Salesforce’s Pastel Campus on Hold In SF.  Salesforce's Pastel Campus on Hold In SF The SF Chronicle reports that tech company Salesforce.com has put its big plans for a 2 million square foot Mission Bay campus on hold. Recently deceased architect Ricardo Legoretta was to lead the project, which would have included four colorful buildings and a large public plaza on 14 acres across from the UCSF Mission Bay  campus. The company will instead rent big blocks of space throughout the city until it decides what to do with the site. Stay tuned for more.  

 

Porter Leaving Altoon + Porter for Jerde

Shft+Alt+Del, West
Monday, February 27, 2012
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Altoon + Porter's Marina City marketplace in Qingdao, China (Altoon + Porter)

Altoon + Porter's Marina City marketplace in Qingdao, China (Altoon + Porter)

After three decades at LA firm Altoon + Porter,  founding partner James F. Porter is leaving to become a principal at the Jerde Partnership. Porter, who met business partner Ron Altoon while working at Frank Gehry’s office in the ’70s, co-founded Altoon + Porter in 1984. Hoping to leave more room for young partners, Altoon + Porter included a clause in their partnership specifying that they retire at age 65. “Sixty five came along in a nanosecond,” said Porter, who managed to adjust the agreement to stay on a little longer. But at age 70, it was time to go, he said.

Continue reading after the jump.

Modernism Week Surprise: Palm Springs Preparing Architecture Center

West
Friday, February 24, 2012
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Rendering of the future museum (Palm Springs Art Museum)

Rendering of the future museum (Palm Springs Art Museum)

Last weekend at Palm Springs Modernism Week we stumbled upon a treasure for architecture fans. The Palm Springs Art Museum is renovating E. Stewart Williams’ 1960 Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building, turning it into the future home of the Edward Harris Center for Architecture and Design. Williams’ International Style bank, featuring floating slabs, floor to ceiling glazing, and ultra thin columns, will contain exhibit space, public program areas, offices, an archival study center and a museum store (located in the former bank vault). On its lower level it will contain a 2,700 square foot area for the museum’s collection. The center is scheduled to open in Fall 2013, says the museum. We can’t wait! Historic pictures and renderings of the future space after the jump.

More images after the jump.

Designer Charged After LA House Fire

Newsletter, West
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
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The Hollywood Hills home has been repaired following the 2011 fire. (Courtesy MLS)

Designer Gerhard Becker was charged with involuntary manslaughter last week after the Hollywood Hills mansion that he designed  burned down.  According to the LA Times prosecutors claim that Becker installed outdoor fireplaces inside the $11 million, 13,500 square foot home at 154 Viewsite Terrace after inspections were completed. The home was set to host Germany’s “Next Top Model” TV series (we’re not making this up). The fire, which occurred in February 2011, killed veteran fireman Glenn Allen. According to the Times, Becker told investigators last year that “he did not consider them to be fireplaces but rather architectural features or decorations.” But LA assistant District Attorney disagrees: “This man built an 18-foot fire trough designed for outdoors inside the home. It was a recipe for disaster. He essentially put this fireplace on 2-by-4s.”

Construction Watch: Tattuplex

West
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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Meet architect Tom Marble’s Tattuplex. The steel-framed duplex, cantilevering off a steep hill in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood is being built for nurse and buddhist-monk-in-training Tim Tattu. The project’s steel frame was fabricated off-site by Ecosteel, allowing it to be bolted together onsite in just a few days. And of course, it has one of the most beautiful construction sites imaginable, overlooking the Silver Lake reservoir.  Read More

Damien Hirst Dabbles in Homebuilding.  Damien Hirst Dabbles in Homebuilding  Hirst's "Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (Sotheby's/PA) Artist Damien Hirst, known for, among many other things, suspending dead animals in formaldehyde, is also considered to be the world’s richest artist (he’s reportedly worth over $300 million). He’s investing some of that money in the development of 500 new “eco-houses” near North Devon, on the southwest tip of Great Britain. The residences, which will feature rooftop turbines, solar panels and sophisticated insulation, are slated to break ground early next year. One of the firms working on the drawings is London firm MRJ Rundell + Associates, whose founder Mike Rundell told a North Devon newspaper of Hirst “He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings. He wants these houses to be the kind of homes he would want to live in.”

