There’s a new kid on the block in Los Angeles’s Koreatown neighborhood—the Vermont, a new high rise on the bustling corner of Wilshire and Vermont. Developed by JH Snyder Co. and designed by the Jerde Partnership, it’s a dynamic statement on the current state of urban design in Los Angeles.
Entries in Los Angeles (31)
By Michael Webb
The New York Architecture and Design Film Festival was SRO last October, and it’s being reprised in LA, March 12-16, at the downtown Los Angeles Theater Center, 514 South Spring Street. Highlights include Tadao Ando: from Emptiness to Infinity, documentaries on visionary architects Paolo Soleri and Eugene Tssui, and a community building program in the poorest county of North Carolina. I’ll be moderating a panel on the restoration of classic modern houses with Kelly Lynch, Michael Boyd, and Frank Escher on the afternoon of Sunday 16th and that will be followed by The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat, a portrait of the little gem in Lone Pine, CA, that Kelly Lynch and Mitch Glazer lovingly restored. Featured designers include Massimo and Lella Vignelli, and the British maverick Paul Smith. The scandal of Chavez Ravine and the misguided reinvention of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia will be explored, along with a dozen other projects, large and small. It’s must-attend event, and you should buy your tickets asap at adfilmfest.com.
A solid foundation is the key to everything—especially if you’re talking about buildings or rooms. With that in mind, designer Jennifer Ridel launched Foundation, a line of furnishings with good bones and great lines that can provide a sturdy base on which to build a room.
The pieces are all handmade in Ridel’s shop, which just happens to be located behind the main showroom in Van Nuys (she sells to professional and non-pro clients alike). “We can push the quality,” she explains, and adds that all of her suppliers are local too. Her craftspeople don’t use staple guns, and the pieces all feature cotton filling, jute banding and eight-way hand ties. “You feel the difference when you sit on the furniture,” she notes.
If you’ve spent any time exploring LA, you’ve seen a dingbat. They’re everywhere—boxy apartment buildings with names like The Palms or The Tropics. Over the years, architects have had something of a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, “their relentless efficiency,” as architect Thurman Grant calls it, is noteworthy, while their grim aesthetics (out of step with the romance their monikers conjure up) have not helped their reputation.
Next week, a new kind of film festival hits Los Angeles. For the first time, the city will play host to the first New Urbanism Film Festival, the brainchild of Josh Paget and Joel Joel Karahadian, two Angelenos with a passion for New Urbanism. Their interest in the subject led them to start a group, Noodles and New Urbanism, a monthly meet-up where developments and ideas around the topic could be discussed. It led to a blog, for members to discuss topics further, and, ultimately, the film festival, where a critical mass of like-minded people could come together on a larger scale. The festival will run four days and feature a range of films on issues relating to new urbanism. Walking tours, workshops and a podcast are all on the schedule.
We aked festival co-director Joel Karahadian a bit about more about the genesis of the project and what they hope to accomplish.