A Desert Oasis by assemblageSTUDIO

Architecture, Envelope, West
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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tresARCA's facade reflects the colors and textures of its desert environment. (Bill Timmerman)

tresARCA’s facade reflects the colors and textures of its desert environment. (Bill Timmerman)

Capped by a protective steel mesh screen, tresARCA house is built for indoor/outdoor living.

There are two ways to live with Las Vegas’ harsh climate. The first, epitomized by the hermetically-sealed tract houses ringing the Strip, rejects the reality of the desert in favor of air conditioning and architecture evoking far-off places. The second strategy embraces the environment for what it is, and looks to the natural world for cues about how to adapt. In their tresARCA house, assemblageSTUDIO took the latter approach. Glass and granite punctuated by a folded steel screen surrounding the second-floor bedrooms, tresARCA’s facade is a meditation on the resilience of the desert landscape. Read More

BIG Reveals New Concrete Plan For Kimball Art Center After First Design Rejected by Public

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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BIG's new plan lifts up to reveal a glassy entrance. (Kimball Art Museum)

BIG’s new plan lifts up to reveal a glassy entrance. (Courtesy BIG / Kimball Art Center)

Thanks in large part to public protest, Bjarke Ingelsplans for a twisted, log-cabin-like box for Park City’s Kimball Art Center have been dramatically changed. Earlier this month Ingels’ firm BIG unveiled a new design: a concrete wedge lifting 46 feet above the corner of Main and Heber Streets. “The building seems to rise with Main Street and the mountain landscape, while bowing down to match the scale of the existing Kimball,” Ingels said in a statement.

Continue reading after the jump.

Need a 12-Foot Diameter Beachball? Here’s How To Buy A Piece of “On The Road”

West
Friday, March 7, 2014
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David Freeland's super sized beach ball (Jaime Kowal)

David Freeland’s super sized beach ball (Jaime Kowal)

For those of you who missed On The Road 4, the fourth iteration of the successful art/architecture series that invaded Palm Springs last weekend, you can now buy a piece of it on Craigslist. As part of the event, which took place at the newly-opened Amado, architect David Freeland produced a gigantic beach ball, made of interlocked styrafoam pool noodles, measuring 12 feet in diameter. He called the scaled up creation “a literal take on fun.”

Now the giant art piece can be purchased for $500, or the best offer. (This isn’t the first time the architect has sent his creations to market, either.) Freeland says one party has made an offer, and that the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA is considering  it.

Continue reading after the jump.

Taiwan Reveals Another Star-Filled Shortlist

International, West
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
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Reiser Umemoto's Kaohsiung Port Terminal. (Courtesy Reiser Umemoto)

Reiser Umemoto’s Kaohsiung Port Terminal. (Courtesy Reiser Umemoto)

Yet another port in Taiwan is set to become an architectural icon. In 2012 Neil M. Denari Architects won the competition to design the Keelung Harbor Service Project. Before that Reiser Umemoto won a competition to design the Kaohsiung Port Terminal (pictured), which is set to open later this year.

Now the Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center has shortlisted another stellar group of designers. They are: Josep Mias Gifre, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, Junya Ishigami + Associates, Tom Wiscombe Architecture, and Miralles Tagliabue EMBT.  A winner is expected to be chosen next month.

Jeanne Gang To Design Tower in San Francisco.  Jeanne Gang To Design Tower in San Francisco Chicago architect Jeanne Gang (pictured) isn’t just preparing to design new towers in Chicago and (perhaps) New York. According to her office, Gang has been hired by Tishman Speyer to design a high rise tower in San Francisco‘s Transbay district. The building’s site (and, likewise a design) has not yet been revealed, but according to a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s near the now-rising Transbay Center. According to the Chronicle, Tishman is also developing the Lumina and Infinity towers in the area by Arquitectonica, and a 26-story office tower by Gensler and Thomas Phifer. (Photo: Courtesy Studio Gang Architects)

 

After Record-Breaking Concrete Pour in Los Angeles, Wilshire Grand Reaches for the Sky

THE $1.1 BILLION WILSHIRE GRAND IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN DOWNTOWN LA (AC MARTIN)

THE $1.1 BILLION WILSHIRE GRAND IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN DOWNTOWN LA (AC MARTIN)

The Wilshire Grand, a 73-story tower under construction in downtown Los Angeles, hasn’t yet risen out of the ground, but it’s already in the Guinness Book of World Records. That’s thanks to a February 15–16 event promoters called the Grand Pour, in which construction crews poured 21,200 cubic yards (82 million pounds) of concrete in 18 hours—the largest continuous concrete pour in history.

Why all the fuss?

