L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times

When is a public square not a public square? When it’s designed and built in Los Angeles, circa 2008. Our city–which has lacked plazas and other open-air gathering spots for so long–is now building them in a number of high-profile locations. Yet none of these spaces is fully civic in the traditional City Beautiful sense. Each one is shaped, controlled or compromised by private, commercial or other interests. Arguably, of course, that makes them right at home in Los Angeles, the most private metropolis ever devised.

Next month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will unveil the much anticipated first phase of its expansion, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. He is probably best known for the Pompidou Center in Paris, which opens onto a square that, despite its popularity with mimes, ranks as one of the world’s great public gathering places.

Read more @ L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times – Christopher Hawthorne

In architecture, as elsewhere, sex sells

In the early days of modern architecture, its alien forms were sold to the public using science. Architect Richard Neutra’s “Health House” – designed and built between 1927-29 for physician Philip Lovell in the Griffith Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles – was featured in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

Mr. Neutra’s four-storey, steel-framed and stucco-clad house was graceful in the way it clung to its hillside site. But far outweighing any discussion of architectural merit were reports of its fresh-air sleeping porches, large areas of glass (to allow life-giving sunlight to penetrate), exercise and sports areas and the water-purification and juicing facilities in the kitchen.

Even before that, in 1923, architect Le Corbusier wrote: “A house is a machine for living in.”

Read more @ globeandmail.com: In architecture, as elsewhere, sex sells.

American Institute of Architects to house Dallas Center for Architecture | pegasusnews.com | Dallas / Fort Worth

The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today that AIA Dallas has completed a lease to double its office space to almost 9,000 square feet at 1909 Woodall Rodgers. The space also will accommodate the new Dallas Center for Architecture, a major new initiative of AIA Dallas and other architectural groups.

American Institute of Architects to house Dallas Center for Architecture | pegasusnews.com | Dallas / Fort Worth.

Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight

A debate over city growth has emerged after a housing affordability survey released this week recommended freeing up more land for houses.

Demographia‘s fourth annual survey found New Zealand houses more unaffordable than those in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain and Australia.

Read more @ Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight – NZ Herald

Moriyama + Teshima Architects to design the Region of Waterloo History Museum – Canadian Architecture News

The Region of Waterloo History Museum, to be built at Doon Heritage Crossroads, will be “an architectural statement integrated with the landscape” and “symbolic of the ethics and vision of our time,” according to the team hired by the Region to design the new museum and Visitor Orientation Centre.

The Regional Council approved a recommendation by the Museum Steering Committee to hire Moriyama + Teshima Architects of Toronto in association with The Walter Fedy Partnership of Kitchener to design the new Region of Waterloo History Museum and Visitor Orientation Centre. The exhibits at the museum will be completed by a team of designers led by VUE Design of Toronto.

Moriyama + Teshima Architects to design the Region of Waterloo History Museum – Canadian Architecture News.

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