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Lucid Stead: A "Disappearing" Cabin of Mirrors

In Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III has completed Lucid Stead: an optical illusion/installation that modifies an abandoned 70-year-old homestead with mirrors in order to make it appear transparent. The cabin was also fitted with LED lighting to “extract the distilled experience of how light changes over time — how a mountain can be blue, red, brown, white, purple, and black all in one day.” As Smith stated, the project is about light, shadow, and tapping into the quiet of the desert. Check out more images and a video of the cabin after the break!

© Steven King © Steven King © Steven King © Steven King

Frank Gehry to Submit Grand Avenue Vision to L.A. City Officials

After reviewing proposals from a selection of other firms, Related Companies has chosen to move forward with Frank Gehry’s Grand Avenue vision for Los Angeles. The design, which abandons the fluid forms of Gehry’s original scheme, has been described by critic Christopher Hawthorne as “significantly more exuberant and suggestive of L.A. culture” than Gensler and Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ recently rejected proposal

Almost Anything Goes: Architecture and Inclusivity

The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) welcomes six Los Angeles-based creatives whose work embraces cross-fertilization, collaboration, and adaptation—thus creating new methodologies for research and implementation in the fields of architecture and beyond. 

AEC Hackathon

A first for the AEC Industry, the AEC Hackathon is a non-profit event that brings together teams of Silicon Valley technologists and industry stakeholders to help shape the future of our built environment. Formatted as a traditional "hack", the AEC Hackathon provides a playful, exploratory environment where disruption, innovation, and creative ideas are brought to life.

Architects Tackle LA's Water Scarcity

Arid Land Institute Geo-spatial Model. Image © Arid Land Institute
Arid Land Institute Geo-spatial Model. Image © Arid Land Institute

Water scarcity is a profound challenge for designers of the built environment. Beyond looking for water sources and creating sustainable ecosystems, how can we begin to create cities and buildings that will help us to celebrate and mitigate hydro-logical concerns? Hadley and Peter Arnold, co-directors of the Arid Land Institute (ALI) at Woodbury University, have decided to tackle this problem around Los Angeles. With the support of the World Water Forum and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, they recently developed a high-resolution geospatial model to strategically identify and quantify the potential for improving storm water capture within urban areas. 

VIDEO: Norman Foster on Apple's Cupertino Campus

It has been a long road for Foster + Partners's team since first taking on the design for Apple's new campus in 2009. Four years later, despite the criticism and budget concerns, plans for Apple’s corporate headquarters have been approved by Cupertino’s planning commission. A recent video from the Cupertino City Council reveals some insight into the design decisions, including statements by Sir Norman Foster. As Foster states in the video, CEO Steve Jobs called him "out of the blue" in 2009 and said, "It's Steve: Hi Norman, I need some help."

Solar Decathlon 2013: SCI-Arc & Caltech Create California-style, Zero Net Energy Bungalow

DALE, short for Dynamic Augmented Living Environment, is this year's U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon entry for the SCI-Arc/Caltech team. Made of two movable, prefabricated modules that open to allow the outdoors in, DALE celebrates the active California lifestyle through its dynamic architecture.

DALE learns from two classic California precedents: the super-sized suburban tract home and the compact, sufficient bungalow; amending one and expanding on the other to become a new Southern California typology. At 600 square feet, it is a micro house with an unprecedented flexible interior that results in the program of a house three times the size.

Unanimous Approval for Apple's Cupertino Campus

UPDATE: Although having already cleared a preliminary vote, the Apple HQ was given unanimous approval from the Cupertino council yesterday. One "largely perfunctory" vote remains for November 15th. Detailed images, after the break.

Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie

Journey through a three-dimensional landscape of striking architecture in this career-spanning exhibition of Moshe Safdie’s work. Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie surveys the renowned architect’s career from his formative period in the 1960s and early 1970s to his recent projects around the world, exploring his aesthetic language of transcendent light, powerful geometry, and iconic forms. 

Philip Johnson's Crystal Cathedral Born Again

Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios have been selected to transform Philip Johnson's 1981 Crystal Cathedral, originally a Protestant mega-church, to make it more in keeping with its new, Catholic identity. 

The Cathedral, which had filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, was bought in early 2012 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Earlier this month, the architects were chosen for the renovation: Johnson Fain will focus on the interior, while Rios Clementi Hale Studios will oversee the masterplan of its 34-acre campus.

Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE!

On November 7-9th, 2013, your favorite humanitarian design and resiliency conference presented by Architecture for Humanity is back for another round of innovative panel discussions, workshops, Design Open Mic, and inspiring dose of industry networking. This year’s theme, Designing for a More Resilient World, will highlight the intensifying need to protect livelihood in a world which is continuously dealing with the aftereffects of issues like climate change, urbanization and population shock.

Fall 2013 Public Programs at SCI-Arc

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to announce its schedule of public lectures, discussions and exhibitions for Fall 2013, when the school welcomes an international roster of award-winning architects, urban historians, critics, writers, designers, and artists for programs that span from innovative theory to contemporary architecture and technical practice.

OMA's Santa Monica Scheme Re-evaluated

In July the Office for Metropolitan Architecture's (OMA) competition proposal for a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Santa Monica was recommended by City Council members after they "seemed genuinely wowed by OMA's theatrically-terraced design." City officials have since voted to re-evaluate the recommendation over concerns of a lack of affordable housing in the development, as well as issues "related to design [and] economics." They have also invited Related California, a team comprising of BIG, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, and Rios Clementi Hale Studios, to revise its original proposal that was shortlisted in March of this year.

Unbuilt San Francisco: Grand Visions

Two themes – Dreams Deferred and On the Boards – frame the collection of thought-provoking photographs, original drawings, renderings and models that make up Unbuilt San Francisco: Grand Visions. The exhibition juxtaposes outlandish unbuilt work with existing plans which will, in time, have a major impact on our city. 

Featured content includes Vincent Raney's drawings of a United Nations at the foot of Twin Peaks; OMA's designs for Prada's West Coast headquarters, located near Union Square; Fougeron Architecture's envisioning of a future San Francisco with agriculture woven directly into the urban framework; and an early look at the revitalization of Pier 70's Waterfront Site. Unbuilt San Francisco is the theme of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Architecture and the City festival.

More information and images after the break.

Apple Redesigns San Francisco Store to Preserve Historic Fountain

Earlier this summer we reviewed plans for a new Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store in the heart of San Francisco which received a considerable amount of backlash for its accused ubiquitous design that disregarded the city's historic Ruth Asawa Fountain. Since, Apple has decided to respond to the complaints and Foster + Partners have just released images of the revised design that preserves the fountain. 

LA’s Iconic Case Study Houses (Finally!) Make National Register

Ten of Los Angeles’ Case Study Homes have been deemed historically significant an worthy of being included on US’s National Register of Historic Places. Despite the Los Angeles Conservancy’s belief that all of them deserve “equal preservation protections,” the 11th home was not included due to “owner objection.”

The Case Study Houses spawned from a post-WWII residential experiment, presented by the Arts & Architecture magazine in 1945, which introduced modern movement ideas for affordable and efficient housing. The homes - designed by the likes of Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen and others - redefined the modern home. And, with the help of Julius Shulman, placed Los Angeles as an epicenter for mid-century modernism. 

The 11 homes included on the register are:

Petersen Automotive Museum Unveils Eye-Catching New Exterior by Kohn Pedersen Fox

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has announced that it will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014 with a redesign of its interior and a complete transformation of its exterior facade to create a "world class museum that will showcase the art, experience, culture and heritage of the automobile." The exterior design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates will give the Petersen a truly unique and iconic look that will hopefully attract architecture and car enthusiasts alike.

More on the museum's drastic transformation after the break.

SOM Breaks Ground on Los Angeles' Courthouse

Just eight months after being awarded the design-build contract with Clark Construction Group, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) has broke ground on the new, $318 million United States Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. This is a long-awaited achievement for the city of Los Angeles, as attempts have been made to construct a new courthouse since 2007. However, despite having to abandoned a $1.1 billion Perkins + Will proposal years ago, many believe this sustainable and more cost-effective design by SOM was worth the wait.