Unbuilt San Francisco: Grand Visions

Designs for United Nations Capitol / Vincent Raney Architect

Two themes – Dreams Deferred and On the Boards – frame the collection of thought-provoking photographs, original drawings, renderings and models that make up Unbuilt San Francisco: Grand Visions. The exhibition juxtaposes outlandish unbuilt work with existing plans which will, in time, have a major impact on our city.

Featured content includes Vincent Raney’s drawings of a United Nations at the foot of Twin Peaks; OMA’s designs for Prada’s West Coast headquarters, located near Union Square; Fougeron Architecture’s envisioning of a future with agriculture woven directly into the urban framework; and an early look at the revitalization of Pier 70′s Waterfront Site. Unbuilt is the theme of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Architecture and the City festival.

More information and images after the break.

Apple Redesigns San Francisco Store to Preserve Historic Fountain

Foster + Partners’ revised design for the new SF Store.. Image Courtesy of

Earlier this summer we reviewed plans for a new Foster + Partners-designed  in the heart of San Francisco which received a considerable amount of backlash for its accused ubiquitous design that disregarded the city’s historic Ruth Asawa Fountain. Since, Apple has decided to respond to the complaints and Foster + Partners have just released images of the revised design that preserves the fountain. 

Mission Bay Block 27 Parking Structure / WRNS Studio

© Tim Griffith

Architects: WRNS Studio
Location: , CA, USA
Design Team: Sam Nunes, Bryan Shiles, Pauline Souza, Russell Sherman, David Shiwotsuka
Rendering: Studio
Photographs: Tim Griffith

WordPress Automattic Space / Baran Studio Architecture

© Scott Hargis

Architects: Baran Studio Architecture
Location: San Francisco, , United States
Construction Managers: Assemblage
Contractor: KSDB
Year: 2013
Photographs: Scott Hargis

Architecture and the City Festival

Courtesy of AIA

Taking place September 1-30, the nation’s largest architectural festival of its kind will be presented by AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design, celebrating its tenth anniversary. The Architecture and the City festival, which takes place in San Francisco every September, will feature behind the scenes walking tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, providing opportunities for participants to engage with the local architecture community and experience design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. From theoretical urban interventions and works in progress to civic landmarks and hidden histories, architects and designers will discuss the ways their work alters and redefines the city we call home with over 40 festival programs. For more information, please visit here.

Heavybit Industries / IwamotoScott Architecture

© Bruce Damonte

Architects: IwamotoScott Architecture
Location: 325 9th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103,
Project Team: Sean Canty, Chretian Macutay
Design Build Installation Leaders: Ryan Beliakof (Rope Room), Juliana Raimondi (HexCell Fabric), Kelvin Huang (HexCell Steel)
Assistants: Anne Schneider, Will DiMichele, Cooper Jones
Photographs: Bruce Damonte

San Francisco To Transform City with Eco-Districts

; Photo Courtesy of Flickr User KP Tripathi

San Francisco’s Planning Department is working with California’s sustainability guidelines to structure growth within the city in accordance with the state’s requirements and the city’s goals through the department’s Sustainability Development Program.  The program aims to reduce water consumption, reduce waste and enhance community-scale energy resources.  To aid in the fulfillment of these goals, the program is implementing a tool called – a community of property owners, businesses and residents within a neighborhood that collaborate to develop and initiate sustainable development projects in their area.  Using a set of performance metrics, neighborhoods can shape their projects with custom strategies for their community.

The Eco-District is fundamentally a community-driven development that has the potential to achieve the smart growth of sustainable ideas but also build local urban identity and enforce a sense of place among its residents.  The Eco-District movement has already taken shape in Austin (TX), Boston (MA), Seattle (WA),  Washington DC, and Portland (OR) in various degrees of development.  San Francisco’s adoption of this tool will help drive the successes of the Sustainability Development Program with a focus on holistic approaches of neighborhood development and support with environmentally conscious improvements.

Read on for more on San Francisco’s Eco-Districts.

Chambers Eat + Drink / Mr. Important Design

© Jeff Dow

Architects: Mr. Important Design
Location: 601 Eddy Street, , CA 94109, USA
Design Team: Charles Doell and Miriam Marchevsky Alegra Design Team: Charles Doell, Miriam Marchevsky, and Alvaro Bonfiglio
Area: 50.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Jeff Dow

Giant Pixel / Studio O+A

© Jasper Sanidad

Architects: Studio O+A
Location: 431 Jessie Street, , CA 94103,
Architect In Charge: Studio O+A
Design Team: Primo Orpilla, Verda Alexander, Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Clem Soga, Neil Bartley, Caren McDonald, Jeorge Jordan, Liz Guerrero
Area: 4200.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jasper Sanidad

SF Jazz / Mark Cavagnero Associates

© Tim Griffith

Architects: Mark Cavagnero Associates
Location: 201 Franklin Street, , CA 94102, USA
Area: 36500.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Tim Griffith, Kyle Jeffers

What Does San Francisco’s New Apple Store Say About Commercial Architecture?

