Posts tagged with "Los Angeles":

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Westworld’s production designer drew from global architecture to realize 2058

Dr. Robert Ford, Anthony Hopkins’ character in the HBO television series Westworld, offered this insight to a child looking over his shoulder after rendering a snake inanimate with a gentle wave of his finger: “Everything in this world is magic, except to the magician.” The show, now in its third season, revolves around a highly advanced Western-style theme park built in the near future and the humanoid robots that come to escape its perimeter to discover the real world beyond it. The impossibly lustrous, moody, pristine built environments of that world are the stuff of magic to the millions of viewers watching at home, while the hundreds of people responsible for that aesthetic—including visual effects supervisors, costume designers, cinematographers, and set decorators—perform as their magicians. For the last two seasons, Howard Cummings has been the show’s production designer, matching the complex narrative with arresting visual storytelling. AN spoke with Cummings to learn how his team selected the buildings and fabricated those that do not yet exist to create the spellbinding background of the series. AN: The show mostly takes place in Los Angeles in the year 2058. How did you determine the look and feel of the city nearly four decades from now?  Howard Cummings: We made sure to essentially do the opposite of the original Blade Runner (1982), which depicted the Los Angeles of the future as dystopian and dilapidated. Jonah Nolan, the co-creator of Westworld, wanted the city to look more advanced than it is now, as though climate change had been eliminated through carbon-catching towers, which are sometimes visible throughout the show. Public plazas are elevated, transportation is mostly below ground, and the use of personal cars is drastically reduced. But we were also able to take advantage of the recent building boom in the city, offering glimpses of newly completed buildings, such as the [Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed] Broad Museum.  Aerial views of downtown Los Angeles also depicts fictional buildings next to currently existing skyscrapers. How was the design for those fictional buildings determined? The downtown skyline is infilled with CGI buildings that were inspired by the city of Singapore. its vertical greenery provided the look we were going for, which is partially mandated by the government. We would shut down sections of L.A. roadways to bring in planters, seating, and different types of green surfaces to make the city look a lot more green than it really is. We assembled a kit of roadway disguises that appear to accelerate the city’s current initiatives to become greener and more pedestrian-friendly. You may notice we also ‘completed’ the L.A. River project in some flyover shots, turning it into a fully functional river. I heard that the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels was an informal consultant for the latest season. How did he become involved, and what input was he able to provide? Bjarke sent a message expressing interest in the show before we shot the latest season. Because I was already familiar with his work, I wanted to invite him to visit before we shot the third season and he stayed for several hours to see how we film and design our sets. I then had him meet Jonah Nolan, and I learned that they were oddly alike in personality, so much so they even ended up going on sight-seeing trips together When it came to designing futuristic buildings for the third season, Bjarke offered to help by giving us the digital models of a bunch of projects of his own firm that were never realized. If you look at some of the aerial shots, his buildings can be seen sprinkled throughout.  How does real-world architecture factor into the show, and how did you decide which real-world buildings to include? The first two seasons were almost entirely set within fictional settings. Viewers could generally only see the Westworld landscape [mostly filmed at Melody Movie Ranch, a Western-style film studio in Santa Clarita, California] and the all-glass, “behind-the-scenes” production spaces that were built for the show. When the Westworld characters venture out of the theme park in season two, we felt it was a good opportunity to showcase significant buildings around the world.  We were able to use Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House in Pasadena in the second season because the house was currently on the market during filming, and we had been looking for Wrightian houses at the time. This season, we wanted to go back to the house, but we weren’t allowed back because it had just been sold. Shooting in the actual house was quite difficult anyway because it’s small and highly protected, so at some point, it became more reasonable to rebuild it as a set.  For the third season, we also scouted locations in and around BarcelonaWhile there, we chose Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain as the headquarters for the Delos Corporation because it felt like a good setting for a tech campus.  Bjarke happened to be in the city when we were there, and Ricardo Bofill’s home, La Fábrica, was considered as a filming location. The building was originally cement silos fabricated using poured concrete. Bofill added some touches that included gothic-style archways; his work of the 1970s was so postmodern, and to me it was a weirdly timeless design that for me was the opposite of the Westworld labs which are all black and glass. Bjarke connected us with Carlos Bofill, Ricardo Bofill’s son, who allowed us to tour inside the home. Jonah fell in love with it, and we eventually got permission to use it as a laboratory. Though there were a lot of restrictions, we got to film using several of the actual living quarters. But because we only had one day to film in there, we also had to build some interiors that were designed with Bofill’s original design in mind.  It seems that the buildings of the future are depicted as either rough-hewn concrete or from a white, plastic-like material. Exactly. We felt that concrete provides a real atmosphere and texture to modern buildings. It can be formed into anything; it’s got incredible fluidity while still being foreboding. We’re trying to incorporate the concept of 3D printing into the show, as well as buildings that could be imagined as [being] 3D printed. Each episode takes about two weeks to produce, and with an average of 35 locations per episode, there were limitations regarding the use of 3D printing and scouting for concrete buildings. Fortunately, we were able to find plenty of areas in Los Angeles, Singapore, and Spain to match this aesthetic. In the first episode of season three, for example, you see a concrete house that was supposed to be off the coast of China. That house is designed by Wallace E. Cunningham in Encinitas [near San Diego]. We were initially hoping to use the Salk Institute in La Jolla but ended up falling in love with this house with a texture that almost blends into the rocks beneath it.
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LACMA continues demolition of original buildings amid quarantine

While construction sites around the world have been paused in their tracks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has decided to move ahead with its plans to demolish its structures on the site to prepare for the addition designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, now estimated to cost a total of $750 million. “Los Angeles is counting on us, more than ever, to keep our construction going,” Michael Govan, the director of LACMA, wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times. “Thousands of workers will be part of the project over the coming few years. LACMA will be an engine of job creation and economic recovery.” Construction barriers have been erected along the site over the last several months, while the four buildings in question—three designed by William Pereira as part of the original campus from 1965, and one designed by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates in 1986 to would represent the facade of the museum along Wilshire—have slowly been emptied of their contents and internal walls. Hoping to not lose momentum, the team hopes to finish the process and begin demolition this month to meet its completion deadline in 2024. LACMA representative Jessica Youn has expressed that the construction team on site is following the necessary protective measures in keeping with an official statement from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) released on March 31 that reads: “Construction industry employers shall develop a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control plan, which includes control measures such as social distancing; symptom checking; hygiene; decontamination procedures, and training. An exposure control plan and the following practices must be followed to prevent any onsite worker from contracting COVID-19, as many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can potentially spread disease.” Temporary hand-washing stations have recently been installed throughout the site for the benefit of its construction workers. Meanwhile, Twitter has been alight with opposition to the plan to proceed as scheduled. Residents have generally expressed discomfort with the thought of living near an active construction site, while the local nonprofit SAVE LACMA has regarded the decision as a misuse of funds in uncertain times. On the same block, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which announced December 14 as an official opening date only two months ago, has paused all construction until further notice.
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Tighe Architecture designs a steeply arched complex in newly developing portion of Los Angeles

Los Angeles-based firm Tighe Architecture recently received approval for its Barranca, a mixed-use, six-story building in the newly developing western edge of Lincoln Heights, one of the oldest neighborhoods on the east side of L.A. The project is across the street from Fuller Lofts, former industrial buildings adaptively reused into loft apartments and retrofitted with a distinctive metal rooftop by local firm Brooks+Scarpa. Developed by 4Site Real Estate, the project will replace 12 existing low-rise structures with a single 200,000-square-foot building that will house a 100-bed hotel, 100 apartment units, and commercial retail on its ground floor intended to revitalize the formerly industrial, underserved stretch into a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood. To resolve the project’s presence as one of the largest buildings in the area while occupying the entire western end of a city block, Barranca was designed to appear as two distinct yet still connected buildings. The hotel constitutes the southern side of the project, which is distinguished by steep archways rendered in an off-white texture and large windows with metal accents that, together, are reminiscent of a castle wall. According to the firm, the hotel side was designed by taking “classical staples and reintroducing them to an area in need of a fresh new vision for an emerging neighborhood.” The northern portion is relatively demure in a grey and black palette that contains apartment units (five of which will be affordable housing) and corresponding amenities that include two courtyards, shared offices, a lounge, and a swimming pool tucked away on the third level. A wealth of greenery will be added to the perimeter of the site, a much-needed amenity for the predominantly concrete neighborhood. Barranca represents the third mixed-use building Tighe Architecture has designed for 4Site throughout Los Angeles, following 2300 Beverly and 2510 Temple. The firm has also made a name for itself locally by designing other, similarly striking affordable housing projects with limited budgets, including La Brea and Sierra Bonita.
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Los Angeles Metro system attempts to meet construction goals amid stay-at-home orders

