Cactus Tower / Eric Owen Moss Architects

© Tom Bonner

The existing 30,000 sqf building was originally used for light manufacturing, constructed in the 1940′s, has walls of poured concrete, and a roof structure that is a sequence of wood bow string trusses. A large steel frame, enclosed with corrugated metal, 50 feet high, is located just outside the warehouse, where a industrial press was once housed. The now vacant tower was stripped revealing a ramshackle steel support structure, and a supporting concrete block wall. With the intention to reuse the existing structure, Eric Owen Moss Architects reinterpreted the space to create an outdoor meeting and gathering area.

More photographs and drawings of the Cactus Tower following the break.

Architects: Eric Owen Moss Architects
Location: Los Angeles, , USA
Photographs: Tom Bonner

Pleasantville / MANIFESTO

Courtesy of Architecture P.C.

The Dingbat, which has long been a residential icon of the area, is direly in need of an update. Transportation and congestion are some of the greatest obstacles that faces today and the traditional Dingbat fails to respond to these problems in many ways. Not only has the limited capacity (6-8 households per building) proven insufficient in accommodating the rapidly increasing population and thus exacerbating already problematic sprawl, but the back-out parking spaces traversing the sidewalks create unfriendly and hazardous walking conditions for pedestrians making the already difficult journey to public transit even more of a challenge.

High Tech High Chula Vista / Studio E Architects

© Jim Brady Architectural Photography

Designed by Studio E Architects, High Tech High School is a 45,000 sqf charter school for 450 students in ninth through twelfth grade, and a recent names as one of the COTE 2011 Top Ten Projects. The school is situated on an eight acre site in southeastern Chula Vista overlooking the Otay River Valley and Mexico to the south. The design of the school reflects the charter school’s emphasis on three fundamental values – transparency, community and sustainability. The school is a combination of modular and site built construction. Classes commenced in January 2009 hosting a diverse student body of 440 students who began pursuit of a unique ‘hands-on’ curriculum in an innovative building crafted to their needs.

Architect: Studio E Architects
Location: 1945 Discovery Falls Drive, Chula Vista, , USA
Landscape Architect: IVY Landscape
General Contractor: Bycor General Contractors
Project Area: 61,445 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Jim Brady Architectural Photography

The Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library at the University of California, Berkeley / Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

© Timothy Hursley

Designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, the environmentally sensitive Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library at University of California Berkeley helps alleviate the university’s growing pains since World War II. During the post World War II building boom on the University of California Berkeley campus, an “Arts Quadrangle” was established on a former playing field uphill from Hearst Gymnasium. Quickly, three sides were filled—a fine arts building to the south, an architecture building to the east, and two music buildings, one for classrooms and one a performance hall, to the north. To the west, the quad was left open to a view framed by Hearst Gymnasium and native vegetation to hints of the East Bay and sunsets beyond. Campus building did not stop, however, and the fourth side of the Arts Quadrangle was soon coveted as one of the last unbuilt sites on campus.

Architect: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
Location: , , USA
Project Team: Merrill Elam (Principal-in-Charge), Mack Scogin (Collaborating Principal), Lloyd Bray (Collaborating Principal), Brian Bell (Project Architect), Tim Harrison (Project Architect), John Trefry, Penn Ruderman, Kevin Gotsch, Juan Du, Ted Paxton, Barnum Tiller, Charlotte Henderson, David Yocum, Jennifer King, Margaret Fletcher, Helen Han
Associate Architect: Heery International, Inc.
MEP, Façade / Curtain Wall, and Lighting Engineer: Arup
Landscape Architect: PGAdesign inc.Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Civil Engineers: Brian Kangas Foulk
Slate Consultant: CF Slating
Shelving Consultant: Ross McDonald Company
Security / Telecommunications: TeeCom Design Group
Specifications: Marc Chavez
General Contractor: DPR Construction
Project Area: 28,775 sqf
Photographer: Timothy Hursley

Flex: Flexible Learning Environments / HMC Architects

Courtesy of

In 2010, Unified School District (LAUSD) held a design competition for a flexible solution to replace portable buildings across the district, and HMC Architects accepted the challenge. The district asked them to ignore their standards and put an emphasis on an ideas-based approach. They wanted creative, progressive responses to their problem, not dressed-up modular buildings. They challenged the traditional box shape of the classroom by looking at how the room is used and how it is currently under utilized. Although their design solution, which they named Flex, did not win the competition, their end product is a portable classroom solution that can be used at any school, with hope that their design can inspire other school districts to think differently when it comes to portable classrooms. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain / ecotechdesign

© Jack Parsons Photography

The Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain is a 2nd generation pre-fab design for a residence and workplace developed by ecotechdesign in collaboration with ecotechbuild. A container hybrid prototype this kit-like housing product is offered for the first time to homeowners who want more than what is currently available with pre-fab and manufactured housing, even custom construction.

Loosely based on the efficient Prius automobile engineering concept, the hybrid house concept combines diverse pre-engineered building and energy conservation features to maximize efficiency and cost savings, while offering architectural design flexibility and variation.

The hybrid house consists of cargo containers and pre-engineered steel building components that can be erected and combined together at the site, often in less than an hour.

Architects: ecotechdesign
Location: Joshua Tree, California,
Project Team: Walter Scott Perry and Eric Engheben
Photographs: Jack Parsons Photography

Folsom + Dore / David Baker + Partners

© Brian Rose

These 98 rental units of supportive affordable housing serve tenants with special needs, such as physical and developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and chronic homelessness. Folsom + Dore is the first new building in to receive a LEED Silver rating, and its sustainable features both reduce its environmental impact and curtail the energy costs borne by residents.

Architect: David Baker + Partners
Location: 75 Dore Street, San Francisco, California,
Associate Architect: Baker Vilar Architects
Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects
Electrical Engineer: Bhatia Associates
Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden
Structural Engineer: Treadwell + Rollo
Mechanical Engineer: Tommy Siu + Associates
Acoustical Engineer: Wilson Ihrig + Associates
Contractor: Cahill Contractors
Civil Engineer: Luk + Associates
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: Brian Rose, Courtesy of David Baker + Partners

Diamond Project / Terry & Terry Architecture

© Ethan Kaplan

Terry & Terry Architecture designed this modern house with a shared language of simple materials and clean detailing throughout that unifies the space. This aesthetic creates the warmth and calmness essential for a family in an urban setting without distracting from the simple beauty of well juxtaposed spaces.

Architect: Terry & Terry Architecture
Location: San Francisco, ,
Project Team: Alex Terry AIA, Ivan Terry
Engineer: Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
Landscape: Gentry Landscapes
General contractor: Timberline Construction
Project Area: 2,300 sqf
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Ethan Kaplan, Joe Fletcher, Alex Terry

Walden Studios / Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects

© Richard Barnes

This concrete barn in scenic Sonoma County is completely transformed by inserting a new building inside its heavy walls. The new structure uses frameless glass walls to create light-filled interior spaces, while large cuts in the existing walls frame views of the surrounding vineyards.

Architect: Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects
Location: 275 State Highway 128, , California,
Project Team: Mark Jensen (principal), Frank Merritt, Patricia Pollock (project architects), Elmer Lin, Dean Orr, Chia-Yu Yen, Nana Kim, Rouel de la Paz, Sherman Warren
Contractor: Oliver & Company
Structural Engineer: Tipping-Mar + Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Guttman & Blaevoet
Electrical Engineer: Silverman & Light
Civil Engineer: Atterbury & Associates
Geotechnical Engineer: Bauer Associates
Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Surveyor: Crabtree Land Surveying
Project Area: 20,000 sqf
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Richard Barnes, Marion Brenner, and Jack Journey

Choy Residence / Terry & Terry Architecture

© Ethan Kaplan

Terry & Terry Architecture transformed this 1960’s house  into an open plan modern dwelling. The design for this renovation involved subtracting specific existing walls and parts of the existing roof to let in natural light and improve circulation. This included hollowing out the space at the rear of the house to accommodate an exterior deck and capture views to the north. The transformation of the existing typical box house into the new “opened” wood tube form that shelters/adds protection from wind and weather to the rear deck at main floor and to the openings at the middle floor. Terry & Terry Architecture also carved out an entry way at the center of the house, which allows natural light to spill into the main floor core. In the center of the dwelling, we inserted a new stair/light shaft through all levels to provide circulation between floors and to illuminate the walls with daylight.

Architect: Terry & Terry Architecture
Location: San Francisco, California,
Project Team: Alex Terry AIA, Ivan Terry
Interior Designer: Chris Choy Design
Engineer: Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
Landscape: Gentry Landscapes
General Contractor: Quick Connect Construction
Project Area: 2,300 sqf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Ethan Kaplan, Alex Terry

Tassafaronga Village / David Baker + Partners

© Brian Rose

This new neighborhood, situated on seven-and-a-half acres in the southern end of , has a range of affordable housing, green pathways, pocket parks, and open spaces. The development has achieved one of the first LEED ND Certified Gold Plans.

