Five Proposals Unveiled for Presidio Parklands in San Francisco

The Observation Post / CMG Architecture. Image © CMG Architecture Courtesy of Trust

Last week, the five teams competing for the Presidio Parkland project in San Francisco unveiled their proposals in a public meeting at the project site. The parkland, made possible by the replacement of an elevated highway by a new tunnel, will command stunning views of the San Francisco bay, including views of the Golden Gate bridge.

“This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create and design new parklands,” Executive Director of the Presidio Trust Craig said. “We are extremely pleased with the caliber of the work of the five design teams and look forward to hearing the public’s feedback on these early concepts.”

Competing for the prestigious project are James Corner Field Operations, OLIN with Olson Kundig ArchitectsSnøhetta with Hood Design StudioWest 8, and CMG Landscape Architecture. A winner will be announced in January.

Read on after the break to see all five proposals

AD Interviews: European Architects on the Mies van der Rohe Award

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award is one of the most important and prestigious prizes for architecture within Europe. First established in 1987, the prize is awarded every two years, and a look at the projects over the years offers unique insight into the development of architecture across Europe. To better understand the significance and uniqueness of the award we spoke with two previous award winners – Kjetil Trædal Thorsen and Craig Dykers from Snøhetta and from Dominique Perrault Architecture – as well as Peter Cachola Schmal, an architect, critic and the director of DAM, the German Architecture Musuem, and Josep Lluís Mateo of Mateo Arquitectura and a professor of Architecture and Projects at ETH-Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule/ Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.

“This is the special thing about the Mies jury, that they do visit the top 5 projects, and see first-hand what this piece of architecture is about. And then they vote, which means the jury really knows what they’re voting about,” Peter Cachola Schmal noted.

“It’s a prize for a project, rather than a prize for an architect,” Kjetil Trædal Thorsen added.

Read on after the break for more on the Mies van der Rohe award and to see what the architects had to say about the importance of archives…

3 of The New Yorker’s Best Architecture Reads

The National September 11 Memorial Museum by Snøhetta in . Image © Joe Woolhead

If you like magazines, then you’ll love this: the New Yorker, celebrating their recent redesign, have made their archive free for a limited period only. And, making up for their hiatus as they wait for a redesign of their own, Places Journal has gone to the effort of rounding up the best architecture reads from the last few years. Here are our top three:

Critical Round-Up: The September 11 Memorial Museum

Two salvaged columns from the towers, placed inside Snøhetta’s entrance building. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO

Set to open to the public on Wednesday after a highly controversial and contested journey from idea to reality, the September 11 Memorial Museum has inevitably been a talking point among critics this week. The museum by Davis Brody Bond occupies the space between the Memorial Plaza at ground level and the bedrock below, with an angular glass pavilion by Snøhetta providing an entrance from above. A long ramp, designed to recall the access ramp with which tons of twisted metal was excavated from the site, descends to the exhibits which sit within the perimeter boundaries of the twin towers’ foundations, underneath the suspended volumes of Michael Arad‘s memorial fountains.

The content of the museum is obviously fraught with painful memories, and the entrance pavilion occupies a privileged position as the only surface level structure ground zero, in opposition to the great voids of the memorial itself. The discussion at the opening of the museum was therefore always going to center on whether the design of the museum – both its built form and the exhibitions contained – were sensitive and appropriate enough for this challenging brief. Read the critics’ takes on the results after the break.

National September 11 Memorial Museum Celebrates Opening

© Jeff Goldberg / ESTO

Today marked the ceremonially opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Set to officially open to the public next Wednesday (May 21), the subterranean museum has already made headlines for its emotional 70 foot decent to the bedrock of the Towers.

Prior to entering the museum’s interior, visitors must first walk past the footprints of the Twin Towers, commemorated by Handel Architects’ cascading granite voids, before entering a Snøhetta-designed stainless steel and glass pavilion that is the museum’s entrance.

As Snøhetta’s founding partner, Craig Dyker describes, the pavilion’s main purpose is to serve as the “threshold between the everyday life of the city and the uniquely spiritual quality of the Memorial.”

More about the pavilion from the architects, after the break…

Presidio Trust Enlists 5 to Envision New Schemes for Crissy Field

Presidio From Southeast. Image © Robert Campbell

San Francisco’s Presidio Trust isn’t giving up. After rejecting three shortlisted schemes earlier this year that envisioned a “cultural institution of distinction” for the underdeveloped Crissy Field, the Trust has now invited five new teams to envision “kid-friendly” plans for a 13 acre portion of the site.

The five teams, which include , and Snøhetta, are expected to present their ideas publicly in just three months. A winner will not be selected, though each team will receive $25,000 for their efforts. However, the Trust will be inclined to work with one of the teams should their concepts “dazzle” the audience.

A complete list of the five teams and more project information, after the break…

BIG, SHoP, Snøhetta Among Shortlist for Melbourne Office Complex

Pre-existing structures permitted for ‘part demolition and refurbishment’. Image Courtesy of Future Melbourn (Planning) Committee

Australian developer CBUS Property has invited four pairs of Australian and internationally-renowned architectural practices to compete to design an office complex at a 6,000 square meter site in downtown MelbourneAustralia where the National Mutual Plaza currently stands.

See the full shortlist after the break.

Snohetta Makes Times Square Permanently Pedestrian

Courtesy of Snøhetta

’s Times Square has concluded the first redevelopment phase of a permanent pedestrian plaza just in time for last week’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Snøhetta’s $55 million redesign — bounded by Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets — creates an uninterrupted and cohesive surface, reinforcing the square’s iconic role as an outdoor stage for entertainment, culture and urban life.

Learn more after the break…

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Wood

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: . Check out the projects after the break…

Which Architects Are Most Admired By Other Architects?

Foster + Partner’s Apple Campus II. Image © City of Cupertino

As part of their annual research for the World Architecture Top 100, Building Design (BD) has compiled a list of which architects are most admired by their colleagues from across the globe. Last year’s results were somewhat predictable, with Foster + Partners leading and Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop and Herzog + de Meuron close behind. According to BD, “this year saw a trend towards more commercial names.”

This year’s “most admired” list includes:

DIALOG and Snøhetta to Design Calgary’s New Central Library

Site. Image ©

The search is over: DIALOG and Snøhetta have been selected from a shortlist of four to design a new central library in the Canadian city of . Planned for a prime location adjacent to City Hall, the 280,000 square foot “landmark” will “strengthen the fabric of community life by weaving East Village, the original heart of , back into the story of Centre City.” Once complete in 2018, the new library will serve over 140,000 workers and students who travel downtown every day.

Maggies Cancer Caring Center / Snøhetta

© Philip Vile

Architects: Snøhetta
Location: , City, UK
Area: 350 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Philip Vile

Four Teams Shortlisted to Design New Central Library in Calgary

Site Image via

Four shortlisted teams have been asked to design proposals for a new central library in the Canadian city of . Selected from 38 submissions, the competing teams of local and international architects will harness the power of platemaking to envision a 280,000 square-foot “landmark” for the East Village . The four shortlisted teams include:

Video: Snøhetta – Memories of Architectural Landscapes

The Louisiana Channel at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark shared with us their video, titled ‘Snøhetta – Memories of Architectural Landscapes,’ which captures the inner and outer landscapes of Snøhetta. The 30-minute tour features one of the heads behind it all – Norwegian architect Kjetil T. Thorsen, who reflects upon some of Snøhetta’s major landmarks such as the Alexandria Library, the opera house in Oslo and The 9/11 Memorial Pavilion on Ground Zero in .

From the very beginning in the 1980′s, Snøhetta’s architecture has been inspired by landscapes, both natural and urban. ”Landscapes are a massive force”, says Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, co-founder and director of Snøhetta: “And they are masterpieces, which architects can be inspired by.” To view more of Snøhetta’s work, please visit here.

Eggum Tourist Route / Snohetta

© Jarle Wæhler

Architects: Snohetta
Location: ,
Project Team: Frank Nodland, Harriet T. Rikheim, Lars J. Nordbye, Maria Svaland
Area: 59 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Jarle Wæhler, Steinar Skaar, Snohetta

Annecy Congress Center / Snohetta

© – MIR

Architects: Snohetta
Location: Annecy,
Collaborators: Atelier Wolff & Associés and Quadriplus Groupe
Client: Communaute de l’Agglomeration D’Annecy
Area: 7,000 sqm
Photographs: Snohetta – MIR

Lascaux IV: International Cave Painting Center Winning Proposal / Casson Mann + Snohetta