Shortly after Los Angeles was announced as the official host of the 2028 Olympics, the local metro system’s Board of Directors dreamt up a bright future for the area’s public transportation infrastructure, which is currently far less developed than those of other major American cities. In January, several projects that originally had differing completion dates, including a public transit system through the Sepulveda Pass by 2033, a nine-mile extension of the Gold Line to Whittier by 2035, and a 19-mile rail line from Union Station to Artesia by 2041, received approval to be fast-tracked for completion dates prior to 2028 in a unanimous vote from the Board of Directors, according to Curbed LA. The vote brought the "Twenty-eight by ’28” initiative led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti closer to reality and was backed by funding from voter-approved ballot measures Measure R and Measure M. While California residents and businesses continue to interpret the limits of Governor Gavin Newsom’s order for all individuals living in the state to stay home in an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, more strategies for meeting the 2028 deadline have been put on the table.  According to Streetsblog LA, the Beverly Hills City Council will vote on a proposal tomorrow to expedite construction on two subway stops that are part of the extension to the Purple Line Subway, one of the 28 initiatives set to be complete before 2028, during the city-wide lockdown. The Metro website expresses that “a full closure of Wilshire Blvd. between Crescent Dr. and Beverly Dr. was identified as a potential option to help work progress during the statewide pandemic health restrictions.” The news may be surprising to locals, many of whom remember that the city of Beverly Hills formally opposed the construction of the very same subway extension in 2010. “The City remains very concerned about tunneling under residential properties and especially under the Beverly Hills High School,” the letter written by Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad expresses to Donald R. Knabe, a former member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Concerns will likely be raised regarding the safety of keeping a construction site open during the state-wide lockdown. CBS Los Angeles reported that two contractors working for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority, one of whom was a documented worker for Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors, the firm building the Crenshaw/LAX Line light rail project, have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, funding may be more difficult to come by in the near future as the city reports an 80 percent drop in ridership, according to LAist. Announcements have not yet been made regarding the revised construction timelines of other Metro projects.
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A timber-topped terraced office tower could be coming to the heart of Hollywood

Plans have been unveiled for a rather snazzy 14-story Hollywood office tower designed by Gensler that will take shape on a 1.7-acre Sunset Boulevard site currently populated by a Staples and a smattering of surface parking lots. Dubbed Sunset + Wilcox, the commercial high-rise would include of 445,158 square feet of office space, with 2,141 square feet carved out for a ground-level restaurant and retail space as well as a substantial amount of space dedicated to parking, some of it subterranean. Compared to a decidedly humdrum 1968 Maxwell Starkman-designed high-rise located directly across Wilcox Avenue at 6430 Sunset Boulevard that’s home to CNN’s West Coast headquarters, Sunset + Wilcox will provide, literally, a breath of architectural fresh air. Each floor of the tower will include outdoor space, with the sixth floor featuring a lushly landscaped outdoor “Campus Commons” spread out over 10,000 square feet. Starting on the seventh floor and moving up, a series of stepped terraces, all connected by an exterior staircase, will provide additional open air space. A mass timber crown—a unique addition to the surrounding skyline—will encase the “penthouse” levels of the building. This largely workaday stretch of Sunset east of Highland Avenue has been on the up-and-up in recent years as the demand for both housing and entertainment industry-earmarked office space in Hollywood proper grows. “With the majority of this underutilized site being surface parking, Sunset + Wilcox provides a tremendous opportunity to further Hollywood’s ongoing transformation into a true live-work neighborhood,” said Mario Palumbo, managing director of Seward Partners, an affiliate of infill-centric developer MP Los Angeles, in a press statement. “Hollywood is world-renowned for its association with the entertainment industry, and the demand for new creative office space in the area is substantial.” Other major projects in the immediate area include a mixed-use megaproject designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and RCH Studios surrounding the Crossroads of the World site, an iconic 1936 outdoor shopping center-turned-office complex encircling a Streamline Moderne building shaped an ocean liner. Once complete, the $1 billion Crossroads Hollywood project, which has been opposed by preservationists since its inception, will include over 900 new housing units, a large hotel, and over 190,000 square feet of commercial space spread across nine new buildings. Most of the original Crossroads of the World complex and the neighboring Hollywood Reporter Building, a Regency Moderne landmark declared as a Historic-Cultural Monument in 2017, will not be razed and instead be incorporated into the new development. Further east along Sunset, is the future home a 26-story residential tower that will replace beloved indie record store Amoeba Music, which has been a fixture on Sunset Boulevard since 2001. The redevelopment scheme has been highly contentious although just last month Amoeba formally announced it will reopen in a new location, also in Hollywood, later this year. Not far from the Sunset + Wilcox site and also developed by MP Los Angeles is Hollywood Center, a “mixed-use vertical community” with a substantial amount of affordable housing. It too has been met with controversy. As Sunset + Wilcox enters the planning stages (per the Real Deal the city will need to green-light several zoning changes before the project commences), it doesn't seem that many objections will be made about demolition work at the site when compared to these other redevelopment projects in the immediate area. “Our goal is to retain existing Hollywood businesses and attract new businesses that have to-date overlooked the area because of a lack of supply,” said Palumbo. “With this large site, we see an opportunity to create a truly exceptional creative office experience in the heart of Hollywood.”
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Clippers’ owners purchase The Forum to end legal back and forth

The Forum, an iconic entertainment venue in the Los Angeles County city of Inglewood designed in 1967 by architects Charles Luckman & Associates, was recently purchased for $400 million by CAPPS LLC from the New York-based Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). The LLC was formed by Steve Ballmer and Dennis Fong, respectively the chairman and vice-chairman of the Los Angeles-based Clippers basketball team, with plans to maintain the 11,000-seat building as an entertainment venue while making their dream of a nearby NBA arena one step closer to reality. The recent deal reflects the potential end of a feud between Ballmer and MSG that has been going on for years. When Balmer proposed the construction of a $1 billion NBA arena designed by architecture and engineering firm AECOM in Inglewood, less than two miles away from Forum, MSG responded with a series of lawsuits, the first of which claimed that the proposed site was originally slated to be a 'technology park’ that would have improved Inglewood’s economy. According to the LA Times, Ballmer had eventually grown tired of the mountain litigation, and formed CAPPS LLC to purchase the one asset MSG had that kept them invested in the city of Inglewood. “I’m not sure they understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, from my perspective,” he said last October. The new stadium, currently scheduled to be completed in 2024, will become the center of the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex that will include a practice facility, public outdoor spaces, and team offices. Meanwhile, CAPPS LLC has expressed that they do not wish to tear down the Forum, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said in a statement. “We are committed to our investment in the city of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”
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Homeless families seize vacant homes across L.A. to protest lax quarantine orders

“House keys, not handcuffs.” These words were chanted by advocates of the homeless community earlier this week on the street-facing porch of a vacant home in the hilly East Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno, behind a handwritten sign that read “Shelter in the Storm.” The home was just one of 12 in the neighborhood seized by an organized group of protestors and homeless families following the first reports of the coronavirus in California earlier this month. The protests came just before California Governor Gavin Newsom’s official order yesterday that calls for all state citizens—nearly 40 million people—to “stay at home” in the state’s fight against the virus. And while the state is hurriedly brainstorming solutions for those without shelter, this mandate, of course, leaves out the thousands of Californians who have not received the full benefits of Newsom’s billion-dollar plan to alleviate California’s homeless crisis first announced in January. “With this health crisis and this housing crisis, we need every vacant house to be a home for those who don’t have a safe and stable place to sleep in,” Ruby Gordillo, one of the occupiers of a formerly vacant home, told the Los Angeles Times. With support from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a nonprofit advocacy group for tenant protections, Gordillo and many others are capitalizing on homes in El Sereno that the California Department of Transportation purchased and left vacated to make room for an extension to the 710 freeway. The protesters in El Sereno are affiliated with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, an organization that has advocated several statewide measures to expand rent control and tenant protections, and were also inspired by the efforts of Moms4Housing, an Oakland-based nonprofit group of homeless mothers that collectively occupied a formerly vacant home this January. Though they were later evicted by cops in riot gear and tanks, it is not yet known how the city will react to the recent seizure of homes in El Sereno under the escalated circumstances.
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Arts and architecture advocate Merry Norris dies

