A return to brick and mortar, Amazon.com opens first bookstore in Seattle

Architecture, Open, Technology, West
Thursday, November 5, 2015
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The books. (Amazon.com)

The books. (Amazon.com)

November 3 was a big day for Amazon, with the opening of its first brick and mortar store, Amazon Books. The location? Seattle, of course. The 5,500-square-foot store inside the upscale University Village shopping mall replaced the former Blue C Sushi restaurant.

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Eavesdrop> Grrrl Power: Los Angeles has a ways to go for women’s equality in architecture

Eavesdroplet, West
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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Julia Morgan's Herald Examiner Building. (FLOYD B. BARISCALE)

Julia Morgan’s Herald Examiner Building. (FLOYD B. BARISCALE)

We live in a listicle age. Why write an article when you can clump a few names together and call it a trend? So when Los Angeles Magazine listed six women who have changed the face of Los Angeles architecture, which included one dead AIA Gold Medalist and two New Yorkers, it was bound to create outcry. Brava to the three local gals who made the cut, but let’s celebrate all the women of the L.A. architecture and design scene. When local schools put one lady on the lecture series and pat themselves on the back, we know more needs to be done for gender equity.

Marmol Radziner’s Past Forays into Guerrilla Architecture

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, October 29, 2015
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Stairway offers access to fenced off park circa 1998. (Courtesy Marmol Radziner)

Stairway offers access to fenced off park circa 1998. (Courtesy Marmol Radziner)

An architectural Banksy lurks behind the well-tailored facade of Marmol Radziner.

While the architecture and design-build practice is best known for its modern and high-end contemporary designs—they recently received two preservation awards one from the California Preservation Design Awards for the rehab of Richard Neutra’s 1955 Kronish House and the Pioneer in Modern Restoration & New Design Award from the Palm Springs Modern Committee—the firm recently revealed that it has a radical soul.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kenneth Caldwell on designer chatter at the Monterey Design Conference

Architecture, Interiors, Review, West
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
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MDC 2015 Master of Ceremonies, Reed Kroloff.(Courtesy AIACC)

MDC 2015 Master of Ceremonies, Reed Kroloff.(Courtesy AIACC)

This year’s Monterey Design Conference could have been titled the “Monterey Design Short Video Clip Festival.” For as long as I can remember, most of the presentations at the conference have followed the same formula: show slides of recent work and explain them. But now most of the speakers are trying to tell a more nuanced story, informed by our mobile-app/social-media/you-are-never-offline age. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I checked in with attendees to get their impressions.

More after the jump.

Semi-finalists Announced for Pershing Square Competition

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Ten teams make the semi-finals to makeover Pershing Square (Courtesy Pershing Square Renew)

A shortlist was announced for the Pershing Square Renew competition. Ten teams were selected to have a chance at a crack at redoing Ricardo Legorreta’s scheme. The five-acre park is seen as the centerpiece of a revitalized Downtown Los Angeles and the competition, a public-private partnership backed by councilmember José Huizar, is a critical step toward that effort.

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Take a tour inside Snøhetta’s SFMOMA before it opens in May 2016

SFMOMA (Gregory Hurcomb)

SFMOMA (Gregory Hurcomb)

“The building is not static—it is designed to gracefully mature over time as life and art move forward together,” said Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers poetically wrapped up his opening remarks at the pre-launch event of their heralded new addition to the SFMOMA, which is slated to open May 14, 2016.

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Hammer Museum Announces Expansion into Occidental Petroleum Tower

Architecture, Art, West
Monday, October 26, 2015
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Will Matlzan design the expanded Hammer Museum? (Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture.)

Will Maltzan design the expanded Hammer Museum? (Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture)

A bigger Hammer is happening in Westwood. The museum just announced that the museum a 99-year lease and will be expanding into 40,000 square feet of gallery and support space. Read More

First renderings revealed for SOM’s San Francisco 1500 Mission residential tower [UPDATE]

Architecture, Development, West
Monday, October 26, 2015
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Exterior Rendering (Courtesy SOM)

Exterior Rendering (Courtesy SOM)

With backing from developers Related California, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is moving forward with a new residential tower project at 1500 Mission Street and South Van Ness in the Bay Area of San Francisco.

View the first renderings after the jump.

Seven lucky California architects selected for 7x7x7 design and drought initiative

(WRNS Studio)

El Niño may be predicted, but life in the west is still parched. With an eye towards climate change, California’s State Architect has enlisted seven noteworthy architecture firms to develop seven case studies in sustainable school design, for seven representative school campuses.

Continue reading after the jump.

SOM’s gravity-defying floating glass cube in DTLA

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(Courtesy SOM)

The building’s pleated glass envelope contains 1,672 energy efficient panels that uniquely responds to its location.

SOM has floated a glass cube above a large stepped civic plaza negotiating a sloped site in downtown Los Angeles for their United States Courthouse project, scheduled to open July, 2016 with an anticipated LEED Platinum rating. The 633,000 square foot, 220 foot tall facility includes 24 daylight-filled courtrooms and 32 judges’ chambers.

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Monterey Becomes Eclectic: Lessons from the Monterey Design Conference

Architecture, Design, West
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
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Architects gather for the 2015 Monterey Design Conference held at Julia Morgan's Asilomar. (Courtesy @rjcarch/ Instagram)

Architects gather for the 2015 Monterey Design Conference held at Julia Morgan’s Asilomar. (Courtesy @rjcarch/ Instagram)

A weekend at the 2015 Monterey Design Conference (MDC) held at Asilomar leads to a wealth and variety of insights about architecture and design. Including a lesson in “uglyful,” says Guy Horton.

Read about the conference after the jump.

Adam Sokol’s tall and skinny hotel revealed on Los Angeles’ Spring Street

Architecture, Skyscrapers, Unveiled, West
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
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aerial-night

A skinny hotel is set to rise in Downtown Los Angeles’ historic core. Designed by Buffalo, New York–based Adam Sokol Architecture Practice (asap) for developer Lizard Capital, the new Spring Street Hotel will tower 325-feet over the street and feature 176 guest rooms. At 28-stories, the design introduces tallness to an area that’s currently mid-rise area, but not for long.

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