Last month LA Mayor Eric Garcetti attended a screening of his favorite movie, Airplane!, at the historic Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The event included a Q&A with Garcetti and the film’s directors, Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker. https://youtu.be/07pPmCfKi3U Garcetti, always a student of urban design, talked about how different the city is becoming from the 1980 film rendition in terms of density, transit, diversity, prestige, and overall “urban-ness.” He also couldn’t stop bashing the film’s home base, LAX, promising that it would finally be renovated beyond its 1980s appearance, and that a train would finally get there by the end of the decade. Of course, nobody could figure out which zone was for loading and unloading.
Posts tagged with "California":
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, is the last day to enjoy Nike's Air Max Box pop up at 735 East 3rd Street in LA's Arts District. The installation, inspired by one of the company's shoe boxes and designed to show off the brand's Air Max Zero, is covered with an array of LED displays, projecting kinetic Nike-related graphics. You can even walk inside if you make a reservation, checking out shoes (some viewable under a glass floor, others suspended in what look like pneumatic tubes), and getting a look at working sketches from some of the company's top designers. (Video courtesy Joey Shimoda)
Peter Zumthor's $ 600 million plan for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is changing. Again. According to a piece in the Los Angeles Times, the sprawling and curving black form has been angled off, weighted to the south, and outfitted with greyish, double-height galleries poking up above the main mass' roofline. The building still swoops over Wilshire Boulevard to avoid disturbing the La Brea Tar Pits, but it will now have just two entrances (instead of seven), at its north and south ends, and its continuous loop of perimeter hallway galleries has been removed. "Peter hasn't given up the curve. But he's really, really reined it in," LACMA Director Michael Govan told the Times. The latest design will be discussed tonight, Wednesday, March 25 at Occidental College, as part of the school's "3rd Los Angeles Project," a series of public events examining the city's move into a "dramatically new phase in its civic development." Members of the panel will include host Christopher Hawthorne, Govan, journalists Greg Goldin and Carolina Miranda, and architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee. The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has approved initial funding of $125 million in bonds (pending approval of the project's EIR), but LACMA still needs to raise about $500 million to make Zumthor's in-progress scheme reality.
When the Future had Fins: American Automotive Designs and Concepts, 1959-1973 Christopher West Mount Gallery, Pacific Design Center 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA Through May 20 Once upon a time the American car industry was king. Nothing captures the prestige, aspirations, and mythology of Detroit’s heyday quite like the working sketches and drawings used to develop and promote the land boats we used to call automobiles. A new show at Christopher W. Mount Gallery focuses on sketches from designers at the “Big Three”—General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler—from 1959 to 1973, when those companies were as important as Google, Apple, and Facebook. The sleek, colorful cars with their dynamic angles and large hoods capture the sexiness and muscle that is long gone in today’s car culture. Visionaries like Ford’s John Samsen and GM’s Bill Michalak had a mastery and an expressive craftsmanship on paper that is far removed from the digitized and sanitized world of 21st century rendering.
Gensler's Los Angeles football stadium may be in trouble (still, not dead), but the firm is busy as ever. Their latest news is the expansion of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in Downtown Los Angeles, creating the second largest hotel in California. The new 650,000 square foot tower will be directly connected to the existing hotel via a bridge across Olympic Boulevard. The angular building's grid of varied glass will be arranged vertically, in contrast to its sibling's horizontal orientation, and it will not bulge out the way its neighbor does. It will feature a second floor amenity deck including a restaurant, bar, fitness center, executive lounge, and pool area. Combined with the existing JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, the facility will contain 1,756 rooms and over 200,000 square feet of function space.
