As we've noted, architecture giant Gensler is moving from Santa Monica to Downtown LA (a move that has seen its share of controversy lately thanks to the firm's city-provided subsidy). With the help of three talented students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Professional Studio program, the firm has put together a video about their new 'hood. It documents Downtown's dramatic growth and change over the years, and offers predictions and suggestions for its future. Downtown Los Angeles from tam thien tran on Vimeo. Their intriguing ideas include: putting parking on the periphery and closing the rest to cars; keeping production local; developing a new ground plane in the sky; and transferring cars' kinetic motion into energy. Wishful thinking, of course, but that's a good thing in a studio meant to be a "marriage between reality and mythology." The studio was led by Gensler Design Directors Shawn Gehle and Li Wen and the three students/filmmakers/visionaries were Sarah Fleming, Tam Thien Tran, and Toon Virochpoka.
Posts tagged with "Downtown LA":
Our friends at Echo Park Patch today report on one of the coolest places in Los Angeles: Southern California Architectural Salvage (formerly Santa Fe Wrecking). Located in a large warehouse in downtown LA, it's a great place to find architectural oddities like towering teak gates from Argentina, claw-foot bathtubs, iron gates, chandeliers, or vintage doors, sinks, and toilets. The list is pretty extensive, and the only criterion: "It has to be different from what you get at Home Depot," says owner Jerry Hernandez. Among our other favorite salvaging spots are Silver Lake Architectural Salvage, which recently moved to Pasadena, CA, the ReBuilding Center on Portland, Oregon's Mississippi Avenue, and the Demolition Depot in New York. Share your favorite salvaging hot spots in the comments below and check out a few salvage photos after the jump.
From our friends at Culver City Patch we've found a video about David and Brian Hurley, a father-son welding team called Aero Welding that helped put together LA design firm Electroland's new Metallotus. It's a 30-foot-long, 1,400 pound stainless steel lotus flower suspended 30 feet above the courtyard of the Medallion project in Downtown LA. The lotus (a symbol of downtown's rebirth), supported by several steel cables, changes color and intensity at night thanks to programmed LED lights in the corners of the courtyard. It's nice to see the sweat equity that goes into this kind of work. It took the Hurleys a number of weeks to complete the project—a combination of stainless steel tubes and stainless steel mesh— achieving details, curvatures, and joints that Electroland principal Cameron McNall describes as "beautiful." And speaking of sweat equity, putting together something that "fell outside of any category," as McNall puts it, was also a hurculean task. For one, the firm had to get 26 different city signoffs. And after modeling the flower first with wire, and then in Rhino, they had to get a diverse team of people (including a hanging team from St. Elmos Fire Rigging) to work together. "There was some tension," explained McNall. But in the end it all worked out. "This is our dream. To create public art that breathes life into a social space and into a city."
Leave it to Eli Broad, who is putting up his own museum in Downtown LA, to make a mockery of the public process. Despite getting a great deal on one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the city he still hasn't shared any of the designs for the new museum. His only nod was inviting the LA Times Christopher Hawhthorne to see the contending models a few weeks ago, and not letting any other members of the press in. Hawthorne, it appears, could not publish his thoughts until after a winner was chosen, and even then his article didn't show any photos. And the Broad Foundation doesn't plan to share any images of the winning scheme until after ground is broken. This is a disaster for LA, which will effectively have no say over one of the most important cultural institutions in its history.
There's hope for the greening of Downtown LA.... Last month the AIA’s Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT), a group of eight sustainability experts (including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, transportation planners, business development professionals, and workforce training experts) from across the country, presented their preliminary ideas for Downtown to the local community. The event came thanks to a grant awarded to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) by the AIA’s Center for Community Design. The team recommended that the DLANC’s Sustainability Committee start or continue working on small scale interventions like tree plantings, community gardens, bike lanes, rerouting buses, its Harlem Place stormwater management/open space project, a sustainability website, Parking Day LA and other outreach events. It also proposed developing a vision that included a checklist of reminders that for all began with E (Empowerment, Equity, Environment, Economy, and Example). The SDAT team's final report is to be delivered to the Neighborhood Council in early February 2010. We’ll let you know what they come up with. --Gunnar Hand