San Francisco’s huge 5M Development releases Environmental Impact Report

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Historic photo of Chronicle Building at Fifth and Mission (Forest City)

Historic photo of Chronicle Building at Fifth and Mission (Forest City)

Forest City has announced that it is moving forward with a plan to build a residential and office complex on four acres around the San Francisco Chronicle building, a 1924 structure located on the corner of 5th and Mission streets in the South of Market (Soma) neighborhood. The developer published the Environmental Impact Report (PDF) for the plan, known as “5M,” last Wednesday and presented it at a public hearing of the city’s Planning Commission this week. The design team for the project includes architect Kohn Pederson Fox, urban designer SiteLab, and historic resources consultant Architectural Resources Group.  Read More

San Francisco legislator proposes solar panels and green roofs for all new buildings

Sustainability, Urbanism, West
Thursday, October 23, 2014
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David Chiu Announces his Solar Vision 2020 initiative next to SF City Hall (David Chiu)

David Chiu announces his Solar Vision 2020 initiative in front of SF City Hall (David Chiu)

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is proposing legislation to mandate that all new buildings in the city contain solar panels, rooftop gardens, or both. The resolution, called Solar Vision 2020, would form a permanent program (extending the work of the pilot GoSolarSF) to help building owners pay to install solar arrays, set a goal of doubling the city’s solar energy production, and install 2 megawatts–worth of panels on residences citywide each year.

Continue reading after the jump.

More Mergers> NAC Architecture and Osborn joining forces

News, Shft+Alt+Del, West
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Rendering of NAC's new LA offices. (Courtesy NAC)

Rendering of NAC’s new LA offices. (Courtesy NAC)

It’s no AECOM and URS, but NAC Architecture, which has offices in Spokane, WA, Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles has merged with Southern California firm Osborn, and are moving their LA operations into new offices in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. NAC’s 13,000 square foot LA office, to be located on the third floor of a historic building at 837 North Spring Street, will consist of 40 people, including all of Osborn and NAC’s current LA staffs.

Read More

Pictorial> Howard Hughes’ Playa Vista Hercules Campus Then And Now

Architecture, Newsletter, Pictorial, West
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Hercules Campus's tree-lined boardwalk (EPT Design)

Hercules Campus’s tree-lined boardwalk (EPT Design)

Last month AN took a look at how Silicon Valley’s campus model is changing to keep up with its urban competition. But as we pointed out, the greenest form of campus is adaptive reuse. One of the most successful new examples is the recently-renovated Hercules Campus, the former home of Howard Hughes’ Hughes Aircraft in Playa Vista (part of the LA’s fast-growing “Silicon Beach“). The campus restoration was completed by Brenda Levin and EPT Design, with firms like Lean Arch designing individual offices. The growing facility is now home to YouTube, Konami, advertising agency 72 and Sunny, and UCLA’s Ideas Campus.

More photos after the jump.

Rios Clementi Hale’s IAC lattice tilts the traditional green roof on its side in West Hollywood

Rios Clementi Hale's Green Grid for IAC (RCH)

Rios Clementi Hale’s Green Grid for IAC (RCH)

What’s a cross between a green roof and a living wall? IAC, the company that brought you Frank Gehry’s billowing building by the High Line in New York, is commissioning Rios Clementi Hale to “drape” its white brick building on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood with a six-story sculptural steel lattice—like a living roof turned 45 degrees— containing native plantings irrigated by recaptured underground water.

Continue reading after the jump.

Report: McMansion rules in Los Angeles are largely ineffective

Newsletter, West
Monday, October 13, 2014
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Los Angeles McMansion (Trulia)

Los Angeles McMansion (Trulia)

Despite reports of their demise, giant, neighborhood-busting McMansions in Los Angeles appear to be alive and well. Although they were passed six years ago, it looks like Los Angeles’ Mansionization rules, according to the LA Times, “haven’t stopped neighborhoods from being overwhelmed by out-of-scale homes.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Could NFL’s Plans Sink LA’s Convention Center Competition?

West
Thursday, October 9, 2014
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LA_Coex_02

Populous Convention Center. (Courtesy Populous)

While the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering moves ahead with its competition for a $350 million renovation and expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the NFL is threatening to make those plans obsolete. According to NBC Sports, a league source has confirmed that the NFL will send one or even two teams back to LA within the next one to two years. Two favorites include the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders. If the NFL comes to town then AEG’s plans for a new downtown stadium (by Gensler) and convention center expansion (by Populous) may follow. Of course a team could just as easily move to a site being floated near Hollywood Park, in Chavez Ravine, and in City of Industry. As of now the city has shortlisted AC Martin/LMN, Gensler/Lehrer Architects, and HMC/Populous for the convention center. No word from the Bureau of Engineering at this point. Stay tuned as we try to make sense of all this.

Pedal to the metal at Los Angeles’ Union Station

Development, Urbanism, West
Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Proposed new east entrance to Union Station (Grimshaw/Gruen/Metro)

Proposed new east portal to Union Station (Grimshaw/Gruen/Metro)

After refining their master plan over the last several months, Metro, Grimshaw, and Gruen are ready, as Metro Deputy Executive Officer for Countywide Planning Jenna Hornstock put it, to “put the pedal to the metal.” They’re asking the Metro Planning and Programming Committee to approve several recommendations (PDF) to begin the implementation of their Union Station Master Plan, including the development of a Program Environmental Impact Report. Yesterday they presented to the committee, and a vote is expected at the next gathering on October 15.

Continue reading after the jump.

Three big-name teams shortlisted for Mesa, Arizona plaza

City Terrain, Landscape Architecture, West
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

If all goes according to plan, Mesa, Arizona is going to have one heck of a public plaza in the center of its downtown. The city just unveiled schemes from three teams, selected from a recent RFQ (PDF), to design the space, located on an area currently occupied mostly by local government buildings and surface parking lots. According to the city, the site, meant to accommodate up to 25,000 people, would host annual events like the Mesa Arts Festival, Arizona Celebration of Freedom, and the Great Arizona Bicycle Festival.

Continue reading after the jump.

Los Angeles Convention Center releases competition shortlist

Aerial View of LA's Convention Center and Staples Center (LA Convention Center)

Aerial View of LA’s Convention Center and Staples Center (LA Convention Center)

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s competition for a $350 million expansion and renovation of the LA Convention Center has been narrowed down to three final teams. And they are: AC Martin/LMN, Gensler/Lehrer Architects, and HMC/Populous. According to the project’s Task Order Solicitation (PDF), the teams will each receive $200,000 to “develop and present conceptual designs,” including models, renderings, plans, cost estimates, phasing plans, etc. Designs are due on December 8.

Continue reading after the jump.

AECOM’s Merger Mania: Los Angeles–based firm doubles in size

Architecture, National, News, West
Thursday, September 11, 2014
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Both AECOM and URS have been active on the World Trade Center site in New York (AECOM)

Both AECOM and URS have been active on the World Trade Center site in New York (AECOM)

As the economy continues to hum along, it’s time once again for merger mania. By far the most significant example is Los Angeles–based construction giant, AECOM, which in the span of just a couple of months has more than doubled its size. In past years the company has bought firms like DMJM, EDAW, Ellerbe Becket, and Tishman, but it’s been nothing like this year’s spree.

Continue reading after the jump.

Los Angeles “Dress Rehearsal” removes a lane of Broadway for pedestrians

Landscape Architecture, Urbanism, West
Friday, September 5, 2014
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Tables, chairs, planters and umbrellas on Broadway (Sterling Davis/ Curbed LA Flickr Pool)

New York’s Broadway has company: Tables, chairs, planters and umbrellas on LA’s street of the same name (Sterling Davis/ Curbed LA Flickr Pool)

It may not look like Los Angeles’ next great street yet, but Broadway is changing fast. The latest development in the street’s ongoing transformation is the city’s Broadway Streetscapes Master Plan, which is revamping the historic thoroughfare for pedestrians and urban activity. The project just completed its $1.5 million”Dress Rehearsal.”

Continue reading after the jump.

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