Merry Norris, an arts and architecture advocate based in Los Angeles, passed away on March 16. As one of the city’s first Cultural Affairs Commissioners when she was appointed in 1984, the first Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA/LA), and a board member and an honorary trustee at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) since 1987, Norris was widely known throughout the city for her open embrace of all things groundbreaking and on the cutting edge. Like fellow philanthropists Eli Broad and Robert H. Ahmanson, Norris helped shaped the cultural identity of the young city by drawing connections between a wide range of creative fields. Hernán Díaz Alonso, the current Director of SCI-Arc, expressed in a press statement that “Merry Norris was in a league of her own,” and that “her generosity and passion for SCI-Arc and the arts was unparalleled. Over the years, her contributions have made her inseparable from what SCI-Arc is and will continue to be.” Faculty member and founder of Morphosis Thom Mayne said that Norris “approached everything with wonder and enthusiasm—she loved the world and the people in it,” and SCI-Arc Chairman of the Board of Trustees Kevin Ratner added that she was “a fixture of LA’s cultural fabric; a committed board member who connected the school to the greater arts community and whose strong opinion always mattered.” Norris was behind the enhancement of many of the city’s public spaces through the inclusion of work from local artists, such as those of Shepard Fairey and David Wisemen throughout the West Hollywood Library, and a large mural by Kenny Scharf adorning the sides of a parking garage for the Pasadena Museum of California Art. But she is perhaps most well known for her instrumental role in the founding and building of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), one of the most city’s most important art institutions, as well as the James Corner Field Operations-designed Tongva Park in Santa Monica. Her own home, perched above the Sunset Strip, was itself a veritable museum of contemporary art and design, according to an interview with Curbed, including furniture designed by Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne, as well as artwork by Ed Ruscha, Mark Bradford, and Jenny Holzer.
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The new Silver Lake Reservoir Complex master plan keeps biodiversity in mind

The Silver Lake Reservoir is an unusual, yet integral, element of the Los Angeles landscape. According to an LA Times article from 1907, the year it was completed and became the largest fresh-water lake and water reserve in the city, the project was a rare piece of infrastructure that doubly served as a respite from the burgeoning city. “While this reservoir is to form a part of the city's greater water system,” the article reads, “it promises also to become a favorite resort for pleasure walks because of its delightful surroundings. Its gently sloping banks will be a park of themselves without the magic touch of a landscape gardener’s hand.” A chain-link fence has long kept the public at an arm’s length from the 81-acre water reserve to maintain the reservoir complex as part of the city’s drinking water supply. Though the reservoirs were decommissioned in response to changes in U.S. federal regulations in 2008, the chain link fence has since remained, leaving the vast majority of the site unoccupied. The Los Angeles Department of Water of Power (LADWP) has, in recent years, begun funding a master plan for the 114-acre site to be given back to the city as an uninterrupted parkland while maintaining a small number of facilities onsite. Landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Jones was selected as the lead consultant last year, along with the Glendale, California-based architecture firm Chee Salette as the local landscape architect, architect, and community liaison. After a number of community workshops, a single master plan was developed, the combination of three prior iterations that envisions the site as a new hybrid; one that opens up the site for community placemaking while making room for natural habitats for the local biodiversity that includes birds and small terrestrial animals. The master plan removes the barrier between the lake and the walking path to introduce elements including wetland terraces, observational platforms, a flyover bridge, and an outdoor classroom to educate the public on the site’s nonhuman residents, which will, in turn, receive floating habitat islands, renewed coastal scrub, and two restored woodlands. A new multi-purpose room and set of recreational facilities, including a basketball court and playfield, will be joined together on the southern part of the site. A final community workshop is planned for the end of May to solidify the master plan’s details.
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Art Deco garage incorporated into mixed-use complex in L.A.’s Koreatown

On the corner of 8th and Western in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Koreatown is a peculiarly-shaped building awash in the signage of Korean-owned businesses. In 1931, several decades before Koreatown was officially established, the building was opened to the public as the Pellissier Square Garage, an Art Deco structure designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements to provide miscellaneous services for the city’s burgeoning car culture. The building’s stepped facade, designed to draw attention from passersby, lends the building a unique street presence that is currently obscured and neglected. It was recently revealed that the unusual building will be incorporated into a mixed-use development, named 8th & Western, designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning (KTGY), and developed by Jamison Properties, LLP. “The new complex reflects the history and future of its vibrant Koreatown surroundings,” KTGY associate Principal Keith McCloskey said in a press statement. “The existing parking garage is among some of the oldest reinforced concrete garages in the City. The new, mixed-use building improves, restores and re-uses it, connecting it with sleek, new apartments and retail, while adding generous rooftop amenities atop the historic building.” More specifically, the original building will have a rooftop pool and a screening room and VR room on its ground floor, while the new building will provide 230 apartment units and 13,300 square feet of retail. The two buildings will be linked via a new pedestrian bridge and roof terrace. KTGY and Jamison Properties are working with local historic consultants to preserve the original building’s signature Art Deco ornamentation, while the new building will incorporate those elements in a darker color palette. “Although the new building is contemporary in style,” explained McCloskey, “the vertical balcony slots with angled planes help to capture some of the vertical quality of the surrounding Art Deco history. The result is a fusion of new and old, reflecting one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in Los Angeles.” 8th & Western is scheduled to open in 2022.
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NeueHouse opens stylish third location in L.A.’s Bradbury Building

