La Mesa House in Santa Monica was the first home shown in the second round of AIA/LA tours. The street alone is impressive, with prehistoric trees creeping onto sidewalks, guiding you to the landmark. Originally an adobe, built by John Byers in 1924, the entire house was torn down except the historic front attached to the new structure by architect John Dutton.
Once inside, you’re actually outside. A long hallway leads to an open courtyard, the center of the home, and an outdoor living space near the guest house. From the entrance, a fabulous view of rolling green hills and an infinity pool can be seen.
Springtime at The Glass Pavilion
As one observant commenter put it, …you’re gonna need a whole bunch of Windex to clean that house.” Enough to cover the 15k square foot Glass Pavilion in Montecito, CA. Floating upon lush green grass and built amongst well placed trees on 3.5 acres, the mostly glass structure blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors. The 35 million dollar estate emerged from the mind of Steve Hermann who thought of just about everything, including a walnut covered art gallery large enough to display a collection of 32 cars.
Any season at the Glass Pavilion would be amazing but now that it’s spring, the spacious patios running along the gallery and another making up an entire wing of the house really standout.
photos by: WM Maccollum
Frank Gehry’s Inception
Reminiscent of the transforming architecture in the movie Inception, Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower in New York appears to be in motion. The trademark morphing, rippled effect of Gehry’s work is stamped on the 1.1 million square foot Beekman Tower anchoring it as one of the tallest buildings in the city.
Due to open later this year, the nearly completed 76 story residential tower is planted just south of City Hall Plaza and the Brooklyn Bridge. The building will consist of a public elementary school, luxury apartments, a space for New York downtown hospital and an underground public carpark.
Here’s what Gehry said about the tower in a recent interview. “The total cost of our building matches a regular condo. We’re using 50 per cent less cement; we’re making it in fewer days; the concrete is stronger; and we’re building it to be almost identical to the original model. The curtain wall system is integrated with the contractor’s delivery system, so the price for that curtain wall is the same as a flatwall would cost on that same day in New York. My goal is to keep the architect, not the contractor, in the driver’s seat. So this building costs the same price as any dumb old building going up in Manhattan.”