BERNARD ZIMMERMAN LECTURE SERIES: Escher GuneWardena Architecture
Escher GuneWardena Architecture was founded by Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena in Los Angeles in 1996. The extraordinary range of their work– small, conceptually rigorous projects; ecologically and socially innovative urban design proposals; and work in the fields of contemporary art and architectural history - reflects the broad cultural interests of the firm’s principals. They frequently collaborate with internationally known contemporary artists, thinkers, consultants, and cultural institutions such as the MAK Center, The Eames Foundation, and The Getty Conservation Institute.
New residential projects include the Jamie Residence (2000), the Sola/Wright Residence (2009), and the House with Five Corners (2013). Work on historic structures includes restoration of John Lautner’s Chemosphere, and Phase 1 restoration work at the Eames House. Escher GuneWardena was a finalist in creating master plans for Linc.LA (2011). Currently, the firm is in the design phase for two master plan projects, the Woodland Nature Center, a Buddhist monastery campus and cultural center in Azusa, California; and St. Michael’s Campus, a Franciscan monastery and agricultural community in Riverside, California.
The firm’s interest in contemporary art has led to various art related projects and collaborations with artists: Blum & Poe gallery in Los Angeles; numerous installations for Sharon Lockhart, Mike Kelley, Olafur Eliasson, and Stephen Prina. Major exhibitions designed by Escher GuneWardena are the 55th Carnegie International (CMOA, Pittsburgh), Mike Kelly: Eternity is a Long Time (Hanger Bicocca, Milano); Between Earth and Heaven: the Architecture of John Lautner (Hammer Museum; co-curated by Frank Escher and Nicholas Olsberg); and “Little Review” Sharon Lockhart's installation in the Polish Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
In June of 2017, Clocks and Clouds, a monograph of the firm’s work, was released by BirkhÃ¤user in conjunction with their retrospective exhibition at the Art, Design, and Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in summer 2017.