NeueHouse, a high-end workspace and cultural event center rivaling the likes of Soho House and Second Home, found instant success in 2015 after breathing new life into the former CBS Studios Building, a sleek modernist structure in the center of Hollywood designed by modernist architect William Lescaze. The company became bicoastal with the opening of its second location within a former auction house in Manhattan’s Flatiron District from the 1930s. For their third location, NeueHouse returned to the West Coast with perhaps their most impressive adaptive reuse yet; the entire second floor of the Bradbury Building, Downtown Los Angeles’s first commercial structure. Designed by Sumner B. Hunt and constructed by George H. Wyman, the building’s unassuming facade belies the five-story atrium that reached global fame from its role in movies from Blade Runner to Double Indemnity. A seat along NeueHouse Bradbury’s new interior balcony space affords an ideal view of that atrium, accessible from a marble flight of stairs with wooden banisters carved to resemble foliage. From this privileged position, one can also see the valiant efforts made by DesignAgency, the Los Angeles and Toronto-based studio responsible for leading the design of NeueHouse Bradbury, to incorporate the stylish company into the 127-year-old structure. “What [DesignAgency has] designed and realized for us at Bradbury is truly incredible,” said NeueHouse CEO Josh Wyatt, “and a wonderful testament to the art of repurposing a historic, architectural gem for the future needs of the creative class.” Check out the full conversion on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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Ahmanson Foundation severs ties with LACMA over redevelopment

The banker and financier Howard F. Ahmanson has been synonymous with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) since the Ahmanson Foundation helped launch the museum’s move to a dedicated new home in 1965 (the institution spun off from the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art in 1961). His foundation, established in 1952, has since donated over $130 million worth of European Old Master works—from the likes of artists including Jacques-Louis David, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Rembrandt van Rijn—and has shaped LACMA’s global identity as an encyclopedic institution that attracts over one million visitors annually. After providing support to LACMA for over a half century, the Ahmanson Foundation announced that it will discontinue gifting art to the museum. Foundation president and LACMA trustee William H. Ahmanson expressed that his foundation has not been properly informed about how the artwork it has donated will be exhibited in the Peter Zumthor-designed redevelopment of the museum campus when it is scheduled to open in 2024. “I’m disappointed because the new building does nothing for future growth and it’s going to limit how we collect as well as those who may want to donate collections,” Ahmanson told The Art Newspaper. After years of ambiguity on the subject, and given that the new building will have fewer square feet dedicated to gallery space than the four buildings it is replacing, it was discovered that more space will be dedicated to rotating exhibitions than the institution’s own permanent collection, much of which includes work donated to the museum by the Ahmanson Foundation. With a significant portion of the collection locked away in storage, in other words, the foundation reportedly saw little reason to continue donating artwork it feels should be proudly on display. According to the Los Angeles Times, LACMA director Michael Govan has responded by expressing that a misunderstanding had taken place, and that the new building will devote exhibition space to artwork donated by the organization. “We are immensely grateful for the Foundation’s long-standing generosity to LACMA,” he stated, “and look forward to featuring the gifts from the Ahmanson Foundation as soon as we have completed our new galleries, just four years from now.” While the Ahmanson Foundation‘s seminal relationship with the museum is coming to an end, other donors will be featured more prominently in the redevelopment, including film studio executive and philanthropist David Geffen, who pledged $150 million to the museum in 2017—the largest single cash gift from an individual in its history. LACMA has also compiled a series of videos of other supporters, including Dean of USC Architecture Milton Curry, British sculptor Thomas Houseago, and several Miracle Mile residents. Demolition of the original LACMA buildings is currently underway, leaving precious little time for activist organizations such as Save LACMA to stymie the museum’s plans for redevelopment.