It is an honor to present with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The themes of “water” and “arches” and the music of Brahms for the Westside Connections program resonate with inspirations and themes to our work. The Annenberg Community Beach House, the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands as well as much of our residential and academic work highlight ephemeral qualities of reflectivity and transparency. I grew up by Lake Erie, and the adjacency to the ocean felt familiar when I moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA’s Graduate School in Architecture. One of my classmates was Leonard Koren who created “Wet”, a Venice-based cultural magazine that brought together art, design, architecture, photography, food, film under the umbrella of “gourmet bathing”. This reflected a modern day version of Japanese “floating world” culture. The integration of themes that are distinct, dynamic, and communal is also evident in our work. With a background in art history and immersion in the local art scheme of artists such as Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Peter Alexander, Elyn Zimmerman and others, my work maintains an attachment to the experiences of sublimity, ephemerality, and ethereality.
Arches has a more explicit architectural reference that I imagine translates into contemporary design as rhythm, solid and void, and framing. While we don’t use actual arches, we compose the structure of a building’s columns and walls to create a rhythmic framework. Our design for the Annenberg Community Beach House on Santa Monica Beach combines the ethereal reflections on Julia Morgans’ swimming pool with the new rhythmic colonnade that memorializes the site’s long demolished Marion Davies mansion. Composing views from within a building simultaneous to composing the exterior facades is one of the character defining aspects of an architect’s approach. Framing is a visual device long used to edit and intensify views. We learned from the way James Turrell, with whom we have collaborated, frames a piece of the sky to turn an ephemeral natural phenomenon into an art experience. With each project, we look to create a tailored experience that is responsive to the programmatic needs of the project, and unique to our clients.