On March 13, the Los Angeles sky was emblazoned with a trail of upward-facing spotlights, marking every mile of Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon, stretching 26 miles from Echo Park to Santa Monica. The installation, celebrating the event's 30th running, and sponsored and designed by shoe company ASICS, used 124 spotlights, totaling more than 7.5 million lumens. Photos of the light show has appeared all over social media. Our favorite of all comes from Santa Monica photographer Kurt Lawson, who took the shot from the top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City. He stitched together 31 images "with a lot of overlap" to create a panorama of the event including all 26 light beams. The photo, which got over 62,000 views on Flickr in about 24 hours looks similar to a rendering of the event released before it happened (above), but the addition of clouds creates a lively row of dots marking every mile. "You could really make out the trail in the sky," said Lawson. "I got lucky. The clouds were moving quite fast, but I just squeaked it by." Take a look at a few other views below: https://instagram.com/p/0Rino7Enna/ https://instagram.com/p/0MmFWQu-eA/ https://instagram.com/p/0Nw-QbBsPU/ https://instagram.com/p/0MkMhyPZW1/ https://instagram.com/p/0RnKZ6E6ZB/ https://instagram.com/p/0Mxevhyg38/ https://instagram.com/p/0MoYSfLBrD/ https://instagram.com/p/0SqmgniOgJ/ https://instagram.com/p/0MhciEFnFG/
Durotaxis rocker features gradient mesh informed by function, ergonomics, and aesthetics.For Synthesis Design + Architecture founding principal Alvin Huang, there is a lot to love about 3D printing. But he does not always like how the technology is applied. "I see it all the time—a lot of students just 3D print everything," said Huang, who also teaches at the USC School of Architecture. "You see things that could have been done better, faster, or cleaner by hand. I find it a very troublesome predicament we're in, we're letting the tool dictate." When Stratasys contacted Synthesis about designing a piece for their Objet500 Connex3 printer, the architects decided to turn the relationship between human and machine on its head. Instead of asking how they could implement a preconceived design using the Objet printer, they challenged themselves to create something that could only be manufactured using this particular tool. Durotaxis Chair, a prototype of which debuted at the ACADIA 2014 conference, showcases Objet's multi-material 3D printing capabilities with a gradient mesh that visually communicates the rocker's function and ergonomics. Though Synthesis designed the Durotaxis Chair almost entirely in the digital realm, said Huang, "we see the computer very much as an intuitive tool, the same way previous generations thought of the pencil. We try to find a happy medium between the scientific aspect, and the intuitive manipulation of that science." The architects bounced among multiple software programs including Rhino, Grasshopper, Weaverbird, ZBrush, and Maya to craft a form that operates in two positions: upright, as a traditional rocking chair, and horizontally, as a lounger. The chair's structure comprises an interwoven mesh of two materials, one rigid, opaque, and cyan in color, the other flexible, translucent, and white. While the resultant gradients reflect both the physics and ergonomics of the chair, they also deliver an intended aesthetic effect, creating a moiré pattern that encourages the observer to move around the chair. "It wasn't the case of the code creating the form," explained Huang. "We very clearly sculpted it for visual and ergonomic properties." Stratasys manufactured the half-scale prototype at their headquarters in Israel. Unlike a typical 3D printer, which has one head with one nozzle, the Object contains two heads with 96 nozzles each. Using proprietary substances the company calls "digital material," said Huang, "you can print a matrix of gradients between those two heads. In our case, we were able to create gradients not just of color, but also stiffness and transparency." Synthesis remained in constant touch with the Stratasys team throughout fabrication, fine-tuning the design as problems arose. "It was also an experimental process for them," said Huang. "Ultimately, through a lot of back and forth, we were able to arrive at something they were able to print." Synthesis is now tweaking their design for a full-scale version of Durotaxis Chair. The principal challenge they encountered while fabricating the prototype, explained Huang, was an excess of support mesh. "It's still a big manual process. You have to remove all of the support material." The updated design will take advantage of the team's finding that, by printing vertically up to a certain angle, they can eliminate the need for support mesh. "We're trying to take it a step further," said Huang. "How do we expedite the process, and refine the geometry of the lattice so that you're changing direction before the material starts to droop? We're trying to do something where, in a sense, we're growing the chair." Despite his discontent with the way some young practitioners approach 3D printing, Huang thinks that the technology holds great promise, especially in the world of architecture. He points to some of his contemporaries, like fellow Angeleno and architect/jewelry designer Jenny Wu, who is taking 3D printing in exciting new directions. "When you think about architecture and design, most of what we do is the assembly of products, and the more bespoke you can make them, the better," said Huang. "I look at 3D printing as a shift from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing. Hopefully someday we can produce bespoke items for the same impact as mass-produced items—that is the theoretical holy grail."
