September 20, 2013 |
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 20, 2013 |
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 12, 2013 |
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 |
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.
September 4, 2013 |
With the lines between our work lives and personal time blurring as new technology unchains us from our desks, the notion of what a desirable office looks like is also changing. Corporate America is moving away from conventional layouts where an employee's status is measured by the amount of space he occupies. Instead, more compact, playful designs are coming into favor. People can do their jobs almost anywhere with their cellphones and laptops, the reasoning goes, so let's make the office a place where people are stimulated by close interaction at their workstations and chance meetings in inviting public spaces such as lounges and coffee bars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 |
Leon Whiteson, a Zimbabwe-born architect-turned-critic and novelist who wrote about architecture for publications such as Architectural Digest, the Toronto Star and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, died of cancer Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 82. His death was confirmed by his wife, Aviva Layton. Whiteson was architecture critic at the Toronto Star from 1980 to 1983 and the Herald Examiner from 1984 to 1988. He later wrote freelance articles on architecture and design for the Los Angeles Times and in 1989 was honored by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects with its distinguished achievement award in the media.
August 28, 2013 |
Who knew James Corner, the landscape architect best known for his work on the acclaimed High Line elevated park in Manhattan, had such a picturesque streak? The British-born Corner and his New York firm Field Operations have just finished their first major project in California. The $46.1-million park covers seven acres just west of Santa Monica City Hall, two blocks from the beach. It will open officially with a ceremony on Oct. 19 but could be accessible to the public, once the construction fencing is taken down, as early as a few days after Labor Day. It's actually two parks in one. A small park right at the foot of City Hall, partly open already, is called Ken Genser Square, in honor of the city's late mayor.
August 7, 2013
Re "Dream projects," Aug. 3 That so many grand architectural plans never materialized in Los Angeles over the last several decades cannot be explained as simply as The Times' Christopher Hawthorne and the "Never Built Los Angeles" curators suggest: that our real estate developers lack vision and our politicians lack will. The problem is also that our architects view their clients as patrons rather than partners. The long-term building that Hawthorne advocates will not take place until we, those who build the city - architects, planners, developers, politicians and citizens - learn to treat the process as more than a zero-sum-game.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2013 |
Natalie de Blois' pioneering path through the male-dominated world of architecture was laden with sexist barriers. Despite her status as an associate partner at the Chicago powerhouse Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the 1960s, de Blois invariably was left behind when meetings broke up. "Natalie used to tell stories abut how they would break for lunch and then the male partners would take the clients to an all-male club and she couldn't attend....
July 28, 2013 |
If you stand on the corner of 4th and Spring streets in downtown, it's possible to view sections of at least 12 buildings designed by John Parkinson: the Los Angeles Theatre Center (formerly Security National Bank), the Title Insurance building and the city's first palatial hotel, the Spanish Renaissance-style Alexandria Hotel, to name a few. Oddly, the architect's name is not widely known, but his landmark structures - Los Angeles City Hall, Union Station, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and Bullocks Wilshire - have defined the city's skyline since the early 20th century.