This Week is SCI-Arc’s Viennese Week in Los Angeles

West
Monday, March 3, 2014
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WOLF D. PRIX WITH RAIMUND ABRAHAM (ALEKSANDRA PAWLOFF/COURTESY SCI-ARC)

WOLF D. PRIX WITH RAIMUND ABRAHAM (ALEKSANDRA PAWLOFF/COURTESY SCI-ARC)

Austria comes to Los Angeles with a lecture series dubbed “Viennese Week in LA.” The talks will take place at SCI-Arc as part of the Wolf D. Prix/COOP HIMMELB(L)AU design studio. Prix himself is the headliner, with a lecture on Raimund Abraham happening on March 5 at 7:00p.m. In “Visions in Exile or: Before we were so rudely interrupted,” Prix will talk about his mentor and friend’s influence on the early works of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. He will also probe the digitization of architecture practice, asking how architects like Abraham would have designed using the tools available today.

Read More

BridgeHOUSE Reusing Steel From Old Bay Bridge

Newsletter, Sustainability, West
Friday, February 28, 2014
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A rendering of the Bay Bridge House.

A rendering of the Bay Bridge House. (Baybridgehouse.org)

Since the east span of the Bay Bridge opened in the fall of 2013, demolition crews have been busy deconstructing the old–taking down over 50,000 tons of steel. While most of the steel will be sent to China as scrap, one Bay Area entrepreneur, David Grieshaber, wants to save a portion to create a mixed-use building, housing a museum, a private apartment, and an Airbnb rental. The Airbnb fees would, hypothetically, keep the non-profit undertaking running.  Read More

Not So Fast… Hollywood Projects Placed On Hold

West
Thursday, February 27, 2014
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Proposed Land Use Designation Map from the Hollywood Community Plan (LA City Planning Department)

Proposed Land Use Designation Map from the Hollywood Community Plan (LA City Planning Department)

It appears that the Los Angeles density backlash is starting to really… blow up. Particularly in Hollywood, where several towers and multi-use developments have been set to get rolling.

On February 18, the LA Planning Department issued the Hollywood Community Plan Update Injunction Clearance, prohibiting the city’s department of Building and Safety from issuing “any permit for the construction, erection, addition to or alteration of any building or structure…unless the Department of City Planning first issues a HCPU (Hollywood Community Plan Update) Injunction Clearance.” While many projects won’t be impacted, any project seeking entitlements or permits under the HCPU could be. The order derives from a February 11 LA County Superior Court injunction stemming from several neighborhood groups’ lawsuit challenging the HCPU’s Environmental Impact Review (EIR). The HCPU was passed back in 2012, bringing with it much more density around transit, among other things.  Read More

The High Roller: A Party in the Las Vegas Sky

West
Thursday, February 27, 2014
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THE HIGH ROLLER IS A 550-FOOT OBSERVATION WHEEL DUE TO OPEN IN LAS VEGAS THIS SPRING (HETTEMA GROUP)

THE HIGH ROLLER IS A 550-FOOT OBSERVATION WHEEL DUE TO OPEN IN LAS VEGAS THIS SPRING (HETTEMA GROUP)

The Las Vegas skyline just got a lot taller. The 550-foot High Roller, set to open this spring, is the world’s highest observation wheel, towering above both the London Eye (443 feet) and the Singapore Flyer (541 feet). A project of Caesars Entertainment, the High Roller is the anchor of the new shopping and nightlife complex known as The LINQ. “As we settled on the idea of a giant wheel, we just began brainstorming: well, what does that really mean?” said Phil Hettema, whose Hettema Group designed the structure. “We looked at the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer and tried to understand those. We really talked about what we liked about those, and also about what we wanted to do differently.” Read More

Public’s Tree-Like Transit Shelters for UBC

Fabrikator, West
Friday, February 21, 2014
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Fabrikator
THE TRANSIT SHELTER'S DESIGN WAS INSPIRED BY THE TREES LINING UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD (PUBLIC: ARCHITECTURE + COMMUNICATION)

THE TRANSIT SHELTER’S DESIGN WAS INSPIRED BY THE TREES LINING UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD (PUBLIC: ARCHITECTURE + COMMUNICATION)

An abstracted version of a street tree, a canopy of tessellated irregular polygons balances atop slim steel posts.

When Public: Architecture + Communication visited the site of the transit shelters the University of British Columbia had asked them to design, they found that something was missing. The main point of entry to the campus, University Boulevard is lined with trees—except where the bus shelters would go. “There was this language of gaps that we noticed,” said Public’s Christopher Sklar. The shelters themselves, they decided, should fill in the tree line. The designers were left with a question, articulated by Sklar: “How does it be a quiet piece but also something interesting and unusual that relates to its surroundings?”

Read More

California Home + Design Shuts Down After 20 Years

Media, West
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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California Home + Design Spring 2014 cover (McEvoy Media)

California Home + Design Spring 2014 cover (McEvoy Media)

Bad news for the publishing industry: another design magazine, California Home + Design, has ceased operations. The quarterly focused on houses, architecture, design, products, art, and lifestyle up and down the state. According to CH+D Editor-In-Chief Erin Feher, the owners, McEvoy Group, had been trying to sell it for a few months, but multiple suitors fell through. Finally today McEvoy shut down the undertaking and laid off the staff. There remains a chance, however, that they could find a buyer.

Continue reading after the jump.

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