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Video: Gehry Residence, 2012 AIA Twenty-five Year Award Recipient

13:00 - 25 May, 2012

The AIA sat down with famed architect Frank Gehry - recipient of the 2012 Twenty-five Year Award - to discuss his eccentric Santa Monica home that has enormously influenced both theory and practice over the last 25 to 35 years. In the late 1970s, Frank Gehry transformed an existing Dutch colonial home in a quiet Southern California neighborhood into a controversial symbol of deconstructivism by surrounding it with an unconventional new addition. As the AIA describes, “The exposed structure, chaotic fusion of disparate materials, and aggressive juxtaposition of old and new communicate a sense of real-time formal evolution and conflict, as if the building were dynamically, violently creating itself with found objects.”

Christopher Hawthorne takes on the Boulevards

15:00 - 22 May, 2012
Screenshot via Los Angeles Times; "Atlantic on the Move" by Christopher Hawthorne
Screenshot via Los Angeles Times; "Atlantic on the Move" by Christopher Hawthorne

Christopher Hawthorne’s article “Atlantic on the Move“, published in the Los Angeles Times, covers the transitions taking place along LA’s boulevards and one in particular: the 5600 block of Atlantic Avenue. Hawthorne reveals the changes taking place that are “reversing decades of neglect” among LA’s roadways. Among those that have promoted a cultural association with Los Angeles: traffic, congestion and miles of roadways. The article covers the small steps that take place over time via minor interventions that combine to change the face of the boulevards to more pedestrian and bike-friendly spaces for alternative modes of transportation.

Read on for more after the break.

Downtown LA Hotel / XTEN Architecture

19:00 - 14 May, 2012
Courtesy of XTEN Architecture
Courtesy of XTEN Architecture

XTEN Architecture is planning a new, 65,000-square-foot hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California. The monolithic concrete structure will be carved by a system of slots and slices that bring light, air and views deep into the building. Equipped with a performance-based lobby, two subterranean bars, restaurant and a rooftop terrace featuring an infinity edge pool, this mid-rise hotel will surely attract some attention.

Continue after the break to learn more!

Courtesy of XTEN Architecture Courtesy of XTEN Architecture Courtesy of XTEN Architecture Courtesy of XTEN Architecture +20

Marin Living: Home Tours

07:00 - 9 May, 2012
Courtesy of AIA San Francisco
Courtesy of AIA San Francisco

Taking place May 12 from 1oam-4pm, the Marin Living: Home Tours, hosted by AIA San Francisco, is an open house tour featuring five projects that showcase and celebrate the richness of our local built environment in hopes of engaging the general public about the value of good design and its impact on our daily lives. Now in its third year, Marin Living: Home Tours offers an inside look at the wealth of great design in our region. Tour-goers will have the opportunity to explore cutting-edge residential projects in Sausalito, Mill Valley and San Rafael, meet design teams, and discover innovative design solutions. Featured projects exhibit sustainable features, innovative use of materials and thoughtful integration with the neighborhood and surrounding landscape. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit here.

Top Architects invited to reimagine San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center

15:00 - 7 May, 2012
© Sean Munson
© Sean Munson

A mix of twenty local and internationally renowned firms have been invited to participate in a design competition seeking “creative and practical design concepts” on thirteen acres of prime waterfront real estate at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Although mostly comprised of parking lots and former military buildings, the site attracts nearly one million annual visitors with its stellar views, cultural events, historic background and well-respected restaurant.

Depending on who accepts the challenge, local firms may compete with big names such as James Corner Field Operations, SANAA, Studio Gang Architects and BIG.

Continue reading after the break for more.

Ball-Nogues Studio "Yevrus 1, Negative Impression" Exhibition

23:00 - 5 May, 2012
Courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio
Courtesy of Ball-Nogues Studio

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present “Yevrus 1, Negative Impression,” an installation designed for the SCI-Arc Gallery by alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ‘03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ‘94) of Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues Studio, opening June 1 and running until July 8 at SCI-Arc.

Constructed from non-architectural artifacts, Yevrus 1, Negative Impression is a disposable architecture of literal references that calls into question the contemporary architectural vogue for digital complexity and abstraction. The cast impressions of 1973 Volkswagen Beetles and speedboats unite to form a strong structural whole that serves as a lookout tower in the SCI-Arc Gallery. More information after the break.

