Lautner House / New Theme

© Patricia Parinejad

Architects: New Theme
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Architect In Charge:
Year: 2012
Photographs: Patricia Parinejad

Predictions from the Past: New York 2012 and LA 2013

in 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner’s Predictions; and LA’s predictions from 1988 for 2013

Throughout history, people have spent a great deal of time pondering what the holds.  Scientific discovery and technological innovation – along with rebellious androids, zombies, flying cars, hover crafts, visiting aliens – have been consistently used as stereotypes that emerge in predictions for our imagined future.  And while Hollywood was busy exploring dystopian scenarios of this near-future, architects were composing utopian images of an optimistic vision for cities.

Architects have built careers upon predicting what cities can potentially become – developing forms, functions, plans and visions of possibilities in the social, political, economic and cultural realms through architecture. In 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner of NYC predicted a culturally diverse, economically viable, global city for New York in 2012.  In 1988, Los Angeles Times Magazine gave its 25-year forecast for Los Angeles in 2013, predicting what a life for a family would be like, filled with robots, electric cars, smart houses and an abundance of video-conferencing. Find out how their predictions fared after the break.

Big & Small House / Anonymous Architects

Courtesy of Anonymous Architects

Architects: Anonymous Architects
Location: , CA,
Area: 1,200 sq ft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Anonymous Architects

The West Coast’s Tallest: Wilshire Grand / AC Martin Partners

Courtesy of AC Martin Partners

Developer Korean Air has recently unveiled the designs for the new 73-story Wilshire Grand tower in the financial district of Los Angeles, AC Martin Partners designed the plans for the $1 billion mixed-use office and hotel tower that will reach 1,100 feet, making it the tallest tower west of Chicago once completed.

Read more after the break…

San Lorenzo Residence / Mike Jacobs Architecture

© Michael Wells

Architects: Mike Jacobs Architecture
Location: , CA, USA
Architect In Charge: Mike Jacobs, Artur Growchowski, Dan Nissimov, Maria Tiliakos, Momo Araki
General Contracting: MFH Construction
Structural Engineering: Gordon Polon Consulting Engineers
Year: 2012
Photographs: Michael Wells

AD Classic: Norton House / Frank Gehry

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

Designed in 1984 for artist Lynn Norton and writer William Norton, ’s Norton House is known for its eccentric form and eclectic materiality. Much like his own house in Santa Monica, the Norton House is a sculptural assemblage of everyday materials. The Nortons had in fact seen Gehry’s house in 1983 and obviously approved of his experiment. So, a year later, they commissioned him to design their house on a narrow, ocean-facing plot of land on Venice Boardwalk. With the commission, Gehry continued his exploration of creating architecture with everyday materials, low costs, and sculptural forms.

Iwan Baan: ‘The Way We Live’ Exhibition

Tokyo #1, 2006, Digital C-Print, 54 x 36 inches (137.2 x 91.4 cm) / ©

Opening tonight, February 20, at 6:00pm PST at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery in Los Angeles, Iwan Baan‘s ‘The Way We Live’ exhibition features captivating large-scale images of urban, architectural, and home environments that capture Baan’s singular vision. Baan’s artistic practice examines how we live and interact with architecture, focusing on the human element, which brings buildings, intersections, and public gathering places to life. Running until April 13, this is Baan’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. More information after the break.

LA Architecture School Boasts Stimulating Post-professional Programs

© SCI-Arc ESTm, Marcelo Spina Studio, Artificial Clouds

Two dynamic post-graduate programs offered by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles have been charged with examining core contemporary issues facing architecture today. Spanning topics from advanced manufacturing methodologies and new building systems, to urban planning and design challenges faced globally, these post-professional tracks allow students to rethink architecture and design through the creative lens of the SCI-Arc community.

The architecture school’s Emerging Systems, Technologies & Media (ESTm) and Future Initiatives (SCIFI) programs are conceived as intensive one-year (three semesters) post-professional degrees in architecture, functioning as think tanks and research engines within the larger framework of the school.

Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.

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The Getty Trust is partnering with Pacific Standard Time to present 11 individual exhibitions throughout LA’s museums that will explore the history and heritage of the city’s modern architecture and its influential designers.  As musician, photographer and architectural blogger Moby boasts, “LA has the most diverse architecture of any city on the planet”.  Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA will explore this diversity that covers post World War II architecture through today with specific points of view ranging in architectural style, influence and decade.  The exhibitions, which will run from April through July 2013, are a follow-up to last year’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945-1980. The focus of the exhibitions will range in scale and cover the monumental and everyday architectural moments that make LA unique.  Exhibitions will present iconic modernist homes and cultural landmarks as well as coffee shops, car washes, and the freeways in addition to  the un-built architectural fantasies of modernism and post-modernism.

Follow us after the break for the eleven exhibitions that will be part of PST’s event.

‘A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979′ Exhibition

Seven of the architects who participated in The Architecture Gallery, from left to right: Frederick Fisher, Robert Mangurian, Eric Owen Moss, Coy Howard, Craig Hodgetts, Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry. Photograph ©1980 Ave Pildas.

Taking place at SCI-Arc‘s campus in downtown March 29-July 7, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.: A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 exhibition. The exhibition examines the pivotal role played by the temporary gallery held in the home of architect Thom Mayne for several weeks in 1979. An immersive showcase of spectacular models, drawings and media will be mounted in two spaces located on the SCI-Arc campus, the main gallery and the Kappe Library Gallery. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Iwan Baan: The Way We Live

The City and the Storm, 2012; © , Images courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery

Iwan Baan‘s name may ring a bell for all those following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation across and New Jersey’s coast.  The photographer’s iconic photograph made headlines when it was featured on New York magazine’s front page days after the storm, showing lower Manhattan in complete darkness, set against its vibrant counterpart uptown, as the United States’ east coast was recovering from the extensive damage left in Sandy’s wake.  The image not only brings to mind the absolute helplessness that New York City faced during the storm, but also lends a hand in a social commentary that is notably pervasive in Baan’s work.

Starting February 20th, 2013, The Perry Rubenstein Gallery in Los Angeles will feature the Baan’s work in his first, two-month exhibition entitled The Way We Live, honing in on the images that encapsulate the world of architecture, urbanism and human engagement.

More on Iwan Baan: The Way We Live after the break.

Oyler/Wu Lecture & Gow + Karlsson Exhibition Opening Reception

Courtesy of

Two key are coming up at SCI-Arc this month starting with the ‘Dwayne Oyler & Jenny Wu: Lineworks’ lecture which takes place tomorrow, January 16, at the W.M. Keck Lecture Hall at 7pm PST. Established in Los Angeles in 2004, Oyler Wu Collaborative, ‘has utilized the last five years to establish a way of working that is committed to experimentation through a relentless hands-on approach to our work’. Also, starting January 18 until March 3, the ‘Marcelyn Gow + Ulrika Karlsson: AQUEOTROPE’ exhibition focuses on materializing the mathematical, the exact translation of virtual instructions in the form of drawings or codes to their material actualization, is a fundamental procedure in the production of architecture. For more information on the events, please visit here.

West Los Angeles Office Building Proposal / GMPA Architects

Courtesy of GMPA Architects

Located on a prominent corner in West , the proposal for an office building by GMPA Architects is an energized, swirling 4-level structure rather than a static wedding cake style. With its riveting spiral shape,, derived from the 10’ difference in elevation, the dynamic, multi-shaped levels add visual interest and reinforce a connection to the street. More images and architects’ description after the break.

New United States Courthouse Competition Entry / NBBJ

North ©

Claiming to be the most progressive, sustainable, and cost effective courthouse in the nation, NBBJ’s shortlisted proposal for the New Federal Courthouse serves as a model for future GSA development. The contrast between the free and informal spirit of with the formal structure and societal role of the Federal Courts illustrates an important duality that openly coexists throughout their phased design. At a larger scale, the structure becomes a mediator within the skyline, rising to a comfortable 256 feet tall to help transition the steep, urban high-rise topography of Bunker Hill and the mid-rise, ordered context of downtown.

Read the architects’ description after the break to learn more about this high performance, multifaceted design.

New United States Courthouse Competition Entry / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design

Courtesy of

Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design and Gruen Associates have shared with us their second place proposal for the highly anticipated design-build competition for the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles, . Envisioned as an icon within the city skyline, the triangular monolith provides a sustainable, 21st century courthouse that embodies the democratic qualities of dignity, stature, transparency, openness and accessibility.

Located at a pivotal node connecting the Los Angeles Civic Center, the Broadway Historic District and Bunker Hill, the 550,000 square foot courthouse is surrounded by a lush civic space that plays an important role in the existing cityscape.

Read the architect’s description after the break…

Never Built: Los Angeles

Never Built: Los Angeles will present a thorough compendium of projects by some of the worlds most celebrated architects that never made it past the drawing board. After two years of extensive research, countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful designs – many promoting a denser, more vibrant – have been unearthed. Co-curated Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin and designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, Never Built: will present the most visionary designs that had the greatest potential of reshaping the city and question why they were never built. Forgotten, yet innovative projects from Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, and more, will be presented.

The research and exhibition design is complete. However, they need your (tax deductible) donations to help make Never Built: Los Angeles a reality. Learn more and support the exhibition on Kickstarter!

The exhibition plans to open this spring at Los Angeles’s A+D Architecture and Design Museum.

New United States Courthouse Competition Entry / McCarthy, Brooks + Scarpa, and HMC Architects

Courtesy of McCarthy, , and HMC Architects

The McCarthy, Brooks + Scarpa, and HMC Architects team just released their proposal for the Design Excellence/design-build competition for new United States courthouse in Los Angeles. Selected to compete thru the General Services Administration two-stage Design Excellence Program, the team is challenged with the approximately 550,000 sq. ft. high-rise building located at 1st and Hill Street. Aiming to be certified LEED Patinum, the design delivers functional efficiency, security, and accessibility for the Court, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the other tenants and users. More images and architects’ description after the break.

SOM Wins Bid to Design Los Angeles Federal Courthouse

Image courtesy of the GSA.

The GSA has announced that Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill have been selected as the architects of the new Federal Courthouse, which will house the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The architects beat out 3 other shortlisted teams to win the $318 million project.

According to the GSA, ”The new 550,000-square-foot building will be a sustainable, cost-effective, state-of-the-art court facility that includes security upgrades that are not available in the current 312 North Spring Street courthouse.”

The site, located at 107 South Broadway (down the street from Morphosis’ Caltrans building, ’s City Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall) has been dormant since 2007; although a $1.1 billion design by Perkins + Will was selected soon after, it was abandoned when Congress slashed the GSA’s construction budget. The GSA considers the approval of the new redevelopment plan a “major milestone.”

More info and images, after the break…