THE ARCHITECTS ...
Friday, July 31, 2009
THE ARCHITECTS ...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
who recently turned 93 -
Lawrence Halprin (born July 1, 1916 in New York City) is a prolific and accomplished American landscape architect and educator.
Halprin grew up in New York and spent three of his teenage years in Palestine on a kibbutz. He earned a degree in plant sciences from Cornell University. In 1935 Halprin returned to the US to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Design under Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and landscape architect Christopher Tunnard. In 1944 Halprin was commissioned in the US Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade. He was assigned to the destroyer Morris in the Pacific which was struck by a kamikaze attack. After surviving the destruction of the Morris, Halprin was sent to San Francisco on leave. It was here he would stay following his discharge.
Following an apprenticeship with landscape architect Thomas Church, collaborating with Church on the seminal Dewey Donnell Garden (El Novillero) in Sonoma County California and helping to develop the contemporary California Style garden concept, Halprin opened his own office in 1949. Since 1976 he has been a partner with Sue Yung Li Ikeda.
Halprin's wife, accomplished avant-garde dancer Anna Halprin, is a long-time collaborator, with whom he has explored the common areas between choreography and the way users move through a public space. They are the parents of Daria Halprin, an American psychologist, author, dancer, and actress.
Halprin's work is marked by his attention to human scale, user experience, and the social impact of his designs, in the egalitarian tradition of Frederick Law Olmsted. Halprin was the creative force behind the interactive, 'playable' civic fountains most common in the 1970s, an amenity which continues to greatly contribute to the pedestrian social experience in Portland Oregon, where "Ira's Fountain" is loved and well-used.
He is the co-creator with his his wife of the RSVP Cycle, a creative methodology that can be applied broadly across all disciplines.
- from Wikipedia
are open spaces and fountains -
(perhaps his major contribution to Landscape Architecture)
FDR Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Levi Strauss Plaza, San Francisco, CA
Freeway Park, Seattle, WA
Ira Keller Fountain, Portland, OR
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I offer the suggested revisions for discussion with the designer and the owner. Being a full-time staff member, I am available for meeting with the project planners, the designers and architects and the general public.
The following is one example.
THE DESIGNER ...
AS SUGGESTED BY
THE URBAN DESIGNER ....
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO ? ... look carefully -
A flat roof is atypical of the neighborhood and only increases the appearance of greater height. The arches over the window and door are now similar. Two simple revisions give the design some unity.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Born in 1895 in Milton, Massachusetts, he was the latest
--if not the last--of the New England Transcendentalists.
Like the transcendentalists, Fuller rejected the established religious and political notions
of the past and adhered to an idealistic system of thought based on
the essential unity of the natural world and the use of experiment and intuition
as a means of understanding it.
But, departing from the pattern of his New England predecessors,
he proposed that only an understanding of technology in the
deepest sense would afford humans a proper guide to
individual conduct and the eventual salvation of society.
Buckminster Fuller was one of our world’s first futurists and global thinkers.
His 1927 decision to work always and only for all humanity led him to
address the largest global problems of poverty, disease and homelessness.
He realized early on that by examining global problems in the
context of the whole system—the whole planet—
he would have the best chance of identifying large-scale trends
that would allow him to anticipate the critical needs of humanity.
BUCKMINSTER FULLER INSTITUTE
"Bucky" came to the archictecture exhibition room and talked to the students for almost three hours. His wife dragged him away to go to dinner. He came back around 9 pm to talk to the entire university at the large lecture hall. Around midnight his wife came on stage and said it's late and time for Bucky to get some sleep!
I don't remember all of what he said, but I remember the three questions he wanted architects to answer -
1. How many pieces are in your building?
2. How much does your building weigh?
3. How many BTU's did it take to produce every thing required for your building?
Bucky was searching for the greatest covering he could produce with the most minimal of effort and effect on the environment. He believed that if you wanted to do that - you would work with the most minimal number of elements, that weighed the least amount and took the least amount of energy to produce.
This kind of thinking led Bucky to develop the geodesic dome...
I do believe that the questions are still worth pondering.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Most architects with small offices that I know, assist people with remodels and additions. Many years ago, I had a conversation with an architect in San Francisco whose work I greatly respect - Jeremy Kotas.
