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Open Call: Santa Monica LAGI 2016: Powering Places in Southern California

14:31 - 4 March, 2016
Open Call: Santa Monica LAGI 2016: Powering Places in Southern California

The Land Art Generator Initiative is delighted to announce that LAGI 2016 will be held in Southern California, with the City of Santa Monica as site partner. This free and open call ideas competition invites individuals or interdisciplinary teams to design a large-scale site-specific work of public art that also serves as clean energy and/or drinking water infrastructure for the City of Santa Monica.

The complete Design Guidelines along with CAD files, photos, and more will be available on January 1, 2016 at http://landartgenerator.org/designcomp

The design site includes the breakwater adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier and offers the opportunity to

Los Angeles' Tallest Tower to Get Terrifying "Skyslide"

13:40 - 3 March, 2016
Los Angeles' Tallest Tower to Get Terrifying "Skyslide", via LA Curbed
via LA Curbed

The West Coast's tallest building, Los Angeles' US Bank Tower is going to be outfitted with a terrifying glass slide designed by engineering firm M.Ludvik & Co. Set to hang 1000-feet above the street, the project will be part of the building's Gensler-designed OUE Skyspace LA attraction - soon to be California's tallest open-air observation deck. 

MAIN EVENT 12: SCI-Arc at The Sound

18:00 - 28 February, 2016
MAIN EVENT 12: SCI-Arc at The Sound

 

Each year, MAIN EVENT brings together leading architects and designers, developers, contractors, architectural patrons and philanthropists, as well as SCI-Arc alumni, to raise scholarship funds for SCI-Arc students. SCI-Arc's signature MAIN EVENT program to be hosted this spring is the first under SCI-Arc's new director, Hernan Diaz Alonso. Sponsorship and tickets available online at sciarc.edu/mainevent

Gwyneth Paltrow Hires Gensler to Design New Hollywood Arts Club

16:00 - 23 February, 2016
Gwyneth Paltrow Hires Gensler to Design New Hollywood Arts Club, © City of West Hollywood via Daily Mail
© City of West Hollywood via Daily Mail

American actress Gwyneth Paltrow has commissioned Gensler to design a new branch of London's exclusive Arts Club in West Hollywood. The eight-story members-only club will feature a number of luxury amenities, including a spa, gym, art gallery and rooftop pool. Paltrow is collaborating with business partner Gary Landesberg to complete the 132,000-square-foot facility, which will also include a restaurant and dining terrace, screening rooms, 15 guest rooms, and helicopter pad.

SAH Los Angeles Seminar: Surveying LA -- Past, Present, Future

11:30 - 8 February, 2016
SAH Los Angeles Seminar: Surveying LA -- Past, Present, Future

The SAH Los Angeles Seminar bridges the Society's efforts in historic conservation to the contemporary built environment and the local public and professional community. The LA Seminar will critically look at SurveyLA, a five-million dollar, city-wide study of historic resources sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the City of Los Angeles. As described online, “SurveyLA – the Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey – is Los Angeles' first-ever comprehensive program to identify significant historic resources throughout our city. The survey marks a coming-of-age for Los Angeles' historic preservation movement, and will serve as a centerpiece for the City's first truly comprehensive preservation program."

MIT Students Win Competition to Design Hyperloop Pods

14:00 - 1 February, 2016
MIT Students Win Competition to Design Hyperloop Pods, Hyperloop pod concept provided by SpaceX. Image © AP
Hyperloop pod concept provided by SpaceX. Image © AP

A group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineering students has won the first round of a competition to design transport "pods" for Elon Musk's ultra-fast Hyperloop. Selected from more than 100 other university teams, the top teams will now have the opportunity to build their pods for a trial run on the Hyperloop Test Track (now under construction) by April 2016. If successful, the pods will be able to transport up to 30 people at speeds of 700 miles-per-hour through the Hyperloop's 12-foot diameter tube. 

EHDD's Monterey Bay Aquarium Wins AIA 25 Year Award

16:00 - 15 January, 2016
EHDD's Monterey Bay Aquarium Wins AIA 25 Year Award, Monterey Bay Aquarium / EHDD. Image Courtesy of Bruce Damonte
Monterey Bay Aquarium / EHDD. Image Courtesy of Bruce Damonte

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, has been selected for the 2016 American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Twenty-five Year Award. Designed by EHDD of San Francisco, and completed in 1984, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a "light-filled ensemble of diverse spaces, unique among aquariums in its interweaving of indoors and out," says the AIA. The award is presented yearly to a project that has "stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years." 

Elon Musk's Ultra-Fast Hyperloop Begins to Take Shape

14:00 - 14 January, 2016
Elon Musk's Ultra-Fast Hyperloop Begins to Take Shape, © CNN Money
© CNN Money

Hyperloop Technologies is starting to realize its high-speed transit system. As Tech.Mic reports, pipes for the project's first test tube are showing up in Nevada. Hyperloop was first outlined by Elon Musk in 2013 as a response to California's pricey bullet train plan that aim to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. The ultra-fast, energy efficient Hyperloop proposes to send pods of people through a depressurized tube at speeds up to 700 miles-per-hour. It is believed that the new system could be running as soon as 2020. 

Alajajian Marcoosi Architects Propose Armenian American Museum for California

12:00 - 2 January, 2016
Alajajian Marcoosi Architects Propose Armenian American Museum for California, Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Alajajian Marcoosi Architects
Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Alajajian Marcoosi Architects

Alajajian Marcoosi Architects has unveiled designs for an Armenian American museum, with the aim of educating the public on the Armenian American story. The project will be located on the corner of Verdugo Road and Mountain Street in Glendale, California, with negotiations currently underway for ground lease agreements.

4 Shortlisted to Revitalize Los Angeles’ Oldest Park

16:00 - 21 December, 2015
4 Shortlisted to Revitalize Los Angeles’ Oldest Park, AD Classics: Pershing Square / Ricardo Legorreta + Laurie Olin. Image © Legorreta + Legorreta, photograph by Lourdes Legorreta
AD Classics: Pershing Square / Ricardo Legorreta + Laurie Olin. Image © Legorreta + Legorreta, photograph by Lourdes Legorreta

Four teams have been chosen to move on to the second stage of the Pershing Square Renew competition. Aiming to transform downtown Los Angeles' oldest park, the finalists will now refine their schematic proposals in preparation of a second review in March 2016. The winning scheme will potentially be the five-acre park's sixth iteration, replacing Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and landscape architect Laurie Olin current design that first opened in 1994. 

The four teams and their preliminary ideas, include: 

Video: RNT Architects’ La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Station

12:00 - 6 December, 2015

Following the demolition of the original lifeguard station at the La Jolla Shores beach in San Diego, RNT Architects was commissioned to design its replacement. The project began with several models proposing different directions for the project – its final iteration began with a single, miniature staircase leading to a small shelter on top.

Esquire Interviews Bjarke Ingels on the Google Headquarters, 2 World Trade Center and the NFL

12:00 - 29 November, 2015
Esquire Interviews Bjarke Ingels on the Google Headquarters, 2 World Trade Center and the NFL, © Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio
© Google / BIG / Heatherwick Studio

This past February, BIG and Heatherwick Studio unveiled their designs for Google’s new Mountain View Headquarters in California. The project, which will be built by robots, faced sizeable critique, as well as site complications—that have since been resolved—over the past year. Now, as a part of Esquire’s 2015 Breakouts, Bjarke Ingels—founder of BIG—is speaking out about how the firm won the Google bid, and why the headquarters could create a new mold for Silicon Valley urbanism. Ingels goes on to discuss other major BIG projects, like 2 World Trade Center, and an upcoming NFL stadium. Read the full Esquire interview, here.

Film Screening: The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat

07:57 - 24 November, 2015
Film Screening: The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat, Image: The Oyler House cover art.
Image: The Oyler House cover art.

