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Jack Laxer

The Passing of Architectural Photographer Jack Laxer

Jack Laxer spent the past six decades making his name as the most prolific and iconic architecture photographer of the 20th century.  He made his name focusing on the photography of Googie architecture, specifically in Los Angeles. His artistic talent and creative eye captured the essence and feel of the mid-century modern movement in and around Los Angeles. 

Googie architecture is a form of modern architecture and originated in Southern California in the late 1940s. It was a popular form of architecture with gas stations, coffee houses and motels. It later became known as mid-century modern architecture, which represented the populace style. Googie architecture features include upswept roofs, geometric shapes and very bold use of glass, steel and neon. Jack Laxer captured the style and form of the movement throughout the Los Angeles region.

His photographs of California modern architecture have been published in magazines and books, displayed in museums, and included in educational programs since the 1950s. He photographed the homes of Lucille Ball and Harold Lloyd with the Stereo Realist camera.      

He captured the architecture of Southern California in vivid color, sometimes even in three dimensions. He was 3D before 3D was cool. His subject matter perfectly embodies the spirit of modernism, both as an artistic movement as well as an everyday reality in postwar Los Angeles. 

Jack Laxer passed away in Culver City at the age of 91. He not only photographed Googie architecture, but found artistic inspiration in backyard parties, chemical molecules and other bits of life that brought us all joy. In 2009, he was awarded the Modern Master award by the Los Angeles Conservancy and had the honor to be a featured speaker at the Googie World Expo.      

His amazing views offer a full-color, 3D glimpse into a world that no longer exists, even as we drive by it every day.

From the Factory Floor

Finishing the powdercoat for these Belair beauties!
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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

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southern California, architecture

The Crazy Architecture of Southern California

Southern California is home to the movie capital of the world. Creativity and imagination is what inspires our culture and our economy. The environment of make-believe allows entrepreneurial spirits to create environments and products that allow us to get lost in our imaginations. These inspirations could not be lost on the architectural world in our region. A British traveler noted after a visit to Southern California in the 1930’s that either “we had lost our minds or he had stumbled into a fantasy universe.” So was the influence of mimetic architecture in Southern California.

The practice of mimetic architecture, also known as novelty or programmatic architecture, is a style of building design popularized in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. It is characterized by unusual building designs that mimic the purpose or function of the building, or the product it is associated with. Mimetic architecture was particularly popular between the 1920s and 1950s, as cars became widespread and freeways were built across America. Some roadside architecture started to be seen as a means for advertising to passing cars. For example, a roadside restaurant might be designed in the shape of a giant hot dog, a coffee shop in the shape of a coffee pot, or a fruit stand in the shape of a piece of fruit.

“If, when you went shopping, you found you could buy cakes in a windmill, ices in a gigantic cream-can, flowers in a huge flowerpot, you might begin to wonder whether you had not stepped through a looking glass or taken a toss down a rabbit burrow and could expect Mad Hatter or White Queen to appear round the next corner.”

British tourist visiting LA, 1930’s

From the iconic Brown Derby, to the numerous wigwam hotels that dotted the region, to giant donuts, ice cream and hotdogs, Southern California have been replete with some of the finest examples of mimetic architecture. While none of these buildings were terribly important in the historical value of the region, others were iconic landmarks that will remain etched in our historical memories and evoke the culture and feel of the Southern California lifestyle.

From the ADG Jobsite

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

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Fushengyu Hotspring Resort

Fushengyu Hotspring Resort Refreshes

Tree capped mountains generously dotted with temples are the signature of the Luo Fu Shan mountain range in China. The valleys of the range are distinctly rugged, carved out by flowing rivers with natural springs that bubble up into warm water wells. The Sichuan Basin and adjacent areas were the cradle of civilizations dating back to the 15th century BC. Just north of the town of Sichuan is the ideal location for the Fushengyu Hotspring Resort, design by AIM Architecture.

The Fushengyu Hotspring Resort offers a breathtaking architectural ensemble of structures that create the perfect retreat for the body and spirit. A central building named MuCeCo has a striking vaulted roof, making it appear more like a grand tent that a great commercial building. The lobby is dramatic, opening up into the main space of the building which contains a museum, a wedding hall and a conference hall. It then flows out the opposite side revealing a large deck exposing the valley below, overlooking the spa and park.    

From the beginning of the project, it was clear that the design of Fushengyu Hotspring resort would be driven by the ruggedly stunning scenery it is nestled within. The concept was shaped clearly on the land, and water that highlights this breathtaking region of Sichuan. As you progress through each step of bathing and relaxing in the warm pools of the spa, you get the opportunity of experiencing unique views of the range and valley from the different positions in the pools.

The guest villas of the Fushengyu Hotspring Resort are uniquely individual, but at the same time, create a unique uniformity of the resort. The timber structures feeling sturdy because of the rough timber, but constantly soothing. They evoke a sense of community and privacy for the guest experience. 

Funshengyu Hotspring Resort has a total area of approximately 764,000 square feet of built space nicely arranged on 52 acres. It is a resort that measures its success to the quality of the human experience in nature. It is a getaway that combines nature with luxury and careful contemporary architecture.

From the ADG Jobsite

Large lights for a beautiful beach home!

Custom Lighting Adg

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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Featured Professional – Greg Shain, Shain Development

Greg

Shain Development, Inc. is a full service general contracting and design firm based in Los Angeles, specializing in luxury home development, which includes new construction, remodels, and restorations. They are second generation builders with over 30 years of experience.

Greg is a second generation home builder who grew up in the business of developing high end custom homes. At the age of fifteen years old, Greg was on the construction site working hand in hand with his father, Mark Fisher, learning the business from the ground up. As time progressed, Greg developed his skills, learning all the stages, phases, and inter-workings of design and development.  Greg strives for excellence and works tirelessly to make sure no detail, whether it be inside the walls or under the dirt, is overlooked.

Kanye West Yeezy Studio Calabasas

Kanye West Launches YEEZY Home In Calabasas

“I want to do product, I am a product person. Not just clothing but water bottle design, architecture … I make music but I shouldn’t be limited to once place of creativity. I hang around architects mostly, people that wanna make things as dope as possible.”

~Kanye West, YEEZY

Entertainer, entrepreneur and social icon, Kanye West is constantly pushing the envelope and impacting modern culture. Best know for his music, he has taken his YEEZY brand to the top of fashion circles and made a name for himself as a designer. His shoe brand has become one of the most influential brands on the market.  Now, he is taking his YEEZY brand into the design space, specifically working with architects and interior designers to bring his inspirations to life. The design space is located in Calabasas, CA and will be the creative studio and headquarters for all aspects of the YEEZY brand.

The space was designed by longtime West collaborator Willo Perron. The equal parts rough and minimal spaces contain a mix of production facilities for West’s YEEZY brand clothing line, a recording studio, and meeting spaces, among other uses. The creative spaces reflect West’s collaborations with Axel Vervoordt for the rapper’s nearby home in Hidden Hills and speak to an interest on the part of West to mix and match visual modes. The endeavor will aim to include architectural and urban design in West’s growing collaborative art practice, which already includes music, film, fashion, and performance art initiatives. 

Kanye West has been known also for his outspoken political and social views, not to mention his strange behavior and comments during awards shows over the years. This has created a significant amount of controversy. Whether he is a lightning rod for public opinion or a genius marketer is up for significant debate. However, there is no doubt that the YEEZY brand is influential and Kanye is the one people are buzzing about. The old saying that any PR is good PR because people are talking may be just his approach. With that being said, Kanye West is a successful creative, and he is opening a door to an avenue for him to innovate and collaborate in with the backing of a powerful and influential brand.  

From the ADG Jobsite

A pair of gigantic lanterns at a client’s beach house 

Adg Custom Lighting Jobsite

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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La Fi Hotprop Carroll Oconnor Broad Beach 20180328

Celebrity Malibu Beach Home Hits the Market

Renovated Smart Home Features Custom Designs of Premier Firm ADG Lighting

Another celebrity estate has hit the real estate market in the coveted neighborhood of Broad Beach, situated in the northern area of Malibu. 

Renovated by noted architect and interior designer Michael Lee, the former estate of “All in the Family” actor Carroll O’Connor is adorned with modern lanterns designed and manufactured by ADG Lighting in both the pool area and at the stairway. 

The two-level, 3,700 square foot home is located at 30826 Broad Beach Road, and comes with a sauna, four cabana style bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and french doors. This smart home also comes equipped with solar panels and Tesla battery backup. 

Gerald Olesker, founder and CEO of ADG Lighting, was thrilled at the outcome of the renovation. “The beauty of the location, combined with the Moroccan architecture of the home, made this project a masterpiece,” said Olesker. 

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

The home is currently listed by DeeDee Cortese of Coldwell Banker Malibu.