Found in places as diverse as the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Willis Tower, and Tokyo Skytree, glass bottom observation decks have become the favorite engineering marvel of thrill seekers looking for a new perspective on the world. Now, the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles has upped the ante for adrenaline-spiking structures – affixing a glass side to the building’s facade. Spanning from a window on the 70th story to a terrace on the 69th, the 45-foot-long chute opened to the public on Saturday, providing those brave enough to ride it with unprecedented views of the city.
The biggest surprise in this Archilogic model is the spectrum of color. Anyone who has visited the Case Study House 26 in San Rafael, California during the last 40 years would be familiar with the building’s classic all-white steel frame look, but the architect, Beverley David Thorne, had originally picked a very different color scheme: “Dull Gold” for the steel, saffron and other more vivid colors for the interiors. “The choice of exterior colors,” wrote Thorne in Arts & Architecture magazine, “was dictated by the climate and the character of the surrounding landscape.” This Archilogic model recreates the original 1963 conditions, down to the bedroom wall and tile colors.
Coachella, the annual music festival that takes place in California's Colorado Desert, is a spectacle on numerous levels, but it is the associated visual artists, architects, sculptors, and designers that are an often overlooked element of event's success. Below are the best architectural installations of Coachella 2016.
Jennifer Siegal, founder of Los Angeles-based Office of Mobile Design (OMD), has been announced as the winner of the fourth arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, an international award to women’s architecture organized by Italcementi. Siegal was unanimously chosen by the jury for being “a fearless pioneer in the research and development of prefabricated construction systems, at low prices for disadvantaged users and areas, who has been able to invent and build practical solutions and a new language for mobile and low-cost housing."
"Innovation and unconventional thinking are both hardwired into my DNA. This shows in my body of work and research that questions everything, particularly the static, heavy, inflexible architecture that we somehow still expect in a world that is anything but," said Siegal in a press release.
Secluded behind a screen of tall bamboo shoots in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, the Kings Road House may be considered the first home ever built in the Modernist style. Designed by Rudolf Schindler in 1921, the architect’s use of tilt-slab concrete construction (highly innovative at the time) and an informal studio layout, set it apart from its contemporaries; indeed, the design would set the tone for other Modernist residential design for decades.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco has announced major renovation and expansion plans by wHY Architecture. The practice is expected to design a new 12,000-square-foot exhibition pavilion, reconfigure the Museum’s existing galleries, and modernize its education and public programming spaces. Work will begin in 2017.
"The new pavilion will underscore San Francisco’s cultural diversity, create one of the nation’s premier exhibition spaces dedicated to Asian art, and increase the number of special exhibitions on view for visitors," says the Museum.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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 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.
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:
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.
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.