Newsletter, January 1989
Towards Designed Public Space in LA, John Kaliski
L.A路Forum for Architecture and Urban Design 3.454 West First Street Los Ange les, Cal ifornia 90004 LA Forum Newsletter. A little background on the presenters in the "Out There, Doing It" lecture series: Fronk Israel, who will open the series on January 30, recently exhibited his work at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The exhibit will travel to San Francisco this Spring. His Propaganda Film Studio in Hollywood can be seen from the vantage point of a coffee bar that is open to the public. AKS Runo is made up of Bahraim Shirdei, Andy Zogo and Bill7Oylor. They designed the original area plan for the West Coast Gateway Competition and were finalists in the Olympic Garden West Competition. Eric Kahn and Ron Golan make up the Central Office of Architecture. Their pamphlet "Recombinant Images" will be published by the Forum in February. Steve Johnson used to work for Morphosis, and Jim Favaro is a Rome Prize-winner who recently taught at USC. Together, they are working on several residential projects. Michele Saee is also a graduate of Morphosis. Recent completed works include the West Los Angeles branch of Angeli, Ecru clothing store on Melrose and the Design Express on La Cienaga (on the way to the airport). Ron McCoy, who teaches at SciArc and is working路with Venturi Rauch and Scott Brown on their UCLA Medical Center project, just won a Citation from Progressive Architecture for a house he designed in Marina del Rey. Norman Millar, formerly of A2.Z in Portland, is also working on several residential projects. Neil Denari was a finalist in the West Coast Gateway Competition. He is currently showing his work in Frankfurt and is preparing an exhibition in New York. Neil lectures and enters competitions around the globe. Peler NoIJ and Wes Jones of Holt, Hinshaw, Pfau & Jones's Challenger Memorial was on the cover of the Progressive Architecture Awards Issue - they won an honor award, their third from that magazine. Based in San Francisco, they have now opened a Los Angeles office and looking forward to expanding in Southern California. The Forum welcomes Michael Pitfas, Ann Zollinger and Natalie Shivers to its Board. We have also formed an Advisory Board. Members include Fronk Gehry, Richard Keating, Tony Bill, Craig Hodgetls, Richard Weinstein, Michael Rotondi, Fronk Israel, Tom Hines, Abby Sher, Julia Bloomfield, Elyse Grinstein, Pamela Burton, Peter de Breffeville, Fred Fisher, KlJrt Forster and Robert Harris. As.mentioned above, the Central Office of Architecture is preparing "Recombinant Images路 for publication as Forum Pamphlet #4. Currently in the works are pamphlets on computers and architecture (which will be distributed as a Macintosh diskette), boulevards (by Forum Board member Doug Suisman) and maps. Sugg.estions, proposals and completed pamphlets are still welcome. The Forum apologizes for misspelling R.M Schindler's hallowed name Forum Craig Hodgetts is finally designing the new home of the American Cinematheque. After proposals for the Pan-Pacific Auditorium and several other sites, the 路Cinematheque has now been incorporated into the Hollywood Promenade development at Hollywood and Highland. John Jerde, who made Westwood so much richer with the Westside Pavilion, and whose Olympic fragments are still cherished potholders in many LA. homes, will design the whole glitzy shebang. Next door, East Coaster David Schwartz will discipline us with a two-block scheme for a thousand units of housing and some commercial space in a style one observer has called "not so much classical as GoldenAge-of-Hollywood -you know, sort of Art Deco." Developers? The irrepressible Bass brothers of Texas, late of the S&L bailout and the Board of the National Trust. OFFICERS: Christian Hubert, Pr"siclenr Aaron Betsky, Vb Prlls/clelll Ann Zollinger, Sf/Cr"raryffrllsur/lf NEWSLEnER EDITOR: Aaron Betsky Natalie Shivers BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shelly A Berger Aaron Betsky Benjamin Caffey Christian Hubert John Kaliski Michael Pittas Natali. Shivers Doug Suisman Ann Zollinger IOARD OF ADVISORS: ADDRESS Tony Bill 3454 West First Street Julia Bloomfield Los Angeles, California Pamela Burton 9 0 004 Peter de Bretleville Fred Fisher PHONE Kurt Forster (213) 389 - 6730 Frank Gehry Elyse Grinstein Robert Harris Thomas Hines Craig Hodgetls Frank Israel Richard Keating RANDOM NOTES Newsletter. While postmodernism reigns over the redevelopment of Hollywood, West Hollywood is turning the corner into ReModernism - note the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica, for instance. Roger Sherman and Edmund Chang are finally at work on the Civic Center scheme they defended in front of the Forum nigh a year ago. New Primitivism is fragmenting itself to be more effective: Josh Schweitzer and David Kellen of City Restaurant fame broke up. Now David Kellen has designed a crumbling mesa taco stand on Robertson, and Josh just finished a new L.A. Eyeworks in South Coast Plaza and is turning a building on La Brea formlerly owned by Charlie Chaplin into another "reasonably priced" restaurant. Michael Rotandi Abby Sher Richard Weinstein The Big Boys are also on the move: after Kahn, Pedersen and Fox did a Post modern Panel design for Coast Savings, they moved on, and are now proposing a Neo-Pravda scheme for a thirty-story tower on Hope Street. Then again, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill long ago caught the constructivist bug, and are now designing a fragmented gridnumber for Library Square. Their NeoMorphosis work on Wilshire in Beverly Hills will soon be joined by an Arquitectonicad~si gned Bank of America. This commercialization of the avant garde is not too shocking when your realize that Benneton has opened a Neo-d'Urso emporium on Melrose. Our candidates for missed design opportunities: the Santa Monica Mall, South Hope Street, Hollywood, La 8rea (they're opening an $8 million car dealership there soon) , Miracle Mile, the Olympic "Garden District" and every median strip which could house mass transit which might actually mean something. But we're open to suggestions. And if you really want to make a difference, participate in one of the Urvan Design Charrettes sponsored by UDAC and the City Planning Department. These charrettes involve you in five days of intensive interviews with the community and a survey of the local resources. The result is a 60 to 90 page report and, one would hope, some useful design alternatives which break through the economic and bureaucratic morass in which both sponsoring organizations are themselves still mired. The first charrette looked at Van Nuys, and next up is Barnsdall Park, with Watts and the Center City to follow. Contact Emily Gable at 485-2470 and become responsible. TOWARDS DESIGNED PUBLIC SPACE IN L.A. by ,John K;:'ll,skl I recently saw a news spot on the plight of the individual project is planned and even dimension of Los Angeles which has too of a well-defined and consistent public the Salvation Army as they attempted to after it is finished., this abandonment of often been too dependent on the goodwill of agenda which takes full account of the solicit funds during their annual holiday drive. public spaces causes on-going difficulties in private interests. In this city the nature of needs required of the individoal. The Salvation Army is a fairly benign group our understanding of the right of use and public life and the public's perception of and as solicitors go. Who can't recall images of meaning of the spatial order of the city. access to this public life is too controlled by It is my belief that the ultimate quality of the Santa Claus' ringing bells on frosty streets or Are the gardens, plazas, malls and paseos interests which only answer to themselves. design of our urban environment will be trumpeters playing carols for pennies. This of the modern public/private partnership One could easily interpret the slow growth or created by the reinvigoration and reinvention is an 'enduring image of the American scene truly public, or are these modern day growth management issue as an attempt by of'the ideal of public space. At least part of as wholesome, if not as saccharin, as a gathering spaces subtly, symbolically and disgruntled citizens to redefine the meaning this reinvention will be dependent on the Norman Rockwell painting. Trad~ionally, the negatively private? and form of the public realm. Because of ability of government to once again assume Army played on the street corners of our this movement, we at this point well a constructive and creative leadership role in downtown areas. However, as shoppers left At present, we rely increasingly on the understand the issues dear to middle and the process of the design of the city. The downtown for suburban malls, the Army private developer to plan the urban upper middle class int~rests, but we have not form of public space must be based on the followed. But now several Southern environment. A consequence of this relianc been able to develop adequate tools to hear acceptance and inclusion of more voices in California malls, property rights in one hand e is a tendency for the development the voices of those who speak softly or those the design and development process. The and an anti-solicitation mandate in the other, community to have the first crack at defining who don't have the time to speak at all as role of government is to ensure that have had the Salvation Army evicted from the scope of public benefits with terms that they struggle to make ends meet. equitable participation is realized and that their premises and even, when they refused they can understand. This is natural and not to leave, arrested. necessarily wrong. Still, if the broadest In his book Good City Form, Kevm Lynch public purpose. The role of architects and concept of urban design