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Hugh Kaptur Architect

Hugh Kaptur and the Palm Springs Desert

In 1962, the public learned of a projected $2,500,000 home development project adjacent to Tamarisk Country Club in Palm Springs. The proposed development was for the construction of 40 homes. Each home would be a distinctive design by Hugh Kaptur, capturing the architectural freedom that the desert offers. That architectural freedom was exactly what the desert offered.

Hugh Kaptur was one of Palm Springs’ most prolific architects and set the tone the architectural design that embodies the region. He was born in 1931 and studied architectural engineering at the Lawrence Institute of Technology. During a visit to Palm Springs in 1956, he made an inspired spur-of-the-moment decision to stay in the region and make it his home. Hugh Kaptur quickly set up shop and set out to make a name for himself and start a career that lasted over 50 years, designing across many typologies from private and multi-family houses, to civic and commercial buildings.

The exuberance of the 1950’s post and beam spilled over into the 1960’s in Palm Springs with the 1970’s evolving into a more masculine forms of design. Influenced by heavier beams, rougher stucco and the simpler carvings of Mexican traditions, the 1970’s Palm Springs designs were highly adapted to the harsh environment and provided the setting for a rougher bachelor lifestyle, epitomized by William Holden, James Dean and Steve McQueen.

Hugh Kaptur brought the development near Tamarisk Country Club to life with his innovative designs, which were within sight of homes of such notables as Frank Sinatra, Groucho Marx, Danny Thomas, Zeppo Marx, Ray Anthony, Hoagy Carmichael and Ellsworth Vines. Word traveled quickly amongst the wealthy Hollywood stars that called Palm Springs home which put Hugh Kaptur and his work in high demand.

His work went on to catch the attention of William Holden (who became fast friends with Kaptur), who wanted a contemporary home and to be able to look over the house and down at the valley. He built the house to exhibit Holden’s extensive art collection and offer strongly delineated exterior spaces. A stunning cantilevered concrete plinth jutted out over the escarpment and made for a dramatic view of the suspended modern sculpture it supported.

Hugh Kaptur would go on to design numerous condominium projects, municipal buildings, fire stations, homes and commercial buildings in Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and beyond.

From the ADG Job Site

Walk the path with the ADG Advantage

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG

World Architecture Festival Judges

World Architecture Festival Announces Judges for 2019 Awards

The World Architectural Festival (WAF) has announced the judges for the 2019 awards.  The festival is one of the most significant events in the architecture industry. 

The event is held on an annual basis. The judges review a shortlist of 200 projects, which compete for 31 awards in various categories. From those 200 shortlisted projects, the World Building of the Year will be awarded based on the judges’ interviews and evaluations. 

The World Architecture Festival was first held in 2008 and hosted in Barcelona for four years. The host city then was awarded to Singapore for four years. Since 2016, the host city has rotated between Berlin and Amsterdam. All the entries are published in the World Buildings Directory online database, and each year the World Architecture Festival publishes a list of the winners of the awards.

“This was a real eye opener and a brilliant event in that everything happening around the world is brought to a single event. I was really impressed with the topics and speakers especially on how architecture sees the future of the world and the global issues that are being addressed.”

~Gansen Govender, Senior Project Manager, GHD

The 2019 World Architecture Festival Judges

Shirley Blumberg – Partner , KPMB Architects

Lesley Lokko – Head of Graduate School of Architecture , University of Johannesburg 

Peter Cook

Tom de Paor

Yui Tezuka 

Complete Panel of Judges Here

From the Factory Floor

 Oil rubbed bronze fountains heading to a home in Malibu. Designers and architects know that we have a skill set that gives them the advantage! 

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

Paul Williams Lax Architecture

Paul Williams and Los Angeles Architecture

When exploring the greater Los Angeles area, some of the most remarkable architecture was from the creative vision of architect Paul Williams. He was a major contributor to the architectural landscape of the city that lives on today.

Paul Williams was a master of many styles, from English Tudor to Spanish Colonial and the casual California ranch style. He dedicated his work to enhancing people’s lives by designing architecture with the local climate and light in mind. A-listers such as Denzel Washington and Ellen DeGeneres have lived in Williams’ homes. Hotel heir Barron Hilton currently lives in a distinct Bel Air home, which Williams and interior design partner Harriet Shellenberger originally designed for businessman Jacob “Jay” Paley. The Paley Residence became widely known for its magnificent pool, featuring sandy beach areas, beautiful imported mosaic tile work and an overall emphasis on outdoor living spaces reflective of a Southern California lifestyle. Even though he quickly became known as the architect to the stars, he was also involved in the conceptual design and redesign of many iconic L.A. landmarks such as the LAX Theme Building, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building, the Shrine Auditorium, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the First African Methodist Episcopal Church.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he became the first black member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and over the course of his lifetime participated in nearly 3,000 projects. In December 2016, Williams was posthumously awarded the 2017 AIA Gold Medal. He was the first African-American architect to receive the prestigious honor.

The iconic work of Paul Williams cannot be understated, and proper respect must be paid to his innovation and creativity. Janna Ireland just authored a fine narrative pictorial in Curbed Los Angeles on the work of Paul Williams. It is a great narrative of the life and times of Paul Williams, accompanied by a pictorial history she has documented over the past three years.

From the ADG Jobsite  

The Garden lantern…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

sea-ranch-architecture

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…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

Arata Isozaki Architect Pritzker

Arata Isozaki Awarded the 2019 Pritzker

“I wanted to see the world through my own eyes, so I traveled around the globe at least ten times before I turned 30. Through this, I kept questioning, ‘What is architecture?’”

Arata Isozaki

The 2019 Pritzker Prize has been awarded to Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. The Pritzker jury noted in their award that in over six decades of work, he has taken inspiration in shaping the physical from the intangible and promoted dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures, not through mimicry or a collage, but through forging new paths.

Arata Isozaki was born in 1931 in Kyushu, Japan, just across the waters from Hiroshima. At the age of 12, he saw his homeland burned down by the A-bomb attack on Hiroshima. It was a complete ruined wasteland. His city was left devoid of structures, architecture or cultural elements. This devastating event left young Isozaki considering how to rebuild cities from ground zero. This created a preoccupation with newly imagined concepts of urbanism that thread through his work today. He went on to study architecture at the University of Tokyo, graduating in 1954 and apprenticed under Kenzo Tange, the 1987 Pritzker award winner. Isozaki traveled the world extensively before the age of 30, getting a better understanding of people and their cultures, all the while wondering what is architecture.

Isozaki founded the firm Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963 after the Allied Occupation of Japan ended, and was at the forefront of his country’s rebuilding effort. His work expanded to a global scale in 1980 and demonstrated an artful commingling of Japanese, European and American design elements through his work. His first commision (1981-1986) was the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Los Angeles. It was considered a controversial design for a postmodern building, rendered in red Indian sandstone. Isozaki was one of the first Japanese architects to build outside of Japan during a time when typically, Western culture was influencing the East. His work is truly international and influenced by his sense of global citizenry.

From the ADG Job Site

Having fun with full scale shop drawings in the rain. Architectural by Courtney Shatuck, interiors by Trip H.

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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Paradise Reimagined

Paradise, California was the living embodiment of its name. It was surrounded by miles of beautiful forest, mountain streams and clean air. It was just the place to unplug, refresh and relax in one of the most scenic locations in California. All of that picturesque beauty went up in flames during the Camp Fire in November 2018.

For Paradise, this fire devastated not only their property, but their community and the future of the residents for generations to come. It was complete and total devastation. The Camp Fire has gone down as the worst wildfire since the Cloquet fire in 1918, and is on the global record as one of the deadliest fires in history.

With the help of Cal Poly College of Architecture & Environmental Design, you will see Paradise reimagined and the scenic community rise from the ashes of devastation. Students traveled to Paradise earlier this year and spent time in the region and with community members to better understand their needs and what their vision for the future was. Led by Stacey White, Cal Poly faculty and lecturer in the architecture school, the students embarked on a design and rebuilding plan for Paradise that focused on the vision of the residents to give them their community back.

On February 22nd, Cal Poly students met with the residents of Paradise in Chico to present their initial ideas and get feedback from the community. The students presented 36 projects for review. The students will take this information back to Cal Poly and refine those projects down from 36 to 20 final projects. The groups will meet again in April to discuss and refine the final 20. The final projects will then be submitted to the community of Paradise in June for community approval.

The architecture students from Cal Poly are truly giving back to the residents of Paradise and the state of California in ways that just cannot be measured in dollars and cents. These students embody the spirit of California and the architecture profession.  

From the ADG Jobsite

We designed the furniture and covered window panels depicting familiar California scenes at the Farmer’s Insurance Agency in Granada Hills…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting