that work to a public audience. The artist has also stated that the building will also be used for presenting group shows, some of which may be themed with loans from local institutions in conjunction with pieces from his own collection. The building’s facilities lend themselves to other museum functions as well, including a 150-seat theater for which the artist is planning public and private talks and screenings. “I want to show different sides of myself," he added. "All I have kept inside for so many years. Imagine a pressure cooker, about to explode. That’s me!” The former Museum of Television & Radio was originally purchased in 2018 for $80 million by the luxury brand LVMH, which plans to eventually demolish the three-story structure and build a hotel on the site. Guetta will receive the keys in March, and is planning to present his first exhibition in the space this Spring. Pairing the glassy building’s location on a heavily trafficked corner with the artist’s notoriety and connection to Banksy, one can expect that the exhibition space will receive a lot of attention during its run.
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Barbara Kruger installs politically charged murals across Los Angeles

Spearheading the second Frieze Los Angeles, a major art fair held at Paramount Pictures Studios from February 13-16, local conceptual artist Barbara Kruger unveiled Untitled (Questions)public art project made up of 20 large-scale murals throughout the city of Los Angeles. The bright green murals have not only made their way to the facades of significant buildings, such as NeueHouse Hollywood, Union Station, and Banc of California Stadium, but, with the support of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Bureau, have also taken over many of the city’s light pole banners, digital billboards, and other spaces typically designated for traditional forms of advertisement. Organized by Bettina Korek, the executive director of Frieze Los Angeles, the project directly asks unsuspecting passersby deceptively complex questions, such as ‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?,’ ‘WHO BUYS THE CON?,’ and ‘WHAT'S HOT? WHAT'S NOT?,’ in a highly legible Futura Bold Oblique typeface. “We are extremely honored to have collaborated with Barbara on the Frieze Week campaign,” Korek explained in a press statement. “This project trusts that in an age of distraction, people still pay attention. It’s quintessential how her choice of words balances directness and ambiguity, how they invite a viewer to read into what is being asked as well as what isn’t.” The project is, on one hand, a reflection of the artist's anti-capitalist political views (rendered in green and white in a nod to American currency), and on the other hand an appropriation of billboard aesthetics in an attempt to provoke residents of the city, most of whom will not be attending Frieze Los Angeles, to question the status quo on their daily commutes. Though Kruger has produced word-based murals in public space for over 30 years, this latest project is her farthest-reaching installation. The piece is complemented by Untitled (Questions)a 191-foot long mural installed on the southern facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) prior to the 2018 midterm elections. While the MOCA piece will be uninstalled on November 30 of this year (following the 2020 presidential election), the project commissioned by Frieze does not have a set end date, and will likely be uninstalled in stages.
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Lucio Fontana show recreates artist’s lesser-known spatial installations

Students of art history may be familiar with Lucio Fontana, the Argentine-Italian conceptual painter, sculptor, and founder of the Spatialism movement. Fontana gained international acclaim in the mid-1950s with his slash series, for which he cut into the canvas surfaces of monochrome paintings to provoke a sense of depth unachievable with paint alone. Though the canvases came to dominate his outward canon, Fontana was, however, also exhibiting immersive artworks around the world as early as 1949—nearly two decades before artists James Turrell and Yayoi Kusama first developed their first atmospheric experiments in the late 1960s. A recently-opened exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s Los Angeles outpost recreated nine of Fontana’s lesser-known Ambianti spaziali (Spatial Environments) across three of its main galleries. Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948-1968 is the first comprehensive presentation in the U.S. of the late Italian master’s three-dimensional work that, in the words of the artist, seek to ‘open up space, create a new dimension, tie in the cosmos, as it endlessly expands beyond the confining plane of the picture.’ Arranged chronologically, visitors begin the exhibition by pulling apart heavy curtains to enter Ambiente spaziale a luce nera [Spatial Environment in Black Light] (1949), a pitch-black room illuminated only by a few black lights pointed at a fluorescent papier-mâché sculpture hung from the ceiling by fishing wire. The piece recalls the sculptures of Frank Stella and Aaron Curry—but while those are often affixed to the walls or centers of well-lit gallery spaces, Ambiente spaziale a luce nera adds the illusion of weightlessness, a characteristic Fontana sought in artwork as a nod to the Space Age in which he was practicing. The installations following Ambiente spaziale become more interactive, the material palettes increasingly vary, and the spatial layouts of the work becomes increasingly labyrinthine. A gallery attendant warns visitors before entering Utopie [Utopia] (1964) that the carpeted undulating floor makes navigation difficult, and they should be prepared to duck when the floor reaches three feet beneath the ceiling. The following installations challenge—and, over time—heighten spatial awareness through a series of tactile illusions set in motion by focused lighting and ambiguous arrangements. Ambiente spaziale in Documenta 4, a Kassel [Spatial Environment at Documenta 4, in Kassel] (1968), the last installation Fontana created before his death later that year, is, by contrast with his earlier spatial works, an installation so bright that it produces no shadows. Visitors put on booties to enter the all-white space one at a time and arrive at a subtle yet unmistakable laceration in the wall’s plaster, reminiscent of those found in Fontana’s famous slashed canvases. It is fitting that, at the exit point of his very last installation, a slash emerges that seems to condense all of the artist’s creative energy into a single work. “When I sit before and contemplate one of my slashes,” Fontana once wrote, “I suddenly feel a great relaxation of the spirit, I feel myself to be a man freed from the slavery of matter, a man belonging to the vastness of the present and the future.” Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948-1968 opened on February 13 and will be on display through April 12. Hauser & Wirth will present two more exhibitions on the work of Lucio Fontana in the near future; one in New York in Spring 2021, and another in Hong Kong in the fall of the same year.
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Paul R. Williams gets the star treatment in new PBS documentary

The career of Paul Revere Williams was defined by glitz, glam, and a remarkable triumph over adversity that helped pave the way for countless architects to follow. Now, Williams and his work will at long last celebrated in a new feature-length documentary film, Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story, co-produced by PBS SoCal and released in time for Black History Month. Born in Los Angeles in 1894, Williams blazed previously impassible trails as both the first certified African American architect to practice west of the Mississippi, as well as the first African American architect to be admitted as a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Williams, whose wildly prolific career spanned over 50 years, is perhaps even more famous for his seemingly endless output of buildings across a range of styles and types: Office buildings, churches, schools, hotels, restaurants, public housing projects, municipal buildings, and enough private homes for Hollywood luminaries—Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and Tyrone Power among them—to fill Beachwood Canyon. And while Williams is best-known work is predominately located in and around L.A., other notable Williams-designed buildings can be found further afield. They include the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee; the La Concha Motel, now part of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, and the landmark Hotel Nutibara in Medellín, Colombia. Williams’ collaboration on the Googie-style showstopper at Los Angeles International Airport, the 1961 Theme Building, appears to be directly imported from even further afield… a place called outer space. The Theme Building is not only one of Williams’ most well-known projects but an iconic structure in L.A. for both its location and prominent superstructure. Debuting earlier this month on PBS SoCal, the Courtney B. Vance-narrated documentary, which also includes interviews with Williams’ grandchildren, friends, and architectural historians, can now be viewed on PBS channels nationwide and streamed online here.
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The LADG builds practice in parts

The following interview was conducted as part of “Building Practice,” a professional elective course at Syracuse University School of Architecture taught by Molly Hunker and Kyle Miller, and now an AN interview series. On September 3, 2019, Ella Arne and Eliza Williamson, students at Syracuse University, interviewed Benjamin Freyinger and Andrew Holder of the Los Angeles-based The LADG. The following interview was edited by Kyle Miller and AN and was lightly condensed for clarity. Ella Arne and Eliza Williamson: Thank you for joining us. Our first question is a very simple one; how and when did your practice start? Andrew Holder: We started our practice when we were still students. Ben and I were in graduate school at UCLA from 2002 to 2005, and we began working on our first project together at the end of 2004. If you look at the older projects in our portfolio, you’ll see stores for a ski boot retailer called Surefoot. Surefoot in Vail, Colorado was our first project. I don’t think we intended to form a durable corporate entity at that time, and it wasn’t our intention to be a practice forever. The Surefoot store was our first opportunity and was followed very quickly by a residential remodel in downtown Los Angeles and a loft building across the street from SCI-Arc. But to the original question, “How did it start?”... we were raised on a myth of how architecture firms start. You sit down and write to clarify your position in the world. After that is absolutely clear to yourself and others, you begin to work. Our experience was almost exactly the opposite… the work came first. What is the identity of your practice, and how has it changed over the years? We started our practice during boom years for construction in Los Angeles. It was a good time to be an architect. For the first four years, we were totally consumed with work and executing projects commissioned by various clients. During the financial crisis of 2008 it became clear to us that architecture purely as a service for the market was not enough for us. We decided that we needed another layer of activity or set of incentives to impel what we were doing, because we felt as though the financial crash had removed many market-based incentives. We weren’t making money anymore. The thinness of incentives that we had thought would stick around forever was revealed. We needed new reasons to get out of bed in the morning, which lead us back to the idea that we needed an operating theory of what architecture wants to be in the world. We asked ourselves why we do this on a very personal level, but also how architecture can engage a broader audience. It was in 2009, 2010, and 2011 when we first started thinking through architecture’s relation to audience. In those years, you see the emergence of animal figures and biomorphic forms in our work. These things were essentially the most direct answer that we could imagine to the question of how architecture interfaces with a mass audience. Our answer to that was architecture sheds its status as an object, and it becomes a subject. I know how to participate in a crowd if I’m a living thing. We were doing everything we could think to do to turn architecture into a subject that could participate like other people. We reached a limit with 48 Characters, an installation at the University of Michigan where we were creating plaster versions of balloon animals. We started to realize that if architecture as a subject needs formal complication, then we have to come up with different ideas about how to make habitable space. It’s a very simple initiating problem. And that question essentially initiated a string of investigations up to the present day where we are thinking about assemblies of objects that produce rooms. Who exactly are you referring to when you talk about audience? Who is the audience for your work? We always want to have a couple of different conversations simultaneously. We are hoping that the balloon animal projects are immediately legible with no specialized knowledge in architecture. Stuffed animals have a mode of communication that requires little to no expertise. It just requires enculturation. You have to have been a person on the planet for a while. At the same time, balloon animals have a kind of second discursive tale. They're plugged into issues in architecture that are for sophisticated audiences. That longer tale has to do with the history of complex form and architecture, and the history of the use of digital tools and a long conversation about character. What exactly that term means… it looks like Ben is joining us now. Ben Freyinger: Hello. Sorry, I’m super late from another meeting. We were talking about how your work resonates differently with different audiences. But now that we have both of you here, we can ask how you maintain the identity of your practice considering both of you are in different locations. Ben: Case in point. Andrew: It'll be interesting if we have different answers to this question. Ben, what is that noise? Is that an airplane? I can assure you there is no airplane in Cambridge. Okay, so first, the geographic distance for us is profoundly clarifying. So, to revisit the history of how we started… Ben there's incredible background noise. Please go inside. Ben: I'm on a job site. I'll mute my microphone when I'm not speaking. Andrew: Great, thank you. So, bear in mind we started as students, which means that didn’t yet have formalized understandings of our roles. What we had was a desire to work together. It was when we started living on different coasts that we had conversations about who does what. It was that moment of specialization that also required us to have conversations about the operating theory of the practice. All of a sudden, in order to be efficient in schematic design, we needed to constantly be referring back to ideas we had about how to make space and how to use assemblies of objects loosely fit together to produce things like rooms and interior order. Those were as much theories of architecture and how it should work as they were a series of conversations regarding how to distribute labor between the two coasts, and how to clarify what Andrew does and what Ben does. Ben: I agree. To be blunt about it, having two people with either similar ideas or productively conflicting ideas in the same room is not always productive. There's the personal growth that you need to go through in order to expand in your career and move forward and learn new things that tends to get stunted when there is someone else in the room. Independently, we've discovered that the practice can grow and that there is a need for specialization. But no matter how specialized we each become in our roles, we still wear a lot of the same hats. We still do a lot of the same things. Andrew: Here is an example of how, for instance, something we produce has multiple lives, and becomes useful for the office. When I wrote “Notes on More,” the Log piece about density, I was interested in an academic audience. But I was also writing it as a letter to our office. It was how I was structuring thoughts about design, and was asking, “Can this help give us a common understanding of how to sit down to work?” We're always growing and shrinking, so it means anywhere from two to six people are participating in schematic design. Everyone has to be extraordinarily coordinated in their work output. The essays help hold that together. Can you talk more about the way in which the preference for using everyday objects informs your aesthetic sensibility? Also, how does this approach impact constructability and construction? Andrew: Interesting. We haven't used the word sensibility a lot in our conversations with one another. But maybe we should more often, because we have definite ideas about where we want to end up in terms of how things look. We want a kind of casualness, as though materials could come together in a variety of orientations and we would have simply picked one of those possibilities. We want a sense that our material palette is not elevated and expensive, but is common to the point of being retrievable from a junkyard if funds are limited. We also want for the fits between things to produce an occasion for design. If things fit together too perfectly, design is discouraged. One way that we create opportunities for design is by subjecting our work to physics by frequently positioning things with