Across the Los Angeles River, A Statement in Steel Reconnects the City’s Urban Fabric

THE TAYLOR YARD BRIDGE WILL LINK CYPRESS PARK AND ELYSIAN VALLEY (STUDIO PALI FEKETE ARCHITECTS)

THE TAYLOR YARD BRIDGE WILL LINK CYPRESS PARK AND ELYSIAN VALLEY (STUDIO PALI FEKETE ARCHITECTS)

“We got very attracted to the project, and to the idea of making something that reconnects Los Angeles,” Zoltan Pali said of Taylor Yard Bridge, the pedestrian and bicycle bridge designed by his firm, Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a). Originally introduced as part of a mitigations package twenty-two years ago, the bridge, which will span the Los Angeles River between Cypress Park and Elysian Valley, should be completed within two years at a cost of $5.3 million. Read More

A Life-Saving Proposal for San Francisco’s Sidewalks

SOUS LES PAVES ENVISIONS A GREEN NETWORK OF CROSSWALKS, MEDIAN STRIPS, AND CITY PARKS (OPA)

SOUS LES PAVES ENVISIONS A GREEN NETWORK OF CROSSWALKS, MEDIAN STRIPS, AND CITY PARKS (OPA)

Can better design save lives? That question is at the center of a proposal by Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects (OPA) to transform crosswalks along San Francisco’s Divisadero Street. The project, Sous Les Paves, originated in a GOOD design challenge by the Center for Architecture and Design. With help from AIA San Francisco, OPA partnered with local advocacy organization Walk San Francisco in a bid to improve pedestrian safety at street crossings.

Continue reading after the jump.

Progress for San Francisco’s First Eco-District

DESIGN STUDENTS IN THE SWA 2012 SUMMER PROGRAM IMAGINED WHAT CENTRAL SOMA MIGHT LOOK LIKE AFTER ECO-DISTRICT IMPLEMENTATION (SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING DEPARTMENT)

DESIGN STUDENTS IN THE SWA 2012 SUMMER PROGRAM IMAGINED WHAT CENTRAL SOMA MIGHT LOOK LIKE AFTER ECO-DISTRICT IMPLEMENTATION (SAN FRANCISCO PLANNING DEPARTMENT)

If you’re looking for change in San Francisco, look no further than the city’s South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood. Central SoMa, a 24-square-block area between the central business district and Mission Bay, has been targeted for up-zoning and other public improvements as part of the Planning Department’s Central SoMa Plan (previously the Central Corridor Plan). The neighborhood is also the site of several major construction projects, including a $56 million renovation of the Moscone Center and the extension of Muni’s T Third Line.

All of the above may be affected by another potentially more radical change: Central SoMa has been identified as San Francisco’s first eco-district, as we reported last year. The district has taken some big steps since we last checked.  Read More

At SCI-Arc, the Magic is Inside the Box; Eric Owen Moss Explains Why

SCI-ARC IS PLANNING A NEW DIGITAL FABRICATION LAB KNOWN AS THE "MAGIC BOX" (SCI-ARC)

SCI-ARC IS PLANNING A NEW DIGITAL FABRICATION LAB KNOWN AS THE “MAGIC BOX” (SCI-ARC)

“Actually, the box isn’t magic, so don’t be disappointed you didn’t get ahold of Merlin the Magician,” Eric Owen Moss said at the start of a recent interview. Moss, director of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), was referring to the school’s new digital fabrication lab.

Dubbed the Magic Box, the two-story, prefabricated steel structure will be constructed at the south end of the SCI-Arc building. But Moss didn’t want to focus on the laboratory itself, which was designed by several architects affiliated with SCI-Arc (including Moss’s own firm). Instead, he said, “the game is, what’s inside is magic. It’s not so much the object, but what the object contains.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Wright for Wraxall? Bid To Construct an Unbuilt Masterwork in England Quashed

THE DR. HUGH & MRS. JUDITH PRATT RESIDENCE, PROPOSED FOR WRAXALL, ENGLAND, IS BASED ON A 1947 DESIGN BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT (NICK HIRST, RIBA/DR. HUGH PRATT)

THE DR. HUGH & MRS. JUDITH PRATT RESIDENCE, PROPOSED FOR WRAXALL, ENGLAND, IS BASED ON A 1947 DESIGN BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT (NICK HIRST, RIBA/DR. HUGH PRATT)

Fifty-four years after Frank Lloyd Wright’s death, the village of Wraxall, England just killed plans to build one of the architect’s designs. Last August, Dr. Hugh Pratt, a local parish councillor, petitioned the planning board to build a Wright-inspired house on greenbelt land. Some area residents argued that the building would elevate the community’s aesthetics, but others worried that the house would set a precedent for further intrusions into the greenbelt.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cooling Los Angeles, From the Roof Down

UNDER LA'S NEW COOL ROOFS ORDINANCE, ALL NEW OR RENOVATED BUILDINGS MUST HAVE REFLECTIVE ROOFS (HEAT ISLAND GROUP - LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY)

UNDER LA’S NEW COOL ROOFS ORDINANCE, ALL NEW OR RENOVATED BUILDINGS MUST HAVE REFLECTIVE ROOFS (HEAT ISLAND GROUP – LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY)

What’s the coolest place in Los Angeles? It may be right over your head. Starting in 2014, thanks to an update of the Municipal Building Code, all new or refurbished buildings will be equipped with “cool roofs.” A cool roof is built of reflective rather than absorptive material. Compared to traditional roofs, cool roofs can be as much as 50 degrees cooler on the roof surface, and can lower interior building temperatures by several degrees. Los Angeles is the first major American city to pass a cool-roof ordinance.

Read more after the jump.

Now Playing at a Theater Near You: Five Los Angeles Landmarks

Preservation, West
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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johnies

JOHNIE’S COFFEE SHOP (JOEINSOUTHERNCA/FLICKR)

In November, the Los Angeles City Council named Armet & Davis’ Johnie’s Coffee Shop, the restaurant at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, a historic cultural landmark. That’s a win for preservationists concerned with the legacy of the Googie style, the auto-oriented, steel-and-neon aesthetic that spawned diners and coffee shops across Southern California from the 1940s through the 1960s.

It might also give a leg up to locals interested in seeing Johnie’s returned to its original use. Because Johnie’s Coffee Shop isn’t a coffee shop, and hasn’t been for over a decade. Since 2000, it’s been closed to the public and used exclusively for filming. The restaurant’s film credits, both before and after its conversion to a 24/7 theatrical set, include The Big Lebowski and Reservoir Dogs.

Read more after the jump.

San Diego Re-Imagines Balboa Park With Car-Free Transportation, Increased Connectivity

NEWSCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN'S "BALBOA PARK EXPERIENCE" ALSO WON A MERIT AWARD (AIA SAN DIEGO)

NEWSCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN’S “BALBOA PARK EXPERIENCE” ALSO WON A MERIT AWARD (AIA SAN DIEGO)

It’s been nearly 100 years since the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the world’s fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal, was held in San Diego. In preparation for the centennial, AIA San Diego and the San Diego Museum of Art recently held an ideas competition for improvements to Balboa Park, the site of the fair. The 1,200-acre park is home to a number of museums and other cultural facilities, including the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art, plus cultivated gardens and family-friendly amusements.

Continue reading after the jump.

Synthesis Design + Architecture’s Pure Tension Pavilion Hits the Road for Volvo

Newsletter, West
Monday, December 16, 2013
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SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE'S PURE TENSION PAVILION DISPLAYS, SHADES, AND CHARGE'S THE NEW VOLVO V60 HYBRID CAR (SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE)

SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE’S PURE TENSION PAVILION DISPLAYS, SHADES, AND CHARGE’S THE NEW VOLVO V60 HYBRID CAR (SYNTHESIS DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE)

When Alvin Huang and his colleagues at Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA) saw the brief for Volvo’s “Switch to Pure Volvo” competition, they decided to give the auto manufacturer more than it had asked for. The competition, which was organized by The Plan magazine, asked architects to design an iconic, yet portable, pavilion for the new Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid electric car. SDA came up with the Pure Tension pavilion, a steel-frame structure that not only assembles in an hour, but is small enough to fit in the trunk of the car. And the pavilion doesn’t just showcase the car: it also charges it, thanks to 252 lightweight flexible photovoltaic panels incorporated into the structure’s mesh fabric surface.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kickstarter> Spacemaker VR: Virtual Reality for Architects

National, Technology
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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MILES KEMP, THE CREATOR OF SPACEMAKER VR, HAS A BACKGROUND IN ARCHITECTURE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIGITAL PHYSICAL)

SPACEMAKER VR’S FOUNDER, MILES KEMP, HAS A BACKGROUND IN ARCHITECTURE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIGITAL PHYSICAL)

Miles Kemp, the brains behind a new virtual-reality visualization software for architects, has been around architects and builders for as long as he can remember. The son of a contractor, Kemp took his first job with an architect at the age of 14. By age 21, he was on a team at SOM. Kemp eventually made his way to SCI-Arc, where he completed an M.Arch2 in 2006 with a thesis on robotics. Since then, Kemp, the founder and president of Variate Labs, has worked on over 100 interactive media projects. “I’ve always been into this idea of user-experience design, of being able to create almost like a conversation between people and the built environment,” Kemp said.

Read More

With Taipei Sales Center, Oyler Wu Collaborative Marries Architecture and Sculpture

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
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OYLER WU COLLABORATIVE TRANSFORMED TWO TAIPEI BUILDINGS INTO A TEMPORARY SALES CENTER FOR THEIR NEW RESIDENTIAL TOWER (OYLER WU COLLABORATIVE)

OYLER WU COLLABORATIVE TRANSFORMED TWO TAIPEI BUILDINGS INTO A TEMPORARY SALES CENTER FOR THEIR NEW RESIDENTIAL TOWER (OYLER WU COLLABORATIVE)

Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu, partners at Los Angeles-based Oyler Wu Collaborative, recently completed an unusual project. The program was seemingly straightforward: create a temporary sales center on the future site of a high-rise residential tower in Taipei, also designed by the firm. The catch? Because they wanted to repurpose two existing structures rather than build the sales center from scratch, the developer restricted Oyler Wu Collaborative’s intervention to the application of seven-inch-thick cladding.

Continue reading after the jump.

Forty Years Later, San Diego Gets Its New Central Library

West
Monday, November 25, 2013
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SAN DIEGO'S NEW CENTRAL LIBRARY OPENED SEPTEMBER 28 (ROB WELLINGTON QUIGLEY, FAIA)

SAN DIEGO’S NEW CENTRAL LIBRARY OPENED SEPTEMBER 28 (ROB WELLINGTON QUIGLEY, FAIA)

San Diego’s New Central Library, which opened earlier this fall, was a long time coming. The project has been in the works since at least 1971, when the first of 46 studies on the subject of a new library building was published. Rob Wellington Quigley, FAIA, who designed the $184.9 million structure with Tucker Sadler & Associates, came on board in 1995. Why did he stick with it so long, through budget problems and four site changes? “It’s in my backyard,” Quigley said. “It was just too important a project, culturally, to the city, and to all of us…though it was very difficult, economically, to withstand all the stops and starts.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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