The Appointed: Satoru Sugihara, Margot Jacobs, and Design Haus Liberty

by flaunt

Architects, futurists, and designers contribute original visions for our megalopolistic-orgiastic-free-for-all (the city of CALIFUK) where Hollywood facelifts meet stiff brit upper lips.

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ATLV is an architectural and collaborative computational design studio based in Los Angeles, and founded by Satoru Sugihara in 2012. The studio specializes in expressively complex but rational façade designs. They recently completed the roof façade for Studio Link-Arc’s China Pavilion at Milano Expo.


The tower pier is designed as a mutation of London’s Tower Bridge, with a high-tech but expressive swarm cable structure, that embodies London’s futurism, Los Angeles’s formal dynamism, and the festivity in Santa Monica Pier, and in Venice Beach graffiti.



Margot Jacobs is an Associate at Mia Lehrer + Associates (MLA). She designs and advocates for multiple-benefit landscapes including schoolyards, urban parks and forests, as well as for various projects along the Los Angeles River. 


Despite the distance and difference in climate, culture, and age, Los Angeles and London have a lot in common. The cities both grew organically as villages spread into mosaics across their regions. Both are defined by and evolved around their water infrastructure. Namely, their rivers. Younger Los Angeles now faces many of the growing pains that the older and wiser London has already tamed.

In 1850s London, an aging and inadequate sewer system emptied directly into the Thames. This caused outbreaks of cholera (much like it had helped spread the black death/bubonic plague in the 1300s). The spread of disease and the awful smell prompted action from London’s local and national administrators to upgrade its water infrastructure for a growing population. This upgrade continues to operate, servicing a city that now holds over eight million people. What was once a polluted waterway cut off by industrial tracts at the city’s back door is now the heart of London. Lined with notable landmarks and important destinations, the Thames is London’s centerpiece. New piers, promenades, parks, and gardens emerge along its banks each year. Plans are in the works to regenerate Victoria Embankment with a beautiful “garden bridge” and to build a new lido, a controlled portion of the Thames where Londoners will be able to swim.

Today, L.A. faces similar issues London faced in the last century. Lined with industry and clouded by its antiquated single purpose infrastructural channel, the River ushers precious water out to the sea when it could be recalibrated into a multipurpose system to meet the needs of today’s Angelenos—an increased water supply, greater and greener open space, a flourishing habitat, and better air quality. Over the last few decades, growing momentum surrounding the L.A. River revitalization, is turning the L.A. River into a centerpiece. Imagine a river for Los Angeles lined with landmarks such as the Eye or the Millennium Bridge. Imagine London if the Thames remained a forgotten drainage way. The future of Los Angeles is tied to the adaptation of our current water infrastructure. We could learn a thing or two from our older sister. As Los Angeles matures, a greener river will bring people, business, and recreation to assure that the City itself flourishes.



Founded by Harvard alumni Dara Huang, Design Haus Liberty is an architecture and interior practice based in Notting Hill in London. In 2013 they received several awards at The RIBA Forgotten Spaces Competition and have since been shortlisted for The International Design & Architecture Awards.


Haven is a design proposal that fuses London and Los Angeles lifestyles into a new subterranean experience. The urban paradise is formed from a series of platforms, each interlinked to create an oasis and promote interaction between pedestrians from all walks of life.

At the urban scale, the mixed use development juxtaposes outdoor spaces with retail and transit hubs creating a new strategic gathering space and landmark in Los Angeles. At the local scale, the development provides a platform where tourists and locals feel a sense of inter-city understanding and establish new relationships. For the user, Haven becomes a safe location in the ever-growing metropolis filled with cultural vivacity and global awareness. As the city grows upward towards the sky, Haven digs further and further into the world below becoming an escape where all cultural differences are set aside, joining the community as one.

[PART I]     [PART II]     [PART III]     [Companion Feature]