Freeway stripes on the floor of L.A.'s cathedral?!

    L.A.'s about the light.

    Moneo's Cathedral can be luminous/numinous.

    Take one adobe church,

    add Ronchamp by Corbusier,

    and you get Rafael Moneo's pretty wonderful modernist cathedral in L.A.
    But the light on the floor can look like freeway stripes, no?


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    The people erect a memorial, suitable
    for Memorial Day.
    'Arlington West'
    on the beach in Santa Monica, California

    "Each Sunday since February 15th 2004, a temporary memorial is erected in the sand just north of the pier at Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles, California by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace and other volunteers ... "

    Today's holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service. At "Arlington West" you can sign a comment book, and people do.

    -- + -- + -- + --

    L.A.P.S.> This being California, right next to 'Arlington West,'
    "Bubbleman" is hard at work.

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Disney Hall for DJ Spooky, Amon Tobin, and Cut Chemist.

    You want fries with that?

    For the LA Phil's Shadow of Stalin series they and other artists remixed Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Mosolov. While other parts of the series look fascinating, this event didn't explore much about Stalin, or the former Soviet Union. Sampled video clips from 'Nevsky,' 'Potemkin,' etc. played on two large screens front and rear, but they weren't synched with the music and repeated too often and too randomly. It all felt random: music about music, about dance, about trance - forced into the LA Phil's Stalin series.

    One of my favorite parts was Norton Wisdom, (nice website.) He painted to the music, live onstage, as he has done with Butoh dance, Tibetan, Indian and Indonesian music, and various genres. You can vaguely see him in the bottom of the bad cellphone photo above. It seemed he had a large glass, onto which he brushed or used his fingers or a cloth to create dark, brooding, sexy images; with a bomb surprisingly added or an Uncle Sam arguing with Uncle Joe Stalin. Nice to watch them grow, and when you thought he should stop he'd make them better. Then Wisdom would wipe the images away glass with a cloth and beautiful back and forth gestures. (I always love to see window-washers work.) And he did listen to what the musicians were playing and tried to work with it. He made me think of opera, in which music and images blend.

    If you like loud, I hope you were in Disney Hall last night, between about 10 pm, when it started, to past 3 am when it might have ended. I'm glad I was there. But the musicians wasted an opportunity; there they were, in Walt Disney Concert Hall with its miraculous acoustics, given an important theme to explore. They ignored both.

    A side performance in a 'side chapel' in the arts cathedral of
    Disney Hall:

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    Greetings from sunny L.A.!

    I'm here in far-out LA at a USC Annenberg / Getty Fellowship
    with the fab Sasha Anawalt. In fact I write this from the University of Southern California Digital Media lab. We're listening to the one and only Douglas McLennan of ArtsJournal. com - the single best site on the web for my money. But Doug is so much more than just that site - classical pianist, lived in Rome and China, and is launching many exciting new projects, some with audio and video components. Is he the next American media mogul? Right now he's trying to convince each of the fellows to start a blog. Because, he says,

    1. There will be a business model for this, and
    2. You'll be involved in conversations that interest you and others interested in the same topic will find you.

    He's also reviving, in a new, different form - NAJP - the National Arts Journalism Program. Look for news in about two weeks.

    I'll post more about what we're doing as time allows - but I warn you, they run us hard. (Awww... =] )

    Every time I come to L.A. I'm impressed with, believe it or not, the lush public space here. Lots of nice small public areas, many with fountains, many away from the traffic, scattered all about. The problem is with few pedestrians, not many people stop to sit in most of them.

    Tonight we see Eschenbach and the Philadelphia Orchestra at Disney Hall. Dang! I didn't get that ticket to the taping of American Idol.

    But Disney Hall is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. And the stainless steel gleamed gorgeous under today's grey sky.
    Wish you were here.

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    Bruce Mau told me last night,

    at the superbly fun benefit for Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox's Archeworks,

    that he is moving with his family to Chicago in July. He'll open a school called
    "The Institute for Massive Change."

    He'll put it in Louis Sullivan's inspiring department store building on State Street. Carson's - the store in there for decades, recently vacated. Mau's school will be in the same building as, and he will team up with Tony Jones and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which recently began teaching architecture on the top floors of the Sullivan masterpiece.

    Bruce Mau said he intends to focus his activities on cities. He plans to develop "Chicago prototypes." He hopes city planners and leaders around the world will note his achievements here, come here to study them, and then replicate them where needed. He told me that a developer working on a project in Korea wants to fund the prototype here, and if or when it's successful, replicate the solution in Korea. I have no more details on that.

    Mau will live on Chicago's North Shore; he's looking for a grand old house to turn "smart." With all the visitors he expects he joked it'll be something of an "eco-resort." Tell that to the good ladies of Winnetka.

    How did this come about? Bruce Mau said that he was gratified by the welcome he received in Chicago when he brought his exhibtion "Massive Change" to the Museum of Contemporary Art. He had lunch with Stanley Tigerman. Tigerman asked him, "What are you doing? Why aren't you here?" Tigerman told Mau he could accomplish in ten years in Chicago what it would take him forty years to acheive in Toronto. Next thing you know, Mau's moving his family to Chi-town and opening a school here.

    Bruce Mau says he's a big fan of Mayor Daley and the work he's doing to make Chicago more "green." Daley is also a fan of Mau and his work.

    Finally, Bruce Mau says it's too late to tone down the expectations people have for him, but that he'll work here to realize his dreams here.

    The "City of Broad Shoulders," "the City that Works;" the city of "Make no Little Plans," and "Build, Don't Talk," welcomes its latest big thinker. I'm so glad to see him come here and help spur the Chicago Renaissance.

    Remember, Chicago's motto has always been, "Urbs in Horto" - "City in a garden."

    Welcome Bruce Mau and family. Make the place grow.
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    That great 'Japanese' architect, Mies van der Rohe.

    At Crown Hall, especially since the restoration, the translucent glass looks like Japanese screens. The shadows of twigs dancing on them from behind are living calligraphy.

    One of the joys of living in a Mies building is its zen-like simplicity, derived from a sensitivity to space and materials, and pared down seemingly over many lifetimes.

    (I spoke about all of this once on Japanese television. But of our long conversation I think the part the producers liked best was about how Mies loved martinis!)

    A favorite book on my shelf is West Meets East / Mies van der Rohe

    in which the great photographer of modernism, Werner Blaser, posts a photo of a work by Mies and on the facing page, a photo of a piece of architecture in Japan. They are enchantingly similar.

    I'm pleased to report that beginning June 16th, the Mies van der Rohe Society and IIT will put on an exhibition of Blaser's work,

    West is East is West / Mies van der Rohe
    IIT exhibits photography studying Mies' concepts
    and Eastern philosophy

    The Mies van der Rohe Society presents an exhibition created by Swiss architect and author Werner Blaser opening June 16. Ten pairs of large-scale black and white photos by Blaser compare the work of pioneering Western architect Mies van der Rohe and the building traditions of the East. Blaser has published 101 books, 15 about Mies or his buildings. He is a former student and colleague of Mies'.

    West is East is West / Mies van der Rohe runs through July 29 at the Mies masterpiece, S.R. Crown Hall, 3360 S. State St., Chicago. Hours are 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. daily. Admission is $5.00, or free for those taking the tour of campus.

    Lucky us, the exhibition will be right there- in the temple - Crown Hall.

    -Edward Lifusanu

    (as they called my father and mother, when they lived in Japan after the Korean War. They brought some prints, sculptures, fans and other artwork home, so I grew up with that aesthetic. And I heard wonderful tales of the beauty there, and the Japanese love of, and respect for beauty. Maybe that's partly why in Chicago I live in a Mies?)
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    Palm trees around the "Monadnock?! "

    Here's Chicago's

    And in sunny southern California, Henry Cobb will give us this

    "The architecture was inspired by the Monadnock building in Chicago, built in 1893. I believe that 700 West Broadway will be elegant, characterized by calm, timeless and classic architecture that will be fresh and functional in 100 years,” he said. “It will stand with quiet authority, and be a pause in the visual landscape, a cornerstone."
    Henry Cobb, in a written statement.

    Read more here. [via]

    And, while we're Monadnocking about,
    here's the original original,

    Wiki says,
    "the building's name is taken from the New hampshire mountain that gave its name to the geological term indicating a freestanding mountain surrounded by a plain."

    And, how is this for high - just say yes

    More on Chicago's Monadnock here, here and here.

    By the way, Mr. Cobb, with all due respect, from the above image and the video, I'm not sure I see enough Monadnock inspiration in your new building.

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    The hard times are over when ...


    (I'd like to photoshop these boxes onto the ragpicker's cart.)
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    The architects LUCKY enough to get to restore Mies van der Rohe's

    masterpiece Lake Shore Drive Apartments are:

    Ron Krueck and Mark Sexton, with Gunny Harboe!

    They who did such a fine job restoring Mie's Crown Hall at IIT.

    Congratulations! We look forward to working with you,

    and to a beautiful building.


    I've previously described what needs to be restored here.

    Congratulations to the trustees for doing the right thing. They have not formally set the scope of the project. We will spend about $7.5 million dollars. We know what we hope to do -- paint, restore the travertine plaza, the ground floor lobbies and spruce up the interiors of the lobbies (not a complete rehab). What we ultimately do is a function of cost. The first step is to do forensic work to get a better sense of the condition of the building and better estimate costs for each of these items. Then see how much work we can afford and adjust the project accordingly.
    The work will be substantially complete by the end of 2008.

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    Why do we need to restore 860 - 880 N. Lake Shore Drive?
    Here's how the inside of the 860 mailroom looks now:

    All the windows have been removed, due to cracking from corrosion and expansion of the steel below.

    The good news is that very soon I'll be able to tell you who the restoration architects will be. And you'll be thrilled.Source URL:
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Mies vs. Lucien Lagrange?

    This is the Lakeshore Athletic Club, right across the street from our beloved 860 - 880 N. Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe. It was purchased recently by Fifield Companies who intend to demolish it. Read Lynn on what we might lose here.

    Here are snaps of how it relates to Mies.

    You can see the building at the end does not contribute to Mies, and it makes you shut down your vision, thus you appreciate Mies' mastery less. Please no jokes about "less is more."

    We all know Mies is best in context; and the Lakeshore Athletic Club is one of the few extant buildings from when Mies walked the site directly north of it, and designed 860 - 880.

    Ach! It's so French vs. German.

    The building to replace Lakeshore would be by Lucien Lagrange. He gave us this, on the corner, spending a lot of money, as Fifield says they will.

    Dear Mayor Daley, Chicago Planning Commission, and the Landmarks Commission, why not "encourage" the developer save the exterior walls of the old Lakeshore Athletic Club? (And the wonderful ballroom, lobby and pool?) Unless he can put up something better for the citizens and the passersby.

    All best regards,

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Al Gore and the Architects

    I'm loving this.

    The Endgame of Minimalism.

    "The end of all form in architecture, the end of space, the end of sensibility – will we applaud that, or do we strive for chances for form?"

    I say we'll never have the end of form in architecture; we just think we do because they're increasingly minimalist, and forms we haven't seen before. We'll get used to them too and be more able to see their forms.

    And, they form space, which is equally real.

    But, I'll make this post minimal.


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    Bruce Mau moving with his family to Chicago (?)

    Is that why he's smiling? Is the Canadian designer, big thinker, innovator, on his way? I missed the Daley Urban Forum, I'm out of town, but according to Gaper's Block,

    "At yesterday's Daley Urban Forum, Bruce Mau, the designer/futurist behind the MCA's recent "Massive Change" exhibit, confirmed that he's not only going to open an office here, but he's also moving his family down from Toronto. Why? He admires the city's energy and our talent pool."

    I hear that in addition to other work, he's to help Mayor Daley commemorate (and update) Burnham and Bennett's Plan of Chicago, which turns 100 in 2009.

    Jules Guerin from Burnham, Daniel H., and Edward H. Bennett, Plan of Chicago
    The Commercial Club, Chicago MCMIX [1909]

    We previously wrote about Mau here. (scroll down.)

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    Steel Skeletons in the Graveyard!

    A new William LeBaron Jenney memorial to be unveiled in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery.

    The guy gives us the skyscraper and that's what he gets? It's made to look like the "steel skeleton frame" he used to give us works such as
    Jenny's Home Insurance Building of 1884/5.

    The recently deceased Sol LeWitt might have done it better, eg,

    I'll have to see the Jenney memorial on site. It was designed by DePree Bickford Associates, LLC along with the Trustees of Graceland Cemetery. Bevel Granite Company of Merrionette Park, IL is the fabricator/installer.

    The dedication of this new memorial at Graceland Cemetery is scheduled for June 9th at 2:30PM. Following that, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will offer tours of Graceland.

    It's Chicago's Cemetery of Architects. Buried there are William LeBaron Jenney, Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bruce Goff, William Holabird, Fazlur Khan, Marion Mahony Griffin, John Wellborn Root and others.

    Ah, it's so nice Jenney is being appreciated. Look at this beauty he designed

    The New York Life Insurance Building on LaSalle in Chicago, 1894.

    Wait a minute! Appreciated? Just last year Preservation Chicago had New York Life on its Endangered List. A developer wanted to put a 50 story skyscraper on top of it!

    Learn more about the work of William LeBaron Jenney, "The Father of the Modern Skyscraper," at the Chicago History Museum on the morning of June 9.

    If you were designing a memorial to him, how would it look?

    -(Jenn) E

    Thanks to Joan Pomaranc, Program Director at AIA Chicago

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    Registration starts today for Chicago's annual
    public celebration of architecture and design

    More than 200 tours of Great Chicago Places and Spaces you might otherwise never get to see. Inside and out, indoors and out. Visits led by Chicago architects, designers, historians and People Who Love This Great Place.

    Schedule here.
    Sign up here.

    It will all kick off Friday, May 18 at 5:15 pm with "Great Chicago Conversations," a discussion about Chicago's built environment. This year's open discussion will be led by architect and Heinz award winner Rick Lowe.

    Says the Heinz Foundation, Rick Lowe "has harnessed the power of art and architecture to illuminate and celebrate the meaning of the past while dealing with the problems of the present." If you missed this recent New York Times article on Rick Lowe, it's more than worth digesting. Then catch his talk Friday, May 18, 2007 at the Chase Auditorium - 10 S. Dearborn Street in Chicago (lower level). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. No reservations required.

    From the GCPS release:
    "On Saturday and Sunday there are more than 200 free tours throughout downtown and many of Chicago's historic neighborhoods. Some exciting jaunts include tours of sculpture, movies, gardens, theatres, stained glass tours, bungalows, skyscrapers, trolley tours and walking tours. See the works of world famous architects including Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Holabird & Roche/Root, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright.

    GCPS also celebrates environmental initiatives with tours featuring some of Chicago's sustainable architecture and green spaces. ...

    New this year is GCPS Kids."
    The full schedule of free tours begins bright and early on Saturday, May 19. The Santa Fe Building, in which you'll also find the Chicago Architecture Foundation, serves as Event Headquarters. Registration for "event day" tours starts at 7:30am.

    Wonderful weekend, wonderful Mayor!

    Bring your camera and send me photos, I'll post them.

    Rick Lowe photo: c Michael Stravato for The New York Times
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