Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crafton Hills College: Eloquent Brutalism in the Foothills

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Crafton Hills College Laboratory / Administration Building (LADM), sitting at the top of the hill,
is the most recognizable building on campus. Photo ©Darren Bradley
When Palm Springs Architect E. Stewart Williams was first awarded the commission to  design an entire college campus in the foothills of nearby Yucaipa, California, it was a very big deal. In fact, this commission would be the largest and most important of his career. But when he had a chance to see the site, his initial reaction was to tell the college trustees that it couldn't be done. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Neutra's VDL Research House II

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I should have thanked both the turtledoves and that woman for being positioned exactly where I wanted them for this photo. This is a view of Neutra's garden studio, from 1940, situated in the rear of the courtyard. It's the only surviving structure from the 1963 fire that destroyed the rest of the house. Photo ©Darren Bradley
One of the best things about Los Angeles is that there are so many modernist homes there.  And even better than that, there are even a few you can visit. Neutra's VDL Research House in Silver Lake is one of the best examples. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A. Quincy Jones designs a college campus

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The Leo F. Cain Library at Cal State Dominguez Hills (originally called the Educational Resource Center) was designed by A. Quincy Jones and opened in 1972. It gives me chills walking up to it, it's so beautiful. Photo ©Darren Bradley

One of my favorite architects, A. Quincy Jones, designed a great number of university buildings throughout the years. But he also had the opportunity to plan and design an entire college campus, including all of the original buildings. This college is located just up the road from me so I took a spontaneous trip there recently one morning for quick visit. That school is California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Googie Church

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Trinity Presbyterian Church by Culver Heaton (1961). Photo ©Darren Bradley
After the Googie-style college campus from last week, I thought it would be appropriate to show a Googie-style church. The Trinity Presbyterian Church was designed in 1961 by Culver Heaton. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd in Adelaide

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Jane Walkley and her dogs, in front of the house her parents built. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Last year, I had the pleasure of visiting the Walkley Residence in Adelaide. I'd been wanting to see it for a while, so I was very excited to finally get the chance. Turns out, the best part was actually meeting the owner. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Googie University

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The main library of Hope International University was once a student center for CSUF, across the street. Photo ©Darren Bradley

No architectural photo safari to Cal State Fullerton would be complete without stopping by Hope International University. This surprising collection of buildings, located directly across Nutwood Avenue from CSUF, is perhaps the largest collection of googie modernist architecture left in the world. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

University of California, Riverside: Understated Modernism

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The classic view of UCR's Carillon Bell Tower (by Jones & Emmons, 1966) and the brutalist arcades of the Tom├ís Rivera Main Library (by Latta & Denny, 1954). Photo ©Darren Bradley
Despite pre-dating the larger and more glamorous UC campuses of San Diego and Irvine by 5 to 10 years, UC Riverside feels smaller, quieter, and perhaps even a bit more humble. But that's not to say that it's not worth a visit. In fact, its collection of modernist architecture is quite remarkable. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Finding Beauty in Unexpected Places - Fullerton

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Pollak Library at CSU Fullerton. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Yes, Fullerton... I've lived in Southern California off and on for more than 30 years. But up until last year, I never considered Fullerton to be anything more than a place to drive through on my way to LA (despite apparently being distantly related to the city's namesake and founder, George Fullerton). Turns out I was dead wrong about the city. It's worth a stop. There's actually a lot of cool stuff in Fullerton, not least of which is the amazing campus of Cal State University, Fullerton

Saturday, March 14, 2015

UC Irvine: A Singular Brutalist Vision

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The university's main library, the Langson Library, was designed by William Pereira Associates, in collaboration with Jones & Emmons and Blurock Ellerbroek Associates. Note how this building like others sits on a concrete platform whose supports are meant to be in the shadows, giving the building an appearance of floating. Photo ©Darren Bradley. 
It may seem a bit incongruous - when driving through the somewhat bland Orange County suburbs of Irvine - to come across towering, brutalist concrete sculptural forms scattered amongst the trees, but that was exactly what architect William Pereira designed in his master plan for that campus in 1963. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Robin Boyd Time Capsule in Canberra

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Photo ©Darren Bradley
I finally had the opportunity to visit one of the most interesting and beautiful homes in Canberra. This home, designed by renowned Melbourne architect Robin Boyd in 1963, demonstrates Boyd’s willingness to experiment with new ideas, and even borrow a few from others. In this case, Southern California seems to have been the inspiration…