Posts tagged with "Hollywood":

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Florida’s Seminole tribe unveils guitar-shaped hotel as part of $1.8 billion project in the Sunshine State

Those who frequent Hard Rock Casinos will have become accustomed to the larger-than-life guitars that have become a trademark feature. However, none will be quite used to the scale of the Florida Seminole tribe's latest endeavor, part of a $1.8 billion project on U.S. 441, north of Stirling Road, in Hollywood, Florida.   Rising 34 stories high, 800 rooms will be encased in the form of a cut-away guitar's body. While some may argue that this duck is a potentially cliché aesthetic, tribe leaders were eager to emphasize their desire to make an architectural statement. Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen spoke of tribes aims to create an icon. "We could have easily just built some rectangular building...but the tribe is once again trying to create something that is iconic, that creates international tourism coming to Florida," he said to the Sun Sentinel. "We truly believe that design alone will create additional tourism." The expansion to the pre-existing complex will see room capacity boosted to 1,273 with the introduction of a nightclub and five new restaurants. $100 million will also be spent on a swimming pool (the second in the vicinity). As part of a deal between the Seminoles and the local governor, the development is set to see bring a influx of employment to the area as well. The tribe estimates that 19,452 jobs, including 4,867 full-time positions and 14,585 construction jobs, will be created due to the development. https://twitter.com/Chabelih/status/694191104854458370 Seminole plans are pointed skywards as they claim to rival Las Vegas and other major global gambling destinations. "We truly think this will rival not only anything in Florida, but Atlantis and anything in the world," said Allen.
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On View> Matter, Light, and Form: Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom, 1968–2003

Matter, Light, and Form: Architectural Photographs of Wayne Thom, 1968-2003 WUHO Gallery 6518 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles Through December 20, 2015 Best known for his keen documentation of Late Modernism, Wayne Thom’s architectural photography brings drama and beauty to a period marked by corporate and developer-driven design. Now, the Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury University presents an exhibition of Thom’s work at the WUHO Gallery in Hollywood. Curated by Nicholas Olsberg and Andrea Dietz, the show spans the photographer’s five-decade career and is organized into three sections based on typologies: towers, pavilions, and plazas. The exhibition title Matter, Light, and Form speaks to the photographer’s belief in architecture as sculpture. According to the curators, Thom has never “lit” a piece of architecture, instead he would wait for days for the right light to hit a building. “[T]o paraphrase Louis Kahn, sometimes buildings don’t know how beautiful they are until the camera’s eye falls upon them,” noted Olsberg. In July, when AN profiled Thom’s work, writer Daniel Paul made a plea for an institution to acquire Thom’s archive. Later that month, the University of Southern California Libraries, Special Collections announced that it would purchase and manage the archive, thus securing Thom’s legacy and singular architectural eye.
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On View> Artist Rafa Esparza makes and stacks adobe bricks as a meditation on labor and material