We've learned from Curbed LA that Frank Gehry is designing a large mixed-use development on LA's Sunset Strip called 8150 Sunset. Located on Sunset and Crescent Heights Boulevards, the project will be located on the site of an old estate nicknamed the "Garden of Allah." (The lot now contains a strip mall.) According to its Draft Environmental Impact Report (PDF), the new complex, consisting of two buildings sitting on a raised podium, will include 249 apartments, about 100,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and a large central plaza. Updated plans and renderings are set to be released this spring, according to developer Townscape Partners. A group called Save Sunset Boulevard is fighting to block the project, calling it a "hideous monstrosity," and attacking its EIR. Among other things the association, which is represented by anti-development lawyer Robert Silverstein, called out the project's potential to add to congestion, dwarf local historic buildings, block views, and waste water and other resources. The glitzy Sunset Strip has become an architect magnet, drawing Lorcan O'Herlihy and SOM (Sunset La Cienega), Ian Schrager, CIM, and several more. It's also been a graveyard of sorts, felling projects by Eric Owen Moss, Hodgetts + Fung, Kanner Architects, and others in recent years.
In January AN reported that developer Jason Illouilian (who owns development company Faring Capital) had bought legendary Los Angeles diner Norms, and was considering what to do next with the property. Last week LA Magazine reported that Illouilian plans to build "a community of shops" where the Armet & Davis-designed restaurant's parking lot now stands. He's looking for upscale tenants, like those at the Brentwood Country Mart. (Those include retailers like James Perse and Jenny Kayne and a mix of high-brow and low-brow restaurants and stands.) The developer added that while he hopes to keep the building a 24-hour diner, he noted that it could be "Norms or Somebody else." Culver City–based Hodgetts + Fung are preparing plans for the site. Firm principal Craig Hodgetts confirmed to AN that the firm is considering a two-story development with underground parking next to the original building. "It will certainly not emulate the original building," Hodgetts told AN. The National Trust is very clear about delineating what was original and what is a later addition. "It’s very much a background to Norms. It makes Norms a showpiece." The site has a 1.5 FAR and a 45-foot height limit, he said. He wants to maintain view lines to Norms from La Cienega. "That's pretty darn important," he said. Views from smaller streets might be altered. Hodgetts + Fung will also be renovating Norms, "bringing back its vitality" by bringing back its original paint, tiles, glass, and colors," said Hodgetts. As for whether Norms would be staying, Hodgetts replied: "It's unclear who the operator will be. Given the climate on La Cienega and the parking situation it’s not likely to be a roadside type of service… It's not our decision about the operator. I love Norms. I've had many many chocolate milkshakes there. But the model of a drive in restaurant is not a viable model in a high density urban environment." While Norm's has received a temporary landmark status, LA's Cultural Heritage Commission will vote on March 19 on whether it will receive permanent status. Even with landmark status Illoulian could change the building's owners or use, but he could not tear it down. Hodgetts said that he and Illoulian were being very conscientious about having a dialogue with the community. "We want to go step by step with great care with the conservancy and people who are concerned about the building. We’ll be having conversations with them about our plans before we really have a scheme defined," he noted.
Last year AN reported that Los Angeles developer Tom Gilmore and LA architect Tom Wiscombe were teaming up to build the Old Bank District Museum in downtown's historic core. The facility, which will showcase Los Angeles–based contemporary artists, will be located inside of—and on top of—the old Farmer's & Merchant's Bank, the Hellman Building, and the Bankhouse Garage at 4th and Main Street. The team has released new renderings of the project, which show in much greater detail how Wiscombe's folded structures will peek over rooftops, punch through floors and walls, and create an entirely new architectural language for its neighborhood. The rooftop sculpture garden (which contains a cafe, a theater, reflecting pools, and multi-level walkways) is where Wiscombe really lets loose, with angular, etched forms that could be confused for spaceships. Enjoy the images below, and we will keep you posted as details emerge.
A mixed-use complex designed by New York- and Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is going to be, well, not quite as big. The San Francisco Mid-Market neighborhood has been quickly revitalizing since 2011, but the largest development in the area, located at 950–974 Market Street, has just been downsized. Mid-Market really began taking off after city officials instituted a tax break—nicknamed “the Twitter tax break” when Twitter famously decided to stay in the city. The effort has been seen as a success: many young tech companies have made the area their home, development proposals are flooding in, and a report by the San Francisco Controller’s office last November showed gains for the city reaching $3.4 million in 2013. But not so much for 950–974 Market Street. The developer responsible for the project, Developer Group I, has told the city that the mixed use complex—with over 300 residences, 250 hotel rooms, and a connecting art space with a green roof for art groups—will now be a smaller hotel and residence. The original central art space, with performance spaces and offices for art groups, would have allowed developers to raise the overall building height from 120 to 200 feet. Disputes over funding have caused tensions: “The city expected the developer to cover all costs, while Group I wanted nonprofit arts groups to chip in 50 percent,” wrote Curbed SF. Still no word on what's next. Updated designs and a revised timeline have not yet been released.
The United States Department of Energy has named the 10 teams that will compete in the 2015 Solar Decathlon. The biennial program was launched in 2002 and "challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive." The teams are then judged on affordability, consumer ability, and overall design excellence. The Decathlon will be held October 8–18 in Irvine, California, but you can preview all of the teams' work right now. Clemson University From the team:
Designed for a family of four, Indigo Pine was envisioned as a family home from the start. Building on this foundation, the Clemson University team took the traditional concept of a Southern home and began redefining it in contemporary ways. This concept permeates the design and manifests in architectural details throughout. The structure is timber, but it is framed with a new technique. The roof is flat, but the ceilings are gabled. Like a traditional Southern house, the house will have a porch, but it will be an integrated part of the whole. While Indigo Pine will look unlike any house before, it will be as welcoming and familiar as any traditional South Carolina home.Crowder College and Drury University From the team:
In envisioning its solution, the Crowder/Drury team focused on the Cole family, a fictional family of three that lost its home, car, small business, and sense of security in a tornado. The team strived to meet the family's needs through three key design objectives: quick, targeted response; facilitated recovery; and resilient layers of protection. The resulting design is shipped as two modules, with one module containing the service core and the other containing the private bedroom and study. These are joined onsite to form a functional refuge. Construction time and cost are decreased, and the Cole family is provided with a permanent core shelter. Later, the core can be expanded to form a more comfortable environment and adapt to the family's long-term needs. Through the use of disaster-resistant sustainable materials, the home will empower families to withstand the effects of severe weather and recover from natural disasters.University of Florida, National University of Singapore, and Santa Fe College From the team:
The team's goal is to synthesize clean lines and efficient spaces with new envelope strategies, energy-production systems, and fabrication methods. The result will be a prototype for an elegant and disciplined house that: 1. Expresses its construction in an honest and direct manner. 2. Basks in the Florida sun and harnesses the full extent of the available energy. 3. Is cast from modular uniformity while celebrating the potentials of variants. 4. Reflects the poetic delight of a bygone era but is updated and transformed through the technological prowess of our time.Western New England University, Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, and Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana From the team:
Designed to be affordable for a working family with one or two young children in New England, the EASI Living Home combines a traditional New England-style exterior with a modern interior. Featuring high ceilings and clerestory windows, the house offers a comfortable living environment with multifunctional space. Space-saving technologies—including fold-away beds, innovative storage solutions, and multi-purpose fixtures—and natural lighting create an open and spacious interior.Missouri University of Science and Technology From the team:
The Missouri team envisions Nest Home as a solution for young families that want to live sustainably, yet comfortably, in a home that expands as the family grows. Nest Home's design includes sliding doors that allow private spaces to blend into a central gathering area or be secluded sanctuaries. Its structure of repurposed shipping containers is both sustainable and flexible. Additional containers can be added or subtracted to allow for changing family needs. Every aspect of the Nest Home is designed to bring the family closer while giving members the space they need to grow.New York City College of Technology From the team:
New York City is exploring new models for post-disaster housing that meet the unique needs of a high-density urban environment. In this context, multifamily, multistory solutions that can placed in residents' own neighborhoods are preferred over traditional single-family trailers with larger footprints.New York City College of Technology is therefore exploring a stackable design to provide relief after catastrophic storms that can also be used for mobile and low-income housing in urban areas. DURA will consist of several prefabricated modules that can be packaged and shipped in standard-size shipping containers for quick response at low cost. The flexible modules can then be joined in standalone configurations or stacked for multifamily solutions.California State University, Sacramento From the team:
Sacramento State's approach to building an affordable, ultra-efficient house involves simple but effective modifications to traditional architectural elements. The gabled roof will appeal to traditional tastes, and the offset levels and slopes will allow natural daylight and an open floor plan. An expansive deck will encourage outdoor living, and numerous planters will create a closer relationship with nature. Inside, two bedrooms provide the flexibility of having two sleeping rooms or a separate workspace. And a porch off the master bedroom is a private retreat for the homeowners.Stevens Institute of Technology From the team:
For the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015, Stevens Institute of Technology will build SURE HOUSE, a sustainable, resilient house for coastal communities. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed 158 people, caused more than $65 billion in damage, and damaged or destroyed almost 350,000 homes in New Jersey alone. SURE HOUSE represents a new direction in coastal shore housing that will provide a safe, secure, comfortable, and architecturally innovative home for a family of four.State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University From the team:
The team's design concept is based on modular construction with a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing core that includes a bathroom, mechanical room, and kitchen. Featuring an open floor plan, the house offers a great area for entertaining that is illuminated by natural light from large windows on the north wall and clerestory windows above exposed trusses. Though the floor area may be compact, the house offers living accommodations for four.Cal Poly: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo From the team:
Cal Poly's interdisciplinary design and build team is stretching the school's 'learn by doing' philosophy by working through design iterations and full-scale testing together. The team sees the manufactured and prefabricated housing market as an untapped opportunity and architectural challenge. Its goal is to move beyond 'surface green' technologies (such as green materials and photovoltaics) to 'deep green' solutions that harmonize with design. Climatic-responsive design proposes buildings that perform in symbiosis with the climate instead of against it. The team therefore strives to design a house that can meet most if its heating, cooling, and lighting needs architecturally rather than mechanically by focusing on passive design principles, low-impact materials, user interaction, and high-efficiency support systems.University of California, Irvine; Chapman University; Irvine Valley College; and Saddleback College From the team:
Casa Del Sol will mimic the California poppy, the state flower. Like the poppy, the house is drought-resistant and diurnal. Its passive solar features cause it to open up during the day, increasing the effective living area. At night, the house closes to maintain a comfortable temperature.This ultra-efficient house will embody innovation in energy and water management, home automation, and community interaction to adapt itself to its occupants' needs and use. In addition, the house will incorporate design and construction techniques that respond to a market lacking housing that is energy-efficient, affordable, and adaptable to the needs of a diverse and ever-changing demographic.Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University From the team:
The team is creating Harmony House—a sustainable and efficient home for a lower-income family. With a traditional façade, wide front porch, open living space conducive to entertaining, and plentiful outdoor space, Harmony House is a modern interpretation of one of Tennessee's oldest architectural styles—the dogtrot house. The dogtrot house traditionally comprised two side-by-side log cabins connected by a center breezeway and covered by a shared roof. This breezeway, or "dogtrot," allowed breezes to flow through the home during hot summer months. Team Tennessee designed a modern version of the dogtrot using wide French doors in the center of the east and west walls that open onto porches to create a breezeway through the middle of the house.The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen From the team:
Environmental and economic affordability are the goals of the team's ExW-Unit concept. As a unit of production, the house will harness resources (such as solar energy, rainwater, and auxiliary water) that would otherwise be wasted and a burden on municipal infrastructure. Because lower-income families are more vulnerable to water and energy cost fluctuations, the ExW-Unit will increase occupants' independence while contributing to their long-term economic, environmental, and social stability.University at Buffalo, The State University of New York From the team:
In support of food production, GRoW House features a glass-enclosed solarium that provides ample light for plants during the growing season and passively heats the house in winter. The solarium can be continuously tuned to the appropriate conditions for growing and living. In the summer, operable cloth shades on the roof and southern façades shade and cool while vents or windows allow heat to escape. Design features on the east and west sides will protect the solarium from the low morning and evening sun.University of California, Davis From the team:
The design of the M-Power dwelling combines public and private spaces in three linear zones. Two climate-controlled living spaces are separated by an unconditioned, enclosed deck. These three zones act as climate buffers that maximize passive cooling in summer and passive heating in winter. The units act as a system of active and passive techniques of energy efficiency. The house's passive components allow maximum user adjustability, while active components adjust energy to residents' needs and learn from their daily rhythms.West Virginia University and University of Roma Tor Vergata From the team:
STILE is a simple and compact house covered by an elegant, Roman-inspired arch. The arch creates a covered passage that guides visitors inside, shades the house, and supports the solar energy arrays. A patio occurs naturally as a result of the arch's shading effect.Yale University From the team:
In the architectural design of Y-House, the Yale team had one purpose in mind: to transform what has previously been considered an enclosed envelope into a public, social space that constantly adapts to its ever-changing social environment. As such, the spaces of Y-House accommodate multiple functions and introduce freedom of movement beyond the walls. A cantilevered roof provides a connection between the interior and exterior. A space may at one moment be a quiet reading area and the next an open entertainment space. Only necessary private spaces, such as the bathroom and sleeping spaces, are blocked off. By challenging traditional notions regarding the use of space, the team will fuse the concepts of perceived space and physical space to redefine the very idea of bigness.