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Lauren Vargas

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The Overdrive, is a current exhibit from The Getty that is displaying the rapid innovations of the city of Los Angeles and its surrounding counties. The exhibits shows how Los Angeles evolved rapidly into one of the most heavily populated, industrial, economic, and creative capitals around the world. It starts off showing visitors that it was an area that started from a concealed landscape from the early colonial settlements. Soon enough innovations promoted by planners and architects turned it into a place for experimenting with new cutting edge designs. The exhibit Overdrive shows visitors the extraordinary fast pace of Los Angeles expansion and its many contributions to Los Angeles’s impressive expansion over the 20th century. Between the 1950s, Los Angeles’s population sky rocketed leaving to the development of suburbs outside the main city. The exhibit used many drawings, photos, models, and documentaries to show the past, future and ongoing plans around the city. Due to the swift development of suburbs in the Los Angeles area, the designers went on showing the use of complex freeway networks and of public transportation systems such as metro buses and railways.

Overdrive not only shares the worldwide successes of southern California but the challenges of complicated civic, socioeconomic and environment changes that have been ongoing since the start of metropolis. The exhibit shows how Los Angeles continues to re-calibrate and create new ways of architectural exploration. The exhibit displayed many diverse urban landscapes, freeway networks, towers, shopping malls, coffee shops, and many ideal modern homes. Overdrive reveals the complex and rich underappreciated environment that is constantly growing till this day. It shows our community that Los Angeles had not hit its peak and continuously growing with new infrastructures.

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The Ennis House was designed by world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was built in 1924 and named after its owners Charles and Mabel Ennis. Wright’s motivation for the elaborate design established from Maya Puuc architecture seen at the Mayan site located in Uxmal, Mexico. The symmetrical style consists of a combination of simple rectangular stone blocks toward the bottom of the building and elaborate carved stones that decorate the top of the building. Wright created a custom pattern for the Ennis house which was the Greek key.

The six thousand square foot house was one of first houses built out of concrete. It was one of four built in Southern California and is known for its textile block style. Wright had used concrete in monumental projects but in the 1920s it was considered a new material. The stone blocks were combined with concrete, gravel, granite, and sand that was mixed with water and hand caste in aluminum molds. The blocks were 16 inches wide, 16 inches tall and 3.5 inches thick. From the beginning, Wright experienced structural problems such as using granite powder to color the concrete. The contamination of the granite collaborated with the air pollution causing the concrete to degrade. During the building process, concrete blocks also started to crack and walls collapsed. The amount of blocks made from Wright ranged from 27,000 to 40,000. The house is located in Los Feliz and owned by a private owner who is currently up keeping the home while preserving Wright’s legacy. Wright’s main designed goal was to have his homes occupied by people. His houses were considered not only works of art but to create space that becomes a creative force and uplifted when occupied the people living in it as well as  visitors.

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This project contains fifty 12×48 mirrors back to back that are about 28 feet long within the beach landscape held by the surrounding environment such as the sand and seashells.
Mirrors and Shelly Sand, 1970. Robert Smithson
http://www.robertsmithson.com/sculpture/mirrors_and_shelly_and_350.htm

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The project Piedra Tosca Park located in Les Preses, Spain used corten steel supported by volcanic stone from the surrounding landscape creating a path within the volcanic stone that was already present in the area. Piedra Tosca Park. Les Preses, Spain. 2004. Photo Credits Eugeni Pons
http://www.rcrarquitectes.es

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Using hot-galvanised steel, asphalt sprinkled with steel powder, and concrete, transformed the free areas of an old iron and steel factory complex into public spaces using the existing materials from the factory. Sulzer Areal, Winterthur, Switzerland. 2004. Photo Credit Ralph Feiner
http://www.vnp.ch

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Post #4:

The Getty Museum had a wide range of remarkable design aspects to create one diverse place for Los Angeles to dine, relax and look at beautiful pieces of art history. As one exits off the monorail, you feel as if you teleported from your urbanized Los Angeles home to a beautiful European city for the day. By capturing this moment, one can take a snapshot of the beautiful white marble sculptures on the white granite stairs as you head into the museum. Right away you see the same similar approach with the design of their buildings. The dramatic architecture is vast in size and piercing to one’s eye with its white walls. While the white buildings held a rich array of art exhibits, the surrounding open land did was well. The land outside each of the building held many purposes such as for dinning, resting, and artwork. The designers used the open space in and around each of the buildings. They made sure that people were not limited to one action while visiting the museum. Many could step outside away from the art for a coffee break or dine outdoors with a friend. Many often rested at table sunder the shade with a friend aligned to a sequence of waterfalls. The designers also supported the outdoor garden for people who might want to step outside and take a walk through a variety of vegetation. It was quite interesting to see such dramatic white architecture contrast with the greens of the garden.  The garden was in a circular form where people can walk in and out of each pathway leading to the center. In the central axis where each pathway led was a hedge design that looks as though it were a maze. The design is so bold and eye catching that it draws many people to take a closer look from far. The maze itself attracted many of the museum’s visitors because of its striking design. The Getty has a variety of purposes, letting visitors explore the museum’s assortment of designs.

Post #3:

Over the field trip week, I visited the Getty Museum for the first time. Immediately the experience was thrilling from the start. I found it fascinating that we rode a monorail on the side of a hill, that not only overlooked the 405 freeway but most of Los Angeles as we rode from the parking structure to the museum. As we stepped off the monorail, right away you feel as though you are in another country. It felt as though in the matter of minutes I went from urbanized Los Angeles to a beautiful European city. One can fool other’s that you were in Europe for the day by taking a photograph of the beautiful white marble sculptures on the stairs that lead to the museum entrance. As you walk through the entrance lobby, I instantly saw the dramatic piercing white architecture from left to right. Not only did the inside of each building hold a rich array of art exhibits but the open land surrounding the buildings did as well. The land outside each of the building held many purposes such as for dinning, resting, and artwork. It was neat to rest at a table under the shade with a friend aligned to a sequence of waterfalls. As we continued our walk, we found ourselves in a garden filled with a vast variety of plants. It was so peaceful walking in and out of each pathway. In the center where each pathway led was a hedge design that looks as though it were a maze. The design is so bold and eye catching that it draws many people to take a closer look. The maze itself attracted many of the museum’s visitors because of its striking design. The Getty is an astonishing museum filled with an assortment of diverse art in and around the museum itself and would recommend others to visit as well.