As most New Yorkers know, people are willing to shell out a hefty sum to live in a place where work and play are right around the corner from each other. But as the article by Ken Layne in The Awl points out, the west coast is a somewhat different place. UNLIKE New York City, which is crowded with restaurants, bars, and entertainment, as well as offices, design firms and businesses; Silicon Valley, which caters to programmers and tech companies that hire at $100k a year, offers few of the amenities that a nearby town like San Francisco does. So, Layne concludes, residents are willing to spend hours of their day making their way into the fortressed office parks of Silicon Valley, flanked by parking lots and boulevards, just to have a cultural reprieve to call home.
Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design and Gruen Associates have shared with us their second place proposal for the highly anticipated design-build competition for the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles, California. Envisioned as an icon within the city skyline, the triangular monolith provides a sustainable, 21st century courthouse that embodies the democratic qualities of dignity, stature, transparency, openness and accessibility.
Located at a pivotal node connecting the Los Angeles Civic Center, the Broadway Historic District and Bunker Hill, the 550,000 square foot courthouse is surrounded by a lush civic space that plays an important role in the existing cityscape.
Read the architect’s description after the break…
The GSA has announced that Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill have been selected as the architects of the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, which will house the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The architects beat out 3 other shortlisted teams to win the $318 million project.
According to the GSA, "The new 550,000-square-foot building will be a sustainable, cost-effective, state-of-the-art court facility that includes security upgrades that are not available in the current 312 North Spring Street courthouse."
The site, located at 107 South Broadway (down the street from Morphosis’ Caltrans building, LA’s City Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall) has been dormant since 2007; although a $1.1 billion design by Perkins + Will was selected soon after, it was abandoned when Congress slashed the GSA's construction budget. The GSA considers the approval of the new redevelopment plan a "major milestone."
More info and images, after the break...
With produce coming from the Imperial Valley, Central California Valley, neighboring states and other countries the 30,000 plus residents of San Diego’s central urban context consume 21,231,000 pounds of produce each year. Where will we get our food? Transparency in the food industry needs to occur and enlighten blinded consumers. Our city needs to handle this critical issue with an architecture that responds. A new type of residential tower needs to come forth. Utilizing vertical farming, Brandon Martella’s “Live Share Grow’ proposal is a new model of living can be tested and resolved in a dense vertical community. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The University of California Davis (UCD) has selected three pairings of architects and contractors to compete to design a $30-million art museum, expected to be completed in 2016. The university has decided against a traditional competition in favor of a design-build competition, requesting that each of the prospective architects - WorkAC, SO-IL (working with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, of Apple store fame), and Henning Larsen Architects - work with specific contractors in order to develop holistically conceived museum schemes. More information after the break.
The Golden State Warriors recently announced that Snøhetta and AECOM have been selected as the architecture team to design the Warriors’ new sports and entertainment complex on the San Francisco waterfront. Currently in the final stages of the agreement, the new stadium will be a true centerpiece in hosting the Bay Area’s NBA basketball team, as well as provide a great venue concerts, cultural events and conventions, which are all prominent events the city currently cannot accommodate. More images of the architects’ design can be viewed after the break.
San Francisco has recently approved legislation that will change the city building code to allow for “micro-unit apartments” that includes only 220 square feet of living space. These spaces aim at providing affordable options for singles to live in densely populated urban areas without having to live in the outskirts of the city. Although more of a craze in NY, San Francisco has actually surpassed New York as the most expensive rental market in the country. More information after the break.
Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are moving forward with their plan to transform 4.47 acres of vacant parking lots surrounding Hollywood’s iconic, mid-century Capitol Records Building into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development. Located on the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Millennium Hollywood Project will feature two residential buildings reaching heights up to 585 feet, designed by Handel Architects, that are grounded by a High Line-inspired public space by James Corner Field Operations.
With the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) currently on public review, the New York-based developers are hoping to get city approvals underway in early 2013.
Continue reading to learn more…
In April, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council Member Huizar announced an international design competition to redesign the historic, 80-year-old Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles. The decision to launch the competition came after engineers warned that the bridge was at risk of failing during a major earthquake due to a degenerative structural problem known as “concrete cancer”. After careful consideration and entertaining the idea of constructing a replica of the 1932 icon, the city committed to moving forward with a major redesign. In mid-October, the national infrastructure firm HNTB, along with team members Michael Maltzan Architecture and AC Martin Partners, were announced as winners of the international competition.
Continue reading to learn more…
'Silver Streak' Architecture At Zero 2012 Competition Winning Proposal / Loisos + Ubbelohde Associates
Loisos + Ubbelohde just received the highest award at the 2012 Architecture at Zero competition for their proposal, ‘Silver Streak’. The contest, sponsored by PG&E and AIA San Francisco, was conceived as a response to the lofty zero net energy targets set out by the California Public Utility Commission. As the recipient of one of two honor awards, their design for the University of California, Merced campus features an administration building that acts as both a threshold to campus and an energy field in the large plane of the agricultural valley. More images and architects’ description after the break.
UCSF Mission Bay Block 25A Academic Building Competition Winner / WRNS Studio + Rudolph and Sletten, Inc.
WRNS Studio and Rudolph and Sletten, Inc., recently won a design/build competition for a new faculty office building at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus, which takes cues from the workplaces of high-tech companies. When completed, the 7-story academic office building will house UCSF physicians, faculty, and students in an interdisciplinary, flexible, light-filled environment. Drawing on the principles of the activity-based workplace, the design gives each occupant a “home base” workstation, but also a variety of other spaces for specific work and social activities, ranging from huddle rooms and breakout areas to conference rooms. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Breadtruck Films shared with us their seven minute documentary on architect Jonathan Segal‘s ‘the charmer’. The project consists of a 19 unit residential complex in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood and recently won a 2012 project of the year award. By building on the tradition of the California courtyard apartments, he shows how architecture can create community and add a little charm to the neighborhood. The outdoor spaces at complex carry just as much importance with Segal as the buildings themselves. He believes that beauty and livability are crucial, and often overlooked, components of environmental design.
Taking place at the California College of the Arts in San Fransisco October 13th from 10am-4pm, The Missing 32%,’ features leading professionals from around the country to discuss the role of women in architecture in the 21st century. In the United States, women represent about 50% of students enrolled in architecture programs, but only 18% of licensed architects are women. Throughout the day, attendees will hear from a broad range of speakers who represent different career paths in the profession ranging from those working for large firms to those choosing to start their own practice. The day will begin with a brief overview of statistics that detail the current leadership structure of architecture firms. The event is presented by AIA San Fransisco. For more information, please visit here.
Born in Finland, Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961) is recognized today as one of America’s most influential architects of the 20th Century. The exhibition Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation, opening tomorrow at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, will highlight his short but brilliant career bookended with two iconic buildings: the unbuilt Smithsonian Gallery of Art which was to be Washington, DC’s first museum of modern art and Dulles International Airport which was designed as the nation’s first jet airport.
Opening October 12th, the ‘Pleated Shell Structures’ Exhibition consists of a short term, site specific research prototype designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and her firm. Presented by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in their gallery, the exhibit positions itself within the argument of parametric design research to focus its efforts on design methods that encompass an operative pathway from design intent to manifestation. The exhibition will be on display until December 2. More information after the break.
SCI-Arc Trustee Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have donated $100,000 to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). The noteworthy contribution will go towards the establishment of the Gehry Prize, which will be annually awarded to the best thesis projects selected by critics and jurors at the Graduate Thesis Weekend hosted in September. The first Gehry Prize will be awarded at the 2012 graduation ceremony on September 9th.
As we shared earlier, the world’s 28-year old creative technological master will team with 83-year-old starachitect for Facebook’s newest addition to their Menlo Park campus. The two, although worlds apart in terms of forte, find common ground in the never ending creative process, and the desire to continually push boundaries of the expected and the ordinary. As we noted in our previous piece, the building will offer a equalized sense of status – no private cubicles or showy corner offices – and encourage a collaborative work environment, admix a warm splash of colors, textures and natural lighting.
Gone from the building will be Gehry’s flashy ways of manipulating sheets of metal, and the resulting superfluous sense of affluence often emitted from these grand structures. Rather, Gehry’s work for Facebook will offer an ”equalizier”, a massive one story warehouse measuring 420,000 sqf, to house the company’s future 2,800 engineers with the underlying intention of fostering a comfortable environment to allow Facebook to keep getting better.
More about the newest headquarters after the break.