Posts tagged with "California":

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wHY will design a new Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco across from SFMOMA

LA and San Francisco have always been in an arms race to see which city has more, or better, of everything. With the recent opening of LA's Broad Museum and next month's debut of the new SFMOMA, the stakes have never been higher. However, those proper art museums are facing competition for attention (and Instagram posts) from several major global art galleries setting up in the Golden State. Los Angeles recently debuted a new Annabelle Selldorf-designed Hauser & Wirth outpost in that city’s booming Arts District. Now, not to let their So-Cal brethren have all the glory, San Francisco is rolling out the welcome mat for Gagosian's recently-revealed gallery. Located in San Francisco’s downtown arts district, it will be designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, founder of LA and New York-based wHY The new gallery is an old brick building owned and occupied by Crown Point Press, a longtime neighborhood gallery that focuses on displaying printmaking and etchings. It's situated across the street from the soon-to-be-opened, Snohetta-designed expansion to Mario Botta’s original SFMOMA building. This new Gagosian certainly looks to fill a growing niche within Northern California’s wealthy, tech industry-driven, art-buying community. In reference to the decision to open this new gallery, Gagosian told the San Francisco Chronicle,“This makes sense with the new museum opening and with the emerging collector base in Silicon Valley.” According to renderings provided to A/N by Gagosian, the new 4,500 square-foot design is organized as a traditional white-walled gallery. It features nothing more than a line of structural columns, some lateral bracing, and a skylight interrupting the otherwise minimal space. The historic building’s facade is being left untouched, save for new signage displaying the gallery’s name over the building entrance. The new gallery's May 18 opening is timed to coincide with the debut of the new SFMOMA. The inaugural show will feature works on paper and sculpture by the likes of Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, and Pablo Picasso.
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Long Beach Aquarium Expansion Will Add 29,000 Square Feet

The largest aquarium in the U.S. (and the world) might be the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta—it hosts more than 100,000 animals and 550,000 square feet of exhibits. But the West coast—southern California more specifically—has the Aquarium of the Pacific. It features 5-acres of exhibits and over 500 marine species, and even a dive immersion program into a tropical reef exhibit. And it's about to get bigger. On the heels of SeaWorld announcing the end its controversial Shamu killer whale shows and breeding program by 2019, the almost 18-year old Aquarium of the Pacific released renderings and information on a new expansion, Pacific Visions. The aquarium is working with San Francisco-based architecture firm EHDD whose designers are also working on the Seattle Aquarium expansion. Renderings reveal a new 2-story theater with two projection areas: one curved along the wall (130 feet long by 32 feet tall), and a second on the floor (30-feet in diameter). Plans for the new wing will also add an art gallery and 6,000 square feet of space for rotating exhibits. The curves of the planned two-story wing resembles a blue whale. Its 800 panels of shimmering glass skin will also serve as a rain screen. The expansion is the last phase of the aquarium's 2005 master plan. The Aquarium of the Pacific was founded in 1998, "conceived as a cornerstone of a waterfront retail and amusement complex that would bring visitors to Long Beach at a time when it was struggling to cope with the closure of a Navy shipyard and the loss of about 50,000 jobs,” writes the Los Angeles Times. So far, the aquarium has raised over $35 million of the $53 million project budget through public and private funding. The target opening date is late 2018.
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Oakland wants George Lucas’s Museum

Back in San Francisco in early 2014, the Presidio Trust rejected revised plans for three different cultural space options on an 8-acre site. One idea was a proposal for George Lucas’s Museum of Narrative Art in The Presidio, a 1,500-acre park in northern San Francisco. He then abandoned his San Francisco plans to build a museum to house his cinema, digital, and narrative art collections. He went to Chicago, where his wife grew up. But the proposed Chicago site has faced lengthy disputes. Nonprofits are worried that his 300,000-square-foot museum on land near Burnham Harbor would set a new precedent for private lakefront development on land that is protected for public use. The proposed site is currently a Chicago Bears' football parking lot. The city intends to lease the land for 99 years at a cost of only ten dollars. Beijing–based firm MAD Architects was tapped for the $700 million project that has been mired in legal disputes for over a year. Now, George Lucas may have another option: reconsider the Bay area. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the City of Oakland is trying to get his attention. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's spokeswoman, Erica Terry Derryck, told the Business Times: “If plans for a museum in Chicago do not come to fruition, we’d be thrilled to explore the possibility of this exciting project coming to life in Oakland.” So far, we wait until mid-April, when federal judge John W. Darrah comes to a decision on whether construction on the Chicago project can start.
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Los Angeles LGBT Center reveals Leong Leong–designed campus

