Los Angeles County’s transit system is poised to become the first in the country to deploy airport-style security measures to screen its passengers. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is rolling out new portable body scanners that can be deployed in response to terrorist threats and during large crowd events like protests and sporting matches in an effort to thwart potential “mass casualty” attacks. The scanners can be used to screen passengers using radio waves from up to 30 feet away and are designed with an integrated split-screen display that produces a black square over the part of a person’s body where a gun or non-metallic explosive device might be located. Metro currently operates 93 subway and light-rail stations—with many more on the way—and has plans to utilize the mobile devices as necessary across its system. Officials at Metro explained that areas where passengers might be subject to body scanning will be clearly labeled in each station with signs that read: “Passengers proceeding past this point are subject to Metro security screening and inspection.” Plans call for making “randomized” scans of passengers traveling within these zones. Officials at a press conference announcing the plan explained, however, that passengers seeking to opt out of the possibility of being scanned will not be allowed to ride transit from that station. The scanners can process roughly 2,000 passengers per hour, according to Dave Sotero, spokesperson for Metro. The figure is an improvement over previous technologies, The Times reports, but likely to fall short of what would be required to process crowds efficiently during rush hour or large scale events. Recent protests in Downtown Los Angeles, for example, have drawn hundreds of thousands of people at a time and have snarled Metro service even without the scanners in place.
Posts tagged with "Los Angeles":
Lifestyle brand 69 is the brainchild of an anonymous Los Angeles–based designer whose non-gender and non-demographic-specific clothing exuberantly suggests ideas of freedom, inclusivity, and a more fluid future. Since its founding in 2011, 69 has developed a cult following for its playful and exaggerated designs. With a strong focus on transforming denim, a typically utilitarian everyday fabric, into deeply elegant garments that resist easy categorization, 69 welcomes people of all ages, races, sexualities, and sizes into its community. For its first museum solo exhibition, 69 presents a survey of its groundbreaking clothing along with a selection of irreverent and inventive videos and photographs that blur the line between promotional material and artwork.
Designed By: BROOKS+SCARPA Client/Owner: Skid Row Housing Trust Total Square Footage: 40,250 SF Total Cost: $10.1 million Completed: 2016 Tour Led By: BROOKS+SCARPA & Skid Row Housing Trust The SIX is a 52-unit affordable housing project provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for previously homeless and/or disabled veterans. It is located in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. McArthur Park has one of the highest densities in the USA with over 38,000 people per square mile and a total population of 120,000 people in 2.72 square miles. Offering shelter and comfort, The SIX breaks the prescriptive mold of the traditional shelter by creating public and private “zones” in which private space is deemphasized, in favor of large public areas. The organization of the space is intended to transform the way people live-away from a reclusive, isolating layout towards a community-oriented, interactive space. The ground level contains offices, support spaces for the veterans, bike storage and parking while the second level has a large public courtyard. Surrounded by four levels of housing units with balconies wrapped with a wood screen made from recycle planking the courtyard has large openings with green roofs that visually connects the space to the street on the lower level beyond. This allows the tenants to enjoy a secured open space while still connecting to the larger community. The uppermost level has a green roof, large public patio and edible garden with panoramic views of the area. The SIX distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design of The SIX emerged from close consideration and employment of passive design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; utilizing low flow fixtures and storm water management; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. These passive strategies alone make this building 50% more efficient than a conventionally designed structure.
Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at MoMA in New York City will be packing his bags for the West Coast. Biesenbach has reportedly been tapped as the latest to lead Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), where it’s hoped that he’ll be able to draw large crowds to the struggling institution. Biesenbach will leave behind a complicated legacy at PS1. He started his tenure as a curator in 1995, and was responsible for starting the popular summer Warm Up concert series, the Rockaway! arts festival at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways (and includes this year’s Yayoi Kusama sphere installation), and was responsible for driving foot traffic to the Queens institution. However, Biesenbach was responsible for curating the “embarrassing” Björk retrospective at MoMA in 2015 and Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present in 2010, which also drew mixed reviews. His departure comes as the museum is facing a discrimination lawsuit over the revocation of a job offer to a pregnant performance program curator. Biesenbach will be replacing Philippe Vergne, the former Dia Art Foundation director (continuing a MOCA tradition of courting New York-based personalities). Vergne stepped down after four years of running MOCA in May, following the backlash over artist Mark Grotjahn’s decision to decline being honored at the museum’s annual gala over a supposed lack of diversity among past honorees. MOCA itself has seen its fortunes rise and fall in recent years, having had its endowment fall to under $10 million as it used the money to pay for operating costs. According to the New York Times, MOCA is hoping that Biesenbach will be able to network with other collector institutions in the area, such as the Broad Museum across the street, and revitalize flagging enthusiasm for the museum. MoMA will start looking for Biesenbach’s replacement in the fall. "Klaus Biesenbach is an extremely talented curator and director who has done an outstanding job leading MoMA PS1 over the last decade," said Glenn D. Lowry, Director of MoMA in a statement, "and working with his colleagues at The Museum of Modern Art to shape our program in contemporary art. His legacy of daring exhibitions, his commitment to artists, and his dedication to civic engagement, leaves an enduring mark not only at MoMA PS1 and The Museum of Modern Art, but in the cultural life of New York City and beyond. " In related news, MoMA painting and sculpture curator Laura Hoptman has been named the new executive director of the Drawing Center. The small nonprofit museum is located in SoHo and has shown a wide collection of architectural work, including drawings by Lebbeus Woods.
Carlos Madrid III, a senior designer at the Los Angeles branch of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), has been lovingly renovating his white plaster bungalow-style home for the past two years. Originally built in 1912, the residence was the living quarters for migrant farm workers. With just 800 square feet, Madrid’s main objective was to make the home more usable and comfortable. “I wanted to capitalize on the Southern California lifestyle,” he said. To accomplish this, Madrid installed LaCantina’s aluminum 3-panel bi-fold doors. The doors flexibly swing inside and outside in multiple open and closed positions—anywhere along the spectrum from wide open to completely closed. The system is equipped with a concealed multi-sealed lock, giving the architect freedom to fully open their home and the security to thoroughly close it. In effect, Madrid made the space more usable by opening up the living areas to create the illusion of increased square footage. “This window system blurs the lines between the inside and out, while increasing the perceived size of the living and dining areas,” said Madrid. Location Los Angeles Architect Carlos Madrid III Contractor Steven Fiske Wall System Aluminum Bi-fold System by LaCantina
In a recent interview with Nathan Gardels of The Washington Post, theorist-architect Rem Koolhaas spells out his updated vision for the future of global urbanism, describing a type of multi-nodal and highly-resilient conurbation that, at least according to Koolhaas, might look a lot like Los Angeles does today. The wide-ranging interview covers a variety of topics, including the creeping threat of the "digital city" and whether the architect would be able to build his iconic CCTV tower in China today given tightened formal controls on new development—he says not in Beijing, but perhaps in Shenzhen—among other provocative issues. But what stands out most is what Koolhaas sees as the future of global urbanization, as the “generic” postmodern city he detailed in works like S,M,L,XL undergoes existential change in the age of Donald Trump and global nationalism. According to Koolhaas, the various urban manifestations of generic international development have started to diverge into highly localized and diffuse variants. Koolhaas complains that despite the prolific growth of urban areas over the last thirty years, societies are currently doing a poor job preparing for an uncertain future. Koolhaas blames a reliance on the market economy and its attendant excesses as a prime driver for this type of impotence, saying, “For me, the issue is not about the inefficiency of democracies versus efficient autocracies but how and where a society wants to allocate its resources. It is really a matter of ideology, of whether the interests of the market or the society as a whole are the priority." Decrying the demise of “strong state capacity” to get massive works of infrastructure and urbanization built, Koolhaas takes aim at the inability of the contemporary city to deliver necessary and vital transformative projects and services just as the localizing forces of globalization take root. Koolhaas says, “It is ironic that just as people want to see a built environment that reflects who they are, what we are seeing in much of the world is that urban planning is scarcely possible because market economies are not generating the necessary funds for it. Any major project of public interest, including even precautions against hurricanes in coastal regions of America, can’t get done.” The Dutch architect is unclear about whether or how cities will persevere through this crisis, but nevertheless has recast the generic, profuse city that sprawls into and out of the countryside as an apt model for absorbing future instabilities. Koolhaas points directly to the Dutch courbation known as Randstad, where he resides, and to Los Angeles as sources for potential solutions:
WorldPost: You’ve traveled the world many times over and built all over. In your view, what cities are most prepared to face the future? Koolhaas: I have lived for 30 years in either New York and London, but now I’m living in Randstad [a metropolis consisting of the four largest Dutch cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht]. It is a bit bizarre for me. There are no dominant cities but together the whole area is connected in a kind of metropolitan field. All the facilities and amenities you’d find in a city are here but decentralized across the whole zone. It is kind of an extended city not dependent on coherence or adjustment of each of the parts to each other. Yet it is able to sustain itself as a connected entity — kind of like a collage. So I would say cities like this that are more open and not so complex to operate are best prepared for whatever the future throws at them. Los Angeles is the prototype of this kind of habitat for the future.
Efforts to landmark the historic Los Angeles Times headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles took a step forward last week when the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) agreed to take up a Historic Cultural Monument (HCM) nomination for the complex put forth by a group of Los Angeles preservationists. The agreement moves the historic nomination process forward for the five-building complex just as the Los Angeles Times staff vacates the property amid a move to El Segundo, California. Concurrently, a fight over several of the buildings’ historic lobby artifacts has entered a new stage as the new LA Times owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, has moved to illicitly remove a collection of historic elements from the complex in a bid to create an LA Times-focused museum at the paper’s new headquarters. Just days before the CHC hearing took place work crews removed several historic busts from the so-called Globe Lobby, a grand, marble-wrapped entry space punctuated by a 66-inch wide aluminum globe sculpture. The orb, created by Gutzon Borglum in 1891, survived a 1910 bombing of the newspaper’s offices and is joined in the lobby by a series of 10-foot-tall murals painted by Hugo Ballin in 1934 that depict the origins and major industries of Los Angeles. In a blog post describing the removal, Kim Cooper of historic tour group Esotouric described the emptied lobby as “a defaced space that looks like a plucked chicken.” The nomination for the complex was compiled by preservationist Richard Shave, also of Esotouric, with the help of other experts, including Cooper and the historian Alan Hess. The nomination considers the entire complex for designation, including a pair of late modern-era buildings designed by William Pereira. The buildings included in the nomination follow:
- The eight-story Los Angeles Times Building designed in the Art Deco/Moderne style by Los Angeles architect Gordon B. Kaufmann in 1935.
- The four-story Plant Building completed in 1935 that includes an original two-story Art Deco/Moderne-style building by Kaufmann and two one-story additions designed by Los Angeles architect Rowland H. Crawford in 1946 and 1955.
- The 12-story Mirror Building designed in the Late Moderne architectural style by Crawford in 1948
- The six-story Times-Mirror Headquarters Building and an attendant six-story parking structure designed by Pereira in the Corporate International architectural style in 1973.
The City of Inglewood in Southern California has announced a plan to add a 1.8-mile automated people mover (APM) connecting the forthcoming Los Angeles Rams stadium and the region’s growing transit network in the near future. A recently-unveiled scoping study called Envision Inglewood calls for establishing a “direct connection to rail” between downtown Inglewood and the city’s impressive slate of professional sports and performance venues. Facilities that could be connected by the new transit route include: The Forum, the forthcoming Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, and the recently-unveiled Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center, a potential new basketball stadium for the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team. The new $2.66 billion Rams stadium is designed by HKS Architects and will be joined by a 3,000-unit mixed-use residential development next door known as “City of Champions.” The Forum was designed by Charles Luckman Associates in 1966 in the late modern style; The complex is slated to host the gymnastic events for the 2028 Olympic Games. The Envision Inglewood plan was crafted in conjunction with a series of other transportation and pedestrian fixes. The plan considers four different alignments and a handful of transport modes in its aim to provide a “world-class transit connection to-and-from the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line” transit route, an 8.5 mile light rail line connecting the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, and El Segundo through southern Los Angeles County slated to open in 2019. According to a presentation made at the Inglewood City Council, the report’s chosen route—dubbed the “Market-Manchester” alignment—would add the APM link starting from the forthcoming Downtown Inglewood stop on the Crenshaw Line. The elevated train would snake down Market Street and Manchester Boulevard, ultimately ending up on South Prairie street where it can conveniently stop at the three stadium and performance venue locations. Renderings for the proposed plan depict lively street scenes overlooked by elevated train tracks on concrete piers. Projections for the line envision up to 2,578,120 potential boardings across the APM route per year, with slightly less than 40% of all boardings related to “event ridership.” According to the report, the link could cost $614.4 million to build and between $18.2 million and $19.5 million to operate each year. A timeline for the project’s completion has not been announced. The new football stadium is scheduled to open for the 2019-2020 NFL season.
In the latest escalation of Los Angeles’s Hollywood Sign wars, Warner Brothers has announced something of a truce: a plan to build a $100 million gondola system that would connect the entertainment company’s studio backlot in Burbank, California with the iconic sign. The plan was announced via The Los Angeles Times earlier this week and comes as Los Angeles works to assuage concerns of the wealthy homeowners who live near and around access points to the sign. Those homeowners complain that increased public desire to visit and see the landmark has created gridlock and unsafe conditions in their neighborhoods as tourists peer out from their cars and stop in the middle of the street to take photos of and selfies with the sign. Though world famous as an iconic symbol of L.A., the Hollywood sign has never functioned as a traditional monument that people can freely visit. Instead, intrepid hikers and explorers must traverse a series of canyon trails, including the Beachwood Canyon access point, which the city closed in 2017, to get close to the sign. The super-adventurous have long illicitly hiked to the site of the sign itself, where the 40-foot-tall letters are simply and unceremoniously affixed to the hillside with poured concrete footings. But in recent years, as athleisure activities and Instagram have taken off, interest in visiting and seeing the sign has blossomed, presenting headaches for neighbors and questions of safety for visitors alike. After a recent trail closure, local city councilperson David Ryu commissioned a study aimed at finding ways to increase public access to the sign without impacting neighborhood residents. The wide-ranging recommendations included punitive measures like planting new trees and shrubbery to obscure views of the sign from the circuitous Mulholland Drive as well as visionary fixes, like potentially building a gondola system and visitors center along south-facing slopes of the Hollywood Hills. The most outlandish recommendation called for erecting a replica sign on the opposing side of the mountain that faces the San Fernando Valley. Warner Brothers’ plan represents a strange hybrid of the latter approaches. The company has large studio and production facilities in the San Fernando Valley that are a tourist draw in their own right. The proposed plan—an architect or design team has not been announced—would essentially expand those facilities to include access to the Hollywood sign by spanning over nearby Griffith Park and other adjoining hillsides. The scheme is in the very early phases of planning and study and will require many agency and local approvals, but the studio has offered to pay for the gondola, so at least funding is secured. Chris Baumgart, chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust said via email, “The Warner Brothers proposal is just one of many solutions that added together will help ease the burden of over-tourism faced by the neighborhoods.” Baumgart added, “There is no one solution to the complexities of this issue. The scope of the Warner Brother’s project will have a long road of vetting with community groups and local governments involved. The Environmental Impact Report for construction in an open space is just one of the challenges that will have to be navigated if this intriguing idea is to come to fruition.” The gondola proposal comes weeks after Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, LLC announced its own plan to construct a gondola system that would take passengers from the Los Angeles Union Station to Dodger Stadium. That $150 million proposal is also under development, has support from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and is projecting a 2022 opening date. A timeline for the Hollywood Sign gondola has not been announced.
Following an extensive, more than a decade-long restoration, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles is for sale. The 5,500-square-foot neo-Mayan hilltop house was designed by Wright in 1923 and is on the market for a cool $23 million. The home is the last and largest of Wright’s “textile block” homes in Los Angeles. The home was last listed for sale in 2009 for $15 million following a slew of upgrades and renovations, a figure that eventually fell to a mere $4.5 million in the fallout of the 2008 economic collapse. In 2011 the home finally sold to business executive Ron Burkle, the current owner. The home was previously owned by the Ennis House Foundation, which sold the property to Burkle with a requirement that it be open to public tours for at least 12 days per year, a stipulation that will follow the house as it changes hands once again. After the 2011 purchase, Burkle spent the next six years fully restoring the home with help from Wright’s grandson Eric Lloyd Wright, who was the historic preservation consultant for the project. Matt Construction executed the restoration work on the house, a project that involved structurally stabilizing the house as well as replacing nearly 4,000 of the home’s 27,000 textile concrete blocks. The building was also re-roofed during the restoration, and the home’s interior wood floors, ceilings, and art glass windows were restored. Prior to the restoration work, the home had sat in horrible shape after suffering extensive structural damage following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In 2005, torrential rains in L.A. caused much of the roof damage and interior deterioration that the latest restoration corrected. The home is famous for being shown in a variety of films, including Blade Runner and House on Haunted Hill. The home was originally commissioned for Charles and Mabel Ennis and is currently listed on the market by Beverly Hill-based realtors Branden and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland.
The Los Angeles City Council has voted to designate the William Pereira-designed CBS Television City complex in Los Angeles as an official city historic-cultural monument, paving the way for the complex to be preserved or adaptively reused as redevelopment talks for the 25-acre site heat up. The International Style complex was built in 1952 and features gridded expanses of clear glass set along planar geometries. Designed by the firm Pereira and Luckman, the complex is among several of the office's many threatened works, including their LACMA building, among many, many others, and one of the few to glide toward landmark status in recent years, a surprise given the red-hot development climate in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Conservancy nominated the complex for landmarking earlier this year as rumors began to swirl that CBS was interested in redeveloping the complex. Alan Hess, an architectural historian who wrote the building's historic nomination on behalf of the Conservancy, told The Architect's Newspaper that "CBS Television City is a true landmark of the electronic age, and a real testament to the design and planning vision of William Pereira and Charles Luckman," adding, "They built it at the dawn of television, yet it is still in use today for its original purpose. That’s good design. It stands alongside [Richard] Neutra’s Lovell House and Skidmore Owings and Merrill’s Crown Zellerbach tower in San Francisco as one of California’s three greatest examples of International Style architecture." Hess added that the importance of the structure and its International Style design surpass its use as a television facility, as well, saying, "The International Style was inspired by the straightforward functionalism of factories, and CBS Television City is, in fact, a factory building, not a house or office building. CBS can be congratulated for being a good corporate citizen and supporting this designation." The complex came into being as a replacement facility for the Columbia Square broadcasting facilities located just a few miles away in Hollywood, CBS's original home designed by William Lescaze in 1938. Columbia Square was restored, reused, and expanded by Rios Clementi Hale Studios in 2017 as part of a larger project that added a high-rise tower and new office spaces to the site. The award-winning project has been heralded as a marquee approach for preservation-focused adaptive reuse. A potential project for the Television City site has not been announced.
In a radical move in 2000, Mehrdad Yazdani established the Yazdani Studio under the larger umbrella of CannonDesign. The shuffle surprised many architects, both competitors and some members within Cannon itself. The move created a firm within a firm, established to be both part of CannonDesign and at the same time somewhat separate. This allowed Yazdani to explore design ideas that were distinct and somewhat unusual when compared to most of the buildings coming out of the large architectural and engineering practice at the time. Yazdani explains that his namesake studio is a platform for exploration of design ideas, separate from CannonDesign’s Los Angeles office. When you walk into the L.A. office of CannonDesign, you see a broad open space of desks, people, and computers, but the Yazdani Studio is set apart upstairs, almost as though it were a completely different office. The Yazdani Studio offers an innovative model for designer-centered ateliers, one where an architect can work with the security of a large practice and the flexibility of a boutique operation. Yazdani came to CannonDesign when his previous firm, Dworsky Associates, was acquired by the larger office. For six years (1994-2000) Yazdani served as Design Director for Dworsky Associates in Los Angeles. During that time they were selected to design the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of the national GSA Federal Design Excellence Program. The 437,000-square-foot project won acclaim and drew national attention, demonstrating that a federal courthouse could be both secure and welcoming, giving the judges both the monumentality they wanted and the public the accessibility they sought. The project's success carried Yazdani’s national design reputation to such a level that when Dworsky Associates was acquired by CannonDesign in 2000, Yazdani was offered the option to create his own studio within the larger firm. Creating the Yazdani Studio was a paradigm shift from how large integrated A/E firms had been working. Typically, if design was a high priority, a firm might promote one or two individuals to positions of authority and design leadership. Several examples made waves nationally: Ralph Johnson, FAIA, Global Design Director, at Perkins + Will; David Childs, FAIA at SOM New York and Craig Hartman, FAIA at SOM San Francisco, both Design Partners; and Joan Soranno, FAIA, Design Principal with John Cook, FAIA at HGA. All of these architects set design direction, lead clients and internal teams, and have won many national design awards, yet none have a studio in their name. CannonDesign agreed to create the Yazdani Studio to help elevate design within the firm. Today with roughly 1,000 people and 20 offices, CannonDesign CEO, Brad Lukanic remains a strong proponent of the Yazdani Studio. This year, Lukanic invited Yazdani extend his influence further by joining the Cannon board of directors to bring, “pre-eminent design to the board.” University of Utah, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute Salt Lake City, Utah Consistent with the Yazdani Studio ambitions to constantly innovate, this was a first-of-its-kind facility, combining places for students to live, invent, and collaborate. It brings together 400 student residences and 20,000 square feet of “garage” or incubator space to encourage students to develop ideas that will spawn Utah-based start-ups. After being open for just over a year, the number of start-up companies developed on campus has tripled. The building attracts students from all over campus—it’s a magnet for creative thinking. CJ Blossom Park Gyeonggi-do, South Korea Recently selected as the “Lab of the Year” by R&D Magazine, this 1,200,000-square-foot facility is a new research headquarters for CJ Corporation intended to reposition the company’s operations into an interdisciplinary format, designed to “increase efficiency, create a culture of integrated innovation, and accelerate speed-to-market.” With a three-leaf-clover floor plan, the internal spaces encourage interaction and stimulate cross-fertilization. Museum of Tolerance, Jerusalem, Permanent Exhibitions Jerusalem, Israel A series of undulating pavilions provide a journey through human history. The 44,000-square-foot exhibit seeks to teach the core values of kindness and respect for mankind. The delicate human scale reflects the museum’s goal of teaching social justice and dignity through interactive, multi-media exhibits. EMAAR Hospitality Address Towers at Harbour Point Dubai, United Arab Emirates EMAAR Properties selected the Yazdani Studio to design two major towers. The design frames the Santiago Calatrava-designed Observation Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour City, now under construction. EMAAR Properties gained international recognition when they developed the Burj Kalifa, the 160-story mixed use tower that is the tallest building in the world, designed by Adrian Smith, then of SOM. The Yazdani Studio-designed towers are 60 and 65 stories totaling 2,240,000 square feet. The project serves as both a focal point and a gateway to the Dubai Creek Harbour.