I complained about the fact that as a two person office, my partner and I had a large share of additions and remodels between the new houses that came in. He told me that most small offices he knew did the same thing, and that in fact they never turned away a remodel or addition for a former client. In his thought, it was something architects did as a "service".
Santa Cruz Zen Center Priest's Residence -
The existing building had been badly treated over the years. Aluminum sliding windows replaced original wood, the porch had been allowed to crumble and the porch roof sagged.
The center wanted a minor, but sensitive upgrade and a new single car garage. The proposal was relatively simple: rebuild the porch and add capitals to the columns, replace the roof with a small gable pitched as the main roof, build a garage with doors that fit the period of the little cabin (c. 1870) and replace all windows with real wood windows that had real divided lites.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I'm sure this is another one of those "Only in California....
would the question come up" kind of things.
Near the City of Capitola, just to the west, is a district of Santa Cruz County called
Pleasure Point has become an extremely desireable neighborhood and the prices started to skyrocket for small homes on small lots. In the heyday of the real estate boom (two years ago), that meant one million for a teardown.
Paying that kind of money meant that the character of the neighborhood changed rapidly. Some of the folks who have lived there for a long time (and loved the charm of small streets, small houses, ocean views and great surfing down the block) began to organize and complain.
How could their neighborhood character be saved? What is that character? Is the "Beach Cottage" (or "Surf Shack" as it is fondly called locally) part of that character? ......
...this is one way of grappling with the transition, but not intended to be the final answer or total solution.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
RANDALL ROSSI, Ph. D.
After graduation from Berkeley, Randy worked for a private planning firm preparing environmental impact reports and ended up essentially spending all his time working with the Port of San Francisco. He made the Port Director an offer he couldn't refuse. He became the Planning, Environmental and Regulatory consultant to the Port with a reserved parking space directly in front of the Ferry Building. Every week he and the Director had a meeting with Mayor Diane Feinstein (the Port - although not very active as a port - is the biggest money maker for the City of San Francisco).
Randy contracted AIDS and became very ill. He passed away in November, 1992 at the age of 43.
As part of his work for the Port, he fought for the exclusive right of the public to use one of the piers for strolling, fishing, etc. He never saw his dream realized, but the Port of San Francisco completed the project. There on the pier is a plaque describing the effort made by Randall Rossi.
Ever see a plaque dedicated to a Planner?
(Randy was a close friend and
my older daughter's godfather)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
the life of an architect....
AND THERE IS THE ULTIMATE
OF ARCHITECTURE AND POWER....
ya gotta love the pencil....!!!
Sketches of Frank Gehry
rent them...you'll like the personal stories -
and the architecture !!
. . .
for yet another view ...
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
AIA Los Angeles joins the Architecture + Design Community
Julius Shulman's luminous photographs immortalized many of the mid-20th century modernist architects whose homes and buildings he so lovingly photographed throughout his career. As a result of his photographic masterpieces, Julius himself became a superstar in the architectural world. He was a giant in the field and giant, indeed, is the void he left upon his passing last week. Thankfully, he also left an enduring legacy for future generations to cherish and enjoy. His archive of over 260,000 negatives, prints, and transparencies was acquired by the Getty Center in 2005.
"I was lucky to be doing the right thing at the right time. So, anytime someone wanted a photograph of a modern house, Uncle Julius provided the picture."
Julius Shulman's most celebrated work -- a black and white photo of a glass and steel frame home built by architect Pierre Koenig in the Hollywood Hills as the sun was setting on May 9, 1960 (Case Study House No. 22). Here are some links to various perspectives from around the country of Mr. Shulman's extraordinary life and career: The Los Angeles TimesThe New York TimesThe Chicago Sun-Times. If you have personal remembrances that you would like to share with the AIA/LA membership, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to reprint them.
It sure looks like it is either:
a. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
b. Designed by the Taliesin Fellowship
c. Designed by a follower of Wright
We are fortunate to have a book, The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture , so duh...I looked it up.
It was designed by a San Francisco architect, Aaron Green. Mr. Green assisted Wright on many projects and was associate architect for the Marin County Civic Center.
Aaron Green 1917 -2001
Aaron Green was born in Corinth, Mississippi in 1917 and grew up in Florence, Alabama.
Aaron Green studied as an architect at Cooper Union in New York City, New York, which is where he was first introduced to the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. Green first met Wright when asking the renowned architect to design a house for Stanley Rosenbaum. Green was invited by Wright to join Taliesin as an apprentice in the early 1940s, from which point the two maintained a close friendship. Green enlisted in the Air Force during World War II, serving as a bombardier in the Pacific theater.
After the war, Green moved to Los Angeles and worked as an interior designer with industrial designer, Raymond Loewy. During this time, he married and began a family. In 1951, Green moved to San Francisco and founded Aaron G. Green Associates, Inc., an architectural practice dedicated to service-oriented design. In this organization, Green acted as Wright's West Coast representative.
Green participated in forty of Wright's projects. At the time of Wright's death in 1959, the Marin County Civic Center was uncompleted, and Green saw the project through to completion.In 1968, Green became a member of the College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects. He taught as a lecturer and critic at Stanford University's department of architecture for fifteen years. In 2001, Green became the first recipient of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Gold Medal.
Green died on June 5th of 2001 at the age of 84.
- from Wikipedia
Monday, July 20, 2009
THE DEVELOPER ...
The use of common walls and duplex pattern for some of the units opened up more land. Turning the end duplexes at 45 degrees allows less driveway and conformance with the cul-de-sac.
. . .
Sunday, July 19, 2009
COMMONLY FOUND IN NEW ORLEANS -
Land being scarce in New Orleans, the lots are very narrow, typically about 35 feet wide. The shotgun design was developed as an inexpensive design to fit these narrow New Orleans lots. Shotgun houses were built in lower and middle class neighborhoods.
Double Shotgun Floor Plan
The shotgun double house has four shuttered openings on the street - two doors and two windows. The shotgun single will have one door and window in the front. Most Bywater shotgun houses are flush with the sidewalk with the steps and overhang projecting out onto the sidewalk. The original steps were of wood box like construction. This provided a bench-like platform on each side facilitating the New Orleans practice of "stoop sitting."
Early shotgun houses did not contain a bathroom. An outhouse would be constructed in the back yard, and baths would be taken in the bedroom or other room of the house. In later houses, a bathroom with a small hall would be inserted before the last room of the house.
The first two rooms, called double parlors, are usually separated by double pocket doors. The remaining room-to-room doors are single width and may be double leaf "French" doors or single leaf panel doors.
The front roof of the early shotgun ended in a hip. After the 1880's often a gable was inserted above the overhang. The overhang usually was supported by decorative wooden brackets and contained cast iron ventilators. The front foundation wall included two cast iron ventilators as well.
text, floor plans and vent photo from
. . .
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The architecture of the complex is both modern and timeless, as the architecture of the Greek islands.
This project is a series of condos in an "English Village" style of architecture. The units are small and organized on both sides of this delightful landscaped path.
The site runs between two streets and what you don't see is that there are alleys on both sides which hide the garages in the rear of each unit.
I am two of those three now.
- Site Design Review - Case Study #4
- Hat's Off To Larry !!! ..........
- reDESIGN - Case Study #1
- Bucky's Three Questions ....
- Architecture as "Service" - Remodels and Additions...
- Is the "Surf Shack" a Style of Architecture ???
- If You're Going to San Francisco....
- Architects in Film / Fact and Fiction....
- The Passing of One of the Greats....
- Doing It The "Wright" Way....
- Site Design Review - Case Study #3
- SHOTGUN : a type of weapon, a Motown hit from 1965...
- Court Housing in California...
- Site Design Review - Case Study #2
- Gotta Love Them Nudibranchs....
- God is in the Details...
- Site Design Review - Case Study #1
- Design Guidelines... Do They Really Help?
- Meet My New Best Friend - Quercus lobata
- The Spiral of Succulents.... and Other Plant G...
- Why Architects Eat Their Young !!!
- The Lure and Lore of Lighthouses.....
- Spatial Composition - part 4
- Looks Like a Palm Tree to Me .......
- Cities of Brick....
- Creek Walks / Creek Thoughts....
- There are beads...
- Spatial Composition - Part 3
- American Folk Victorian meets Japanese Temple
- Hey, Thanks !!!!
- A Classic Primer on Design Process
- ▼ July (31)