One of the glories of Los Angeles is supposed to be its lack of center, its diffused production of a multitude of cultural artifacts. What is often lacking in this vital state of anarchy is communication, debate, and discussion. Now there is a potential focal point for such a debate, a physical translation of the very notion of a “forum “. Jon Jerde has donated his former offices in Silver Lake at 2798 Sunset Boulevard to a group of non-profit groups concerned about architecture and urban design. The space will become the headquarters for as many of these groups as wish to participate. The main two-story room will serve as the location for the regular events of these groups and will accommodate exhibitions as well. Thus the building, nicknamed “the Substation” by Tim Vreeland, will become a switching-station for the ongoing, but diffused, discussion of architecture in Los Angeles.
The most tangible product of the Substation will be the “Subletter.” This joint venture between UDAC (the Urban Design Advisory Coalition and the other major participant in the Substation), UCLA, USC and SCI-Arc (the Forum has not yet committed) will consist of a monthly calendar of all events and opportunities that may be of interest to members of these four groups. Included will be listings of lectures, symposia, exhibitions, but also competitions, public hearings and other opportunities for involvement with the development of urban form in Los Angeles. Each of the participating groups will also contribute news items from their organization.
The Forum will be trying the Substation out by holding its Spring “Out There, Doing It” series in the space. Young designers who have opened their own offices will show their work on five consecutive Monday evenings February 5 – March 5. Craig Hodgetts and Ming Fung will start off the series. On the following Mondays, we will see the work of David Kellen, Blake + Au, Raw Architecture, Gary Paige, Wagner + Webb, Koning Eizenberg and Victoria Casasco.
The Forum is applying for grant monies in order to be able to organize exhibitions in the substation. Proposals under discussion include inviting half a dozen Forum members to create installations about Los Angeles, and working with Bill Morrish to organize an exhibition about the forms of the water and power systems of Southern California.
The Substation and the Subletter are the first step towards a more focused discussion of architectural issues in Los Angeles. Other ideas on how to use this space are more than welcome.
On another note, the new Forum officers for the coming year are: Aaron Betsky, President; Michele Saee, Secretary; and Ann Zollinger, Financial Officer. The Forum would like to open nominations for the Board to all members. Please let one of the current Board members know if you are interested. This also applies to the Publications, Activities and Fund-raising committees.
A City Transformed
Public Planning: The Physical Paradigm
Shopping for the Beverly Center
Duchampian Dudes Missing Waves
Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates is a finalist in the Culver City City Hall competition, along with CHCG and Wolf/Lang/Christopher. Winners of the invited competition to design the 80,000 s.f. “Mission Revival” (per client’s edict) City Hall-cum-parking garage should be announced in March.
Contrary to newspaper reports, the U.S. Pavilion at Expo ’92 has not been cancelled. Funding from the Federal government has been slow in coming, but Barton Myers Associates is now proceeding with Schematic Design.
It has been reported that SOM, A.C. Martin, Cesar Pelli, I.M. Pei, and Murphy/Jahn have been invited to submit proposals to Donald Trump for the tallest building in the world, to be located on the site of the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.
The first Power of Place installation has been unveiled. The Biddy Mason wall, designed by Sheila daBratteville in a yet-to-be-completed park designed by Burton & Spitz, is located in the court of the new parking garage on Spring Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.
Avital Romel, the lady in the pillbox hat (see Newsletter No.9), has produced the first post-structuralist telecommunications directory, The Telephone Book.
Adele Santos has been selected as the new dean of the architecture school at UCSD.
A Call for Entries
The UCLA Architecture Journal invites entries for an exhibit entitled “SiteWorks: Investigations of Spaces In-Between”. An exhibit of entries will be held at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning May 18 – June 8, 1990. A selection of the work will be featured in the 1990 UCLA Architecture Journal, scheduled to be published in June, 1990.
For additional information, call 825-3791 or write to: The Editors, UCLA Architecture Journal, Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024. The deadline for the initial submission is 3/15/90 and 3/31/90 for the final work.
For a downloadable PDF copy of the original Newsletter with searchable text, click on the direct link below.
Board of Directors
SHELLY A. BERGER
Board of Advisors