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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Paulwilliams Architect Historical

Paul Williams Shaped the Face of Los Angeles Architecture

Black History Month is celebrated during February and is the perfect opportunity to recognize the contributions of a historic and groundbreaking black architect who shaped the face of Los Angeles architecture forever.

“Planning is thinking beforehand how something is to be made or done, and mixing imagination with the product – which in a broad sense makes all of us planners. The only difference is that some people get a license to get paid for thinking and the rest of us just contribute our good thoughts to our fellow man.”

Paul Williams, Architect

Paul Williams was a native Angeleno and largely practiced in Southern California. He was the only African-American student in his elementary school and went on to study at the Los Angeles School of Art, the Los Angeles branch of the New York Beaux-Arts Institute of Design. He went on to further his education at the University of Southern California (USC) studying architecture, where he designed several residential buildings while a student there. He became a certified architect in 1921, becoming the first black architect west of the Mississippi. He later became a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1923 and was inducted as their first black fellow. When he began his career, he could not find another black architect to be a role model or mentor.

Williams made his name by being an architect to the stars. His work would come to signify the glamorous and luxurious lifestyle of Southern California. One of the hallmarks in his designs was a luxurious curving staircase, which was the prominent feature in a 1925 Colonial he built in Brentwood for a notable financial services mogul. The new owner remarked that when he first saw the home, it looked so luxurious that he wasn’t sure he could afford the home, but if he could afford the staircase, he would take it with him. Williams’ homes were soon know for their grace, design and elegant proportions. They attracted such clients as Frank Sinatra, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Lon Chaney, Sr., Lucille Ball, Julie London, Tyrone Power, Barbara Stanwyck, Bert Lahr, Charles Correll, Will Hays, Zasu Pitts, and Danny Thomas. In all, he designed over 2300 homes in the Hollywood Hills and the Mid-Wilshire district.

Paul Williams retired in 1973 and passed in January of 1980. In October 2015, a monument and memorial plaza was dedicated to Williams north of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building. It features a bas relief of Williams with many of his works.

Custom Lighting From the Factory Floor

Inspired fixture by ADG…just like an Erector set with lights!

Custom Lighting Creative Lighting Adg

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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Sustainable Architecture Design Sustainability

Sustainable Architecture Can Provide Sustainable Shelter

Our world is changing and challenging us to face new realities never considered before. Climate change, drought, famine and wars are creating a situation where people are without adequate and affordable housing. With a global population of over one billion people, the lack of adequate housing is only going to increase. Experts are now looking to sustainable architecture to provide solutions to this crisis. Structures initially designed using sustainable architecture to provide housing for future inhabitants on Mars for NASA may be the answer.

“Forced displacement from war or persecution is one of humanity’s great challenges in the 21st century. It’s not about to go away any time soon and those who are affected desperately need our help.”

Kathryn Mahoney, Senior Communications Officer for the UN’s Refugee Agency.

Sustainable Architecture Creates Solutions

The late Nader Khalili, architect and founder of Cal-Earth, started his quest for answers in 1974, when he became determined to find housing solutions for people with limited money and no resources. At that time, Khalili discovered that millions of people around the globe were either refugees, homeless or just a few steps away from disaster. He spent five years traveling in the Iranian desert and learned from indigenous communities how they used sustainable architecture to their advantage. His non-profit Cal-Earth now teaches the concept of building SuperAdobes. The method is simple. Put to use the raw elements available, with basic architectural principles and habitable shelter becomes a reality. All that is needed would be soil, water, sand bags, barbed wire and a shovel to complete a structure.

When you are building with natural materials, you are creating solutions through sustainable architecture that addresses the challenges of war, storms and other potential disasters. No matter what the situation people may find themselves in, the skills developed by Cal-Earth using sustainable architecture techniques will allow people to build in any situation. Dastan and Sheefteh Khalili carry on with the groundbreaking work of their father through Cal-Earth. Their vision is that people will be able to build homes that work in harmony with nature and a minimal carbon footprint.

From the Factory Floor

Sketch of new lighting fixture
Custom Lighting Architect Adg
 by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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N9612 0822SF UD Master SR Lkg Fwd Copy

Yacht Design Project Nominated For Prestigious Awards

Our unique collaboration with Scott Cole of Ardeo Design to design lighting for the Ardeo yacht project Lacey Kay has received well-deserved accolades with recent award recognition. The Lacey Kay is a 96’ foot New Nordhavn Super Yacht, based out of the Caribbean. Ardeo Design was commissioned to work on the interior design of the new yacht, and ADG Lighting was the perfect choice to partner with them on the project. The Lacey Kay project was nominated for several awards:

Boat International Design & Innovation Awards 2018 recognized the Lacey Kay as a finalist for 2018. Previously known as the ShowBoats Design Awards, the refreshed awards program acknowledges not only the naval architecture and styling, but also design aspects that represent innovation and engineering amid the changing demands of owners and the increased product portfolio of technology.

The International Yacht & Aviation Awards are in their 8th year and are the only design-focused awards for the industry. The Lacey Kay was a 2017 winner. There are other events which are, of course, are similar in nature, but none that have come about with the sole intention on focusing on the essential design elements of both the yacht and aviation sectors.

International Superyacht Society Awards recognized the Lacey Kay as a finalist in 2017. It is the global association for the superyacht industry.

ADG Lighting was challenged to bring the client’s vision to reality. The owner of the Lacey Kay had a vision of walnut wood, leather and fabric on the interiors with accents of polished stainless steel. The creative offerings from ADG Lighting included a chrome shade wall sconce and a round drum chandelier. Both offerings precisely created the vision of the client and Ardeo Design. The final design concept surpassed the owner’s expectation and vision for a design that featured natural and metallic elements. The partnership was the perfect opportunity for ADG Lighting to feature their creative collaboration approach to design. The Lacey Kay was delivered to the owner in early 2016.

Photo Credit: Martin Fine. Interior Design: Scott Cole.

 

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