Posts tagged with "Los Angeles":

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Synthesis Wins Shanghai Competition With "Urban Canyon" Concept

Los Angeles-based Synthesis Design & Architecture (SDA) in association with Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research have won an invited competition to design the 1.9 million-square-foot, mixed-use Shanghai Wuzhou International Plaza in Shanghai. Their slick “Urban Canyon” concept summons images of a magnificent gorge cutting through the city with its two nested cliff-like structures that have been carved from the landscape by staggered, pebble-looking buildings. The facades’ and roofs’ grooved titanium-zinc cladding adds to the metaphor while mimicking the energy and vibrancy of the city. Divided into two blocks, the northern area houses luxury retail shops and developer Hong Kong Wuzhou International Group’s corporate offices. The southern section is a retail, lifestyle and entertainment complex anchored by two office towers. Sky bridges connect the buildings and outside, plazas, landscaping, seating areas, and dynamic lighting are integrated. Practical details are still being finalized.
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Goldberger Sets Sail With Gehry and Lynn

Some recent tweeting by Paul Goldberger revealed that the Vanity Fair contributing editor had set sail off the coast of L.A. with architects/ seamen Frank Gehry and Greg Lynn. Broadcasting from FOGGY, Gehry’s Beneteau First 44.7 fiberglass sailboat, Goldberger sent out a rakish pic of Gehry at the wheel. (The name “FOGGY,” in case you couldn’t guess, it based on F.O.G., the maestro’s initials; the “O” stands for “Owen”). We hope to hear more about the voyage in an upcoming VF article and that the story involves pirates and lost treasure.
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Developer Gone Good? Century Plaza Towers Get Approval

Well, it happened. After years of strife over the project, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved the $2 billion, 1.5 million square foot redevelopment of the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Back in 2009 the developer, Next Century Associates, threatened to tear down Minoru Yamasaki's curving midcentury Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel to make way for the project. But  a parade of preservationists, including the LA Conservancy and Diane Keaton, stood in their way. The result: a compromise in which the hotel would be preserved by Marmol Radziner and surrounded by two three-sided, 46-story residential towers by Pei Cobb Freed as well as a 100,000-square-foot retail plaza and over two acres of public open space by Rios Clementi Hale. The executive architect is Gensler. City Council certified the scheme's Environmental Impact Report and approved a 15-year development agreement. Let the construction begin on another major Los Angeles development. Momentum is building.
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Getty Kicks Off Pacific Standard Time Presents: "Modern Architecture in LA"

In front of a packed room inside the Capitol Records building in Hollywood yesterday, the Getty announced details of the next installment of Pacific Standard Time, the popular series of art and architecture exhibitions that helped reframe Los Angeles’ position on the map of worldwide arts and culture. Sporting a new moniker, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. will be smaller in scope than the previous iteration, with eleven exhibitions and accompanying programs in and around Los Angeles scheduled for April through July 2013. Among the offerings, anticipated favorites include Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990 at the Getty, A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California at MOCA, and A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living at the Hammer Museum. The one noticeable outlier among the offerings of PSTP’s museum partners is the name Peter Zumthor, who will be the focus of one of LACMA’s exhibits: The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA. The kickoff event’s final speakers, Eric Owen Moss and Michael Maltzan, balked at the larger implications of lionizing the tradition of architecture in Los Angeles. Moss pointed out the “paradox of benediction” by the Getty for Los Angeles architecture scene: "What makes this a speculative endeavor is exactly the prospect that it might fail," he noted. Maltzan echoed the idea that L.A.’s history is still in the process of revision: “It’s reasonable to argue that there is not another city in the world that has a more continuous project of modernist development than in Los Angeles.” While worrying that "the mistakes we make here are often played out again and again at even greater scale," Maltzan pointed to experimentation as the attraction for so many architects that have come to Los Angeles: “The majority that came here and stayed here did so because Los Angeles was a hotbed of creativity and possibility. You can make things here. You’ve always been able to. While that seems like a simple idea—it should be easy anywhere—it isn’t.” Here's a full list of institutions taking part in Modern Architecture in L.A.: Exhibitions A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California (MOCA)
Quincy Jones: Building For Better Living (Hammer) The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA (LACMA) Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It (LACMA) Technology and Environment: The Postwar House in Southern California (W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona) Everything Loose Will Land (MAK Center for Art and Architecture) Windshield Perspective (A+D Architecture and Design Museum) A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 (SCI-Arc) Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams (Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara)
Center for Land Use Interpretation for On-Site Office Trailers: Invisible Architecture of the Urban Environment, an exhibition of original photography and related construction site tours. Community Art Resources, Inc. for CicLAvia: Modern Architecture on Wilshire Blvd, an architectural guide and special programming as part of their June 2013 car-free/open streets event. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens for the online exhibition, Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, and public programming. Los Angeles Conservancy for Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A., an interactive online resource as well as tours, public programs and print material. Los Angeles Philharmonic for The Mozart/Da Ponte Trilogy Conversation, a discussion with Pritzker Prize-winning architects who are designing sets for this unique interdisciplinary series. Machine Project for The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture, a performance series at architectural sites across the city. Pasadena Heritage for Pasadena 1940 Forward: Residential Architecture of the Recent Past, a tour of modernist homes in the Pasadena area along with a related lecture and oral history project. UCLA Architecture and Urban Design for Extreme IDEAS: Architecture at the Intersection, a series of discussions about the dynamic and interdisciplinary future of architecture.
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Climate Responsive Pavilion Uses Laminated Metal to "Bloom" in the Sun


