January 2, 1994 |
Peter Blake is one of the truth-tellers of modern architecture. As the titles of his last books indicate--"God's Own Junkyard," and "Form Follows Fiasco"--he has never attempted to disguise his distress at the deterioration of the American landscape. Now, in a personal memoir, Blake revisits the early idealistic days of his profession and recalls the colleagues who shaped the modern movement.
December 3, 1993 |
In the Verdugo Woodlands is a sylvan structure that rises from the earth like a giant stone-and-wood mushroom. It seems a proper haunt for wood nymphs, faerie queens and mischievous, pipe-blowing satyrs. Its frosty green facade harmonizes with plants, trees and arroyo rock nearby. But the unusual residence--called "the Rodriguez House" after its first owner, pianist Jose Rodriguez--was not created by Pan, Titania or any other mythical sprite.
October 3, 1991 |
In architecture, things are not always what they seem. Often, we dress our buildings up to look as if they were built by the Spanish in the 17th Century, or the French in the 18th. Even modernist architects fake it; they try to make their buildings look new, machined and precisely manufactured, even when they are made out of the same materials put together in the same way as those Spanish neo-haciendas.
November 25, 1990 |
The 1980s were the decade of "celebu-tects"--the "celebrity architects" who designed tea kettles, appeared in magazine advertisements, and were guests on talk shows. In the midst of this self-promotion, I.M. Pei, perhaps America's finest living architect, continued to do what he does best: design buildings which fulfill a practical need yet delight the eye and elevate the spirit. Pei's buildings include the East Building of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Jacob K.
October 28, 1988 |
Britain's future king filled 75 minutes of prime time television today with a scathing attack on soulless, dehumanized modern architecture. "Too many of our modern buildings are huge, blank and impersonal," Prince Charles said in one his milder comments in a documentary on BBC television. Charles, who turns 40 on Nov. 14, has become an influential architectural scourge despite the royal tradition of avoiding controversy.
May 14, 1988 |
Honored last weekend at Cal Poly Pomona's School of Environmental Design was architect Raphael Soriano, who practiced in Los Angeles with distinction in the 1930s through the '50s. Now 83 and living in Claremont, Soriano, is best remembered for his pioneering use of steel framing for housing and office buildings and his disciplined designs in the severe, smooth international Modernist style.
December 26, 1987 |
The '50s pink Cadillac that can be seen through the window of the diner at the northeast corner of 3rd Street and Harper Avenue may catch your attention, but more interesting is the architecture of the small Fairfax District retail center in which it is located. The architecture is functional, fun and pedestrian-friendly, a rare and welcome combination these days for what amounts to a mini-mall.
November 1, 1987 |
IN MOVIES TODAY, actors aren't the only scene stealers. Contemporary architecture and design are playing an ever in creasing screen role. After a long period of naturalism in production design, films once again have become more stylized, exploiting dramatic buildings and interiors to create an image. So, coincidentally, has architecture.
March 29, 1987 |
Donald Albrecht, an architect by profession with an obvious affection for the movies, has combined his two loves to bring us a meticulous examination of the period between 1920 and 1939, in which the glamour industry brought modern architecture to the attention of the world. His scholarly exposition of modern architecture's influence on film design is a book for students of both architecture and film, and for anyone who wonders about the forces that shaped those magical celluloid fantasies.