Posts tagged with "San Francisco":

Los Angeles and San Francisco make bids to host the 2024 Olympic Games

After hosting the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984, Los Angeles is in the hunt to be the Unites States' candidate to host them again in 2024. Earlier this week the city made a presentation to the U.S. Olympic Committee, followed by pitches from Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. According to Inside The Games, a website dedicated to Olympic news, LA's proposal would be heavy on existing facilities, cutting down on costs so much that Mayor Eric Garcetti called it the "most affordable" of any U.S. proposal. The games would once again focus on the LA Memorial Coliseum (which would be substantially renovated), and surrounding Exposition Park, both just south of USC. Other significant venues would include Staples Center, the Nokia Theater, Griffith Observatory, the Queen Mary, and even Walt Disney Concert Hall. According to Inside The Games, the bid shows off LA's ongoing transit expansion, with officials claiming that 80 per cent of spectators will be connected to venues by public transport. San Francisco proposed a $4.5 billion, privately financed plan that would also focus on existing, or already-planned facilities. According to the SF Chronicle they would include newly-completed Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, several waterfront piers, and the Golden State Warriors' upcoming arena in Mission Bay. A temporary stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies in Brisbane, south of San Francisco, would be removed after the games, and the Olympic Village would be contained in 2,000 units of housing already approved as the fourth phase of development at the Hunters Point shipyard. “We’re not going to be building white elephants in our city or anyplace in our region,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee told the Chronicle. The USOC is expected to decide on an entry city by early next year, and the International Olympic Committee is expected to choose the 2024 host city in 2017. The U.S. has not hosted a Summer Olympics since the 1996 Games in Atlanta. The last U.S. city to host the Winter Olympics was Salt Lake City, in 2002.

New Buildings Institute catalogues the nation’s net-zero buildings

The Vancouver-based New Buildings Institute (NBI) tracks energy efficient built work, and their 2014 update, “Getting to Zero”, provides a snapshot of the emerging U.S. market for net-zero buildings—those are structures that use no more energy than they can gather on site. In the United States, California leads in the number of low and zero energy projects with 58, followed by Oregon (18), Colorado (17), Washington (16), Virginia (12), Massachusetts (11), Florida (10), Pennsylvania (10), Illinois (8), North Carolina (8), and New York (8). NBI also compiled a database of all their buildings. They say architects and developers interested in pursuing net-zero design could find inspiration there, searching according to their local climate and/or building characteristics. The database includes energy-efficient and high-performance buildings that are not net-zero, as well. Though the trend has succeeded in garnering attention and excitement among many designers, true net-zero buildings remain elusive in the built environment. So far NBI has only certified 37 buildings as net-zero. That ranking is based on performance—each building underwent a review of at least 12 months of measured energy use data. If piece-meal projects aren't yet adding up to a groundswell of net-zero design, NBI is also pushing systemic change—rigorous energy efficiency standards recently adopted in Illinois took cues from the group's Core Performance Guide.

San Francisco’s Candlestick Park to be replaced by an outlet mall and housing

San Francisco's city center isn't the only place undergoing unprecedented changes. While the 49ers play out their season in the much warmer (and tech-nerd-friendly) new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, their former home, Candlestick Park, is about to be replaced by an outlet center and residential community. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Candlestick Point will become home to a $1 billion, 500,000-square-foot “urban outlet” shopping center and housing development. The plans are being developed by homebuilder Lennar, which lost an effort to build a new stadium in the city  a few years back, and by retail developer Macerich. They would include retail, restaurants, a marketplace, movie theaters, a performance venue and hotel, and 6,000 rental and for-sale homes. Much of the property would maintain a city-like profile (street line, mixed heights, styles and materials) and be covered by outdoor pedestrian walkways, plantings, and fountains, but nobody is calling this a groundbreaking break from formula. And to 49ers fans, they will never replace the days of tailgating and Raider bashing. The facility would not only serve the residents at Candlestick, but at the Nearby Hunters Point Shipyard property, where Lennar  is building a large residential development. Candlestick now joins Bay Meadows racetrack in San Mateo as former sports facilities to become new communities. Meanwhile the Oakland County Coliseum (somehow) still remains.

