Forever 21 flips the switch on Los Angeles’ largest solar project yet

Forever 21's 5MW PermaCity Solar System

Forever 21’s 5MW PermaCity Solar System

On January 21 solar supplier PermaCity and retailer Forever 21 turned on the switch to their 5.1 MegaWatt DC SunPower solar system in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights neighborhood. The renovation of the former Macy’s distribution center—now Forever 21’s headquarters— was designed by Forever 21 staff with Culver City architect Brian Reiff.

Continue reading after the jump.

Los Angeles’ sustainability chief talks going green in SoCal

Sustainability is a top concern for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Neil Kremer / Flickr)

Sustainability is a top concern for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Neil Kremer/Flickr)

Thanks in no small part to the local AEC industry, Los Angeles is a leader in sustainability in several areas, notably green building. But there is still room for improvement, said Matt Petersen, former president and CEO of Global Green USA. Petersen would know: he’s the city’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as part of a broader administrative overhaul. “The mandate the mayor gave me was to build on the great things Los Angeles is already doing, and to put forward a vision for sustainability in the city,” explained Petersen.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Study shows Angelenos hard up for rent

Eavesdroplet, West
Monday, January 12, 2015
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The Los Angeles skyline. (Mulling it Over / Flickr)

The Los Angeles skyline. (Mulling it Over / Flickr)

Forget about San Francisco being the hardest place to rent in California. According to a story in the New York Times (citing zillow.com), Angelenos spend 47 percent of their income on the median rent. That’s the highest in the country, and significantly higher than San Francisco, which ranks sixth on the list at 40.7 percent. And the problem appears ready to get worse as new supply struggles to keep up with demand in the overcrowded city. Maybe we’ll all have to move to Bakersfield.

On View> Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change

(Paula Bronstein)

(Paula Bronstein)

 

Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change
Annenberg Space For Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles
Through May 3, 2015

Sink or Swim: Design for a Sea Change, at the Annenberg Space For Photography, examines worldwide resiliency strategies in architecture and design for the new challenges brought about by climate change and sea level rise.

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December’s Top Five: Here’s what you read most on the AN Blog

Santiago Calatrava's transit center in New York City. (Courtesy Port Authority)

Santiago Calatrava’s transit center in New York City. (Courtesy Port Authority)

With 2014 quickly receding into history, here’s a look at what blog posts AN‘s readers clicked on most last month. Big international stories, many with starchitects attached, abounded in New York, London, Los Angeles, Helsinki, and Rio de Janeiro. All of December’s top stories point toward the future, with many under-construction projects that will be sure to dominate additional headlines this year. Here’s a glimpse at what was in the news.

View the top 5 after the jump.

Eavesdrop> Kate Mantilini, Part II: Is Morphosis ready to revamp Beverly Hills?

(William Veerbeek / Flickr)

(William Veerbeek / Flickr)

In a previous Eavesdrop, we reported that the famous Morphosis-designed restaurant Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills was chafing at city plans to landmark the premises. Well it appears the problem may have been resolved. Eavesdrop heard over cocktails that Morphosis itself has been tagged to do the restaurant’s renovation. No official word yet, but this seems like a natural fit, doesn’t it?

Eavesdrop> Expo Line’s First Riders? Unexpected patrons swarm Santa Monica

Eavesdroplet, Transportation, West
Monday, January 5, 2015
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Metro Expo Line Phase 2 construction along Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica. (Metro Library and Archive / Flickr)

Metro Expo Line Phase 2 construction along Colorado Ave, Santa Monica. (Metro Library and Archive / Flickr)

There’s been a lot of sunny news revolving around the incoming Expo Line in Santa Monica, which is scheduled to open sometime in 2016. But with all the feverish construction, it appears some unwelcome guests are coming out of the shadows (or actually, the ground). Several businesses around the construction—including those of architects—are reporting increased numbers of cockroaches making their way into their offices. Some have even called it an infestation. Who knew mass transit would attract such a wide ridership?

Designing Facades for a Changing Environment

NBBJ's Samsung America Headquarters in San Jose, California. (Courtesy NBBJ)

NBBJ’s Samsung America Headquarters in San Jose, California. (Courtesy NBBJ)

When it comes to responding to climate change, said Stacey Hooper, senior associate at NBBJ, architects have tended to be more reactive than proactive. “Our industry is so insular,” she explained. “As a profession, we’re really interested in the coolest, newest thing—not necessarily how we’re going to support these bigger global challenges.” Hooper had this in mind when she sat down with co-chair Luke Smith (Enclos) and the rest of the planning team to lay out the inaugural Facades+ LA conference, taking place in February in downtown Los Angeles. “We were talking about, ‘Who are the influencers?’—not just in the building industry,” recalled Hooper. “Where will real influence come from?”

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Winner chosen for another billion dollar addition to LAX

Transportation, West
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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LAX People Mover plan (LAWA)

LAX People Mover plan (LAWA)

Last year LAX opened its soaring new Tom Bradley International Terminal addition. But that was just the beginning of changes at Los Angeles’ woefully-out-of-date airport. The biggest news: Last week the LA Board of Airport Commissioners awarded Turner|PCL (a joint Venture with Corgan/Gensler) a contract to design and build a $1.25 billion Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) North Project.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> LA’s Westside Urban Forum hands Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor Darth Vader Awards

Awards, Eavesdroplet, West
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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Renzo Piano's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum was awarded a Darth Vader Award. (Montage by AN)

Renzo Piano’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum was awarded a Darth Vader Award. (Montage by AN)

 

It’s good to see some good old-fashioned roasting, and that’s what the Westside Urban Forum’s WUFFIES awards are all about. This year’s event, held earlier this month at the Los Angeles Times of all places, was full of the usual snipes on botched RFPs and difficult County Supervisors. But it also got in some good jibes at architecture’s expense. Our favorite: the Darth Vader Award, which went both to Peter Zumthor’s foreboding, jet black LACMA expansion and to Renzo Piano’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum with its helmet-looking theater bulging out of the old May Company Building.

Pictorial> Dramatic new pedestrian bridge design chosen for Palo Alto

City Terrain, Unveiled, Urbanism, West
Monday, December 22, 2014
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(HNTB)

Oblique view from bridge path. (HNTB/Bionic/64North)

A team made up of HNTB (which is also leading the 6th Street Viaduct in Los Angeles), 64North, Bionic Landscape Architecture, and Ned Kahn have won a competition to design a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge spanning the 101 Freeway in Palo Alto at Adobe Creek. The winning proposal for the Adobe Creek Overcrossing, called Confluence, is highlighted by a multi-story, leaning steel arch integrated with an intricate web of cables and floating steel disks.

View the design after the jump.

Time Inc. sells Cliff May’s midcentury modern Sunset campus in Menlo Park

Architecture, Preservation, West
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Entrance to Cliff May's Sunset campus (Charles Birnbaum)

Entrance to Cliff May’s Sunset campus (Charles Birnbaum)

After weeks of rumors, Time Inc. earlier this week announced that it had sold Sunset‘s Cliff May–designed, seven-acre campus in Menlo Park, CA to real estate investment firm Embarcadero Capital Partners. Sunset, which has been published in some form or another since 1898, moved into the classic midcentury campus in the 1950s. They will stay through the end of next year.

Continue reading after the jump.

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