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The Indicator: Two Shows, Many Cities: “A New Scuplturalism” at MOCA and “Never Built” at the A+D Museum

Here in Los Angeles we have a complicated relationship with architecture and two con-current museum exhibitions demonstrate this in ironic and puzzling ways. This came into clear relief when, on Saturday, August 03, 2013, something amazing and unprecedented happened: architecture was on the front page of a major US newspaper, the Los Angeles Times

This, it must be said, is a very unusual thing for architecture. Moreover, it was not the type of architecture you might expect to grab the spotlight. It was the un-built original plan for Los Angeles International Airport by Pereira and Luckman, c. 1952. If you’ve been to LAX you’ve seen their Theme Building. They also did the plan for LAX that was finally accepted—the less visionary, less ambitious plan. This was being re-presented to the world in the context of “Never Built” a show about the unrealized architectural dreams of Los Angeles currently showing at the A+D Museum. 

South Los Angeles Animal Care Center & Community Center / RA-DA

  • Architects: RA-DA
  • Location: 1850 West 60th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047, USA
  • Design Lead: Rania Alomar
  • Project Manager: Sofia Ames
  • Designers: Carolyn Telgard, Jesse Madrid
  • Structural Engineer: John Labib & Associates
  • MEP Engineers: Creative Engineering Group
  • Civil Engineer: RBF Consulting, EW Moon
  • Specs Writer: Chew Specifications
  • Contractor: Mackone Development Inc
  • Building Owner: City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
  • Other Team Members: Los Angeles Animal Services
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Ralf Strathmann

© Ralf Strathmann © Ralf Strathmann © Ralf Strathmann © Ralf Strathmann

Never Built: Los Angeles

After years of extensive research that unearthed countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful unbuilt designs, curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin will be celebrating the opening of their highly anticipated exhibition - Never Built: Los Angeles - today at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles. 

LAX Completes First Phase of its $1.5 Billion Terminal

Phase 1 of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, the largest public works project in the history of Los Angeles, has been completed. The new airport, designed by Fentress Architects to be a LEED-certified landmark for the city, will feature a flowing, ocean-inspired roofline, a three-story,150,000-square-foot Great Hall, and one of the most advanced multimedia Integrated Environmental Media Systems (IEMS) in the world. The $1.5 billion project has been funded solely from LAX’s operating revenues, without public funds.

2013 Los Angeles Architectural Awards Announced

In addition to honoring renowned architect Ray Kappe with a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Los Angeles Business Council has awarded thirty-one local projects for their design excellence, sustainability and community impact at the 43rd annual LA Architectural Awards.

The 2013 Los Angeles Architectural Award Winners:

A First Look at Peter Zumthor’s Design for the LACMA

© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA
© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

Coming at a crucial time in which Los Angeles is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director Michael Govan and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor have unveiled preliminary plans for what they hope will be the new home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). If approved, this $650 million proposal - nearly five years in the making - would replace the dated William Pereira-designed campus and its 1986 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed addition with an organically-shaped, dark-grey concrete and glass Zumthor original. 

More information after the break, including Peter Zumthor’s project description...

'Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype' Exhibition & Installation

Opening October 11 until December 1, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will present 'Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype', an exhibition and public art installation which highlights the well-known American architect's work, including several original, rarely seen Woods drawings from private collections. Complemented by a symposium and catalog, this exhibition in the SCI-Arc Gallery and related large-scale public art installation in the Arts District’s Bloom Square, aims to demonstrate the fearless nature with which the late visionary architect and draftsman created. More information on the exhibition after the break.

New LA Subway Could Spell Acoustical Doom for Gehry's Disney Hall

Architect Frank Gehry has voiced concerns that the new Los Angeles subway, scheduled for construction in two to three years, may disturb concerts in his famous Disney Hall. The planned subway line would run 125 feet below the venue's parking garage and recent simulations have shown that the rumblings could be audible inside the concert hall. Mr. Gehry has called for the review of previous noise projections for the metro project, which two years ago predicted no audible impact on his design. “It would be a disaster for Disney Hall,” Gehry told the LA Times. “The flag is up and we should go over it and make sure.”

Read more after the break.

The Indicator: Pilgrimage, Experiencing the Eames House

I pass by the Eames House almost every day at about 35 mph on my way down to PCH, the sand, the waves, the subterranean tunnels, and the tsunami zone, where LA coughs up its junk on the urban beach, where the Westside comes to its logical conclusion. Sometimes traffic is backed up so far up the hill—this is Los Angeles, after all—that I sit motionless and adjacent where the house should be, but can’t actually see it. I listen to the engine, the radio, the sound of helicopters and leaf blowers. The house is silent somewhere behind a wall of dense tropical flora.

My first actual visit to the house was when I was barely thinking about architecture. In a way it was my introduction to the possibility that someone could do architecture, that it was something one could succeed at. It was optimism on real estate once considered solidly middle class. Improbably light-weight and even painterly, like a Mondrian composition, it sits in a perfectly mundane American yard, like the delicate skeleton of a bird perched over the Pacific.

'A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California' Exhibition

Taking place June 2 - September 2 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, 'A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California' will be the first extensive, scholarly examination of the radical forms that have become prolific in Southern California architecture during the past twenty-five years. It will examine the role of Los Angeles–based architect Frank Gehry, arguably the most significant and innovative architect of the later part of the twentieth century, and the generation of Los Angeles architects that followed him, including Greg Lynn, Michael Maltzan, Thom Mayne, and Eric Owen Moss, to name a few. For more information, please visit here.

The Indicator: The Lure of the Vernacular

There is something soothing, even easy about vernacular architecture. It’s the territorial and spatial equivalent to Muzak. It evades and pre-dates the self-conscious identity of glitzy, cutting-edge architecture we are so familiar with today. There is an innocence to the vernacular. These are the buildings and environments of childhood.

This is apparent in the exhibition, In Focus: Ed Ruscha, currently showing at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. What captivates about the shots is that they dare to curate buildings that are usually just part of the background. They become objects of curiosity, spectacles, even.

Augustus F. Hawkins High School / CSDA Design Group

  • Architects: CSDA Design Group
  • Location: Augustus F. Hawkins High School, Los Angeles, CA 90044, USA
  • Landscape Architect: Melendrez Design Partners
  • Area: 351070.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group

© Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group © Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group © Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group © Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group

'Stormcloud' Installation / Oyler Wu Collaborative

With the Southern California Institute of Architecture celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Stormcloud installation was designed and built by the office of Oyler Wu Collaborative, along with students of SCI-Arc, for the after-party of its April 2013 gala. Tasked with the challenge of revamping the existing Netscape pavilion, Oyler Wu Collaborative saw the project as an opportunity to take a completely different approach to the problem.  By removing the ten miles of knitted ropes that once hung between the soaring steel trusses, the project was transformed both volumetrically and materially. More images and architects' description after the break.

Sessa Residence / J,P:A

  • Architects: J,P:A
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Architect in Charge: Jones, Partners: Architecture
  • Design Team: Wes Jones, Rachel Bitan, Matt Daines, Janiva Henry, Steven Purvis
  • Area: 2000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Taiyo Watanabe

© Taiyo Watanabe © Taiyo Watanabe © Taiyo Watanabe © Taiyo Watanabe

Peter Zumthor Proposes $650 Million Overhaul for LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will soon be rolling out the red carpet to welcome Swiss legend Peter Zumthor to the Golden State. The prized architect’s debut will mark the opening of "The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA," which will unveil the ambitious, $650 million plan to transform the LACMA’s “Byzantine maze of buildings and hallways” into an experience-based “village” of curvaceous modern glass structures that will produce more energy than it uses. 

"The idea is to make it permeable by people," LACMA CEO and director Michael Govan says, who has been working with Zumthor for over four years on the proposal.

Dwell on Design 2013

Dwell on Design, America’s largest modern design event, returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center, June 21-23, 2013. DOD reimagines the trade show experience by transforming 200,000 square feet of concrete into a design incubator where prefab comes to life and design luminaires debate the issues of today. With more than 400 exhibitors, 200 speakers, 2000 products and an expected 30,000 attendees, DOD has become the largest design event in the US, showing how influential design is in every aspect of our modern world. Dwell is proud to announce The Lincoln Motor Company as the Presenting Auto sponsor, Design Partner jcpenney and Industry Partner The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The event is produced by Dwell Media.

More information, including keynote speakers, the 2013 highlights and a special promo code for ArchDaily readers after the break.

A Look at Hollywood's Love Affair with John Lautner

You have to admit it, Hollywood really seems to have a thing for John Lautner; his designs are continuously cropping up in tv-shows, films, cartoons, music videos and even video games. The occasional despondent college professor aside, his exuberant mansions are usually typecast as the bachelor-pads of various flamboyant psycho-paths, pornographers or drug-smugglers. Curbed Los Angeles have compiled this excellent video of the various Lautner-featuring scenes, so we thought that we'd take a closer look at some of his buildings, which tend to pop up in all manner of unexpected places.

Read more about Hollywood's love affair with Lautner after the break...

Motion Picture Academy Unveils Designs for Renzo Piano-Designed Museum

It's surprising to think that Los Angeles - the home of the U.S film industry - doesn't have a museum solely dedicated to its homegrown artform. However, all that is about to change should the Academy of Motion Pictures have their way. 

Last Thursday, plans were unveiled for the long-touted Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a new museum designed by Renzo Piano and native Los Angeleno architect Zoltan Pali, which will be located in the streamline-moderne Wiltshire May Company building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Although the designs are at an early stage, the released drawings propose to convert the historic building into a museum, while marrying it with a 140-foot-diameter glass dome.

Read more about the project after the break...