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California: The Latest Architecture and News

MVRDV’s Geology-Inspired Tower Begins Construction in San Francisco

Construction has begun on MVRDV’s new 23-story mixed-use tproject at Mission Rock in San Francisco. One of four buildings in a multi-phase masterplan, the tower was designed alongside work by Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, and WORKac. The Mission Rock masterplan aims to turn 28 acres into a new neighborhood for San Francisco residents and visitors. The projects are made to connect to China Basin Park.

Maritime Design: Rare Coastal Libraries Around the World

As architecture has evolved to include advanced building envelopes, innovative structural systems, and hybrid programs, new boundaries have been drawn. Sustainable practices and passive strategies have led architects to re-imagine building skins and the relationship between interior and exterior. While different typologies are designed with varied levels of permeability, libraries demand rigorous attention to performative facades and protected programs. This holds especially true when libraries are placed within radically changing landscapes.

© Tuomas Uusheimo© Fernando Alda© Luc Boegly© Taisuke Ogawa+ 10

Repairing the Urban Fabric Ruined by Highways

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

From the hills behind the City Hall in my adopted hometown of Ventura, California, it’s less than 1,000 yards southward to the Pacific Ocean. This constrained piece of topography creates a small urban gem of a downtown: streetscapes, restaurants, stores, offices, residences, parking garages, and a beachfront promenade, all within eight or so square blocks, creating a lively streetlife that connects a historic downtown to the beach.

LUCE et Studio Reimagines Mingei International Museum in San Diego

Jennifer Luce, principal and founder of LUCE et Studio Architects has shared her vision for the Mingei International Museum renovation in San Diego. The design is featured in a video by Jeff Durkin of Breadtruck Films. The Mingei is a nonprofit that collects, conserves and exhibits folk art, craft, and design objects in Balboa Park. During the building’s centennial, a $55 million campaign began to renovate the structure.

Courtesy of LUCE et Studio ArchitectsCourtesy of LUCE et Studio ArchitectsCourtesy of LUCE et Studio ArchitectsCourtesy of LUCE et Studio Architects+ 12

Frank Lloyd Wright's Civic Center Captured on Film by Skyler Dahan

Skyler Dahan, an LA-based photographer, has captured Frank Lloyd Wright's Civic Center, in Marin County. Shot on Kodak Portra film with a Contax 645 medium format camera, the series of images highlight Frank Lloyd Wright's latest commission. Serving as a justice hall, the project was actually completed by Wright's protégé Aaron Green after the architect’s death.

Courtesy of Skyler DahanCourtesy of Skyler DahanCourtesy of Skyler DahanCourtesy of Skyler Dahan+ 7

HGA Unveils John Adams Middle School Performing Arts Center in Santa Monica

Architecture, engineering, and planning firm HGA has unveiled the design for the John Adams Middle School Performing Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. The project is made to be a dynamic arts environment and incubator for students to explore and develop their artistic voices. As a gateway to the campus, the project will establish a strong visual identity for the school while engaging Santa Monica College and the city.

Courtesy of HGACourtesy of HGACourtesy of HGACourtesy of HGA+ 9

City of Los Angeles Launches $100,000 Low-Rise Housing Competition

The City of Los Angeles has launched a $100,000 housing design challenge for low-rise developments. The competition asks architects and landscape architects to imagine "appealing and sustainable" models of low-rise, multi-unit housing. Organized by the Mayor’s Office and Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne, the initiative aims to create new paths to home-ownership and housing affordability in Los Angeles.

43 Illustrated Homes Celebrate the Work of Paul R. Williams in California

Paul Revere Williams’ incredible architectural career spanned the growth of Hollywood. Artist Ibrahim Rayintakath illustrated 43 of Williams’ most notable California homes for HomeAdvisor, including addresses and an illustrated map so architecture buffs can check out these historic buildings in person. Between the 1920s and his retirement in 1973, Williams designed over 2,000 private homes - many for Hollywood creatives such as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Johnny Weissmuller.

Courtesy of Ibrahim RayintakathCourtesy of Ibrahim RayintakathCourtesy of Ibrahim RayintakathCourtesy of Ibrahim Rayintakath+ 46

CROX Designs Futuristic Vertical Park for San Jose

Design practice CROX has designed a conceptual vertical park for San Jose, California. Dubbed the San Jose Ring, the landmark project takes on a circular shape inspired by architect Lin Congran's idea of unity and historical continuity. As the team outlines, the project aims to reconnect people and nature through a huge loop, emphasizing connection through a combination of sculpture, architecture and park space.

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AIA California Announces 2020 Residential Design Awards

The American Institute of Architects California (AIA CA) has announced the recipients of the 2020 Residential Design Awards. With nearly 100 projects submitted, the jury recognized ten projects with honor, merit and leading edge awards. As AIA California states, the jury took many aspects into consideration, looking for "exceptional design" that represents all that California architecture has to offer.

Dawnridge by Field Architecture Inc. Image © Joe FletcherWalk-Street House by ras-a studio. Image © Joe FletcherWalk-Street House by ras-a studio. Image © Joe Fletcher222 Taylor by David Baker Architects. Image © Bruce Damonte+ 6

Google Releases 80-Acre "Downtown West" Campus Plan for San Jose

Google has released new details of a sprawling, 80-acre plan to transform downtown San Jose, California. Designed to be a corporate campus, the "Downtown West" development will emphasize public open space and parkland. Google intends to make the area feel less like a traditional corporate development by incorporating office space, housing, retail and other uses within a new urban neighborhood framework.

"Design is All About People": Joshua Sanabria Explores Storytelling, Media and Alternative Paths

Storytelling is at the heart of architecture and design. For Josh Sanabria, CEO of independent media company DesignClass, great stories foster curiosity and creativity. Moving between design and technology, Sanabria has launched numerous competitions and interactive classes to celebrate design and advocate its impact. In a new interview with ArchDaily, Sanabria explores storytelling, media and technology, as well as how designers can create meaningful impact through their work.

Courtesy of Subject StudioCourtesy of Joshua SanabriaCourtesy of Joshua SanabriaCourtesy of Joshua Sanabria+ 7

Heatherwick Proposes New and Improved Waterfront Experience for San Francisco

Heatherwick Studio has designed the Cove, a new waterfront experience for San Francisco. Seeking to activate and improve the beachfront, “while future-proofing the historic district and the City against the risks of earthquakes and climate change”, the Cove will put in place a next-generation, high-performance waterfront community that uniquely identifies with San Francisco.

Courtesy of Heatherwick StudioCourtesy of Wire CollectiveCourtesy of Heatherwick StudioCourtesy of Heatherwick Studio+ 6

Introducing LA's First New Streetlamp Since the 1950s

Design studio Project Room has been announced as the winner of the competition to design and create a new standard streetlight for Los Angeles. Initiated by the City of L.A. and led by the Mayor's Office with the Bureau of Street Lighting, the competition asked designers to create a lighting system that would incorporate new technology, include space for text on each pole, and provide shade to help ease the impacts of the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Project RoomCourtesy of Project RoomCourtesy of Base Image by Douglas HillCourtesy of Project Room+ 12

Laurel Canyon: The Classic California Urban Ecosystem

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

The most arresting image, among many, in the documentary Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time, directed by Alison Ellwood, is a black-and-white photograph of Eric Clapton visiting Los Angeles for the first time on tour with Cream. He sits a few feet from Joni Mitchell, who is playing guitar, with a visibly stoned David Crosby in the background on the backyard lawn of Cass Elliot’s house. Clapton observes Mitchell with such a smoldering intensity you think he’s going to blow an amp. He is transfixed by Mitchell not because she was striking—and she was—but because of her musicianship.

Santa Monica High School Discovery Project Designed with Open Building Principles

HED and Moore Ruble Yudell's new Santa Monica High School Discovery Building is currently under construction. Working with contractor McCarthy, the project is designed to embrace Open Building principles for a better K12 education experience. Made to prepare students for a dynamic future amongst social, cultural and pedagogical change, the 1,200-student facility supports different modes of learning for Santa Monica High School - locally known as Samohi.

Courtesy of HED and Moore Ruble YudellCourtesy of HED and Moore Ruble YudellCourtesy of HED and Moore Ruble YudellCourtesy of HED and Moore Ruble Yudell+ 17