Season 5 Episode 37: #182 Space and Time: Architects Lorcan O'Herlihy and Peter Culley
I had the opportunity to speak with noted architect Lorcan O’Herlihy. We spoke about the ever changing architectural landscape of Los Angeles. This conversation features a comparison between architecture in Los Angeles and Detroit. Most people don’t realize how many similarities exist between these two cities…. one that is reaching its limits with regard to growth and the other which is in the process of a wholesale rebirth. You can decide which is which. Lorcan discusses the “infill” projects and stitching LA’s vast landscape together. This chat is probably more relevant now than when we first had it last year. But slightly less relevant than it will be in a year from now. O’Herlihy talks about a bottom up verses top down strategies to development of metropolitan cities. About halfway through this clip, you are going to hear O’Herlihy talk about a watershed moment for his practice. He was brought in to rehab a project next to a beloved Schindler home and he talks about how his firm approached the new while blending with the existing. That work landed him a large project in Detroit called called Brush Park. The point is, good architecture and great architecture is both new and existing in dense metropolitan areas and some of it is worth saving. That doesn’t necessarily mean all of it is. You cannot simply wipe clean and start over, nor can you keep everything forever. Lorcan understands this and has masterfully applied a hybrid approach to his practice. Something else about O’Herlihy that you should know. He and his firm don’t just work on big, pretty ad expensive. Lorna O’Herlihy Architects designs all types of projects including bus stations and non-profit projects. The thing that stands out most when speaking with Lorcan or looking at his work is the nature of what he designs and how he designs it. He is a no-nonsense individual. Not that he doesn’t have the time or inclination to speak about the nature of the work but he get’s right to the point and focuses on the important parts. O’Herlihy wants you to know about his urban infill projects and his philosophy of creating remarkable work in dense, unforgiving terrain. He seems to enjoy the fight. The neighbors that don’t want architects working in their neighborhoods because it means, “progress” and he doesn’t mind the social constraints and municipal intrusions, it’s all part of the gig. Before we get to Lorcan, you are going to hear from Peter Culley of Spatial Affairs Bureau. That is Culley’s architectural firm, with studios in Los Angeles, Richmond, Virginia and London, England. Peter, as the name of his firm suggests, is fascinated with the uses of space and their uses in building and landscape architecture. We talk about experimentation and collaboration quite often on the show. Peter and Lorcan both personify and exemplify the creative use of both ideas. Please enjoy this conversation with architect, Peter Culley.
Toby Past is Group Creative Director for SapientRazorfish. He is an award winning designer and creative director with a unique and curious approach to his work. What can designers, architects and others in the shelter space learn from the advertising industry? Plenty. It starts with an outside-in look at Toby and how he views his work.