adg lighting - architectural detail group


Cozy Room Scene With Sleeping Cat In Mid Century Modern Style

The Genius of Great 1960s Architecture

Architecture you see in our day to day reality is designed by innovative and inspired architects. The dictionary defines an architect as, “A person who designs buildings and in many cases supervises their construction.” This means that an architect needs to know the science behind what they design to make sure the structure is sound and stable. 

Now add the art, since artistry is a big part of being an architect. Architects create entire realities by the structures they design and build. Just look at some of the great 1960s architecture; for example, the Montreal Biosphere, a geodome which made its debut at Expo 67. The American architect Buckminster Fuller designed the dome with a lightweight flexible material and a shading system, which was designed to control the inner temperature. 

Buckminster’s inspiration was the Space Age and aircraft, as well as nature. Today, this stellar example of 1960s architecture stands as an environmental museum after it was bought by the government. So you could say that the legacy of this structure was of historical value, even with its futuristic appearance.

Another example of the genius of 1960s architecture can be seen with the LAX Theme Building. Designed as a joint venture by architect Paul Williams and Welton Becket, it was originally built in 1961 in the architectural styles of mid-century modern and Googie. The building was designated as a historical-cultural monument on December 18, 1993. The renovation cost upwards of $4 million, and the Theme Building was left with a retro-futuristic interior and electric lights that were designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. The building was completed by 1997, when the Encounter Restaurant opened.

The Encounter Restaurant later closed its doors in December 2013. So what does the future hold for the LAX Theme Building? As of this writing, the Los Angeles World Airport officials aren’t sure of how to include a possible hotel into the center area of the building.

Perhaps the actual future of these buildings can only be completed when the future arrives. Maybe that’s the real genius behind these architects and the legacies they left behind.


Berlin Wall German Architecture

The Berlin Wall: Architecture That Symbolized Lack of Freedom

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down this month, we thought we’d share some interesting facts about this historic monument.

The irony of the Berlin Wall was that the idea was conceived and built by the East German administration, led by Soviet Leader Nikita Khruschev, as a way to separate East Germany and Federal Republic of Germany (aka West Germany). Their goal was to protect their citizens from a capitalist society, but it actually caused East Germany from progressing forward.

The Berlin Wall was built on August 13th, 1961, and was 12 feet high and approximately 27 miles long. The Berlin Wall had armed East German border guards, 302 guard towers, and  had more than one million landmines and approximately 3,000 attack dogs. 

Families were separated and numerous people lost their lives trying to cross the Berlin Wall from the east side to the west side. Desperate attempts were made; the first one recorded was by a woman named Ida Siekmann. She jumped out of her apartment window and fell onto the concrete on the west side of the Berlin Wall.

It’s safe to say that symbolically speaking, those of us who see the wall as imprisonment for the East Germans are on the west side of the story, regardless of where we lived. To cut off freedom and progress as a way to maintain control will only lead to negative consequences. 

Today’s former East Germany still suffers, because the unification of Germany wasn’t an equal one and still suffers the remnants of what the division brought. West Germany encouraged capitalism and is rich in its resources, as well as being very progressive and in touch with the world. 

Once the Berlin Wall came down, millions of people on the east side lost their jobs. All of the east side now had to abide by West Germany’s laws, rules, and currency. Almost no major corporations have headquarters in East Germany, and the entire society still suffers economic issues.   

The wall came down on November 9th, 1989, but unfortunately like any other torture that’s inflicted, it has left scars among many who have lived through this torment.

Let this serve as a valuable and visual lesson that separation of an entire nation or society is never the answer.

Check out our picture gallery from our time at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Their newest exhibit is called W|ALLS, which explores the historical use and artistic treatment of walls over the centuries.


From the Factory Floor

A touch of the ADG Advantage for a Malibu beach home…

From The Factory Floor 11 13 19

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting




mindful design nyc

Mindful Design in New York: The Zen Is in the Details

Let’s face it, New York City has all the trappings that the busy city life can bring. Imagine you’ve just arrived for a business trip, and you’re anxious, stressed, and tired. Now imagine stepping into a tranquil hotel lobby, where the ambiance immediately gives you a sense of peace and harmony. 

The work by firm Atelier Ace has just achieved this task. A game-changing creative agency based in New York City, they’ve just completed work at the Sister City hotel, located on the Lower East Side. 

The lighting raises your consciousness to the level of perfection. Some of that lighting is provided by original hand-stamped Isamu Noguchi lanterns, and even if the original lanterns aren’t contributing to the perfect lighting that is considered mindful design, their mere presence are inspiring to your senses.

Of course, not everyone will have the same mindful reaction to the music playing in the lobby that is controlled by an app that creates music based on the current weather conditions. Perhaps your mindful design experience will happen with the free-from-commotion experience through their in-room services, which were created in partnership with the Headspace guided meditation app.    

