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Famous Los Angeles Architectural Landmarks

It seems that Los Angeles, California has the magic ability to bring fame, even if the person, place or thing has been in hibernation for a few lifetimes. The line starts at the left for the most iconic landmarks in Los Angeles that have made it to stardom.

Since we are talking stars, why not start with the Griffith Observatory? This star-gazing venue is 80 years young and built on land donated by Griffith J. Griffith, who also donated the park that surrounds the observatory. The architects who designed the Griffith Observatory were John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley. Austin also designed Los Angeles City Hall and the Shrine Auditorium. The Griffith Observatory has appeared in several films, including “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” just to name a few.

Another Los Angeles landmark worth mentioning is the Watts Towers, also high up on the star meter. It was originally built by one uneducated laborer, Sobato Rodia, born in a tiny village of Ribottoli in Italy. In 1921 with his brother’s help he bought a small lot at 1765 E. 107th Street. 

Every day after he got off work, he would look for material to build his obsession. He lost his job, but kept building, despite the fact he didn’t have any permits or plans. His wife is buried underneath the tallest tower. The Watts Towers withstood earthquakes, and even after much of the neighborhood was destroyed in the Watts Riots of 1965, they stood strong and unharmed. Most of all, their fame is for being a symbol of pride for the underdog and a source of inspiration for the world. 

The Watts Towers have appeared on numerous album covers, and Rodia himself appeared on the cover of the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Watts Towers are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rodia died one month before the Watts Riots erupted.

From the Design Studio

“Working it Up!”

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

Architecture 400

MARS Case Offers Solutions For Colonizing the Red Planet

Space exploration and the planet Mars have been in the imagination of many for decades. The Red Planet has especially intrigued many, imagining the possibilities of settling another planet near Earth and the potential of little green men. As technology has advanced, space exploration became a true reality, as man slipped the bonds of Earth and headed out into the galaxy. No matter how far our machines have traveled into space, the Red Planet has remained the main fascination of scientists and adventurers. Today, Mars remains a top focus of Elon Musk and Space X. One day, we will settle Mars!

One of the first challenges encountered when exploring or settling Mars is, of course, providing livable structures that can be reasonably transported to the Red Planet and easily constructed. The Beijing-based design firm Open Architecture has partnered with the Chinese technology firm Xiaomi to design a structure to house our explorers on Mars. Out of that partnership, the MARS case has come to life. The innovative design represents the vision of an ideal hosting unit, combining technology with product design and innovative architecture.

The MARS case is a portable structure that is easily transferable to and from confined space transports. It is a living bubble, which is attached to a base, which can be inflated, collapsed and folded into itself, much like a suitcase. Inside is a main living area, a bathroom, a desk and chairs, along with a storage area. Smartphones will able to control lighting, appliances and other functions inside the house. There are even windows in the structure that pop out when it is inflated. The design is also capable of harnessing and recycling heat, exhaust, and condensation, which allows the minimal use of resources.

From the Factory Floor

Handmade art deco chain getting ready for Bel Air!

adg lighting, factory

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

 

world architecture festival

World Architecture Festival 2018 in Amsterdam

The World Architecture Festival was first held in 2008. It is a three day festival and awards competition dedicated to celebrating architecture from across the globe. During the first four years, the festival was held in Barcelona, and since 2012 in Singapore. Each year, hundreds of projects are entered in the competition for the awards and more than 200 of these are shortlisted for live presentation at the festival. All the presentations of the entries are collected in the World Buildings Directory. The architects pay a submission fee to enter a project for a WAF Award and travel to where the festival is arranged to present the project live if it is shortlisted. The entries are voluntary and the festival does not control who submits projects.  

This year, the festival will be held in Amsterdam on Nov 28-30. The shortlist for their 2018 awards features 536 projects ranging from small family homes, to schools, stations, museums, large infrastructure and landscape projects. Known as the world’s largest architectural award program, the WAF Awards saw more participation this year than ever before, with more than 1000 entries received from projects located in 81 countries across the world. 

The 2018 World Architecture Festival Super Jury

Christopher Brandon, Managing Principal, Perkins & Will

Nigel Coates, Director, Nigel Coates Firm

Päivi Meuronen, Interior architect, JKMM Architects

Lyndon Neri, Founding Partner, Neri & Hu Design

Nesna Petresin, Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London

From the ADG Jobsite

Custom square acrylic chandelier and pyrex and brass outdoor lights

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

radical architecture, American architecture

Radical Architecture Inspired by a Radical Culture

“Seeing architecture differently from the way you see the rest of life is a bit weird. I believe one should be consistent in all that one does, from the books you read to the way you bring up your children. Everything you do is connected. “

~David Chipperfield

 The Apollo 11 lands on the moon. The LGBT community celebrates the first Gay Liberation Day. Hippies celebrate the culture of peace and love across the country and demonstrate against an unpopular war.  The civil rights movement reaches a crescendo. A great president and a powerful civil rights leader are senselessly slain.

These are just some of the monumental events of the 1960s and 1970s that will forever shape the way we look at the radical culture of the time.  Those cultural events influenced every part of American life and we have felt their impact up through current times. One of the most significant areas of culture impacted by the 1960s and 1970s was in radical architecture.

