It never rains in California

Apr 06, 2012 //

Rain was definitely not on the itinerary when the Sasges Inc. team arrived in Los Angeles for our mid-century modern mid-winter break. We were greeted by blue skies, palm trees and classic Southern California weather. It was a chance for our team to relax, enjoy each other’s company and be inspired by California design.

First stop was lunch on the pool deck to refresh after our flight, tune up our sunglasses and be briefed on the rules for the “Great Sasges Typography Scavenger Hunt”. The rules were quite simple:

Rule One: you must photograph the alphabet in sequence (for Rita that meant ALL 26 letters!)
Rule Two: you must have a theme
Rule Three: you only have $50 for expenses and cab fare
Rule Four: you have to be back at the pool by 5pm

The winning team of Morgan and John were also the first team back. Their alphabet started right at our hotel and was themed anything “car”. Lucky for them there was an AMC Mercedes and a Bentley parked in the driveway — a quick walk down to Rodeo Drive was all that was needed to complete their alphabet. Themes for the rest of the teams were: any letter made out of lights; letters that looked like they’d had a troubled past or history; and any letter that sparkled or glittered — we were after all in Beverly Hills. Best letter of the day was the “27th letter” discovered by the team of Chandra, Jill and Corey. Only in LA would they feel the need to create new letters.

Sunday morning we were up early for a private tour of the California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” exhibition at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). The exhibit (and our tour guide) were amazing. We saw everything from a classic Air Stream trailer, Saul Bass’ film credits and Dick Van Dyke’s classic Studebaker Avanti. One of our favourites was the reproduction of the living room of Ray and Charles Eames’ house perfectly composed and replicated using all their original objects and furniture. 

After the LACMA it was off for our guided architectural tour of Los Angeles. After a stop for beer and wine (who knew it was legal in California to have open liquor in a moving vehicle — God Bless America!) we were off to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the Neutra Colony in Silver Lake, and the Capitol Record Building in Hollywood. 

Our tour ended high-up in the Hollywood hills at the iconic Stahl House designed by Pierre Koenig — also known as Case Study House Number 22. 

“The Case Study House program, initiated in 1945 in Los Angeles, remains one of America’s most significant contributions to architecture at mid-century. The motivating force behind the program was John Entenza, a champion of modernism and editor of the avant-garde monthly magazine Arts & Architecture. Entenza envisioned the Case Study effort as a way to offer the public and the building industry models for low-cost housing in the modern idiom, foreseeing the coming building boom as inevitable in the wake of the drastic housing shortages during the depression and war years. Using the magazine as a vehicle, Entenza’s goal was to enable architects to design and build low-cost modern houses for actual clients, using donated materials from industry and manufacturers, and to extensively publish and publicize their efforts.”

To read more about the Stahl House and the Case Study program visit www.stahlhouse.com

Everyone agreed that view was breathtaking and the house was better than anything we’d ever see in pictures. The air was so clear that day we could see out to Catalina Island and down to the shipyard in San Pedro.

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