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Category Archives: Architecture

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Los Angeles Is Synonymous with Modern Architecture

With examples such as the Schindler House built in 1922 in West Hollywood, the Fitzpatrick- Leland House built in 1936 on Laurel Canyon, and the Mackey Apartments built in 1939 on South Cochran Ave, Los Angeles has been the mecca of modern architecture for almost 100 years.

The modern movement, or modern architecture defined in simple terms, is based on new groundbreaking, and many times avant-garde technologies of construction. The materials used are also part of the allure, for along with its clean lines and minimalist concept is the use of such materials as glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. The mantra of modern architecture is form follows function, which accounts for such innovative shaped buildings and creative living spaces.

Los Angeles is still going strong in the new crop of architects that are making their way into neighborhoods and city streets by way of their uniquely constructed building and living concepts.

Are you curious about how to see all the new modern masterpieces in Los Angeles architecture all at once? A book published by Prestel available on Amazon titled “New Architecture Los Angeles” does a fantastic job of chronicling the new modern architecture starting from the year 2000.

Akin to designing and building a piece of architectural genius, this book is also a collaboration of text written by Brooke Hodge, whose resume includes Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Hammer Museum; Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, and most recently was named Palm Springs Art Museum’s first Architecture & Design Director.

The pictures in this book are breathtaking and taken by architectural photographer Mike Kelley.  

Some examples of the new modern architecture include: the Formosa 1140, built in 2008 on North Formosa in West Hollywood and designed by Lorcan O’ Herlihy Architects (LOHA); the Wilshire Grand Center, built and designed by AC Martin in 2017 and located on (surprise) Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown LA; and the Vespertine, built in 2016 in Culver City by Eric Owen Moss Architects.

Los Angeles is just one of those cities which happens to have a psychic architectural past…just one of the many mysteries of living in LA.

Hot off the Press!

ADG Lighting Founder Featured in Architectural Digest

Our founder Gerald Olesker was interviewed for Architectural Digest for this feature on how the trade war is impacting design businesses


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HERE

 

 

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Madrid and the Gift of Inspiration

In Madrid, as you approach the Museo Nacional del Prado, you will notice that preparations are underway for this year’s 200th anniversary celebration. The Museo Nacional del Prado originally opened its doors in November of 1819. The museum houses many of the most cherished works by Goya, El Greco, Velazquez and Rubens and is a sight to behold.

The inspiration starts as you saunter down the street on your way to the Museo Nacional del Prado; note that a quick brisk walk is impossible due to all the architectural beauty surrounding Mardrid’s streets. Please note that even though the museum is currently renovating, they are still holding exhibitions and events in other locations in the city to mark their 200th anniversary.

One could say that the beautifully designed buildings that surround Madrid, the capital of  Spain, are akin to the masterpiece paintings viewed at an exquisite art museum. Speaking of museums, Madrid is the home of many important museums that house some of the greatest works of Western art in the world.

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is another museum that houses 20th-century art and is part of the Golden Triangle of Art, containing three of the most important art museums in the world. Once you read about the various exhibits and collections currently showing, you will make a beeline to the Reina Sofia just to see how a 20th-century master interrupts the world you grew up in. This is just fascinating!

The last and third in the Golden Triangle is the Thyssen-Bornemisza, which houses the most influential collections of private art ever assembled. The museum opened its doors in 1992; an agreement had to be set in place between the Spanish government and Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. The building itself of the Thyssen-Bornemisza is the Palace of Villahermosa, and it’s considered one of the most important buildings in Madrid’s palatial architecture, dating back to the early 17th century.

You’ll come back from Madrid inspired, and that’s priceless.

From the ADG Design Studio

 Yes, we make furniture too!

Architecture Design Lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

armour-stiner-architecture-historic

Armour-Stiner House Reemerges

The Armour-Stiner house set its mark as an architectural landmark. Year after year, the Lombardi family were visited by strangers wanting to see their house. It seems that an eight-sided Victorian house that looks like a Roman Temple isn’t an everyday occurrence, so the Lombardi family has recently decided to educate the public by opening its doors and conducting tours of this great piece of architecture from America’s octagonal phase.

There was a point in time, about 160 years ago when all the rage was octagonal homes. This interesting eight-sided style of real estate was short-lived, but did leave its mark in American architecture.

There are only about one thousand homes built during this wild and odd phase. The Armour-Stiner House is in a category all its own mostly because of its design. It was designed in the shape of a Roman temple. The original architect remains unknown, but between 1872-1876, Joseph Stiner, who was a tea importer, had a dome added and had the house enlarged.

In the 1970s, when architect Joseph Pell Lombardi bought the house it was in a terrible state of collapse. According to Joseph Lombardi’s son, Michael, who is the property manager of the Armour-Stiner House, the place was literally crumbling.

Much of the house had awful water damage, and the beautiful detail had been painted over. Painting over any detail on any original architecture is akin to throwing away the only picture you have of your mother.

It took the Lombardi family 40 years of research to restore small but significant details to its original beauty. One such detail mentioned were the birds on the salon ceiling, as well as the exquisite detail in the Egyptian revival room.

When restoring stunning architecture of long ago, it is important to understand the significance of the detail that was included in the original design.

The Lombardi family stated that restoration of the house is a work in progress and will probably never finish, as they keep finding new things to fix. As their goal is to restore the Armour-Stiner House to its heyday in the 1870s, they have even carefully scraped away paint that once had covered up great detail. The kitchen has the original cast iron stove.

