Partner, Platform for Architecture + Research
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Jennifer Marmon founded Platform for Architecture + Research in Los Angeles after completing a master’s degree at SCI-Arc. With PAR, Jennifer created a platform for mixing keen analysis, formal experimentation and social responsibility into design combinations that uniquely respond to program and context.
Most recently, PAR has been working on a cruise terminal and tower competition in Taiwan, a ranch in Uruguay, art museum competitions in Greece and Italy, and a house in the Hollywood Hills. With the aim of exploring new architectural models and materials, PAR commits substantial resources toward proactive research and development proposals.
Jennifer also lectures on design research and serves as a visiting critic at SCI-Arc and USC School of Architecture. Her work with PAR has received national and international recognition, has been exhibited at the National Building Museum, and was featured in publications such as MARK, Damdi, Concept, Architectural Record and Future Arquitecturas.
"We have been competing more and more internationally, and have had some success, especially with the effort in Taiwan this past summer. Until 1.5 years ago we were mostly doing work in Los Angeles, and for a small group of private clients. In these projects we were reinterpreting typologies, injecting new qualities to the urban fabric of Los Angeles. The same applies to international contexts; it’s like you are given new material to work and play with.
"In Uruguay we are reimagining a typical estancia [ranch] using local materials that interplay with light and sound. The proposal in Athens deals with adapting an industrial landmark into a museum for local antiquities. The Keelung Harbor Terminal dealt with the notion of creating an abstract landmark in a nation gaining cultural capital.
"When you’re a young firm in Los Angeles and New York, most commissions come from the private sector. While the work is exciting, a project’s life is also very unpredictable. In reality only about 10% of our projects are getting realized, so much of what we do becomes design research and may get pulled off the shelf into a second life.
"I’d say the students and recent graduates [in our firm] often make the most fun work, which is really about testing new ideas and proposals. Los Angeles attracts some of the best architectural faculty in the world, which cultivates excellent students."
Regarding what changes to Los Angeles' built environment she would like to see in the next 20 years: "We anticipate incremental, ad-hoc density. It would be exciting to see more imaginative problem-solving. I would be interested to make Los Angeles a little bit more like our dreams in a very practical way."
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