Quick Clicks> IKEA Life, Gensler′s Mil, Graceland II, and a Green Empire

Daily Clicks, East
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
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(image by Christian Gideon)

Hem Sweet Hem. We love this quirky story from our friends at Curbed. The Swedish-based IKEA is well on itsway to worldwide domination of the budget-furniture market — and who doesn’t love wandering through the cavernous stores and imagining life in the mini habitats arranged throughout the store? Photographer Christian Gideon sure did. His latest project documents what life might look like if you lived in one.

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Voters Help Out CA Architects

West
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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Despite the sting felt countrywide by largely left-leaning architects, architects in California have a lot to smile about after yesterday’s elections: particularly because a number of ballot propositions went their way. Most importantly Prop 23, which aimed to suspend AB 32, the state’s anti-pollution, pro-sustainability legislation, was trounced, preserving green building and retrofitting funds not to mention important environmental and anti-sprawl measures. Also the defeat of Prop 22, which prohibits the state from taking certain local funds (like city redevelopment funds), to replenish its coffers should help preserve money that architects often tap into. On the negative side—particularly for landscape architects—Prop 21, which would have increased vehicle license fees to help fund state parks, was defeated. And of course prop 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California, went down as well. Sorry architects. You can’t have everything!

Anshen + Allen Swallowed By Swirly Blue Stantec Ball

West
Thursday, August 26, 2010
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Another day, another corporate architecture takeover. But this time it’s not the usual suspect, AECOM, which has recently swallowed Davis Langdon, Ellerbe Becket, DMJM, and EDAW. It’s Canada’s largest architecture firm, Stantec (whose stock ticker on the NYSE, for the record, is STN), which already has a total of 10,000 employees in North America and designs behemoth projects ranging from airports to wastewater treatment plants. The firm today announced it was eating up storied SF firm Anshen + Allen. Read More

The Difference a Year Makes

West
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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The Sacremento County Courthouse, home of the Superior Court that made the authorities ruling. (Tom Spaulding/Flickr)

For better and worse, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that the California legislature had not violated the state constitution in seizing some $2 billion from hundreds of local redevelopment authorities across the state, money that will continue to be used to cover educational shortfalls within the state’s sagging budget. This is good news in that it does not further imperil already tenuous state finances that have pretty much been trimmed well into the marrow. At the same time, as we detailed last year, this is an unprecedented taking of local funds—covered through special property taxes having nothing to do with the Legislature—that could also imperil the state’s economy by limiting the work the redevelopment authorities can do, work that often times goes to architects. Read More

LA Gets Gold (Energy) Star

West
Thursday, March 25, 2010
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LA leads the country in Energy Star-rated buildings. Perhaps it will help clear up that smog problem. (Courtesy Rubicon Project)

LA is rarely thought of as the country’s greenest town, what with all the traffic and sprawl, but it’s doing a lot better than you think, as the News informs us. For the second year in a row, Los Angeles has been ranked number one in terms of energy efficient buildings, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star ratings. LA made it to the top of the list by having the most rated buildings—ones that use 35 percent less energy than the average—with 293. The top five include Washington, D.C. (204), San Francisco (173), Denver (136) and Chicago (134). This does not exactly mean it is the most efficient period, Read More

Eavesdrop CA 01

Eavesdroplet
Monday, February 1, 2010
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Belzberg Architect's Skyline Residence, recent site of Sam Lubell book signing, $5.6 million sale. Coincidence? We think not! (Courtesy Belzberg Architects)

TORCH BEARERS
On January 5, our New York colleagues attended a wake to mourn last month’s folding of I.D. magazine, the 55-year-old trusted chronicler of design where pioneer modernist Alvin Lustig was art director and a young John Gregory Dunne was an editor before turning to novels and screenplays. The bi-coastal bash was more of a gathering of the fellowship than a farewell, with Pentagram grandee Michael Bierut and former editors Chee Pearlman and Julie Lasky hosting. Fresh from Silicon Valley, newly appointed National Design Museum director Bill Moggridge, formerly of IDEO, was also there studying local rituals. Read More

Eavesdrop CA 08

Eavesdroplet
Monday, November 2, 2009
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Ehrlich

Ehrlich

REVEALING BITS
Stephen Ehrlich is known to be a mild-mannered LA architect. But it looks like that wasn’t always so. As part of his tribute at Julius Shulman’s memorial service in September, Ehrlich bared not only his praise for Shulman, but also his butt cheeks. He wasn’t at the event, but the Getty presented an image that Shulman took of him in his—shall we say—perkier days. He was obviously hitting the beach a lot then, because we saw some serious tan lines. Uncle Julius, maybe you had another career waiting in the centerfolds? Read More

Redeveloping Round 2

West
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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For the time being, redevelopment funds are flowing once again from Sacramento.

For the time being, redevelopment funds are flowing once again from Sacramento.

Yesterday, the California Redevelopment Association celebrated another victory, as the state decided against pursuing its appeal of an April decision in Sacramento Superior Court that kept the Legislature from seizing $350 million from the association’s 397 member agencies. That money was meant to cover a shortfall in the 2008-2009 state budget, but at the cost of the agencies operations. As we reported early last month, however, the state has done it again this year, attempting to tae $2.1 billion from the various redevelopment agencies, which work on economic development projects, affordable house, and, as Cecilia Estolano explained last week, brownfield remediation. Association president John Shirey hopes yesterday’s victory is a sign of continued success. “One down, one to go,” he said in a release. But according to the Contra-Costa Times, the state remains undaunted, believing it has crafted this years bill in a way that avoids the constitutional pitfalls of the previous effort.

California: From Bad To Worse

West
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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Just when it looked like things might be getting better, the California construction outlook for the year, it appears, has gone from bad to worse. According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2009 California Construction Outlook: Mid-Summer Update, the state’s budget crisis has had a nasty effect on our industry, “reducing state tax revenues and worsening the state’s construction declines.” The report says that construction starts for the state are expected to drop 22% in 2009 to $36.5 billion. Here are some of the sobering figures in the report: Read More

Not Just Invisible, Earthquake Invisible

West
Monday, June 29, 2009
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Architects have, for obvious reasons, been fascinated with earthquakes for as long as they have been knocking over buildings. Lots of structural systems and building materials have been explored, but what about invisibility? Capitalizing on recent advances in invisible cloak technology, scientists in France and Britain think they can hide buildings from those damning shockwaves coursing through the earth. New Scientist explains the tech thusly: Read More

Transit + Art = THE FUTURE

Other
Friday, February 20, 2009
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Jake Loniaks Deus Ex Machina

Jake Loniak's Deus Ex Machina

This week Pasadena’s Art Center College hosted its summit, Expanding the Vision of Sustainable Mobility. Lots of interesting ideas, some of them making us realize that despite our financial ruin, science fiction has already arrived (even if we can’t pay for it). These include Leik Myrabo’s laser-powered rocket ship (no, we’re not making that up), Neville Mars’ constantly-moving subway, his plan for “dynamic density,” and his floating city, and Paul Wilbur’s plug-in, ultra-aerodynamic Aptera car. One of the most interesting ideas, though, came from an Art Center student… Read More

Kenny’s Paradise

Other
Friday, February 20, 2009
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Paradise, in wood, stucco, and stone. (All photos courtesy Crosby Doe Associates)

(Courtesy Crosby Doe Associates)

Could it be possible that Mr. San-Francisco-architecture Kenny Caldwell is tiring of the city? He is looking into the purchase of a spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright home in Los Banos, California, an “undiscovered” Central Valley town he calls “paradise.” Read More

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