Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference

23:30 - 7 October, 2015
Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference

The SAH 2016 Annual International Conference will take place in Pasadena/Los Angeles, April 6-10, with the theme New Local/Global Infrastructures. The conference will engage participants from around the world with the rich, evolving legacy of the region’s built environment. With the scheduled completion of the Metro Expo Light-Rail Line west to Santa Monica in early 2016, Pasadena will be connected to downtown LA and the rest of Los Angeles County. This infrastructure, building on historic right-of-ways, will provide new ways to see the broad range of the region’s architecture and urbanism.

New Website Visualizes Human Activity in Cities Across the World

16:15 - 7 October, 2015
New Website Visualizes Human Activity in Cities Across the World, Screenshot of ManyCities, showing clusters of New York areas with similar timeline patterns. Image © ManyCities
Screenshot of ManyCities, showing clusters of New York areas with similar timeline patterns. Image © ManyCities

The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT has developed a new tool with Ericsson to better understand human behavior. "ManyCities" is a new website that "explores the spatio-temporal patterns of mobile phone activity in cities across the world," including London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Taking complex data and organizing it in a intuitive way, the application allows users to quickly visualize patterns of human movement within the urban context down to the neighborhood scale. You can imagine how useful a tool like this can be for urban planners or even daily commuters, especially once real time analytics come into play. Take a look at ManyCities yourself, here

Fenlon House / Martin Fenlon Architecture

13:00 - 5 October, 2015
Fenlon House / Martin Fenlon Architecture, © Zach Lipp
© Zach Lipp

© Zach Lipp © Zach Lipp © Zach Lipp © Zach Lipp +16

Bellino Residence / Mayes Office

19:00 - 30 September, 2015
Bellino Residence / Mayes Office, © Tara Wujcik Photography
© Tara Wujcik Photography

© Tara Wujcik Photography © Tara Wujcik Photography © Tara Wujcik Photography © Tara Wujcik Photography +25

Interview: Elizabeth Diller on the Design of The Broad in Los Angeles

12:39 - 24 September, 2015

The Broad has officially opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles. Taking four years to complete, the highly anticipated, 120,000-square-foot building houses a prominent collection of postwar and international contemporary art owned by billionaire philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. During the press preview, VernissageTV caught up with the building's architect, Elizabeth Diller of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, to gain a better understanding of The Broad's “veil over the vault" concept. 

Critical Round-Up: Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Broad Museum

09:30 - 24 September, 2015
Critical Round-Up: Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Broad Museum, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

After teasing the general public by offering the press and 3,000 lucky local citizens with a preview day six months ago, the Broad Museum has finally opened its doors. Designed by Highline architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, the museum took four years and $140 million to build, adding its presence to LA’s architectural Broadway, Grand Avenue. With its visually striking facade given the tough task of responding to its enigmatic neighbor, Frank Gehry’s perennially polarizing Walt Disney Concert Hall, the building was sure to attract the attention of the critics, and they rose to the challenge in their droves. Read on to find out what five critics thought of the building dubbed “the veil over the vault.”

© Jeff Duran - Warren Air © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +6

Yellow Fever / Fleetwood Fernandez

13:00 - 19 September, 2015
Yellow Fever / Fleetwood Fernandez, © Undine Pröhl
© Undine Pröhl

© Undine Pröhl © Undine Pröhl © Undine Pröhl © Undine Pröhl +9

Competition Launched to Revitalize LA’s Pershing Square

08:00 - 16 September, 2015
Competition Launched to Revitalize LA’s Pershing Square, Courtesy of Pershing Square Renew
Courtesy of Pershing Square Renew

Pershing Square Renew, a public/private partnership formed by Los Angeles City Council member José Huizar, has launched an international design competition to re-imagine the five-acre urban park at the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

LOHA’s WATERshed Reimagines and Reactivates the LA River

08:00 - 15 September, 2015
LOHA’s WATERshed Reimagines and Reactivates the LA River, Axonometric view of the Elysian Valley
Axonometric view of the Elysian Valley

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) has designed a speculative system of interventions for the Los Angeles River that “examines the relationship between urbanization and water use to develop new models of densification that recognize and tap into existing ecological and infrastructural patterns.” Called WATERshed, the design is part of the A+D Museum’s ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” exhibition that explores new typologies of housing in Los Angeles.

With their model for urban regeneration, LOHA hopes to address issues like the ongoing California drought, as well as the United Nation’s prediction that by 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Thus, the plan utilizes the Los Angeles River as a resource for water use and management in order to provide a path for sustainable growth in Los Angeles, and an example for other cities.

River Bridge Cap Bladder House Site section Transit Hub +16

Video: Enter the Ethereal Spaces of Los Angeles' Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

16:00 - 12 September, 2015

A soaring contemporary space for the divine, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels opened to the public in 2002. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, the Roman Catholic cathedral is a monument to the successes of postmodernism deep in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The cathedral features modernist decoration, from angular wooden pews to steel chandeliers complete with blown glass orbs, and can host up to 3,000 visitors in its sunlight spaces with ample outdoor space in the adjacent gardens and plaza.