respect to one another so that all of the energy and intensity is in an interface or point of contact. Ben: We are using materials that are readily available and, in some cases, kind of ugly. And yes, it's in the interface between the materials and how they respond to one another or how they coexist… it’s where the invention is. The reality is that we have contractors that are looking at what we are producing. What they see is complicated or complex. We can break it down very logically, piece by piece, and explain why it isn't. But the reception of it is often “Oh, this is unusual… this is too complex to build.” Andrew: I also want to say that the casualness and looseness is not just for its own sake. Actually, let me go back. I'm totally fine if it's casualness for its own sake. I have no need to justify it further, but maybe we have an additional possibility. One thing that starts to happen as things are loosely arrayed against one another is the production of crenelated edges, which makes it difficult to assign things to the inside or outside. Elements often fall outside of the proper territory of the house or building. This means more engagement in the surrounding context. If you can't figure out where the envelope is, you're always questioning what’s around you. For us, that's good politics. We want to self-consciously style ourselves as part of architecture’s progressive crowd, but we don't see that as being related to exclusion on the basis of privilege—educational, financial, or otherwise. We're trying to resort to things that have a democratic availability and low barriers to intellectual engagement. Given this attitude towards being democratic and inclusive, what kinds of projects do you hope to work on in the future? Andrew: In the very immediate future, we're really interested in the suburbs and we're really interested in the single-family home, which may seem a weird answer to your question. We're trying to think of ways in which the form of the house can open up and start to create shared regions with neighbors. So, imagine many House in Los Angeles I’s next to one another. We'd have to imagine a different way of describing what constitutes yard or private ownership. Ben: We’re looking at the fringe areas of Los Angeles, specifically hillside areas, which encourage invention with regard to what Andrew was saying about the concept of yard or the concept of private ownership. We want to challenge and reconsider these things. Andrew: If you look at the larger context for House in Los Angeles I, you'll see that it's part of a series of suburbs that stretch between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena. They're all super irregular, hillside lots. House in Los Angeles I looks kind of flat, but it's at the edge of a pretty steep hillside. What that means is that buildable area is tightly circumscribed. You can only put houses in certain spots, which leaves huge portions of the hillside unbuilt but also given up for shared uses. We want to be deliberate about how built form can preserve collective spaces that have already emerged, and start to encourage the emergence of new collective spaces. You spoke earlier of your dissatisfaction with conceptualizing architecture as being subservient to the market. How would you position your practice in relation to the market now? Is the market something you engage with critically? Andrew: What the market asked of us in 2009 did not overlap with how we wanted to spend our time. We wanted personal and intellectual satisfaction that the task given to us by the open market did not demand. We wanted to do more thinking and more drawing and more model building… and we weren't doing a lot of those things. When we talk about a reaction against an exclusively service-based practice, it's not that we were withdrawing from the market or the structure of how business works in Los Angeles. It's that we were trying to construct a viable business model with habits of life and thought and work that we found to be more humane and of interest to us regarding ways we wanted to live our lives. I would love to be a soldier of resistance against late capitalism, but my tools for thinking through that problem are more effective when I examine it at the scale of what I do when I get up in the morning. We’re encouraged that the market is now telling us that it has niches that support our habits. What's been the most fulfilling moment in your professional careers thus far? Andrew: I had a very fulfilling experience on my last site walk at House in Los Angeles I. It's been a while since I've been out there. When I went out, it was just after all of the rain in Los Angeles, but before the landscaping went in, so it was super muddy. My foot got stuck in one of the courtyards. There I was stuck in an idea we'd only been kicking around on paper. Ben: I'm going to play a similar card, but I'll zoom out a bit. For me, it's the physical evidence of the work. I can relate this back to Andrew's comment about how we choose to lead our lives in the office. If there's physical evidence of that work in the world, that is also the litmus test of our success in trying to bring a desire to operate, practice, and live a certain way into the market productively and reconcile those two things. I can look at it, I can touch it, and I can see it. That never gets old.
