Zig-Zag House / Dan Brunn Architecture

© Brandon Shigeta

Architects: Dan Brunn Architecture
Location: Venice, , CA, USA
Design Team: Dan Brunn, , Principal – Samantha Ballard, Designer- John Ferri, , Project Architect
Area: 450.0 sqm
Photographs: Brandon Shigeta

Vincent Laforet Photographs Los Angeles from 10,000 Feet

©

The latest in his high-altitude “AIR” series, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has captured the sprawling city of Los Angeles at night from a dizzying 10,000 feet. First starting this “dream project” in his hometown of New York then Las Vegas and San Francisco, AIR is taking Laforet worldwide with upcoming visits planned for London, Paris, Tokyo and more.

Preview a stunning selection of Laforet’s Los Angeles series, after the break. 

Frank Gehry to Redesign the “Gateway to Sunset Strip”

AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / . Image © Gehry Partners, LLP

An overlooked strip mall at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards will soon be replaced by a mixed-use, walkable community designed by Frank Gehry. Known to be the “gateway to the Sunset Strip,” the West site will be comprised of 249 apartments, restaurants, retail storefronts and a central plaza – all within “an environmentally sensitive building that complements and contributes to the historic architecture in the neighborhood.”

“Frank Gehry’s deep understanding of the property, its history and the context will elevate the project to the iconic and timeless status that it deserves,” said Townscape partner and project developer Tyler Siegel.

A Preview of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Broad Museum, Courtesy of Instagram

Here’s The Broad 3rd floor gallery space before the art walls are installed #broad2015 #huftonandcrow @thebroadmuseum

A photo posted by ©Hufton+Crow (@huftonandcrow) on

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Los AngelesBroad Museum is due to open September 20th. However, in an attempt to ease the tensions surrounding the building’s many delays and legal problems, this past weekend members of the press and a small number of ticketed members of the public where invited to view the unfinished building, offering a preview of the long-awaited addition to LA’s Grand Avenue museum scene.

As LA Times Critic Christopher Hawthorn reports, the previews were initiated by Elizabeth Diller herself, with the architect meeting giving reporters a tour of the space on Friday. On Sunday 3,000 members of the public were allowed to enter, after tickets for the event sold out after just 30 minutes. Now that the previews are over, the Broad will remain off limits until its official opening later this year and the rest of us will have to make do with the many Instagram and Twitter shots from those lucky enough to attend – after the break, we’ve collected 12 of the best.

Jon Jerde, California Architect Known for Reinventing the Shopping Center, Dies at 75

Universal CityWalk. Image © Casey Sayre

, FAIA, founder of The Jerde Partnership, has died at 75. The California-based American architect has left his mark in more than 100 urban places worldwide, many of which embody Jerde’s signature ideas of the multi-level mall. Placing high priority on outdoor walking and gathering areas, Jerde’s reimagining of the shopping mall experience in the 1970s put him on the map. “He blew open the shopping mall and transformed it into a lively urban environment which attracts people, lots of people,” Richard Weinstein, the former dean of UCLA’s school architecture and urban planning, once said.

Jerde’s best known projects include Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, Horton Plaza in San Diego and Canal City Hakata, located in Fukuoka, Japan, as well as his work behind the 1984 Olympic Games. Read Jerde’s complete obituary, here.

Morris House / Martin Fenlon Architecture

© Eric Staudenmaier

Architects: Martin Fenlon Architecture
Location: Highland Park, , CA, USA
Area: 2200.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Eric Staudenmaier

Redesigning Los Angeles For Long-Term Drought

Los Angeles River (2013). Image © Flickr CC User Steve Lyon

With many of the world’s cities combating drought, it is apparent that channeling water away from populated areas with no intended use is not sustainable. are depending on their “precious rain water” more than ever and, as Arid Lands Institute co-founder Hadley Arnold says, “the ace in our species pocket is the ability to innovate.” We need to “build cities like sponges,” starting with permeable hardscape, drought-tolerant landscaping and smarter plumbing. See what NPR has to say about issue of water treatment and Los Angeles, here.

George Lucas May Reconsider Los Angeles as Potential Home of Self-Titled Museum

Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts

Concerns regarding the environmental sensitivity of George Lucas’ proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago has caused the project to halt, and may even prevent it from being realized. According to a suit filed against the museum by the Friends of the Parks, environmentalists believe that the “mountainous” lakefront proposal, designed by MAD Architects, will disrupt the site’s ecosystem.

As reported by the Times, Lucas’ hasn’t given on Chicago yet. However, considering that Lucas wants to see the museum built within his lifetime, the 70-year-old Star Wars director is starting to reconsider a University of Southern California (USC) campus site in .

Walnut Residence / Modal Design

© Benny Chan for Fotoworks

Architects: Modal Design
Location: Venice, , CA, USA
Architect In Charge: Daniel Monti
Area: 2727.0 ft2
Year: 2010
Photographs: Benny Chan for Fotoworks

California Breaks Ground on America’s First High Speed Rail

Proposed Statewide Alignment Map. Image Courtesy of Rail LA

California has broke ground on America’s first high-speed rail line in Fresno, six years after voters first approved an almost $10 billion bond act to fund the project. However, along with celebrations comes skepticism; according to an NPR report, fears of the project’s failure have risen due to the rail line only having a fifth of its funding and that its nearly three-hour journey will still take longer than a flight connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco. Despite this, supporters are optimistic that the line will be and running by 2030. The state will be relying on private investment and revenue from the state’s greenhouse-gas fees to secure the remaining $55 billion needed to complete the $68 billion project.

Adaptable Sneaker Boutique / UP

Architects: UP
Location: , CA, USA
Concept, Architecture, Design & Motion Graphics :
Area: 1860.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Carlton Beener

The Broad Reveals Its Honeycomb “Veil”

© Gary Leonard

The final exterior scaffolding has been removed from Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s “The Broad” in downtown Los Angeles, revealing its distinctive honeycomb-like “veil.” Comprised of 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels and 650 tons of steel, the structural exoskeleton “drapes” over the building’s interior “vault,” lifting at its south and north corners to provide two street-level entrances. At its side, the veil is torn by a central “oculus” that provides a direct visual connection between the museum and Grand Avenue.

“The Broad will be porous and absorptive, channeling light into its public spaces and galleries. The veil will play a role in the urbanization of Grand Avenue by activating two-way views that connect the museum and the street,” described Liz Diller.

Artist Uses Gehry’s Concert Hall as Canvas in LA Philharmonic Concert Series

The first week of December marked the beginning of the LA Philharmonic’s concert series. The multimedia series will incorporate video images playing in sync with the performance, creating an immersive new way to experience the music for concert-goers. The first of these performances was the collaborative work of conductor Esa-pekka Salonen and artist Refik Anadol in an audio-visual rendition of Edgard Varèse’s Amériques. Using audio analysis and Kinect motion capture software to record Salonen’s movements while conducting, Anadol has created a stunning set of moving images that capture the very spirit of Varèse’s work. Learn more about this fascinating project, after the break.

Ehrlich Architects Win 2015 AIA Architecture Firm Award

Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication / Ehrlich Architects © Bill Timmerman

Ehrlich Architects, a Los Angeles-based practice dedicated to the philosophy of , has been selected to receive the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2015 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The award celebrates Ehrlich Architects’ 35 years of practice, which, as the AIA notes, has become renowned for “fluidly melding classic Modernist style with multicultural and vernacular design elements by including marginalized design languages and traditions.”

The firm, originally founded by Steven Ehrlich in 1979 after working with the Peace Corps in Africa, is now led by four diverse partners: Ehrlich, alongside Takashi Yanai, Patricia Rhee, and Mathew Chaney. You can preview some of their most notable projects and watch an interview with Ehrlich, after the break.

AIA|LA Honors Los Angeles’ Best with Design Awards

Emerson College / Morphosis Architects; Los Angeles, CA . Image © Iwan Baan

(|LA) has announced the recipients of the 2014 Design Awards. Twenty-one Los Angeles firms and 14 presidential honorees have been honored for excellence in both built (Design Awards) and unbuilt works (Next LA Awards). 

Among the recipients include Brooks + Scarpa’s Pico Place and Johnston Marklee’s Vault House. View all the winners, after the break. 

Grimshaw and Gruen’s LA Union Station Masterplan Gains Approval from Planning Board

Open Space View in Forecourt. Image © Grimshaw / Gruen Associates, Courtesy of the County Metropolitan Authority (Metro)

Update: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved approved the proposed masterplan by Grimshaw and Gruen; the scheme will now go ahead, subject to the availability of funding. The below article is from 22 September 2014.

The New York office of Grimshaw and LA based Gruen Associates were officially awarded the Los Angeles Union Station master plan in July of 2012 after six initial proposals for the project. Now the Metro Board has begun to finalize plans and move towards implementation, with their Planning Committee scheduled to discuss the proposals in early November. Read on to learn more about how the plan has developed over the past two years and the next steps towards its implementation.

Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence

Michael Rotondi

Michael Rotondi, principle of Los Angeles-based RoTo Architecture and former student of Cal Poly Pomona, has been selected to receive the from the College of Environmental Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Co-founder of SCI-Arc and long-time architectural educator at Arizona State University, Rotondi was selected for his “commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says Cal Poly Pomona professor Sarah Lorenzen.

​In Residence: Ray Kappe

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As part of NOWNESS’ latest In Residence series, American architect takes you on a tour through his glass and redwood “treehouse” on Los Angeles’ Rustic Canyon hillside. Built some 50 years ago, the house is considered to be one of the greatest modern residences in Southern California. 

“The house works so well you don’t even notice its age,” says director Matthew Donaldson. “It’s the real deal; not a piece of furniture has changed, and the house is used every day and has brought a family. It’s like they got it right and didn’t need to change a thing—surely that’s a sign of great architecture?”