quality is to be defines development. tram the point of view developers is to concentrate on the physical These actions are indicative of a broader attained, the ability to define the purpose, of the individual. "Development,,路 he expression of these aspirations. If one wants evolution of the meaning of public space and function, feel and meaning of public space - says, "is a process of becomillg more to assure one's self of a well designed city. the scope of public life away from traditional and the need to ensure access to these competent and more richly connected ... one must not only hire the best developers notions and images of urbanism and urban spaces within the bounds of the rights of an increasing sense of connection to ona's and the best architects. but one must also form . While the incident is extreme, other, both the individual and the community environment in space and in time... " ensure an open public design and more subtle examples abound which cannot be left to the development Clearly, this definition is based on an development process. illustrate the privatisation of the public space community - alone. understanding of the needs of the individual and life of the city. City agencies are the form of the city serves an essentially human being. If development is to mean constantly under pressure to assemble large This last statement contains my something more than the convenient parcels- of land or superblocks to facilitate preconception that once outside of our marriage of the art of construction with the efficient redevelopment. One of the results respective domestic and by definition private craft of land-use speculation. then the of parcel consolidation is the vacation of situations, we enter a world which is and incentives directed' towards the d~veloper existing pl:Jblic streets and right-of-ways. As should be public and accessible. It is this will have to be based on the establishment RANDOM EVENTS Lectures Exhibits Lecture/Discussion with Johnson/Favaro * Lectur./DiKussion with Franklin D. Israel * and Michele Sa.. This Schindler House, 835 N Kings Rd For reservationslinformation call 938-6928 oe 389-6730 Monday, January 30, 7:30 pm The Schindler House, 835 N Kings Rd Monday. February 27, 7.:30 pm for reservations/information call 938-6826 or 389-6730 "Archi~cture/Shaping the Future:" "The Craftsman in Architecture:" Lecture by James Krenov Symposium with Ricardo Legorreta, Fumihiko Maki, Richard Meier, and Richard Roger. SciArc Main Space Wednesday. March 8, 8 pm UCSD Mandeville Center For Âˇinformation,call 6190534-3400 Saturday, February 4, 9-5 pm "Buildings and Projects:" Lecture by James Stirling "QMA Projects:" UCLA 39 Haines Hall Thursday, March 9, 8 pm Lecture by Rem Koolhaas UCLA, Dickson 2160, February 9, 8 pm * "Word, Buildings Machines:" Lecture by We, Jones Ledure/Discussion with AKS Runo and Central Office of Architecture The Schindler House, 835 N Kings Rd for reservations/information call 938-6826 or 389-6730 February 13, 7:30 pm SciArc Main Space Wednesday. March 22, 8 pm * and Lecture/Discussion with Ron McCoy Norman Millar The Schindler House, 835 N Kings Rd for reservations/information call 938-6826 or,389-6730 Monday, March 27, 7:30 pm Lecture by Margaret Hetfand SCiArc Main Space ' Wednesday, February 22, 8 pm "Misshapen Chaos of Well-Meaning Form: Criticism and Deconstruction:" Lecture by Diane Ghirardo UCLA, 1102 Perloff February 23, 8 pm "Designing and Building for Earthquakes in Southern California:" Workshop sponsored by the L.A./ A.I.A. Biltmore Hotel For information call Don Geis or Karen Smith 202-785-2324 Friday-SaturdayFebruary 24-25 "Body / Anti-body:" Lecture by Elizabeth Diller SciArc Main Space Wednesday. AprilS, 8 pm * lecture/Discussion by Neil Denari, Wes Jones and-Peter pfau The Schindler House, 835 N Kings Rd for reservations/information call 938-6826 or 389-6730 April 10, 7:30 pm "Ughtweight Structures in Australia:" Vinzenz Sedlak UCLA Gallery 1220 January 25 â€˘ February 8 "Art Nouveau in Munich: Masters of Jugenstil" LACMA, Through February 19 "Marmo: The New Italian Stone Age." Exhibit of stone and marble in architectural an..d decorative design. California Museum of Science and Industry March 9 - March 25 Installations by Mario Merz MaCA February 26 - June 18 "Recent Competitions:" Michael Pyatok UCLA, Gallery 1220 February 10 - February 28 "Temporal/Ephemeral:- Installation of works by Ann Hamilton, Richard Deacon, and John Woodall T.C., Through February 26 "Recent USC Architecture Faculty Work" USC Helen Lindhurst Architecture Gallery and Harris Hall 125 February 6 - February 25 "Architects':" New work created especially this exhibit by Wiliam Adams, Ron Arad, Aaron Betsky, Rebecca Binder, Robert De Young, Mark C. Dillon, James Ehrenclou, Steven Ehrlich, Julie Eizenberg, James Evanson, Gregg Fleishman, Tom Grondona, Henry Gutman, Coy Howard, Bob Josten, David Kellen, Hank Koning, Heather Kurze, Susan Lanier, Jerrald