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Tom Hanks announces Academy of Motion Pictures will open this December

Tom Hanks, a trustee of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and a co-chair of its campaign, broke long-awaited news about the project while taking the stage during last night's Academy Awards: “We're all very proud of what has been accomplished so far in the landmark that is taking shape on Fairfax and Wilshire, and it is a pleasure to announce that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open its doors on December 14th, 2020.” On that date, the museum's first two exhibitions will take in the main gallery spaces of the renovated 1939 May Company Department Store (also known as the Saban Building): Hayao Miyazaki, a retrospective of the famed Japanese filmmaker’s career, and Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970, an archival presentation of black participation in American filmmaking. Programming has not yet been announced for the David Geffen Theatre, a 1,000-seat auditorium set in a Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)-designed semi-sphere attached to the Saban Building via the Barbara Streisand Bridge. As AN covered last August, the auditorium building is being constructed using an innovative double-layer system that provides soundproofing without compromising expansive views of the surrounding Hollywood hills. Opening dates for the museum have been repeatedly set and re-set since the capital campaign was launched in 2012. The project’s original $250 million budget has ballooned during the course of its several-years-long construction, causing significant delays in installing the finishing touches. A recent pre-opening campaign has helped the museum reach the 95 percent mark of its revised $388 million budget. In that time, founding museum director Kerry Brougher left his position was been replaced by Bill Kramer, a former managing director of development and external relations at the museum that helped raised $250 million for the new building. Though the major structural and aesthetic portions of the project is complete, work on the mechanical and electrical engineering details is being finalized alongside the installation of the museum’s first exhibitions. “The dream of this museum will finally become a reality,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a press statement. “[It will be] a gathering place for filmmakers and movie fans from around the world, where we can share the Oscars legacy and further fulfill the Academy’s mission to connect the world through cinema.” The Academy Museum will become the latest cultural attraction on Los Angeles’s Miracle Mile and will open shortly after the majority of the original building on the adjacent LACMA campus will have been demolished to make way for its groundbreaking redevelopment.
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Digital archive for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House now online

Six months after the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House was designated the first and only UNESCO World Heritage site in Los Angeles, The City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) has launched an extensive digital archive for the home spanning from 1918 to the present day. “Now everyone interested in Frank Lloyd Wright may view documents previously available only to scholars,” said Jeffrey Herr, DCA’s Hollyhock House curator, in a press release at launch. “Always stretching technology, Frank Lloyd Wright would be delighted with digital technology and the increased dissemination of his work."
Over 500 drawings, blueprints, and related items of historical documentation are now publicly accessible for the first time, giving the public another method of exploring the home following the debut of its Virtual Accessibility Experience and the self-guided tours available to the public four days a week. The online archive adds a significant amount of history concerning the many renovations, restorations, architectural details, furnishing, and the building additions on the 36-acre property. “The Department of Cultural Affairs is thrilled for the opportunity to make this archive material available to those interested in Aline Barnsdall's vision and Frank Lloyd Wright's work,” said Danielle Brazell, general manager of the DCA, in a press release. “Viewing the collection gives anyone interested in the history of the property a deeper understanding.” While highlights include schematic site maps and perspective renderings from the architect himself, the public archive also contains plenty of minutia for the Wright-obsessed, including an electrical schedule blueprint and plenty of corbel details. The home was completed in 1921 for the art collector and socialite Aline Barnsdall, who gave it up to the city shortly afterward in 1927 under the condition that the California Art Club could use the site as its headquarters through a fifteen-year lease. After the club relocated in 1942, the site was renamed Barnsdall Park and has since hosted several public events and exhibition spaces, including the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG).
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Frank Gehry-designed Children’s Institute breaks ground in Watts

The Children's Institute, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of children exposed to adversity and poverty, broke ground on their new 20,000-square-foot Watts campus in South L.A. on January 30. The project was designed by Frank Gehry, who offered to work on the project pro bono. “It is our intent that the building will be comforting and welcoming," Gehry stated in a press release. "I hope this building will serve and inspire children and families for generations to come.” The project's boxy geometry, dynamic intersections, and use of corrugated metal recall the architect's earlier work throughout Los Angeles—such as the Norton Residence and Gemini G.E.L.—many of which were also designed and built on tight budgets. A formally separate lobby with a diamond-shaped skylight will usher visitors into an atrium-like space that will receive generous natural light from wraparound clerestory windows. The two-story building will house spaces for therapeutic programs and a variety of free amenities for children and families, including individual and group counseling as well as parenting workshops. The Watts Gang Task Force, which has developed a unique model of relationship-based policing to broker peace in the South Los Angeles gang community for over a decade, will also be based on the campus. “We want to be a true partner to the community,” said Martine Singer, president and CEO of the Children’s Institute, in a Youtube video promoting the new campus. “Having the community safety partnership as well as the Watts Gang Task Force in our building is not only a symbol of that but a real manifestation of what a partnership is.” The project has an estimated budget of $20 million and has been supported through private donations and partnerships with the Los Angeles Development Fund, Genesis L.A., and Wells Fargo to secure New Markets Tax Credit funding for the project. The site, on the corner of East 102nd Street and Success Avenue, was previously owned by the Children's Institute and had formerly served as the organization’s main parking lot. The new campus is currently under construction and is expected to be finished by late 2021.