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.
LA based architects Yazdani Studio shared with us the Taj Lands End Hotel competition entry in Mumbai, India. In a single sweeping gesture, the “wave” gathers the multitude of public and private spaces within the new hotel into a seamless composition, immediately iconic against the rectilinear skyline of Mumbai. This graceful arc also echoes the form of multiple bays that make up the city’s western edge, and makes visual reference to the new Sea Link Bridge adjacent to the site.
Yazdani Studio shared with us the Ordos Restaurant they are building in the Mongolian Desert. As I told you before on our interview with Mehrdad Yazdani, Yazdani Studio was one of the first practices working on the new city, with one villa finishing construction and also a Concert Hall and this restaurant (also nearing completion), public programs required by this huge development.
During the interview, Mehrdad told us about the importance of the central courtyard for passive cooling, required on this harsh climate. More details about the project after the break:
A few weeks ago we were in LA for Postopolis!, and we toured around the city visiting interesting practices. One of our biggest surprises was Yazdani Studio. We started to see this firm because of their buildings for the Ordos project, so we decided to visit their offices and interview the principal, Mehrdad Yazdani.
Mehrdad Yazdani (BA Arch U Texas at Austin, M Arch at Harvard GSD) is a principal at Cannon Design, an international firm with several offices in the US and abroad. A big corporate office, with all the pros and cons it has. Given this, Mehrdad started Yazdani Studio as a small laboratory that benefits from the reach and resources of a large international practice, with the flexibility of a smaller design studio. This in-between position has allowed Yazdani Studio to work on several scales. Something I really liked when i visited their office was the large amount of test models I saw laying around for every project, a proof of the amount of experimentation at the practice.
Some of Yazdani Studio projects include the recent renovation of the Museum of Tolerance (and a 2nd phase that will be completed next), the UCSD Price Center, a new campus for Tata Motors and several institutional buildings. Yazdani Studio was also one of the first practices to start working in Ordos -before the Ordos 100 project- with a Villa currently under construction. Also, Yazdani Studio is developing a restaurant and a concert hall, as supporting programs for the cultural district envisioned for this emerging city on the Mongolian desert.
Well, enough with my intro. Just watch the interview.
Some pictures of our visit to the practice after the break.