Courtesy of Snøhetta

Casson Mann and Snohetta were recently announced as the winners of the prestigious Lascaux IV: International Cave Painting Center competition. With a budget of €50million, Lascaux IV has been initiated to conserve the integrity of the original cave complex, while ensuring that the public can still appreciate the remarkable Paleolithic paintings within. The winning concept includes a low profile exterior that reflects the contours of the limestone topography and a dramatic interior designed to transport the visitor into a cave complex complete with tunnels, cavernous spaces and chambers lit by shafts of broken sunlight. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Update: SFMOMA Expansion / Snøhetta

SFMOMA Expansion Aerial Southeast Façade; Courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has announced further details of its 235,000-square-foot building expansion that will support the museum’s increasing role in city life and the international art community. Designed by Norway-based practice Snøhetta, in collaboration with local firm the 10-story concrete structure will compliment SFMOMA’s original, Mario Botta-designed, red-brick museum by offering more free-to-the-public space, expanded education programs and an abundance of flexible performance-based gallery space.

Construction will commence this Summer and is expected to reopen in early 2016.

More after the break…

SFMOMA Expansion Howard St. entrance; Courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta

SFMOMA’s new building will include seven levels dedicated to diverse art experiences and programming spaces, along with three housing enhanced support space for the museum’s operations. It will also offer approximately 130,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gallery space, as well as nearly 15,000 square feet of art-filled free-access public space, more than doubling SFMOMA’s current capacity for the presentation of art while maintaining a sense of intimacy and connection to the museum’s urban surroundings. Other notable features include:

A large glass-walled gallery (interior view) on ground level with free public access will beckon passersby on Howard Street; rendering: Courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta
  • A large-scale vertical garden located in a new outdoor sculpture terrace on the third floor, which will be the biggest public living wall of native plants in San Francisco.
  • A versatile, double-height “white box” space on the fourth floor equipped with cutting-edge lighting and sound systems that, in tandem with the museum’s upgraded Phyllis
  • Wattis Theater, will open new doors for SFMOMA’s program of live art, and also improve services for school-group tours, film screenings, and special events.
  • State-of-the-art conservation studios on the seventh and eighth floors that will further SFMOMA’s progressive work in the care and interpretation of its growing collections.
  • An environmentally sensitive approach on track to achieve LEED Gold certification, with 15% energy-cost reduction, 30% water-use reduction, and 20% reduction in wastewater generation.
  • A new outdoor terrace on the seventh floor with incredible city views, further integrating the urban indoor/outdoor experience that SFMOMA began in 2009 with the opening of its current rooftop sculpture garden on the fifth floor.
SFMOMA’s new Snøhetta-designed stair (view from Third Street entrance) shown here with previous atrium art installation by Sol LeWitt (inaugural art installation for 2016 reopening to be announced); Rendering: Steelblue
Versatile “white box” space (interior view) on fourth floor of expanded SFMOMA will create new possibilities for live performance and education programs; rendering: Courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta

At the same time, as previously announced, new public spaces and additional public entrances to the building (on Howard and Minna Streets) are designed to increase access and weave the museum more deeply into the neighborhood. A mid-block, street-level pedestrian promenade will open a new route of circulation in the area, enlivening the side streets and offering a pathway between SFMOMA and the Transbay Transit Center currently under construction two blocks east of the museum. Building on the popularity of the museum’s artist commissions in its admission-free atrium, an expansive free-to-access gallery on the ground floor with 25-foot-high glass walls facing Howard Street will now place art—such as Richard Serra’s enormous walk-in spiral sculpture Sequence (2006)—on view to passersby for the first time. This gallery will also feature stepped seating, offering a resting and gathering point for museum tour groups and neighborhood denizens alike.

Sculpture terrace extending from Howard to Minna Streets will be framed on one side by a vibrant vertical garden; rendering: Courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta

“SFMOMA has had a tremendous impact on the economic and cultural vitality of the South of Market neighborhood and the city,” says San Francisco’s District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim. “Even though this area is one of the city’s oldest, in many ways it’s still the freshest, where much of the most dramatic change is happening. The museum’s expanded home in this cultural center will provide even greater public access and support to emerging and established artists as a hub of creativity and international art destination. I look forward to seeing the district grow and evolve even further as SFMOMA’s future takes shape.”

SFMOMA Expansion Night Aerial from Howard St.; Courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta

News via SFMOMA