Thursday, February 17, 2011

A New Home

 Here’s some introduction as to who the heck I am, and where I came from.  Hailing from the southeastern corner of Washington State, I came from a desert.  A desert?  Isn’t Washington mostly evergreen trees with rain and snow?  HA!  We see snow during winter, rain during fall, flowers blooming during spring, and HOT dry heat during summer.  Why do people think it rains a lot? Seattle.  Kennewick, WA, population roughly 60,000, is where I was born and raised.

What I care about most about my background and what makes me who I am is how I was raised. I was given guidance but, with a lot of freedom.  My parents supported my ideas without dictating who they wanted me to be. 

When I arrived in Santa Barbara, I was stunned by the beauty of the place.  School in Paradise was amazing. Then I graduated.

Now I am -- Design-orientated. Polite. Well-behaved. Respectful. Responsible.  Hardworking.  And reasonably smart! --all by the age of 23.

LA. Los Angeles, California.  My new home. 

I am working my way up in the freelance assisting industry.  Assisting for product, architecture, people, and automotive photographers is the game.

I have cool dance moves but my main focus is directed more towards the creative industry of photography.

 Los Angeles, CA
Kennewick, WA


I've never been to any southern state besides Florida.  And I must say I am missing out on so much good architecture.

The mid-south states such as Texas are thriving in the architecture industry, where land is relatively cheap compared to the price per square foot in Los Angeles or New York.  That could be one reason why so many firms have offices there producing remarkable work.

I recently discovered the Wyly Theater in Dallas, TX.  An unbelievable building.  When viewing the images without looking where it was located, I immediately thought it was constructed somewhere abroad in Europe, China, or Korea.  These types of buildings are somewhat rare in the United States.

I'm sure there are so many regulations and panels of approval that a building must go through in order to begin construction.  The United States is extremely conservative on behalf of crazy, interesting, and unusual architecture.

Luckily, we still have a few people that love creativity and allow these types of buildings to be built here in the USA.

I can't wait to finally visit Dallas!

 Dee and Charles Wyly Theater, REX, OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Your Own Backyard

It is amazing what one will find in their own backyard, let alone in your home town.

When I got into architectural photography, I didn't have a clue what kind of architecture I liked. I didn't know of any architects except for Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry (Experience Music Project).  The big hitters in the world of architecture, and both of them named Frank.

I lived in my hometown of Kennewick, WA for 20 years before I finally moved to Southern California for school and now my profession.  Being in one place for twenty years numbed me from seeing past the boring lifestyle in Kennewick which is part of a Tri-City area.

I didn't care about the architecture.  I had no interest or infatuation with buildings or interior design.  Furniture had no part in my life.  For the longest time I was satisfied with normal furniture, the type of furniture that isn't custom made and doesn't come from Herman Miller, Knoll, Design Within Reach, Modernica, etc.

It was crazy enough when I finally discovered the first modern building I wanted to photograph in Kennewick.  A 3-story, double building dermatologist building.

Now it has come down to an architect known as ZGF, based out of Portland, OR.  These guys are a huge award winning architect firm.  Designing projects associated with academics, healthcare, corporate, and much more, these guys are incredible!  Researching them a little bit, I found out that they designed the Kadlec Medical Center Critical Care Unit in Richland, one of the three cities in the Tri-Cities area.

This architect and many others that I am discovering are making me want to actually return to my hometown and rediscover what I couldn't when I lived there.  And interestingly enough, it could lead to working up in Seattle!

How amazing would that be!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Outdated Modern Masterpiece?

Who in god's name would ever think about remodeling this airport terminal?!  Eero Saarinen's TWA airport terminal has been closed for at least 10 years.  JetBlue replaced this terminal with a new Terminal 5, located directly behind this masterpiece.

I would like to know what people think is "outdated."  Maybe because it looks like a stealth bomber?  Or maybe because it is constructed of concrete where as most "modern" buildings today are in a race to get LEED certification; consisting mostly of glass, steel, and wood.

The word "outdated" is only established with the year this terminal was created: 1956.  Falling under the category of Mid-century Modernism only because it was constructed in the middle of the century.  What would people call this if it were constructed today?  Look at Zaha Hadid's, Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, in New York City.  Obviously not the same type of building material but Hadid certainly didn't use any straight lines.  To me it looks like a spaceship.

Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal has been out of use for a 10 years.  Why?  I haven't the foggiest clue.  Now, it is in the process of potentially being turned into a hotel lobby that would be constructed in between it and the new Terminal 5.  Lets hope that whoever grabs this project won't completely ruin what Saarinen conceived of.

Zaha Hadid- Chanel Mobile Arts Pavilion, NY, NY
Eero Saarinen- TWA Terminal 5, JFK International Airport, NY

Monday, February 7, 2011

Compton anyone?

Church.  A place of peace and prosperity.  These are a couple of words that one might think of a church.  Somewhere people can gather and pray.  What happens when people abandon their church?  The best example is Rudolph Schindler's Bethlehem Baptist church in Los Angeles.

Rudolph Schindler was a master mid-century architect who designed a wide variety of buildings and homes.  One building still standing, Bethlehem Baptist church, is a historical-cultural monument in South LA, or at least should be.  According to the Cultural Heritage Commission, this church is the only mid-century modern building in South LA...

I have driven through South LA and I beg to differ because I have certainly driven through South LA and have seen quite a few mid-century modern structures.

Schindler is one of my heroic architects of modernism, and to see this building in shambles is hard to bare.

I have recently taken on a personal project for myself to photograph churches such as this one that are "modern" from mid-century to the present modern style of architecture today.  

This church of Schindler will certainly be one of the many churches LA has to offer in front of my lens.

Does anyone want to volunteer to repaint this church?

Rudolph Schindler Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4901 Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA