Excelling at Problem-Solving | The Plan
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Excelling at Problem-Solving

Kevin Daly

Low-key, undemonstrative but quietly intense, Kevin Daly will never be mistaken for a stararchitect, and he would probably cringe at the thought of such a characterization. Over three decades of practice, initially in partnership with Chris Genik, Daly has created some of the most interesting buildings in his adopted city of Los Angeles. He transformed an aircraft wind tunnel into the hub of a new campus for the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena and built three instalments of the mid-town Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. With his practice, kevin daly Architecs, he has designed a sociable complex of affordable apartments in Santa Monica and crafted an elegant extension to the Music School of UCLA, where Daly teaches. This enriches a campus known for its brilliant faculty, pedestrian buildings and philistine administration. If the principal players of L.A. - from the universities to commercial developers and City Hall - had a greater appreciation of architectural excellence, kdA and comparable firms would be fully extended.

Much of kdA’s work is off the radar, hidden from public view or embedded in unremarkable neighborhoods. The Palms II house, named for a street in the beachfront community of Venice, conducts a dialogue with Palms I, a house that Daly built for the same client on the neighboring lot ten years ago. The first commission was also a family compound: a greatly enlarged cottage with open decks shielded by a perforated metal screen looking across the landscaped central courtyard to a grandparents’ apartment over the garage. To accommodate a growing family, kdA have designed a wood-framed house that complements the first, in form and materials. Folded roofs and balconies animate the narrow lot, while presenting a blank façade to the leafy street.

In contrast to this intimate ensemble, Gramercy Senior Housing is a complex of 64 apartments for low-income residents aged 55 and over, half of whom were previously...

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