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Big Names, Small Stuff

Woodbury launches Small Scale Architecture Store in time for the holidays
If you have some holiday shopping left to do, you're in luck. The Woodbury University School of Architecture in Los Angeles has launched a Small Scale Architecture Store just in time for the holidays. Located at the university's WUHO Gallery in Hollywood, the store features products and furniture pieces created by thought-provoking designers including Bureau Spectacular, DOT DOT DOT, Jenny Wu, New Affiliates, Ryan Tyler Martinez, ver|texx, and Yeh Studio. The store aims to "celebrate and sell the work of designers who push the boundaries of architecture and object, function and assembly, material and product, to produce indispensable objects to wear, utilize, adorn, carry, occupy, enlighten, and beautify" according to a press release. Included in the products that are up for sale are city-themed plates from NotNeutral, the product arm of RCH Studios, a faceted pendant light from DOT DOT DOT, fiberglass chairs from LA Forum and Modernica, and a Helicoid planter by Paul Anvar, among many others. Proceeds from the sales of the work will fund Woodbury University School of Architecture student scholarships. The store will run until December 23. See the WUHO Gallery website for more information.
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The Gift of Architecture

Last minute holiday shopping? Here’s what to get an architect
Trying to find a gift for a person who loves to build? We’ve asked our editors, our architect friends, and our friends who love architecture what was on their wish lists this year. From a cowboy-style hard hat to an architecture mixtape, there’s something for every architect on the 2019 AN gift guide. Happy shopping!  

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Glass House Snow Globe The Glass House Design Store $75 The Glass House is arguably the most visited (if not the most well-known) of all of Philip Johnson’s works. Architects and architecture enthusiasts alike can behold the modern icon frozen in time inside of a snow globe like no other.   Architect’s Cubes MoMA Design Store $58 Designed to inspire forms and exploration of materials, architects John Bennet and Gustavo Bonevardi conceived a set of eight cubes. Each made of a different material—maple wood, bakelite, cork, granite, EVA, silicone, acrylic, and aluminum—the Architect’s Cubes are made for play. Frank Lloyd Wright Paper Models: 14 Kirigami Buildings to Cut and Fold by Marc Hagan-Guirey $23 Build paper models of the most notable Frank Lloyd Wright buildings with this cut-and-fold kit. Using the art of kirigami (the cousin of origami), paper artist Marc Hagan-Guirey devised some of Wright’s most admired architecture, including Falling Water, the Guggenheim, and the National Life Insurance Building. LEGO Architecture Imperial Hotel $160 Built in 1915, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo was a fusion of Japanese and Western architecture. While it was demolished in 1968, the lobby and reflecting pool were moved to the Japanese architecture museum Meiji-Mura. You can create your own small-scale replica of the lost landmark with this set of LEGO building blocks.

Books and Stationery

The LEGO Architect By Tom Alphin $15 You know the saying, “learn by doing?” The LEGO Architect does exactly that. Flipping through the pages you first learn about the history of architecture and then find inspiration to build your own with images of LEGO models of iconic buildings. In the last section, the author instructs readers how to become LEGO architects with a set of instructions and parts from the LEGO Architecture Studio. Happy building! Architecture Christmas Cards $18 Chicago’s Marina City sporting a Santa hat; the Farnsworth House decked out like the yard of your neighbor who decorates for Christmas the day after Halloween; Seattle’s Space Needle adorned with a fir pine. These and other buildings we all know and love have been turned into Christmas cards by a former AN editor, John Stoughton. Available in packs of ten. An Architect’s Pencil Set: The Colors of Michael Graves $25 It’s no secret: One of the things Michael Graves is known for is his love (and mastery) of colors (mainly bright colors). Designed by his firm, this 24 colored-pencil set comes with an essay on color and the architect's design process. Rem Koolhaas. Elements of Architecture $125 Love to build? Rem Koolhaas worked with Harvard Graduate School of Design on “a primordial toolkit” that helps readers to understand how the seemingly constant fundamentals of architecture are actually always in flux and evolving. The guidebook chronicles the fundamentals of buildings and design techniques, detailing every single typology, from windows to walls to toilets. Hollywood Modern: Houses of the Stars by Alan Hess and Michael Stern $55 Are celebrities your guilty pleasure? This book documents 24 "modern" homes designed by architects for stars in Southern California. Featuring glossy, full-page photos, Hollywood Modern: House of the Stars gives you an inside look at houses like Quincy Jones's Gary Cooper House and Richard Neutra's Von Sternberg House.

To Wear

M1005 Matsuda $425 It all started with Le Corbusier and his fabulous round glasses. The black circular frames that we have all come to love have become part and parcel with architecture (having spectacular spectacles has become a common trope in the industry as a whole). Japanese optical maker Matsuda offers a frame that looks particularly Corbu-inspired. M1005 is hand finished with acetate and available in five colors. Architect Tools Tie $45 Long before AutoCAD, architects' tools were as important as scissors to a barber. This tie features a motif made up of drafting tools. While rulers and tape measures remain essential, so does the occasional smart tie. Cowboy-style Hard Hat $65 Get your hard hat on, cowboy! This is not your typical construction cap, it’s a new take that comes in the guise of a cowboy hat with all the safety benefits of a traditional hard hat. Yeehaw!

For the Home

Sunset & Night Chairs By LA Forum and Modernica Mies van der Rohe once said: “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” These fiberglass chairs by Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and fiberglass furniture purveyor Modernica are no exception. Even better, the proceeds from their sale will fund scholarships at Woodbury School of Architecture. You can find them at Small Scale Architecture Store in at the university's WUHO Gallery in Hollywood through December 23. Twist Again Odile Decq for Alessi $105 Finally, you can bring home an object designed by our favorite gothic architect (and seminal thinker), Odile Decq. Known as “the fruit holder that dances around the fruit,” the bowl reflects the common visual motifs that are associated with her works, only on a smaller scale. It is made from a piece of sheet metal that was cut and folded to create a whimsical, vortex-like shape that seemingly has an inner life force of its own. The Architect’s Mixtape: Practicing Spaces $10 Drop those funky beats! Practicing Spaces is a compilation of musical works by lesser-known musicians who all have one thing in common: they’re architects! From Michael Meredith of MOS Architects to Florian Idenburg of SO – IL, these funky beats are available in the format of a mixtape, that is, a cassette tape. Read more about the collective work and where to buy your own copy here.
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Layered Living

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Residential — Multi Unit
2018 Best of Design Award for Residential — Multi Unit: St. Thomas / Ninth Designer: OJT Location: New Orleans

The St. Thomas / Ninth project is composed of 12 starter homes occupying an existing warehouse and vacant parcel. OJT designed the complex in order to make the best possible use of the industrial edge site. Embracing the warehouse language became a springboard for the firm’s formal exploration of the remainder of the site. Because OJT worked with abnormally large lot minimums for single-family structures, the firm mandated a tactic that leveraged the density allowed under multifamily development regulations, but organized the site as a single-family assemblage. Each home touches down minimally in order to free the ground plane to become a courtyard. The residual spaces between buildings are reclaimed as front porches, giving each dwelling a sense of entry and ownership. Meanwhile, pitched roofs accent the industrial character of the neighborhood.

Honorable Mentions Project Name: Tolsá 61 Designer: CPDA Arquitectos Location: Mexico City Project Name: Elysian Fields Designer: Warren Techentin Architecture Location: Los Angeles
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Building Wall and Building Wall Quickly

Weekend edition: Amazon gets grilled, Brutalism gets preserved, and more
Missed some of this week's architecture news, or our tweets and Facebook posts from the last few days? Don’t sweat it—we’ve gathered the week’s must-read stories right here. Enjoy! Stunning new photos document I.M. Pei’s early brutalist museum I.M. Pei's first museum design, The Everson Museum of Art, is a big, brutalist structure that's celebrating its 50th birthday in Syracuse, New York. Chicago aims to preserve the vernacular architecture in its largest Mexican-American community The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has approved a preliminary designation for a dense array of vernacular buildings in the heart of Pilsen. Against all odds, progressive land-use reforms are taking root in American cities With Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles moving forward with land-use reforms, the thinking behind how American cities work could soon change. DHS says it is “building wall and building wall quickly” in bizarre statement In an odd press release, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security touts quick construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall key sections. New York’s proposal for Amazon’s HQ2 is much worse than we thought The concessions from the city have raised eyebrows and triggered a trio of City Council hearings on the terms of the deal.
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Park No More

Against all odds, progressive land-use reforms are taking root in American cities
With Minneapolis, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles moving forward with progressive land-use and transportation reforms last week, much of the conventional thinking behind how American cities work could soon be upended.  As the converging threats of climate change, housing unaffordability, and pollution continue to hamstring the country’s urban areas, cities across the country are taking matters into their own hands by enacting bold but common-sense reforms in the face of federal and state inaction. For one, a groundbreaking comprehensive plan update in Minneapolis that would eliminate the city’s single-family zones took a step forward last week after two years of public debate and negotiations. The so-called 2040 Minneapolis Plan would make the city the first in the country to upzone all of its single-family residential neighborhoods to allow up to three dwelling units per lot. Under the 2040 initiative, the city will be able to re-establish a tradition of building what’s known as “missing middle” housing, the types of naturally affordable small- to medium-scale neighborhoods that make up the backbones of most American cities built before the 1950s. The plan is designed to break down racial and income disparities between neighborhoods in the city while allowing Minneapolis to absorb expected job and population growth over coming decades. Housing activists across the country are now looking to Minneapolis to see how the experiment plays out as efforts to enact similar policies pick up across the country, especially in Seattle, where a similar effort is gaining steam. In Oregon, a plan to eradicate single-family zoning in cities with 10,000 or more residents took a step forward this week. Aside from taking on exclusionary zoning, other cities, including Buffalo, San Francisco, and San Diego, are looking to eliminate off-street parking requirements to varying extents as they work to reclaim the enormous amount of space taken up by parked cars. In 2017, Buffalo became the first municipality in the country to totally eliminate parking requirements city-wide. The effort comes as part of a new zoning initiative that will bring what is known as a “form-based code” (FBC) to the city. As the name implies, FBCs typically regulate the overall geometries of urban areas by setting particular height limits, setbacks, and other design guidelines that can be followed regardless of use. The approach runs counter to more common use-based codes that carve cities up into monofunctional areas with residential, industrial, and commercial districts. FBCs are seen both as a way of re-establishing mixed-use neighborhoods while also creating contextual and preservation-friendly zones. With the update, Buffalo joins Denver, Las Vegas, and Miami, which have also recently enacted FBCs. Over in California, as the state’s new legislature takes up a series of bold housing reforms, San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer is one step ahead with a proposal to scrap parking requirements for transit-adjacent areas. A new proposal would eliminate required parking for housing located within 1/2-mile from a transit stop, a change similar to a state-wide effort that was derailed last year. The latest effort, according to the mayor, will be geared toward lowering the cost of building housing—a single parking stall adds between $35,000 and $90,000 in costs per unit of housing in the state—while also resulting in shorter and less bulky buildings. San Francisco has taken the proposal one step further by moving to become the largest city in the country to scrap parking requirements outright. City Supervisor Jane Kim put forward a measure this month to totally eliminate the requirement city-wide in an effort to bolster the city’s climate bona fides and help reign in housing costs. But don’t call it a “parking ban,” developers will instead be allowed to build parking up to a maximum threshold if they deem it necessary. The yet-to-be-approved initiative could go into effect next year. Nearby, Sacramento is working to enact a city-wide transit-oriented development plan that would limit drive-through restaurants and gas stations and lower parking requirements within 1/2-mile from transit stops in the city. Change is afoot even in car-loving Los Angeles, where an ambitious but currently under-funded plan to build 28 large scale transit projects by the 2028 Olympic games has prompted local officials to consider so-called “congestion pricing.” No official plan has been unveiled, but the Los Angeles Metro CEO Phil Washington last week presented several ideas that could potentially fill the funding gap, including requiring drivers to pay for traveling in some of the city’s most congested areas. To boot, Curbed reported that during a presentation to the Metro Board of Directors, Washington even proposed using the fees generated from congestion pricing to make Los Angeles the first city in the United States to offer free public transportation every day of the year.
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Building Public Trust

How the Trust for Public Land is converting schoolyards to playgrounds
The third and last case study in this three-part series related to breaking borders is an interview with Carter Strickland, the New York State director of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), regarding the TPL's Schoolyard to Playground Program. The previous interview was with Deborah Marton of the New York Restoration Project. The Architect’s Newspaper: Can you give me some background on the Trust for Public Land Schoolyards program and how it breaks down borders? Carter Strickland: Since 1996, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), has been working out of its New York City office to partner with the City of New York and its Department of Education, to transform low-performing asphalt “play yards” into multi-benefit play spaces used by the schools during the school day and the local community after school, on weekends, and on holidays and vacations—including all summer. Our work breaks down the physical border between schools and the surrounding community by unlocking fences and opening a new neighborhood park and breaks down institutional and other borders by involving the community in the visioning and design process before the park is built, and in the programming and use of the park after it is built. AN: How do you choose where to work? CS: Over the last 20 years, TPL has worked with the city to identify asphalt schoolyards that offer little in play value—mostly barren, uninspiring asphalt yards that have no play equipment except for rundown basketball courts, that shed water from their impervious surfaces to the storm sewers and retain pools of water days after rainstorms, and, because they are black asphalt and absorb the sun’s rays, are increasing the urban heat island effect. These areas are surrounded by high wire mesh fences; they have all the charm of a prison yard. Worse, they were historically locked up, only used by the school, and not available to poor communities starved for open space. We look for principals, teachers, and custodians who are ready and willing to invite the community in. AN: How has the program grown? CS: That model was pursued on a small scale initially dependent on corporate funding, with 12 sites built in the first eight years. By 2004, the city had obtained mayoral control of the school system and was open to public-private partnerships, and TPL was able to formalize its partnership in an MOU with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC School Construction Authority to renovate schoolyards. The agreement provided 2 to 1 matching funds from the City of New York for the development of five playgrounds a year for five years, a pace maintained from 2004 to 2007. Former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg launched PlaNYC, a comprehensive sustainability plan for the city that adopted a goal of having every New Yorker live within a 10-minute walk of a park. To meet this goal the city encouraged creative approaches and especially cross-silo efforts, and the program really took off. The city entered into a partnership with TPL, which would serve as the community engagement intermediary with schools and neighbors, the Department of Education (which Mayor Bloomberg got control of from the State of New York), and the Department of Parks & Recreation, which designed and built the playground transformations, and approximately 150 more part-time schoolyards were transformed into full-time community playgrounds between 2007 and 2013. The PlaNYC work wrapped up but NYC Department of Environmental Protection stepped up as a funder for parks that absorb water to meet the goals of the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, and many councilmembers and borough presidents sought to fund these mini-parks for the benefits of their communities. Recently, New York State has funded playgrounds in central Brooklyn as part of its comprehensive Vital Brooklyn health initiative. To date, TPL has worked with the city and various funders to build 197 green playgrounds, with 15 more in various stages of design and construction. AN: What are the environmental benefits of the initiative? CS: Since 2013, TPL has designed playgrounds to include green infrastructure elements such as rain gardens and absorbent turf fields, turning each of the spaces into a stormwater capture system. This has helped the city to meet its legal mandate to reduce stormwater runoff going onto the Combined Sewer System (CSS) in NYC that contributes to Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) during rainstorms, a significant source of pollution to the nearby rivers and harbor waters. AN: Can you explain the design process? CS: TPL and its consultant landscape architects work with students, teachers, and neighbors to design a new, full-service playground for the school’s use, with new play equipment, sports fields with synthetic turf (it was determined that real grass would not survive even one week of intense use), a running track, performance areas, trees, and gardens with both flowers and places to grow vegetables. We spend five-to-ten weeks in the schools and community, with schoolchildren measuring the grounds, undertaking a sun/shade analysis, surveying the community for a recreational needs analysis, and learning about budget and other constraints. Our professionals turn this data and vision into alternative designs, which are then voted on by the school community. In this way, we transform not only public spaces but empower the community and students with knowledge and the experience of improving their neighborhood. AN: How is TPL using New York City as a prototype for work across the country? CS: The TPL Schoolyard to Playground model has been replicated in other cities in the US, including in Philadelphia, where it works with the very progressive Philadelphia water department in creating “water-smart” playground in both parks and at schools, as well as in Newark, New Jersey, and in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Epilogue Use of vacant lots for parks and community gardens is not a new idea. A March 28, 1896, article in Scientific American article titled “Cultivation of Vacant Lots by the Poor,” described prototypical gardens on New York City vacant lots intended to be a prototype for cities across the country. While the focus was on food production the social value cannot be discounted. An important difference between this work and that of the three leaders interviewed is an attitude that works across demographics and socioeconomic borders. They are opening up space and expanding attitudes about how we treat one another. This progressive move away from the anti-planning that Commissioner Silver described to an open and inclusive process is helping us move beyond postwar attitudes that created so many urban ills. Every organization is buttressed by new data, analysis, and design tools to make more public space available in the growing city. Parks Without Borders has very meaningful perceived and real physical impacts. To the extent that that streets, sidewalks, neighborhoods, and parks become more fluidly connected to the city, quality of life in neighborhoods across the five boroughs will improve. The work of NYRP in developing vacant lots and underused NYCHA property for community gardens has had a transformative impact on the social and economic well-being of underserved communities. At Trust for Public Land, opening up schoolyards has direct benefits on local neighborhoods, and engagement of kids, teachers, and principals in a design process that involves both form-making and environmental considerations will have a long-lasting impact on the people involved in the development process. The city of the future is evolving as a greener connected polis thanks to the efforts of these and other visionary leaders. Borders are opening on the city level as political rhetoric nationally suggests a grim alternative.
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Airdrop incoming

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Unbuilt – Commercial and Mixed Use
2018 Best of Design Award winner for Unbuilt – Commercial and Mixed Use: Uber Sky Tower Designer: Pickard Chilton Location: Los Angeles Pickard Chilton developed the Sky Tower prototype based on Uber’s vision for Elevate, an aerial ride-sharing network. The speculative megacapacity hub opts to dock aircraft on modular, moving platforms. A precise sequence allows crafts to land, recharge, board, and position for takeoff within five minutes. A sophisticated louver system, vegetation, and photovoltaics shield the interiors from the sun while capturing solar energy. Wind turbines and energy recovery systems supply the charging stations. The ground level transit hub offers connections to commuter trains, buses, bikes, and cabs. The autonomous flying shuttles would cruise 1,000 to 2,000 feet above city streets, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Passengers would board at set pick-up and drop-off locations, rather than hailing the vehicles like taxis. Honorable Mention Project name: Nansha Scholar’s Tower Designers: Synthesis Design + Architecture and SCUT Architectural Design & Research Institute Location: Nansha, China
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A+D Team, Assemble!

A+D Museum brings a “disgusting food museum” and others shows to L.A.
The Architecture + Design Museum (A+D) in Los Angeles is continuing a recent tradition of simultaneous exhibition openings this weekend as it hosts the third Assembly extravaganza with the aim of ”join[ing] together a diverse group in celebration of different disciplines of design and points of view.” Taking place Saturday evening, the opening celebration will usher in four new exhibitions at A+D, including a “disgusting food museum” as well as the premiere of the museum’s so-called “impermanent collection,” a rotating set of artworks and products created by exhibited artists that will be for sale. Disgusting Food Museum The museum will host the Disgusting Food Museum, an exhibition from Sweden that “explores of the concept of disgust through different culturally and individually informed reactions” and includes displays of delectable treats like mouse wine, Jello pudding, and other specialized foods. Alley Fellowship A+D recently undertook a partnership with architects Rios Clementi Hale Studios that is focused on supporting cross-disciplinary emerging artists through the Alley Fellowship. The first series is titled Volume, and features the work of young artists from the Leimert Park neighborhood—where RCH Studios’s new offices are located—who have been challenged to think three-dimensionally about their work. PERSISTENT: Evolving Architecture in a Changing World Presented in conjunction with the Open Building For Resilient Cities Conference, PERSISTENT: Evolving Architecture in a Changing World, focuses on the way in which “robust, sustainable, and resilient architecture can be obtained and studied with respect to time.” The exhibition is curated by Michelle Laboy, David Fannon, and Peter Wiederspahn with the support of the AIA Latrobe Prize and the Northeastern University, College of Arts, Media and Design. Dark Mode Artist and architect P810 will present an “eerie take on Dark Mode, which takes as its premise the visual digital standard of ‘dark mode’ becoming part of the home.” The design collection imagines new sculptural realities for typical objects of the home, according to a press release, including objects that come alive when they are switched off. For more information on each exhibit please visit the A+D website.
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1948-2018

Sarah Ann Dennison, founding member of CO Architects, passes
Los Angeles architect Sarah Ann Dennison has passed away. A The Los Angeles Times obituary describes the architect as “a biologist, a photographer and a feminist” who started out with a degree in biology from Wells College before attending the University of Southern California in 1976. Dennison graduated alongside her husband and classmate Greg in 1980 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Dennison graduated first in her class at USC and earned an AIA|LA Academic Medal for her stellar credentials as a student. Dennison joined architects Anshen+Allen in Los Angeles in 1987, a firm that specialized in healthcare and laboratory building projects. She would eventually become a founding member of CO Architects, a firm she helped lead until her retirement in 2008. While at CO Architects, Dennison worked on many healthcare and university buildings. After retirement, Dennison worked with the Venice Land Use and Planning Committee as well as on issues relating to global warming and the environment. In 2010,  she was awarded a Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects for her “immersive involvement in shaping architecture with clients leads to the creations of engaging and transformative environments that celebrate scientific discovery. Her buildings stimulate hands-on learning and foster delight in the wonder of science.” Dennison also co-chaired the AIA|LA Fellows Nominating and Mentoring Committee and as a result, helped many distinguished candidates achieve Fellowship. A celebration of her life will be held at USC’s Harris Hall at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 19, 2019.
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Tres Hermanos Controversy

Municipalities battle over scarce open land in Southern California
An unlikely legal showdown is taking place in southeastern Los Angeles County over one of the largest remaining tracts of open, developable land in the region. The pristine 2,450-acre Tres Hermanos Ranch, a golden, hilly landscape sandwiched between the suburban communities of Diamond Bar, Industry, Commerce, and Chino Hills, has been in legal limbo ever since former California governor Jerry Brown disbanded the state’s Redevelopment Agencies in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Before 2011, the City of Industry controlled the ranch through a local Redevelopment Agency. As the agency was dissolved, a plan, approved last year by the state Department of Finance, emerged to allow Industry to buy the ranch outright. But disagreements over how the land can be used once it is sold have touched off legal fights in the area, precluding the completion of the sale. Initially, Industry officials were in talks with a San Diego–area utility provider to create a large-scale solar farm on the land. As the plan came to light, officials from Diamond Bar and Chino Hills sued Industry, alleging that the plan violated land-use and environmental laws and that they sought to keep portions of the site free from development. As a matter of compromise, the three cities had agreed to divide up control over the parcel and were in the process of hammering out a deal when the City of Commerce stepped in with a plan of its own. The Orange County Register reported that Commerce has asked the Los Angeles County Oversight Board to sell it the property, instead. According to the report, Commerce argues that Industry waived its first right to the property by not completing the initial sale approved by the Department of Finance and that as a result, the land should be sold to Commerce. With this latest bid for the site, other potential buyers have come forward as well, including a developer with plans to build suburban tract housing on the site. Michael Kapp, communications director for Hilda Solis, the L.A. County supervisor for the district that includes Tres Hermanos Ranch, told The Orange County Register that Commerce was in the wrong and that the right to purchase still sat with City of Industry, “who holds a right of first purchase for the sale of the property.” Kapp added, “Furthermore, even if Industry should reject the sale under the original agreement, the sale cannot be simply substituted or transferred to another jurisdiction, it would have to go out to public bid.” So far unresolved, the episode illustrates the complicated, lengthy, and fraught relationship between land development and landscape preservation in Southern California. The situation is mirrored 50 miles to the northwest, where the fire-prone Tejon Ranch in northern Los Angeles County is slated for a new 19,000 home community. There, developer Tejon Ranch Company is angling for approval from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to bring the large master-planned project to life on privately-owned wildland. Amid a growing concern over the spread of development into wild areas across California following recent destructive fires and renewed efforts to curb sprawl and boost urban density, development at the fringes of Los Angeles continues, at least for now.
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Confluence of Good Ideas

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Infrastructure
2018 Best of Design Award for Infrastructure: Confluence Park Designers: Lake|Flato Architects and Matsys Location: San Antonio
Conceived by Lake|Flato Architects in collaboration with Matsys, Confluence Park is a living learning laboratory located near where the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek meet. The site was designed for people to gain a greater understanding of South Texas ecotypes and the impact of urban development on its watershed. This idea of confluence carries through the project’s underlying goal of combining water, ecology, and culture. The 30-foot-tall concrete pavilion’s plant-inspired geometric structure interlocks as an open-air canopy. Providing cover from the South Texas sun, the petal form components help funnel rainwater into an integrated collection, filtration, and dispersal system that irrigates the surrounding landscape. Honorable Mentions  Project Name:  Rainbow Bridge Designer:  SPF:architects Location: Long Beach, California Project Name:  Los Angeles Union Station Metro Bike Hub Designer:  Architectural Resources Group Location: Los Angeles
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Only If and One Won

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Urban Design
2018 Best of Design Award for Urban Design: Triboro Corridor Designers: Only If and One Architecture & Urbanism Location: New York: Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx Conceived by Only If and One Architecture & Urbanism for the Regional Plan Association, the Triboro Corridor project is a proposal for a new passenger train service connecting the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Making use of existing freight and intercity rail lines, the transportation link would shift New York City’s centralized, hub-and-spoke transit system to one with more resilient connectivity between outer boroughs. The Triboro Corridor would also establish concrete links and new spatial relationships among diverse communities, peoples, and job opportunities. While some stations would feature simple platforms, the more complex ones would act as catalysts for the rapid transformation of local communities and bolster the economic, education, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. Using adjacent spaces, the Triboro Corridor could also serve as a 24-mile-long linear greenway and bicycle superhighway. Honorable Mentions  Project Name: Los Angeles River Gateway Designer: AECOM Location: Los Angeles Project Name: North Branch Framework Plan for the Chicago River Designer: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture Location: Chicago