As the San Francisco Chronicle‘s urban design critic for the last decade, John King is one of the Bay Area’s most influential champions of good architecture. He chronicles the city’s projects, both large and small, with an eye to how they how they affect the city. (Most recently, he sounded the alarm about how the America’s Cup, with its proposed yacht dock, could change the waterfront for the worse.) His new book of short essays, Cityscapes (Heyday, 2011, $14.95), is based on his weekly column of the same name.
The official Foster + Partners design has (finally) been released for the new Apple campus in Cupertino. At a recent Cupertino City Council meeting Steve Jobs said he was excited to centralize his campus with a building for 12,000 employees on a site currently dominated by parking lots. In the time since the Cupertino meeting, the not-so-secret news that Foster & Partners designed the giant ring has also been confirmed. The low-lying complex, described as being built at a “human scale” and largely off the grid, is expected to open in 2015. In reference to the overall design and the building’s glass curvature Jobs noted, “It’s a little like a spaceship landed.”
We all know AT&T’s wireless service is, well, less than perfect. But at least they’re working on it, making about $450 million worth of improvements in the LA area over the last two years. Here’s an example: last week the technology giant installed a cell site inside the historic National Bank of Whittier buildingin uptown Whittier, California to boost its coverage in that area. The six-story Beaux Arts-style landmark building, home to Richard Nixon’s first law office and recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by Los Angeles father and son architect team John and Donald B. Parkinson in 1923. To preserve the building’s charm, the antenna site is fully concealed inside specially-built radio cabinets located on the top floor. The site is the only completely indoor one among 15 other Whittier cell structures. Other upgrades in the LA area (and there are a slew—many look, ahem, like trees) include a site close to the Chateau Marmont and one near the Greek Theatre.
Seat: An Outdoor Chair Show
Fort Mason Center
38 Fort Mason
Through May 31, 2012
In collaboration with the Fort Mason Center, curators Topher Delaney and Kika Probst of Seam Studio challenged forty designers to create and build outdoor public seating that would reflect the waterfront site and be able to withstand year-round weather conditions in Northern California.
The seats are displayed throughout selected areas of the thirteen-acre campus that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Center. Each designer loaned their seat for free, and many firms created new partnerships for the project, such as Arup with Jefferson Mack Metal. The West End Terminal Seat, after the jump, designed by Nilus Designs: Architecture was inspired by the natural ecology at Fort Mason, particularly the salty water and wind patterns. Comprised of 208 vertical polycarbonate sections, the porous surfaces of the seat collect site debris and salt, while hollow flutes capture the sounds of the wind currents. The seat is also wired with user-activated LED lights and QR codes that visitors can scan for further information about the exhibit.
The American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) has named Steven Ehrlich the 2011 Maybeck Award recipient for lifetime achievement in architecture. The award recognizes an architect’s body of work for outstanding design achievement extending over a career of 10 years or more. Named in honor of Bernard Maybeck, only 14 awards have been given since its inception in 1992. Ehrlich joins Thom Mayne, Frank Gehry and Joseph Esherick, among others. Read More
If you haven’t heard by now, Pyeongchang, the mountainous South Korean town located in Gangwon Province, 112 miles outside of Seoul, has won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Helping secure the win was the $1.4 billion dollar, 1,240-acre Alpensia Resort, which was completed in 2009. It will become home to the Olympic Village, several competitions and the opening and closing ceremonies. Nicknamed “Alps in Asia”, the alpine-style village was designed as an all-season, year-round destination with the help of Cuningham Group Architecture, whose LA office oversaw the design and master planning.