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Sea Ranch Architecture Explored

The Sea Ranch is located on an extraordinary site along the Pacific Coast Highway, along a ten-mile stretch of the rugged cliffs near San Francisco. It reflects the earliest innovations in environmentally conscious designs.

It all began with the site acquisition by developer Al Boeke. The site was originally a working sheep ranch. Boeke and his partner Richard Neutra had a vision to do something different and make an impact with the development. The Sea Ranch project quickly grew with a roster of architects which included Lawrence Halprin, Joseph Esherick Obie Bowman and others. Halprin’s master plan would define the design aesthetic and disrupted the design standard of the time, which was cookie-cutter planned communities after World War II.

The driving influence of the Sea Ranch was based on the life experience of Halprin, who had spent childhood summers on a kibbutz near Haifa, Israel. His vision was that people would live “lightly” on the land, just as the indigenous people of the region had. Some felt that the Sea Ranch was a reflection of the laid-back utopian West Coast lifestyle. The truth be told, the project was purely about design and the relationship to the land. The project details were about certain tastes, light and color, while being sensitive to the local culture, climate and place. Through the design, the Sea Ranch design left open the meadows and set back the buildings from the bluffs, creating a communal landscape. The structures were clad in unfinished wood, which was allowed to fade to gray with skylights in the roofs to capture the views of the redwood forests. The design team made the buildings part of the landscape instead of buildings that just sat on open land.

The Sea Ranch will continue to influence architects, designers and visionaries for decades to come.   

From the ADG Jobsite

Weathered beauty…


by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


Marseille Port France Architecture

Marseille Enjoys A Rebirth of the Historic Grand Port

The historic Grand Port of Marseille was founded more than 2,500 years ago. It has a rich history of vigorous independence asserted against central authority in a variety of forms. It retained its status as a free city even after falling to Julius Caesar’s troops in the 1st century BC.

Marseille has commissioned a bold project to renew the rich history of the Grand Port; the new project is dubbed J1 La Passerelle and is a 29,106 square foot mixed-use structure just minutes away from Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (MUCEM).

The new mixed-use structure will be located minutes away from the iconic Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (MUCEM). It will offer multiple restaurants and retail outlets, as well as a 130-room hotel, rounding out the property’s leisure offerings, along with extensive recreational amenities, including a floating pool, climbing wall, sports room, public promenade, spa, and water park. The Grand Port of Marseille currently enjoys over 2 million visitors a year from cruise ship traffic and is the busiest terminal in France. Marseille enjoys a millennia-old legacy as an epicenter of travel and commerce in the region. The new project would significantly enhance the attraction of the Grand Port and would evoke the memories of the adventurous voyages of the past.

“Marseille would finally get to know a new life worthy of its past.”

Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille

The French architecture firm Reichen and Robert (RR&A) have been selected to spearhead the $113.4 million dollar project, with groundbreaking scheduled for the year 2021. It is time to set sail!

From the ADG Jobsite

Tukut Lounge at San Manuel Casino, in collaboration with Shema Dougall Design Associates. Sculptural fixtures fabricated on walnut with metalized edges…


by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


Richard Rogers Architect

Richard Rogers Wins AIA Gold

Richard Rogers wins the 2019 AIA Gold Medal, and will be recognized at this year’s national conference in Las Vegas. Rogers is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect recognized for his work on the Centre Pompidou and the Lloyd’s of London headquarters. Rogers is recognized as one of the leading architects of the British high-tech movement. He stands out as one of the most innovative and distinctive architects of a generation.

After attending the Architectural Association in London, Rogers studied at Yale University, where he met architecture student Norman Foster. After graduating Yale, the two architects joined forces with Su Brumwell and Wendy Cheeseman to form Team 4 in 1963. Though their collaboration as Team 4 lasted just four years, it would prove to be a crucial formative stage in British architecture, as both Rogers and Foster went on to be the leading names of the British high-tech scene.

Rogers began another fruitful collaboration after Team 4; this time with Renzo Piano, whose big break came in 1971 when, working with architect Gianfranco Franchini and Peter Rice, an engineer from Arup, won the competition to design the Centre Pompidou. Rogers and Piano shocked many with their radical design, placing the building’s services in full view in a trademark technique that went on to be known as “bowellism.” He considers the work his team delivered through the Urban Task Force to be among his most significant achievements. The initiative brought together a range of people who were concerned with the physical environment, from academics, planners and politicians to developers and architects.

Since 1947, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had awarded the AIA Gold Medal, which is conferred by the AIA Board of Directors. It is awarded to those architects for a significant body of work with influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

From the Factory Floor

New doors for the bar!



by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


pritzker architecture prize, Stephen Breyer

Pritzker Architecture Prize Committee Now Led By Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has been named as the chairman of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize committee by the family that sponsors the prize. He will head a seven member jury of experts from around the globe. Tom Pritzker, executive chairman of the Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp, stated:

“His devotion to civic-minded architecture underscores the mission of the prize and his unparalleled ability to guide a group deliberation is essential in creating a unified voice within this diverse and internal panel of jurors.”

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honor a living architect or those architects who have distinguished themselves through work that displays commitment, talent and vision in architecture. The award was founded in 1979 by Jay and Cindy Pritzker and is funded by the Pritzker family, with the Hyatt Foundation serving as a corporate sponsor. It is most often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture and has a steadfast reputation for recognizing architects irrespective of race, nationality or ideology. Some of the most notable architects who have received the coveted award include Frank Gehry and I.M. Pei.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco in 1938 and attended Harvard Law School, where he joined the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude in 1964. He went on to teach as Harvard Law for over two decades. He subsequently served as an assistant prosecutor during the Watergate hearings and was sworn in to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Justice Breyer has never studied architecture, but has a long-standing devotion and interest in the field. In 1999, he was one of  the two judges who served as advisors to the architects of the federal courthouse in Boston which opened in 1999. He has been a distinguished member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury since 2011.

From the ADG Jobsite

A collaboration with M. Elle Design

 adg lighting m elle designs

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


grand canyon, mary colter, american architecture

American Architecture – The Grand Canyon and Mary Colter

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

One of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the first national parks in the United States, the Grand Canyon receives millions of visitors every year who view the steep gorge carved by the Colorado River into the Colorado Plateau. Most visit the easy-to-access South Rim, and some hike to its depths or traverse its length river-rafting.

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was an architect and designer. She was one of the very few female architects of her day. She was most notably the designer of many landmark buildings and spaces for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad, notably in Grand Canyon National Park. Her work had enormous influence as she helped to create a style, blending Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Revival architecture with Native American motifs and rustic elements that became popular throughout the Southwest.

Colter created a series of renowed works in the Grand Canyon National Park. Among her work is the 1905 Hopi House, the 1914 Hermit’s Rest and observatory Lookout Studio, and the 1932 Desert View Watchtower, a 70-foot-tall rock tower with a hidden steel structure, as well as the 1935 Bright Angel Lodge complex, and the 1922 Phantom Ranch buildings at the bottom of the canyon. She also decorated the park’s El Tovar Hotel. In 1987, the Mary Jane Colter Buildings, as a group, were listed as a National Historic Landmark.

From the Factory Floor

Our new sconce for Tiffany Harris Design

factory design, custom lighting, adg lighting

by ADG Lighting

olympic architecture, tokyo, architecture, architecture design, adg blog

Olympic Architecture: How Much Influence Will the 2020 Games Have on Tokyo?

According to experts studying the phenomenon, dozens of major urban development projects are slated or in progress for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. From hotels and sports complexes to cloud-piercing skyscrapers, new architecture is poised to transform the vista of Tokyo by the time the city raises the curtain for the 2020 Olympic Games.

As an example, The Shinagawa Station complex, a structure that will be impossible to miss, will be a steel-and-glass roof inspired by traditional Japanese origami, hovering above a light-flooded train station and a sprawling subterranean city. It will be an opportunity to design the whole area surrounding the station. It will be a great project because it will connect the sea and the hill of Tokyo, which will create a new face to the city.

Bloomberg estimates that 45 new skyscrapers will be constructed within the city limits. If estimates are correct, there would be mean a 50% increase in high-rises between now and 2020, compared to the previous three-year period.

The Tokyo Bay area, where a number of Olympics-related facilities are being constructed, is also seeing significant growth. A comprehensive set of physical, social, environmental and international legacies will result from Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Games. The citizens of Tokyo and Japan will benefit from significant environmental and infrastructural improvements, such as new green spaces and sport and education facilities centered on the revitalizing Tokyo. This will create a zone with strong appeal for Tokyo’s future development and growth.

Fortunately for Tokyo, there is a broader goal. Planning is going well beyond the 2020 Olympics. Architects are considering how the city wants to evolve in a more broad sense. A great deal of big-scale development projects are going on at the moment, with the vision of 2020 and beyond. Such a massive level of development will no doubt concern some residents. Experts predict that Tokyo’s architectural transformation is likely to be less dramatic than the revitalization witnessed in some other cities. There is a niche school of experimental architects in Japan that dominate the media, but it’s a conservative environment architecturally for the most part, governed by corporate firms and construction companies.

From the Factory Floor

The Pop Pendant

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