 

Bogey at Pebble Beach: Another Neutra House in the Rough

Newsletter, West
Thursday, February 16, 2012
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Neutra's Connell House, Pebble Beach (Anthony Kirk)

While Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were busy fighting for supremacy at Pebble Beach last weekend, another important battle was taking place just down the street (unbeknownst to almost everyone). Richard Neutra’s 4,124 square foot Connell House (1958) in Pebble Beach is being slated for demolition in favor of a 12,000 square foot behemoth mega-mansion. The new home was proposed in December, and still needs several permissions for approval.

Author Barbara Lamprecht, author of Richard Neutra: Complete Works (Taschen), has written a letter to the Monterey County Planning Department urging it to save the “aesthetically compelling, spatially complex house,” with its “careful asymmetric composition of volumes and opposing opaque (stucco) and transparent (glass) planes.” She encourages others to contact the department as well. Think of it as a pro/am for architecture buffs.

Eavesdrop> LA’s Academy Museum Shortlist Revealed

West
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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The former May Company building on Miracle Mile.

The former May Company building on Miracle Mile.

We learned in October that LA’s Academy of Motion Picture Sciences would be building its new museum inside the former May Company building on Miracle Mile, right next to LACMA. Now we hear that the project may soon be getting an architect. Our rumor mill has produced three shortlisted names: Morphosis, wHY Architecture, and spf:A.

The last on the list, spf:A, had developed LACMA’s plan for the building back when it was still going to contain the museum’s art galleries. So is this a chance for them to salvage that job? Meanwhile Morphosis gets a chance to try again on a major LA museum after losing the Broad Museum commission once the project moved from Beverly Hills to downtown. We’re sure wHY has a shot at some kind of redemption as well, we just don’t know what it is.

Moby Jams to Architecture

West
Thursday, February 9, 2012
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(Courtesy Moby)

(Courtesy Moby)

Those of you who thought Ice Cube was the only music star to love architecture, think again. It turns out that the bespectacled hipster god Moby is an even more dedicated disciple, even producing his own blog on the topic. The web site, simply called Moby Los Angeles Architecture Blog, launched about two weeks ago. While Moby calls his ramblings “pointless,” “self-indulgent,” and “oddball,” we love it.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Gehry Snags Another Theater In Culver City.  Gehry Snags Another Theater In Culver City Fresh off his completion of the Pershing Square Signature Theater in New York, Frank Gehry is now designing a new home for Culver City music venue Jazz Bakery.  According to the LA Times the project will be located on a narrow strip of city-owned land next to the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The plan happened quickly because the city worried that the elimination of the Culver City Redevelopment agency (which had administered the land) might ruin the project’s chances.  The theater company, which used to be located in the Helms Bakery complex down the street, wants to build a two-story building containing a 250-seat concert room and a small black box theater. The overall budget is $10.2 million, although Gehry is planning to do his part of the job for free.

 

Populous Reveals Massive Pixelated LA Convention Center

West
Friday, February 3, 2012
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(Populous/ AEG)

Yesterday AEG unveiled its design for a 200,000 square foot convention center expansion in downtown Los Angeles.  Replacing a wing of the LA Convention Center, the new structure, called LACOEX (LA Convention and Exhibition Hall) and designed by Populous (which, it so happens, is also designing Majestic Realty’s proposed stadium in the City of Industry) the elevated center would stretch over Pico Boulevard and connect directly to the company’s planned football stadium, the Gensler-designed Farmers Field.

The highly graphic, glass paneled exterior would be complemented by restaurants and patios outside the base of the hall,. The plan, of course, won’t go forward until LA gets a new NFL team for the new stadium/convention complex. Look for an update with more information soon.

More renderings after the jump.

Don’t We all Need One of These? SPUR Opens San Jose Office

West
Friday, February 3, 2012
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(Courtesy SPUR)

(Courtesy SPUR)

One of the Bay Area’s most effective urban instigators, SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) is opening an office in San Jose. The move came about for a few reasons, says the group. First, San Francisco has a declining share of the region’s population, so it makes sense to branch out. And second, most planning decisions are made locally, so SPUR needs to establish footholds in the area’s major cities.

The new branch office was made possible by a successful $1 million fundraising campaign that will fund operations over the next three years. Leah Toeniskoetter will head up the new office and brings a background in real estate and economic development and finance.

“San Jose wants to be walkable, it wants more transit-oriented development and sustainability,” SPUR Director Gabriel Metcalf told the San Francisco Business Times. “In many ways, San Jose’s challenge is America’s challenge.” A move to Oakland could be next on SPUR’s agenda.

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