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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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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!

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

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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

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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…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

Francois Perrin Architecture

Francois Perrin Defined Architectural Boundaries

Architect Francois Perrin, known as the center of gravity of Los Angeles architecture and united the design community, passed away after a long battle with cancer at age 50. As the founder of Air Architecture, the Paris-born architect worked in Southern California while remaining professionally active in France. Francois Perrin will forever be known for his creative and inventive approach to materials, and for his ability to rethink everyday life through his work.

Born in Paris, Francois Perrin would eventually settle in Los Angeles, where his design practice, Air Architecture, was well known for creating materially inventive spaces filled with ethereal physical qualities that transcended everyday experiences. His architectural projects were widely published. His Venice Air House from 2006, an addition to a single-family home that used trapped air visible through clear polycarbonate siding as a form of insulation, was well known. His Hollywood Hills house from 2012 was designed as a series of terraces that simultaneously disappeared into and were hung off of a steeply-sloped site. In 2004, the Francois Perrin project The Weather Garden changed the courtyard of Materials & Applications in Los Angeles using netting, a wooden platform, and palm tree saplings.

In 2019 at the French Consulate in Beverly Hills, Consul General bestowed on François Perrin a knighthood, Insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

From the ADG Factory Floor

Yes, we make furniture! This piece went to a client in San Francisco

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

FRANCE FIRE NOTRE DAME

Notre Dame Cathedral Fire Inspires Unity and Hope

The French people and the world watched in horror as the flames engulfed the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral and the spire fell in flames. Our imaginations ran wild as we imagined the potential loss of not only a sacred place of worship, but rare artifacts that were housed within the gothic walls. As the flames were subdued by a gallant fire brigade, news travelled quickly that the initial damage appeared to be minimal, along with a heroic fire brigade chaplain saving numerous artifacts. But the true damage to the Notre Dame Cathedral has yet to be assessed or determined. The question that now presents itself is what is the true structural damage to the building and what will it take to restore the architectural splendor of this grand building.

Construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral began in 1160 A.D., and is surely one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the world. The project brought together many of the style’s characteristic features of large windows, vertical stresses and slender, pointed arches. The Notre Dame Cathedral inspired the building of a series of great gothic cathedrals across northern cities such as Chartres, Rouen, Amiens and Reims. The structure brought new levels of refinement and artistic expression into style through the magnificent height of the spaces, the unique ornamentation, and the whimsical effects of the stained glass on the light. The Notre Dame Cathedral and similar structures sent a powerful message to the people about Christ, saints and other important figures such as kings and lords of the area.

Only time will tell what the true impact of this devastating fire on this iconic landmark, but the tragedy has moved the people of France and the world into unity. Last reports indicate that donations have been made for restoration which exceed $1 billion. The government of France has energetically committed to absolute perfection in the restoration, no matter how long it takes or what the cost will be. It reflects the inspirational power of the Notre Dame Cathedral on the global community to come together as one.    

From the ADG Job Site 

In Palos Verdes, our project manager Nikki is ensuring the ADG Advantage is taking place with our new kinetic chandelier.

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting