orange civic center

orange, california

The Orange Civic Center was Designed by Welton Beckett and Associates, 1963. This architectural firm is responsible for the design of several iconic buildings including Capitol Records (Hollywood 1956) and the Los Angeles International Airport (with William Pereira, Charles Luckman, and Paul R. Williams; 1959). Becket and Associates philosophy of total design is exemplified in the master plans for Panorama City (1947), Century City (1960), UCLA Medical Center (Westwood, 1948-70) and the civic cores of Pomona (1962-69) and the City of Orange (1963). The modern architecture of Orange’s Civic Center has withstood the test of time. However, technology has evolved and programs have changed. The first phase of the project involved the remodel of the Council Chambers. The interior was demolished, maintaining the character defining features of the shell building. Historic documentation via drawings and photos influenced the final design, which pays homage to the original design, utilizing modern technology. The next phase of the project is to remodel the Planning, Building, and Public Works departments. The design concept pays homage to original materials and forms, yet continues to introduce modern methods and technology.

southridge house

palm springs, california

Southridge is one of the most exclusive and historic estates in Palm Springs. Development on the steep hill began in the early 1960s. Its spectacular site overlooking the Coachella Valley spurred designers like John Lautner to create the area’s most dramatic properties: the legendary Bob Hope and Arthur Elrod houses. William F. Cody and Hugh Kaptur also designed homes there and the community attracted stars like Steve McQueen and William Holden. This home, originally designed by the local team of Patten & Wild is one of the first homes to be built in Southridge. It is a simple California ranch style with a hip roof and concrete shingles. Original breeze-blocks still wrap around the lower level, where the architect has created her studio. The house has been gutted internally and the floor plan has been reworked, removing a clumsy lower-level addition that detracted from the home’s outlook, re-siting pool equipment, and returning the property to its minimal design. The house embraces the landscape, blurring the boundaries of interior and exterior, with the exterior being equally important. “The best design goes unnoticed…the eye carries beyond the house.” The home had interiors more suited to Beverly Hills than the desert, so beige marble was removed in favor of poured terrazzo. A previously secluded kitchen now opens to the tremendous views. Bathrooms feature original vintage tile and are updated with new fittings and Dornbracht hardware that matches the Crane originals. The neutral color palette throughout provides a soft backdrop for classic midcentury furniture by Eames, Saarinen and Mies van der Rohe. Outside the landscape has also been reworked and simplified with desert plantings.