Once upon a time, being at SCI-Arc meant development was a four-letter word, and developers were akin to the destroyers of cities. Eric Owen Moss, SCI-Arc’s director, played a significant role in changing that perception by working with developer Tom Gilmore, who, since 2001, has also been on SCI-Arc’s board of trustees. Mr. Gilmore, founder of Gilmore Associates, is a former architect, so he has a great appreciation for architecture’s potential, especially in formerly blighted areas of Downtown Los Angeles, where his vision has been unfolding since the early 1990s. This might explain why he recently included SCI-Arc in his estate plans by setting up an endowed chair to the tune of a cool $1 million, the first gift of this magnitude the institution has ever received. The gift will fund the Gilmore City Chair, a position dedicated to supporting educational initiatives focused on the dynamics of urban development around the world. Moss, in an expression of gratitude quoted Machiavelli, saying, “I believe the greatest good to be done is that which one does to one’s own city.” Further details regarding the scope of the Gilmore City Chair will be forthcoming and may even be revealed by Mr. Gilmore himself when he presents a public lecture at SCI-Arc this Wednesday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Posts tagged with "Los Angeles":
Earlier this week, AN reported on the opening of Los Angeles's first parklet in Eagle Rock. Thursday saw the arrival of the city's second and third sidewalk-extending mini-parks, located on Spring Street in Downtown LA's historic core. Created by architects/developers utopiad.org, designers Berry and Linné, and builders Hensel Phelps, the 40 foot by 60 foot parklets, located just a few parallel parking spots from each other, are impressively detailed and fitted, with wood planter boxes, minimalist bench seating, stone pavers, hardwood decking, and quirky touches like seat swings, astro turf, bar seats, colorful fences, foosball tables, and exercise bikes. "We wanted them to pop," said Rob Berry of Berry and Linné. "A lot of parklets can be pretty minimal." Both are located on former active parking spaces, a reason that they took more than a year to get through the city's approval process. "We can close a parking space and it's not going to be the end of the world," said Siobhan Burke, one of the parks' designers. Rounding out the city's four-parklet pilot program, The last parklet opens next weekend in El Sereno, a neighborhood in East LA. Funding came from the Gilbert Foundation, but most of the work was delivered pro bono. "I can't believe this is LA," said Daveed Kapoor, one of the leaders of the design team. "It's better late than never. Now I want more."
Our favorite new naming triumph: SCI-Arc’s “Hispanic Steps.” The new indoor amphitheater, paid for in part by a recent ArtPlace grant and located in the middle of the SCI-Arc building in Los Angeles, is used for lectures, performances, symposia, film series, and community meetings. At a recent meeting to discuss SCI-Arc's Arts District plans that are also part of the $400,000 ArtPlace grant, officials posed on the newly completed steps for a photo. Included are SCI-Arc's Chief Advancement Officer, Sarah Sullivan (front center) and Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Bennett (upper right).
Los Angeles supervisor Gloria Molina has confirmed what we suspected all along. The Grand Avenue committee—chaired by Molina—has granted the Related Companies a third extension on its lease to develop The Grand, a multi-billion dollar, mixed-use development on top of the city's Bunker Hill. The project's Civic Park, designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, opened last summer, and the first built project, an apartment by Arquitectonica, broke ground earlier this month. But the rest of the project, including 9 acres encompassing at least 2,100 residential units, a hotel, shopping, and dining, still remains dormant. Related would not commit to its original designer, Frank Gehry, when AN talked with them last year, nor would they confirm his continued involvement in a recent interview with the LA Downtown News. More images of Gehry's perhaps-defunct plan below.
Starting Wednesday, January 30, LA's MAK Center and arts promoter ForYourArt will begin hosting Dialogues: Art/Architecture, Paris/Los Angeles, a series of events bringing together architects and artists from those two cities. Events include four discussions at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, an exhibition of drawings and models at ForYourArt in Miracle Mile, and the launch of a publication compiling participants' work and discussion. In addition to AN West Coast editor Sam Lubell, participants include (take a deep breath): Doug Aitken, Berdaguer/Pejus, Barbara Bestor, Claude Collins-Stracensky, Dahlqvist/Hommert, Escher/Gunewardena, Didier Faustino, Yona Friedman, Cyprien Gaillard, Fritz Haeg, Piero Golia, Ibai Hernandorena, Marie Jager, Alice Konitz, Vincent Lamouroux, Won Ju Lim, Tom Marble, Jorge Pardo, Claude Parent, Francois Perrin, Ivette Soler, Linda Taalman, Oscar Tuazon, Xavier Veilhan, Eric Wesley, Pae White and Peter Zellner. The impressive program is part of part of “Ceci n’est pas…Art between France and Los Angeles," a five month art and cultural exchange put together by the French Embassy of the United States, the French Institute, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. See the full schedule and a slideshow of participants' work below: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 30, 2013, 6-8 PM, SCHINDLER HOUSE Program launch reception and panel discussion with Fritz Haeg, Marie Jager, Alice Konitz, Ivette Soler, and Oscar Tuazon, moderated by Jan Tumlir. WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2013, 6-8 PM, SCHINDLER HOUSE Panel discussion with Joakim Dahlqvist, Didier Faustino, Jens Hommert, Piero Golia, Jorge Pardo, Linda Taalman, and Peter Zellner, moderated by Sam Lubell. WEDNESDAY MARCH 27, 2013, 6-8 PM, SCHINDLER HOUSE Panel discussion with Frank Escher, Won Ju Lim, Tom Marble, Xavier Veilhan, and Pae White, moderated by Danielle Rago. TUESDAY APRIL 2, 2013, 6-8 PM, FORYOURART Opening reception of drawings and models by the participants. TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2013, 6-8 PM, FORYOURART Closing reception and presentation of the publication and panel discussion with Barbara Bestor, Claude Collins-Stracensky, Cyprien Gaillard, Vincent Lamouroux, and Marie Pejus moderated by Andrew Berardini.
We’ve known for some time that SOM will be designing the new US Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles. We've even gotten some glimpses of their scheme. But the firm has just unveiled new images of the project, filling out the picture of this new landmark for the city on the corner of 1st Street and Broadway. The familiar image of a cube-like, 550,000-square-foot structure in the middle of the city is now accompanied by a closer view of a folded glass façade imbedded with a United States seal. The building, which floats above a central core, appears to cantilever outward on all sides, with ramps and a small park leading the way to the entry. Inside we get a peek at a large central atrium rising several stories, and walls made of some kind of blond stone. Exposed central stairs appear to make climbing upward a public process. SOM is still unable to comment on their scheme, but we’ll let you know when that changes.
If you have ever seen the film To Live and Die in L.A. then you know the Gerald Desmond Bridge. It has a starring role in the opening sequence, when Treasury agent Richard Chance (played by William Peterson) bungee jumps off of it. You probably haven't bungeed off it yourself, but If you've ever driven across it, you might get why it needs replacing. The original bridge, according to the project website, "is nearing the end of its intended lifespan." In fact, the old bridge, while considered safe, is a little scary. Netting has been suspended beneath it to catch pieces of falling concrete. Additionally, its approaches are too steep, it's too narrow, and perhaps most importantly, the newest container ships can't fit under it. That bridge that will soon be a thing of the past. On Tuesday, January 8, Caltrans, Metro, the Port of Long Beach, and the US Department of Transportation broke ground on the $1 billion joint project to build the state-of-the-art replacement bridge for what is considered one of the nation's most critical transport hubs. The projected five-year construction period is also expected to generate significant economic activity in the region, including thousands of project-related jobs. The new cable-stayed bridge will feature 500-foot-tall towers and an observation deck 200 feet above the water. The design also incorporates bike lanes and pedestrian walkways. The joint venture includes Shimmick Construction Company, FCC Construction S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., with engineering by Arup North America and Biggs Cardosa Associates.
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.
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.
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.
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)
ProgrammingCenter 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.
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. 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.