Los Angeles’ Architectural Delights

As we comfortably settle into the new decade, glimpses into the past certainly give us all reason to believe that moving forward we can expect even more wonderful things from some of the best architects in the country. Here’s a rundown of what the last few years brought us, to give us an idea of where some of the most creative minds may be taking us in the future in Los Angeles.

A remarkable home isn’t just a treasure for those fortunate enough to reside in it; the rest of the world is able to enjoy its design and beauty as well, just from afar. One such home is the work of Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhler who converted an existing two-bedroom house in Mount Washington into what is now known as the Hidden House. Pictured above, it features several sustainable materials including flooring made out of reclaimed end grain block wood.

Sunset Vine Tower is a great residential building in Los Angeles which has received much acclaim for its renovation of a former office building into a modern and appropriate complex.

Santa Monica’s Annenberg Beach House is noted as being one of the best new public buildings in town. “A rehabilitation of the historic Marion Davies Guest House and pool,” this building was done by Frederick Fisher Partners and features immaculate landscaping by Mia Lehrer & Associates.

While referencing all of the architectural magic that can be seen across Los Angeles could take ages, here’s a quick rundown of some firms, people, and trends that are notable stand-outs from 2009.

Commune: “Not purely an architectural practice, per se, Commune is closer to a design collective incorporating architects, graphic designers, and interior designers. Most of their work has been in residential interiors, retail and restaurants although this year Commune designed the “hippie-campground” at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. They also recently opened a pop-up retail shop at their office, where the only rule is everything must be made by hand.”

SCI-Arc’s Buenos Aires Brigade. As a group of young, charming, and vibrant individuals from Argentina, Alexis Rochas and Juan Azulay of SCI-Arc’s Buenos Aires Brigade caught the attention of Los Angelinos with their work around the city. Rochas built an “urban rooftop garden on top of a downtown apartment building called The Flat, and Azulay continues to work on an “essay film and documentary on land art as he develops his architecture practice, Matter Management.” Both men will have exhibits this spring which will feature robots.

MASS Architecture and Design: Ana Henton and Gregory Williams have designed numerous hot spots around town including Intelligentsia Venice, Breadbar in Century City, Cork Bar downtown, and Silverlake Wine. They were also the masterminds behind Auburn 7, their first multi-residential unit.

Ball-Nogues Studio: “Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues design site specific installations out of unusual materials, including twine, fluorescent tubing, and cardboard. In 2010, the firm will be included in shows at the Seeline Gallery in West Hollywood, at the Guggenheim in New York, and at Cité de l’architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.” Right now you can view their installation which was made out of American Apparel clothing at the Biennale in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.