Juan Pablo Corvalan Hochberger, Supersudaca Lecture

Courtesy of Woodbury University School of Architecture

Taking place tomorrow, April 11th, at 6:00pm, Woodbury University’s School of Architecture will be hosting the Juan Pablo Corvalan Hochberger, Supersudaca lectureSupersudaca‘s main driving motto has been to connect the usually disconnected Latinamerica architectural arena with projects directly related to the public perception such as recreation spaces, public spaces, installations etc in various locations such as Caracas, Lima, Tokyo, Talca, Buenos Aires. They continuously use the workshop format with students from various universities worldwide to launch campaigns for such projects. For more information, please visit here.

Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion

© , ARUP, Kier + Wright,

The estimated cost of Apple’s Cupertino City headquarters has escalated from an already hefty price of $3 billion to $5 billion (more than $1,500 per square foot), reportedly pushing back the original completion date to 2016. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with lead architect Foster & Partners to shave $1 billion from the “ballooning budget”. Most of the cost is seemly due to Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish”, as the tech legend called for the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith to be clad 40-foot panes of German concave glass, along with its four-story office spaces be lined with museum-quality terrazzo floors and capped with polished concrete ceilings.

Although lambasted for his ambitious plans and “doughnut-shaped” design, Steve Jobs wanted to create a masterpiece that looked as good as it functioned, just like his products. During a 2011 presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs stated, “This is not the cheapest way to build something… there is not a straight piece of glass in this building.” He continued, “We have a shot… at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.”

More after the break…

Frank Gehry’s Facebook HQ Wins Approval

© Gehry Partners LLP via Menlo Park City Council

A new smartphone isn’t the only news making headlines, as the social media giant has received the green light from the Menlo Park City Council to move forward with their headquarter’s expansion on the outskirts of San Francisco Bay, . The approved plans are a slightly toned down version of architect Frank Gehry’s original proposal, as the flamboyant butterfly-like wings which flared from each end of the 433,555-square-foot building have been removed.

“They felt some of those things were too flashy and not in keeping with the kind of the culture of Facebook, so they asked us to make it more anonymous,” stated Craig Webb, Gehry’s creative partner. “Frank (Gehry) was quite willing to tone down some of the expression of architecture in the building.”

After a 4-0 vote secured approval, Mayor Peter Ohtaki asked: “Where’s the ‘Like’ button?”

More after the break…

CAPACITY: Gensler Los Angeles Academic Studio

CAPACITY, the Gensler Los Angeles led academic studio at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was created with the intent to survey, understand and visualize the dynamic set of infrastructure constraints impacting and contributing to Downtown Los Angeles’ capacity to evolve. The video above highlights the documentation and synthesizing done by the SLO_GenLA ’13 Professional studio which shows the capacity of Los Angeles’ infrastructure and demonstrates how the limits of each system may physically impact the built form of the city. Once these variables, which include building information and zoning, energy, waste management, and water were universally known and their units of measure understood, scenarios for the were generated.

Santa Monica Animation Studio / Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio
Location: Santa Monica, , United States of America
Principal: Gwynne Pugh, Linda Jassim
Waisler Design Principal: Andy Waisler
Landscape Design: Studio J
Area: 17000.0 sq ft
Photographs: Courtesy of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio

AIACC 2013 Monterey Design Conference

Courtesy of AIACC

Founded in 1979, the Monterey Design conference, which is presented by AIACC (California Council), has become the “Renaissance Weekend” for architects. Held in Pacific Grove at the historic Asilomar Conference Grounds founded in 1913, it has been praised as the most prestigious and best attended architectural design conference in the . This year, the conference will take place September 27-29 and all are invited to watch, think, interact, learn and recharge your creative energies with more than 700 of ’s best-known architects. For more information, please visit here.

UCLA’s cityLAB at the School of Architecture and Urban Design

Backyard Homes Conceptual Rendering, image courtesy Daly Genik Architects

What makes an architecture school worth consideration are its special programs and initiatives. These programs, often run by a few faculty members, vary from addressing human rights and legal issues to working with local communities to remedy social and economic issues.

’s Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) school has just such a program. Called cityLAB (not to be confused with the student-run, science-based UCLA CityLab), it is in many ways unique to a university setting. Run by founder/director Professor Dana Cuff and co-directed by Professor Roger Sherman. It’s name is well-suited: a laboratory to test ideas and address issues arising from city conditions in ways that cannot be done by profit-driven firms. These issues include housing, commercial revitalization, and community and municipal collaboration. These projects have operated successfully on grants that support not just the work being done by the professors, but by staff and Graduate Student Researchers who are paid to work in all aspects of the projects.

Modern Family Home / Dennis Gibbens Architects

© Ryan Childers

Architects: Dennis Gibbens Architects
Location: , CA, USA
Architect In Charge:
Senior Project Architect: Oren Dothan
Project Architect: Ryan Turner
Year: 2012
Photographs: Ryan Childers

Predictions from the Past: New York 2012 and LA 2013

New York in 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner’s Predictions; and LA’s predictions from 1988 for 2013

Throughout history, people have spent a great deal of time pondering what the future holds.  Scientific discovery and technological innovation – along with rebellious androids, zombies, flying cars, hover crafts, visiting aliens – have been consistently used as stereotypes that emerge in predictions for our imagined future.  And while Hollywood was busy exploring dystopian scenarios of this near-future, architects were composing utopian images of an optimistic vision for .

