Sunny & Mild Media presents Part 2 of its Googie Architecture Series, presenting design work at the cusp of technological innovations of the 1950s. Emerging out of an obsession with the fast new world of cars, planes and rockets, Googie Architecture became an ultramodern style that sought to encapsulate the spirit of the 21st century. The new forms – sweeping, cantilevered roofs, starbursts, and flowing forms – became a form of advertisement that caught the attention of motorists, for its vibrance along the stretches of highways and for its distinctive style.
This installment features a closer look at the diners and restaurants that thrived in the ’50s and were designed with the Googie style. Even the one of the first McDonald’s restaurants adapted the style to work with its logo. Many of these buildings stand in ruin now, but the style was used in all kinds of building typologies – most of which emphasized the car: drive-thru’s, drive-in’s, car washes, diners, and gas stations. Even Las Vegas, and our associations with the its architecture today, are a reflection of that style.
Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are moving forward with their plan to transform 4.47 acres of vacant parking lots surrounding Hollywood’s iconic, mid-century Capitol Records Building into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development. Located on the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Millennium Hollywood Project will feature two residential buildings reaching heights up to 585 feet, designed by Handel Architects, that are grounded by a High Line-inspired public space by James Corner Field Operations.
With the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) currently on public review, the New York-based developers are hoping to get city approvals underway in early 2013.
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In April, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council Member Huizar announced an international design competition to redesign the historic, 80-year-old Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles. The decision to launch the competition came after engineers warned that the bridge was at risk of failing during a major earthquake due to a degenerative structural problem known as “concrete cancer”. After careful consideration and entertaining the idea of constructing a replica of the 1932 icon, the city committed to moving forward with a major redesign. In mid-October, the national infrastructure firm HNTB, along with team members Michael Maltzan Architecture and AC Martin Partners, were announced as winners of the international competition.
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Googie Architecture, shared with us by Sunny & Mild Media, is part one of a series that encapsulates the futuristic design found prevalent in the post-war sprawl of Los Angeles during the 1950s. Popular among coffee shops, motels and gas stations, the ultramodern style originated from the Sunset Boulevard coffee shop, designed by John Lautner, named Googies. A Googie building was a symbol that a business was with the times, which in turn brought traffic and attention to its doors. Form followed function, and it’s function was advertisement.
For more, read Googie Architecture: Futurism through Modernism.
Oyler Wu Collaborative was once again asked to design the architecture for SCI-Arc‘s graduation ceremony along with other faculty members. The challenge included rethinking the event of the ceremony while keeping the existing pavilion they had previously designed. Essentially, the challenge called for making the existing pavilion new again. Their stage operates as a hybrid of different elements, incorporating into it a large stage with a central podium, seating that is configured much like a bleacher, and a cantilevered shade canopy. While the center of the actual stage is in alignment with the center of the existing pavilion, the overall structure is positioned asymmetrically, with the bleacher and canopy located off axis. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Opening this Friday, October 19th, at 7pm in the SCI-Arc gallery, the Graduation Pavilion Competition Exhibition documents the four faculty entries in the competition organized this past summer to select a winning design for the ArtPlace-funded outdoor pavilion, scheduled to be completed in spring 2013. SCI-Arc invited faculty members Ramiro Diaz-Granados, Elena Manferdini, Marcelo Spina (winning entry) and Tom Wiscombe to submit concepts for a design of an innovative, technically implementable, and visually remarkable multi-purpose pavilion. The resulting stage is set to host several upcoming graduation ceremonies, noteworthy symposia and presentations, as well as outreach cultural events developed in partnership with the surrounding Arts Community. The exhibition is on view until December 2. More images and architects’ description of their proposals after the break.
Born in Finland, Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961) is recognized today as one of America’s most influential architects of the 20th Century. The exhibition Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation, opening tomorrow at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, will highlight his short but brilliant career bookended with two iconic buildings: the unbuilt Smithsonian Gallery of Art which was to be Washington, DC’s first museum of modern art and Dulles International Airport which was designed as the nation’s first jet airport.
Opening October 12th, the ‘Pleated Shell Structures’ Exhibition consists of a short term, site specific research prototype designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and her firm. Presented by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in their gallery, the exhibit positions itself within the argument of parametric design research to focus its efforts on design methods that encompass an operative pathway from design intent to manifestation. The exhibition will be on display until December 2. More information after the break.
Taking place at SCI-Arc on Friday, September 14th from 7-9pm, Alexis Rochas and Eric Owen Moss will be discussing STEREO.BOT, a library gallery installation that documents the realization of the Coachella Gateway Pavilion, the largest customized structure in the US. Featuring interactive 3D projection mapping content, it was designed and built by design faculty, Alexis Rochas of I/O for the 2012 Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California. The exhibition in the SCI-Arc library features dynamic architectural models, 3D mapping projections and documentary material that follows the development of the project from inception to realization. For more information, please visit here.
SCI-Arc Trustee Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have donated $100,000 to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). The noteworthy contribution will go towards the establishment of the Gehry Prize, which will be annually awarded to the best thesis projects selected by critics and jurors at the Graduate Thesis Weekend hosted in September. The first Gehry Prize will be awarded at the 2012 graduation ceremony on September 9th.
The entire school community, including students, faculty, staff, administration and board, is extremely appreciative of this extraordinary gift to SCI-Arc,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “Thanks to this contribution, we can warranty that SCI-Arc’s advocacy for architecture as a rousing, speculative adventure will endure.”
The Pritzker Prize laureate’s generous giving hasn’t been the only thing making headlines lately. Check out the latest on Gehry’s controversial design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington and the details on his new partnership with Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg.
Mikey Nitro shared with us his proposal for a people’s park in the financial district of Los Angeles; a Radical Urban Intervention that questions our public realm. It reshapes our humanistic and democratic ideals; to awake and avenge our dusted nation. he based the programs of this intervention by the essence of Los Angeles: City of Entertainment, City of Hybridity (Culture), City of Agriculture (Opportunity). Each program is porous and adaptable through different times of the day. Since downtown L.A. is a becoming a new trend for residency, this park will provide locals a place to exercise, walk their dogs, picnic, place for theater night life, and a community garden. More images and Nitro’s description after the break.
The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the world’s busiest airports, is undergoing a facelift. As part of a multi-phase project, AECOM is working with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to create a sensational experience for the 61 million passengers who travel in and out of LAX annually. The project aspires to unify the disparate components of the airport’s central terminal area (CTA) and insert grand gestures that provide architectural hierarchy — yielding LAX as exciting as the city in which it resides. Through an artful integration of lighting, graphics, and architecture, the design draws from key existing airport elements such as the 1960s architecture of the Theme Building and the 60-foot polychromatic light pylons that define the airport’s entry.
Architect: RA-DA - Rania Alomar, AIA, RA, DA
Location: La Brea Art & Design District – Los Angeles, CA
Completed: May 2012
Building area: 4000 sq ft
RA-DA Design Team: Rania Alomar – Design Lead; Jesse Madrid – Job Captain/Designer.
Contractor: Lemarc Builders, Ryan Dumoulin
MEP: Maftoon Inc.
Photographer: Ralf Strathmann
The New York office of Grimshaw and LA based Gruen Associates were officially awarded the Los Angeles Union Station master plan last Thursday. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors, chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, approved a nomination that sets in motion a two year master plan creation process to generate a new vision for Union Station, in conjunction with the general revitalization and growth of downtown Los Angeles as the city and metro look to the future. More architects’ description after the break.