Just eight months after being awarded the design-build contract with Clark Construction Group, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) has broke ground on the new, $318 million United States Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. This is a long-awaited achievement for the city of Los Angeles, as attempts have been made to construct a new courthouse since 2007. However, despite having to abandoned a $1.1 billion Perkins + Will proposal years ago, many believe this sustainable and more cost-effective design by SOM was worth the wait.
Imagine driving your car into a sizable aluminum pod and being shot 800 miles per hour through an elevated, shotgun-like barrel to arrive at a city 400 miles away within 30 minutes. According to Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors, Californians will be doing this within the next decade.
Nearly a year after mentioning the possibility of a hyper-speed transit system and voicing discontent over the state’s “expensive, slow and impractical” high-speed rail proposal, Musk has unveiled a detailed synopsis of his solar- and wind-powered “Hyperloop.” The idea, originally inspired by the vacuum tubes used to transport checks at bank drive-throughs, has the potential to revolutionize mass transit.
San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design has broke ground on the Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University. Inspired by Nathan Oliveira’s meditative Windhover paintings, the single-story, 4,000 square foot spiritual retreat is intended to provide students, faculty and staff members a quiet place of refuge from the intensity of daily life.
After years of extensive research that unearthed countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful unbuilt designs, curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin will be celebrating the opening of their highly anticipated exhibition – Never Built: Los Angeles - today at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles.
Santa Monica’s City Staff has recommended OMA’s competition proposal for a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Santa Monica. The building and surrounding plaza incorporates a civic plaza, cultural venue, retail, residences, offices and a boutique hotel. The City Staff selection panel praised OMA’s project for its iconic architecture and flexibility, saying it would “easily accommodate potential design modifications and adjust to market demand changes in the future.” Santa Monica’s City Council will review the recommendation on August 27th before the project formally proceeds in 2014.
The proposal’s plazas and terraces will add over 55,000 square feet of programmable open space. A cultural venue will sit inside of the building, anchored by office spaces for Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles’ growing tech industry. The project will be led by OMA’s New York office, headed by Shohei Shigematsu. He explained, “Our design provides residents, tourists, and entrepreneurs a dynamic new public realm – a stepped building that achieves a strong interaction between interior program and exterior environments.”
More images and information after the break…
Taking place September 1-30, the nation’s largest architectural festival of its kind will be presented by AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design, celebrating its tenth anniversary. The Architecture and the City festival, which takes place in San Francisco every September, will feature behind the scenes walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. From theoretical urban interventions and works in progress to civic landmarks and hidden histories, architects and designers will discuss the ways their work alters and redefines the city we call home with over 40 festival programs. For more information, please visit here.
This past May, Apple filed plans to close its existing flagship retail store at 1 Stockton Street in San Francisco and move it three blocks north to one of the city’s most popular spots: Union Square. This plan was met with enthusiasm from city officials until they realized that Apple, and the store’s architects at Foster + Partners, were disregarding a beloved bronze folk art fountain by San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa that currently occupies the site. Many have also criticized the store’s design for being a characterless box of metal and glass that contributes nothing unique to the local landscape, raising awareness of a commercial architecture defined more by trademark and less by its surroundings.
More on Apple’s proposal in San Francisco and the problems of trademarked design after the break.
Presented by The Architect’s Newspaper and enclos, Mode Lab recently announced their upcoming Facades+ Performance Symposium in San Francisco taking place July11-12. The event consists of hands-on instruction by industry experts in a small, one-on-one, classroom setting. These workshops will provide professionals and academics with the skills and knowledge to work with cutting edge technologies in a fast-paced and intensive environment. The workshop will explore the use of Grasshopper, Firefly and Arduino as creative and technical tools in the design, simulation and prototyping of intelligent building skins. For more information, please visit here.
In addition to honoring renowned architect Ray Kappe with a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Los Angeles Business Council has awarded thirty-one county projects for their design excellence, sustainability and community impact at the 43rd annual LA Architectural Awards.
The 2013 Los Angeles Architectural Award Winners:
In a crowed auditorium in central Los Angeles on Sunday, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor sat down with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) director Michael Govan to kickstart the opening of The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA. The hour-long discussion, captured in the video above, began with an insightful overview of Zumthor’s most famous works before moving to an in-depth conversation about the underlying ideas that drive Zumthor’s design for the highly anticipated LACMA overhaul.
The project – already six years in the making and yet still in its schematic phase – plans to replace LACMA’s aging cluster of three pavilions with an elevated, 21st century facility. A detailed project summary, alongside images captured from Zumthor’s 6 ton, concrete exhibition model, is available for you to review here on ArchDaily. Enjoy!
This past spring, Mayor Ed Lee announced an exploration of the potential of removing Highway 280 north of 16th Street in San Francisco. Presented by the Center for Architecture and Design + the Seed Fund, and co-sponsored by AIA San Francisco, the 280 Freeway Competition asks entrants to create hypothetical project designs for space in and around Highway 280. Open to architects, designers, planners, students, artists, landscape architects, and academics, participants are welcome to submit concepts that explore any aspect of the transformative opportunities introduced by the freeway removal. Entry is free, and up to $10,000 in prizes will be awarded. The registration and submission deadline is July 31. For more information, please visit here.
Coming at a crucial time in which Los Angeles is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director Michael Govan and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor have unveiled preliminary plans for what they hope will be the new home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). If approved, this $650 million proposal – nearly six years in the making – would replace the dated William Pereira-designed campus and its 1986 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed addition with an organically-shaped, energy efficient, dark-grey concrete and glass Zumthor original.
More information after the break, including Peter Zumthor’s project description…
Hosted by the American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC), the Monterey Design Conference 2013 will offer participants three days of talks by–and relaxed conversations with– internationally and nationally significant architects. Taking place September 27-29 in the Elysian setting of the Northern California coast, participants will find themselves strolling on the beach, wandering the Julia Morgan designed grounds or sitting on the deck of the main lodge engaging in conversation with a Pritzker Prize winner or many of the most innovative and catalytic thinkers in architecture, as if they were invited into their own backyard. This is truly a premier opportunity to be a participant in the dialog about design. For more information, please visit here.
Opening October 11 until December 1, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will present ‘Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype’, an exhibition and public art installation which highlights the well-known American architect’s work, including several original, rarely seen Woods drawings from private collections. Complemented by a symposium and catalog, this exhibition in the SCI-Arc Gallery and related large-scale public art installation in the Arts District’s Bloom Square, aims to demonstrate the fearless nature with which the late visionary architect and draftsman created. More information on the exhibition after the break.
Taking place June 16 – September 16 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, ‘A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California‘ will be the first extensive, scholarly examination of the radical forms that have become prolific in Southern California architecture during the past twenty-five years. It will examine the role of Los Angeles–based architect Frank Gehry, arguably the most significant and innovative architect of the later part of the twentieth century, and the generation of Los Angeles architects that followed him, including Greg Lynn, Michael Maltzan, Thom Mayne, and Eric Owen Moss, to name a few. For more information, please visit here.
At just a little over 50 years old, the University of California San Diego is one of the younger college campuses in the United States, but despite this it is one of the most architecturally fascinating universities around. In the official UCSD campus guide, Dirk Sutro emphasizes that “UCSD does not have a single example of the historical-revival styles prevalent at other University of California campuses… and at San Diego’s two other major universities”. The history of UCSD architecture is one of ambition, which has made the campus a display case of modernism in all of its forms from the last half a century.
Thanks to photographer Darren Bradley, we can now share this history and a selection of the exciting structures it has produced.
Find out more about the UCSD campus after the break