The Indicator: On the Road Again

© Jaime Kowal

Architectural street gang and provocateurs, On the Road, named (I would like to think anyway) for Jack Kerouac’s novel of same name, and let’s just say that is the origin (since I happen to like that book), and the decentralized dérives of this Los Angeles crew remind me of Jack’s edit-as-you-go-or-do-not-edit-as-it-may-be writing style, if he even had a “style” (which is questionable), are at it again, or were just last month for their program, “West of LaBrea / 20131117 / 10-4pm” in which these rebellious, anti-establishment “architects” (some may not be licensed and therefore cannot actually go by the official title according to legal precedents in this here of America but you all know what I mean wink wink) once again find themselves out in the streets bombing the architectural establishment, which by the way is critical for the history of Los Angeles architecture, and by doing so have once again reminded us that architecture can be about play and a healthy dose of transgression, though no laws were broken during the making of #OtR3, as it is being called, that I can tell….

Shortlist for West Hollywood Park Project Announced

via Langdon Wilson International. Image Courtesy of City of West Hollywood

In a city known for its sprawl, things are about to get a lot greener. The City of West Hollywood recently unveiled the three finalists for the West Hollywood Park Project, including entries from LPA (with Rios Clementi Hale), Frederick Fisher and Partners (with CMG) and Langdon Wilson.

The park will cover over 5 acres of (soon to be) green space in the middle of Los Angeles, although at a slight cost. A number of existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the park, including a library, office park, and swimming pool complex. New structures will likely include a recreation and community centre, as well as various playground facilities scattered around the park.

Design: A Long Term Preventative Medicine

City’s High Line. Image © Iwan Baan

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism has produced a new report examining urban health in eight of the USA’s largest , which has been translated into a collection of meaningful findings for architects, designers, and urban planners. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a statistic which is projected to grow to 70% by 2050 – the report hinges around the theory that “massive urbanization can negatively affect human and environmental health in unique ways” and that, in many cases, these affects can be addressed by architects and designers by the way we create within and build upon our .

Flip Flop House / Dan Brunn Architecture

© Brandon Shigeta

Architects: Dan Brunn Architecture
Location: Venice, , CA, USA
Contractor: RJC Builders
Structural Engineer: Paul Franceschi
Area: 5700.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Brandon Shigeta

Frank Gehry: “I’m Not a Starchitect”

The , Los Angeles. Image © Gehry Partners, LLP

For Peter Aspden’s first encounter with the architect of the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LAFrank Gehry did not “exude sweetness.” “You are not going to call me a [...] ‘star-chitect’? I hate that.” In a candid interview with the Financial Times, Gehry discusses the problem of being branded for beginning the Bilbao Effect in spite of the fact that he insists that “you can’t escape your signature.” Gehry talks at length about Facebook’s latest headquarters and, in particular, his relationship with his client, Mark Zuckerberg. Read the full interview here.

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

First images released of Gehry’s Grand Avenue scheme for Los Angeles.. Image

After reviewing proposals from a selection of other firms, Related Companies has chosen to move forward with ’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

Appleton Living / Minarc

© Art Gray

Architects: Minarc
Location: Venice, Los Angeles, CA,
Design Team: Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir
Year: 2011
Photographs: Art Gray

Tom Bradley International Terminal / Fentress Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Fentress Architects
Location: Los Angeles, CA,
Area: 850,000 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Fentress Architects, Jason A. Knowles

Architects Tackle LA’s Water Scarcity

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

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 , 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.

How Would You Design Grand Avenue?

Related Cos. rendering of a conceptual plan for a retail and residential complex across . Image Courtesy of Related Cos., via LA Times

“Will Grand Avenue finally turn around? Most likely not until they make it a two-way, add more trees, bike lanes, and pedestrian amenities. Buildings alone can’t do it, no matter how daring, novel (or expensive) the architecture.” — Guy Horton, The Indicator, “Ten Years Later, Has the Disney Concert Hall Made a Difference?

The latest controversy surrounding the Grand Avenue re-design, the long-awaited project to develop the stretch of land east of the , is the re-instatement of Frank Gehry, a move which occurred after the city of LA rejected plans from mega-developers Related Cos. (designed by Gensler in collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern) for being “overly commercial.” Of course, while the Related Cos. plans may have failed to wow the city, the decision to bring Gehry back to the project hasn’t exactly been embraced either.

A must-see article in Zócalo Public Square asks four urban planning experts, “what would you do with Grand Avenue?” In his latest ArchDaily column, Guy Horton offers his opinion: any re-design must rely on activating life on the street-level, rather than on one architectural solution. Well, ArchDaily readers, now we’d like to know your thoughts on the matter.

AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / Frank Gehry

© Gehry Partners, LLP

Completed October 23, 2003, The Walt Disney Concert Hall celebrates its tenth anniversary today. to the LA Philharmonic, it has received wide acclaim for its excellent acoustics and distinctive architecture. In the decade since its opening, the hall’s sweeping, metallic surfaces have become associated with Frank Gehry’s signature style.

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

© Paolo Tadoc / SCI-Arc

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 precedents: the super-sized suburban tract home and the compact, sufficient bungalow; amending one and expanding on the other to become a new Southern 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.

The Indicator: Ten Years Later, Has the Disney Concert Hall Made a Difference?

Courtesy of shutterstock.com

On October 23rd, the , the project that almost never was, will celebrate its ten-year anniversary. Throughout these ten years it has had all manner of transformative power attributed to it. But has it really transformed LA? What would the city have been like if it had never been built? Would it be fundamentally different?

The answer? No.The city wouldn’t even be that different in the immediate vicinity of .

Gelb House / Bruce Norelius Studio

Courtesy of Bruce Norelius Studio

Architects: Bruce Norelius Studio
Location: , CA,
Area: 1,200 sqft
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Bruce Norelius Studio

Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie

Journey through a three-dimensional 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.

Using sketches, models, photographs, and films of twenty-five projects, the exhibition portrays Safdie’s architecture not only as visual art but as a medium for advancing social, political, and cultural goals. Along with the exhibition, there will be a talk with at the Skirball Cultural Center on Sunday, October 20, 3:00pm. Click here for more information.

Westgate Residence / Kurt Krueger Architect

© Unlimited Style Photography

Architects: Kurt Krueger Architect
Location: , CA,
General Contractor: Rhino Construction, Inc.
Photographs: Unlimited Style Photography

Kearsarge Residence / Kurt Krueger Architect

© Unlimited Style Photography

Architects: Kurt Krueger Architect
Location: , CA,
General Contractor: Rhino Construction, Inc.
Year: 2012
Photographs: Unlimited Style Photography

Gehry’s Walt Disney Hall Turns 10

Courtesy of Archdaily

It’s been called a “remarkable work of public architecture” that “engages [the city of] Los Angeles” like few others. With the 10 year anniversary of Frank Gehry‘s Walt Disney Concert Hall approaching, the LA Times, with some great, in-depth coverage, has been taking a look back at its architecture and what makes it such an important icon for both Gehry and LA. Oh, and don’t forget to check out its soon-to-be neighbor on Grand Avenue, the Broad Museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro!