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Department of Architecture Lecture Series Frank Escher & Ravi GuneWardena: “Full View”

Established by Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena in 1995, Escher GuneWardena Architecture has an extraordinary range of projects, reflecting the firm’s broad cultural interests. Work ranges from small, conceptually rigorous projects to ecologically and socially innovative urban design proposals; from engaging with contemporary art to architectural history; from innovative residential projects to master planning. Understanding design as a collaborative process, they routinely work with internationally known contemporary artists, thinkers, and organizations.

Escher GuneWardena’s work, located in North America and Europe, has been published and exhibited internationally. Residential projects include new buildings, such as DWELL Home II (a prototype for a sustainable living), the Jamie residence in Pasadena (a house lofted on two concrete towers above its precipitous site), the Sola/Wright residence in (three thermoplastic-wrapped volumes stepping up a hill), and the recent House with Five Corners. The firm’s interest in contemporary art has led to the design of major exhibitions and galleries (Blum and Poe), as well as collaborations with artists, including Sharon Lockhart (LACMA; the Secession, Vienna; Walker; Thyssen-Bornemisza, Vienna); Olafur Eliasson (Emi Fontana/West of Rome at Escher GuneWardena’s Jamie Residence), Mike Kelley (Sculpture Projects Muenster 07; Sculpture Center, NY), and Stephen (Secession, Vienna; LACMA).

In fall 2009 Escher and GuneWardena curated and designed the exhibition ‘Folly – The View from Nowhere’ at MOCA’s Pacific Design Center Space. They were recently selected to design the scenography for the upcoming exhbition of “petit h”, a special collection of the luxury brand Hermès, at a location soon to be announced this spring. Work related to architectural history includes the restoration of John Lautner’s Chemosphere, the conservation of the Eames House (in collaboration with Getty Conservation Institute), restoration/addition projects on A. Quincy Jones and Neutra houses, the 2007 John Lautner exhibition (co-curated by Frank Escher and Nicholas Olsberg), and their recent opera on Pauline Schindler, which featured five artists from CalArts.