David Hockney’s Pool Paintings Capture The Best Of SoCal Modernism

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“A Bigger Splash,” David Hockney, 1967.

If the house is a machine for living, as Le Corbusier famously said, then the pool is the hedonistic machine for pleasure. And no artist captured the thrill of the quick plunge, or leisurely submersion, quite like David Hockney.


“Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),” David Hockney, 1972.


“Portrait of Nick Wilder,” David Hockney, 1966.

Though born in Yorkshire, England—which has to be one of the least sunny places in the world—Hockney was an apt renderer of the swimming pool and the architecture surrounding it. The artist began painting them during his first trip to Los Angeles in 1964, and the resulting vibrant, almost abstract, planes of color captured the clean lines, flat surfaces, and the openness to the natural environment of California Modernism.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

“Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and a Light Blue Wash and a Dark Blue Wash”

“Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and a Light Blue Wash and a Dark Blue Wash,” David Hockney, 1978.

Hockney Photograph of Roosevelt pool

“Sun on the Pool,” David Hockney, 1982.


Rust Never Sleeps


Redcliff House by MAP Architects

Kryptonite is the Man of Steel’s one weakness, but steel itself is far more vulnerable. As any architect knows, this otherwise strong material has a hard time standing up to water and air, which cause it to rust, eating away the metal and causing corrosion and structural damage. But weathering steel, or cor-ten, has a special superpower: It uses rust as a shield. This may not seem as impressive as being able to fly like Superman, but it is extremely useful for architects and engineers.


700 Palms Residence by Ehrlich Architects

The iron in standard steel forms ferrous oxide when exposed to moisture and oxygen. This is what we call rust, typified by its reddish orange color and flakiness. Corrosion in rusted steel occurs because the molecular bonds holding the iron together have been destroyed. Typical steel will flake away to nothing over time. The chemical process is similar to removing all load-bearing walls in a building, the internal structure is gone and the whole breaks into pieces.


Haus Wurth by Hermann&Valentiny and Partners

Cor-ten prevents this by incorporating less reactive metals such as copper and nickel into the steel during its formation. The new alloys in the steel form a connective matrix throughout. This “sticks” the rust formed to the surface, creating a protective barrier similar to skin.

Read the full article on Architizer here.


Sagaponack House by Bates Masi + Architects

Makers With Agenda


T.4.2 by Makers With Agenda

To have an agenda is to have a distinct plan of action; there is intent as well as commitment.

That’s the thinking behind Makers With Agendas, a new design firm founded byJulien de Smedt of JDS, along with William Ravn and partner Wouten Dons. MWA seeks to directly address the question of design improving the lives of the user. Like de Smedt’s projects with JDS, MWA’s designs focus utility and versatility. “If a design centers exclusively around subjective beauty, I feel cheated,” says de Smedt of his design philosophy. “The concept of beauty is determined culturally; it is forged in our upbringing. It is not something you can completely rationalize. If you can say that a building succeeds in doing what was intended, it is much more beautiful and convincing in my opinion.”

Read the complete article on Architizer here.

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Accordion by Makers With Agenda

A Residential Parthenon In Athens


A House In Three Buildings by Nikos Smyrlis Architect

Located in Athens, Greece, A House In Three Buildings by Nikos Smyrlis Architectis indebted to the historical and environmental setting in which it is located. Athens is also home to the Parthenon, a shining example of classical architecture that influenced the ideals of modernism. A young Le Corbusier visited the building at the age of 24, returning every day for three weeks.


A House In Three Buildings by Nikos Smyrlis Architect

One of the most striking aspects of the Parthenon to the young Corbusier was how the structure related to the topography, sky, and built environment surrounding it. A House In Three Buildings engages its surroundings using a similar method: movement between buildings not only switches functions, it also blurs the distinction of interior and exterior. A central square near the pool has a direct view of the nearby sea and is utilized as an open-air dining room.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.


A House In Three Buildings by Nikos Smyrlis Architect

The Myriad Designs Of Marc Newson


Ford 021C Concept Car, 1999. Designed by Marc Newson. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

Marc Newson’s colorful, exuberant designs invariably provoke a smile. Make no mistake, these objects—from a retro-future automobile to a humble tea cup—come straight from the vernacular of cartoons. The edges are rounded; the colors, bright; the shapes, biomorphic. Yet they also display innovation and wit. Newson is the rare designer whose products qualify as both objets d’art and mass-marketable crowd-pleasers, equally at home in the gallery as in the mall.


Marc Newson: At Home, bedroom section of installation.

A new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, “Marc Newson: At Home,” which runs through April 20, 2014, is the first survey of the 50-year-old Australian designer’s work in the United States. This is no small feat. Newson has produced copious design objects in myriad categories: toys, utensils, cars, clothing, airplanes, appliances, and (of course) furniture. The exhibition uses the conceit of a freestanding home within the gallery, complete with garage, kitchen, and bathroom, to show his range, demonstrating not only the designer’s breadth, but also that it is possible to live in a completely Newson world.

Read the complete article at Architizer here.


Marc Newson: At Home, Living Room section of installation.

Beautiful Buildings Built Under Bloomberg


Barclays Arena at Atlantic Yards by SHoP Architects

Michael Bloomberg has rarely sought the affection of the voters who put him in office. At times, his reign as mayor has been similar to that of a benevolent dictator, passing down edicts on smoking, trans fat, and sugary soda.


8 Spruce by Gehry Partners

Whatever you think of Bloomberg’s social edicts, one result of his terms has been a rampant proliferation of new buildings throughout the city. He is a mayor that can emphatically get things done, from new public greenways to rezoning areas for development.


Alice Tully Hall by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The majority of the building projects have been residential, with the city adding 40,000 new buildings and the census of 2010 finding a total of 170,000 new housing units. No other city has added more new housing units in the past ten years.



The New York Times recently released a beautiful interactive map and slideshow to help readers visualize the areas of growth and change. Below are a few of the projects completed under the watchful eye of Bloomberg during his administration. Out of 40,000 projects, you must have a favorite, too! Let us know your pick in the comments.

Read the complete article at Architizer here.


The High Line by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Madrid’s Social And Ecological Urban Development

madridEcoBoulevard by Ecosistema Urbano

Cities need clean air and public space to make them inhabitable, but sometimes developers, governments, and even architects forget that.Density, mobility, and profit have too often trumped gardens and trees when planning for new urban environments. Not so Eco Boulevard, a new development in Madrid’s Vallecas neighborhood designed by Ecosistema Urbano.

madrid2EcoBoulevard by Ecosistema Urbano

The architects used recycled industrial materials such as plastic, greenhouse fabric, and rubber tires to construct the air trees. And the structures aren’t only made of sustainable materials; each pavilion is itself sustainable as well. A crown of photovoltaic panels supplies energy for water fountains as well as power outlets for computers, concerts, and other activities. Excess electricity produced by the solar panels is sold to the municipality and pays for maintenance of the boulevard. Plants ring the interior of the column, purifying the air and supplying humidity. This results in a system of evaporation and condensation that supplies natural air conditioning making the inside of the each pavilion 8 to 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding environment.

Read the full article on Architizer here.

madrid1EcoBoulevard by Ecosistema Urbano

Chris Burden Gets Physical At The New Museum


Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Dean Kaufman

What we talk about when we talk about Chris Burden feels inevitable. The bodily violence and confrontation of his early, conceptual works—which involved the artist being willfully shot in the arm, crucified to an automobile, and crawling on his belly using no hands through broken glass—dominate any conversation about him, despite the fact that he stopped staging these provocations nearly 40 years ago.



A new exhibition, “Extreme Measures,” at the New Museum in NYC, seeks to remedy that. Running through January 12, 2014, this career retrospectivedoesn’t ignore Burden’s performance-art roots. But it does put an emphasis on the sculptures and installations that have defined his work since the 1970s. The portrait it paints is not so much of a shock-jock provocateur, but of a multifaceted artist whose experimentations with materials and the built environment bring the conceptual ideas behind architecture and engineering to life.

Read the full article at Architizer here.


“Mexican Bridge,” Chris Burden, 1998. Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Benoit Pailley

Getting Clean With Spectacular Bathing Designs


Casa La Punta by  Elías Rizo Arquitectos

The bathroom is the epitome of a utilitarian space; we use it because we need to, grabbing a quick shower before we’re out the door to face another day. However, some bathrooms make a different statement altogether, expanding the parameters of the space to include relaxation and enjoyment. Collected below are some projects and products that add pleasure and leisure to the bathing experience.

Read the full article on Architizer here.


DuraStyle Tubs by Duravit 

Awesome Frat House Architecture


School starts Tuesday, and while we’ve previously featured architecture-school designdorms designed by starchitects, and buildings that actually make you want to go to class, there’s one architectural aspect of student life we have yet to discuss: the frat house.

Now, fraternities are not generally lauded in popular culture—thanks to all the hazing, underage alcohol use or abuse, and other issues that have plagued them in recent years. Aesthetically, they are even more poorly regarded. Just think of the quintessential image of a frat brother: a disheveled John Belushi in his “College” sweatshirt (or toga) raising a bottle of Jack Daniels to his lips while standing outside the dilapidated ruins ofDelta Tau Chi.

But while architects don’t often think about the fraternity house, there are some notable frat houses out there: architecturally, historically, and also for sheer gawking pleasure. Here, we present a brief survey or frat-house architecture, from the historically landmarked and the surprisingly modernist to the unabashedly tacky.

Read the full article on Architizer here.


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