“It was important to do away with the corners,” stressed Rafa Esparza, as we walked through his immersive work entitled i have never been here before, under construction and on view at LACE, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, on Hollywood Boulevard through September 13. Esparza, a Los Angeles–based multidisciplinary artist, is busily transforming the gallery by building two curving adobe brick walls. His construction is a tour-de-force meditation on the place of art, the labor of bodies, and the steadfast mobilization of communities—as both witnesses and collaborators. The exhibition, curated by Shoghig Halajian, began inconspicuously enough on July 8. Visitors familiar with Esparza's previous performance works for site-specific environments were greeted by a roomful of several hundred bricks, installed in six cubic stacks on construction pallet plinths, as if awaiting further instructions. These neat volumes, described by Halajian as “contained objects, stripped of their labor,” were the first batch to be transported from the Bowtie Project site along the L.A. River, epicenter of the brick production that itself was a key performative component of the work. There were also eight unframed color photographs on the walls, depicting the artist in the same room at an undefined earlier moment: crawling at bucket-level, mixing messily, kneading muddy earth across a marked-up floor. The process of making adobe bricks is methodical, the manual labor physically demanding. Esparza is working together with extended family members alongside local collaborators and—most notably—with his father, from whom he inherited the knowledge of the construction technique. Together at the Bowtie site they dig out the earth and sift out the rocks. Manure and hay are culled from the stables of a family friend in the San Gabriel Foothills. Water comes straight from the river nearby. After mixing everything to get the consistency just right, it’s poured into twelve-by-sixteen-by-four-inch wooden molds. Despite what may seem like a drawn-out ordeal, Esparza adds, “I actually feel like we've been moving at a quick pace, but more importantly, it’s our own pace.” Each brick hardens in open air for several days before the team stacks and trucks them over to LACE’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard location along the Walk of Fame. There, the team work the walls up to their projected ten-foot height. “My dad doesn't like it when I use the cracked bricks,” says Esparza, picking one up from a new shipment. “But I'm going to use all of them!” Ricardo Bracho, a theater artist who comes by for a meeting, chimes in: “Yes! Even the ugly ones! Little by little it all becomes one big brick.” Course by course along the cracks and connections, Esparza trowels on adobe in slip form as a mortar. You might arrive to find the team mid-task and strike up a conversation. Other times they’re off on lunch or running a shipment across town: tools, wheelbarrows, and water pails are strewn about, and the radio is left on. With i have never been here before, Esparza’s form of architectural address is to welcome everyone into a place that is at once strange and also strangely comforting. He recalls a recent encounter, which encapsulates his thoughts on art and its accessibility: “The other day we were out on Hollywood Boulevard pushing a wheelbarrow full of bricks into the gallery, and a family there stopped me and asked, in Spanish, what is this doing here? We had this instant connection. And it's the same people who might feel distant from what galleries give and do. I'm looking at who can have an immediate response to the earth, to this material.” “At times like this, it feels almost inappropriate to make work inside here,” says Esparza of the gallery space. But the key word here is “almost.” It girds his skepticism about institutional norms at the same time that it fuels an ambition to engage them head-on. “If we are talking about changing these spaces,” he asks, “what really are the alternatives? Can we imagine them? What do they look like?”  Without prompting, he adds: “I wasn't thinking about architecture specifically when I began to use bricks—just about space.” The statement is accompanied by a mischievous look: it’s true, to be sure, but Esparza’s previous works have often taken forms that relate directly to specific architectural acts, whether through their material makeup, their social position, or the symbolic heft. For a recent work, located next to the Twin Towers LA County Jail, Esparza’s standing body was encased in concrete to chest-height, after which he chiseled himself free; for another, a performance at the Getty, he ferried himself across the travertine courtyard via adobe tiles, dressed in a spacesuit. He draws attention from these structures of power, outdoors and in public, and distributes it back to the labors of the individual or collective body: whether it’s a body nearby it, or pushing against it, or talking with, or getting up in the face of it. As the work casts new light on vernacular building materials and processes, Esparza also seeks to wrest both institution and visiting audience from their respective comfort zones. “It is in some ways an uncomfortable project,” Halajian says. “On a basic administrative level, we're constantly having conversations about the level of dirt—how we're treating and preparing the space. For example, do we clean daily or cover it up? Do we deal with the trails in and out of spaces, into the back and the project room? How do we address our boundaries?” And the title? Esparza grins, quickly clarifying: “I've actually been here plenty of times!” He describes how his first performance in a gallery was at LACE in 2010, for the marathon performance event Gutted. “Actually it was here that I received my first truly inspiring experience of a community of makers. To find myself surrounded by this, I thought to myself, this is my education! So I have been here before, but I am imagining it as a new place, one that draws on a history, a labor, a class, and an architecture—all of which I wanted to be responsive to.” But the humility in his response foregrounds the title’s proposal: how can we inject even familiar spaces with new, unfamiliar energies? Appropriately, i have never been here before will serve as the backdrop for the Resonant Forms festival during its final weekend, featuring an impressive array of experimental sound and performance artists. At exhibit's end, Esparza plans to chisel out, store, and ultimately repurpose each of the five thousand bricks.
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Leong Leong selected to design Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood

Leong Leong was selected to design the master plan and new buildings for the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood. The pair's resume includes fashion house Philip Lim as well as the design of the United States Pavilion of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. The firm is known for using common materials in uncommon ways, with results that belie humble beginnings: a sleek facade composed of mirrored louver blinds, sound insulation foam transforms into a chic wallcovering. The new project is their biggest commission to date and includes a 183,700-square-foot facility and a campus plan that, with the existing building, covers more than a city block and includes 140 units of affordable housing for seniors and young adults, 100 beds for homeless youth, a new senior center, retail space, a center for homeless youth, and an administrative headquarters. The scheme will be centered on a series of courtyard spaces and plazas. The Los Angeles LGBT Center and housing developer Thomas Safran & Associates chose Leong Leong from a shortlist of five firms, which included Michael Maltzan, Frederick Fisher, Predock Frane, and MAD. The commission is a collaboration between the firm, executive architect Killefer Flammang Architects and landscape architect Pamela Burton. “The design concept is to create a mosaic of unique spaces and programs that—together with The Village at Ed Gould Plaza—will form a cohesive campus along McCadden Place. We hope the project will become an urban catalyst for the neighborhood, connecting residents, clients, staff, and neighbors alike,” says Chris Leong.
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On View> Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and The Construction of a Social Landscape

Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and The Construction of a Social Landscape WUHO Gallery 6518 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles Through April 26 Gregory Ain was a pioneer in the development of low-cost modern housing, and many of his efforts fused radical, left-wing politics and cooperative living with architecture. And a new exhibit in Los Angeles spotlights five of the architect’s most innovative housing projects. Projects included in the exhibit at Woodbury University's WUHO Gallery in Hollywood are Dunsmuir Flats, Park Planned Homes, Avenel Cooperative Housing, Mar Vista Housing, and Community Homes Cooperative. The show consists of classic black and white photographs by Julius Shulman and contemporary color shots by Korean artist Kyungsub Shin. Shin’s photos—first commissioned for the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale in South Korea—document how Ain’s small-yet-well-resolved houses—clustered to lower costs, share resources, and create social connections—can still accommodate contemporary lifestyles. "People are highly attracted to these houses today,” said show curator Anthony Fontenot. "There's something very comfortable about them, but they're still strikingly modern." The show also includes original materials, such as Ain’s “manifesto” of the planned community, fleshed out with drawings, documents, letters, and other archival materials. "We could learn a lot from looking at his ideas," said Fontenot. "Our own ecological, economic, and political climate demands that you cannot exist on your own."
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Another architectural bookstore bites the dust: Hennessey+Ingalls closes Hollywood location

Art and architecture book nirvana Hennessy + Ingalls closed its Hollywood location on Sunday after just six years in business. The store had been situated in a bow truss structure inside Space 15 Twenty on Cahuenga Boulevard, just north of Sunset. "It's been a struggle from the get-go," said store owner Mark Hennessey, who bought the location a few months before the economy collapsed and finally "decided to pull the plug" after Space 15 Twenty substantially raised the rent. "People are still buying books but they're not buying them in bookstores," he added. "We need a new generation of architecture and design lovers. Right now they're not coming in as often." Hennessy + Ingalls will maintain its Santa Monica location, which Hennessey said is the largest of its kind in the country, but he acknowledged that he's been looking for smaller, more affordable space in Los Angeles's Arts District.
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Unveiled> George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art by MAD architects

Ma Yansong's new museum for George Lucas wouldn't look out of place on a Star Wars set. Renderings made public Monday show a white, undulating dune of sorts, its stone surface ascending into a metallic “floating” disc. Chicago will be the home of the famous director's Museum of Narrative Art, to the chagrin of some Californians who had hoped his collection of paintings and movie memorabilia might land in San Francisco or Los Angeles. The lead designers are MAD architects, the Beijing-based firm of Ma Yansong. Local darlings Studio Gang Architects are working with MAD on the lakefront project, along with Chicago's VOA Associates. A spokesman for Studio Gang said Jeanne Gang's portion of the design would be released in 2015. Museum representatives announced the international design team's identity in July, but renderings only appeared online in early November. An expanded version of the museum's website, lucasmuseum.org, now includes an overview of the building's design:
The architectural concept for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art explores the relationship between nature and the urban environment. Inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, the design integrates the natural beauty of the park and Lake Michigan with the powerful man-made architecture of Chicago. The design furthers the Museum’s mission to be a place of education, culture, and inspiration.
MAD principal Ma Yansong also offers his thoughts on the project in a video posted to Vimeo and embedded on the website: “I think the green space, the public park, is a great asset for Chicago and I want our building [to] blend into this environment,” he said in the video. The setting just south of Chicago's downtown Loop district will provide a unique context, Ma said. “You will see the building as a landscape in front of all these modern skyscrapers.” He described the building's form as “very horizontal, undulating, soft surface merging with [the] existing landscape,” and referenced a public atrium that he called an “urban living room.” That room, and much of the building, will reach out to the sky and surrounding landscape, said Ma. “We want to bring this idea of connecting sky and the land to the project. Because all the space around the museum is about where you touch the land. So the land is very important to us.” The “floating” disc atop the building will feature an observation deck, offering 360-degree views of the surrounding area, including Lake Michigan. Studio Gang “will design the landscape and create a bridge to connect The Lucas Museum to Northerly Island,” according to the project's website. Northerly Island is currently the subject of a massive makeover by Gang that aims to turn the southern portion of the 91-acre peninsula into an ecological park. The website says a live webcam will broadcast the project's construction. The museum's fanciful design is unlikely to cool tensions with the group Friends of the Parks, who have challenged the museum development under Chicago's 1973 Lakefront Protection Ordinance. A formal presentation to the city's plan commission and council is expected next year, but opposition to this private development of lakefront land is likely to continue—especially now that it has a face.
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Hollywood’s Freeway Cap Park Begins Environmental Review Process

[beforeafter] 4b-la-freeway-park 4a-la-freeway-park [/beforeafter]   We've been following Los Angeles' several proposed Freeway Cap Parks (in Downtown LA, Hollywood, and Santa Monica among other places) for years now, with a healthy amount of skepticism. But the first of these is (really? really!) moving toward reality. Friends of the Hollywood Central Park, a non-profit organizing a cap park over the 101 Freeway near the center of Hollywood, along with LA's Department of Recreation and Parks have begun the environmental review process for the transformative 38-acre space. The city of LA is now preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) (PDF) for the project, and the first public scoping meeting for the project will take place on September 6. The park, located about four miles northwest of Downtown LA and about 500 feet north of the 101's Hollywood Boulevard overpass, would be built on an engineered deck over the freeway. According to the Department of Recreation and Parks' Initial Study Analysis (PDF) the new highway cap park's uses would include: "landscaped open space, multi-purpose fields, active and passive pedestrian meadows, small retail facilities and kiosks (bike shops, seasonal markets, art galleries, etc.), restaurants, an amphitheater, a community center, plazas and terraces, water features, playgrounds, dog parks, and interactive community areas." The Friends of the Hollywood Central Park has said the draft EIR should be ready for public review by next spring. The bulk of funding for the EIR has included $1.2 million from the Aileen Getty Foundation and $825,000 from the City of Los Angeles. Of course funding for the park itself is still far off, but this is a major first step. [beforeafter] (Courtesy Friends of the Hollywood Central Park) (Courtesy Friends of the Hollywood Central Park) [/beforeafter]  
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Gensler Goes Hollywood with “Vertical Campus”

Hudson Pacific Properties is banking on the continued appeal of Hollywood office space with its Icon at Sunset Bronson Studios, a 14-story tower designed by Gensler. Targeting creative professionals, Icon reconfigured the suburban campus typology for an urban setting. Gensler associate Amy Pokawatana called the development a "vertical campus," blending "work, relaxation, and recreation." Part of a $150 million studio expansion, the project takes its cue from a six-story building the developer finished on the Sunset Gower Studios lot in 2008.  The building features five rectangular, stacked volumes, offset horizontally to create exterior terraces. The high-performance envelope alternates between glass curtain wall and precast panels to break down the scale and frame views to downtown LA, the Hollywood sign, and the Santa Monica Bay. In addition to providing outdoor green space on multiple floors, the design incorporates flexibility and connectivity. Large floor plates and connections between floors allow for both open and traditional office layouts, said Pokawatana. Icon is located near several historic Hollywood buildings, including its next-door neighbor, the Executive Office Building (EOB), once the headquarters of Warner Bros. The design is set back from Sunset Boulevard to provide views to the EOB, while the height of the tower’s first volume coincides with the older building’s eave-line. In addition, said Pokawatana, “White, precast, freestanding columns that front the tower are a modern nod to the historic colonnade on the EOB facade. Punched windows in the precast facade mimic the simple rhythm of the windows at the EOB.” Pokawatana is confident that her firm’s vertical campus concept answers the needs that once drew creative and tech offices away from the city center, combining the best of urban and campus buildings. “There is a shift in the way companies work today, and we are designing a building that can inspire, promote, and nurture this new paradigm," she said.
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Not So Fast… Hollywood Projects Placed On Hold

It appears that the Los Angeles density backlash is starting to really... blow up. Particularly in Hollywood, where several towers and multi-use developments have been set to get rolling. On February 18, the LA Planning Department issued the Hollywood Community Plan Update Injunction Clearance, prohibiting the city's department of Building and Safety from issuing "any permit for the construction, erection, addition to or alteration of any building or structure…unless the Department of City Planning first issues a HCPU (Hollywood Community Plan Update) Injunction Clearance." While many projects won't be impacted, any project seeking entitlements or permits under the HCPU could be. The order derives from a February 11 LA County Superior Court injunction stemming from several neighborhood groups' lawsuit challenging the HCPU's Environmental Impact Review (EIR). The HCPU was passed back in 2012, bringing with it much more density around transit, among other things. According to LandUseLa, the order will require  most projects in the area to undergo extra review (while not halting them completely), but it will essentially put 28 projects on indefinite hold. Kevin Keller, Director of Planning for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, says that estimate could be higher than reality. "We haven't verified that list. The planning department is still looking at these projects on a case by case basis." He added: "The city is taking actions to ensure that projects can still move forward in Hollywood." Keller added that to speed things up City Council passed a motion to "initiate proceedings" to vacate the 2012 adoption of the HCPU while environmental analysis is performed. Either way the council has instructed planning to come up with ways to alter the HCPU's EIR and resolve the situation. It goes without saying that this could take several months (at least).  
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Help Design Hollywood’s Freeway-Capping Central Park

Los Angeles, are you ready to design your own Central Park? Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP), a nonprofit formed in 2008 devoted to developing a 44-acre street-level park capping Hollywood's 101 Freeway, has initiated a new web feature encouraging residents to imagine their own dream parks in order to transform Hollywood’s densely populated, park-deprived neighborhoods into healthy, prosperous green spaces. In collaboration with Central Hollywood, East Hollywood and Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Councils and the Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation, the ambitious venture will reunite the communities presently separated by the Hollywood Freeway. The Design Your Own Park tool makes it possible for individuals to create their own versions of Hollywood Central Park by offering a range of possibilities to choose from, including large features such as fields, cafés, dog parks and libraries and smaller features such as rocks, trees, and benches. The site’s simplicity makes it easy to participate in the design process, and the tool also allows users to invent their own park elements. Laurie Goldman, FHCP president, recently told StreetsBlog LA, “knowing the level of interest in the community about Hollywood Central Park, we decided the best way to get input on what should be built was give everybody a chance to create their dream park. This is everybody’s park, and everybody should have an opportunity to submit their own ideas.” A Psomas Engineering cost estimate marks the total development price at approximately $1.15 billion. As a result of an $825,000 grant from the city and a $1.2 million donation from the Aileen Getty Foundation, the landmark infrastructure project is one step closer to making the park a reality. The plans are now under environmental review, and a scoping meeting and community meeting are expected to take place in the near future.The Draft Environmental Impact Report will be open for public comment in 2015.
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Two More Towers Planned For Building-Crazy Hollywood

We like to think of the Hollywood Palladium, recently renovated by Coe Architecture, as a groovy place to see a show. But it looks like it's about to become a whole lot more, as one of the future centers of Hollywood's unprecedented building boom. Curbed LA reports that a mixed use development is now being planned on the parking lots behind the landmark theater, including residential units, street level shops and restaurants, and, potentially, a hotel. In case you're keeping count, just a few of the projects about to go up in the area include Morphosis' new campus for Emerson College, Roschen Van Cleave and Handel's Millenium Hollywood, Rios Clementi Hale and House and Robertson's Columbia Square, and Rios Clementi Hale's Paramount Pictures expansion, just to name a few. Whoah.