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Stephen Kanner, a quiet cosmopolitan
December 12, 2010 7:12 PM   Subscribe

Stephen H. Kanner, FAIA. The late architect Stephen Kanner made wonderful buildings in Los Angeles.
posted by xowie (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
that gas station reminds me of the monumental ruscha paintings
posted by PinkMoose at 9:13 PM on December 12, 2010


I see his firm has done several projects I've appreciated around town. The Metro mixed-use complex in Hollywood (under residential) is an interesting case. It's ugly as sin (IMO, natch) but beats environmental efficiency standards by 20%, sits on top of mainline public transportation, fits into the neighborhood, and offers low-rent family housing. Good work.

Also got to watch the re-skinning of that skyscraper in Hwood from across the street; had no idea it was turned into condos. Valet parking, oooOOOoooh! Looks neat though.

There are a couple other gas stations I know of around town that are... interesting.

I love living in a city with thriving art & architecture.
posted by carsonb at 9:53 PM on December 12, 2010


I used to drive by that United Oil at the corner of La Brea and Slauson avenues and always thought it was such a gorgeous, almost Calatrava-esque [/not a word] and so-LA structure. I'm glad to find out about Kanner as it's usually Neutra who springs to mind when I think of LA Modernism.
posted by honey-barbara at 12:48 AM on December 13, 2010


I recognize several of those buildings from design books but never knew the architect's name (or anything about him). Thanks. I will be seeking out more - I love what I see here.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:07 AM on December 13, 2010


Very interesting, thank you!

I used to live in the residential buildings about 200 feet from the In-n-Out in Westwood (yes it was pretty awesome, in case you're wondering) and something about it caught my eye from the very beginning.

I happened to be looking at Wikipedia one day and discovered that "Like many chain restaurants, newer In-N-Out restaurants are based on a set of templates or "cookie-cutter" blueprints, which are chosen based on available space and expected traffic levels... However, some restaurants are designed to stand out. Notable unique In-N-Out locations include the restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco and the restaurant in Westwood, Los Angeles."

(It used to say something about how the Westwood In-n-Out was the only one allowed to deviate from the chain's blueprints, but that doesn't appear to be true in any case)

As the LAT article notes, "The In-N-Out building, meanwhile, while it also is clearly an exploration of drive-through urbanism, works surprisingly well in relation to the sidewalk and the pedestrian culture of Westwood and the UCLA campus. Formally it is among Kanner's most impressive designs; it takes the red-and-yellow In-N-Out logo and turns it into a three-dimensional architectural signature."

It really is an eye-catching design, and that gas station is equally impressive (though I definitely expected to see a design date of 1959 or so; guess that means he did a great job with the Pop elements).
posted by librarylis at 8:35 AM on December 13, 2010


I happened to be looking at Wikipedia one day and discovered that "Like many chain restaurants, newer In-N-Out restaurants are based on a set of templates or "cookie-cutter" blueprints, which are chosen based on available space and expected traffic levels..

These are typically called "prototype" designs, usually produced by the company's own architectural firm, and then modified in whatever way by local architects to meet code. Larger "big box" stores like Target and Best Buy have variations based on how many square feet the store will occupy. Included within the prototype design are specifications for lighting and finishes - Best Buy has a particular color for their "wedge" entry structure that, if the building is finished in EIFS, can only be done with a product called Dryvit, no matter what brand of EIFS is used on the rest of the structure.
posted by LionIndex at 1:06 PM on December 13, 2010


Brilliant. The man brought Googie architecture into the 20xxs. I've never seen any of these in the concrete-and-glass but he sure got Googie.
posted by jet_silver at 9:35 PM on December 13, 2010


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