Tag Archives: architecture

The Neutra Residence in Los Angeles – a modern glass house built in 1933

The front of the Neutra house. You can see the address, the font is distinct to many of his buildings.

Last weekend it was beautiful out, so we decided to stop by the Neutra VDL Studio & Residence located in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Built in the 1930s by Richard Neutra, it was considered radical for its time. He lived here with his family and also worked here as well.

I think the description on the web site explains the architecture well: “a “modern” two-story house: a markedly horizontal composition with a repetition of identical casement windows running from edge to edge of its box-like form; a simple volume defined by a skin like enclosure and capped by a thin flat roof plane; a façade without the distractions of color or ornament. This house was the embodiment of then current European avant-garde design scarcely known to the people of Los Angeles. Its architect was equally unknown. Yet in years hence his name became famous and his works associated with modern architecture in California. This house was Richard Neutra’s own, his third building in America and the house in which he was to live and work for nearly three decades.”

Following are a few photos from our trip there. It really is an amazing house and certainly worth visiting. For $10 you can get a tour of the house and are then free to wander around and take photos after.


– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

The rooftop. In the background notice the gravel on the ground. This area was originally filled with a shallow layer of water, creating a moat like feature around the glass room.

Mirrors were used on a number of walls throughout the house. Here, you can see the moat filled with gravel. It wraps around the entire room. There are plans to renovate this feature and fill it with water again.

A low seating area.

The "modern" kitchen. It even has a dishwasher! It is interesting to note how much smaller the spaces in this house are compared to many of the houses today.

A detail from the kitchen.

The hallway leading to the bedrooms. Neutra and his wife each had a separate room. I really like the long horizontal lines in this space.

The open stairs to the roof top.

The back courtyard.

While we were there, actors were practicing a scene for a film that was set to be shot in the house. It was kind of strange, wandering around while this drama was going on!

They must have done this scene four or five times. The first time the actress threw herself to the floor, the actor was concerned and asked, "Are you ok?! Are you hurt?" Her reply..."Oh, its nothing, I used to do roller derby."



Filed under Architecture, Travel

Gorgeous Art Deco Buildings in Los Angeles

The stunning entrance to the Eastern Columbia Building.

Walking around downtown Los Angeles, the amount of stunning Art Deco buildings is really quite amazing. It seems nearly every other building is a testament to the energy and optimism of the jazz age. What I also find particularly interesting is many of these buildings seem to be rather uninhabited. They are frayed, either abandoned or under utilized. However, strangely enough, this makes them even more interesting to me for a couple of reasons…

I live in New York City. Of course, there are a great many beautiful Art Deco buildings in Manhattan as well. However, for the most part, they are used, lived in and have pretty much always been since their construction. In Los Angeles, this downtown is a place of such potential, whereas Manhattan already seems so done, so developed. Here, there is so much possibility. At night it is rather desolate here, downtown. The streets are rather bare, save for the handful of people sleeping on them. However, there are signs of small cafes, independent book stores, restaurants and little galleries popping up. People are seeing the beauty of these buildings and slowly moving back into them and creating something new where there was once just a boarded up shell. It is great to see a downtown in such transition, especially one with such beautiful architecture.

Anyway, here are a few photos from my wanderings around the city. Don’t be surprised if some of these patterns pop up in our designs in the near future.


– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrookyn.com

The clock tower on top of the Eastern Columbia Building. The blue terra cotta tiles are beautiful!

Love this tile pattern. Have no idea what building this is.

Another unknown deco building.

An Art Deco building located on Broadway.

There are a number of Art Deco movie palaces lining Broadway. Most of them have seen better days.

Another movie palace.

A building that is neo-gothic in style. I would imagine it was built around 1915 or so, or right before Art Deco. It is a great example of a lovely building that seems rather empty now but has so much potential.


Filed under Architecture, Art, Travel

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House – aka the Blade Runner House

The Ennis House, large and imposing, set atop a hill in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

This weekend my husband and I also explored the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. I have to say, I absolutely loved this area. Set on the hills, the houses are all so lovely and quite charming, which made the Ennis House stand out even more. Most of the houses appeared to be built in the 1920s to the 1950s. As much as I love living in Brooklyn, I think I could be very happy in a place like this, too.

So, here are a few photos we took of the Ennis House. Some of you might recognize it as the house featured in the Sci Fi classic, Blade Runner. Seeing the house on a bright and sunny day really gave it a very different vibe than it was shown to have in the movie, where it was depicted as dark and cold. Quite a difference to see the house in real life.

The Ennis House as shown in Blade Runner, dark and dreary.

It was built in 1924 for retailer Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, the Ennis House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, architect Lloyd Wright. It is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four Los Angeles-area “textile block” houses, which feature patterned and perforated concrete blocks that give a unique textural appearance to both their exteriors and interiors. The house spans 6,200 square feet and is constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks; all made by hand using decomposed granite extracted from the site.

Unfortunately, the house was not open for tours, although I believe it is during certain parts of the year. However, we still enjoyed walking around the area and taking some photos.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

Another view of the house.

A view from in front of the house. A number of people were taking photos.

A beautiful and ornate gate. There was an amazing view of the city beyond.

A close up of one of the concrete blocks. Notice the block on right is cracked and it can be seen there is some damage to the blocks in the other photos. This is due to deferred maintenance, the 1994 Northridge earthquake and record rainfall in 2005.


Filed under Architecture, Travel

The restaurant at Les Cols in Olot, Spain

The 13th century farm house that contained the restaurant.

After an amazing night and a lovely breakfast in our room, we wandered around for a little bit and then headed to lunch. No matter that I was still quite full. Once we entered the restaurant, we were seated in the back courtyard, see in the above photo. They brought us drinks and a beautiful assortment of little dishes. After relaxing on this perfect, crisp, fall afternoon, we headed inside the restaurant for lunch. The interior of the restaurant was stunning, as was the pristine kitchen.

One of the dining areas at Les Cols.

The kitchen.

Each dish was a work of art and the quality of everything was simply amazing.

A pumpkin soup.

Local onions stuffed with regional cheese, herbs and bread crumbs. This was amazing!

The steak.

We had an wonderful wine from the town of Girona, but were too consumed by our surroundings and the excellent food to write down the name. As soon as we drove away, back toward Barcelona, I was ready to turn around and head back to Les Cols. For information, you can follow this link.


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Filed under Architecture, Dining, Travel

The stunning architecture of Les Cols – a bed & breakfast in Olot, Spain

Our room at Les Cols. Made out of glass and suspended above the ground, which is actually a lava bed.

So, I have been meaning to post photos of Les Cols for quite some time now. My husband and I went to Spain on our honeymoon and it was amazing. Part of being married to an architect is he seems to know the most beautiful places to go, and our time at Les Cols in Olot certainly exceeded expectations. I feel a wordy explanation of how amazing this place is really does it no justice. Essentially, Les Cols is composed of a 13th century farmhouse, which contains the resaurant, with an ultra-modern glass addition, which is where the guest rooms can be found.

We arrived at night, when it was already completely dark. We were welcomed in an old building, without electricity, lit by just candles. We were then taken to our room, down an open-air glass hall. When we arrived at our room, we found it only contained a bed. The roof was open to the sky, the walls were a semi-transparent glass and the floor, elevated off the ground, which is actually a lava bed, was made of glass as well. The bathroom…well I will let the photos speak for themselves. While everything was simply stunning at night time, to wake up and be surrounded by this environment was even better. If you ever find yourself in Barcelona, the 1.5 hour drive to Olot is certainly worth it! Check out the review on the NY Times, which also contains the contact information for Les Cols. Tomorrow, part 2 of this post, the amazing restaurant we went to here…

– Stephanie

The rain shower. The floor of the shower had shallow water over a bed of smooth stones. It led right to a pool, which you can see in the foreground.

Breakfast in bed consisted of local breads and cheese.

The open air hall. The doors in this hall lead to the private guest rooms.

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Filed under Architecture, Travel

Morning Stroll

A couple mornings ago, I took a walk with my lovely assistant, Pascal the French Bulldog. The trees were starting to sprout buds, the flowers to bloom, the birds to sing and the cats to scream, hiss and screech in the backyard as they commence their spring mating rituals. Truly, magic is in the air.

Although I have lived in Brooklyn for a number of years now, I still never tire of looking up at all the beautiful architecture I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by every day. It has always been a constant source of design inspiration. Don’t be surprised if you see some of these motifs popping up in our designs at Pressed.

– Stephanie

The entrance to a grand old apartment building.

Close up of a detail from a brownstone.

Detail from an apartment building entrance.

My beautiful assistant, Pascal the French Bulldog.

Detail of stairway in my hallway.

Detail of wall decoration inside my hallway.

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Filed under Architecture, Interior Design

Low resolution…and it looks good!

I love these shoes! They are called Low Res, by United Nude. This shoe was was created by digitally scanning an object into a 3D computer model and regenerating it into various resolutions. Architect, Rem Koolhaas, is the creative director and it shows, as the shoes certainly do have an architectural and sculptural feel to them.

– Stephanie

The Low Res shoe.

The Frame Lo shoe.

The Haiku shoe, a sort of modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese wood sandal.

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Filed under fashion, Shoes