PUC Building: 525 Golden Gate / KMD Architects

13:00 - 3 May, 2012
Courtesy of KMD Architects
Courtesy of KMD Architects

The PUC Building on 525 Golden Gate Ave, home of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, could have been just another government administrative building.  But, the City and County of San Francisco, along with KMD Architects, embraced the design challenge of achieving LEED Silver status.  Now nearing completion, the building is expected to exceed LEED Platinum requirements and has been dubbed the greenest building of its kind.  The architects had humble goals for the architecture as well, which included creating an “urban room” among the civic buildings in the area, creating a healthy and pleasant environment in the interior workplace to promote performance, efficiency and comfort, and represent the best value possible for the city and county of San Francisco.

Six Visions for the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan

15:00 - 1 May, 2012
Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source
Grimshaw / Gruen Via The Source

Metro officials have released six conceptual visions that suggest how the historic Los Angeles Union Station could be transformed by 2050. Preliminary “Vision Boards” were released in a public forum at Union Station last week, and although they are not part of the formal evaluation process, they have ignited an immense amount of public interest in the competition.

In an article posted on The Source, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa described that this competition is “about preparing for the future.” As plans for the California High-Speed Rail System evolve, it is imperative that Union Station is redeveloped to meet the standards of a 21st century transportation hub.

Continue after the break to view each Vision Board provided by the six well-known practices shortlisted for the competition.

10th Annual 2x8 Student Exhibition

23:00 - 26 April, 2012
Courtesy of American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter
Courtesy of American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter

The American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter recently announced their 10th Annual 2×8 Student Exhibition which features a display of 16 of the major architectural school programs in California. Although based in LA, they have extended their invitations to the region and are opening the door to more schools. Taking place at the A+D Museum, each of the participating academic programs selects two projects that exemplify its core vision. The students’ design work will be judged by a noteworthy panel of architects and designers. The panel will then announce the winners at the exhibition opening and convene in a forum to discuss the award-winning projects. The exhibition will be on view from June 5 till June 30. For more information, please visit here. More images of past exhibitions can be viewed after the break.

LACMA Distinguished Architects Lecture Series: Jeanne Gang

04:00 - 21 April, 2012
Courtesy of LACMA
Courtesy of LACMA

Founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, Jeanne Gang, FAIA, LEED AP, will be delivering a lecture at LACMA on May 8th at 7:30pm. Reveal, the first volume on Studio Gang’s projects and processes, was released in 2011 from Princeton Architectural Press. Recent projects include a proposal reimagining the suburb of Cicero, Illinois, as a part of MoMA’sexhibition Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream; Reverse Effect, a book intended to explore and spark a radically greener future for the Chicago River and Great Lakes; Aqua Tower, an Emporis Skyscraper of the Year; and Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, an educational project demonstrating how nature and city can coexist. The event is presented by LACMA and organized by Francesca Garcia-Marques, with an introduction by Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times architecture critic. For more details and information on the event, please visit here.

Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles

13:00 - 13 April, 2012
Choy Residence © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)
Choy Residence © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945-1980) at the Chinese American Museum (CAM) is an exhibition that focuses on four Chinese American architects that have transformed parts of Los Angeles with iconic buildings and distinct design styles.  The work will be on display until June 3rd 2012 and feature architects such as Eugene Choy, Gilbert LeongHelen Liu Fong and Gin Wong.

Breaking Ground is part of Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration created by Getty in which sixty cultural institutions will tell the story of the birth of LA art scene over the course of six months beginning October 2011.   Breaking Ground at CAM LA tells the story of the skyline and the changing built environment through the perspective the four prominent Chinese American Architects.

More after the break.

Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life

13:00 - 11 April, 2012
United Church of Rowayton, Joseph Salerno Architect, 1962, Rowayton, CT © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward Cella Art+Architecture
United Church of Rowayton, Joseph Salerno Architect, 1962, Rowayton, CT © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward Cella Art+Architecture

Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life at Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery (WUHO) is on view through April 25. The show is the first extensive exhibition on the West Coast of Guerrero’s career as an architectural photographer. Curated by Anthony Fontenot and Emily Bills, JSI director, Pedro E. Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life will highlight the diversity of Guerrero’s subjects taken over seven decades. During that time, he captured the architecture of Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Edward Durell Stone and Eero Saarinen. His wide ranging work included portraits of architects as well as commercial work for House & Garden, Vogue, the New York Times Magazine and Architectural Record. He is perhaps best known for his close relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibition will feature Guerrero’s illuminating portraits of Wright, including twelve photographs of the architect’s hands demonstrating the difference between organic and conventional architecture at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Continue reading for more.

