Search results for "Morphosis"

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Eavesdrop> OMA, Piano, Morphosis rumored to be competing for Wilshire Temple addition
Wilshire Boulevard Temple, one of Los Angeles' historic gems, was just splendidly renovated by a team led by Brenda Levin & Associates. Now it appears to have shortlisted some of the world's top architects for its 55,000 square foot addition. The temple has declined to comment on the shortlist, but according to a source OMA, Renzo Piano, Morphosis and Kengo Kuma are now competing to design a 55,000-square-foot addition. Called The Gathering Place, the$30-35 million event and programming space will contain a banquets hall, cafe, meeting and conference rooms, and administrative spaces located at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Harvard boulevards. "The design must establish an iconic profile while taking into account the adjacent historic sanctuary building," noted the competition RFQ. That's not an easy task considering the phenomenal presence of the Byzantine revival sanctuary. Finalists' submissions are due at the end of January, and the winning team will be chosen in June. Members of the architect selection committee include philanthropists Eli Broad and Tony Pritzker, and one advisor to the committee is Richard Koshalek, who oversaw the competition for Walt Disney Concert Hall, among others.
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Eavesdrop> Renzo Piano to deliver high design with a low-minded name in Des Moines
Downtown Des Moines, Iowa, courted an all-star list of architecture firms for a new $92 million corporate headquarters that has the unfortunate baggage of being helmed by the world’s most cringe-inducingly named and spelled convenience store chain, Kum & Go. BIG, Morphosis, SOM, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and Safdie Architects all competed for what CEO Kyle Krause is calling Des Moines’ next landmark. And that landmark is going to be designed by the Piano man himself. According to the Des Moines Register, the convenience store was attracted to Piano's "ability to emphasize collaboration, transparency and light." The new building will be located between 14th and 15th streets north of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, and locals hope the new building will take a back seat to the art on display that includes works by the likes of Jaume Plensa. The headquarters will house 300 employees in some 120,000 square feet and is expected to be complete in 2017. "What we want to do is create the best environment for our associates," Krause told the Register. "Architecturally, sure, they'll do a great job, but it's really about that inside space and what you can create inside the building that is best for our people." He added that Piano is "a great down-to-earth guy who we think can create the space that creates the transparency, the collaboration, the openness for our people to have a nice work space." Eavesdrop can’t be the only one who feels uncomfortable gassing up at this midwestern roadside retailer—but maybe a work of starchitecture can change our minds.
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Eavesdrop> Kate Mantilini, Part II: Is Morphosis ready to revamp Beverly Hills?
In a previous Eavesdrop, we reported that the famous Morphosis-designed restaurant Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills was chafing at city plans to landmark the premises. Well it appears the problem may have been resolved. Eavesdrop heard over cocktails that Morphosis itself has been tagged to do the restaurant’s renovation. No official word yet, but this seems like a natural fit, doesn’t it?
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Top Architectural Criticism
Emerson Los Angeles by Morphosis.
Iwan Baan

AN's Crits provide a chance for our contributors and some of our in-house staff to share their thoughts, and raise questions, about some of the most talked-about projects around the country. This year included in-depth looks at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Perez Art Museum, and MoMA's controversial planned expansion.

Perez Art Museum

Herzog & de Meuron's design blurs the distinction between inside and out.

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MoMA Expansion

Inga Saffron laments the controversial plan by Diller Scofidio + Renfro to demolish the American Folk Art Museum building.

 

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9/11 Memorial Museum

Alan G. Brake descends into Davis Brody Bond's somber museum.

 

 
 

 

Emerson Los Angeles

Minneapolis' multimodal transit station and public plaza hopes to catalyze real estate development.

 

 

Clark Art Institute Expansion

James McCown admires Tadao Ando's latest American cultural project.

 

 
 

 

Sokol Blosser Winery

Michael Webb goes to Oregon and gets deep into his cups.

 

 

 
 

 

La Brea Affordable Housing

Patrick Tighe Architecture and John V. Mutlow Architecture join forces to bring housing to the needy.

 

 

High Line Segment Three

Alan G. Brake surveys the remnant landscape of the newest section of the High Line.

 
 

 

Four World Trade

Alan G. Brake looks around Fumihiko Maki's New York City skyscraper.

 

 
 

 

Aspen Art Museum

Aaron Seward reviews Shigeru Ban's first major post-Pritzker commission.

 

 

 

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West Editor’s Picks
The NBBJ-designed Samsung headquarters in San Jose, California, features spacious terraces and courtyards.
Courtesy NBBJ

In 2014, AN continued to report on efforts made by cities in the American West to create liveable communities with significant architectural buildings. Here's what West Editor Sam Lubell found to be top of 2014.

Rethinking Silicon Valley

Tech campuses adapt to new demands.

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Crit> Emerson Los Angeles

Sam Lubell sees metallic worms spilling out of Morphosis' new LA campus.

  

 

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In Construction> Pterodactyl

Advances in digital design made this decade-old design by Eric Owen Moss feasible for construction.

 
 

 

The Art of Planning

Los Angeles struggles to mold its emerging arts district.

 

 

 

 

Q+A> Kevin Rice

Sam Lubell talks to DS+R's Kevin Rice about a plaza beside The Broad museum.

 

 
 

 

Obit> Eric A. Kahn, 1956–2014

Gary Paige remembers the restlessly optimistic architect, artist, and teacher.

 
 

 

Demolish For Progress

Sam Lubell on the importance of embracing cultural institutions in urban renewal projects.

 

 

On Not Choosing Sides

Sam Lubell advocates for the merging of corporate and boutique architecture practices.

 
 

 

Q+A> Peter Zellner

New director of AECOM's Los Angeles office suggests blurring the line between corporate and design firms.

 
 

 

Q+A> Hernan Diaz Alonso

New director, new directions at SCI-Arc.

 

 

 

 

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Morphosis Computes a Facade for Cornell

The facade's stainless steel panels form a wave pattern, cutting down on glare and heat loads while representing the contribution computing has made to design.

The recently completed Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, combines the schools’ Computing Science and Information Science departments under one roof. Designed by Morphosis, the facility encourages spontaneous interactions between these two disciplines with common spaces for comingling and transparent partitions that allow views, and daylight, to pass from space to space. The building envelope, a unitized glass curtain wall system, is wrapped in a band of perforated stainless steel panels that forms a dynamic, angular wave pattern across the surface. In addition to creating a sense of movement across the exterior, it serves as a fitting symbol of the contribution that computing has had on the arts and sciences: The architects used advanced digital modeling tools to design the geometry, pattern, and details of this additive layer, and made it to function both as an aesthetic gesture as well as a performance enhancing element of the architecture. “The goal was to establish a consistent level of daylighting throughout the interior,” said Cory Brugger, director of design technology at Morphosis. “We maximized the exterior glazing to get the light coming through. The design of the screen reduces the amount of glare and heat gain and starts to help with the performance of the facade system itself.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Zahner (perforated stainless steel panels), YKK AP (unitized curtain wall), W&W Glass (exterior cladding systems), Erie AP (curtain wall engineering and fabrication), Viracon (glazing), Wasco Products Inc. (skylights)
  • Architect Morphosis
  • Facade Installer W&W Glass
  • Location Ithaca, NY
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System Unitized double-glazed and spandrel curtain wall with exterior perforated stainless steel panels
  • Products YKK YUW 750XT 4 sided SSG Unitized Curtain Wall system, perforated stainless steel panels from Zahner, Viracon VNE 24-63
Located between Cornell’s historic Barton Hall and Hoy Field, Gates Hall fits 100,000 square feet of program in fives stories on a site roughly 150 feet long by 80 feet wide. “It’s a fairly squat building with a large foot print,” said Brugger. “So what we wanted to do was find a way to give some break on the facade.” The metal screen forms a band that covers the second through fourth floors. The first and fifth floors are fully glazed. At the main entrance on the building’s west side there is a large cantilever covering an entry court with some indigenous plantings and sculptural precast concrete “rocks.” Here, the facade becomes an integral part the overall massing of building, breaking down proportions of footprint and creating a sense of motion, giving the sense that structure is coiled to pounce across the road. Morphosis specified a YKK YUW 750XT 4 sided SSG unitized curtain wall system outfitted with a Viracon VNE 24-63 double glazed insulated glass unit. Ithaca does have a heavy winter, and heating days predominate over cooling days for the facility. To optimize the daylight/insulation ratio, the architects intermixed fully glazed panels with insulated spandrel panels. “There’s an alternation between full glazing and spandrel panels that helped us balance the environment and meet our efficiency target,” said Brugger. “It’s not fully glazed everywhere.” The curtain wall’s aluminum mullions are reinforced with steel, giving them the necessary stiffness to support the screen system. Morphosis designed the screen system in its own proprietary software program and used Rhino with Grasshopper to do the visualization. To coordinate fabrication of the panels with Zahner in Kansas City, the architects worked with CATIA and Digital Project. Zahner fabricated the screen panels out of 316 stainless steel. There are 457 panels total, in 13 different types, that bolt back to the vertical mullions at one of three elevations. The perforated panels have an angel hair finish. “It’s a non-directional finish takes away most of the gloss of stainless steel and gives it a little more depth in reflectivity, kind of a clean, matte finish,” said Brugger. “It still has a certain luster and gloss, but it cuts down on glare.” W&W Glass installed the facade, first putting up the YKK curtain wall and then erecting the screen system in a second pass. “We couldn’t unitize the two systems because they’re quite large and differently sized,” said Brugger. “Each stainless panel takes up two curtain wall modules.” The curtain wall modules are 5 feet 9 inches wide, whereas the stainless panels are 10 to 12 feet wide. The panels are set at different angles across the facade depending on solar orientation, with those on the south face at the most obtuse angle to create the deepest ledge for shading. This variation around the building envelope creates visual interest and expresses the computational nature of the design.
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Obama Library proposal calls for an enormous park over Chicago’s Eisenhower Expressway
A lush green park reaching over the Eisenhower Expressway. Bus rapid transit connections. Economic invigoration for the North Lawndale neighborhood. Those are some of the visions outlined in the University of Illinois Chicago's proposal for the Barack Obama Presidential Library, made public Monday. AECOM, Isaiah International and Morphosis consulted on the proposal, which splits its ambitious plans for the nation's 14th presidential library across two sites: a vacant 23-acre city-owned site in North Lawndale and an institute on UIC's Near West Side campus. The Lawndale plot is bound by Roosevelt Road and Kostner, Kildare, and Fifth avenues. Among the benefits the authors say their proposal will bring to the community—predominantly Black, with nearly half of residents below the poverty line—are a linear park and bikeway, as well as commercial development in the surrounding area. UIC's 85-page proposal invokes a history of progressive politics and urban planning in Chicago, from Daniel Burnham and Jane Addams to Walter Netsch and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The plan calls for establishing a social service center named the O-4 Institute (the O's stand for “one world, opportunity, optimism and outreach) on UIC's existing campus, which would serve as a hub for academic research, fellowships and activities for university students and community members alike. In a video outlining the proposal, UIC positions its plan as a continuation of Obama's social service, which began when he worked as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side. “UIC offers an expansive plan that prioritizes social and economic equity. This is a rare and extraordinary opportunity: a presidential library and museum reimagined, to not only celebrate history but to make it; to preserve Barack Obama’s legacy and expand it,” reads text accompanying the proposal video. UIC's proposal is up against plans from Columbia University and Hawaii University. Closer to home it's competing with the University of Chicago. UIC's hometown rival, where Obama taught law, submitted plans for three possible sites in and around South Side parks. You can download the full proposal here.
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Mirroring Weimar Germany
Michael Maltzan and Amy Murphy's layered, architectural installation design for Haunted Screens.
Courtesy Mmuseum Associates / LACMA

Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
Through April 26

Monsters, madmen, and magicians play starring roles in Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s, an exhibition that runs through April 26 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s a worthy successor to LACMA’s many explorations of that fertile era of experimentation. German studios churned out plenty of fluffy entertainments for mass consumption, but they also produced (as Hollywood rarely did) works of art that made few concessions to popular taste. The production sketches, stills, and movie clips from 25 features included in this exhibition reveal the huge potential of film to probe human psychology and imagine worlds that never were. Architects will be drawn to the elaborate sets and city streets, and by the installation, which was designed by Michael Maltzan and Amy Murphy.

The show has a strong emphasis throughout on architecture and urbanism. LACMA curator Britt Salvesen divided the 250 exhibits into four thematic sections and deftly wove them into a visual narrative, elucidated by succinct text panels. Within each section, one can review set and costume designs alongside production stills for a few features, and then step into a darkened space to watch excerpts of those films, back-projected onto suspended screens. Happily there was a rich trove to draw on, principally from the collection of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. Hollywood studios squandered their treasures, treating talent as hired hands, and junking their archives. Most of their publicity stills were portraits of popular stars; at UFA, the leading German studio, up to 800 photos documented every aspect of a major production. Lotte Eisner and other dedicated archivists rescued prints and drawings that survived wartime devastation and carried them off to the Cinémathèque. In doing so, they preserved a legacy of art and history.

Jagged surfaces convey an air of dark uncertainty.
 

Like the painters and sculptors whom the Nazis would soon condemn as decadent, filmmakers—including Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, Georg Pabst, and Robert Wiene—mirrored the turmoil and creativity of the Weimar Republic. The distorted houses, oppressive city streets, and sinister laboratories they constructed on stages and back lots mirrored a society struggling to break free of the past, even as its economy and government foundered. Whereas the best German architecture of the 1920s—from the Weissenhofsiedlung to luxury villas and workers’ housing estates—is cool and rational, filmmakers exposed the contradictions of the times and the dark underside of material progress. Their subjects ranged from grinding poverty in the slums to the polarization of wealth, futuristic fantasies and folklore, surveillance and the threat of new technologies. The demons that haunt these films would soon achieve power: critic Siegfried Kracauer entitled his history of film, From Caligari to Hitler.

 

To articulate this multi-layered story and heighten its impact, Maltzan and Murphy have constructed a trio of wave-like forms to enclose projection screens, which are set at angles to each other, so one can watch one or several clips simultaneously. In the troughs between, small drawings and production stills are displayed on the canted surfaces, shard-like columns, and a jagged, open-ended frame. Posters occupy the side walls of the gallery, and sound cones descend from the ceiling. The installation is easy to navigate, but it subtly conveys an air of menace, mystery, and insecurity. Within a confined gallery, one can examine the exhibits, absorb the febrile atmosphere of Weimar, and surrender to the timeless magic of the movies.

LACMA is an appropriate host. It frequently presents selections from its fine collection of German Expressionist art, and commissions leading architects (including Frank Gehry, Morphosis, and Frederick Fisher) to install exhibitions. And it is located in the city that lured the finest talents of Germany in the years between the two world wars. Writers, directors, producers, actors, and—most successfully—cinematographers and composers migrated to Hollywood, initially for the money, and later as refugees. They brought a new sophistication to an escapist industry, and they helped establish the genre of film noir. For a decade, LA became Weimar on the Pacific, and there’s a faint echo of that era in the more interesting independent movies of recent years. Haunted Screens takes us back to the source.

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Five finalists unveiled for Governors Island FIGMENT pavilion
It’s never too early to start planning for the summer. As we head into winter, try to warm yourself up with thoughts of visiting Governors Island, with an iced coffee in one hand and pure, summertime optimism in the other. When you make that dream a reality in a matter of months—on the other side of a polar vortex or two—you will be greeted on the island with a new public pavilion. The City of Dreams Pavilion will be the fifth consecutive installation to come out of a competition hosted by FIGMENT, the Structural Engineers Association of New York, and the Emerging New York Architects Committee of the AIA New York Chapter. While a winning design won't be announced until next month, FIGMENT & Company have unveiled their five finalists. “Our theme for the pavilion, the City of Dreams, points toward the future," said FIGMENT in a statement. "If we imagine a future New York City where anything is possible, what would it look like?" They continued, “In our wildest and most optimistic dreams, what is the future of the city?” Take a look at the environmentally-sensitive proposals below and be sure to visit Governors Island to see the finished product in June. The Pulp Pavilion by MegaZoo Melody Rees and Arthur Azoulai According to FIGMENT: "Made from cast paper pulp, this pavilion is constructed out of recycled material and is biodegradable. The cradle to cradle design is comprised of many cone shaped modules that are tightly packed to form a domed archway. On the exterior, the design celebrates the inherent qualities of the fibrous material. On the interior, color is used to celebrate the modularity of the design and filter light to create dramatic and contrasting effect for individuals who reside within. Each cone is cast from a unique and fibrous mix consisting of recycled paper and grass seeds. Its impact is net zero and it actually contributes to the positive biomass of the earth upon demolition. This temporary structure is a showcase for the potentials of new biodegradable material technologies within the design and construction industry." Billion Oyster Pavilion by BanG studio Babak Bryan, Henry Grosmanl, and Suzie Betts with Sam Janis, Harbor School/Billion Oyster Project According to FIGMENT: "Our proposal for the Billion Oyster Pavilion joins two of Governors Island’s most exciting enterprises: Figment’s City of Dreams Pavilion and The New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project. The materials that form the woven canopy (steel rebar, nylon rope, and hose clamps) are specifically used in their harbor restoration work. Additionally, the base of our Pavilion is made up of custom-cast 'Reef Balls,' a restoration device that the school will also use as part of their habitat creation effort. By donating the entire pavilion to the Harbor School, its materials will be completely re-used on the island, eliminating the need to further transport." Tied Together by Hou de Sousa Nancy Hou & Josh de Sousa According to FIGMENT: "Tied Together is a pavilion made out of aluminum pipes and strands of rope braided from 38,000 repurposed plastic bags (the amount NYC wastes every 90 seconds). The project provides a venue for events and performances, while serving as a great picnic area, and functioning as an iconic meeting point for visitors to Governors Island. From afar, Tied Together appears to be a solid sculptural object, but from up close, the overlapping composition of rope and linear gaps produces a moiré effect which visually shifts and alters the surrounding landscape as one moves between the pavilion’s spaces. Currently, less than 1% of New York City’s plastic bags are recycled, even though they account for 22% of all the plastics sent to landfills. The NY Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Act was passed in 2009 and requires medium to large scale retailers to accept plastic bags for recycling. Tied Together aims to raise awareness for this law and thereby increase its impact." Organic Growth by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno, Adriana Cabello Plasencia, Alejandro Espallargas Omedas and Alfonso Aracil Sánchez According to FIGMENT: "The natural structures are adaptive and can grow up and down in response to context and time. The morphology of the hydrangea plan has been particularly useful. Mophead flowers are large dome-shaped flower heads. Through it’s growth, the plant maintains a good balance with the environment, shouldn’t the ‘city of dreams’ do the same? Architecture has to learn to adapt to changing social requirements and ecological dynamics. The philosophy of organic growth: maintaining a flexibility of ideas that is adaptive becomes crucial. This logic also generates a biophilic component, learning from nature helps to take care of human wellbeing naturally, beautifully and intuitively." Galassia by Michele Zanella According to FIGMENT: "Galassia is a free standing, geometrically rigorous yet formally expressive, self-sustaining pavilion. The nature of its shape, deriving from the minimal surface generated between two circular loops, is contemporarily expression of maximum structural efficiency and of refined formal completeness. Paced by the array of a bamboo structure and of a densely spaced set of tensed ropes, the pavilion is simultaneously identifying its structural, formal and functional content. Galassia is the depiction of flawless dynamism and internal movements within the city of the future and is the materialization of the concepts of efficiency, sustainability and aesthetic qualities combined together. A pavilion as the architectural crystallization of a collective dream: the process of a sustainable urban metamorphosis." [h/t 6sqft]
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La Brea Affordable Housing
The client wanted the building to have a strong presence. The architects achieved that by wrapping the exposed corner with looped ribbons of white lacquered steel.
Art Gray

Patrick Tighe Architecture teamed with John V. Mutlow Architecture to design La Brea Affordable Housing—a newly completed sequel to the Sierra Bonita Apartments, which Tighe built four years ago for the same client, the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC). The first was a pilot project for the City of West Hollywood’s Green Building Ordinance, and it launched a plan to upgrade and densify the scruffy east end of a city whose west side, bordering on Beverly Hills, is choking on its success.

Tighe made his reputation with a succession of dramatically skewed houses and studios that drew on his experience at Morphosis. Sierra Bonita was his first affordable housing project, and he and Mutlow have applied the lessons they’ve learned on past jobs to this latest effort. It’s a five-story block with 32 wood-frame studios and one-bedroom apartments sitting atop a concrete and glass podium. Located a mile south of Hollywood Boulevard, the new facility provides a humane refuge for homeless LGBT youth and people living with HIV. More than a hundred such blocks are needed to meet the current demand: there were about 3,500 applications for these few accommodations.

 
 

At street level, there is parking and a narrow garden for residents to the rear, and a storefront office for the non-profit AIDS Project Los Angeles. The client wanted the building to have a strong street presence, and the architects have achieved that by wrapping the building’s exposed corner with looped ribbons of white lacquered steel. Assembled from short sections of flanged plate, they enclose the lobby, give the block a distinctive signature, and mask wire-mesh balustrades. Their sweeping curves mediate between the rectilinear storefront and the fretted aluminum plates that clad the upper stories along La Brea Boulevard. Comprising ten custom patterns cut with water jets and randomly arranged, they also serve as a decorative sunscreen that frames inset balconies. The balcony reveals are painted aqua, in tones that lighten as they ascend.

 
 

The facades demonstrate the architects’ skill in exploiting a budget of $160/square foot, employing durable materials and imaginative design to better effect than most market-rate apartment blocks. The interior is even more imaginative. The corner lobby soars five stories to the roof and the openings between the steel ribbons pull in light, cooling breezes, and glimpses of sky. When it rains, the furnishings can be sheltered and water drains from the concrete floor. At the upper levels, apartments open onto a densely landscaped courtyard, which is oriented north-south and gives every apartment natural light and cross ventilation. It provides a sheltered gathering place in winter, and a cool, shady retreat in summer. Bamboo plants rise to the height of the building from sinuous concrete planters, which incorporate benches. A communal room, warmed by millwork and armchairs of reclaimed wood, opens off the second level, beside a laundry and social services. Solar panels, a gray water system, and a white vinyl roof membrane combine with passive strategies to achieve a high level of sustainability.

To reduce costs, the living units are stacked, but each has a full bathroom and kitchen, plus storage and an 80 square-foot outdoor space. The WHCHC is funded from different sources, and each lender has a different set of requirements for access, materials, and open space, challenging the architects to reconcile conflicting demands. Large cities, from LA and San Francisco to New York, are notoriously over-regulated and that constraint, combined with a shortage of Federal and State funding, slows construction of affordable housing to a trickle. Many architects, from Rob Quigley in San Diego, to David Baker in San Francisco are eager to contribute more. In LA, Tighe and Mutlow join Michael Maltzan, Koning Eizenberg, Kevin Daly, Frederick Fisher, and others in reaching out to the needy only to find themselves frustrated by inflexible rules and a dearth of funding.

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Pictorial> Illuminate SF setting San Francisco aglow
For the second year, San Francisco Travel (the city's marketing organization) is organizing Illuminate SF, a two-month series of light art installations around the metropolis. This year's version, taking place now through the end of the year, features 16 glowing pieces—11 of them permanent—including works by James Turrell, Ned Kahn,Vito Acconci, and James Carpenter. Many are integrated into San Francisco buildings, such as Morphosis' San Francisco Federal Building, KMD's SF Public Utilities Commission, the grain elevator at Pier 92, and various terminals at SFO. Cities like Cleveland and New York have held similar festivals in recent years. The San Francisco event includes the return of Leo Villareal's Bay Lights, the world's largest LED light sculpture covering the Oakland Bay Bridge's 1.8-mile-long West Span. Soma, by Flaming Lotus Girls, was originally displayed at Burning Man, and will be illuminated every night from sunset until 2:00 a.m. Accompanying events for Illuminate SF include film screenings, art walks, tours, light shows, Christmas Tree lightings, and even parades. Enjoy a slideshow of the phenomenal installations below.