Delights beyond our borders can lift our dampened spirits
It would be nice to pretend that we were reacting to the disappointments of this summer's weather by importing some Californian sunshine on to our pages (Building Study, pages 24-31). But anybody familiar with publishing schedules will realise that we took the decision to publish the Sale House in Los Angeles long before we knew that this would be one of the wettest Augusts on record. At least some of the pleasure webtoed readers will gain from looking at this building must be put down to serendipity.
The keen-eyed may think that this building is 'not terribly AJ'. Although we do venture overseas, particularly to look at major restoration projects (most recently the Robie House in Chicago, AJ 8.7.04) and in supplements such as Concrete Quarterly (see this issue), most of the buildings we discuss in detail are in this country. There are good reasons for this, since one of the strengths of the AJ is as a working tool, and information on costs and working details does not translate easily. But we do not want to become parochial. This country has some of the most talented architects in the world, working both here and abroad.
They provide us with plenty to publish, but their talents did not develop without them taking an interest in work beyond our borders. Since they look overseas, so will we from time to time.
The Sale House, like Morphosis' 2-4-6-8 studio that it adjoins and to which it responds, is definitely a product of its place and climate, and the architects who designed it, Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, are clearly grounded in their environment. Again like the Morphosis studio, the Sale House contains a wealth of ideas generated by a practice early in its career. Moreover, both buildings have the same enlightened client. Works like this are exciting, and can inspire new ideas that owe no obvious debt to their origin. We intend to bring you more of that kind of excitement, by featuring the occasional overseas building purely for the delight that it can bring to the reader. Come rain or shine.