Mixed Use Complex Planned for Downtown LA

West
Friday, June 29, 2012
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(Astani Enterprises)

Downturn? What downturn? It looks like Downtown Los Angeles will get its first mixed-use development in some time when construction begins on the Eighth and Grand project on the south edge of downtown. Developer Sonny Astani recently sold the land to limited liability corporation CPIVG8, who the LA Times says will probably start work “in the next couple months.” The $300 million building is set to have 700 residential units, a rooftop pool, 36,000 square feet of retail and nearly an acre of open space (and perhaps too many parking spaces: 737). Renderings show a wavy glass, steel and concrete facade, but that design appears to still be schematic. In fact no architect has been mentioned in any story on the project and calls to the developer about an architect have not been returned. We’ll keep you posted when a design and an architect are confirmed.

MSG Buys Midcentury LA Forum Arena

West
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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Historic image of the LA Forum. (hmdavid/Flickr)

Historic image of the LA Forum. (hmdavid/Flickr)

For months rumors have swirled that developer Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) would buy the midcentury modern LA Forum arena in Inglewood, former home of the LA Lakers and LA Kings. (Its architect, Charles Luckman, also designed Madison Square Garden.)  That deal is now official, according to Crain’s New York, who said the company just paid $23 million for the property. MSG will begin a “comprehensive renovation” of the arena later this year, and details of that job will be released this fall. The company is currently working on an $850 million renovation of Madison Square Garden, itself a taxing job that is set to be done by next year.

Seattle’s Eco District Getting A New, Edible Neighbor

West
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
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Stone34 Southwest Facade (LMN Architects)

Stone34 Southwest Facade (LMN Architects)

While the Bullitt Center was the first built project to follow the rigorous sustainable guidelines of Seattle’s “Eco-District,” a second “living building” is coming to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, and will incorporate commercial space in addition to offices. Clocking in with a total of 120,000 square feet, the building will include a new headquarters for Brooks Sports.

Dubbed Stone34, the building will be right off the the Burke-Gilman Trail, the 27-mile rail-to-trail walking and biking path that snakes through northern portions of Seattle. LMN Architects is helming the design of the five-story building that will recycle most of its water and includes a fresh air ventilation system, natural lighting, and thermal energy storage. Pushing sustainability even further, visitors, customers, and staff will be able to eat the lanscaping: greening by Swift Company will include edible plants.

Completion is expected fall of 2013.

Inside the Architects’ Studio: California Designers Put Out the Welcome Mat

West
Monday, June 25, 2012
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(Volkan Alkanoglu)

AN‘s first-ever studio tour at our new West Coast digs in the American Cement Building was a rousing success, with hordes of visitors streaming through the concrete-veiled structure’s eight architecture offices, including DRDS, Kelly Architects, Platform For Architecture + Research, Stayner Architects, Studio Bonner, Synthesis Design + Architecture, WROAD, and VA Design. In addition to beautiful displays of work (and beautiful views of the city) architects also rolled out a taco truck and multiple DJs.

Check out a slideshow after the jump.

Profile> Architect Chris Lasch Presents Tooling Scripted Facades on July 27

West
Monday, June 25, 2012
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Chris Lasch (left) and Benjamin Arranda (right) of the New York-based firm Arranda Lasch. On July 27 Chris Lasch will lead a workshop on "Scripted Facades."

Chris Lasch (left) and Benjamin Arranda (right) of the New York-based firm Aranda/Lasch. On July 27 Chris Lasch will lead the workshop Scripted Facades.

“We’ve always been interested in the tools used in architecture and have always tried to be critical of these tools,” stated the partners of Aranda/Lasch after being named finalists in MoMA PS 1’s Young Architect Program (YAP) in 2005. “At a certain point we began making our own computational tools and realized that we could make structures that organize space and put forth a way to practice architecture.” Fast forward seven years, and Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch continue to pioneer new forms through innovative scripting.

On July 27, Chris Lasch will lead Scripted Facades, a special workshop that is part of AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco.

More about Lasch and his Scripted Facades workshop after the jump.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Set to Sparkle with Massive Lighting Display

West
Thursday, June 21, 2012
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Video rendering of the Bay Lights (courtesy TBL) 

“What if the West Span [of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge] wasn’t a bridge and instead were a canvas?” asked Ben Davis, founder of creative agency Words Pictures Ideas and man behind the The Bay Lights (TBL) some time ago. That question soon became the foundation for San Francisco’s latest high-tech public art project that’s got even Silicon Valley abuzz. With the support of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and major Silicon Valley bigwigs, TBL is planning to put up an ethereal light show 1.5 miles wide and 230 feet high covering the west span of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

Continue reading after the jump.

Lights, Zoning, Action! Blockbuster Day for Zoning in Los Angeles

West
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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A look at Hollywood. (Courtesy Stock Footage Hollywood)

Yesterday will be remembered as a historic day for Los Angeles planning wonks. First, city council approved the Hollywood Community Plan, which, among other things, paves the way for increased density near transit, more mixed-use development, and more integrated transit plans in the ever-improving entertainment center of LA. Right afterward, we learned from Curbed LA that the council also approved the Comprehensive Zoning Code Revision Ordinance, which will help the city—through a new trust fund—overhaul its zoning code for the first time since 1946. According to LA City Planning, the new code, when completed, will “include clear and predictable language that will offer a wider variety of zoning options to more effectively implement the goals and objectives of the General Plan and accommodate the City’s future needs and development opportunities.” In other words, simpler, streamlined zoning tailored to individual neighborhoods and needs. Also in the mix, the new codes will include a dynamic, web-based zoning code, a layperson’s guide to zoning, and a unified downtown development code. Hallelujah!

Eavesdrop> SOM and Cavagnero Take San Francisco’s Moscone Center Expansion

Eavesdroplet, Newsletter, West
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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(Courtesy Moscone Center)

(Courtesy Moscone Center)

Here’s one thing we know: No matter how gigantic convention centers and airports grow, they’re never big enough. Now we’ve heard through the grapevine that San Francisco will be the latest to loosen its belt a couple notches with the help of SOM and Mark Cavagnero Associates. The city is jumping on the expansion bandwagon with the addition of 200,000 to 450,000 square feet to the Moscone Convention Center in the South of Market neighborhood. The original center opened in 1981 and its first expansion, Moscone West, followed in 2003.

More after the jump.

Going Local.  Courtesy Google Maps We hear that the mighty Pritzker family from Chicago (namely Anthony Pritzker) has built an ultra-large estate in Beverly Hills. A 49,000 square foot chateau, to be exact. We haven’t been able to identify who the architect is, but it’s apparently a firm “from Paris.” What ever happened to hiring locally? The compound brings new meaning to the concept of mega-mansion, but plans for an even larger house of 70,000 square feet for a Saudi prince are taking shape nearby. But maybe this means a sop to a West Coast architect for the next Pritzker?

 

Is That A House On Top Of Your Building?

West
Monday, June 18, 2012
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Yes, that is a cottage hanging off the side of a building. (courtesy UCSD)

Yes, that is a cottage hanging off the side of a building. (courtesy UCSD)

At first glance, visitors might think that the house from Disney’s Up managed to crash land atop UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering building. What they’re actually staring at, however, is Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s latest installation, Fallen Star, a 15-by-18-foot New England cottage suspended off the edge of the seven-story Jacobs building at a disconcerting 10-degree tilt from the building’s flat roof.  Suh said that the installation recalls his own experience of moving to the U.S. to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. He felt “as if he was dropped from the sky.”

More after the jump.

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Profile> Jason Kelly Johnson talks Responsive Building Facades July 27

West
Friday, June 15, 2012
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Jason Kelly Johnson of  Future Cities Lab will lead the workshop "Responsive Building Facades" on July 27.

Jason Kelly Johnson of Future Cities Lab will lead "Responsive Building Facades" workshop July 27.

To get a sense of Jason Kelly Johnson’s vision for buildings of the future, drop by the Buckminster Fuller show on view at SFMOMA through July 29. Johnson’s San Francisco-based studio Future Cities Lab was one of the firms chosen to represent Fuller’s legacy in the Bay Area. You’ll see the motorized model for the HYDRAMAX Port Machine, a waterfront “urban-scale robotic structure” that harvests rainwater and fog, designed by Johnson and his partner Nataly Gattegno—a dynamic concept that makes today’s built environment look positively lazy by comparison.

Better yet, go learn from Johnson firsthand. On July 27 Johnson will explore how technical tools like Grasshopper, Firefly, and Arduino can help tap the potential of  buildings in “Responsive Building Facades,” a special workshop that is part of AN‘s upcoming conference Collaboration: the Art and Science of Building Facades, taking place July 26-27 in San Francisco.

Watch a video about the Hydramax Port Machine project after the jump.

Keeping Busy at ArchPaper West.  Keeping Busy at ArchPaper West We’ve got our plates full this month at Dwell on Design/LA Design Festival/AIA LA Design Conference. On Thursday, June 21 we’re hosting a studio tour at our new West coast offices, the American Cement Building, featuring eight architecture firms in one building. Next, on June 22-24 we’re hosting architect consultations at Dwell, connecting more than 20 of the city’s top architects to potential clients. Finally on June 24, West Coast Editor Sam Lubell is moderating an expert panel at the AIA Design Conference examining how architecture can contribute to the public realm.

 

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