Made from approximately 14,000 pieces, Bloom is the first architectural application of a laminated metal material that includes nickel and manganese with a bit of iron.

Architecture has long been valued for its static nature and sense of permanence. Increasingly, however, architects are working to make buildings more responsive to their users and to the climate. Often this is accomplished through mechanical means, but architect Doris Kim Sung, principal of LA-based DOSU studio architecture, is looking at how building materials themselves can be responsive, integrating changeability into the structure itself. The dramatic shell-like form of her recent pavilion, called Bloom, suggests, at first glance, that Sung is interested in cutting-edge digital design. While this is certainly the case, Bloom's true innovation happens more slowly, through the bending of its metal panels according to heat levels generated by the sun.
  • Fabricators Precision Waterjet, Serra Laser Cutting
  • Architect Doris Sung Kim, DOSU Studio Architecture
  • Location Los Angeles
  • Date of Completion  November 2011
  • Material   Laminated nickel and manganese, nuts, bolts, aluminum tubes
  • Process  Rhino, Grasshoper, Ecoteck, SMART Form, LS-DYNA
Commissioned by LA's Materials and Applications gallery, the project had to be lightweight, not touch the adjacent buildings, and not produce any harmful glare for neighbors. Despite its considerable dimensions—20 feet high by 25 feet wide by 40 feet long—Bloom weighs approximately 500 pounds. "Our bigger concern ended up being up-lift from the wind," she said. Made from approximately 14,000 pieces, Bloom is, according to Sung, the first architectural application of the laminated metal material, which includes nickel and manganese with a bit of iron. The material is typically used in industrial applications. Sung first learned of this laminate metal after seeing it used for a lampshade by a Japanese designer. "I started thinking to myself, 'if this designer used it for a lamp, where the heat from the bulb causes it to curl, why couldn't it be responsive to the sun?'" she said. "As an architect, I'm always thinking about how buildings will perform." The two metals have different heat coefficients, which cause the material to curl when heat is applied. Sung specified material that would begin to curl at 70 degrees (temperatures above 400 degrees will begin to pull the laminate apart). The outer side of the tiles has a higher percentage of manganese and iron, which quickly weathered into a rust color, while the inner side has a greater amount of nickel, giving it a silvery finish. To generate the form, Sung worked with a variety of software, including Rhino for the initial design, which she then refined through the Rhino SMART Form plug-in to make the design as thin and light-weight as possible. From there, she used Ecotech to model how solar heat would move across the surface as well as the surface temperature of the structure. She then imported the design into Grasshopper, which allowed her to break the structure down into its thousands of component parts. She used LS-DYNA to model Bloom's structural integrity. The 14,000 metal tiles have the same basic cruciform shape, however, the thickness and length of the "tails" varies, allowing differing degrees of curvature, and therefore differing levels of shade underneath the structure (depending, again, on how and where the solar heat hits the surface). Sung worked with two different laser cutting facilities, which typically work for the aerospace industry, to fabricate the tiles: Precision Waterjet and Serra Laser Cutting. Volunteers and students then began the several month process of assembling the tiles into panels—by hand using rivets and nuts and bolts—which were then affixed to a lightweight aluminum frame. The frame and the panels support each other, creating a monocoque structure with a load-bearing skin. For Sung, Bloom is just the beginning of what responsive architecture could be. Harnessing digital technology, advanced fabrication, and new materials point to dynamic new possibilities for the discipline.
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Construction Heating Up in Downtown Los Angeles: DS+R and Arquitectonica To Hit Benchmarks

Next Tuesday, January 8, The Broad in Downtown Los Angeles (not that Broad Museum), Eli Broad's new contemporary art museum with an arresting net-like "veil" facade by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will top out at the corner of Grand Avenue and Second Street. The project is set to open next year and will contain 120,000-square-feet over three-levels, including 50,000 square feet of gallery space on two floors, a lecture hall for up to 200 people, a public lobby with display space and a museum shop. As usual, the topping-out ceremony will include a theatrical event: in this case, the "flying of the beam," in which a 294-foot crane lifts the final steel beam to the top of the structure. (In the meantime, take a fly-through of the new building in this video rendering.) In addition to Broad and DS+R, others on hand will be LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as well as 100 construction workers for the project. You can watch a live construction cam of the project here. AN also learned that Related California will break ground on its new Arquitectonica-designed apartment tower on January 10, just two days after the Broad event. The 19-story building is the first major piece of the long-delayed Grand Avenue project. No more details on the event, but there are sure to be some fancy shovels and some bigwigs on hand. That's some heavy symbolism for the transformation of downtown's long-troubled Grand Avenue. Yes, it's really happening.
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When Artists Design Infrastructure: Basket-like Bridge Energizes San Gabriel Valley

The expansion of LA's Metro Rail Gold Line is well underway with a stunning new piece of infrastructure: The Gold Line Bridge. Completed last week, the 584-foot dual-track bridge, stretching over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway, will provide a light rail connection between the existing Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena and Azusa’s future Arcadia Station. The rail line itself is scheduled for completion in 2014. Made from steel reinforced concrete with added quartz, mica crystals, and mirrored glass, the monochromatic, abstract design, conceived by artist Andrew Leicester, pays homage to the region’s historic American Indian basket-weaving tradition and includes a carriageway and a post-and-lintel support beam system. The 25-foot baskets adorning each of the posts, “metaphorically represent the Native Americans of the region...and pay tribute to the iconic sculptural traditions of Route 66,” wrote Leicester. The  bridge is is also designed to withstand significant earthquakes. Equipped with "Time Domain Reflectometry" technology and an electrical feedback smart column technology system, engineers can initially assess damage following a tremor. The structure replaces one removed after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and is truly an exception to the norm of form follows function. The 11.5-mile Foothill Extension project, overseen by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, is being built by Skanska USA and their subcontractor AECOM.

Give To Never Built: A Look at the Los Angeles That Never Was

AN's West Coast Editor Sam Lubell is curating an exhibition at LA's A+D Architecture and Design Museum that examines a whole new world called Never Built: Los Angeles. The show explores the amazing schemes dreamed up for the city over the years that never happened, including buildings by some of the most famous architects in the world (Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, etc.), as well as unbuilt subways, parks, amusement parks (Disneyland in Burbank!), and even flying buses. The show, organized around a giant floor graphic of LA, will create an alternative city through models, prints, installations, drawings, and animations. If you'd like to donate to the exhibition, check out the kickstarter link here. Proceeds will pay for building and installing the exhibition.
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Shuttle Shhhh: Details About Endeavor's Permanent Home Take Flight

Amid the hubbub surrounding the Space Shuttle Endeavor landing inside its temporary digs at the California Science Center (our favorite part at the opening: James Ingram crooning I believe I can Fly, with LA Mayor Villaraigosa dancing in a trance behind him), the museum has done its best to keep the plans for the orbiter’s future home under wraps. But we’ve managed to uncover some tantalizing details of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center: For one, the new building by ZGF will measure around 200 feet tall, enough to accommodate the spacecraft and its booster rockets standing upright. It may also feature a slide to the base of the Space Shuttle. Now that’s what we’re talking about.
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LA Story: The Many Lives of LA Architect Mark Mack

LA architect Mark Mack has decided to take on several careers instead of the traditional single-job model. In addition to practicing architecture, he is now a screenwriter, chef, and DJ. He’s working on a screenplay about the early lives of Neutra and Schindler; he’s opening up a takeout restaurant focusing on small bites; and he’s spinning old and new songs on vinyl records. Surprised? Why? For all of us in LA it’s just a matter of time…  
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Unveiled> SOM's Los Angeles Courthouse Is a Shimmering White Cube

Last month AN reported that SOM had won the commission to design the new $400 million federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Today, designs for the new facility were unveiled (via our friends at LA Downtown News and Curbed LA), showing a cube-shaped structure with a porous white surface. So far only two renderings have hit the web, but SOM has promised to share more with us soon. Located at 107 S. Broadway, the project will contain 550,000 square feet (scaled down from an original 600,000). Completion is planned for 2016. Other finalists for the job included Yazdani Studio and Gruen Associates with Hensel Phelps; Brooks + Scarpa and HMC Architects with McCarthy; and NBBJ with Mortensen. The GSA began taking solicitations for the project back in January. SOM recently opened a new LA office—currently working on a new medical education building at UCLA, the San Joaquin student housing complex at UCSB, and the new superior courthouse in San Diego—so things seem to be starting out pretty well for them in Tinseltown. SOM's LA office will work with their San Francisco office on the courthouse project.

Could LA's Transit Measure Still Pass?

By all accounts Measure J, the LA County ballot proposal to extend 2008's Measure R funds and speed up transit projects around Los Angeles, appears doomed to failure. But it seems that the vote counting isn't done, and it's getting closer. According to LA Metro's blog, The Source, the measure now has 65.66 percent of the vote (up about a half percentage point from earlier tallies), about one percent shy of the 66.67 it needs for approval. There are about 100,000 votes yet to be counted, and by Metro's own admission it's unlikely, but possible, that it will pass. Stay tuned for the final update by December 4.