Year: 2015

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Team: Jimenez Lai, May Wong, Roojiar Sadeghilalabadi, Eric Hsu, Pauline Chen, Heidi Alexander, Steve Martinez, Brian Daugherty

From late 19th Century to the early 20th Century, the Queen Anne style of American architecture was at its peak popularity. This time period was also during a population boom in Los Angeles, and today one can regard the Queen Anne Style a common occurrence. One can often identify some consistent compositional principles with this typology - asymmetrical facades, dominant front-facing gables, overhanging eaves, cantilevered planes, multiple towers with various spires, mixed in with mansard roof, Dutch gables, bay windows, and so forth.

While there are other architectural imports to Los Angeles, including the Spanish Colonial Style or the Italian Tuscan Style, the Queen Anne stands out as being one of the more fascinating techniques to study because it indiscriminately mashes up of any style from any source material, as long as the compositional logic is maintained. The Queen Anne Style may be the proto-collage project that Jesse Reiser worked on in his early career, or what Charles Moore worked on in most of his career. Once the collage door is opened, one could ask three very poignant questions: what do you source from? how are you putting them together? why are you doing it this way?

In Richard Hamilton’s Just What is it That makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? (1956), we can see cut outs from advert catalogues (what) sloppily juxtaposed together, irreverent to the vanishing point (how), seemingly making a social commentary (why). Or, in Filip Dujardin’s body of work, we often find carefully framed photographs (what) stitched together to approach realism (how) to produce an environment in the uncanny valley (why). In our proposal, we decided to stay within the discourse of normalcy by sourcing from architectural parts along the L.A. River (what), whilst painting a white austerity over the techniques of Dujardin (how) and keeping in the back of our minds the comedy of Hamilton and the cuteness of a Miyazaki anime. (why)