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Architect William Hefner’s style: luxury and simplicity



Architect William Hefner's style: luxury and simplicity

In his upcoming book, “California Homes II,” architect William Hefner showcased six years of work, ranging from modern and sleek to historic and rural, all celebrating his holistic approach to the design and spirit of Southern California.

The namesake William Hefner’s studio, located in Los Angeles, has increased the reach of modern projects and opened an office in Montecito, while expanding its horizons across the canyon cinematic landscape, palisade, and majestic Old Hollywood environment, “as Hefner wrote in the book, which features architecture, design interior and landscape design by the company, founded in 1989.

“We have 10 projects in it, and I spent almost two years working on every detail,” Hefner said of the 400-page work to be released this month. His predecessor, “California Homes,” also from the Images Publishing Group, came out in 2013.

Hefner described his style, whether contemporary or traditional design, as a combination of luxury and simplicity – “designed and controlled” but not hard.

“There’s nothing monastic about what we do,” Hefner said. “There is enough detail and complexity that occurs visually so that it feeds you.

“I care more about things that are classic and timeless than trendy, if possible,” he added. “I really like trying something that we’ve never tried before, but calling it something that will resonate for people.”

Such is the case with one of the ambitious projects featured in the book, Brise Soleil, which is playful but neat. The modern Beverly Hills dwellings have heat-shielded metal grilles, oddly pink and mint glass panels, and a large L-shaped pool wrapped around the back room, creating an 82-foot swimming track.

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“When we asked the owner what he was looking for, he said,” I just want something really out of the box. “I mean, what client told you that? That was a real dream project,” Hefner said.

Another example, Romero Canyon in Montecito, is the realization of a more personal dream for architects, which was shared with his late wife and longtime creative partners, Kazuko Hoshino. He died in April.

A rural family home embraced by the Santa Catalina Mountains and 200-year-old California oaks, grouping the surrounding buildings into a complex to share with family and friends.

How did you start as an architect?

When I was little I used to sketch floor plans; it is a no-brainer, it seems like what I will always do. I finally graduated from UCLA and for eight years I designed tall buildings around the world for an international company called Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It was a good education, but that was not what I liked, so I began to do home work. Nearly 30 years – a long time.

Where do you get inspiration for your work?

Maybe traveling; remember the times when we could do that? After graduating from school, I lived in Greece for one year, and as a child lived in Ireland for the summer. Kazuko and I were married for a while before we had children and would go and go whenever there was a kind of pause at work. Because he is from Japan, we often travel through Asia – Vietnam, Singapore, Bali. And also in Europe.

Tell about your environmental buildings and sustainable architectural practices.

Sustainability is important to us, and we are fortunate to get good lessons about the green buildings and home designs that we build [actor and passionate environmentalist] Ed Begley Jr. It was really fun because he had very high goals – everything must be sustainable and out of reach. Planting and watering is fine only if growing food; we have rainwater catchments, gray water, lots of solar panels and battery backup. It was like a postgraduate degree, by the way, and an extraordinary learning experience that I have tried to apply to other projects over the last few years.

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You also do historical restoration work.

I have lived in Hancock Park for the last 25 years, and it is very satisfying to take a house that is almost 100 years old and modernize a little floor plan, without losing character. I think we have done more than 20 restoration projects in the last few years for myself and others – my historical background in art paid off by doing that. This is a very pleasant part of our practice, and much better in terms of environmental impact.

How did you and Kazuko meet and finally work together as a designer?

We met about five years into my own practice. After five years of marriage, I dare to ask the question “what if we work together”, because a little afraid of everything. I think the proposal is riskier than the first. The office was growing, and I couldn’t really cover the interior, architecture and landscape myself, so it was the right time. Then he came in and headed the law firm.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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