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Michael Webb
writes on modern architecture, design, and travel. He is the author of 26 books, most recently Modernist Paradise: Niemeyer House, Boyd Collection (Rizzoli) and Venice CA: Art +Architecture in a Maverick Community (Abrams). He travels widely in search of new and classic modern architecture and contributes to magazines around the world. Michael lives in the Neutra apartment that Charles and Ray Eames once called home.

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Michael Webb

Saturday
Mar122011

Eyes Up

Frank Gehry, move over. Berlin architect Juergen Mayer, who recently completed the Parasol urban canopy in Seville, has branched out into sunglasses. And the news is that they are asymmetrical, thus identifying the brand with no need of a flashy logo. Mayer has applied his mastery of curvilinear geometry and innovative structures to the architecture of the human face. Better, yet, each pair can be customized—or, in archspeak “Scanning, measuring and decoding a face will give coordinates to mutate and deform a given proto-frame to the individual asymmetries, either to enhance or rebalance the composition of the face.” Calvin Klein was never that cool, and fashionistas no longer need to pay to be a walking billboard. Mayer’s glasses are made by IC! Berlin–check ic-berlin.de for local stockists.



Saturday
Mar052011

Snohetta Principal Speaks at LACMA on March 15th

 Photograph by Gerald Zugmann

Craig Dykers, an American architect who co-founded Snohetta with a group of Norwegians, will discuss the firm’s latest work in an AIA Masters of Architecture lecture at LACMA’s Bing Theater on Tuesday, March 15 at 7pm. Snohetta was named for a Norwegian mountain and launched its practice by winning the prestigious competition for the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. They scored a second big success on home ground with the Oslo Opera House, an ambitious waterfront project that was completed two years ago. Later this year their 9/11 Memorial Pavilion is scheduled to open on the WTC site in New York, where Snohetta has opened a second office. These three projects are among the highlights of a practice that has designed 200 buildings and landscapes around the world. This presentation follows closely on a lecture by Danish wunderkind Bjarke Ingels, and it may offer more insights into the world of architectural innovation –something that seems increasingly hard to find in L.A.

 

Tickets for the Craig Dykers lecture can be at purchased in advance at lacma.org or from the box office, 323.857.6010: $12 general admission; $10 LACMA and AIA members; $5 seniors and students with i.d.



Tuesday
Mar012011

REVIEW: APOP Living: Apartments, Houses, Cities

APOP Living: Apartments, Houses, Cities
Edited by Geog Driendl
(Actar, New York. $69.95)   

From a close-up of one house to an overview of many, all created by the Vienna firm of Driendl Architects. This weighty paperback deconstructs the conventional monograph, interleaving images of people, food, and landscapes with architectural photos and drawings to relate living spaces to everyday life. Multiple authors contribute to the text which wanders off in different directions and employs botanical names to conceal the identities of clients and collaborators. Don’t ask why; just immerse yourself in Driendl’s world of transparency and sustainability; an architecture that’s as sane and satisfying as this book is eccentric and challenging.


Friday
Feb182011

REVIEW: David Adjaye: A House for an Art Collector

David Adjaye: a House for an Art Collector
Texts by Peter Allison, Adam Lindemann and interviews with David Adjaye
Principal photography by Robert Polidori and Lyndon Douglas
(Rizzoli International, $50)

David Adjaye is the Michael Maltzan of British architecture, fusing the cerebral and the tactile, collaborating with artists and collectors, and creating buildings at both ends of the price spectrum. The National Museum of African Art in Washington DC will make him a household name when it’s completed, four years from now. Meanwhile, his reputation rests on the houses and community centers he built in the gritty East End of London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. It’s a big jump to the affluent Upper East Side of New York, a National Historical District where everything that’s visible from the street is sacrosanct. Adam Lindemann needed more space in which to display large contemporary works, bought an abandoned carriage house just off Park Avenue, and commissioned Adjaye to build an edgy, black concrete structure on six levels, concealed behind the protected Beaux Arts façade.

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Saturday
Feb122011

PATRICK TIGHE BUILDS ON MEMORIES AT SCI-ARC

“Out of Memory” is a womb-like cave of wonders that occupies the SCI-Arc gallery though March 13. Conceived by Patrick Tighe, it’s a radical departure from the sharp angles that characterize his built work, most recently the Sierra Bonita apartments in West Hollywood. Inspired by memories of his late father, he collaborated with composer Ken Ueno to create a parabolic structure of foam that is sculpted from within by six-axis robotic milling.

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