September 21, 2013 |
If you ask Solar Decathlon director Richard King why the average person might want to swing by the U.S. Department of Energy's biennial competition when it opens in 12 days, he answers with a question of his own: "Where else can you see 20 houses so inspiring, side by side?" Indeed, on Sept. 23, 20 teams consisting of students from 30 schools as diverse as Stanford, El Paso Community College and the Vienna University of Technology begin assembling the most unusual housing tract to hit Orange County.
August 2, 2013 |
Tony Unruh and Keith Sidley had much in common. Both were Jewish architects from South Africa transplanted to the same Los Angeles neighborhood. Both had married non-Jewish women from Maryland, and both had two young kids. Perhaps most important, both had an affinity for Midcentury architect Gregory Ain. Unruh had bought Ain's old architecture office on Hyperion Avenue. Sidley was living with his family in a Silver Lake home designed and built in the early '40s by Ain. As their friendship grew, the architects spent many nights talking about how they could renovate Sidley's house.
April 4, 2013 |
When Kathleen Nolen approached architect Tony Unruh about restoring her 1941 Silver Lake home by Midcentury great Gregory Ain, Unruh said he viewed the project as “bringing this masterpiece into the 21st century.” For Ain, who grew up in Lincoln Heights and is best known for designing modern, affordable housing, the original assignment wasn't so easy. He was commissioned to build the Orans House, as it is known, on a small, steep site surrounded by homes. “He designed the house to step up the hill with sightlines that would avoid the view of the houses below and a living room with full glass panels to the backyard,” Unruh said.
August 30, 2012 |
In a tip of the hat to revered Los Angeles modernist architects Gregory Ain, Rudolph Schindler, Harwell Harris and others, the American Institute of Architects' Los Angeles chapter is kicking off a series of home tours devoted to small, rarely seen designs that have been thoughtfully updated. The Modernist/Contemporary Tour launches Sept. 23 in Santa Monica with a tour of Harris' 850-square-foot house for John Entenza, the Arts & Architecture magazine editor who launched the Case Study program in the 1940s.
August 18, 2011 |
If walls could speak. That's what came to mind when I noticed a short newspaper item announcing that the former home of Ben Margolis, an attorney who advocated on behalf of downtrodden workers, besieged Reds and persecuted labor activists, was for sale. The hillside Los Feliz house, designed by Gregory Ain in the early 1950s, with a 21st century addition by Pierre Koenig, is being offered for just under $2 million. The house Ain built Margolis is likely to sell even in the current slow market: Midcentury modern architecture is in demand at the moment.
HOME & GARDEN
July 11, 2011 |
A Los Feliz house built for famed civil rights attorney Ben Margolis, who defended the blacklisted "Hollywood 10" in the McCarthy era, has come on the market at $1,999,951. Designed by Gregory Ain to emphasize indoor-outdoor living and constructed in 1952, the main house features clerestory windows and sliding walls of glass. The 2,883 square feet of living space include four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Ain is known for his Mar Vista Modernique development of homes built in the late '40s.