Lomax, Steven Lombardi, Paul Lubowicki, Robert Mangurian, Morphosis, Eric Moss, Antoine Predock, John Randolph, Ron Rezek, Michele Saee, Ted Tanaka, Adrain Thean, Bruce Tomb, Simon Ungers The Gallery of Functional Art, 2429 Main SI., Santa Monica Through March 6 "Photography in Great Britain 1839-1920" LACMA, through March 19 * . Forum Event = PRECIOUS PUBLICATIONS.. ::. ._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. THE GETTY PUBLICATIONS PROGRAM Under the guidance of editors Julia Bloomfield, Kurt W. Forster and Thomas F. SAH/SCC CALL FOR PAPERS The initial text to be publihsed include works The Southern California Chapter of the by Claude Perrault, Le Camus de Mezieres, Society of ArChitectural Historians is Friedrich Gily, Claude-Nicholas Ledoux, Otto soliciting proposals for papers to be and the Humanites has developed a Wagner and Hermann Muthesius. The first presented at its Annual Meeting in May, publications program comprising three publication, Otto Wagner's Modern 1989. Papers addressing any aspect of different series: 路Sketchbooks and Albums," Architecture, based on the expanded 1902 architecture in the United States or abroad "Issues and Debates," "Texts and text of this work, is now available. The are invited. Student presentations and introduction, written by Dr. Harry Mulgrave. papers devoted to Western or California examines Wagner's theories in the context of topics and local preservation issues are Reese, the Getty Center for the History of Art Documents." The "Sketchbooks and Albums" series will 19th century theory. and explores the encouraged. These presentaions .should be reproduce works that have never been connection between Wagner's Polemic and primarily anaiy1ical in content rather than published as a whole or are of a limited German debates on ecleclicism, materialism. merely descriptive. availability. The focus will be on documents and modernism. The Getty is subsidizing the of the 15th through 17th centuries, which will costs of production of the book to keep it Proposal may be for either a 20-minute be accompanied by new scholarly texts affordable ($29~ 95 cloth, $14.95 paper) . paper or a subjet the author has extensively describing their historical and cultural researched or a 1O-minute work-in-progress context. Essays, either commissioned by the report. Proposals should be typewritten Getty or resulting from scholarly workshopos (maximum 400 words in length) with the and symposia, will be the subject of the author's name and address in the upper right "Issues and Debates路 series. One of the hand corner and chould state the paper's intentions of the series is to record scope, argument and method. Deadline for discussions taking place at the events as submission of proposals is March 1, 1989. well as post-event critical assessments. Send two copies of the proposal to Kenneth Neglected, forgotten, or unavailable texts on Breisch, SciArc, 1800 Berkeley Street, the subjects of art, architecture and Santa Monica, CA 90404. aesthetics will be published in the "Texts and Documents路 series. Selected texts, primarily from the 18th through mid-20th centuries, will be translated into ~nglish and accompanied by critical scholarly introductions. OUT THERE DOING IT A series of lectures and discussions by independent practitioners in los Angeles Membership in the Forum is open to any interested individual. The $35 annual fee entitles members to 'free . admission to Forum events, to receive the bi-monthly newsletter, and to purchase other Forum publications at reduced rates. Members are encouraged to participate in planning Forum activities. Please check the appropriate categorry below if interested. January 30: Franklin D. Israel nI JII.: February 13: .d;" II : AKS Runo ; Central Office of Architecture February 27: Johnson/Favaro; Michele Saee I".phou : March 27: Ron McCoy; Norman Millar April 10: Neil Denari; Holt, Hinshaw,.Pfau & Jones All lectures will be held on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm at The Schindler House, 835 I am in.....11ed in participating in the following activities: publications planning and development fundraising lectures and discussions reading groups and research social events North King's Road, West Hollywood. For men infonnation contad: Admission is free to Forum members - Christian Hubert, (213) 389-6730 or Aaron Betsky, (213) 938-6826 RUT seating is limited, so PLEASE CALL to reserve places. Non-members are invited to attend on a space-available basis, with the exception of the January 30 event, which will be for members and new members only. Admission for non-members: $7.50 per event. PLEASE RESERVE otherwise we can't guarantee admission. Call Aaron at (213) 938-6826 or Chris at THE FORUM NEEDS TO KN9W (2.:13) 389-6730. Help us collect archibabble. construction news. designer events, and loose ends of architecture. Help write the Forum Newsletter. Call Aaron Betsky. Newsletter Editor. at (213) 938-6826.