Diamond Gas Station, ca 1950s, location unknown © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward Cella Art+Architecture Day House, John Black Lee Architect, 1970, New Canaan, CT © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward Cella Art+Architecture Teabreak #1 at the Guggenheim Pavilion, 1953, New York City © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward Cella Art+Architecture Self Portrait, Manhattan studio, 1950 © Pedro E. Guerrero, Courtesy Edward Cella Art+Architecture +14

"White" Book Show Installation 2011 / Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Studio 400

07:00 - 4 April, 2012
Courtesy of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Studio 400
Courtesy of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Studio 400

“White”, a gallery installation produced by the 20 students of Studio 400, a fifth-year architectural design studio at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, served to present each of the student’s research books. The installation was designed, developed, fabricated, and installed by the studio in a collaborative effort. The students developed the design over a period of about a month, with fabrication and installation occurring over a five day period. 80,000 square feet of plastic sheeting was sliced, loomed, woven, stapled, taped and tied to provide a climbable and malleable surface in the 4,500 square foot gallery. “White” supported a variety of interactive experiences above and below this dynamic surface, opening and exploring the relationships between book, user, material, space, and collective group. More images and the studio’s description after the break.

UC Davis West Village / Studio E Architects

19:00 - 17 March, 2012
Elevation - Courtesy of Studio E Architects
Elevation - Courtesy of Studio E Architects

Studio E Architects faced a compelling challenge when designing the first phase UC Davis West Village, which opened last October in California’s upper Central Valley.  Experiencing moderate winters, warm summers, prevailing winds and moderate rainfall within the heart of former agricultural fields, the new addition to UC Davis was to be a net-zero facility. Serving as the largest of its kind and a model for campus communities and environmentally conscious urbanism.  That is sustainable and community oriented.  The program required 123 units of student apartments in one, two and three-bedroom configurations, 45,000 square feet of ground level commercial space all of which would emulate the central park space in downtown Davis and become the heart of West Village.

Follow us after the break to see the sustainable solutions that Studio E Architects came up with!

"Towards Comfo-Veg" Exhibition at SCI-Arc

23:00 - 16 March, 2012
Courtesy of SCI-Arc
Courtesy of SCI-Arc

Exhibited from April 6 – Mary 13, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present “Towards Comfo-Veg,” a large scale, site-specific installation designed for the SCI-Arc Gallery by architect and artist Peter Cook and partner Gavin Robotham of London-based CRAB Studio. Building on CRAB’s internationally recognized experimental work, Towards Comfo-Veg introduces an almost completely light-tight, multimedia experiential space welcoming visitors through a single point of entry and leading towards hints of an invented and dreamlike world. More information after the break.

Mark your calendars for the 2013 Solar Decathlon

20:02 - 16 March, 2012
WaterShed / University of Maryland - 2011 Architecture Winner
WaterShed / University of Maryland - 2011 Architecture Winner

U.S. Department of Energy has announced the date and location of the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Appearing for the first time outside of Washington D.C., the highly anticipated competition will take place in 2013 from October 3rd through the 13th at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Launched in 2002, the biennial event will challenge twenty collegiate teams to design, build and operate a solar-powered house that is cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. Participants are judged by their ability to blend affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Continue reading after the break for more information and the complete list of the 2013 teams.

Bloom / DO|SU Studio Architecture

23:00 - 11 March, 2012
© Brandon Shigeta
© Brandon Shigeta

DO|SU Studio Architecture shared with us their architectural research installation, titled ‘Bloom,’ displayed at the Materials and Application Gallery in Los Angeles. The project acts as a sun tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, with a shape alluding to a woman’s Victorian-era under garment, ‘Bloom’ to stitch together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form and pattern making into an environmentally responsive form. The project is especially designed for peak performance on spring equinox, March 20, 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.

"Presenting Architecture" Exhibition

04:00 - 3 March, 2012
© Robert Frank Architectural Illustration
© Robert Frank Architectural Illustration

The AIA San Francisco is currently featuring an exhibit curated by Robert Becker titled, “Presenting Architecture” which is currently on now until April 26th. The show highlights ‘case studies’ of architectural model makers, photographers and visualization experts along with a communications case study by Amanda Walter, co-author of the upcoming book Social Media in Action.

These studies explore how these artists produce their craft and showcase the value a specialist brings to architectural story telling as well as the importance of using specialists to make your architectural presentation a winning one. More information on the event after the break.