Growing Tall and Going Big: San Francisco studied density bonuses to generate affordable housing

Development, West
Monday, August 31, 2015
San Francisco (gags9999)

San Francisco (gags9999/Flickr)

This Fall, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal made by the city’s Planning Department concerning the possibility of “relaxing” height and density limits for many of San Francisco’s western neighborhoods. If enacted, the program expects to transform some of San Francisco’s uninhabited residences and unused space into affordable housing units for newcomers.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kreysler & Associates Erects an FRP First in San Francisco

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The SFMOMA expansion features the first major use of FRP cladding on a multi-story building in North America. (Tom Paiva / Kreysler & Associates)

The SFMOMA expansion features the first major use of FRP cladding on a multi-story building in North America. (Tom Paiva / Kreysler & Associates)

Wave-like composite facade animates SFMOMA expansion.

While visually interesting, the primary facade of the SFMOMA expansion (Snøhetta with associate architect EHDD) was not originally designed to pioneer a new material system. Read More

San Francisco City Hall light show proposal sparks anti-advertising controversy

San Francisco City Hall lit up for a June Centennial light show. (Flickr albedo20)

San Francisco City Hall lit up for a Centennial Celebration light show in June. (Flickr albedo20)

In 1915, when San Francisco’s City Hall, designed by Bakewell & Brown, opened to the public after the Great Earthquake destroyed an earlier edifice, architect Arthur Brown, Jr. couldn’t have predicted that a digital light show would grace the Beaux-Arts building a century later. But, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee recently proposed just that—his plan would allow for corporations and city events to use the east façade for projected light and multimedia displays.

Continue reading after the jump.

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

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
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
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
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
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
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
(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!

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