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

Entries in Pamela Burton (2)





Disaster can be turned to advantage and the CSU campus in Northridge, devastated by the 1994 earthquake, has been rebuilt and has gained a facility—the Valley Performing Arts Center—that will benefit students and the population at large. Ten years in the making, it was driven to completion by CSU President Jolene Koester, who shared the vision that inspired Dale Franzen to collaborate with the Santa Monica Community College in the creation of the Broad Theater. VPAC is a much larger complex, comprising a 1700-seat multi-purpose auditorium, a 180-seat black box, classrooms, support spaces, and a studio for the KCSN public radio station. It was designed by HGA Architects of Minneapolis, a specialist in this field, and lead architect Kara Hill saw it through to completion before leaving to establish her own firm.

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REVIEW: Pamela Burton Landscapes

Click image to visit Hennessey + Ingalls BookstorePamela Burton Landscapes
Foreword by Robert A.M. Stern
(Princeton Architectural Press, $50)

I'm in awe of Pamela Burton’s erudition (the way she rattles off familiar and Latin names of every plant in her path) and still more her ability to make those flowers and shrubs thrive and compose natural works of art. It’s a terrible admission, but I cannot recall the names of more than a few species, and plants wither at my touch—a failing so shameful that I had to flee England. However, this collection of seventeen public and private landscapes is more architectural than horticultural, and it drew me in. As the author explains, “When designing gardens, I think of myself as shaping distinctive outdoor rooms in the process of forming spatial axes and proportions of height and width, then creating exploratory paths that serve as connections between those garden rooms. In addition, elements such as openings, lighting, temperature (shade and water), sounds, and furnishings must be considered.” Haptic architecture, employing organic materials.

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