Architectural education has always been fundamentally influenced by whichever styles are popular at a given time, but that relationship flows in the opposite direction as well. All styles must originate somewhere, after all, and revolutionary schools throughout centuries past have functioned as the influencers and generators of their own architectural movements. These schools, progressive in their times, are often founded by discontented experimental minds, looking for something not previously nor currently offered in architectural output or education. Instead, they forge their own way and bring their students along with them. As those students graduate and continue on to practice or become teachers themselves, the school’s influence spreads and a new movement is born.
California: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.