Seattle to Study Self-Funded Arena for a New NBA Team

Newsletter, West
Thursday, March 8, 2012
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Seattle's Key Arena, former home of the Seattle SuperSonics (via Flickr by jscatty).

Thanks to Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise, Kobe Bryant’s broken nose, and Blake Griffin’s dunks, basketball is once again on everybody’s mind. Now Seattle, missing an NBA team since the 2008 departure of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City (renamed the Thunder), has a concrete plan to bring the NBA back. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine have announced plans for a self-funded arena sponsored by private investor Christopher Hansen, according to King County.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects Design Fashions for A+D Museum’s Celebrate Fundraiser

West
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
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Richard Meier's white linen blazer has a colorful and chaotic collage lining.

Richard Meier's white linen blazer has a colorful and chaotic collage lining.

This Saturday, LA’s A+D Museum will host its annual fundraising banquet, Celebrate. This year’s event will not only include music from KCRW DJ Raul Campos (himself a trained urban planner) and some impressive celebs (including our favorite architecture fan Moby), but it will feature a runway show with custom clothing and accessories by architects and designers like Richard Meier, Neil Denari, Predock Frane, BMW Designworks, Karim Rashid, Robert A.M. Stern and  many others. The runway show and live auction will be hosted by LA humorist Charles Phoenix and by Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s DnA.

Check out the archi-fashions after the jump.

Amazon’s Seattle Expansion To Fill Three Blocks of Parking

West
Friday, March 2, 2012
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Denny Triangle aerial view (via NabeWise). The area is named after Denny Hill that was regraded in the 1900s and later in the 1930s, removing more than 7 million feet of earth from the area.

Even in these recessionary times, there are still big buyers who can afford to expand when the market is low. In Seattle, Amazon is in the preliminary stages of purchasing three city blocks in the Denny Triangle neighborhood north of the business district from developer Clise Properties, The Seattle Times reports. The properties are bounded by Westlake Avenue to the east, 6th Avenue to the south, and Blanchard Street to the west.

Amazon is going big: intending to convert what are now parking lots into three office towers measuring one million square feet each. The total space will double the size of the largest skyscraper in Seattle, the Columbia Center.

Amazon’s current office space—over a million square feet distributed over several locations—is rented. This will mark Amazon’s first office ownership. An agreement with Clise will give Amazon the option to buy more of their holdings, which are part of a larger 13-acre site in Denny Triangle.

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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

Going West: Palm Springs Modernism Week, February 16-26

West
Friday, February 17, 2012
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The Sunnylands visitors center in Palm Springs designed by Frederick Fisher.

The Sunnylands visitors center in Palm Springs designed by Frederick Fisher. (Courtesy Palm Springs Modernism Week)

AN is headed out to California for the third year running for one of our favorite architecture events: Palm Springs Modernism Week (February 16-26). Palm Springs–and its surrounding towns, spas and arid California landscape–is home to what the organizers call “desert modernism.” The city is an extraordinary gridded landscape of modern car-ported flat-roofed houses and dozens of iconic homes, shops, and landscapes. The 11-day celebration focuses every year on an outstanding example of residential modern architecture, and this year it will highlight Sunnylands, the A. Quincy Jones-designed mansion (interior by William Haines) for the Annenbergs in nearby Rancho Mirage. The estate is surrounded by an art garden, labyrinth, private nine-hole golf course (currently being restored), and a new visitors center designed by Frederick Fisher. Read More

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.

Unveiled> Bjarke Ingels Does the Twist in Vancouver

West
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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BIG's proposed tower in Vancouver. (BIG/Courtesy Vancity Buzz)

BIG's proposed tower in Vancouver. (BIG/Courtesy Vancity Buzz)

When Bjarke Ingels makes news, he really makes news. The superhero force behind the juggernaut that is BIG is in the running on Chicago’s Navy Pier, has a giant heart pulsing in Times Square, just won a competition for Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah, and now plans for his 49-story skyscraper in Vancouver, Canada have leaked, revealing a new “twist” on the traditional skyscraper. We’ve known for over a year that Ingels was planning the Vancouver tower, but now Vancity Buzz has revealed, in addition to the renderings, project details for the Beach & Howe Tower garnered from documents filed with the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

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.

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