Join us for another portrayal of one of America’s greatest architects: Richard Neutra. The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat explores how Neutra, considered the “father of California Modern architecture,” came to befriend this modest small-town family and how he was inspired by the site’s stunning desert setting, which Neutra compared with the grandness of the mystical Gobi Desert.

10 Compete to Revitalize Los Angeles’ Oldest Park

14:00 - 28 October, 2015
10 Compete to Revitalize Los Angeles’ Oldest Park, Los Angeles' Pershing Square in 2012. Image © John O'Neill via Wikipedia's GFDL License
Los Angeles' Pershing Square in 2012. Image © John O'Neill via Wikipedia's GFDL License

Ten practices from around the world have been shortlisted in a competition that aims to transform Los Angeles' Pershing Square one of Southern California's top destinations. Located on a five-acre plot in the city's downtown, Pershing Square is Los Angeles' oldest park. Each semi-finalist has been challenged to develop proposals based off of experiences. A small selection of finalists will be selected in December to move on to the competition's final phase.  

The 10 semifinalists are:

Snøhetta's SFMOMA Expansion Nears Completion

12:00 - 26 October, 2015
Snøhetta's SFMOMA Expansion Nears Completion , © Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA.
© Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA.

Snøhetta's 10-story expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is nearing completion. As announced by SFMOMA, the "transformed" museum will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Its new 235,000-square-foot addition (that nearly tripled SFMOMA's gallery space) was designed by Snøhetta to "weave" into the city and connect "seamlessly" to the museum's existing 225,000-square-foot building designed by Mario Botta

Bart Prince Renovates Home Based on the Owners’ Love of Math, Art and Geometry

12:00 - 18 October, 2015

Tucked away on a 1.3 acre lot, this house in Los Altos, California was renovated by Bart Prince -- transformed from a rectangular cabin into an eclectic combination of forms, inspired by the owners, Dale and Margo Seymour’s, love of math, art and geometry. The newly built structure is composed of steel and glulam, creating angular forms with generous glazing to create open, day-lit spaces. To navigate the California law that glass cannot be installed in non-vertical positions, an acrylic substitute was used for many of the home’s irregular windows.  

HOK Designs Apple's Newest Silicon Valley Campus

11:35 - 9 October, 2015
HOK Designs Apple's Newest Silicon Valley Campus, © HOK
© HOK

Plans for Apple's newest California "spaceship" has been unveiled. Named after its bordering streets, Central & Wolfe hopes to transform a 1970s office park in Sunnyvale into a "futuristic office campus." The 19 acre site, located just five miles from Apple's main Cupertino campus (currently underway), was designed by HOK and is currently under review.

If built, it will replace nine aging buildings with a clover-like design comprised of three interconnected structures - each rising six stories.

"Grassroots Cactivism": Using Cacti and Eco-Tourism to Combat Drought in California

09:30 - 27 September, 2015
"Grassroots Cactivism": Using Cacti and Eco-Tourism to Combat Drought in California, Cacti Yard. Image Courtesy of Ali Chen
Cacti Yard. Image Courtesy of Ali Chen

Although global warming may only be partially to blame for California’s now four-year, record-breaking drought – intensifying it by 15 to 20 percent, say scientists – the long term implications of the weather phenomenon are a preview of a drier future with less predictable weather patterns.[1] As ecology and architecture begin to share responsibility in the implications of climate change, future solutions will need to balance architectural needs with ecological imperatives. Many designers are accounting for water scarcity in schemes for the drought-stricken state, but only recently have ideas addressed this issue head-on. “Grassroots Cactivism,” an award-winning proposal by Ali Chen, suggests that the drought-tolerant nopales cactus, with a variety of uses, is an ideal candidate for aiding water-conservation in California.

Read on for more about this biological breakthrough in water conservation.

Resort Cafe. Image Courtesy of Ali Chen Cacti Yard Aerial, Day. Image Courtesy of Ali Chen Cacti Pond, Water Treatment Tanks. Image Courtesy of Ali Chen Resort + Cacti Yard Aerial, Sunset. Image Courtesy of Ali Chen +7