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Category Archives: Architecture

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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climate change, green architecture, architecture, innovation, creative

Climate Change: Will We See Floating Architecture?

“Given the impact of climate change, we can begin to think a lot more about the opportunity for living with water as opposed to fighting it,”

~Kunle Adeyemi, Architect

In an age where we grapple with the effects of climate change and rising water level across the globe, the question now becomes how will our cities properly deal with the challenge? Some in the architectural community put forward the idea that floating buildings will be the answer moving forward. These innovative ideas are being promoted in a wide variety of designs in various locations around the world. Solutions that are being offered range from floating prefab homes to entire neighborhoods that are totally amphibious.

Core samples, tide gauge readings, and most recently, satellite measurements tell us that over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches. However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 0.13 inches a year, roughly twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years. When sea levels rise rapidly, as they have been doing, even a small increase can have devastating effects on coastal habitats. As seawater reaches farther inland, it can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants.

With the ever-increasing threat of rising water, a community that has pioneered the idea of water-based living is the Netherlands. With over half of its landmass underwater, the Netherlands have mastered the art of water management, namely through an effective and creative canal system. Climate change has forced that creativity forward to find more ambitious ways to transform its cities. In Amsterdam, you will find innovative houseboats all around the city. One of the most creative designs is a slatted timber structure that floats and has one story submerged below the water level. Designs now exist for an entire housing complex that can float and is set on artificial islands.

Other examples of floating architectural design that are meeting the challenges of rising water levels can be found in Lagos, Nigeria, which is battling significant rises in tides and water levels. Architect Kunle Adeymi has designed numerous floating buildings in the region, including schools and radio stations. Other innovations are being offered by teams from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Their idea was to design and build prefabricated houses that can be shipped and assembled anywhere in the world.

From The Design Studio

Collection from the ADG showroom

custom lighting, design, architecture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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The Passing of an Architectural Giant

“Neave was a pioneer. He showed us how intellectual rigor, sensitive urbanism, and supreme design skill, with determination, could deliver wellbeing to the local community he served so well.”

Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President

An RIBA Gold Medal winner and one widely considered a giant for his contributions, the architectural community suffered the loss of Neave Brown at age 88. He passed on January 9th in London, England. Brown was a celebrated architect and social housing pioneer, best known for his work on three iconic post-war housing designs in London.

Brown was an American-born British architect and artist. He specialized in modernist housing and is best known for his modernist, high-density housing designs across the U.K. He is the only architect to have had all his UK work listed. In October 2017, he won the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for his 1968 design of Alexandra Road Estate, which is now considered a landmark of British social housing.

The basic design of the complex was determined in 1968, but met with opposition from the Camden Planning Department, who believed that a low-rise development may not reach the required population density. The project was finally approved in 1969, the license granted in 1970 and construction began in 1972. The first residents settled in 1978, although overall it was completed in 1979. It was the first Alexandra Estate housing complex which won the postwar protection grade II in 1993 at that time it was described as “one of the most prominent groups of buildings produced in England since World war exceptional architectural interest.” The property was declared a Conservation Area in 1994.

The property consists of three blocks east to west in parallel, and occupies a site in a crescent shape. Rowley Way has its main entrance on the west, in Abbey Road NW8, the famous Abbey Road immortalized by the Beatles in Camden, in the city of London.

“He brought a thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit to his architecture which has been appreciated by generations of residents of his social housing. It was fitting that the RIBA Gold Medal award last year gave him the opportunity to experience the love that so many have for his work, and for the man.”

John Grindrod, author of Concretopia – a Journey around the Rebuilding of Post War Britain

From the Factory Floor

White metallic ring pendant in production phase 5

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#modernhome #floridabound

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Architecture History: Recognizing the Women of Architecture

Beverly Willis and Wanda Bubriski have spent the past five years documenting the work of women in architecture. Since 2012, the work of women in architecture has been exhaustively researched, fact checked, and photo documented to promote the influence of those being recognized. The website Pioneering Women of American Architecture has finally been launched and features architects who have met the strictest criteria of a jury of architectural historians. Some of the women included on the website are Ada Luise Huxtable, Marion Mahoney Griffin and Ray Kaiser Eames.

Beverly Willis is an American architect who played a major role in the development of many architectural concepts and practices that influenced the design of American cities and architecture. Her achievements in the development of new technologies in architecture, urban planning, public policy and her leadership activities on behalf of architects are well known. Willis is best known for her built-work of the San Francisco Ballet Building. She is the co-founder of the National Building Museum, in Washington, D.C., and founder of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, a non-profit organization working to change the culture for women in the building industry through research and education.

After 35 years leading her firm FAIA, Willis found that women in architecture were not represented in books that documented the practice and history of architecture. This inspired her to work with two architecture historians who shared her concerns. In 2002, the Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation (BWAF) was founded with a mission of advancing the knowledge and recognizing the work of women in architecture. BWAF commissions and curates research that pertains to women working in all disciplines of architecture.

Check out the work of BWAF and the website here.

From the ADG Factory Floor

A series of dashes…bronze work

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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568NTigertail Print 1 Copy

PRESS RELEASE: $23 Million Brentwood Home Purchased by NBA Player LeBron James

Spec Mansion Features Work of Premier Firm ADG Lighting

Los Angeles – December 21, 2017 – Another sports figure has snapped up prime real estate in the Los Angeles area — and straight from the portfolio of premier lighting firm ADG Lighting. NBA player LeBron James has purchased a newly built spec mansion for $23 million.

The contemporary European-styled home, with eight bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms, features custom lighting by ADG. All exterior sconces and pendants were designed and manufactured by the renowned firm, in addition to the lighting in the kitchen, dining room, master bathroom, and kitchen. They also designed the brass bathroom mirrors with ball lights in the powder room.

The 16,000 square foot home is located on North Tigertail Drive in Brentwood, and comes complete with a steam room, elevator, home theater, and massage room.

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Gerald Olesker, founder and CEO of ADG Lighting, worked with interior designer Tiffany Harris of Tiffany Harris Design and listing agent Santiago Arana of The Agency. “This home was simply a masterpiece of European elegance,” said Olesker. “We’re thrilled that LeBron will be able to enjoy all the beauty the home has to offer.”

LeBron James is amongst the growing list of celebrities and sports figures who have purchased homes adorned with the lighting work of Gerald Olesker. Herb Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, is a past client of Olesker’s.

Cleveland Cavaliers V Boston CelticsPhoto Credit ~ Maddie Meyer – Getty Images

Gerald Olesker has over 20 years experience in industrial design, and applies his background as a trained architect on all of the custom design projects he has worked on. His firm has several projects in the works across Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and in major cities across Arizona, Oregon, Texas, and Florida.

ADG Lighting’s custom work can be seen in showrooms across the country, with locations in West Hollywood, Austin, and San Luis Obispo.

About ADG Lighting

With offices in Agoura Hills and Newport Beach, California, ADG Lighting works with multi-family homes, spec homes, beach homes, restaurants, hotels & resorts, and landmarks worldwide providing high caliber design and sustainable lighting solutions. Viewed millions of times online, the firm’s work has been featured in several media outlets, including 20/Twenty Architectural & Beyond, California Homes Magazine, Elle Decor, Interior Design, SFV Business Journal, Architectural Digest, Institute of Classical Architecture Publications, Wall Street Radio, Fox News Charlene on Green Hawaii, North American Design’s Green Leaders of Tomorrow, LA City Watch, LUXE Magazine + other award-winning magazines, books, programs and properties around the world.

From the Factory Floor

Silver balls headed to New York for the New Year!

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting