San Diego’s Embarcadero Getting Long-Needed Makeover

West
Monday, November 26, 2012
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While it was never topped with a highway like its San Francisco cousin, San Diego’s Embarcadero has long been a car-dominated no-man’s land of wasted opportunity along the city’s stunning bay. No more! Earlier this year the city broke ground on a redevelopment of the area, including new pavilions, plazas, a 105-foot-wide esplanade, and bike and walking paths. The area will be planted with hundreds of new trees and set with new street furniture and decorative lighting.

Phase one, encompassing 1.2 miles, should be done by next summer.  The project, guided by the North Embarcadero Vision Plan, is being paid for by the Port of San Diego and the city of San Diego, acting through the  Centre City Development Corporation.

Check out Embarcadero renderings after the jump.

Relocation Time on the West Coast

Eavesdroplet, West
Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Rendering of Barton Myers' DPAC Orlando Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy Barton Myers)

Rendering of Barton Myers’ DPAC Orlando Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy Barton Myers)

Everybody seems to be opening up new offices these days. One of our favorite firms, Barton Myers Associates, is moving from Westwood all the way to Santa Barbara, which doesn’t sound promising. Cunningham Group has opened new digs in Culver City’s Hayden Tract, the collection of arts offices made famous by the wild constructs of Eric Owen Moss. And UCLA Architecture will remain in Westwood. But it’s ready to open a new robotics lab inside the old Playa Vista research facilities of Howard Hughes.

Another Hollywood Landmark In Trouble?

West
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
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The recently-renovated Hollywood Palladium. (Coe Architecture)

The recently-renovated Hollywood Palladium. (Coe Architecture)

Last week AN learned that Hollywood’s Capitol Records building may be in for a dwarfing by two new adjacent towers. Now we learn from our friends at Curbed that the historic Hollywood Palladium, renovated in 2008 by Coe Architects, might also be in trouble. Miami developer Crescent Heights is about pay $55 million for the Palladium site, and it’s rumored that they want to build luxury apartments or condos there. The 72-year-old theater apparently has no historic protections, so this could get ugly. Stay tuned.

Art Central At UC Davis.  Art Central At UC Davis The University of California Davis is becoming a cultural force. The school already has three art museums (and arts alums include artist Bruce Nauman and sculptor Deborah Butterfield), and is getting ready to add another, just releasing the shortlist for its new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The list is impressive, including the following design/build teams: wHYArchitecture and Gensler with BNBT Builders; HGA and DPR; Allied Works with Hathaway Dinwiddie; Westlake, Kitchell, WORK; Gould Evans, Henning Larsen, Oliver; Olson Kundig, Olveraa; and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, SO-IL, Whiting Turner. The list was culled from an initial list of 19. The 40,000 square foot museum, located on a 1.6 acre site that is part of a long-range master plan for the university’s new south entrance, is slated for completion in 2015,

 

Datagrove weaves a tangled electronic web at ZERO1’s Art + Technology Biennial

Fabrikator
Friday, October 19, 2012
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator
Datagrove installation at ZERO1's Art + Technology Biennial in San Jose, CA. (Future Cities Lab)

Datagrove installation at ZERO1’s Art + Technology Biennial in San Jose, CA. (Future Cities Lab)

Use of cell phones is strongly encouraged for tech devotees flocking to Silicon Valley’s ‘social media whispering wall’

As its name implies, Datagrove is literally a grove of data or a “social media ‘whispering wall,'” if you will, that aggregates locally trending Twitter feeds and parrots them out of speakers and LCD displays woven into the digital branches of the installation. Nonprofit art/technology network ZERO1 commissioned the installation from San Francisco–based experimental design company Future Cities Lab for its Art + Technology Biennial in San Jose, CA, now on view through December 8, 2012. The theme of this year’s Biennial is “Seeking Silicon Valley,” which seems like a particularly appropriate place to plunder data normally hidden away in smartphones and amplify it for all to hear using custom sensors, text-to-speech modules, LEDs, and LCDs capable of responding directly to people in the immediate vicinity.

Continue reading after the jump.

Videos> Three Proposals for LA’s Sixth Street Viaduct Animated

West
Monday, October 1, 2012
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HNTB'S PROPOSAL FOR THE SIXTH STREET VIADUCT REPLACEMENT IN LOS ANGELES. (Courtesy HNTB)

HNTB’S PROPOSAL FOR THE SIXTH STREET VIADUCT REPLACEMENT IN LOS ANGELES. (Courtesy HNTB)

In September, AN reported on the three proposals to replace Los Angeles’ iconic but crumbling Sixth Street Viaduct by HNTB, AECOM, and Parsons Brinckerhoff. The three teams have notably added pedestrian amenities and adjacent lush landscaping to the 3,500-foot-long cable-stayed span. While the renderings were compelling for each design, these video renderings fly the viewer in and around each proposal for a more detail view of what might soon be built in LA. Take a look.

Watch the videos after the jump.

On View> “Layer: A Loose Horizon” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

West
Monday, October 1, 2012
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(Art Gray)

(Art Gray)

Layer: A Loose Horizon
Pasadena Museum of California Art
490 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA
Through October 14, 2012

While digital design and fabrication continue to transform architecture, architect/artists Lisa Little and Emily White have decided to challenge these trends. Although digital forms expand the horizons of design and create intricate patterns, these designs often boils down to mere eye candy. This idea sparked White and Little, the founders of the Los Angeles-based architecture practice Layer, to take the computational approach of digitized aesthetics combined with a perceptual method to create both a physically and intellectually engaging space. The result of this can be seen at their exhibit Layer: A Loose Horizon. Beginning on the exterior of the museums facade, visitors see a web-like structure that toys with depth and proportion while also bridging the exterior and interior space of the museums lobby. Upon entering, guests experience a continuous interaction with the exhibit and become enveloped by the surrounding shapes. To understand the artists’ process, sketches and early digital iterations of the project are also be on view.

Video> Visit A Prefab In The Mojave Desert

West
Friday, September 7, 2012
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(Blue Homes)

(Blue Homes)

On September 15th and 16th modular home builder Blu Homes is hosting its own home tour in Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert. The three-bedroom house on view was factory built, transported by truck and recently unfolded on site (see video after the jump). Of course large windows, shaded outdoor spaces, and a constant connection to the outdoors work in other places too, but it’s certainly dramatic in the desert. If you want to see for yourself, RSVP here (and bring your sunscreen).

But how do you find the land to build a home like this? Blu and real estate site Redfin are teaming up to help potential buyers identify and buy properties on which to build their prefabs. This seems to have been the missing link for this type of home, so perhaps they’re on to something?

Watch the video after the jump.

Announcing the Gehry Prize.  Announcing the Gehry Prize Frank Gehry has won every architecture award you can think of, from the Pritzker to the AIA Gold Medal. Now he has one named after him, thanks to his $100,000 donation to SCI-Arc. The Gehry Prize will be awarded annually to the school’s best graduate thesis. The first prize will be handed out this Sunday at SCI-Arc’s graduation. Gehry has been a SCI-Arc trustee since 1990, and has been involved with the school since its inception in 1972. Which reminds us: SCI-Arc will be 40 next year.

 

On View> California’s Designing Women, 1896 to 1986

West
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
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(Courtesy The Autry)

(Courtesy The Autry)

California’s Designing Women
The Autry in Griffith Park
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles
Through January 6, 2013

It was uncommon for women to practice industrial design throughout late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, California’s newness and frequent population growth provided various opportunities for women to get involved with the creation and production of design. Autry National Center’s California’s Designing Women, 1896–1986 with works from over fifty women designers from California celebrates female designers who made major contributions to Californian and American design. The exhibition displays approximately 240 examples of textiles, ceramics, furniture, lighting, tapestries, jewelry, clothing, and graphics all inspired by California’s amalgam of society which include Indigenous American, Chinese, Japanese, Anglo, and Mexican cultures. Upholding California’s reputation for unlimited creativity, the displayed work includes materials such as wood, abalone, glass cotton, steel, silver, acetate, acrylic, and fiberglass, spanning a century of design movements from arts and crafts to art deco to mid-century modern and beyond.

Facebook Likes Gehry: Sprawling Expansion Unveiled for Menlo Park

West
Monday, August 27, 2012
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Frank Gehry's plans for a new Facebook campus. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

Frank Gehry’s plans for a new Facebook campus. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)

Perhaps trying to regain its mojo after a difficult summer on the stock market, Facebook has selected Frank Gehry to design an expansion to its Menlo Park Campus in California. The project, scheduled to break ground next year, will include a quirky 420,000-square-foot warehouse topped by a sprawling garden. The cavernous space will contain open offices for as many as 2,800 software engineers, according to Everett Katigbak, Facebook’s environmental design manager. The firm wouldn’t reveal the project’s price tag.

Continue reading after the jump.

Chris Burden Builds a “Small Skyscraper” in Old Town Pasadena

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Chris Burden's <em>Small Skyscraper</em> (Sam Lubell / AN)

Chris Burden’s Small Skyscraper (Sam Lubell / AN)

Next time you visit old town Pasadena you may be in for a suprise. When you slink down an alley off of Fair Oaks and Colorado, the next thing you see will be a four-story, 35-foot-tall skyscraper, sitting in the middle of a courtyard. It’s an installation by artist Chris Burden (yes, he’s the one that did the cool lights and all the matchbox cars at LACMA) called Small Skyscraper (Quasi Legal Skyscraper).

Burden collaborated with LA architects Taalman Koch on the open design, which conists of slabs of 2x4s supported by a thin aluminum frame. Burden started envisioning the project back in the 90s, but at that time the idea was for a solid structure made of concrete blocks. This one is lightweight and seems almost like an erector set. Presented by the Armory Center for the Arts, Small Skyscraper will be on display until November.

More photos after the jump.

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