San Francisco’s “Murmur Wall” installation tells your secrets in public

Murmur Wall by Future Cities Lab  (Photo: Peter Prato Photography)

Murmur Wall by Future Cities Lab. (Peter Prato Photography)

We’ve all heard a lot about “smart cities” and “responsive architecture,” by what about architecture that tells secrets? Murmur Wall, designed by Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno of the experimental design practice Future Cities Lab, does just that. The pair describes their site-specific installation at the main entrance to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in as “artificially intelligent architecture.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Berkeley designers propose building this pavilion entirely out of books, and you can help kickstart the project

Architecture, Art, City Terrain, West
Friday, April 3, 2015
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Lacuna will be literally made of books (Project Lacuna)

Leaders of the Bay Area Book Festival (taking place June 5–7 in Berkeley) are teaming up with arts group Flux Foundation to make Lacuna, a wood-framed, yurt-like structure containing over 50,000 books, all donated by the Internet Archive.

Continue reading after the jump.

San Francisco never looked as grand as in this nighttime time lapse video

Architecture, Skyscrapers, West
Monday, March 30, 2015
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Still from Gotham City SF.

Still from Gotham City SF.

This black-and-white time-lapse video by Toby Harriman shows San Francisco at its most dramatic. The skyline emerges quietly from its famous fog as the city and its bridges twinkle in the distance—including Leo Villareal’s Bay Lights installation. As the music builds, Gotham City SF picks up pace, showing dramatic angles at high speeds completely appropriate for an action thriller. You’d have to watch to really understand.

Watch the video after the jump.

Long-empty Strand Theater to re-open in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood

Architecture, News, Preservation, West
Friday, March 27, 2015
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The theater's historic facade has been given a lively facelift. (SOM)

The theater’s historic facade has been given a lively facelift. (SOM)

In May, San Francisco will open its intensive renovation of the Strand Theater, one of so many additions to the city’s quickly-changing Mid-Market area. Designed by SOM and Page & Turnbull, the new facility is located inside a 1917 building originally used for Vaudeville and then for second-run movies. Read More

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.

San Francisco to launch Market Street Prototype Festival in April

Mineral Benches (Mary Anne Kluth)

Mineral Benches (Mary Anne Kluth)

In 2018, San Francisco plans to give Market Street a serious facelift. But first the city wanted a way to gather community input and include citizens in the design process. This was the beginning of the Market Street Prototyping Festival, which in April will unveil the work of 50 design teams up and down Market’s sidewalks. The 50 teams were selected from more than 200 submissions by a jury made up of experts from local design firms, community organizations, technology companies, and government. Read More

Watch Renzo Piano talk about reinventing the shopping mall in a San Francisco suburb

Architecture, West
Monday, February 23, 2015
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Inside RPBW's Bishop's Ranch project. (RPBW)

Inside RPBW’s Bishop’s Ranch project. (RPBW)

Last summer, AN reported on Renzo Piano’s City Center at Bishop Ranch, the architect’s re-invention of the typical shopping center, mixing walkability, culture (including an integrated performance stage), community (including a public “piazza” space”) and commerce. In a new short film about the project, Piano spoke about keeping people outside, creating open and transparent storefronts, making a building that will “practically fly above the ground.”

Watch the video after the jump.

Wrapping up CCA’s Data Clay Symposium on combining experimental form with new materials

Architecture, Dean's List, Technology, West
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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Radical Craft's CNC molded "Tectonic Horizons." (Radical Craft)

Radical Craft’s CNC molded Tectonic Horizons. (Radical Craft)

With the scent of wet St. Louis clay wafting through the air, the Data Clay Symposium kicked off at CCA last weekend. Hosted by the Architecture & Fine Arts Divisions at CCA, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the CCA Digital Craft Lab, the event joined architects, artists, designers, makers, critics and creators to discuss and display their latest syncretic experiments and the possibilities of the seemingly disparate mediums of data (i.e. computation) and clay.

Continue reading after the jump.

Eavesdrop> California’s Olympic Letdown: Los Angeles & San Francisco lose out to Boston

Eavesdroplet, West
Thursday, January 29, 2015
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(Photo by Alik Griffin / Flickr; Montage by AN)

(Photo by Alik Griffin / Flickr; Montage by AN)

 

Alas, despite being hailed as the favorite to represent the United States in the race for the 2024 Olympics, Los Angeles has lost out to its much older competitor, Boston. LA had pitched what Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed as the “most affordable” proposal, using mostly existing facilities, including the LA Memorial Coliseum, the Staples Center, and even Frank Gehry‘s Disney Hall, Griffith Observatory, and the Queen Mary.

Maybe the USOC isn’t as into a bargain as we thought? Or maybe after giving LA two games they’re just not that into us anymore. San Francisco, by the way, lost out on its bid, which also banked on affordability. Damn, the Olympic Village could have been the only cheap place to live there outside of Oakland!

An unlikely shipping container pop-up plaza is the brainchild of the San Francisco Giants and Gehl Studio

Architecture, City Terrain, Urbanism, West
Friday, January 16, 2015
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The Yard would consist of retail-centered shipping containers just outside the stadium. (Steelblue)

The Yard would consist of retail-centered shipping containers just outside the stadium. (Steelblue)

San Francisco’s baseball team, the Giants, and Gehl Studio are planning a pop-up shipping container village on a waterfront parking lot just across McCovey Cove from AT&T Park in Mission Bay. The Yard, as the project is being called, will consist of a beer garden, coffee shop, retail stores and a waterfront deck, all on land intended for a 1.7 million square foot mixed-use development called Mission Rock.

Continue reading after the jump.

Snøhetta continues San Francisco streak with downtown highrise, and the town is talking

(Courtesy Snøhetta/ SCB)

(Courtesy Snøhetta/ SCB)

The momentum continues in San Francisco for the Norwegian firm Snøhetta with a recently-unveiled tower at the corner of the city’s Market Street and Van Ness Avenue. And the project has been garnering some fairly untraditional responses from citizens.

Read More

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.

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