This dying mall in Silicon Valley will be reborn with a 30-acre blanket of green roofs including a vineyard, orchard, and walking trails

(Courtesy San Hill Property Co.)

(Courtesy San Hill Property Co.)

Green roofs these days are the new blacktops. And just when you thought they couldn’t get any bigger, there are now plans to build a 30-acre park blanketing a mixed-use, $3 billion development in Cupertino, California. Right now, the site is the dying Vallco Shopping Mall.

Continue reading after the jump.

A competing vision to James Corner’s Seattle waterfront plan is going before City Council August 17

Seattle. (stringparts via Flickr Creative Commons)

Seattle. (stringparts via Flickr Creative Commons)

From Boston to San Francisco and cities in between, increasing the quality of livable and usable urban space has become a hot issue. Waterfront redevelopment, highway removal, and linear park creation (and activation) are leading the way.

For Seattle, that means redoing the waterfront by replacing the deteriorating seawall, removing the earthquake damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct, and building a tunnel.

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End of the single family house? An upzoned Seattle promises more affordable housing

Photo by Seth Sawyers via Flickr Creative Commons.

(Seth Sawyers via Flickr Creative Commons)

Seattle is abuzz about zoning. Last week, The Seattle Times leaked a draft report produced by Mayor Ed Murray’s housing task force, a 28-member committee steering the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

While the report outlines a variety of strategies to increase affordable housing in the Seattle region, one bold recommendation is getting a lot of attention: the upzoning of single family housing in Seattle to multi-family housing. Read More

Portland foodies rejoice: Snøhetta is designing the planned James Beard Public Market

The James Beard Public Market by Snøhetta,  with local partners, Mayer/Reed, SERA Architects, Studio Jeffreys and Interface Engineering, hopes to transform Downtown Portland into a culinary hub. (Courtesy Snøhetta)

The James Beard Public Market by Snøhetta, with local partners, Mayer/Reed, SERA Architects, Studio Jeffreys and Interface Engineering, hopes to transform Downtown Portland into a culinary hub. (Courtesy Snøhetta)

It seems that almost every major West Coast city has a public market. Seattle has Pike Place Market (construction is underway on an upcoming expansion now set to open in 2016), San Francisco has the Ferry Building Marketplace, Los Angeles has Grand Central Market, and Vancouver has Granville Island. And San Diego may get a public market in Point Loma this summer.

But the city of Portland—the small but mighty West coast food hub chock full of inventive restaurants, abundant farmers’ markets, and food trucks—has gone without a public market since the Portland Public Market closed in 1942. Until now.

Continue reading after the jump.

A park for Jimi Hendrix is finally being developed in Seattle

The planned Jimi Hendrix Park Sound Wave Wall (Seattle.gov)

The planned Jimi Hendrix Park Sound Wave Wall (Seattle.gov)

It’s been almost half a century since Jimi Hendrix passed away. And now after several delays, a 2.5 acre park in the Seattle Central District neighborhood where Hendrix grew up is being developed. Currently, the City of Seattle and EERG Inc. are seeking a construction contract.

COntinue reading after the jump.

San Francisco developer nixes BIG-designed Arts Center, plans smaller project

Architecture, News, West
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

A mixed-use complex designed by New York- and Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is going to be, well, not quite as big. The San Francisco Mid-Market neighborhood has been quickly revitalizing since 2011, but the largest development in the area, located at 950–974 Market Street, has just been downsized.

Continue reading after the jump.

Tapping into power: Portland looks to its water pipes to generate electricity

News, Sustainability, West
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
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The interior of a Lucid Energy pipe. (Lucid Energy)

The interior of a Lucid Energy pipe. (Lucid Energy)

What would it look like if cities could harvest power from water pressure moving through municipal water pipelines? Since 2012, Riverside, California has been putting that question into practice, and now Portland, Oregon is adopting the approach as well. A Portland-based company, Lucid Energy, has designed a system that generates electricity from simply flushing a toilet or turning on the tap.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bertha’s stuck and the under-construction Seattle viaduct is sinking

West
Thursday, January 8, 2015
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A new floor for the SR 99 tunnel (WSDOT Flickr)

A new floor for the SR 99 tunnel (WSDOT Flickr)

It looks like it’s bad news again for the in-progress Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel in Seattle, and for Bertha, the nickname for the world’s largest tunnel boring machine being used to create the underground highway. Bertha has been idle for much of 2014 due to a broken cutter system. And now the complex process to reach Bertha 60 feet below the surface has been halted. Recently a team of engineers discovered that the soil around Bertha is sinking as much as 1.4 inches in some places.

Read More

With the holidays gone, we’re still ogling these six gingerbread houses by Seattle architects

West
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
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“O Christmas Tree" by Skanska/David Mestl (Ariel Rosenstock)

“O Christmas Tree” by Skanska/David Mestl (Ariel Rosenstock)

It was the warmest December on record in Seattle, but that didn’t stop local architects from designing their annual round of gingerbread houses at Christmas. The 2014 theme, “Jingle All the Way,” was inspired by holiday songs, with donations raised during the event (as in years past) going to the JDRF Northwest Chapter.

Continue reading after the jump.

Seattle’s bike share program, Pronto, launches today!

Transportation, West
Monday, October 13, 2014
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A bike sharing station in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Bikes will be delivered on Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

Here’s one bike sharing station in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, with bikes coming Monday. (Ariel Rosenstock)

In the last few years, urban bike sharing has popped up all across the United States: in cities like Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and Chicago among others. Finally Seattle is getting it’s first bike sharing program, Pronto Cycle Share, today.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zip over Apple’s under-construction headquarters and take a seat in its newly-unveiled auditorium

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
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Apple's auditorium pavilion (Poltrona Frau Group)

Apple’s auditorium pavilion (via Poltrona Frau Group)

The excitement over Apple’s new mega-campus in Silicon Valley continues to build. First, we got an aerial drones-eye-view of the under-construction Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California (check it out after the jump!). And now, we get to see the corporate auditorium where the company will show off its new products once complete in 2016.

Continue reading after the jump.

Remembering Doug Wright, the man who helped tear down highways in San Francisco and Portland

Destruction of the Embarcadero Freeway (SF Chronicle)

Destruction of the Embarcadero Freeway (SF Chronicle)

San Francisco’s deputy mayor for transportation—who played an integral role in getting the city to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake—passed away on July 30th. He was 68. After the earthquake struck the city, Wright convinced former San Francisco mayor, Art Agnos, to help lead the effort to remove the highway and replace it—not with another highway, but instead with a boulevard at street level.

Continue reading after the jump.

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