Rendering of the proposed Store in Union Square

This past May, Apple filed plans to close its existing flagship retail store at 1 Stockton Street in San Francisco and move it three blocks north to one of the city’s most popular spots: Union Square. This plan was met with enthusiasm from city officials until they realized that Apple, and the store’s architects at Foster + Partners, were disregarding a beloved bronze folk art fountain by San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa that currently occupies the site. Many have also criticized the store’s design for being a characterless box of metal and glass that contributes nothing unique to the local landscape, raising awareness of a commercial architecture defined more by trademark and less by its surroundings.

More on Apple’s proposal in San Francisco and the problems of trademarked design after the break.

Facades+ Performance Workshop

Courtesy of Mode Lab

Presented by The Architect’s Newspaper and enclos, Mode Lab recently announced their upcoming Facades+ Performance Symposium in taking place July11-12. The event consists of hands-on instruction by industry experts in a small, one-on-one, classroom setting. These workshops will provide professionals and academics with the skills and knowledge to work with cutting edge technologies in a fast-paced and intensive environment. The workshop will explore the use of Grasshopper, Firefly and Arduino as creative and technical tools in the design, simulation and prototyping of intelligent building skins. For more information, please visit here.

280 Freeway Competition

Courtesy of Center for Architecture and Design + the Seed Fund

This past spring, Mayor Ed Lee announced an exploration of the potential of removing Highway 280 north of 16th Street in . Presented by the Center for Architecture and Design + the Seed Fund, and co-sponsored by AIA San Francisco, the 280 Freeway Competition asks entrants to create hypothetical project designs for space in and around Highway 280. Open to architects, designers, planners, students, artists, landscape architects, and academics, participants are welcome to submit concepts that explore any aspect of the transformative opportunities introduced by the freeway removal. Entry is free, and up to $10,000 in prizes will be awarded. The registration and submission deadline is July 31. For more information, please visit here.

Architecture at Zero 2013 Competition

Courtesy of AIA

Open to students and professionals worldwide, the Architecture at Zero 2013 competition is challenging participants to create a design for a new, roughly 150 unit mixed-use residential apartment building located in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, . With the aim of being as close to zero net energy as possible, the building must be a mix of affordable and market rate housing units and include a full neighborhood-serving grocery store on the ground level. The competition is presented by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and AIA San Francisco, in partnership with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC). Submissions are due October 1. To register, and for more information, please visit here.

The Presidio Trust of San Francisco Announces 3 Finalists for Cultural Hub Competition

Presidio From Southeast © Robert Campbell

is planning a new cultural facility on the former commissary of the military base that has been turned into a national park and has announced three finalists in its competition held by the Presidio Trust, according to news outlet SFGate.  The 92,000 square-foot building is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and has an ambitious future that will be developed on this unique location.  The three finalists have diverse agendas that range from turning the future cultural center into a performance and exhibition space to an institute that focuses on sustainability issues.  The Presidio Trust is currently laying out guidelines in the next step of the competition that will likely be due in the fall.  The trust also plans to engage the public with a to-be-scheduled forum in June that will host presentations by the finalists.

Join us after the break for a look at the three finalists.

Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco / Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Transbay Transit Center Aerial View; © Pelli Clarke Pelli / Transbay Joint Powers Authority

The revamped Transbay Transit Center in downtown broke ground earlier this week, a 1.5 million square foot development that will be part , part public park and urban space, and part office and retail establishments.  The massive undertaking, designed by renowned architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli will bring together 11 systems of local and national transportation, serving 45 million people per year.  In addition to securing access to myriad transit lines, the project will also provide downtown San Francisco with a 5.4-acre rooftop park, designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, along with numerous cultural programs.

The project is budgeted at $4.2 billion and is projected for completion in 2017.  It is funded in part by the construction of a 1,070-foot tower that is adjacent to the Transbay Transity Center, which is also designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and slated to be the tallest tower in San Francisco.  The tower will secure 60 stories of office space and will contribute to the projected $87 billion of revenue through 2030.

Join us after the break for more details on this project.

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.

AD Classics: Marin Civic Center / Frank Lloyd Wright

© Flickr User C.M. Keiner

The Marin County Civic Center was ’s last commission and largest public project, including several civic functions that would serve Marin County and , which after the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge became closer than ever. Wright was selected for the project in 1957, winning a vote out of hope he would be able to best represent a democratic government open to the people through the Civic Center.