San Francisco has recently approved legislation that will change the city building code to allow for “micro-unit apartments” that includes only 220 square feet of living space. These spaces aim at providing affordable options for singles to live in densely populated urban areas without having to live in the outskirts of the city. Although more of a craze in NY, San Francisco has actually surpassed New York as the most expensive rental market in the country. More information after the break.
Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures are moving forward with their plan to transform 4.47 acres of vacant parking lots surrounding Hollywood’s iconic, mid-century Capitol Records Building into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development. Located on the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Millennium Hollywood Project will feature two residential buildings reaching heights up to 585 feet, designed by Handel Architects, that are grounded by a High Line-inspired public space by James Corner Field Operations.
With the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) currently on public review, the New York-based developers are hoping to get city approvals underway in early 2013.
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In April, Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council Member Huizar announced an international design competition to redesign the historic, 80-year-old Sixth Street Bridge in Los Angeles. The decision to launch the competition came after engineers warned that the bridge was at risk of failing during a major earthquake due to a degenerative structural problem known as “concrete cancer”. After careful consideration and entertaining the idea of constructing a replica of the 1932 icon, the city committed to moving forward with a major redesign. In mid-October, the national infrastructure firm HNTB, along with team members Michael Maltzan Architecture and AC Martin Partners, were announced as winners of the international competition.
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'Silver Streak' Architecture At Zero 2012 Competition Winning Proposal / Loisos + Ubbelohde Associates
Loisos + Ubbelohde just received the highest award at the 2012 Architecture at Zero competition for their proposal, ‘Silver Streak’. The contest, sponsored by PG&E and AIA San Francisco, was conceived as a response to the lofty zero net energy targets set out by the California Public Utility Commission. As the recipient of one of two honor awards, their design for the University of California, Merced campus features an administration building that acts as both a threshold to campus and an energy field in the large plane of the agricultural valley. More images and architects’ description after the break.
UCSF Mission Bay Block 25A Academic Building Competition Winner / WRNS Studio + Rudolph and Sletten, Inc.
WRNS Studio and Rudolph and Sletten, Inc., recently won a design/build competition for a new faculty office building at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus, which takes cues from the workplaces of high-tech companies. When completed, the 7-story academic office building will house UCSF physicians, faculty, and students in an interdisciplinary, flexible, light-filled environment. Drawing on the principles of the activity-based workplace, the design gives each occupant a “home base” workstation, but also a variety of other spaces for specific work and social activities, ranging from huddle rooms and breakout areas to conference rooms. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Breadtruck Films shared with us their seven minute documentary on architect Jonathan Segal‘s ‘the charmer’. The project consists of a 19 unit residential complex in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood and recently won a 2012 project of the year award. By building on the tradition of the California courtyard apartments, he shows how architecture can create community and add a little charm to the neighborhood. The outdoor spaces at complex carry just as much importance with Segal as the buildings themselves. He believes that beauty and livability are crucial, and often overlooked, components of environmental design.
Taking place at the California College of the Arts in San Fransisco October 13th from 10am-4pm, The Missing 32%,’ features leading professionals from around the country to discuss the role of women in architecture in the 21st century. In the United States, women represent about 50% of students enrolled in architecture programs, but only 18% of licensed architects are women. Throughout the day, attendees will hear from a broad range of speakers who represent different career paths in the profession ranging from those working for large firms to those choosing to start their own practice. The day will begin with a brief overview of statistics that detail the current leadership structure of architecture firms. The event is presented by AIA San Fransisco. For more information, please visit here.
Born in Finland, Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961) is recognized today as one of America’s most influential architects of the 20th Century. The exhibition Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation, opening tomorrow at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, will highlight his short but brilliant career bookended with two iconic buildings: the unbuilt Smithsonian Gallery of Art which was to be Washington, DC’s first museum of modern art and Dulles International Airport which was designed as the nation’s first jet airport.
Opening October 12th, the ‘Pleated Shell Structures’ Exhibition consists of a short term, site specific research prototype designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and her firm. Presented by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in their gallery, the exhibit positions itself within the argument of parametric design research to focus its efforts on design methods that encompass an operative pathway from design intent to manifestation. The exhibition will be on display until December 2. More information after the break.
SCI-Arc Trustee Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have donated $100,000 to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). The noteworthy contribution will go towards the establishment of the Gehry Prize, which will be annually awarded to the best thesis projects selected by critics and jurors at the Graduate Thesis Weekend hosted in September. The first Gehry Prize will be awarded at the 2012 graduation ceremony on September 9th.
As we shared earlier, the world’s 28-year old creative technological master will team with 83-year-old starachitect for Facebook’s newest addition to their Menlo Park campus. The two, although worlds apart in terms of forte, find common ground in the never ending creative process, and the desire to continually push boundaries of the expected and the ordinary. As we noted in our previous piece, the building will offer a equalized sense of status – no private cubicles or showy corner offices – and encourage a collaborative work environment, admix a warm splash of colors, textures and natural lighting.
Gone from the building will be Gehry’s flashy ways of manipulating sheets of metal, and the resulting superfluous sense of affluence often emitted from these grand structures. Rather, Gehry’s work for Facebook will offer an ”equalizier”, a massive one story warehouse measuring 420,000 sqf, to house the company’s future 2,800 engineers with the underlying intention of fostering a comfortable environment to allow Facebook to keep getting better.
More about the newest headquarters after the break.
Taking place Saturday, August 18 from 10am-2pm, the Society of Architectural Historians/Southern California Chapter will explore the transformative power of architecture, art and design at Culver City’s Hayden Tract, where award-winning architect Eric Owen Moss has been creating innovative structures for 25 years. In creating a vibrant community for creative workers in what was once a bleak industrial area, we begin to ask ourselves, ‘Can architecture be used as a catalyst for positive social change?’
The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the world’s busiest airports, is undergoing a facelift. As part of a multi-phase project, AECOM is working with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to create a sensational experience for the 61 million passengers who travel in and out of LAX annually. The project aspires to unify the disparate components of the airport’s central terminal area (CTA) and insert grand gestures that provide architectural hierarchy — yielding LAX as exciting as the city in which it resides. Through an artful integration of lighting, graphics, and architecture, the design draws from key existing airport elements such as the 1960s architecture of the Theme Building and the 60-foot polychromatic light pylons that define the airport’s entry.
Latitude 33, a luxurious collection of beach-side homes ranging from townhouses, penthouses, and single floor units, was partially designed from a forty year-old, nine-storey “eye sore for the neighborhood” that was once an office building. The mixed use development, designed by KAA Design Group, includes residential and commercial spaces in Marina del Rey in Southern California. The strategic decisions involved with designing these apartments from an early 197os office building earned Latitude 33 two Gold Nugget Merit Awards, one of which was for Best Adaptive Reuse.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has selected L.A.’s Gruen Associates and London’s Grimshaw Architects to design the new master plan for Union Station in Los Angeles. The pair was awarded with the commission over some of the biggest names in the profession, such as Norman Foster and Renzo Piano (view the other five fantastical proposals here). They will transform the historic 1939 station and its surrounding 40 acres into a world-class, 21st century transportation hub that will host the future high-speed rail system that plans to connect L.A. and San Francisco.
The master planning process could take as little as 24 months. No surprise, considering both Gruen and Grimshaw have a great amount of experience with transit related projects. Gruen recently worked with Metro on the first phase of the Expo Line, while Grimshaw has extensive resume in Europe and is involved with the forthcoming Fulton Street Transit Center in Lower Manhattan, which is planned for completion in 2014.
Open to students and professionals worldwide in architecture, planning and urban design studios, the Architecture at Zero 2012 challenges participants to design a zero net energy (ZNE) student housing or administrative office building design for the University of California Merced in Merced, California. As part of the challenge, entrants will also be asked to create a diagrammatic district energy plan for the Bellevue Gateway development. Organized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Francisco chapter and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Pilot Program, in partnership with the University of California, Merced, this unique event explores the cutting edge of energy efficient design. The deadline for submissions is October 1. For more information, please visit here.
Jared Levy and Gordon Stott, formerly of Marmol Radziner Prefab, recently launched a new company that hopes to solve the endemic problem of prefab to date: price. They knew how to make beautiful, sustainable prefab. But now, with their patent-pending technology, which allows them to build modules to a whopping 95% complete at the factory, and ship them like shipping containers by rail, sea, or truck, Connect:Homes has figured out how to provide the same level of modern style at an all-inclusive price of $145/sf out of the factory. That’s all inclusive with no surprises. More images and architects’ description after the break.