Eavesdrop> West Coast Odds and Ends

Eavesdroplet, West
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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SOM's massive Park Merced development in San Francisco. (Courtesy SOM)

SOM’s massive Park Merced development in San Francisco. (Courtesy SOM)

In one of the few towns where the AIA has serious pull, the AIA San Francisco has named Jennifer Jones as its new Executive Director. Longtime HMC principal Kate Diamond has left her position and is looking for a new job. While it pales in comparison to the news that AECOM has merged with URS, forming the biggest firm in the galaxy, WSP has bought “global design giant” Parsons Brinckerhoff for $1.35 billion. That’s no joke either. Finally, after more than six years of waiting, SOM has begun work on its massive redevelopment of the WWII-era housing development, Park Merced. In San Francisco that’s like waiting for fifteen minutes.

Three big-name teams shortlisted for Mesa, Arizona plaza

City Terrain, Landscape Architecture, West
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

If all goes according to plan, Mesa, Arizona is going to have one heck of a public plaza in the center of its downtown. The city just unveiled schemes from three teams, selected from a recent RFQ (PDF), to design the space, located on an area currently occupied mostly by local government buildings and surface parking lots. According to the city, the site, meant to accommodate up to 25,000 people, would host annual events like the Mesa Arts Festival, Arizona Celebration of Freedom, and the Great Arizona Bicycle Festival.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bright public art installation to light up New York City’s cold, dark winter

Art, City Terrain, Design, East, Lighting, Newsletter
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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New York Light and the Flatiron Building. (Courtesy INABA)

New York Light and the Flatiron Building. (Courtesy INABA)

The summer is officially over, folks. The beaches are closed, the sun is switching to its seasonal, part-time schedule, and your coworkers are drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes again. There is no ignoring an inevitable truth: winter is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, if you live up north that is. You could move to Florida, but beyond that, there is nothing you can do about it. For those of us stuck in New York City this holiday season, it’s not all bad news. We will soon be able to feast our frostbitten eyes on a new public art installation in front of the Flatiron Building.

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Product> Street Seen: Top 12 Landscape Furnishings

LAB23_ZHD_Serac-bench-Photography-by-JACOPO-SPILIMBERGO---(5)

(Courtesy Lab 23)

Whether used to enhance the identity of an entire community or an individual institution, street furnishings present a primary opportunity to engage the public with design.  Here’s our pick of products—created by Zaha Hadid, Yves Behar, Antonio Citterio, and others—for seating, lighting, and other outdoor accoutrements that have exceptional architectural appeal.

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Sou Fujimoto’s Marcus Prize Pavilion transforms brick into a playfully light material

Architecture, National, Newsletter
Monday, September 15, 2014
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(Courtesy University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

(Courtesy University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

The Marcus Prize is awarded bi-annually to an emerging architect in the early stages of his or her career. Hosted by the the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning and supported by the Milwaukee-based Marcus Foundation, it has a record of supporting talented young practices before they become well know including: Winy Maas (2005), Frank Barkow (2007), Alejandro Aravena (2010), and Diebedo Francis Kere (2011).

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Swedish professor creates a playable 3-D printed saxophone

International, Newsletter, Technology
Friday, September 12, 2014
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3D Printed Saxophone (Courtesy Lund University)

3D Printed Saxophone (Courtesy Lund University)

As the world of 3-D printing advances, it’s becoming possible to create more and more complex shapes and systems. Now, the technology is making waves in the music world. Olaf Diegel, a professor of product development at Lund University in Sweden, recently produced the first ever 3-D printed saxophone.

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Jeanne Gang to create master plan for Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus

Chicago's Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

Chicago’s Museum Campus. (Bing Maps)

The Chicago Parks District has picked hometown architectural hero Jeanne “MacArthur Genius” Gang for yet another lakefront project. The Chicago Tribune reported that the celebrated architect will draw-up a “long-range plan” for the city’s Museum Campus where George Lucas’ museum could soon rise.

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Product> Exterior Glass: Eight options with special functions built in

National, Newsletter, Product
Friday, September 12, 2014
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view_Conner_Exterior

(Courtesy View Glass)

The role of glass continues to expand in architecture as new performance properties and aesthetic qualities come to market in a steady flow. From photovoltaic glazing to printing technologies that address the issue of avian impacts, the material has become an active, dynamic force in buildings.

More after the jump.

Los Angeles Convention Center releases competition shortlist

Aerial View of LA's Convention Center and Staples Center (LA Convention Center)

Aerial View of LA’s Convention Center and Staples Center (LA Convention Center)

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s competition for a $350 million expansion and renovation of the LA Convention Center has been narrowed down to three final teams. And they are: AC Martin/LMN, Gensler/Lehrer Architects, and HMC/Populous. According to the project’s Task Order Solicitation (PDF), the teams will each receive $200,000 to “develop and present conceptual designs,” including models, renderings, plans, cost estimates, phasing plans, etc. Designs are due on December 8.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid to design mathematics wing at London’s Science Museum

The Mathematics gallery. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

The Mathematics gallery. (Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

In an effort to make math appear exciting, London‘s Science Museum has tapped Zaha Hadid to design its new mathematics gallery. According to the museum, the new multi-million dollar, Hadid-ian space will “tell stories that place mathematics at the heart of our lives, exploring how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the world from the turn of the 17th century to the present.” If that doesn’t sound absolutely riveting to you, well maybe some math-themed architecture can help.

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On View> UC Santa Barbara displays Barton Myers’s works of architecture and urbanism

West
Thursday, September 11, 2014
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adc_161_7210wolfhousefulker_p_001-j

(John Fulker/Courtesy the west Vancouver Museum)

Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism
Art, Design & Architecture Museum
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
September 12 to December 12

Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism is coming to the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara this September. The exhibition will display several of Myers’ projects from 1968 to 2002: a span of nearly 35 years. A variety of artifacts will be on display, ranging from sketches and scale models to the architect’s lectures and writings. Myers donated the materials on display to the Art, Design & Architecture museum in 2000. Among them is information and renderings of his most renowned built work, such as the Vidal Sassoon Salon (1968), as well as his more obscure work. The exhibition will display Myers’ work in the 1992 U.S. Expo Pavilion in Spain as well as his famous steel houses.

AECOM’s Merger Mania: Los Angeles–based firm doubles in size

Architecture, National, News, West
Thursday, September 11, 2014
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Both AECOM and URS have been active on the World Trade Center site in New York (AECOM)

Both AECOM and URS have been active on the World Trade Center site in New York (AECOM)

As the economy continues to hum along, it’s time once again for merger mania. By far the most significant example is Los Angeles–based construction giant, AECOM, which in the span of just a couple of months has more than doubled its size. In past years the company has bought firms like DMJM, EDAW, Ellerbe Becket, and Tishman, but it’s been nothing like this year’s spree.

Continue reading after the jump.

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