If that doesn’t get you into that peaceful state of mind, then the vintage furniture will, which have all the markings that come with age to perfection. This type of mindful design experience is very much akin to visiting your grandmother and walking into her house, where the chairs, tables or little doodad or trinket provide those feelings of warmth, peace and delight. 

The Atelier Ace firm subscribes to what they describe as the Japanese-Scandinavian inspired “less but better” movement. Sister City stands proudly in an 80,000 square foot property in a building that formerly housed the Salvation Army.

Terrazzo vanities and custom terrazzo flooring are just some of the beautiful features seen throughout the hotel. With the hotel’s simplicity and functionality, the interior design experience is essential in creating a peaceful, zen existence, and where mindful design living begins.From the

From the ADG Job Site

Throwback to an install of our integrated LED modern lights…

From The ADG Job Site 11 6 19

by Gerald Olesker,  CEO, ADG Lighting

architects pet rescue

Architects for Animals Is a Great Cause

Why would feral cats need architects? LA’s top architects and designers were asked to build a unique, one-of-a-kind outdoor shelter or dwelling that is functional to outdoor or feral cats. These original dwellings were then displayed at the “Giving Shelter” gala event, held at the HermanMiller showroom in Culver City. All proceeds benefit FixNation, a non-profit based in Los Angeles that provides free spay/neuter services for stray, homeless, and feral cats.

Today’s families, as well as single individuals, take animal homelessness very seriously. On any given weekend or holiday, there are fundraisers and promotions to get homeless animals into their fur-ever homes.

But what about feral cats? Let’s define these felines: a feral cat is one who is born in the wild or outdoors and has little to no human interaction. Due to their lack of socialization, they are scared of humans and will lash out. There is a period of time (usually when the kitten is three to eight weeks old) that if exposed to humans, can be socialized and adopted out. The ones who aren’t socialized are feral and live outdoors, but they still need dwellings and protection from the elements. 

Some of the architectural design firms that were asked to participate in this year’s sold-out gala included: Abramson Teiger Architects, 3Darchitecture, HOK, Morphosis/Xtech, Perkins & Will, Stantec (fka) RNL, RDC, Standard Architecture and Design, Tracy A. Stone, Word Design & Architecture, among others. These architects created functional designs that the cats would love and use. 

Also on display at this gala event were cat food bowls that were decorated by animal-loving celebrities such as William Shatner, Morgan Fairchild, Jason Momoa, Clint Eastwood, and Charlize Theron. 

FixNation’s co-founder Karn Myers was pleased with the creativity as well as the level of practical application in the designs. FixNation is a very successful model and example for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for humane feral cat colony management programs globally.  Myers and her late husband Mark Dodge, founded FixNation in 2007 as an effective and compassionate alternative to mass euthanasia. 

Look for their gala event next year!

From the ADG Jobsite

Sculpture for Malibu home in collaboration with Cami Forte…

Adg Job Site Oct 2019

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

Mark Twain

If The Mark Twain House Could Talk

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain (November 30,1835 – April 21, 1910) was a prolific American writer. He wrote classics such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” His writing style always contained his cleverly wicked sense of humor, and his stories were fodder for social commentary.

Twain’s home, now showcasing as a museum, is named as one of the 10 Best Historic Homes in the World and is also on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It also offers tours to the public. 

Twain’s personal adventure began after his father died unexpectedly. At age 11, Twain became a printer’s apprentice, and shortly after that he began contributing articles for the Hannibal Journal. In 1859, he became a river pilot on the Mississippi River and continued until the onset of the American Civil War in 1861. He joined the Marion Rangers, a Confederate militia. He left after the Marion Rangers disbanded. He travelled with his brother and ended up in Virginia City, Nevada, where he worked as a miner, then soon became a writer for the Virginia City newspaper.

On November 18, 1865, a story written by Twain based on something he had overheard about a jumping frog got published in the Saturday Press in New York, and was a big hit with the readers! It was entitled, ”The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

In his book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Huck Finn is based on a boy named Tom Blankenship who Twain knew growing up in Hannibal. The book was banned by the public library in Concord, Massachusetts over its language and low morals. Many called the book racist and removed it from school reading lists.

In 1891, Twain closed up his house, which he and his family had lived in since 1874. This house was designed by architect Edward Tuckerman Potter and built in the Victoria Gothic style. While living in this house, Twain wrote, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” “A Tramp Abroad,” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

Although Mark Twain doesn’t have any living direct descendants, the house located on 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut is very much alive and thriving in his memory.

From the ADG Jobsite

One of our favorite chandelier projects from New York…


by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

Los Angeles Sherman Yang CLaEwNoIHyg Unsplash

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!”

IMG 1496

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting