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California: The Latest Architecture and News

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.

© Iwan Baan© Iwan Baan© Iwan Baan© Iwan Baan+ 11

Studio Other Spaces Designs Wine Tasting Pavilion in California

© The Donum Estate and Studio Other Spaces
© The Donum Estate and Studio Other Spaces

Studio Other Spaces, founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann, envisioned a wine tasting pavilion for California wine producer The Donum Estate that weaves together various elements of the site in what the designers describe as a vertical panorama. The project 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 coloured glass tiles represent an abstract calendar depicting the yearly averages of parameters such as wind intensity, temperature and humidity.

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.

415 Natoma. Photo by KYLE JEFFERS. Image Courtesy of KPFThe George at 5M is one of the development’s other towers. Image Courtesy of BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES, JEFFREY MART Photo by KYLE JEFFERS. Image Courtesy of KPF415 Natoma by Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects rises above the surrounding low- and mid-rise neighborhoods. The project was aimed at stitching the development into the urban fabric of SoMa. Photo by KYLE JEFFERS. Image Courtesy of KPF+ 7

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.

Circular Dimensions x Microscape by Cris Cichocki. Photo by Lance Gerber. Image Courtesy of Coachella Valley Music & Arts FestvialThe Playground by Architensions, photo by Lance Gerber. Image Courtesy of Coachella Valley Music & Arts FestvialMutts by Oana Stănescu, photo by Lance Gerber. Image Courtesy of Coachella Valley Music & Arts FestvialCocoon (BKF + H300) by Martín Huberman, photo by Lance Gerber. Image Courtesy of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festvial+ 64

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.

Courtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJ+ 9

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).

© Foster + Partners© dbox / Foster + Partners© Boyero / Foster + Partners© Foster + Partners+ 7

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.

HKS Unveils New AutoCamps in Joshua Tree and Zion. Image Courtesy of HKS ArchitectsCourtesy of CMNTY Culture/HKSCourtesy of CMNTY Culture/HKSCourtesy of CMNTY Culture/HKS+ 4

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.

Courtesy of 3XNCourtesy of 3XNCourtesy of 3XNCourtesy of 3XN+ 5

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.

LA Metro. Image via Wikimedia User Han Zheng under CC BY-SA 2.0Kansas Tram. Image via Flickr User Jim MaurerMetro Transit - LA. Image © 2019 LACMTA MetroLuxembourg Tram. Image © Creative Commons+ 4

New Construction Is Not Always the Answer

via the Greater Syracuse Land Bank
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".

Munger Hall Campus. Image Courtesy of Juan MiróMunger Hall Floor Plan. Image Courtesy of Juan MiróWest Campus Building Floor Plan. Image Courtesy of Juan MiróWest Campus Windowless Room. Image Courtesy of Juan Miró+ 7

Herzog & de Meuron Reveal Images of UCSF's Helen Diller Medical Center

After being selected by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to design the new hospital of its Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights in 2020, Herzog & de Meuron and HDR revealed new images of their design, featuring a 15-storey structure clad with terracotta across a 84,000 sqm plot. The proposed design aims to change the traditional concept of hospitals and provide members of the community with a healing space that puts in place “a holistic healthcare environment that fosters wellness and recovery by combining efficient facilities with human experiences, connected to nature and the community”.

Courtesy of Herzog & de MeuronCourtesy of HDRCourtesy of Herzog & de MeuronCourtesy of Herzog & de Meuron+ 5

Bjarke Ingels, Roni Bahar, and Nick Chim Launch First-of-its-Kind Home Design Company

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has joined forces with technology and real estate professionals Nick Chim and Roni Bahar to create Nabr, a new housing company that offers residents custom and sustainable apartments at scale with a path to ownership. The real estate tech startup has debuted its first development SoFA One in the heart of San Jose's South of First Area (SoFA) cultural district in Silicon Valley, and will allow residents to customize their space using Nabr's digital platform, and choose between different designs and financing packages.

© The Boundary© The Boundary© The Boundary© The Boundary+ 6

ADUs Are Not Enough for California

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

ADUs or accessory dwelling unit, a word mostly used by architects, is "a smaller, independent residential unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home" according to the American Planning Association. They can be converted spaces of existing houses, additions, or new stand-alone structures. In this piece, author Walter explores the recent policies in California that seek to reduce the shortage of housing.

MAD Architects Unveils Hollywood-Inspired "Office of the Future"

MAD Architects has announced "The Star", a new landmark that will foster culture, creativity, and inspiration in Los Angeles, California. Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, the Star's reflective architecture nods the neighborhood's glamorous characteristics and embeds nature within its structure with natural lighting, greenery, and workplaces that cater to the employees' mental and physical wellbeing.

Courtesy of MAD ArchitectsCourtesy of MAD Architects"Freedom". Image © Romina Carpentieri"Freedom". Image © Romina Carpentieri+ 4

The Audrey Irmas Pavilion, OMA New York’s First Cultural Building in California Nears Completion

OMA / Shohei Shigematsu has completed its Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the firm’s first commission from a religious institution and first cultural building in California. Expected to open in January 2022, “the new 55,000 square foot Pavilion is a response to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s vision for its campus to create a much-needed space to convene”.

Courtesy of OMA New York, Photography by Jason O’RearCourtesy of OMA New York, Photography by Jason O’RearCourtesy of OMA New York, Photography by Jason O’RearCourtesy of OMA New York, Photography by Jason O’Rear+ 44