Last August, AN reported the Los Angeles LGBT Center, along with developer Thomas Safran & Associates, tapped Leong Leong to design their new campus in Hollywood, the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. This week, new renderings of the center were revealed.  “The firm is known for using common materials in uncommon ways, with results that belie humble beginnings: a sleek facade composed of mirrored louver blinds, sound insulation foam transforms into a chic wallcovering,” wrote former AN west editor Mimi Zeiger. New York– and L.A.–based Leong Leong was selected from a shortlist of five firms. Founded in 2009 by brothers Cris and Dominic Leong, the firm is known for projects like the 3.1 Phillip Lim store in Seoul, Korea. Also part of the new campus design team is L.A.–based executive architect Killefer Flammang Architects and Pamela Burton, in charge of landscape architecture. The campus will hold centers for seniors and youth, 100 beds for homeless youth, 100 affordable housing units for seniors, and 35 units of supportive housing. They are building a kitchen, retail space at ground level, as well as underground parking for 350 cars. The Center will also move it administrative offices from the McDonald/Wright building to the new campus, converting McDonald/Wright into a health-services center dedicated to physical and mental wellness. The Center has raised $25 million in pledges needed for phase one construction, and $3 million so far of the $15 million for phase two. The new campus is expected to open early 2019. On the topic of LGBT services, if you are further north on the west coast, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood more specifically, there is an LGBT visitor’s center that opened in 2013, the second of its kind in any U.S. city (Miami was the first).
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L.A.’s A+D Museum celebrates Downtown Arts District in new home

After moving this past July, the A+D Museum in Los Angeles is now fully settled in its new home at 900 East 4th Street in the developing Downtown Arts District. The exhibit that opened March 24 features the work of creatives like product designers KILLSPENCER x Snarkitecture, to architects/gamers Ozel Office, to sculptor Vincent Tomcyk. A+D was founded in 2001 by architects Stephen Kanner and Bernard Zimmerman and focuses on contemporary architecture and design exhibits, educational programming, kid-focused design workshops, and outreach. The museum originally opened in the Bradbury Building and was nomadic for much of its first decade. In 2010, the museum thought it found a permanent space at 5900 Wilshire Boulevard on Museum Row near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (shout out to one former exhibit Never Built: Los Angeles co-curated by AN contributing editor Sam Lubell). But eminent domain forced A+D to look for another spot. Soon after moving in, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans to demolish the Museum Row building to make space for the future Fairfax station that is part of the in progress 3-phase Purple Line extension. The complete extension is estimated to open, if on schedule, by 2035. Gensler designed A+D’s new digs, renovating an 8,000-square-foot old brick building that could have been a bowling alley. The new arts district location means the museum is across from the downtown L.A. architecture school, SCI-Arc. These recent developments are part of a larger effort to convert an area that was once mostly empty warehouse into a new neighborhood celebrating art and design.
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Oakland Misses Affordable Housing Opportunity

More people are living in urban areas. We all know younger millennials are choosing more urban lifestyles and rents are rising. Much has been written about micro-housing, from Seattle to New York’s Carmel Place by nArchitects. Will these types of units help make housing more affordable? The issue of housing in urban centers—especially affordable housing—is a great and complex issue. On the west coast, cities like L.A. and San Francisco have a notorious shortage. Seattle, dealing with rapid growth, is trying to do things a little differently. Mayor Murray has launched the Housing and Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), with an action plan that proposes rethinking density upzoning by 16 percent of Seattle and building 20,000 affordable housing units in the next ten years through public and private funding. Sometimes, though, it seems two steps forward means one step back. In California this Tuesday, Oakland’s City Council approved market-rate housing on a parcel of publicly owned land near Lake Merritt in a 6-1 vote. This could allow a developer to build a luxury condo on the site. The vote shot down an alternative, the E. 12th Street People’s Proposal, which called for a different use for the land—affordable and mixed housing. The E. 12th Street proposal called for 133 units, housing just over 700 people. The proposal put the cost of development at a little over $46,000,000, with funding that could have come from a mix of sources including state and federal grants.
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OMA submits sculpted proposal for L.A.’s FAB Civic Center Park

Working alongside landscape architects Mia Lehrer + Associates and design firm IDEO, OMA has put forward a sculpted proposal that features a partially covered green roof, curved steps, and elevated solar panelling. The project was submitted as part of a competition to design the First and Broadway (FAB) Civic Center Park in Los Angeles and will include a café, beer garden, test kitchen, and amphitheater seating. OMA hopes to introduce a "new type of park space" that is a versatile habitat for art and socializing. In doing so, space to eat, relax and escape the hectic downtown L.A. life results in a sculpted design that reflects and shades the selected areas. Mature oak and sycamore trees have been planted in and around the vicinity to harbor the tranquil environment. Almost mimicking this, elevated parabolic solar panelling are dotted around in a similar fashion, forming a cluster, orientated to achieve optimum efficiency. On the underside, they reflect the greenery below and thus maintain the sense of being a natural environment. The gentle curve that these panels produce (as seen in the first image) are emulated throughout the design. This can be seen in the "edible" green roof where sculpted forms break away and juxtapose the rigid orthogonal form of the building's structure. Likewise, another prominent example exists in the steps that offer an inviting recluse and alternative space to sit. While the building prides itself on being a getaway, a dialogue with the surrounding streetscape is maintained. "The corner of First and Broadway provides a new connection—visually and physically—from the cultural corridor of 1st Street to the front steps of City Hall," the firm says. "The extensive system of low seat walls will create an undulating ribbon of informal seating and shaded areas which define a series of 'park rooms' for intimate gatherings or spaces for art and cultural programming, while larger capacity amphitheater seating integrated into the restaurant is available for watching performances in the main plaza." OMA has also installed a hierarchy to the structure, divided by its corresponding story. Two distinct environments can be found with "quick and casual" spaces on the ground floor and "refined and elegant" above. As a result, each level responds to the "district's surrounding civic and cultural landmarks."
Energy efficiency, as mentioned before is also on OMA's agenda.  The proposal offers "net-zero" efficiency with regard to water and energy use thanks to the solar panels and water conservation facilities which are part of the "Golden California" landscape.
Three other firms—AECOM, Brooks + Scarpa, and Eric Owen Moss—submitted proposals, as well.
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Gustafson Guthrie Nichol to design San Francisco Shoreline Parks at the India Basin Waterfront

Seattle-based Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) will design Shoreline Parks and 900 Innes along the India Basin coastline. GGN was awarded the commission after coming first in the design ideas competition put forward by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department and the Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

According to the brief, the competition encouraged candidates to "reimagine" the two locations around India Basin Shoreline Park in order to establish a "spectacular and seamless 1.5-mile-long network of public parks on the City’s southeast shoreline."

Well-recognized in the field of landscape architecture, the firm already has designed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle, the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, North End Parks in Boston.

The India Basin Waterfront Parks, Trails and Open Space Plan, a public-private planning consortium is also underway, taking a regulatory stance to safeguard the project and make sure that the developments  "along the 1.5-mile shoreline eventually look, feel and operate as a coherent, comprehensive, and integrated parks system."

“As our City continues to grow, we are committed to the sustainability of our City by making investments in parkland that enhance our world class waterfront,” said San Francisco mayor Ed Lee in a press release. “I’m pleased with the progress of the India Basin Waterfront that ensures a legacy for future generations to come.” 

GGN fought off competition from 19 other proposals including one from AECOM and a joint submission from SWA and Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects. A PDF, part of GGN's winning submission, can be found here.

“We are honored to be entrusted to work with India Basin's neighbors and visitors, to enhance the things that people already treasure about this gem of a site,” said founding principal of GGN, Shannon Nichol. “India Basin includes a rare expanse of original tideflats and preserved boatyard architecture. Our approach to the competition further softened the shoreline, added walking routes across Innes Avenue between the water and the neighborhood, and sized the park's spaces for everyday activities. We look forward to working with the community to test and hone that initial approach with the full input of neighbors and the people who will be using this park every day.”

Situated in a remote untouched alcove of San Francisco, the brownfield site that is the India Basin offers rare opportunity for the city to confront environmental and ecological issues with the implementation of a park complex. Currently, the site has little to offer in the way of amenities, but landscape development could see an influx of visitors to the area, to which business would undoubtedly follow. 

As for the competition, five necessities were put in place. These included continuous connector trails, bike paths, increased access to the shoreline, and enhanced habitats and gathering spaces. As for the historic landmark of the Shipwright’s Cottage at 900 Innes, submissions required a brief outline of how this would be restored. After being announced as winners, GGN will seek to install a "21st-century legacy park" with particular focus on "public access, recreation, resiliency, and habitat enhancement."  

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Wilshire Grand Tower tops out over Downtown Los Angeles

AC Martin is one step closer to completing L.A.’s newest and tallest tower. As workers and business executives in hardhats scribbled optimistic phrases like “we did it!” and “one year left to go” onto a massive wide flange beam, Wilshire Grand Tower, LA's soon-to-be tallest spire, topped out Tuesday afternoon at a gregarious ceremony hosted by Turner Construction and AC Martin, the tower’s chief contractor and architect, respectively, and Korean Air, developer of the project. Crew members cheered as cranes lifted the final beam into place, 892 feet up, completing the structure’s core and leaving only the tower’s top floors and spire to be constructed. The ceremony, attended by many of the 800 workers rapidly assembling the west coast’s newest homage to high strength concrete and glass, included a barbecue lunch prepared on site that filled the surrounding business district with the wafting scent of mesquite. The event was celebratory in nature, with team members, executives, and elected officials posing for photos as journalists surveyed the cavernous rib cage of the building’s future shopping plaza along Figueroa Street. According to Turner Construction’s website, when completed, Wilshire Grand will host 20 floors of Class A office (400,000 square feet) and a 42 story hotel consisting of 900 suites. The aforementioned 400,000 square feet of podium along Figueroa is set to include ballrooms, meeting halls, pedestrian-oriented retail, and a 1,250-spot parking garage. The structure is the first building to rise since L.A.’s City Council overturned a 40 year fire safety rule mandating flat-topped skyscrapers in the city. Wilshire Grand Tower, rising to 1,099 feet in height, will also the first to employ a concrete core instead of a prototypical steel frame. This novel (for Los Angeles) roof shape will contain a sky lobby, observatory, sky pool deck, and restaurants. The building, set to rank as the second tallest building west of the Mississippi River upon completion (taller than San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower, but shorter than Seattle’s 4/C Tower), is due to finish construction in early 2017.
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After 13 years and multiple changes, San Francisco planners approve massive project by Arquitectonica

After a drawn out, 13-year process, architecture firm Arquitectonica has rolled back the years on its design for the final installment for Trinity Place on San Francisco's Market Street. The firm has reverted to a design it originally conceived back in 2006 and had approved in 2007. However, the final phase required much back and forth and Arquitectonica and San Francisco's Planning Department have just now found accord and are moving forward. Since Arquitectonica submitted its original plan in 2003 for the site, 13 years have passed along with numerous iterations to the project. Originally, 1,410 housing units had been planned, but this proposal was altered in 2006 due to complaints from locals. After that, the final third phase of the project lay in limbo, being changed and changed again in the process. But while the project stalled, the area has also changed. When Arquitectonica cofounder Bernardo Fort-Brescia submitted yet another set of plans last week (that were very close to the 2006 scheme), the San Francisco Department acknowledged that perhaps Mission/Market Street had caught up and finally gave it the green light. Prior to Arquitectonica's inception, the 4.5-acre plot was occupied by a motel that in the 1970s had been converted into apartments. Now, two, 24-story cubic volumes rise up, interlocking and overlapping with various elements, all of the same simple orthogonal nature. The structure houses 440 units, "360 of which are rent controlled," the firm said, settling one of the earlier disputes. This, however, is just the "first phase" (which has already been built) of Arquitectonica's overall plan, which will offer a whopping 1,900-units. Phase two lies on the same plot. It boasts 105 more units with 21,000-square-feet of retail space, while the third and final phase will use a Tetris-like, golden "L" shape to house 915 new residences. They don't come cheap, either, with prices starting at $2,775 for an unfurnished "junior one bedroom." "We wanted to start with something very graphic and pure compared to the background of San Francisco, and then the composition changes personality from one building to the next," said Fort-Brescia. "By the time it reaches Market Street, we’re trying to create a more subtle streetscape."
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Eavesdrop> I See a Red Door: At SCI-Arc, black is the new black

The mark of directorial change is happening at SCI-Arc. It’s not just a new website with modelesque faculty photos, but keen observers have tracked a gradual darkening on campus. Touches of black are spreading through the library and offices. Gone are the schools trademark wooden seminar tables, replaced by sleek, black showroom furniture. Kylo Ren would feel at home.