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Year in Review, 2008 Architecture Awards: Jean Nouvel, Ennis House, and Building of the Year

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As 2008 comes to a close, here's a look (and in some cases, an update) to the more compelling and fantastic stories that stood out this year. And now a look at architecture of 2008...

Great Project That'll Likely Never Move Past the Rendering Stage: It was French architect Jean Nouvel’s leafy green giant, a Century City tower that was announced back in the much happier time of February 2008. While everyone wondered what was going on with the project, developer Sun Cal issued some upbeat sounding canned press releases--lying through their teeth, really--and in the end, their relationship with Lehman Bros helped kill this project. In November, SunCal filed for bankruptcy on the project.

Most Awaited House Opening: Back in March, the Architect's Newspaper reported that because neighbors feared that the opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House in Los Feliz would " create havoc on a tiny street that was never intended to host visitors," the Foundation was working on a new plan that would allow limited public access. (The home, which was damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, is slowly being restored.) UPDATE: Well, not the best news. "There are no plans to open the house to public," Stephen McAvoy, secretary treasurer at the Ennis Foundation, tells us.

Building of the Year: Boyle Heights plus shipping containers plus church community center? Yup, shipping container architect Peter DeMaria's new parsonage house/community center on East 7th Street in Boyle Heights is our building of the year. We'll turn to a commenter to explain why this building is so compelling: "Trying to sell these projects in super-wealthy residential neighborhoods is a non-starter, but this is what intelligent, responsive and sympathetic architecture can accomplish. I give him credit for this project, because it's perfect for the site." Hizzuh, shipping containers!
· Year In Review, 2008 Neighborhood Awards: Santa Monica Trees, Downtown Goats [Curbed LA]
· Year In Review: 2008 Real Estate Awards [Curbed LA]