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The Ecology of Fantasy
Margaret Crawford

Random Notes

On May 16, three teams of architects and developers submitted proposals for a 1988 version of the “Case Study” housing in a competition sponsored jointly by MOCA and the CRA: Eric Owen Moss with CMGT; Adele Santos with Western Capital and Leonard Glickman; and Craig Hodgetts with the Casden Group. Conceived as an adjunct to the Case Study Houses exhibit which opens at MOCA in the Fall of 1989, the competition calls for a reevaluation of the original program’s intentions in the light of current demographic requirements. The competition program specifies 40 units of low-to-moderate income multi-family housing, with emphasis of non-traditional family units (i.e. working mothers, extended families) as opposed to the original program, which called for single-family housing for couples.

Last October, MOCA invited five architects to compete: Morphosis, Itsuko Hasegawa, Toyo Ito, Robert Mangurian, Eric Owen Moss, Adele Santos, and Craig Hodgetts, while the CRA sent out R.F.P.s for developers. The CRA also provided the ¾ acre competition site at the corner of Franklin and LaBrea Avenues and promised low-interest financing for the winning team. (Project costs will be limited to $2.9 million).

Jurors, including Richard Koshalek, Dolores Hayden, the CRA Deputy Housing Administrator, a CRA board member, and a community member are scheduled to meet on June 3 to choose among the three entries.

Anticipating success in Hollywood, the CRA has issued R.F.P.s for other sites, encouraging developers to team up with architects on MOCA’s original list. So far, Morphosis has been enlisted for the design of housing on a site in North Hollywood.

Rumors and Other Miscellany

Last month the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon West Coast Gateway Committee called for an international design competition for a “Western Welcoming Symbol and testaments to the immigrants who have contributed so greatly to the City of Los Angeles and the nation” – sort of like the Statue of Liberty except with gardens of peace and unity and cultural orientation centers instead of a torch and located on a 5 ½ acre bridge over the Hollywood Freeway (between Broadway and Alameda Street) instead of looking out to sea. The project is scheduled to be completed in 1992, just in time for the Quincentennial of Columbus’ discovery of the New World. The competition was prepared by AKS Runo, a group of Daniel Libeskind’s former students with an office in Hollywood. AKS Runo will also enter the competition, perhaps with the aid of students enrolled in their summer course.

An article in the April issue of Spy Magazine entitled, “People Who Need People” claims that when a show of Robert A.M. Stern’s drawings was being mounted in Chicago several years ago, he was distressed to find that two of his own drawings had been included by an assistant who thought – incorreclty it seems – that a Robert A.M. Stern show would include drawings by R.A.M.S. himself. Not one to go down in history without his fair say. Stern also reputedly had one of his staff writers rewrite an entire transcript of his remarks given at a symposium at the University of Cinncinnati, when it was sent to him for approval prior to publication. Stern will soon be decorating a police station in Pasadena with his “Lite Classicism.” Downtown L.A. will have its own designer brand buildings as well: Cesar Pelli, Michael Graves, Helmut Jahn, and I.M. Pei is also doing the addition to the Convention Center with Gruen Associates, while Jahn has the commission for the State-sponsored office building across from City Hall on 1st and Spring Streets.

A highly-touted Catalonian architect (begins with B, ends in L) may be designing a large mixed-use project in Hollywood. In the meantime, a former star of the New Jersey architectural scence is considering opening up an L.A. office. Gwathmey-Siegel in conjunction with Charles Lagreco will be doing the new Bel Air home of Don Simpson of “Flashdance” and “Top Gun” fame.

The Downtown Breakfast Club and the local chapters of the AIA, APA, ASID, ASLA, Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles and the Association of Environmental professionals have made their pronouncements on what was good and bad in architecture here last year. The final scores for their “Roses and Lemons Awards” (awarded by the so-called “Breakfast Club,”) and “Oranges and Lemons” (given by the AIA et. al.) are as follows:

Biltmore Tower
The Landau Partnership
1 rose

Engine Co. #28
Altoon & Porter
1 rose

Federal Reserve Bank
DMJM
1 rose

1000 Wilshire
Kohn, Pederson & Fox
1 rose, 1 lemon

Seventh St. Market Place aka Citicorp Plaza
Jerde Partnership/S.O.M.
1 orange

Kate Mantilini’s
Morphosis
1 lemon

Vista Montoya Housing Project
Kamnitzer & Cottom
1 orange

MOCA
Isozaki
1 orange

LACMA: Robert O. Anderson Wing
Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer
1 lemon

Original Newsletter:

For a downloadable PDF copy of the original Pamphlet with searchable text, click on the direct link below.

Newsletter_June – 1988