With strangers wanting to stop by and view the odd-shaped house year after year, the family decided to conduct tours which are deemed to be educational as well as interesting for the art history enthusiast and spectator alike. The Armour-Stiner House is located in Irvington, New York.

From the ADG Factory Floor

 Oakland leaf crown gilded for a client…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

pei-architect-modernism

Great Modernist Architect I.M. Pei Passed At 102

To describe modernist architect I.M. Pei as a progressive visionary is an understatement. Although initially opposed, his modernist designs are now some of the most revered in the world. It was as though I.M. Pei himself is responsible for designing the future. The glass pyramid in the Louvre Museum courtyard is a shining example of his genius.

Ieoh Ming Pei was born in Guangzhou, China in 1917. At age 18, he moved to the United States to study at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and MIT. While at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Pei met and studied with German architect Walter Groplus, who was the founder of the Bauhaus design movement. Their mantra was known as form follows function; you could say it was the beginning of the modern architecture era. In 1955, Pei started his own architectural firm that he named I.M. Pei and Associates.

Change is difficult, and when he was chosen for the Louvre project by the president of France Francois Mitterrand as a gesture to leave his mark on Paris, unfortunately it wasn’t to the delight of the French people. Eventually the French grew to love this glass structure that was completed in 1989, and is now considered to be one of Paris’s most famous landmarks.

His works of modern architecture are located all over the world. They include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio; the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado; the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, just to name a few. Pei’s list of accomplishments is a long one.

Pei drew inspiration from all different cultures, and liked to think of himself as one whose role was to create a bridge between past and present. Perhaps standing at that bridge gave him the ability to be a visionary; he was able to see the future and that is what he left behind for us to enjoy.

From the Job Site

It’s always exciting when your client sends you photos and says they love what you did…

add-lighting-custom-jobsite

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

River Street In Savannah Georgia

The Architectural Beauty of Savannah Is Credited to Like-Minded People

Savannah, Georgia is the oldest city in the state, with over 1,000 architectural structures that have great historical significance. Truth be told, you can’t bring up Savannah without mentioning Anna Colquitt Hunter and the impending destruction of the Isaiah Davenport House.

Isaiah Davenport — the man was a master craftsman and builder. It has been said that he was way ahead of his time. This was before power tools and electricity had been invented; his craftsmanship was so detailed and strong that he set the standard for his excellence, and his work stood the test of time. He was responsible for many of the homes that were built in the early 1800s in Savannah. Some of Davenport’s accomplishments were his restoration of Savannah’s historical squares, the construction of a Martello tower, and many others once he partnered with the federal government.

Davenport built his own house known as the Isaiah Davenport House which was considered one of the greatest examples of Georgian architectural style. His life was surrounded by death, as he and his wife had ten children, but only six survived. Legend says that the Isaiah Davenport House still holds the ghosts of his dead children. Before his death at the age of 43, Davenport served as city alderman. He also became a firemaster, and was also a constable for Columbia Ward.

Fast forward to 1955, by now Savannah was a bit run down and needed to rebuild, so Anna Colquitt Hunter, who was a news writer and painter, got a group of wealthy like-minded ladies together (wealthy wives of aristocrats) and together they formed the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF).

The HSF had saved and rebuilt many buildings, but were limited as destiny had other plans. With the resources and ability, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) took over. They had the capability to restore large historical buildings across Savannah. The total count was 68 buildings that SCAD have restored in the last 40 years.

SCAD also launched its first international location in Lacoste, south of France in 2002; then in 2004, SCAD restored the previous home of Equifax in Atlanta to the college’s main campus, and in 2009 SCAD opened a campus in Hong Kong.

It takes like-minded people to create a strong foundation that can restore, preserve and ultimately make institutions of higher learning global; along the way, the little cobblestone city of Savannah was restored to its current architectural beauty.

From the ADG Factory Floor

 The first of six bronze fountains for a favorite client. Thanks Joey G, our Senior Coordinator of everything! 

Adg Custom Liighting Factory

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Finds New Home in Historical Los Angeles Architecture

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is slated to open in the Fall of 2019 and is bringing new life to the mid-city region of Los Angeles. It will inspire and attract fans of the cinematic arts from around the world. But this iconic venue will not just attract movie fans to Los Angeles; it will attract the interest of architects and designers to visit one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks in the City of Angels. The museum will be in the old May Company building in the Miracle Mile in the Fairfax District.

Completed in 1939, the May Company building was the finest example of streamlined modern architecture in the region and was heralded as the western gateway to the Miracle Mile. The enormous gold-tiled cylinder at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard was a beacon for all. The May Company department store was seen as the height of luxury and convenience in Los Angeles.  

The building’s architect was Albert Martin Sr., who also designed the Million Dollar Theater and the Los Angeles City Hall. Starting in 1908, Martin started his own firm and designed some 1,500 buildings in Southern California. The May Company building was his final notable project in the region. In 1959, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce recognized Martin for his contributions to the development of Los Angeles, by awarding him its annual “Man of Achievement” award.

Without doubt, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be located on hallowed ground in Los Angeles. Its home will have been painstakingly restored to its original glamorous detail. For both the movie buff and the architectural aficionado, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will not only be a home, but a rebirth of one of the finest examples of streamlined modern architecture in the city. It will be a partnership that will revive the spirit of a grand time gone by.        

From the ADG Job Site

One of our modern lanterns set in the landscape…

adg custom lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG