The SCI-Arc campus in downtown Los Angeles will be closed to the public for a period of three weeks, from December 15, 2014—January 5, 2015 as the school undergoes a final construction phase for its new digital fabrication lab, the Magic Box. Visitors will not be allowed on campus during the closure.
When complete, the area of the SCI-Arc Shop and new Magic Box including the existing Robotics Lab will occupy more than 12,000 sq.ft., making it one of the largest and most advanced fabrication facility at an architecture school
Dubbed the Magic Box, the new Digital Fabrication Lab aims to expand the school’s experimental approach to design and its emphasis on learning through building and provoking critical discussions. The 4,000-square-feet, 2-story digital fabrication facility is located at the south end of the SCI-Arc building and will connect to the school’s existing Robot House and Analog Fabrication Shop to form the RAD Center (an acronym for robotics, analog and digital), a one-of-its-kind multi-dimensional facility providing access to several different methods of fabrication and assembly.
The Magic Box will house three times as many high-speed laser cutters, 3D scanners and ABS plastic printers as are currently available to students. Embracing and integrating the most up-to-date technologies from the moment they become available, the lab will allow students to build, vacuum form or 3D print their models to life using a wide array of materials, from wax to translucents, to plastic, to flexible materials, to metal. These models would then undergo further experimentation with the help of 6-axis robots, which have been in use at SCI-Arc for more than 3 years.
The new facility is the first capital addition to the SCI-Arc campus since its purchase by the school in 2011. The Magic Box opening will be followed by a major overhaul of the existing woodshop, which has a spring 2015 scheduled completion date.
The Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects this year is recognized several SCI-Arc faculty, alumni and trustees with prominent awards conferred at the institute’s annual gala in October. Hosted at the ACE Hotel on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles, the ceremony incorporated local design and architecture journalists, academic and civic leaders as well as community movers and shakers.
SCI-Arc design faculty Tom Wiscombe, along with alumni Jeff Allsbrook (M.Arch ‘95) and Yianna Bouyioukou (B.Arch 01), crossed the stage to receive the institute’s prestigious 2014 Next LA Awards for unbuilt work. Wiscombe was recognized for his design of the Kinmen Passenger Service Center in Taiwan. Allsbrook and partner Sylvia Kuhle were recognized for their design of the garden-wrapped Salford Meadows Bridge, while Bouyioukou received an award for her Innovative Bioclimatic European School Complex.
Tom Wiscombe’s proposal for the Kinmen Passenger Service Center, Taiwan
Built work such as the Pico House designed by alumna Angela Brooks (M.Arch ‘91) and partner Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks+Scarpa received a 2014 AIA LA Design Awards. Additional alumni recognized with AIA LA Design Awards include Christof Jantzen (M.Arch ‘89) of Studio Jantzen for the City of Santa Monica Parking Structure #6, Miriam Mulder (M.Arch ‘83) of the City of Santa Monica for the Tongva Park + Ken Gensler Square developed together with James Corner Field Operations and Frederick Fischer & Partners; and Kevin Wronske (B.Arch ‘02) for his design of the Buzz Court apartment complex in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Alumna Jennifer Marmon (M.Arch ‘01) of Platform for Architecture + Research received AIA LA’s coveted Emerging Practice Award.
AIA LA’s 25-Year Award in 2014 went to SCI-Arc trustee Thom Mayne and longtime faculty and honorary trustee Michael Rotondi. Previous 25-year award recipients from SCI-Arc included Director Eric Owen Moss and Frank Gehry.
For a full list of awards and photos of the work, visit the AIA|LA website.
Long-time architect and educator Michael Rotondi received the Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence from the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona. Awarded annually, the Neutra medal rewards individuals who have dedicated their careers toward researching and developing new environments in which to work, live and play. “Michael Rotondi was selected for his commitment to architectural education, for the concern he shows in his work for society and the environment, and for the inventiveness of his architecture,” says SCI-Arc alumna Sarah Lorenzen (MRD ’04), who serves as associate professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona.
