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LBL Batons Satin Nickel Suspension Pendant Light
“When lighting looks like art, you know you have a winner!”
- D. Shultz, Interior Designer
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The Art Story
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Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is a quaint little restaurant located in West LA's Little Osaka. Many of you might be familiar with this area for the sushi, but maybe you've frequented the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety on a regular basis to have your plans reviewed for permitting. The concept behind this restaurant design embodies the creative lifestyle of architects, designers, and developers that flock here on a regular basis.
The minimal industrial warehouse vibe of this gastropub has the laid back feeling of a corner general store or corner bar in any small town.The outside patio is very welcoming with its warm, minimal lighting aesthetic. Modern outdoor lighting paired with industrial awnings makes for a perfect L.A. evening hang out.
The long communal tables are centrally located with an open bar on the left and sculptural wood booths to the right. The natural wood and metal tables do a great job of warming up the space. Poured concrete floors and industrial modern lighting fixtures consistently create a warehouse style interior.
These gunmetal barstools paired with this bronze wall sconce are perfect for giving your space that feeling of an industrial warehouse.
Set of 4 Zuo Modern Marius Gunmetal Counter Stools
Robert Abbey Iris Bronze Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Lamp
Even the menus look like a set of plans! How great is that? But really, what's so great about this place is the menu.
Umami Burger's, Chef Ernesto Uchimura, has created a menu of comfort food topped with things like bacon candy and ketchup leather and stuffed with things like bone marrow and swiss cheese fondue. You can't go wrong with anything on this menu.
Now you've got something to look forward to next time you're visiting the Department of Building and Safety!
Images: Plan Check, GDX
Over the last three decades, a growing number of public "percent for art" programs have transformed commercial design projects into city cultural stewardship projects. How?
The concept is simple: for major commercial design projects (capital improvement projects and new developments), an increasing number of major cities require funders to earmark a set percentage of the overall budget for the purchase and installation of public art. Effectively, property developers become the arts benefactors and beautifiers of the cities within which they build.
While not all public art pieces are universally a hit, most would argue they certainly intrigue. Pictured above is Cradle, a 2010 installation by Ball-Nogues Studio for the Santa Monica Place shopping mall in Santa Monica, California.
One of the earliest adopters of the percent for art concept, Chicago began asking developers to earmark 1.33% of project costs back in 1978. Weighing in at 100 tons, Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (nicknamed "The Bean") is a favorite in Millennium Park.
The "Percent for Art" idea traces back domestically to the early 1960s and then chairman of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Michael von Moschziskerhe. As von Moschziskerhe explained to TIME magazine in 1962, "I said to the other four members that maybe we could let it be known that we would look with favor on bidders who offered to spend 1% of construction costs on frescoes, murals, bas-reliefs, mosaics, stained-glass windows, and fountains with statuary in or around them...Psychologists and efficiency experts now find that beauty increases productivity. It necessarily follows that true functionalism in man-made edifices must include artistic expression."
Visitors to Los Angeles will recognize the "pylons" at LAX. This kinetic installation of multi-color lights by Paul Tzanetopoulos is the result of the city's 1% for art program.
The distinctive pylon look can be adapted to the home with torchiere floor lamps.
Possini Euro Design Hybrid Torchiere Accent Light Floor Lamp
Public art can be seen as a talking point, an eyesore, or a design centerpiece, as with Eclipse, a 40 foot high, 12-sided dodecahedron by artist Charles O. Perry located in the atrium Hyatt Regency in San Francisco's Embarcadero. I love the string lights hanging from the ceiling in the background. They remind me of the droplets on some of my favorite crystal chandeliers.
In the case of some public art, it can be so formally driven that it verges on looking functional. Can you tell which of the below is sculpture and which is a chandelier?
(Hint: One is the Bowling Ball Curtain sculpture by Eung Ho Park; the other is the Possini Euro Floating Bubble 6-Light Round Ceiling Fixture)
Public art infuses public spaces with color and interesting forms which inevitably become the common social and cultural bonds of a city.
Images: Ball-Nogues Studio, Art Observed, Daily News, Hyatt Regency, DM Contemporary
When we study eco-friendly architecture and landscape, it's not often that we come across a landscaped structure. Architect Andrew Maynard designed "Hill House" in Melbourne, Australia to be the exception. This once single structure residence has been turned into, not only a much larger home, but a study on combining architecture and building.
Melbourne is predominantly flat. This could be why Melbourne’s architecture is ambitious. There's no landscape to confine structure design, therefore buildings are free to become landscape.
The design goal was for a family of five to have a long-term residence, which could meet the requirements of three small children and their transformation into young adulthood. Above is the evolution of design toward that goal, starting with the just original building (white).
Fundamental issues offered Maynard a starting point and he noticed that the original structure faced North which relegated the backyard, where the family spent much of their time, to shadow throughout the year. This was not ideal.
The proposal was to build a new structure on the rear boundary, which was once the back yard.
The new structure now faces the sun and the pure cantilevered box above acts as the passive solar eave, cutting out summer sun, while letting winter sun flood in.
Upon entry, you can see (below) how the structure effects the interior, creating a lowered dining area. The change in floor level creates a bench seat for the Maynard designed "Zero Waste Table".
Despite structural efforts outside, there are ways for any interior to circulate aire and keep cool in the summer. There are some great modern ceiling fans the accomplish this without detracting from the decor. This fan below is our suggestion for achieving Maynard's design aesthetic.
Turbina Oil-Rubbed Bronze Ceiling Fan
Much of the color in Maynard's design comes from the landscape outside, but he had a little fun with the dining room. Multi-colored modern dining chairs is a great way to add personality to a minimally designed space. We suggest this red Eames-style dining chair.
Zuo Spire Red Dining Chair
Wouldn't it be fun to have a well designed attractive home that is also your playground? Apparently, Maynard is the go-to architect for innovative, fun and smart design. "Environmental issues and responsible, intelligent solutions are trademarks of his work, utilising clever concepts for a dynamic output. Clients come to Maynard when they’re seeking a unique and challenging solution..." Alaana Fitzpatrick, DQ magazine.
Images: Maynard Architects
Interior Designer Rachel Horn and her husband Justin Kreizel combined their skills to renovate this 1969 Airstream. They are now ready for the great outdoors, but more importantly, they can spend their time camping in luxury.
The interior is just as functional as it is beautiful. The built-in daybed is wrapped in glamorous fabrics and Moroccan accents, making it almost too beautiful to sleep in. The geometric mirrored coffee tables add a touch of glamour to the space.
This table (below) will help you bring modern lines and a little glam into your own home.
Zuo Tyrell Stainless Steel and Black Glass Coffee Table
Although this wasn't the typical 10,000 square foot project Horn was used to designing, she didn't treat it any differently and carefully considered all the details.
Mixing modern home decor with Moorish, Turkish or Persian details creates something Horn decribes as "Luxe Nomadic".
This modern kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, a cappuccino maker, water filter, and all the amenities typically found in a luxurious home kitchen. Horn and her husband have everything they need to be comfortable while camping.
Modern wall light fixtures are great for casting a nice glow onto counters and surfaces below, perfect for cooking those late night meals. Directional wall lights are great for kitchens without upper cabinets. This light (below) would also work perfectly in this type of setting.
Satin Nickel 8" High LED Spotlight Wall Sconce
The bedroom is separated from the rest of the space with Moorish arches and curtains, tied back for easy access. The headboards mimic the arches of the overall structure and are covered in elegant fabrics. After a long day hiking in the rough outdoors, who wouldn't want to jump into these comfortable beds?
For those of you who shy away from the rough outdoors and don't typically like the idea of camping.... Maybe it's time you give "glamping" a try!
Images: Rachel Horn
Central Los Angeles High school features dramatic modern architecture designed by Wolf D. Prix and the Austrian firm Coop Himmelblau. There's no doubt this high school holds a place in debates over urbanism, planning, and architectural patronage in Los Angeles.
Fifteen years ago, LAUSD launched a $20 billion construction campaign, which included a new high school along Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, a neighborhood where existing schools had grown incredibly overcrowded. How important should architecture be to a city's urban development, and the design of schools specifically? Shouldn't campuses be both economical and appealing in design, rather than one or the other?
Katherine Harrison, the school’s executive director puts it like this, “The striking character of the buildings attract a great deal of attention to the school which is alternately welcome and unwelcome. Either way, we run the risk of the building somehow defining the school’s mission rather than the educational needs of students and the community we serve.”
Despite the continuing debates over design and budget, the beauty of both the interior and exterior architecure is hard to ignore.
The auditorium (above) is a show stopper in itself. The 950-seat theater is state-of-the-art and features a tower rising from its iconic roof. Bold, colorful seating provides any modern space added character. Give this chair a try in your modern home for the same effect.
Eclipse Red Vinyl Club Chair
Minimal lighting, with just the use of downlights, allows for the interior architecture to have the main spotlight. Here is a suggestion for achieving this simple, yet effective lighting aesthetic.
Juno 4" Low Voltage Chrome Adjustable Recessed Light Trim
Prix’s decision to design the whole composition in concrete and aluminum panels no doubt makes the school stand out in Los Angeles.
This image demonstrates its proximity to the downtown freeway system, the featured character in the story of Los Angeles should its urban development be turned into a script.
Despite the difficulty completing this project and the debates that continue to hover around it, there is no questioning the noteworthy appeal of the architecture and the impact it has on the city's overall design development.
Images: Coop Himmelblau
Quote: Metropolis Magazine
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