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California: The Latest Architecture and News

BIG's Integrated Sciences Center Breaks Ground at Claremont Mckenna College

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, The Robert Day Sciences Center at CMC in California breaks ground and is expected to be completed in 2024. Featuring an open auditorium, labs, research spaces, and multifunctional roofs with 360-degree views of Mt. Baldy, the building will serve a community of 1,400 students. By literally stacking disciplines together in a Jenga-like composition, the framing of a column-free bar will serve as a multilevel gathering hub of collaboration and a crossroads for scientific thought and also stimulate the rest of the liberal arts students to take a deeper interest in the sciences and vice versa.

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Handel Architects Designs Third Tallest Tower in Historical Downtown Los Angeles

Handel Architects designed the third tallest in Los Angeles, a 63-story high-rise 265 meters high in the Historical Downtown L.A. Featuring a 150 meters second tower, affordable residential housing, and community spaces, the "Angels Landing" will be the largest and tallest development to be built by Black developers in the United States, marking a milestone in the real estate industry, as in L.A.'s skyline. In partnership with The Peebles Corporation and MacFarlane Partners, the complex is scheduled to open in 2027 and will create more than 8,300 new jobs during construction.

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MAD Architects' Lucas Museum Reveals Latest Construction Details

Scheduled to open in 2025, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, reveals the latest details in the construction and addition of artwork. The first of its kind, the Lucas Museum, founded by filmmaker George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, will be devoted to all forms of visual storytelling, including painting, photography, sculpture, illustration, comic art, performance, and video. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects with Michael Siegel of Stantec, the five-story and 27900 square-meter building will feature a gallery space, two state-of-the-art theaters, and dedicated spaces for learning and engagement, dining, retail, and events.

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It’s Time to Be Honest About the Impending Costs of Climate Change

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

The passage of the Biden Administration’s climate change package, the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” has predictably split along partisan lines, with Republicans characterizing the bill as an act of reckless government spending, certain to raise taxes and fuel further inflation. But does this act really represent reckless spending? The legislation authorizes $430 billion in spending, the bulk of which—more than $300 billion—is earmarked for tax credits; other spending, and initiatives aimed at stimulating the clean energy economy; and reducing carbon emissions. (The bill also allows Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies for certain expensive drugs.) The bill is funded in part by a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and an excise tax on companies that repurchase shares of their own stock. Given the scope of the problem, and the escalating future costs of climate inaction, this legislation is an exceedingly modest, but very necessary, first step.

Frank Gehry's Long-Delayed Ocean Avenue Project in Santa Monica Finally Gets City Council Approval

After nine years of design changes and updates, Frank Gehry's Ocean Avenue project has finally been given the approval by the Santa Monica City Council. Initially proposed in 2013, the mixed-use development was originally conceived as as 22-story hotel and residential tower, but was shortened to 12 stories in 2018 to meet restrictions imposed by the city’s Downtown Community Plan. Construction is expected to begin shortly after receiving the complete building permits, with an official opening date set within the next three years.

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Cities Embrace Climate Action Planning to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Climate Change

Cities across the globe are developing comprehensive action plans in order to create a coordinated response to the challenges of climate change. Targets and goals for consumption-based emissions are important for guiding strategic planning and decision-making, improving accountability, and communicating the direction of travel to businesses and the public. National and regional government officials are working with the private sector, international organizations, and civil society to create change at every level, from structural interventions in supply chains and industries to individual choices.  This demonstrates a rising understanding of the role of cities in mitigating the adverse effects of rising temperatures.

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Olafur Eliasson's Studio Other Spaces Designs Wine Tasting Pavilion in California

Studio Other Spaces, founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann, has unveiled its wine tasting pavilion for California wine producer The Donum Estate. The design weaves together various elements of the site in what the designers describe as a vertical panorama, and essentializes a vertical cut through the landscape and the conditions that make for a thriving vineyard, proposing a holistic experience addressing all senses. The roof’s colored glass tiles represent an abstract calendar depicting the yearly averages of parameters such as wind intensity, temperature and humidity.

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Google’s Bay View Campus Designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studio Opens in Silicon Valley, California

Google’s first ground-up campus, designed by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios in collaboration with Google’s design and engineering teams, opened in Silicon Valley. The campus’ mission is to create a human-centric design for the future of Google’s workplace and set new global sustainability standards for construction and office design. The site aims to operate entirely on carbon-free energy by 2030; it integrates the most extensive geothermal pile system in North America and is net-water positive. The campus also includes 17 acres of high-value natural areas, including wet meadows, woodlands, and marsh.

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In San Francisco, the 5M Development Envisions Public and Private Space for the Future

The chance to reimagine a four-and-a-half-acre site containing both historic buildings to be preserved and lots slated for development in a major American city is rare. For the team behind 5M, a project on a nodal site in downtown San Francisco, this prospect came with exciting potential to engage with all aspects of community building and place making. Completed by SITELAB, KPF, and a host of other firms, 5M reveals a transformed, multi-use downtown site following a decade-long process.

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Coachella 2022 Installations Explore Architecture, Pop Culture, and Communities of the World

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2022, an annual festival held in the Colorado Desert in Indio, California, has opened to the public on Friday April 15th with immersive installations by 11 international architects, artists, and designers. Through explorations of scale, light, sound, and colors, the contextual installations explore global themes such as connectedness, environmental sustainability, immigration, social behavior and architecture, pop culture, and the community, and will be on display on April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2022.

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NBBJ is Designing a Nature-Immersed Net Zero School in California for Neurodiverse Students

Aiming to transform the learning experience for neurodiverse students through a nature-centric environment, NBBJ has unveiled a net-zero school in Encino, California. Titled "Westmark Lower School", the new campus will foster an inclusive and engaging learning experience for students and teachers, responding to the critical condition of U.S students, where 2.3 million were diagnosed with learning differences between 2019 - 2020.

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Foster + Partners Begins Work on San Francisco's Iconic Transamerica Pyramid Renovation

The Transamerica Pyramid, a landmark in the skyline of San Francisco, is undergoing a revitalization project led by Foster + Partners and luxury real estate developers SHVO. Built in 1972, the 48-story Brutalist-style project was designed by American architect William Pereira, and was the tallest building in San Francisco for nearly half a century. The renovation will be the largest in the building’s 50-year history, will also see the expansion and upgrade of the adjacent Three Transamerica (545 Sansome).

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HKS Designs Hollywood's First Creative Campus

Architecture firm HKS and landscape designer Hood Design Studio have been selected by global entertainment and media company CMNTY Culture to design a new creative campus in the heart of Hollywood. Dubbed CMNTY Culture Campus, the project will feature production spaces, offices, performance venues, bringing together creative industries in a 500,000-square-foot development.

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3XN/GXN Architects, Gehl, and ConAm Envision a Regenerative 15-Minute Community for San Diego

3XN I GXN, Gehl Architects, and ConAm Management Corporation have been selected for the second phase of a new masterplan in San Diego, California. Titled Neighborhood Next, the 15-minute community proposes 5,000 homes for residents of all income levels, with cultural, commercial, and recreational spaces all weaved within green promenades and public parks.

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Los Angeles Ends Free Public Transportation Experiment with Future Plans of Reduced-Fare Transits

Following California's Covid-19 health regulations in early 2020, Metro, the Los Angeles public transit agency stopped collecting fares on its busses as a safety precaution measure. However, the company's decision turned into the United States' biggest free-transit experiment, as ridership never dipped below 50 percent, even with the stay-at-home orders enforced by the government. Following 22 months of the decision and around 281 million fare-free transits, the company has decided to restart collecting fares, but is planning on using the information gathered throughout these two years to implement future improvements and introduce other free or reduced-fare programs in the city.

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New Construction Is Not Always the Answer

New Construction Is Not Always the Answer - Featured Image
via the Greater Syracuse Land Bank

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

California, as with most American states, has a housing crisis. Unlike the rest of the country, it is actually working to ameliorate the situation, with private and public initiatives that critics can’t help but label inadequate. The Bay Area made accessory dwelling units legal by changing zoning laws, but that has hardly made a dent. Some cities are now pushing for additional upzoning to give developers more room to bring new buildings to market at lower rents. There are all sorts of studies, university sponsored or underwritten by the industry, that recommend more-or-less radical fixes for a seemingly unfixable problem. Environmentalists are naturally cast as villains because they don’t condone greenfield developments. And Californians are tough on their elected officials, as the current governor learned last year. 

The Dark Side of Density: The Tragic Emergence of Windowless Bedrooms in the U.S.

Juan Miró, co-founder of Miró Rivera Architects reflects in an opinion piece on the student housing situation in the United States. The architect explores different dormitory conditions across the country and questions whether these leading public universities "enthusiastically endorse the idea of putting thousands of its students in windowless rooms in the name of density and efficiency".

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