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Architecture: The South Bay Reinvents Itself

Architecture: The South Bay Reinvents Itself

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Published by South Bay Digs
Architecture: the South Bay Reinvents Itself

Downtown L.A. has its soaring lofts, Pasadena its stately mansions. Hollywood is An unapologetic mash-up of bungalows, mid-century Kitsch and chateau-style apartment buildings. In the South bay, the building landscape is not easily defined. However, an architectural renaissance is sweeping over the Beach Cities, heralding a new era of style and aesthetic identity.
Architecture: the South Bay Reinvents Itself

Downtown L.A. has its soaring lofts, Pasadena its stately mansions. Hollywood is An unapologetic mash-up of bungalows, mid-century Kitsch and chateau-style apartment buildings. In the South bay, the building landscape is not easily defined. However, an architectural renaissance is sweeping over the Beach Cities, heralding a new era of style and aesthetic identity.

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Published by: South Bay Digs on Dec 15, 2011
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04/04/2012

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“The moTheR aRT Is aRchITecTuRe.Witt  rittr f r w w v  l f r w ivilizti.” 
~ Fr Ll Wrigt 
ART DECO MGMPhOTOGRAPh by: kiEROn MckAy
 
12.16.2011|STHBydGS. 41
 
Downtown L.A. hAs its soAring Lofts,PAsADenA its stAteLy mAnsions. hoLLywooDis An unAPoLogetic mAsh-uP of bungALows,miD-century kitsch AnD chAteAu-styLeAPArtment buiLDings. in the south bAy, thebuiLDing LAnDscAPe is not eAsiLy DefineD.however, An ArchitecturAL renAissAnce issweePing over the beAch cities, herALDingA new erA of styLe AnD Aesthetic iDentity.
WRiTTEn by: PAMElA CORAnTE-hAnsEn
Architecture:
the South BAy reinventS itSelf
 
42 STHBydGS.|12.16.2011
n a swath o Southern aiornia communitiesene rimari b the choice stri o beach thathugs the coastine, the South Ba has strugge withits architectura ientit, as man oca reservationistscan attest. Storms, res an urban renewa obiterateear eono Beach anmarks; a ost-war buiingboom a over Southern aiornia et its mark onSouth Ba cities with the construction o a ew gemsan countess utiitarian homes buit or a bue-coaremograhic. n recent ears, anmark homes havebeen estroe to be reace b contemorarrenitions o cassic architectura themes: Tuscan,eiterranean, ae o.But a new era o architectura awareness hasarrive, as evience b the recent uer pier venueace it in Hermosa Beach an a surge in custom-buitSouth Ba homes that are gracing the ages o nationasheter magazines. for the rst time since man ocaarchitects, buiers an resients can remember, theSouth Ba is carving out its own unique architecturaaesthetic.  renewe areciation or wor-cassesign an construction has resute in more visuaarresting commercia an resientia architecture inthe beach cities an surrouning neighborhoos.
 A little cottAge by the seA 
Whie the South Ba home buer o 2011 masti be on a quest to ive near the sea, ermanenceis the river. yestera’s seasona seasie cottagehas become toa’s beach-chic rimar resience,insiring architects to aat to their cients’ morecosmooitan tastes an 21st centur iestes.Some homes being buit toa ma retain a beachaesthetic, but the are esigne in a wa that meetsthe nees o homeowners who entertain reguaror require a coniguration that can accommoate ahome oice or roessiona-caiber kitchen, meiaroom or wine cear.s a resut, the South Ba’s bran o newarchitectura esign has given rise to strikingmoern resiences with ame use o meta anwoo etaiing, an gass was to take in oceanan beach views. South Ba architect dean ota’srecent roject at 718 The Stran in Hermosa Beachexemiies this aesthetic.
in with the old
ean ines, gass was, inoor-outoor ivingsaces. Souns rett 21st centur, but the SouthBa’s architectura renaissance is reccing amovement that was initiate b moernist masters.. Schiner an ichar eutra in the 1930s an40s. The South Ba boasts an imressive number oeutra houses, most o them on the paos Vereseninsua. ot a o them exist toa, as aestheticmerit is in the ee o the behoer.ecent news about the oore house in paosVeres states, esigne b lo Wright (the son oarchitect frank lo Wright) roves the oint. The citan homeowner continue to iscuss the home’s statuswith reservation grous. wareness about reservingthe area’s architectura heritage has aowe or thereservation o homes such as the rt deco gem at3421 anhattan venue in anhattan Beach. Buit bG Stuios in 1936, one o the home’s most amousoccuants was screen io rro fnn. noteworth comonent o the South Ba’sarchitectura reinvention is the reviva o stesother than the ubiquitous eiterranean ook, withcareu attention to erio etais an sueriorcratsmanshi.  wier range o stes is beingtae, rom ratsman to aribbean (see Sweetdigs artice in this issue).rchitect ies pritzkat o pritzkat & Johnsonrchitects in eono Beach recas an originacratsman home in eono Beach that wasemoishe 12 ears ago. “ ear or two ater, homeswere oing u with shinges an traitionacratsman sting. These things cce back – it’s ikethe esign trums a, eventua.”
bigger is not AlwAys better
none who has ever ive in a South Ba housebuit in the 1940s or earier ma have strugge withthe astouning ack o coset an storage sace. Thereason: an homes in the beach cities at the time werebuit as summer resiences or we-heee los ngeesan pasaena amiies who wante to escae the inanheat. ssuming weath ngeenos o that era wereight traveers, there was no nee or cavernous cosetsor cuboars in their seasie secon homes.inuscue cosets ma be the bane o man abeach cities renter or homeowner, but the chaengeor toa’s buier is the sma size o the ot itse.“n terms o architectura sting, we have a ot essan than the wou in pasaena or other areas inl.. where homes are ar more srea out,” sai attorris o att orris deveoment in anhattanBeach. “The high cost er square oot in the SouthBa rives the nee to be creative in terms o whatwe can o with that sace.”Which cas to min the other -wor,mansionization. t’s a toic that remains hotebate; in toa’s architectura renaissance,bigger can inee be better, i one right. The newarchitectura anscae emos tasteu esign anbaance roortions to create beaut on a argescae, as in the trie-ot, singe-ami resience at212 The Stran in anhattan Beach. Whie the homewas the center o much iscussion, the en resut isarguab we-execute.But successu architectura esign aso isoccurring on a smaer scae. “ more recenthenomenon we’re seeing is a secon or thir waveo reinement in the neighborhoos that originawere buit ost-Wor War ,” sai pritzkat. “parto the reason this works is that eoe are gettingthe sense that i ou have our itte sot o SouthBa an ou oish it an make it woneru, it’s agreat ace to ive. The ots here are sma, so ou’restarting to see a ensit o esign on generasmaer ieces o roert.”aking the most out o a sma ot toa meansmaximizing the use o outoor sace. ore homes arebeing buit with room outoor iving rooms boastingre its, buit-in outoor cooking ranges, an amesquare ootage to accommoate urniture. Terraceson uer oors exten iving sace in berooms ansitting areas, taking u avantage o the South Ba’smi cimate.
the next 10 yeArs
oern esign, a eman or quait, greenbuiing an smaer-scae construction are just aew o the architectura trens on the horizon orthe South Ba. ost are starting to gain momentumarea, as evience b the Burkhater house inanhattan Beach. Buit b architect Ben Burkhateras his resience, the ‘green’ home is energ-ecientan buit with environmenta rien materias,high-ecienc xtures an aiances, an rought-toerant anscaing. The structure was awareld patinum certication in a. eman or high quait is attribute to anincrease in new weath, as note b Gerar Bisignano,a South Ba rea estate agent who seciaizes in uxurhomes. “When we came out o the 1996 recession, itseems anhattan Beach was iscovere b eoeon the Westsie,” he sai. “aibu was too ar, Santaonica was too congeste, so anhattan Beach gota whoe new crow, an the brought with them a oto architectura inuences.”With this inux comes an ecectic range o tastesevient in the various architectura stes that haveemerge uring the South Ba’s esign rebirth. lookingat the next 10 ears, quait is ke, accoring to pritzkat.“Some architects o more contemorar rojects,others ocus more on traitiona esign. But it’s ikesaing, ‘What’s the best music — cassica, jazz or hi-ho?’  it’s thought through, quait esign is timeess.”
         “
some aRchITecTs do moRe conTempoRaRy  pRoJecTs, oTheRs Focus moRe on TRadITIonaL desIGn. BuT IT’s LIke sayInG,‘Wt’ t bt i –lil, jzz r i-?’  If it’ tgt trg,qlit ig i til.
- aritt mil pritzt f  pritzt & J aritt

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