Los Angeles is a city of dreams. Known across the United States and the world, L.A. embodies both freedom and experimentation, defined as much by its freeways as its diversity. It is also a city of houses. Single family homes cover almost half of Los Angeles, and as the city continues to evolve, architects have explored new ideas on modernity and daily life through the single family typology.
Architectural design of a space and the furniture chosen to fill it can work together to define a room's function, set a certain vibe, and make a statement. While an architect or designer may want specific furniture to create a certain look at the time of design completion, versatility is also important over the course of a building's life. Not only do the needs of building programs and inhabitants shift over time, but owners of commercial and public spaces often want the ability to react to both aesthetic and social trends to keep up-to-date.
Until recently, the architecture world largely viewed plastic polymers as inferior building materials, handy for wipe-clean kitchen surfaces, but not practical in full-scale building applications. But with technological innovations driving material capabilities forward, polymers are now being taken seriously as a legitimate part of the architect’s pallet. One of the most widely-used of these materials is a fluorine-based plastic known as ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene). Brought into the public consciousness thanks to its use on the facade of PTW Architects' Water Cube for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, architects are now realizing the film’s capabilities to express a new aesthetic and replace costlier transparent and translucent materials. Its most recent and spectacular public appearance was on the 120-foot telescopic shell of The Shed, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group in New York City.
Why do we remember buildings, locations, and experiences? Even a place visited in our childhood can conjure emotions that make an impact on us through the memories they create. Angela Brooks and Larry Scarpa explain that the work of Brooks + Scarpa Architects aspires to make a lasting impression out of even a brief encounter. “We try to leave something behind,” says Scarpa, “something ingrained in people’s memory that sticks with them.”
There has been increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of infrastructure for pedestrians. These additions to the urban environment improve the quality of cities by connecting spaces and shortening travel distances, and their introduction can be beneficial not only to pedestrians but also to cyclists seeking a more environmentally friendly method of transport. In order to encourage the use of pedestrian infrastructure, here we present 15 footbridges, alongside their construction details, to showcase innovative solutions in terms of materials, forms, and structures.