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…

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Melbourne Revisited

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The Total Carpark by Bernard Joyce for Bogle & Banfield (1965). Photo ©Darren Bradley
I've already posted several times about my previous time in Melbourne. To be honest, I never really found it to be a very target-rich environment from an architectural photography perspective. While there's certainly a lot going on there in architecture, there are not a lot of mid-century modernist landmarks around the central business district. And the more recent architecture tends towards a flashy post-modern... Also, the weather was terrible every other time I was there. But anyway, on my most recent trip, I had beautiful sunny skies and most importantly - wonderful hosts and great company, who showed me some of the things I'd missed before. I have to say now that I love Melbourne. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Robin Boyd Residence II

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Photo ©Darren Bradley
I had the good fortune to spend a few hours last week at the Boyd House II in Melbourne. The Boyd House is one of Australia's most celebrated modernist homes by one of Australia's most celebrated modernist architects. I loved it. 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orange County Eichlers

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Fairhills Eichler Plan OJ-1605 by A. Quincy Jones & Frederick Emmons (1964). Photo ©Darren Bradley
"Eichler" has become a household word these days, used to describe just about any modernist tract house. Sort of the way "Eames" is used on eBay as a catch-all for any object remotely modern that looks like it may have been made sometime in the 50s or 60s. But actually, there are very few Eichler developments in Southern California. That was more of a Northern California thing, and there are many tracts around the Bay Area. In SoCal, there are only four: three in Orange County and one  two in the Valley. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

El Rancho Vista Estates

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Photo ©Darren Bradley
When I first visited El Rancho Vista Estates in 1999, it was a sad experience, and more than a bit frightening. I was even concerned about getting out of my car. Its turnaround today, to one of the most beautiful and intact modernist neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley, is a shining example of how preservation can work for a community. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Brutalist Enclave in a Sydney Suburb

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UTS Kuring-gai. Photo ©Darren Bradley
The architect stated that the natural landscape was so beautiful, it should not have been built on. But he did it anyway. And I'm very glad he did.