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Category Archives: Mid-Century Modern

Los Angeles Architecture Architect Adg

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


adg architecture lighting Read the Article
HERE

 

 

palm-springs-architecture

Palm Springs Modernism Week Is Upon Us

Mark your calendars and start channeling your best ‘Rat Pack’ persona! It is time to make your way into the desert and visit Palm Springs in all its splendor. Palm Springs Modernism Week is scheduled for Feb 14-24, 2019, and this annual event will be bigger than ever.

The goal of this retro adventure in the desert is to foster an appreciation of midcentury modern architecture, design and contemporary innovation. Modernism Week is a registered non-profit organization which encourages the preservation, education, and sustainability of modern living as represented in the Palm Springs area. Some of Palm Springs’ most notable private homes will open their doors to the public, and walking tours will shed light on the city’s Rat Pack history. More than 350 other events in this event will engage and entertain visitors.

Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA will give the keynote address, and it is not to be missed. He is an Israeli-Canadian architect, urban designer, educator, and theorist. His humanistic philosophy on architecture and urbanism focuses on the design of the public realm and creating buildings that celebrate the unique character of each place. He continues to innovate with groundbreaking projects, such as the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore’s waterfront district, which includes three 55-story towers connected across their rooftops by a three-acre mixed-use SkyPark.

Along with the house tour and the featured Christopher Kennedy Compound open house,  there will be a vintage trailer show. The show will celebrate the vintage trailer lifestyle and inspire those who dream of channeling their inner wanderlust. There will also be films, lectures, premier double-decker architectural bus tours, nightly parties, and live music, along with walking and bike tours, fashion, classic cars, and modern garden tours.

Palm Springs Modernism Week is an absolute must-do for anyone who is excited by all things midcentury modern. Take a walk back in time, channel your best Rat Pack persona, and plan on attending.

From the Factory Floor

Copper wrap light fixtures for Shaquille O’Neal’s new Downtown LA eatery!

adg-custom-lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

Spiral House 100

Spiral House in Phoenix For Sale

It is not often such an iconic structure comes on the market, as a serious offering to the public. Even more so, when that structure was designed by the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright, the potential sale becomes that more attention getting. To make things even more interesting, the home was designed specifically for his son and daughter-in-law, David and Gladys Wright.

The home is currently owned by Zach Rawling and was purchased for $2.4 million in 2012. His initial plan when purchasing the home was to run it into a museum, then donate it to the School of Architecture at Taliesin. However, this plan met with stiff opposition from the neighborhood due to traffic and publicity concerns adversely affecting the neighborhood. Now, the home is on the market for $12.95 million.

The Spiral House was labeled on the original plans by Frank Lloyd Wright as a model of how to live in the Southwest. His idea for the home was to perfectly harmonize the way a building relates to its environment. The round shape became a signature of his work in later years, including the Guggenheim Museum.

Located on 5.9 acres with a view of Camelback Mountain, the Spiral House is 2,553 square feet and was built in 1952. It currently has an application pending for historic preservation. The home features three bedrooms and four baths, with a cantilevered spiral walk-up access to the house. Inside, the home features the concrete block construction with elegant Philippine mahogany accents. The property includes a 360 square-foot guest house. The signature ‘March Balloons’ carpets and furnishings in the living area were custom designed by Wright.

David and Gladys Wright often referred to the Spiral House as their Taj Mahal, and understood the uniqueness of the building they called home.

From the ADG Factory

Water-jet cut bar doors, getting a gentle oil rubdown…

Adg Custom Fixture Jobsite

by Gerald Olesker, CEO. ADG Lighting

glenbrook valley

Glenbrook Valley Is the Mid-Century Modern Jewel of Houston

When you think of cities with iconic mid-century modern architecture, Houston is not on that list. Maybe out of ignorance, neglect or a lack of publicity, the Houston neighborhood of Glenbrook Valley has managed to fly well below the radar since its heyday. The community was designed by the architectural firm of Hare & Hare and was developed by Fred McManus. The community is known as a jewel in the rough, surrounded by the urban blight of the nation’s fourth largest city. It has been so well preserved that visitors might expect to see Don Draper of Mad Men fame working on a front lawn.

The development of 1200 homes created quite the buzz during development. The first section of homes was opened in 1954, and six of those original homes were featured in the 1954 Parade of Homes. One of those six homes was cited by Better Homes and Gardens as “The Model Home for All of America.” The Houston press later wrote that Glenbrook Valley was a showpiece and a modern vision of the Jetsons that has come of age.

Because of the westward growth of Houston, the neighborhood started to decline due to general lack of interest. In the 1980’s, an oil bust threw Houston into economic decline and the neighborhood suffered. The older residents began leaving the community for economic reasons and the homes began to suffer from neglect. Luckily for Glenbrook Village, strong deed restrictions were in place from the original development, which prevented the razing of the original homes and building of ‘McMansions.’ This kept intact the ‘Mad Men’ feel of this iconic mid-century modern neighborhood.

In the early 2000’s, Glenbrook Valley got a breath of new life. A renewed interest in the homes was spurred by rising real estate prices in the more affluent areas and the keen interests of the young hip Houstonians who were seeking affordable and chic housing. In 2010, the Houston press nominated Glenbrook Valley as one of Houston’s most underrated neighborhoods. 

“The neighborhood’s webpage embraces the`60s feeling, and residents there have been resolute in preserving the history of the place.”

Richard Connelly

In June 2011, Glenbrook Valley was designated as an Historic District by the City of Houston and was the first designated historic neighborhood in the State of Texas for post-World War II structures.   

From the ADG Jobsite

Historic Boyd architect project in collaboration with Paul Williger!

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

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!
IMG 8450
by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

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