Over the past year, established practices have continued to champion the transformation of existing structures, with adaptive reuse and renovations increasingly becoming a defining aspect of contemporary architecture From the renovation of landmark structures to the adaptive reuse of obsolete facilities, the idea of giving new life to existing buildings has been embraced as the premise for a more sustainable practice, but also as a means of reinforcing the urban and cultural identity of cities. Discover 8 designs and recently completed projects that showcase a new common practice of reusing existing building stock.
San Francisco: The Latest Architecture and News
On a clear fall day in 2005, a group of friends and collaborators from the art collective Rebar commandeered an 8-foot-wide by 20-foot-long metered parking space in downtown San Francisco. This two-hour guerilla art installation evolved into Park(ing) Day, a global public art and design activism event that has been celebrated every year since. In 2009, Rebar and other design studios were approached by the City of San Francisco to prototype a more permanent version of Park(ing) Day. In response, we created one of the world’s first parklets in San Francisco (we called our version walklet), and through the diligent efforts of Andres Power in the Mayor’s Office and City Planning, San Francisco’s pioneering parklet program was born.
As architects face up to the need for ethical, sustainable design in the age of climate change awareness, timber architecture is making a comeback in a new, technologically impressive way. Largely overlooked in the age of Modernism, recent years have seen a plethora of advancements related to mass timber across the world. This year alone, Japan announced plans for a supertall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo by 2041, while the European continent has seen plans for the world’s largest timber building in the Netherlands, and the world’s tallest timber tower in Norway.
The potential for mass timber to become the dominant material of future sustainable cities has also gained traction in the United States throughout 2018. Evolving codes and the increasing availability of mass timber is inspiring firms, universities, and state legislators to research and invest in ambitious projects across the country.
The world-renowned academic medical centre The University of California San Francisco has selected Snohetta and HGA to design the new Parnassus Research and Academic Building (PRAB). As part of a larger plan to renovate and expand the medical campus, the project will replace the 1917 UC Hall, creating a more collaborative research environment while also providing the city of San Francisco with an attractive public space.
As part of the Dogpatch mixed-use waterfront development, Foster + Partner's Power Station extension has finally broken ground. The master plan will create multiple new residential, commercial, and recreational spaces, honoring its industrial past and reconnecting the community with the San Francisco Bay waterfront. The architecture firm's 2-building proposal provides the neighborhood with an ideal urban framework to help create a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive community.
Construction work began for Herzog & de Meuron’s transformation of a former power plant building in San Fransico into a mixed-use project. Designed in collaboration with California-based practice Adamson Associates, the adaptive reuse of iconic Station A is part of the Portrero Power Station project, the redevelopment of a 29-acre industrial site into an extension of the Dogpatch neighbourhood. Herzog & de Meuron’s design retains and repurposes various features of the industrial building while adding a lightweight, steel-framed structure on top, thus giving new life to one of San Francisco’s landmarks.
Matt Hickman reports on San Francisco's latest inclusive memorial, for the Architect's Newspaper, designed by SWA, a firm that operates two Bay Area studios (San Francisco and Sausalito) as well as offices in Texas, Southern California, New York City, and Shanghai. Selected by FHMP from a shortlist of four firms that submitted proposals, out of 17 invited offices, SWA shared their winning conceptual design for the memorial at Harvey Milk Plaza.
Art Gensler, the founder of one of the largest architecture businesses in the world, Gensler, has passed away at 85, as reported by the company’s Instagram Account. The architect and businessman founded Gensler back in 1965, in San Francisco, and in his 65 years of career, he managed to turn his practice into one of the leading worldwide firms with 50 locations across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas.
Few places have embraced sustainable design practices like California. Experiencing dramatic droughts, wildfires and environmental issues, the state has started to create new policies and initiatives to promote environmentally-conscious design solutions. From eco-districts and water management strategies to net-zero building projects, the Golden State is making strides to reshape its future. Forming long-term visions and procedures through the lens of physical resource consumption, California is working to better integrate its economic development plans with sustainable building methods.