One of the most celebrated minds of the radical architecture period was architect and scientist Buckminster Fuller. He was an American engineer, architect, and futurist who developed the geodesic dome—the only large dome that can be set directly on the ground as a complete structure and the only practical kind of building that has no limiting dimensions. Given the complicated geometry of the geodesic dome, dome builders rely on tables of strut lengths, or chord factors. Tables of chord factors, the essential design information for spherical systems, were for many years guarded like military secrets.

Fuller Geodome 

Other notable inventions and developments by Fuller included a system of cartography that presents all the land areas of the world without significant distortion; die-stamped prefabricated bathrooms; tetrahedronal floating cities; underwater geodesic-domed farms; and expendable paper domes. Fuller did not regard himself as an inventor or an creature of radical architecture. All of his developments, in his view, were accidental or interim incidents in a strategy that aimed at a radical solution of world problems by finding the means to do more with less.

From The ADG Jobsite

Another great collaboration with Shain Development featuring our #297 Barstock Iron Light Modern Lantern. 
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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting
Kanye West Yeezy Studio Calabasas

Kanye West Launches YEEZY Home In Calabasas

“I want to do product, I am a product person. Not just clothing but water bottle design, architecture … I make music but I shouldn’t be limited to once place of creativity. I hang around architects mostly, people that wanna make things as dope as possible.”

~Kanye West, YEEZY

Entertainer, entrepreneur and social icon, Kanye West is constantly pushing the envelope and impacting modern culture. Best know for his music, he has taken his YEEZY brand to the top of fashion circles and made a name for himself as a designer. His shoe brand has become one of the most influential brands on the market.  Now, he is taking his YEEZY brand into the design space, specifically working with architects and interior designers to bring his inspirations to life. The design space is located in Calabasas, CA and will be the creative studio and headquarters for all aspects of the YEEZY brand.

The space was designed by longtime West collaborator Willo Perron. The equal parts rough and minimal spaces contain a mix of production facilities for West’s YEEZY brand clothing line, a recording studio, and meeting spaces, among other uses. The creative spaces reflect West’s collaborations with Axel Vervoordt for the rapper’s nearby home in Hidden Hills and speak to an interest on the part of West to mix and match visual modes. The endeavor will aim to include architectural and urban design in West’s growing collaborative art practice, which already includes music, film, fashion, and performance art initiatives. 

Kanye West has been known also for his outspoken political and social views, not to mention his strange behavior and comments during awards shows over the years. This has created a significant amount of controversy. Whether he is a lightning rod for public opinion or a genius marketer is up for significant debate. However, there is no doubt that the YEEZY brand is influential and Kanye is the one people are buzzing about. The old saying that any PR is good PR because people are talking may be just his approach. With that being said, Kanye West is a successful creative, and he is opening a door to an avenue for him to innovate and collaborate in with the backing of a powerful and influential brand.  

From the ADG Jobsite

A pair of gigantic lanterns at a client’s beach house 

Adg Custom Lighting Jobsite

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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Dallas Architecture Uber BOKA Powell

Dallas Architecture Firm Presents Designs For Uber Skyports

For those who enjoyed The Jetsons cartoons, you will surely remember George Jetson and family embarking from their space age tower-like home and jetting off to their destination in a bubble-like space craft. Traffic was seen zipping about in synchronized flows all around the various towers in the city where the Jetsons lived. They would zip by residences, shopping centers, bowling alleys and theaters. There were no traffic jams or frustrated drivers as they zipped along to their next adventure. Now, Uber and BOKA Powell Architecture seem to be on the verge of making the Jetsons a reality for our future.         

The BOKA Powell architecture firm unveiled plans for an Uber skyport in Dallas. Uber has introduced plans to roll out their flying taxis in three test markets, with services starting in the year 2023. Dallas, Los Angeles and Dubai have been identified by Uber as their first three markets. The footprint of the skyport would be three acres, with a superstructure length of 930 feet, 200 feet wide and 200 feet tall. The design has been described as funky futuristic.

The concept would be for each city to have several skyports. When a passenger chooses the air taxi option, they would be picked up by a regular Uber, transported to the Skyport, where they would be flown to the closest skyport to their final destination, where a regular Uber would take them from the skyport to their final destination. The concept is to avoid commuter traffic and area with high congestion.   

Dallas Architecture Uber Skyport

The concept aircraft being developed by Uber and their partners, which includes NASA, is for a four-seat craft, plus a pilot that can cruise between 150-200 miles per hour, with a maximum altitude of 2,000 feet AGL. Their concept would have a range of 60 miles and have the ability to recharge between flights within five minutes. The would initially operate with a pilot onboard, but would eventually transition into an automated pilotless aircraft. 

BOKA Powell is a full-service architecture, planning and interior design firm, based in Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth.  With over 40 years of service to the community, they have received numerous honors and awards for their architectural and design projects. The firm has made its goal to give back and have become a recognized philanthropic presence in the regions where they live and work.       

From the ADG Jobsite

Oak and brass lantern with brass address plate

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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