Architectural competitions with substantial cash prizes tend to focus on monuments, museums, and other high-brow concerns. Such is not the case for Breaking New Ground: Designing Affordable Housing for the Coachella Valley Workforce. Sponsored by The California Endowment, a Los Angeles–based private health organization, Breaking New Ground targets the gap between the people who come to the Eastern Coachella Valley to play and those who keep its $4 billion agriculture and tourism industries running.
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.
In one of the few towns where the AIA has serious pull, the AIA San Francisco has named Jennifer Jones as its new Executive Director. Longtime HMC principal Kate Diamond has left her position and is looking for a new job. While it pales in comparison to the news that AECOM has merged with URS, forming the biggest firm in the galaxy, WSP has bought “global design giant” Parsons Brinckerhoff for $1.35 billion. That’s no joke either. Finally, after more than six years of waiting, SOM has begun work on its massive redevelopment of the WWII-era housing development, Park Merced. In San Francisco that’s like waiting for fifteen minutes.
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.
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.
Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism
Art, Design & Architecture Museum
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
September 12 to December 12
Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism is coming to the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara this September. The exhibition will display several of Myers’ projects from 1968 to 2002: a span of nearly 35 years. A variety of artifacts will be on display, ranging from sketches and scale models to the architect’s lectures and writings. Myers donated the materials on display to the Art, Design & Architecture museum in 2000. Among them is information and renderings of his most renowned built work, such as the Vidal Sassoon Salon (1968), as well as his more obscure work. The exhibition will display Myers’ work in the 1992 U.S. Expo Pavilion in Spain as well as his famous steel houses.
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.
As AN just reported, five teams have shared their plans for the new Presidio Parklands, a 13-acre recreational site lying between Crissy Field and the Presidio’s Main Post. The schemes follow on the heels of a the Presidio Trust’s rejection last February of three teams’ proposals for a nearby cultural center. The winner will be chosen this January. See below for slideshows of all the available renderings of the projects. The teams—invited to compete last March—took their proposals quite far in terms of detailing and strategy. Be sure to read more about the project here.
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.”