The Pacoima Neighborhood City Hall designed by ROTO Architects
Rotondi’s architectural work has included the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood, Silverlake Conservatory of Music, Liberty Wildlife center in Phoenix and the Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture. He has also made an impact as an architecture educator for the past 30 years, including at SCI-Arc, where he was a founding student, served as director of graduate studies from 1980 to 1987, and as the school’s director from 1987 to 1997. “Education paired with architecture is RoTo’s way. Michael is a great recipient of prestigious Neutra award, which is given to exceptional architects who take the profession to higher levels of artistry and creative thinking and building,” says SCI-Arc alumnus Orhan Ayyüce (B.Arch ‘81), a senior editor at Archinect.
Past recipients of the Neutra medal have included architectural practitioners, such as Raphael Soriano, Thom Mayne, Ray Kappe and Tadao Ando; landscape architecture practitioners, including Lawrence Halprin, Garrett Eckbo, Roberto Burle-Marx and Francis Dean; as well as individuals who have made notable contributions to environmental design and public policy such as former Vice President Al Gore. The medal has been awarded since 1980.
SCI-Arc design faculty Marcelo Spina and partner Georgina Huljich of Los Angeles-based P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, along with collaborators at MSA, have been selected to receive a 2014 American Architecture Award for their Jujuy Redux, a multi-family housing project in Rosario, Argentina. The prestigious American Architecture Award is a distinguished building award program that honors new and cutting-edge design by US-based architects.
P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S’ Jujuy Redux designs will be showcased in a special exhibition featuring the 65 award-winning buildings at the annual symposium "The City and the World" hosted at the Istanbul Design Biennale in Turkey, November 10-25.
Consisting of thirteen small, shared-floor units and a duplex organized in a cross-ventilated layout, the mid-rise apartment building proposes a subtle delineated mass, operating both at the scale of the entire volume and the scale of each apartment. The exhibition was organized by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, with a goal to help promote American architecture and design nationally and globally.
Read more about the project at www.p-a-t-t-e-r-n-s.net.
SCI-Arc alumna Jennifer Marmon (M.Arch ‘01) is one of AIA│LA’s 2014 Presidential Honorees to be honored at the institute’s upcoming Design Awards Ceremony this October. Her design studio, PAR, short for Platform for Architecture + Research, is being recognized as an Emerging Practice pushing the boundaries of design innovation and advancing Los Angeles architecture. As Marmon describes it, “PAR is a platform for mixing keen analysis, formal exploration and pragmatic performance in an effort to realize project potentials.”
Clad in a translucent skin of fritted ETFE and high-performance glazing that encompasses roof, ceiling, wall and terrace, PAR's Taichung Cultural Center is oriented to optimize natural light and frame views of the nearby Taiwan Tower.
One of PAR’s recent projects, the Taichung Cultural Center in Taiwan, was met with critical acclaim, receiving an International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum. In 2013, the Taichung city government invited architects to put forth their most daring visions for an expansive new cultural center. The tilted loop structure designed by PAR (shown here) sought to integrate the programmed elements of a library and a museum with an outdoor gallery and an open urban plaza. The structure’s form, replete with ramps and stairs that create connections throughout its stacked diagonal orientation, produces a dynamic space meant to attract curious passers-by who drift into the central plaza.
PAR has offices in Los Angeles (shown above) and New York City
Marmon, who founded PAR in Los Angeles after completing her master's degree at SCI-Arc, is currently at work on a hotel in Uruguay, houses in LA and DC, an art gallery in London and several international competitions. She has exhibited her work at the National Building Museum, the European Center for Architecture and the New York Center for Architecture. Since 2010, she serves as an ongoing visiting critic at SCI-Arc and USC. She has also been a guest critic at Harvard GSD and Columbia GSAPP, and a juror for the international WAN Awards competitions. Learn more about PAR at www.p-ar.com.
SCI-Arc’s annual Graduate Thesis Weekend & Graduation Ceremony took place on September 5-7, 2014 on the SCI-Arc campus in downtown Los Angeles, under the shade of League of Shadows, the graduation pavilion designed and built by SCI-Arc faculty Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, with the help of a transformative grant from ArtPlace.
This public three-day event had students presenting their final projects to critics from all over the world, and culminated with an all-school commencement ceremony for both undergrads and grads. Guest critics this year included Aaron Betsky, Michael Bell, Benjamin Bratton, Tomas Daniell, Winka Dubbeldam, Greg Lynn, Jason Payne, Brian Price, Bob Somol, Michael Speaks, Brett Steele and Catherine Veikos.
The graduation ceremony welcomed more than 1,000 guests who came to celebrate more than 160 graduates and undergraduates receiving their degrees. A highlight this year was the commencement speech delivered by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who started his address with thanking SCI-Arc for playing a central part in revitalizing the Los Angeles Arts District. “SCI-Arc itself was the creation of those who would not and could not accept the world as what it was in architecture and design. They wanted a new freedom and a radical independence, and it helped move the profession forward before it was ready to do so. Not that ratings matter that much because they’re so subjective, but if you look at the rapid ascension of now how the profession sees SCI-Arc, you’ve seen that they have caught up to you, just as the city has come back to this location. As the world has moved toward you, and this approach, as you sit squarely now at the center of the profession, admired, praised, and needed by the builders of today, take that responsibility and move it forward.”
Director Eric Owen Moss followed with an announcement of the merit awards for best undergraduate and graduate thesis, and the SCI-Arc Gehry Prize recognizing outstanding graduate thesis work. The 2014 Gehry Prize was awarded to three graduate students: Hannah Goodale Pavlovich (M.Arch 1) for Puzzling, coordinated by Eric Owen Moss; Jeffrey Halstead (M.Arch 2) for Glass House, coordinated by Hernan Diaz Alonso; and Mustafa Kustur (M.Arch 2) for I Am out of Focus, coordinated by Elena Manferdini.
SCI-Arc trustees, directors and faculty joined commencement speaker Eric Garcetti on stage through the entire duration of the ceremony
Graduate students honored with Merit Awards include Julian Rui Huang (M.Arch 1) for Visual Occlusion Pop, coordinated by Florencia Pita; Morgan Wright Garrard (M.Arch 1) for 10,000 Year Architecture, coordinated by Wes Jones; Han-Yuan Chang (M.Arch 1) for 9 Arrowians -> Monuments to Le Grand Paris, coordinated by Anna Neimark; Nan-Yen Chen (M.Arch 2) for Hoarding Interiority, coordinated by Elena Manferdini; Sofya Lapina (M.Arch 1) for Aspects of Legibility, coordinated by Marcelyn Gow; Garrett T. Santo (M.Arch 1) for Conditions of Disfigurement, coordinated by Hernan Diaz Alonso; Daiki Tsutsumi (M.Arch 2) for Semordnilap, coordinated by Andrew Zago; and Jordan Squires (M.Arch 1) for Assumptions, coordinated by Peter Zellner and Joe Day.
Two projects by SCI-Arc alumnae Laurel Consuelo Broughton (M.Arch ‘06) and Mimi Zeiger (M.arch ‘98) have been selected for the international WorldWide Storefront (WWSF) series organized by the Storefront for Art and Architecture this upcoming fall.
The initiative includes a simultaneous, multi-locus of alternative spaces around the globe, coupled with a digital platform for the expression and exchange of latent desires within contemporary art and architecture practices.
Laurel Broughton’s entry, Gallery Attachment, developed together with Andrew Kovacs, will feature a space designed and constructed under a bridge in Los Angeles. It will serve simultaneously as an architectural object and as a container for a series of events, exhibitions and performances.
Mimi Zeiger’s Host: Natural Histories will be located at The Neutral VDL Research Site in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles. The project explores the multivalent meaning of the word “host”: a talk-show host, a parasitic host body, a host house or city, via an exhibition and series of events.
From September 19 to November 21, 2014 the 10 selected entries located around the world will open simultaneously, offering a two-month program of exhibitions and events. Recordings of the events will be broadcast through the WWSF online platform and presented at the Storefront for Art and Architecture Gallery in the installation WWSf Portal, a collaborative design by Marc Fornes and Jana Winderen.
Read more about WWSF here.
A group of graduate students in the Emerging Systems Technologies & Media post-graduate program at SCI-Arc teamed up this summer to participate in the Plasticity design competition hosted by Tex-Fab. Their design prototype, PUFF’D, developed under the coordination of SCI-Arc design faculty Tom Wiscombe, is among four finalist projects selected to advance into the second round of the competition.
PUFF'D advances a novel construction technique for full scale architecture.
Inspired by Japanese joinery, puffy jackets and jet fighter airplanes, PUFF’D explores plasticity of composite construction and the role of the seam and joint in architecture. Instead of following parametric paneling and module-based logics, PUFF’D employs large monolithic building components or “mega panels,” suggesting new ways of full scale assembly on site.
Designed by Brennen Huller (ESTm ‘14), Nels Long (ESTm ‘14) and Nikita Troufanov (ESTm ‘14), the project follows up on the students’ previous explorations with mega-panels, joinery and robotic assembly. Their original prototype designed for a seminar led by Wiscombe during spring 2014 used the language of stitching and wood joinery to study how composite mega-panels may come together as assembly.
Instead of milling a foam block and laying up fiberglass, students proposed sewing two sheets of uncured ‘pre-preg’ fiberglass and injecting spray foam inside.
For the Plasticity competition proposal, the young designers and their instructor scaled up and developed an inflatable composite sandwich technique to minimize waste and explore new formal and structural possibilities.
A total of 70 entries were reviewed in the first round of Tex Fab’s 2014 competition. Each finalist team is scheduled to receive a stipend to develop their prototypes for an exhibition at the ACADIA: Design Agency conference forthcoming in October in Los Angeles, where the winning team will be announced following the conclusion of the second round of the juried competition.
Read more about Plasticity at www.tex-fab.net.
SCI-Arc design faculty Wes Jones of Jones, Partners: Architecture and alumna Jennifer Siegal (M.Arch ‘94) of Office of Mobile Design are exhibiting their pre-fab, mobile architecture designs in the Truck-A-Tecture group exhibition hosted June 27-August 23 at the KANEKO gallery space in Omaha, Neb.
The group exhibition showcases designs and full-scale structures by four architecture firms, exploring topics of nomadism, transportation, trucking culture and the nature of “home.”
Jones, Partners: Architecture
Mobile home designs on view at Truck-A-Tecture tackle issues of sustainability and technological advances that have led many to a leaner, efficient lifestyle.
Aeromobile/Office of Mobile Design
Also exhibiting in the show are Mark Mack Architects and Min│Day.
For more about the exhibition, visit www.thekaneko.org.
The Emerson College Los Angeles building designed by SCI-Arc founding faculty and trustee Thom Mayne of Morphosis was honored with the Grand Prize in the recently announced 2014 Los Angeles Architectural Awards. More than three dozen of the year’s best architecture and design projects in the Greater Los Angeles area were recognized this year in the 44th annual round of awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council.
Emerson’s 100,700-square-foot facility nestled in the heart of Hollywood opened doors to its first group of students in January.
SCI-Arc alumni Michael Folonis (B.Arch ‘78) and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson (B.Arch ’95) also received LABC awards this year.
Folonis’ Santa Monica based practice, Michael Folonis Architects, received a Design Concept Award for the South Bay Family Health Care Clinic.
The South Bay Family Healthcare Clinic conceptual design by Michael Folonis Architects promotes an indoor-outdoor connection, use of natural light and improved patient experience.
Thorsteinsson’s practice, Minarc, received a Beyond L.A. Award for their Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel in Iceland.
Minarc’s Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel incorporates innovative materials and sustainable practices to allow for a synergy between the built and natural environments.
Learn more about LABC’s 44th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards at www.labusinesscouncil.org.