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Monthly Archives: March 2017

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The Architectural Masterpiece of Louis Kahn

“Wanted to share the innovation and creativity of Louis Kahn. He was truly an architectural powerhouse and one of my Top 5 favorite architects of all time!”

Gerald Olesker, Founder & CEO

Louis Isadore Kahn was an American architect, based in Philadelphia. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935. While continuing his private practice, he served as a design critic and professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture from 1947 to 1957.

From 1957 until his death, he was a professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings for the most part do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn’s works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative proposals that remained unbuilt, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the RIBA Gold Medal. At the time of his death he was considered by some as “America’s foremost living architect.”

He was the designer of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and is regarded as one of the great master builders of the 20th century. With complex spatial compositions and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. In addition to the Kimbell, his most important works include the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Learn more and enjoy the work of Louis Kahn here.

From the Factory Floor

Getting ready to ship a large ring chandelier to a happy client in New York!


by ADG Lighting

architecture, design, new architecture, innovation, adg lighting blog

New Architecture: Designing the Campus of the Future

“You go into malls and they float all kinds of Roman columns and fake images. It’s Disney. It’s superficial. It’s mass produced. It’s empty.”

Travis Price, Award Winning Architect & Philosopher

University campus architecture was all about luxury dorms and recreational facilities. The structures did not reflect the high purpose of innovation and creativity that we would hope to find on a university campus. The buildings and structures designed for higher learning reflected either centuries old design or utilitarian ideals that are not conducive to the environment of learning. Shouldn’t the architecture of higher learner reflect the ideals of inspiration and innovation?

Architecture That Inspires Learning

New ideas and new architecture are beginning to impact the face of universities. New designs being introduced are dynamic, revolutionary and present new ways to provide spaces for higher learning. These new architectural designs focus not only on the classroom environments, but also on the importance of spaces that host students working outside of scheduled class times. Not only are different types of courses considered, but also the different types of learning modalities of the students. By creating the “place to be,” the level of excitement and spontaneous creativity runs high and promotes a real awareness of the importance of engagement. By creating a luminous, transparent and comfortable physical environment, filled with artwork and inviting, collaborative and engaging spaces, the new architecture manifests itself throughout the design.

Architecture Creates the Future Vision of Education

Students are changing the university climate of higher education. They are challenging all preconceived notions of what a university is and what it provides to further student education. Bland, cookie cutter classrooms and impractical spaces just are not conducive for a learning environment. Architectural design for our universities must reflect these changes and provide a more inspirational environment for higher learning. Faculty, students and architects are collaborating to bring a new look to our university campus architecture.

ADG on the Job Site – Redlands, CA.

New barn project … A chicken coup view from main house


job site, architecture, construction, lighting design, adg lighting blog

historical architecture, Detroit, architecture, design, adg lighting blog

Historical Architecture: Detroit Makes a Statement


The city of Detroit has gone through a major economic and demographic decline in recent decades. The population of the city has fallen from a high of 1,850,000 in 1950 to 701,000 in 2013. The city’s automobile industry has suffered from global competition and has moved much of the remaining production out of Detroit. Local crime rates are among the highest in the United States, and vast areas of the city are in a state of severe urban decay. In 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history, which it successfully exited on December 10, 2014. However, poverty, crime, and urban blight in Detroit continue to be ongoing problems.

With all of that said, Detroit established itself as the epicenter of innovation and industry in the United States in the early part of the 20th century. It left a legacy through its historical architecture that reflected the money, power and innovation the city represented.

The Historical Architecture of Detroit

During the 19th century, Detroit grew into a thriving hub of commerce and industry, and the city spread along Jefferson Avenue, with multiple manufacturing firms taking advantage of the transportation resources afforded by the river and a parallel rail line. In the late 19th century, several Gilded Age mansions were built just east of Detroit’s current downtown. Detroit was referred to by some as the ‘Paris of the West’ for its architecture, and for Washington Boulevard, recently electrified by Thomas Edison. Throughout the 20th century, various skyscrapers were built centered on Detroit’s downtown. Many areas of the city are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and included national historic landmarks. As the city grew, its wealth and power were reflected in the grand architecture of the time. The builders spared no expense and flaunted the wealth and prosperity of the city.

A pictorial exploration of the grandest of Detroit’s architecture is featured here.

From the Factory Floor

Proud to be Made in America

                                                                                             Screen Shot 2017 03 15 At 1.34.58 PM

american architecture, mental asylums, decaying architecture, adg lighting blog

American Architecture: Architectural Ruins Designed to Heal

Between 1848 and 1890, dozens of grand mental asylums were built around the United States under the Kirkbride Plan, designed by Thomas Story Kirkbride. An architecture of fresh air and sunlight offered a very different curative approach from the crowded facilities that characterized earlier mental health treatment facilities. Overcrowding and funding cuts brought horrid conditions to these spaces during the 20th century. These Victorian structures are disappearing, and many believe they’re taking a voiceless history with them. According to a report from Preservationworks (which last month focused on Kirkbride preservation at its conference), there were once over 70 of these asylums; now only 15 remain.

The Disappearing American Architecture with a Shameful Past

Prior to the mid-1800s, treatment of the mentally ill often regarded a spectrum of illnesses as dangerous and threatening. The most disadvantaged mentally ill wound up in publicly funded almshouses, as there were no state-funded psychiatric institutions at the time, where they received no treatment and lived in squalid conditions. The lack of specialized care meant that 18th-century “lunatics” often eventually wound up in prisons or chains as the only solution to perceived danger to themselves and society.

A favorite subject within this field is the American insane asylum, whose tragic remains carry echoes of the unsavory history of mental illness treatment in the United States. These state-funded asylums were intensely overcrowded and often housed patients in nightmarish conditions in the 20th century. Beginning in 1955, with the introduction of the antipsychotic drug Thorazine, these institutions were closed in large numbers, never to be reopened. Now, these closed but undemolished asylums dot the country.

In his recent photobook Abandoned Asylums, Photographer Matt Van der Velde depicts this earlier period of asylum architecture, when the institutions were built in the belief that the built environment has the power to cure.

From the Factory Floor

Leaving the floor for a client back east…

lanterns, custom lighting, adg lighting

by ADG Lighting

dering hall, adg lighting, custom lighting

Dering Hall Feature: 44 Unique Kitchen Ceiling Lights

Choosing the right ceiling light can add a dramatic focal point to any kitchen. Here we feature 44 unique lighting options that will make a big statement above a kitchen island or breakfast nook.

We are so proud to be featured by Dering Hall in their 44 Unique Kitchen Ceiling Lights feature. Our creative and inspirational fixture was featured and presented to you below:

Saturn’s Ring of Life Pendant

dering hall feature, adg lighting, saturns ring of life pendant

french architecture, architecture, interior design, adg lighting blog

French Architecture: Former National Library Gets A Decade Long Facelift

The National Library of France is a major research and conservation library. Its origins date back to the middle ages, when the kings started developing and expanding their private collections. Charles V was the first to formalize the National Library by installing the library in a tower of the Louvre in 1368. The increase in collections made necessary the modernization of the library in the 19th century. Under the guidance of the general administrator Léopold Delisle, in 1874 the cataloging of printed books was started, while the architect Labrouste built the reading room which bears his name and was used for the consultation of books until the transfer of the collections to the Site François-Mitterrand.

Getting a Ten Year Architectural Facelift

The French Government decided in the early 2000s that the aging building had become unsuitable for the demands of the 21st century, and a major overhaul was planned. The work started in 2011, with Bruno Gaudin’s architecture firm responsible for the project’s general management, while the restoration of the listed ‘Salle Labrouste’ was entrusted to Jean-François Lagneau. While keeping the library partially open, the renovation was divided into two phases, with the second stage set to complete in 2020.

In order for them to be as architecturally accurate as possible, the architects completed exhaustive historical and structural studies. While striking a balance between restoration and contemporary addition, the architects developed different typologies of ‘weaves’, which set up a variety of dialogs between architecture, history, and technique.

Two further galleries, designed by Henri Labrouste, have been preserved. Both spaces comprise self-supporting wood and metal shelving and a floor covered in cast iron grates. The Viennot gallery, which houses the collections of the performing arts, is presented through the glass curtain wall of public circulation, while the gallery Des Petits-Champs has been adapted to serve as a second reading room.

After a decade of facelift and restoration, the facility has reopened earlier than scheduled.

From the Factory Floor

A new sculpture rises …

architecture, custom lighting design, adg lighting blog

by ADG Lighting