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November 20, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Like Frida Kahlo's famous La Casa Azul (“The Blue House”) in Mexico City, the sunny green kitchen of John Benson and Molly O'Brien in Silver Lake resonates with bold and unexpected color. Benson's Latin American roots -- his mother was born in Colombia and raised in Chile, and he was born in Ecuador  -- influenced architect Barbara Bestor, who said she also was reminded of Kahlo's home during the remodel. “In a Spanish house you can get away with lots of color,” Bestor said.
November 19, 2013 | By David Colker
Walt Disney's name is on Los Angeles' world-famous concert hall, but it was a far less-known Disney who came from behind the scenes to ensure that architect Frank Gehry's vision for the building stayed intact. Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's eldest daughter, had previously shunned the limelight along with other women in the family. "We were just three women, my mother, my sister and me," she said in a 2003 Los Angeles Times interview. "Housewives, if you will. " That's pretty much how the public knew her until 1997, when some of the city's most powerful figures came close to forcing out Gehry during a crucial planning phase of the hall.
November 15, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
When British developer Cathedral Group invited 20 architects and designers to create their version of a 21st century dollhouse, the results -- including work by the likes of Zaha Hadid -- were stunning. Each dollhouse was to include at least one feature that made life easier for a child with a disability, and that request seemed to inspire designers, who responded with Braille exteriors and free-flowing spaces.  PHOTO GALLERY: 21st century dollhouses The dollhouses were auctioned off this week at Bonhams in London and raised nearly $145,000 for Kids, a British charity supporting disabled children and their families.
November 1, 2013 | By Lauren Beale
Cantilevered rooms, glass walls and wooden beams give this Pacific Palisades retreat the feel of a tree house. The Modernist home, on a wooded lot in Rustic Canyon, has been restored and immaculately maintained. Location: 730 Brooktree Road, Pacific Palisades 90272 Asking price: $4.25 million Year built: 1974 Architect: Ray Kappe House size: Three bedrooms, four bathrooms Lot size: 10,863 square feet Features: Living room fireplace, breakfast area, library/study, media room, bonus room, service entrance, decks, heated swimming pool, spa. About the area: In the first half of the year, 170 single-family homes sold in the 90272 ZIP Code at a median price of $2.268 million, according to DataQuick.
September 28, 2013 | By Lauren Beale
Flexible spaces, tech-savvy features and outdoor-oriented living are popular with well-to-do U.S. homeowners, a pair of recent surveys show. Among the 300 wealthy consumers polled, open floor plans, full automation/wiring and swimming pools topped the list of important amenities, a study by Coldwell Banker Previews International and the Luxury Institute found. Lower priorities for households earning at least $250,000 annually were staff quarters, tennis/sports courts and catering kitchens.
September 20, 2013 | David Ng
When plans commenced in 1987 to build Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A., architect Frank Gehry was a relatively youthful 58 years old. By the time the hall was completed, after a number of delays and setbacks - not to mention some acrimonious bickering among its key players - the architect had become a 74-year-old eminence grise . Gehry, now 84, recently sat down for a conversation at Disney Hall with Times music critic Mark Swed and...
September 20, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Architecture Critic
Architect Elizabeth Diller was in Los Angeles this week for a press event at the Broad, the new $140-million Bunker Hill museum her New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is designing for philanthropists and art collectors Eli and Edythe Broad. Before she appeared   with Eli Broad, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the museum's founding director, Joanne Heyler, Diller took Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne on a tour of the building, which is under construction and expected to open next fall.
September 20, 2013 | By Diane Haithman
These days, the building on Diane Disney Miller 's mind is San Francisco's Walt Disney Family Museum, opened in 2009. She bubbles with enthusiasm over this recent tribute to her father, Walt, housed in a former Army barracks building in the Presidio. Still, in a recent conversation, it was easy for Miller, 79, to hark back a decade to the opening of the L.A. structure that had dominated her life and architecture headlines around the world: Walt Disney Concert Hall, a project instigated by a $50-million gift from her mother, Lillian Disney.
September 12, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
When a major retrospective of Moshe Safdie's work opens at the Skirball Cultural Center next month, visitors to the museum near the top of the Sepulveda Pass won't just get to see the architect's designs in the form of models and sketches under glass. They'll also be walking through one of Safdie's most extensive projects: the Skirball campus itself. Safdie, who made a brash name for himself as a young architect with the Habitat residential complex built for the 1967 World Expo in Montreal, designed the Skirball's original buildings, which opened in 1994.
September 7, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
The $650-million plan to remake the jumbled campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Boulevard is the fourth such effort in the last three decades. Challenging in concept and architecturally ambitious, the design by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, 70, unveiled in a summer exhibition closing next Sunday, also can't help but make one wonder about the apparent difficulty in building good museum galleries. Is it really so hard? Here's a quick, relatively inexpensive and aesthetically surefire way to construct a first-rate museum building for art. It turns out to be as simple as one, two, three.
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