Stunning Site and Stunning Shortlist at UC Santa Cruz

Architecture, Newsletter, West
Monday, January 27, 2014
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Capacity studies for the Institute and the surrounding arts area.The Institute will be on the site of the red buildings in the center.  (Walker Macy)

Capacity studies for the Institute and the surrounding arts area.The Institute will be on the site of the red buildings in the center. (Walker Macy)

For weeks we’ve been hearing murmurs about the hottest RFQ in California: the UC Santa Cruz Insitute of Arts and Sciences, a hilltop museum, research center, and innovation hub on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. Finally the shortlist has been announced, and it features a group of very heavy hitters from around the country.

Continue reading after the jump.

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.

Record Breaking Debut For Inglewood Forum

Newsletter, Preservation, West
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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Aerial view of the Forum's giant record. (Los Angeles Forum)

Aerial view of the Forum’s giant record. (Courtesy Los Angeles Forum)

After a long hiatus, Inglewood’s Great Western Forum—now called the Forum Presented by Chase—is back with a $100 million renovation by BBB Architects and Clark Construction.  To celebrate the moment, the venue’s owner, MSG, has ordered up one of the more unusual promotions we’ve ever seen: the world’s largest vinyl record topping its roof, by New York company Pop2Life.

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

What stopped earth’s biggest-diameter tunnel boring drill?

Transportation, West
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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The south end of the tunnel. (WSDOT; Flickr.)

The south end of the tunnel. (WSDOT; Flickr.)

It was early December in Seattle when the world’s biggest-diameter tunnel boring machine, called Bertha, came to a stop underneath Seattle. It was plowing through the city’s underground as part of the two-mile project to bring SR 99 underground and replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Overnight, it seemed as if the whole of Seattle and beyond was curious: was it buried treasure from the gold rush days? Or bootlegger artifacts?

The answer after the jump.

Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve Frank Gehry’s Grand Avenue Project

Development, West
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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Gehry Partners' newest proposal for Grand Avenue. (Related Companies)

Gehry Partners’ newest proposal for Grand Avenue. (Related Companies)

Yesterday the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved Gehry Partners’ and  Related Companies’ long-stalled Grand Avenue Project, all but assuring that it will go ahead after years (and years, and years) of delay. The only remaining vote comes later today as the Grand Avenue Authority, the city-county agency overseeing the project, votes on the project.

Continue reading after the jump.

Stalled No More? Downtown Los Angeles Developments Could See New Life

Development, Eavesdroplet, West
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Julia Morgan's Herald Examiner Building in Downtown Los Angeles. (Floyd B. Bariscale)

Julia Morgan’s Herald Examiner Building in Downtown Los Angeles. (Floyd B. Bariscale)

Speaking of zombies, two of Downtown LA’s most long-stalled projects appear to be rising from the dead. The mixed-use project revolving around Julia Morgan’s beautiful Herald Examiner Building on Broadway is apparently finally getting underway, now developed by Forest City, and no longer designed by Morphosis. The designer has yet to be revealed.

Read More

James Beard Deadline Approaching.  James Beard Deadline Approaching If you’ve designed a beautiful restaurant in the last few years, the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards want you. But you better hurry: the deadline for their annual awards, known as the “Oscars of the food world,” is January 20. Among the previous winners is New York’s Le Bernardin by Bentel & Bentel Architects & Planners in 2012 (pictured). This year’s notable jury includes Kristina O’Neal of New York firm AvroKO, interior design legend Adam Tihany, and Marion Weiss of WEISS/MANFREDI. Visit here to submit. Winners will be announced at a Lincoln Center Gala on May 5. (Photo: Courtesy Le Bernardin).

 

Michael Graves’ Portland Building Could Be In Jeopardy

News, Newsletter, Preservation, West
Monday, January 13, 2014
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Portland Building (Flickr/Camknows)

Portland Building (Flickr/Camknows)

If several Portland city commissioners have their way Michael Graves‘ alternately loved and hated Portland Building (1982), now facing a $95 million renovation, will be torn down. One of the most famous examples of postmodern architecture in the United States, the 15-story, 31-year-old structure is known for its small square windows, exaggerated historical motifs, playful, varied materials, gaudy colors, and, of course, its cameo on the opening to the show Portlandia (also the name of the larger-than-life statue over the building’s front door).

Continue reading after the jump.

The Inside Scoop from the West Coast

Eavesdroplet, West
Monday, January 13, 2014
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Aerial view of Los Angeles. (Onny Carr / Flickr)

Aerial view of Los Angeles. (Onny Carr / Flickr)

Gossip about new projects is back! First we hear that Steven Ehrlich and Fred Fisher are teaming up for a major renovation of the Otis campus, on Los Angeles‘ West Side. Next we hear a shortlist is close to being named for Metro’s West Side expansion subway line. We’re all waiting with bated breath to see the renderings of LA firm Johnston Marklee’s addition to The Menil in Houston, which is now set to be unveiled this month. And then there’s the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla campus. A shortlist has indeed been chosen, but museum spokesperson Leah Straub told AN, “We don’t want to damage anyone’s reputation should they not be selected.” Wow, who knew being on a shortlist could be damaging?

Trojan Style? USC Shifts From Romanesque to Gothic

gothic-details-01

USC president Max Nikias is curious. Since taking over in 2010 he has held the torch for past president Steven Sample’s beloved “California Romanesque” style on the campus, resulting in the red brick and tight arches of buildings like AC Martin’s Ronald Tutor Campus Center and George Lucas’s School of Cinematic Arts. Now he’s shifted a few years in the future to Collegiate Gothic. AC Martin has been commissioned to design a Gothic-style building for the business school, and other firms are competing for a similar project, we hear from our moles. Perhaps he will move into French Renaissance next? Get ready for some chateaux!

On View> “Tacita Dean: JG” at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles

Art, On View, West
Friday, January 10, 2014
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(Courtesy Hammer Museum)

(Courtesy Hammer Museum)

Tacita Dean: JG
Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles
Through January 26, 2014

JG, the latest work in film from British-born, Berlin-based artist Tacita Dean, is inspired by her correspondence with British author J.G. Ballard and the connections between his short story, “The Voice of Time,” and Robert Smithson’s landmark earthwork, Spiral Jetty.

Continue reading after the jump.

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