Architect: David Baker + Partners
Location: Oakland, , USA
Landscape Architect: PGA Design
Structural Engineer: OLMM Consulting Engineers
Electrical Engineer: FW Associates
Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: Guttmann + Blaevoet and SJ Engineers
Contractor: Cahill Contractors
Civil Engineer: Sandis
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Brian Rose, Courtesy of David Baker + Partners

Eureka Valley Residence / Cary Bernstein Architect

© Sharon Risedorph

The renovation of this 1908 craftsman’s house and garage was completed in three phases over the course of 7-years. Interiors were opened up, basements were excavated to create additional living stories and modern details were introduced throughout the property, resulting in a final design that reveals multiple layers of time and occupancy.

Architect: Cary Bernstein Architect
Location: San Francisco, , USA
Project Team: Rita Chang, Jessica Goldbach, Sia Her, Brieanne Marshall, William Winters
Photographs: Sharon Risedorph, David Duncan Livingston, Roger Casas

California College of the Arts Graduate Center / Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects

© Mark Luthringer

For the Graduate Studies Campus at the California College of the Arts Jensen Architects / Jensen & Macy Architects designed a fencing façade for the expansion of the campus. This project is connected to the previously completed Graduate Studios project and creates a combined 50,000 sqf Graduate Studies campus.

Architect: Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects
Location: 184 Hooper Street, , California, USA
Project Team: Mark Jensen (Principal), Frank Merritt (Project Architect), Chris Kalos, Steven Huegli, Pantea Tehrani (project team)
Structural Engineer: Jeffrey Weber & Associates
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: Guttman & Blaevoet
Electrical Engineer: Silverman & Light
Civil Engineer: KCA Engineers
Geotechnical Engineer: Geotecnia
Environmental Consultant: URS Corporation
Acoustical Consultant: Charles M. Salter Associates
Contractor: Oliver & Company
Project Area: 29,640 sqf
Project Year: 2007
Photographers: Mark Luthringer

Spirits Pavilion / Min | Day

© Cesar Rubio

The cocktail is a distinctly American tradition. Once the centerpiece of a thriving “cocktail culture,” it has faded since the 1950s but is now being embraced by a new generation of makers and mixologists who value quality and craft. The Spirits Pavilion, by Min | Day, presents this rejuvenation as part of Slow Food Nation 2008, an event in Fort Mason, dedicated to creating a framework for deeper environmental connection to our food aiming to inspire and empower Americans to build a food system that is sustainable, healthy and delicious. More images and architects’ description after the break.

h2 Hotel / David Baker + Partners

© Brian Rose

Registered for LEED certification, h2 Hotel infuses all aspects of its design, operations, and attitude with eco-consciousness—including such energy-saving measures as a green roof and solar panels.

Architect: David Baker + Partners
Location: 219 Avenue, , California,
Interior Design: Jen Gadiel Design and Marie Fisher
Landscape Architect: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects
Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: Guttman + Blaevoet
Acoustical Engineer: Wilson Ihrig + Associates
Contractor: Midstate Construction
Photographs: Brian Rose

Margarido House / Onion Flats

© Mariko Reed

This single family home in the hills of Oakland, CA, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and all of , is designed to merge comfortably into it’s difficult and steeply sloped site. It is also meant to provide a tranquil yet inspiring setting for a young couple, their two children and their aging in-laws. The physical site offered the project its greatest challenge and direction. It’s 17% slope coupled with height restrictions and adjacencies to neighboring homes required that the building be “bunkered” into the landscape. This became the source of the project’s programmatic, spatial and architectural strategy, which is centered around the entry or “knuckle” of the building.

Architect: Onion Flats (Plumbob Llc)
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Owner / Developer: Mike McDonald (McDonald Construction & Development Inc.)
Interior Design & Construction Administration: Medium Plenty (Ian Read)
Structural Engineer: St. Onge & Associates
Green Roof & Rainwater Harvesting: G.R.A.S.S. (Green Roots And Solar Systems)
General Contractor: McDonald Construction & Development Inc.
Photographs: Mariko Reed

Helios Rehab Sanctuary / Team CLS


Designed by Team CLS, headed by award winning UK Architect Darren Chan, other members including Emily Lau (Architecture Graduate) and Jonas Sin (Netherlands Architect), their project, Helios Rehab Sanctuary, innovates in the application of sustainable technologies to create a new and exciting typology. More on this project after the break.

Slow Food Nation Welcome Pavilion / Jensen Architects

© Adrian Gregorutti

This Welcome Pavilion provides space for ticketing, information and membership services at the inaugural Slow Food Nation event. The reclaimed shipping container, topped with plants and a windmill, creates an iconic image while providing the introductory public interface for the festival.

Architect: Jensen Architects
Location: Civic Center and Fort Mason, , , USA
Project Team: Mark Jensen (Principal), Lincoln Lighthill (Project Architect)
Contractor: Therm
Project Area: 400 sqf
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Mark Darley, Adrian Gregorutti, and Henrik Kam