5 Reasons Frank Gehry Might be the Perfect Choice for the LA River Master Plan

09:30 - 7 September, 2015
5 Reasons Frank Gehry Might be the Perfect Choice for the LA River Master Plan, The Los Angeles River. Image © Flickr CC user Tom Fassbender
The Los Angeles River. Image © Flickr CC user Tom Fassbender

Since the Los Angeles Times broke the news that the LA River Revitalization Corp has enlisted Gehry Partners to lead a new master plan effort for the Los Angeles River, there have been a slew of negative responses: the Friends of the Los Angeles River have refused to endorse the Gehry effort, reactions collected by the Architects Newspaper ranged from skeptical to angry, and Alissa Walker at Gizmodo did not mince words when her headline declared “Frank Gehry is the Wrong Architect to Revitalize the Los Angeles River.” These responses raise real and legitimate concerns - progress on the LA River has been years, if not decades, in the making. There is already a master plan, prepared by Mia Lehrer and Associates, and the US Army Corps of Engineers approved a plan to restore 11 miles of the river, known as Alternative 20, just this past July. There are worries that this new effort could threaten the current approvals and funding.

Frank Gehry is an easy target for criticism. His buildings can be polarizing, and his detractors are quick to seize on any defect. Details are trickling out slowly, but a recent presentation to reporters revealed that the plan would eventually identify locations for parks and real estate developments, as well as establish a unified design theme for future improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle paths. For his part, Gehry has emphasized the water reclamation aspects of the project - an especially timely subject in drought-stricken California. And in an interview with Frances Anderton on KCRW’s “Design and Architecture,” Gehry was quick to clarify, “It’s not a building, I’m not doing a building!”

PAR Reinterprets Courtyard Housing with Los Angeles Skyscraper

12:05 - 1 September, 2015
PAR Reinterprets Courtyard Housing with Los Angeles Skyscraper , View from LACMA. Image Courtesy of PAR
View from LACMA. Image Courtesy of PAR

Platform for Architecture + Research (PAR) has reinterpreted the idea of "courtyard housing" with a 930-foot-tall "stack of individual houses" envisioned for a site on Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard. Named "Wilshire Tower," the conceptual skyscraper is one of many radical proposals being unveiled at the A+D Museum's ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” exhibition that exploring new forms of housing for Los Angeles. 

The Broad Museum / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

11:00 - 31 August, 2015
The Broad Museum / Diller Scofidio + Renfro, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

© Jeff Duran - Warren Air © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +20

MAD Architects Envision the Future of Housing in Los Angeles

16:03 - 28 August, 2015
MAD Architects Envision the Future of Housing in Los Angeles, © MAD
© MAD

MAD Architects has proposed a futuristic model for housing in Los Angeles, as part of the ongoing “Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles” exhibition at the A+D Museum. Dubbed the "Cloud Corridor," the concept is based on Ma Yansong’s “Shanshui City” philosophy for architecture to "manifest the spiritual essence between people and nature." The vision is the opposite of sprawl, proposing a high-density vertical village made up of nine interconnected residential towers. 

Images Revealed of Frank Gehry's “Gateway to Sunset Strip”

12:50 - 26 August, 2015
Images Revealed of Frank Gehry's “Gateway to Sunset Strip”, © Rendering by Visualhouse
© Rendering by Visualhouse

Gehry Partners, alongside Townscape Partners, has unveiled plans to redefine the "gateway" to California's Sunset Strip. A cluster of five distinct, Gehry-esque structures, the mixed-use proposal is one of several design alternatives that have been proposed by Townscape for the site. If built, it would include two residential buildings, featuring a mix of rental and for-sale apartments, along with retail, entertainment programs, and public gathering spaces.

Leong Leong to Design New Mixed-Use Campus for Los Angeles LGBT Center

12:20 - 25 August, 2015
Leong Leong to Design New Mixed-Use Campus for Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Los Angeles LGBT Center's existing building in Hollywood. Image via Wikipedia
The Los Angeles LGBT Center's existing building in Hollywood. Image via Wikipedia

Leong Leong has been chosen over four others to masterplan and design the Los Angeles LGBT Center's new mixed-use site in Hollywood, California. The Los Angeles-based practice will design a new 183,700-square-foot building that, together with the Center's existing facility across the street, will form a block-wide campus that will include a unique mix of 140 affordable housing units, 100 beds for homeless youth, a new senior center and a center for homeless youth, as well as a new administrative headquarters and cultural arts center. 

Frank Gehry "Quietly" Helps Redevelop the Los Angeles River

12:21 - 10 August, 2015
Frank Gehry "Quietly" Helps Redevelop the Los Angeles River, Olympic Blvd. Bridge (1925) over the Los Angeles River. Image © Flickr CC User KCET Departures
Olympic Blvd. Bridge (1925) over the Los Angeles River. Image © Flickr CC User KCET Departures

Frank Gehry is said to be "quietly" working on a masterplan for the Los Angeles River in California. Prematurely announced by the Los Angeles Times, the City's mayor Eric Garcetti has confirmed the news, saying Gehry is producing "a master plan, in the truest sense of the word,” pro bono.  

“To have the [Frederick Law] Olmsted of our time focusing on this, I think, is extraordinary,” Garcetti said, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

DnA Podcast Asks: Can Berlin's Group Housing be a Model for LA?

08:00 - 10 August, 2015
DnA Podcast Asks: Can Berlin's Group Housing be a Model for LA?, R50 in Berlin, Germany. Image © Andrew Alberts
R50 in Berlin, Germany. Image © Andrew Alberts

The latest episode of KCRW's podcast, “Design and Architecture” (DnA), explores whether the Baugruppen, a co-housing model in Berlin, could work in Los Angeles. Produced by Frances Anderton and Caroline Chamberlain, the episode looks at how LA residents and Berliners have approached the same problem of affordable living space. The Baugruppen (“building groups”) are communities of homes where you can choose who to live with and share the development costs. After visiting R50, a Baugruppe complex by firms Heide & Von Beckerath and IFAU, co-principals Christoph Schmidt and Verena von Beckerath explained the process of collaborative design that came with building the 19 households of R50. Listen to the whole podcast here.