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Five reasons to listen to Julie Eizenberg

Article by Home Magazine

We’re bringing a big name in architecture to New Zealand in March, and you’ve got to come and hear her talk! Los Angeles-based architect Julie Eizenberg is the international member of our three-person Home of the Year 2015 jury and she’s going to be speaking in Auckland and in Christchurch. Here are five reasons to come along and be inspired:

The outdoor screening area of the Sobieski House in Los Angeles, designed by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

The outdoor screening area of the Sobieski House in Los Angeles, designed by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

Inside the Sobieski House by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

Inside the Sobieski House by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

 

1. She designs fantastic homes.

We love the Sobieski House in LA, designed as a series of pavilions for a family of four. It uses thrifty materials to create spaces that allow the way the family uses them to evolve over time. There’s also plenty of room for their art collection. Also, who wouldn’t want to live in the light, airy and just plain beautiful Hancock Lofts?

Inside the Hancock Lofts in Los Angeles by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

Inside the Hancock Lofts in Los Angeles by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

 

2. She has an Antipodean sensibility. 

Originally from Australia, Eizenberg moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and established Koning Eizenberg Architecture with fellow Australian Hank Koning, who is also her husband. The firm has gone on to win more than 90 awards and a reputation for rule-breaking, eco-friendly design in everything from private residences to libraries, hotels, museums and medium-density affordable and social housing. Says Eizenberg: “There’s something about coming from New Zealand or Australia that means you look at things with a fresh eye.”

The Sobieski House is made up of four casually-but-carefully arranged pavilions.

The Sobieski House is made up of four casually-but-carefully arranged pavilions.

 

3. She’s mastered the loose-limbed Los Angeles style. (And she’ll explain what she thinks that is). 

Eizenberg may be Australian, but she’s come to be regarded as quintessentially LA in her design approach. Her firm’s “taste for combining frugality and verve in the same project, and for juxtaposing serious architectural ideas with informality and references to Pop Art, flows directly out of a singularly LA tradition,” wrote Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, in an article on the firm. In 2012, Eizenberg won the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Gold Medal in recognition of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

Koning Eizenberg took charge of the redesign of Los Angeles' Standard Hotel.

Koning Eizenberg took charge of the redesign of Los Angeles’ Standard Hotel.

 

4. She doesn’t just plan buildings, but thinks about the way cities are put together. 

She is a frequent advisor to the US Mayor’s Institute on City Design, lectures around the world, and comes to us fresh from a stint as a super-juror at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

The Belmar Apartments, an affordable housing development by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

The Belmar Apartments, an affordable housing development by Koning Eizenberg Architects.

 

5. She’s a pro at designing social and affordable housing. Architecture is accessible!

The theme of her talk is ‘Opportunity Hides in Plain Sight’. Some of her most-praised designs have involved the development of affordable homes, all with a strong eco-friendly emphasis.

Koning Eizenberg Architects redeveloped Los Angeles' 28th Street YMCA, a heritage building, and added a wing of affordable apartments.

Koning Eizenberg Architects redeveloped Los Angeles’ 28th Street YMCA, a heritage building, and added a wing of affordable apartments.

 

Eizenberg hasn’t visited New Zealand since she was a kid, so we’re looking forward to showing her the work our architects have been creating. She’ll give lectures in Auckland (on March 2 at the Fisher & Paykel Auditorium at the University of Auckland) and Christchurch (March 4 at lecture theatre DL at CPIT). Tickets are $20 ($15 for subscribers and students) and you can buy them here. We look forward to seeing you there! (Architects get 10 CPD points for attending).

Julie Eizenberg of Los Angeles' Koning Eizenberg Architects.

Julie Eizenberg of Los Angeles’ Koning Eizenberg Architects.

 

Our thanks, as always, to our Home of the Year sponsors, Altherm Window Systems, for making Julie Eizenberg’s visit possible.

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