LivingHomes, Los Altos Installation Video
December 23rd, 2010

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LivingHomes, Los Altos: This is the first multifamily LivingHome designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA. Each of the three units features an open floor plan, a private garden and patio, and an extremely comprehensive environmental program. The LivingHomes are comprised of eight modules that were built by Irontown Homes and they are expected to be certified LEED Platinum, the highest level of green building certification from the United States Green Building Council.

Architects We Love: Larry Scarpa
December 15th, 2010

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Larry Scarpa!

Larry Scarpa of Brooks + Scarpa is another favorite architect of ours. There are few firms in the world that have been able to so consistently create buildings that seamlessly combine incredibly beautiful, highly functional design, with exceedingly small ecological footprints.  The fact that they’ve done this in a number of affordable housing projects puts them in their own class!
 
Scarpa was just a kid in Florida when he discovered his interest in architecture.  He has since become one of the more accomplished architects in the country and, accordingly, his previous firm Pugh + Scarpa, was selected as the 2010 AIA Firm of the Year, a major achievement.
 
Scarpa is known for his ability to constantly rethink the building process, the use of matierials, and even the role of the architect, all to achieve a more efficient construction phase. As a result, his projects have earned praise for their exceptional level of quality and efficiency in both design and build – and lots of environmental Kharma points!  Most of his professional career has been spent in Los Angeles, and as such, there are many great projects he’s completed here including Colorodo Court in Santa Monica, the first American multi-family project to be awarded LEED certification, the Siquieros Cultural Heritage Museum in Los Angeles, and Plummer Park in West Hollywood. He led the renovation and an addition to the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, NC, and helped design a home for the Make-It-Right project in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.

Colorado Court!
 
Scarpa has taken taken time away from the drafting desk to teach at many universities including UCLA, Sci-Arc, and Washington Universtiy in St. Louis, MO.  We love the fact that he’s helping to train other designers and exposing them to the kind of great design and low ecological footprint that he practices.  Someday we hope to highlight many others who we respect as much as Larry – thanks, largely, to Larry!

New Flickr Pics!
December 10th, 2010

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Belles San Francisco!

Click here to check out some great pictures we recently uploaded to our Flickr page of the seven LivingHomes in San Francisco’s Presidio!

Steve Glenn’s DO Lecture
December 9th, 2010

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Steve Glenn!

Some of you may have heard about the DO Lecture series. It’s a neat organization that hosts lectures from people who “Do” something that can inspire others. Take a look here at Steve Glenn’s Do talk. A thorough and engaging view into LivingHomes and why we do what we DO!

For more, check out another interview of Steve’s for Multi-Housing News.  Some great insight into the benefits of prefabricating multi-family housing. You’ll learn a lot in only three minutes! Click here to view.

Steve Glenn Speaking at Mindshare LA!
December 9th, 2010

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Mindshare LA!Our own Steve Glenn will be among the presenters at Mindshare LA, a mini-TED that’s been called “enlightened debauchery.” LA Weekly described Mindshare as “a forum for human technology in its most literal form–shared knowledge. Fueled by fancy pastries, an exceptionally well-stocked open bar and a room abuzz with stylish people.”

You should know there will be FREE DRINKS and a selection of food trucks to fill your tummies. And we know you all love architecture, so you’ll dig this: The event’s being held at the Downtown Independent, where you can enjoy the history, and the BEAUTIFUL Los Angeles skyline from the rooftop bar!

There will be no tickets available at the door, so make sure you click here to purchase online before they’re all sold out! Come to be enlightened – or debauched!  : )

Architects We Love: Richard Neutra
December 8th, 2010

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Every once in a while we like to write about some of our favorite architects.  Richard Neutra is on our very short list.

Richard Neutra!

Born in Austria in1892, Neutra studied in Vienna before moving to the United States to join his close friend Rudolf Schindler working under the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright. It seems Schindler’s and Neutra’s friendship went much deeper than anyone knew, because later in their lives it is rumored that they swapped wives. “Big Love,” anyone?

Within years of his arrival, Neutra was designing homes that would permanently change the landscape of modern architecture, and this is not a statement we make lightly. One of his first homes — the Von Sternberg house in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles — was built for film director Josef Von Sternberg, and though it has since been razed and replaced by a condominium development (The horror!  The HORROR!), its clean lines and indoor/outdoor spaces became some of Neutra’s defining features. The Von Sternberg home also featured a moat surrounding the structure–a super cool, though not totally practical feature we’ve yet to be able to do at LivingHomes. Neutra would later write that Von Sternberg electrified the moat, and had his Persian butler fish out any bodies in the morning. Not clear they found any, but it still makes for a great story! 

Here the Von Sternberg house is captured by the late architecture photographer Julius Shulman.

The Von Sternberg House!

From there, Neutra continued designing a variety of buildings–including two case study homes as well as the Cyclorama Building on the site of the Gettysburg battlefield.  Many of Neutra’s structures are considered to this day to be some of the most advanced designs in the field, not to mention some of the coolest looking buildings around.

The Cyclorama Building!

Since his passing in 1970, many of his works have been renovated–often with incredible sensitivity out of respect for his original vision–including the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs. Perhaps even more lasting than his physical work, though, is the influence he undoubtedly has had on the generations of architects that have and will follow him, including us.  Thank you, Richard.  We love you.

The Kaufmann Desert House!

LivingHome, Los Altos update!
November 19th, 2010

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Done! 8 mods. 2 days. 3 more LivingHomes!

done

LivingHome, Los Altos update!
November 19th, 2010

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Last LivingHome mod!

last