Architects have built careers upon predicting what cities can potentially become – developing forms, functions, plans and visions of possibilities in the social, political, economic and cultural realms through architecture. In 1962, Mayor Robert Wagner of NYC predicted a culturally diverse, economically viable, global city for New York in 2012.  In 1988, Los Angeles Times Magazine gave its 25-year forecast for in 2013, predicting what a life for a family would be like, filled with robots, electric cars, smart houses and an abundance of video-conferencing. Find out how their predictions fared after the break.

A Conversation on Firm Culture with Carole Wedge and Jessica Lane

Duke University Law School / Courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch

As part of AIA San Francisco‘s continuous effort to highlight women in architecture and better understand the imbalance of gender in the profession, they are hosting two great women for a conversation on firm culture, leadership and mentorship which will take place March 19th from 6:00pm-8:00pm PST. Carole Wedge, FAIA - Shepley Bulfinch‘s first female President in its 130 year history- will talk with emerging designer Jessica Lane of EHDD to discuss Carole’s start at Shepley Bulfinch, in 1986, working in the mailroom as a co-op architecture student at the Boston Architectural Center, as well as her appointment, in 2004, as president. For more information, please visit here.

Santa Monica Shortlists Three Teams for Mixed-Use Development

Project Site via BING and Architects’ Newspaper

Gehry’s chiseled, 244 foot tower is not the only mixed-use proposal currently being considered by the city of , as officials have selected three international teams led by prominent architects to submit proposals for a “significant” and “signature” development on a 2.5 acre site downtown. Located on Arizona Avenue between 4th and 5th streets, the parcel is currently occupied by a parking lot and two banks. Although the city did not specify a size constraint, the proposed designs will be expected to fit within the surrounding context and include an appropriate mix of of retail, office, hotel and residential space.

The following teams have been asked to submit proposals in May:

Big & Small House / Anonymous Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Anonymous Architects
Location: , CA, USA
Area: 1,200 sq ft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Anonymous Architects

Gehry Designs Mixed-Use Tower for Downtown Santa Monica

©

Developers M. David Paul Associates and the Worthe Real Estate Group have commissioned Frank Gehry to design a mixed-use hotel and residential tower in his hometown of Santa Monica, . The 22-story “Ocean Avenue Project” aims to stimulate the coastal city’s economy with street-level restaurant and retail space below a 125-room hotel and 22-unit condominium tower topped with a rooftop observation deck. As for accommodating the car-centric lifestyle of the West Coast, resident and visitor parking will be available in a three-story subterranean garage beneath the tower. In addition, the developers plan to integrate a 36,000 square foot museum campus that will add a cultural perk to the development just North of its two-acre site.

Although this project looks promising, the 244-foot, Gehry-esque tower is currently pending approval from the City. A vote by the end of March will decide its fate.

More images of the “Ocean Avenue Project” after the break…

The West Coast’s Tallest: Wilshire Grand / AC Martin Partners

Courtesy of AC Martin Partners

Developer Korean Air has recently unveiled the designs for the new 73-story Wilshire Grand tower in the financial district of Los Angeles, California. AC Martin Partners designed the plans for the $1 billion mixed-use office and hotel tower that will reach 1,100 feet, making it the tallest tower west of Chicago once completed.

Read more after the break…

San Lorenzo Residence / Mike Jacobs Architecture

© Michael Wells

Architects: Mike Jacobs Architecture
Location: , CA, USA
Architect In Charge: Mike Jacobs, Artur Growchowski, Dan Nissimov, Maria Tiliakos, Momo Araki
General Contracting: MFH Construction
Structural Engineering: Gordon Polon Consulting Engineers
Year: 2012
Photographs: Michael Wells

Google Collaborates with NBBJ to Expand California Headquarters

Courtesy of NBBJ

One thing has become known for is their spectacular work environments. From playful employee lounges to environmentally sensitive design, the multifaceted internet giant has successfully transformed hundreds of existing spaces from around the globe into casual work environments that spawn innovation, optimizes efficiency, and boasts employee satisfaction. Much like many other California-based corporations, Google has been toying with the idea of building their own office space from scratch. Well, this dream will soon be realized, as the company has teamed up with Seattle-based NBBJ to expand their current, 65-building “Googleplex” in Mountain View, . By 2015, Google plans to construct a 1.1-million-square-foot complex known as “Bay View” on a neighboring 42-acre site.

More on Bay View after the break…

Gensler Designs New Silicon Valley Headquarters for Nvidia

Courtesy of Gensler and Kilograph

Silicon Valley visual-computing pioneer Nvidia has joined the expanding list of tech moguls seeking to transform their work environment into the physical manifestation of their innovative business model. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has released the first schematic renderings – designed by Gensler - that depict a pair of 250,000 square foot triangular motherships centered around collaboration – a complete contrast to the typical, dated office building commonly found throughout Silicon Valley’s “oddly banal” landscape.

More after the break…

San Francisco Paves the Road to Zero Waste

© Flickr user Sudheer G.

Approaching zero- is a matter of changing the way our culture thinks about use and reuse.  It’s not an impossible task, and San Francisco is leading the march to establish a feasible means of enacting public policy, structuring programs and educating the public on what it means to be “zero-”.  With a goal set for 2020, the Bay City hopes to keep 100% of its out of .  Mayor Ed Lee estimates that the leading management company “Recology” is diverting nearly 80% of trash from landfills to be recycled or turned into compost.  This begins with a public policy that sets a standard and gains traction as citizens embrace the goals of the city.  Support programs reinforce these guidelines that eventually become habits and a cultural response to treating our environment.

Read on after the break for more on San Francisco’s road to “zero-waste”.