Best know as a musician, Moby is quickly gaining lots of attention for his “weird architecture blog” that is centered around his fascination with Los Angeles architecture. In this video published by 1883 Magazine, Moby discusses his thoughts on some his personal favorites, starting with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, which Moby depicts as an Incan spaceship from 100,000 years ago.
Christopher Hawthorne’s article “Atlantic on the Move“, published in the Los Angeles Times, covers the transitions taking place along LA’s boulevards and one in particular: the 5600 block of Atlantic Avenue. Hawthorne reveals the changes taking place that are “reversing decades of neglect” among LA’s roadways. Among those that have promoted a cultural association with Los Angeles: traffic, congestion and miles of roadways. The article covers the small steps that take place over time via minor interventions that combine to change the face of the boulevards to more pedestrian and bike-friendly spaces for alternative modes of transportation.
Read on for more after the break.
Following with the films we will recommend every week, this time we want to introduce “Blade Runner”. Another classic from the ’80 that shows a future Los Angeles with an atmosphere that intents to shape the urban space within which we will move in the current century. The soundtrack, composed by Vangelis deserves to be mentioned as it plays a fundamental role in the comprehension of this futuristic American city.
More info after the break.
XTEN Architecture is planning a new, 65,000-square-foot hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California. The monolithic concrete structure will be carved by a system of slots and slices that bring light, air and views deep into the building. Equipped with a performance-based lobby, two subterranean bars, restaurant and a rooftop terrace featuring an infinity edge pool, this mid-rise hotel will surely attract some attention.
Continue after the break to learn more!
The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present “Yevrus 1, Negative Impression,” an installation designed for the SCI-Arc Gallery by alumni Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ‘03) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ‘94) of Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues Studio, opening June 1 and running until July 8 at SCI-Arc.
Constructed from non-architectural artifacts, Yevrus 1, Negative Impression is a disposable architecture of literal references that calls into question the contemporary architectural vogue for digital complexity and abstraction. The cast impressions of 1973 Volkswagen Beetles and speedboats unite to form a strong structural whole that serves as a lookout tower in the SCI-Arc Gallery. More information after the break.
Architects: Sasaki Associates
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Principal-in-Charge: Steve Hamwey
Participating Principals: Nancy Fleming, Owen Lang, Tim Stevens
Lead Project Designers: Melissa McCann, Landscape Architect; Tim Stevens, Architect
Landscape: Caleb Bruner, Mark Eischeid, Raphael Justewicz, Joon Yon Kim, Chang Keun Lee, Shannon Lee, Conard Lindgren, Meghen Quinn, Simon Raine, Nitza Thien
Architecture Team: Grace Leung, Tomer Maymon, Scott Odom, Vitas Viskanta, Angel Cantu
Civil: Zach Chrisco, Chuck Coronis, Michelle Gauvin, Oswaldo Palencia, Jose Miranda
Client: Port of Los Angeles
Size: 30 acres
Photographs: Craig Kuhner
The American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter recently announced their 10th Annual 2×8 Student Exhibition which features a display of 16 of the major architectural school programs in California. Although based in LA, they have extended their invitations to the region and are opening the door to more schools. Taking place at the A+D Museum, each of the participating academic programs selects two projects that exemplify its core vision. The students’ design work will be judged by a noteworthy panel of architects and designers. The panel will then announce the winners at the exhibition opening and convene in a forum to discuss the award-winning projects. The exhibition will be on view from June 5 till June 30. For more information, please visit here. More images of past exhibitions can be viewed after the break.
Founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, Jeanne Gang, FAIA, LEED AP, will be delivering a lecture at LACMA on May 8th at 7:30pm. Reveal, the first volume on Studio Gang’s projects and processes, was released in 2011 from Princeton Architectural Press. Recent projects include a proposal reimagining the suburb of Cicero, Illinois, as a part of MoMA’sexhibition Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream; Reverse Effect, a book intended to explore and spark a radically greener future for the Chicago River and Great Lakes; Aqua Tower, an Emporis Skyscraper of the Year; and Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, an educational project demonstrating how nature and city can coexist. The event is presented by LACMA and organized by Francesca Garcia-Marques, with an introduction by Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times architecture critic. For more details and information on the event, please visit here.
Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945-1980) at the Chinese American Museum (CAM) is an exhibition that focuses on four Chinese American architects that have transformed parts of Los Angeles with iconic buildings and distinct design styles. The work will be on display until June 3rd 2012 and feature architects such as Eugene Choy, Gilbert Leong, Helen Liu Fong and Gin Wong.
Breaking Ground is part of Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration created by Getty in which sixty cultural institutions will tell the story of the birth of LA art scene over the course of six months beginning October 2011. Breaking Ground at CAM LA tells the story of the skyline and the changing built environment through the perspective the four prominent Chinese American Architects.
More after the break.
I once saw a video of David Hockney discussing a Chinese landscape scroll. A provocative little art-geek film (or so it seemed at the time) entitled, ”A Day on the Grand Canal With the Emperor of China (or Surface Is Illusion but So Is Depth)”.
On the surface, the film’s subject is a 17th-century Chinese scroll painting. The depths, however, are personal and make the film more about the artist himself, a target for his projection. So, if surface is illusion but so is depth, then what we have is an interesting problem.
In this sense, he wasn’t trying to lay down any absolute truth or theory about Chinese landscape painting, or even himself. But merely his understanding at that moment in time—a moving target exploring another moving target. What would Hockney say about the scroll now?
When I first noticed Moby blogging about architecture, this film, long-buried in my art history memory, was one of the first reference points that came to mind. Like Hockney with the scroll, Moby is seemingly unrolling Los Angeles and winding his way through it’s weird little buildings and spatial complexities. The hills–and one does not always associate hills with Los Angeles–are uncannily similar to the hills in the Chinese scroll.
Below is the Hollywood Reservoir. I’m two hours early for this interview because, as usual, I’ve guessed the traffic incorrectly. You see, I’m not really from LA. Have never considered myself from here. I’ve lived here most of my life, but I’m not from LA. Being from or not from here usually goes unspoken. It’s typically assumed you are not from here…and never will be.
I park at a trailhead. I’m in dress shoes. Black dress shoes. Black shirt. But I have a scarf and a jacket to fight the wind. Rain coming. The sky is a neapolitan of grays, blues, and whites, laid out horizontally with little light filaments touching down. The canyon is absolutely quiet even though I can see some bulldozers crawling up and down the side of a precarious ravine in the distance. They remind me of the sandcrawlers from Dune. This seems just the type of place where famous LA murders would have taken place. The fact that Ray Manzarek lives in this neighborhood somehow makes it seem more eerie.
I imagine Moby watching from his tower window, watching me turn away from the house and down the dusty trail in my black dress shoes. I’m obviously early. He might think I’m intentionally heading out for a hike. Like I worked this into my itinerary because I knew there was a trail here. Actually, I had no idea. I have never been in this neighborhood and rarely come to this side of town. Just like I have no idea what I’m going to ask him. At this point, I’ve lost almost all interest in architecture, buildings, and the reasons he’s blogging about these things.
After remaining on hold since 2005, the General Services Administration (GSA) has reinstated plans to construct a new U.S. Courthouse in downtown LA. The 3.7 acre dirt lot at 107 South Broadway, down the street from Morphosis’ Caltrans building, LA’s City Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, has remained dormant since 2007; shortly after the GSA abandoned Perkins + Will’s estimated $1.1 billion conceptual design due to rising costs. Now, plans for the courthouse have been scaled back and the GSA has just released the shortlisted teams competing of the project. Continue reading after the break to see who made the cut.
Based on 2010 Census results, the nation’s most densely populated urbanized area is Los Angeles/Anaheim/Long Beach, California, with nearly 7,000 people per square mile. Surprised? Not only did the Los Angeles area rank first, but of the ten most densely populated urbanized areas, nine are in the West, with seven of those in California. Continue reading for more.
Exhibited from April 6 – Mary 13, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present “Towards Comfo-Veg,” a large scale, site-specific installation designed for the SCI-Arc Gallery by architect and artist Peter Cook and partner Gavin Robotham of London-based CRAB Studio. Building on CRAB’s internationally recognized experimental work, Towards Comfo-Veg introduces an almost completely light-tight, multimedia experiential space welcoming visitors through a single point of entry and leading towards hints of an invented and dreamlike world. More information after the break.
DO|SU Studio Architecture shared with us their architectural research installation, titled ‘Bloom,’ displayed at the Materials and Application Gallery in Los Angeles. The project acts as a sun tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, with a shape alluding to a woman’s Victorian-era under garment, ‘Bloom’ to stitch together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form and pattern making into an environmentally responsive form. The project is especially designed for peak performance on spring equinox, March 20, 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.