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From the veranda of his house, Bruce Gleason looks down, down, down onto a swath of the San Fernando Valley floor. Daylight is departing, and a rainy mist has furred the vista. A river of car headlamps on Van Nuys Boulevard glows more brilliantly by the moment. "The view. Each night when I come home, I'm re-charmed by it," he says. "Life is in session down there--150,000 people going about their life."
April 24, 2014 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Hans Hollein, the Austrian architect who died Thursday at 80, was one of a small number of architects who set a loose framework for what would become postmodern architecture, with its focus on humor, irony, eclecticism and freewheeling historical quotation. In 1976 Hollein designed a local project that would dramatically raise his profile: a whimsical branch of the Austrian Travel Bureau, which the architect filled with brass palm trees and the faux ruins of Greek columns. The project helped Hollein gain both bigger projects and international notice.
When real estate agent Earl Gervais advertises an open house at 751 Oak Crest Drive in Sierra Madre, he isn't kidding. His listing is a glass pyramid perched in the foothills, with a view all the way to downtown L.A. It is a famous--or, some would argue, an infamous--landmark known to the local gentry simply as "the glass house." While there hasn't been an acceptable offer, luring lookie-loos has not been a problem.
April 24, 2014 | By Christopher Hawthorne
In the 1970s, architecture faced an identity crisis. A lacerating critique of modern architecture's overreach, especially in remaking wide swaths of cities, had left the profession's 20th-century heroes - Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, even Frank Lloyd Wright - without many prominent defenders. But what would take modernism's place? What could architecture do with the rubble of that once dominant movement? Hans Hollein, the Austrian architect who died Thursday in Vienna at 80, according to a family spokeswoman cited by the Associated Press, was among those who provided convincing early answers to those questions.
September 7, 2012 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Fifteen years ago this October, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, opened to rapturous reviews and almost single-handedly changed the course of contemporary architectural culture. Suddenly, every regional capital began to wonder why it too couldn't have a bold new museum to capture magazine covers and draw tourists. Los Angeles got its own taste of the power of museum architecture when the Getty Center by Richard Meier and Partners opened with massive fanfare on its Brentwood hilltop two months later, in December 1997.
May 17, 2013 | By Kelly Scott
The Museum of Contemporary Art released a statement Friday saying it has moved back the opening date of its show about contemporary Los Angeles architecture, part of the Getty's "Pacific Standard Time Presents" initiative, by two weeks, to June 16. The guest curator, Christopher Mount, had raised concerns about the show earlier this month, saying it would not be ready to open on schedule and wondering if it might be canceled. It had been scheduled to open June 2. "MOCA will present its exhibition on   contemporary architecture from Southern California, 'A New Sculpturalism,' opening June 16, 2013 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.," the statement read.  TIMELINE: MOCA in flux "The museum is excited to bring the architecture community in Los Angeles together in recognition of the world-class architecture that has been and continues to be conceived in the city by some of the most renowned and emerging firms and practitioners working today.
October 11, 2013 | By Craig Nakano
The Czech Republic entry in the 2013 Solar Decathlon won the architecture portion of the 19-team university competition Friday, but as the event sped toward its conclusion Sunday at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, a team of students from Austria surged into the overall lead. Czech Technical University students placed first in the architecture judging with a minimalist studio partially wrapped in wood slat canopy. As we noted in a previous article , the design not only cools living spaces with beautiful simplicity but also creates ethereal moments when walking through the structure.
June 5, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
NEW YORK -- On Tuesday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum in New York the architecture world, or what felt like a pretty substantial cross-section of it, gathered to remember the pioneering New York Times and Wall Street Journal architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, who died in January at age 91. I was among the half-dozen speakers, who also included architect Frank Gehry, Getty Trust President and Chief Executive James Cuno and critic Paul...
January 7, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne
Ada Louise Huxtable, the pioneering architecture critic who wrote for the New York Times from 1963 to 1982 and in recent years for the Wall Street Journal, has died. She was 91. Robert N. Shapiro, Huxtable's lawyer and the executor of her estate, confirmed her death. He said Huxtable, who in 1970 won the first-ever Pulitzer Prize awarded for criticism, died Monday afternoon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He also said her papers have been acquired by the Getty Research Institute, in an agreement finalized in recent weeks.
March 26, 2013 | Christopher Hawthorne, Architecture Critic
DALLAS - It's remarkable how slow - and disjointed - architecture can sometimes appear. For nearly a decade, younger architects have pushed for a new agenda in the profession. They've been loudly (and rightly) critical of the expensive, highly mannered and sometimes self-indulgent trophy buildings turned out by some of the world's most prominent architects. And they've helped bring different and more public-minded priorities to the fore. And yet the trophy buildings keep coming.
April 23, 2014 | By Carren Jao
After having grown up on the Monterey Peninsula, L.A. architect Polly Osborne couldn't help but take nature into consideration in her work. "It was all around me," Osborne says. So too were pioneers whose ideas would ripple down the history of green architecture. Will Shaw, one of the founders, with Ansel Adams, of Foundation for Environmental Design, was her stepfather. Lawrence Halprin, a revered elder of landscape architecture, and George Brook-Kothlow, architect of handmade houses, were friends of the family.
March 24, 2014 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
For the third time in five years, the Pritzker Prize is going to a Japanese architect. Shigeru Ban , a 56-year-old architect born in Tokyo, was named the winner of his profession's top honor on Monday. Yet Ban's architecture is markedly different, in form and sensibility, from the work of recent Pritzker winners from Japan. He's best known for quickly assembled buildings, many made of cardboard or shipping containers, designed for parts of the world reeling from war or natural disaster.
March 12, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
The Los Angeles edition of the Architecture & Design Film Festival kicks off its five-day salute to art, architecture, design, fashion and urban planning Wednesday with showings of "If You Build It," "Design Is One: Massimo & Leila Vignelli" and "16 Acres. " The L.A. film festival, running through Sunday, will feature 30 recent feature-length and short films from around the world. "There is something for everyone who likes design at the festival," said the festival's founder and director, architect Kyle Bergman.
February 22, 2014 | By Andrew Bender
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma traces its contemporary history to pioneers who populated the prairies. Now, new urban pioneers are repopulating the capital, Oklahoma City, as restaurateurs re-imagine landmark buildings and create new communities around them. They could hardly have come at a better time: The local economy is booming, and Forbes ranks OKC as the nation's eighth-fastest-growing city, thanks to thriving oil, gas and wind-power sectors as well as fracking. I was here in September for a consulting job, and I extended my stay to find these restaurants with a previous life.
February 12, 2014 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Laugh all you want at those old public-access television clips of the late Dr. Gene Scott, the eccentric televangelist who sometimes wore two pairs of glasses at once and shouted at viewers to "Get on the telephone!" whenever his fundraising totals ebbed. He and his Los Angeles Universal Cathedral, operating from the 1927 United Artists Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, turned out to be surprisingly good friends to historic preservation. And say what you will about the quixotic plan hatched in 2000 by Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood to turn the Forum, once home to Magic Johnson's "Showtime" Lakers and Wayne Gretzky's Kings, into a thriving combination of mega-church and high-end arena.
February 8, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
The post-and-beam Leff/Florsheim house was restored and updated a decade ago using the original plans and footprint. A row of exterior beams at the entrance, resembling spider legs, are a design signature of the architect, Donald A. Wexler. Inside, floor-to-ceiling glass walls bring in views of the surrounding mountains and swimming pool area. Location: 362 W. Via Sol, Palm Springs 92262 Asking price: $2.899 million Year built: 1957 House size: Two bedrooms, three bathrooms, 2,540 square feet Lot size: 13,504 square feet Features: Walled and gated, atriums, open floor plan, den/office, white terrazzo floors, beamed ceilings, fireplace, swimming pool, spa, fire pit, outdoor living room with fountain, outdoor dining area.
May 31, 1987
And now for a word from one of the inhabitants (or is it inmates?) of Frank O. Gehry's "architecture"--in this case the Loyola Law School ("Grand Designs," May 3, by Elizabeth Venant). The interior of this building has all the warmth and charm of a cross between a mental hospital and a minimum-security prison. It lacks any attributes of a human habitat; it is a human warehouse. In the apt words of The Times' beloved urban good-taste maven, Sam Hall Kaplan, there is more to architecture than whether it photographs well.
September 18, 2007 | From the Associated Press
France's president opened a new museum of French architecture in Paris on Monday, with exhibits spanning from the cathedrals of the 11th century to the ultramodern constructions of today. The vast Cite de l'architecture et du patrimoine (City of Architecture and Heritage) is housed in a wing of the Chaillot Palace, which overlooks the Eiffel Tower. The site was once home to a little-known museum of French monuments that has been modernized and diversified in a project that began in 1994.
January 5, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
This newly built marble-clad home at the Madison Club, a golf course community in La Quinta, offers an updated take on Midcentury Modern architecture. Strong horizontal lines, abundant floor-to-ceiling glass pocket doors and a sleeping porch pay homage to the style. Location: 81333 Peary Place, La Quinta 92253 Asking price: $8.495 million Architect: Trace Wilson House size: Five bedrooms, six bathrooms, 8,200 square feet Lot size: 0.72 of an acre Features: Office, glass wine room, home theater with seating for 15, game room, marble flooring, outdoor fireplace, bar, zero-edge swimming pool, dog shower, electric vehicle docking station in garage About the area: In the first half of last year, 698 single-family homes sold in the 92253 ZIP Code at a median price of $352,000, according to DataQuick.
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