The Australian Institute of Architects have awarded the 2019 Gold Medal to Santa Monica-based Australian expatriates Hank Koning and Julie Eizenberg of Koning Eizenberg Architecture. As the Institute’s highest honour, the Gold Medal was awarded to acknowledge the firm's commitment to affordable housing, education and civic projects, and to tirelessly fighting to improve the situation of underprivileged communities.
Santa Monica: The Latest Architecture and News
Originally conceived as as 22-story hotel and residential tower, the project has now been shortened to 12 stories (130 feet) to meet restrictions imposed by the city’s Downtown Community Plan, which calls for “aggressively slow growth” and a “lower scale downtown” of mainly 4-5 story tall buildings.
Nestled in the verdant seaside hills of the Pacific Palisades in southern California, the Entenza House is the ninth of the famous Case Study Houses built between 1945 and 1962. With a vast, open-plan living room that connects to the backyard through floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, the house brings its natural surroundings into a metal Modernist box, allowing the two to coexist as one harmonious space.
Like its peers in the Case Study Program, the house was designed not only to serve as a comfortable and functional residence, but to showcase how modular steel construction could be used to create low-cost housing for a society still recovering from the the Second World War. The man responsible for initiating the program was John Entenza, Editor of the magazine Arts and Architecture. The result was a series of minimalist homes that employed steel frames and open plans to reflect the more casual and independent way of life that had arisen in the automotive age.
With rapid advancements in technology and crystal clear imagery, drones have allowed us to experience our cities and landscapes from unimaginable vantage points and perspectives. In its series of videos, YouTube channel Mingomatic uses drones to capture the sights and scenes of predominantly American cities and various locations from above, offering glimpses of skylines, oceans, highways and terrains (and seals!). Check out the 10 videos below for some spectacular views, and find Mingomatic’s full selection, here.
California is suffering through its 5th year of severe water shortage. Aquifers and rivers continue to dry out as the water provided by melting snowpacks is reduced, and even the heavy rain brought by El Niño this year could not relieve the drought. Authorities are wary of the long-term consequences for California and neighboring areas of the Colorado River, and Santa Monica is now seeing a growing number of initiatives to control the use of potable water and find sustainable solutions.
Most recently, a competition asked architects, artists and scientists to conceive sustainable infrastructure projects to improve Santa Monica’s water supply. Bart//Bratke and studioDE developed a raft structure named “Foram” that illustrates the future of floating platforms in sustainable development.
The Land Art Generator Initiative is delighted to announce that LAGI 2016 will be held in Southern California, with the City of Santa Monica as site partner. This free and open call ideas competition invites individuals or interdisciplinary teams to design a large-scale site-specific work of public art that also serves as clean energy and/or drinking water infrastructure for the City of Santa Monica.
The complete Design Guidelines along with CAD files, photos, and more will be available on January 1, 2016 at http://landartgenerator.org/designcomp
The design site includes the breakwater adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier and offers the opportunity to
Shigeru Ban, the 2014 Pritzker Prize winner, is an architect often celebrated for his humanitarian and disaster relief structures, constructed out of recycled or recyclable materials. On the other end of spectrum, he is well-known for his meticulously constructed residential and museum projects, more often than not for high-end wealthy clients. The Nomadic Museum, however, combines both of these facets of his practice, using shipping containers and paper tubes to craft a bespoke mobile gallery for Gregory Colbert’s traveling exhibition of photography entitled Ashes and Snow.