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.  

Eavesdrop> Lifting The Veil On So Many Secrets

It’s such a shame that we live in areas so full of secrecy. Why won’t Hollywood stars in Los Angeles or tech moguls in San Francisco let architects spread the word about their million dollar houses? Sure we hear dribs and drabs. For instance that Sergei Brin and a major executive at Yahoo! have both commissioned San Francisco architect Olle Lundberg to design their new abodes. But these tidbits are far too infrequent. So we at Eavesdrop are making a plea for you to share gossip on who is designing for the most famous people you can think of. We promise, we won’t divulge our sources. And we won’t partner with Us Weekly. Probably. And speaking of secrets, we hear that there’s a secret service facility a few floors above the new offices of Gensler at City National Plaza. How did we find out? They were protecting Vice President Joe Biden when he came to town… And Renzo Piano seemed to divulge his own secret feelings about his Academy Museum in Los Angeles to the LA Times recently: “I don’t think it will be that bad… Actually, I’m struggling to do something good.” Faint praise for himself, don’t you think?

San Francisco’s huge 5M Development releases Environmental Impact Report

Forest City has announced that it is moving forward with a plan to build a residential and office complex on four acres around the San Francisco Chronicle building, a 1924 structure located on the corner of 5th and Mission streets in the South of Market (Soma) neighborhood. The developer published the Environmental Impact Report (PDF) for the plan, known as "5M," last Wednesday and presented it at a public hearing of the city's Planning Commission this week. The design team for the project includes architect Kohn Pederson Fox, urban designer SiteLab, and historic resources consultant Architectural Resources Group.  According to the EIR, the project would contain about 1.8 million square feet of development, presented in two different options. In the "Office Scheme," it would include about 870,000 square feet of offices, 800,000 square feet of residential, and 150,000 square feet of active ground floor uses. In the "Residential Scheme," it would include about 600,000 square feet of office uses, 1 million square feet of residential, and 150,000 square feet of ground floor use. In either scheme, the plan would renovate two existing buildings (including the Chronicle Building), build four new buildings, and demolish six existing buildings. On its web site, the developers call for "carved buildings," to add visual interest, "sculpted high rises," a careful balance of uses, and a pedestrian experience enhanced with active storefronts and art walls. According to the Chronicle, in addition to the new facilities, the development would include a 12,000 square foot "Mary Square," and a 22,000 square foot green space on the Chronicle Building Roof. The project, which is facing heavy criticism from local neighborhood groups,  is expected to get underway by 2016 or 2017 and phase in over about ten years. Public comments will be heard until December 1. Forest City said renderings should be available within about a month, so stay tuned.

San Francisco legislator proposes solar panels and green roofs for all new buildings

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is proposing legislation to mandate that all new buildings in the city contain solar panels, rooftop gardens, or both. The resolution, called Solar Vision 2020, would form a permanent program (extending the work of the pilot GoSolarSF) to help building owners pay to install solar arrays, set a goal of doubling the city's solar energy production, and install 2 megawatts–worth of panels on residences citywide each year. “Many landlords have told me that if we just had the right financing mechanisms, they’d be interested in doing this,” he told the Chronicle. In addition to the local plans, a statewide bill called the Solar Permitting Efficiency Act—which would streamline the permitting processes around solar power and save customers up to $1,000 each—has passed the legislature and is now waiting for Governor Jerry Brown's signature. Meanwhile the California Solar Initiative and the Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit both provide rebates to would-be solar energy installers. In Los Angeles, the Department of Water and Power offers the Solar Incentive Program, which provides rebates on photovoltaic installations, and supports Go Solar LA, established to reduce customers’ cost of installing solar PV systems.

San Francisco Arts Commission Votes to Remove Diller Scofidio + Renfro Public Art Project

dsr-boot-01 In a move that has angered critics and scholars, the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) voted at its meeting on September 8 to remove the artwork, Facsimile, from the facade of the Moscone Center West. The move seals the fate of a project that began in 1996, when architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio defeated a pool of 62 applicants including Jenny Holzer, Anish Kapoor, and Nam June Paik for the site-specific project on the surface of the convention center in downtown San Francisco. dsr-boot-02 Conceived at a moment before the now-ubiquitous experience of cyberspace, Facsimile combined images of the surrounding city, live transmissions from inside the building, and hundreds of hours of footage filmed by the architects. Displayed on a screen that would travel from one end of the building to the other, the images fused elements of cinema, television, and video art into a unique work of architecture that, eighteen years after its initial conception, remains wittier and more ambitious than today's typically banal media facades. Every element of Facsimile involved custom fabrication and technical ingenuity. Despite occasional instances of bad luck—most notably an accident in 2003—Diller, Scofidio, and project leader Matthew Johnson donated hundreds of hours of their time to the city and remained optimistic that the project would become fully operational this year after the installation of a new video card. A bracing defence of free artistic and architectural expression, Facsimile precipitated a legal ruling that explicitly denied the use of its screen to advertisers. Despite a request by the architects for a one-month delay of any action by the SFAC and an offer to donate $10,000 to finish the project and raise an endowment to cover the costs of its maintenance, Tom DeCaigny, Director of Cultural Affairs cited concerns about the project's long-term sustainability. The Commissioners voted 9-1 in favor of removing it from Moscone West's facade. Their decision comes at a moment when Diller Scofidio + Renfro is designing the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Pacific Film/University Art Museum for UC Berkeley, and the Department of Art at Stanford University. It raises the troubling possibility that short-sightedness and provincialism may have trumped the commitment to supporting visionaries and cultural innovation on which San Francisco long has prided itself.  

On View> “Home: My San Francisco” traces domestic space and identity

Home: My San Francisco AIA San Francisco Center For Architecture + Design Gallery San Francisco Through October 31 Home: My San Francisco is an exhibition designed by Julie Blankenship in collaboration with photographer Julie Sadowski examining the rapidly evolving design of domestic space in response to changing views of identity, family, work, life, technology, and sustainability. The show captures the narrative environments contained within the city’s indoor and built environments through photographs, supplemented with an online collection of images, interviews with residents, architectural drawings, and texts. Contents span a wide variety of architectural styles and neighborhoods, including single-family homes, contemporary renovations, cohousing, and multi-family residences. A few of the examples are Curran House, high-density affordable housing in the Tenderloin by David Baker Architects; Embassy in Lower Haight, an example of creative cohousing and the home of; and a mid-century Forest Hills mansion built for baseball hero Willie Mays by Al Maisin.  

Eavesdrop> West Coast Odds and Ends

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.

Remembering Doug Wright, the man who helped tear down highways in San Francisco and Portland

San Francisco's deputy mayor for transportation—who played an integral role in getting the city to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake—passed away on July 30th. He was 68. After the earthquake struck the city, Wright convinced former San Francisco mayor, Art Agnos, to help lead the effort to remove the highway and replace it—not with another highway, but instead with a boulevard at street level. In the 1970s, Wright worked as the planning director in Portland, Oregon. He set a major urban planning milestone in the United States: he got the city to take down a large portion of Harbor Drive, a highway along the Willamette River and build a park—the Tom McCall Waterfront Park (named after former Oregon governor, Tom McCall)—in its place. In many ways his actions were visionary, setting a precedent for large scale urban freeway removal projects. In later decades, other cities let go of portions of their elevated highways, such as Boston, Milwaukee, and Seattle. Seattle is currently in the midst of boring the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel and planning a major redevelopment of the waterfront, designed by James Corner Field Operations. "I hate the word 'vision,' but he had a vision as to how transportation should be part of larger efforts to sustain the urban environment," Rudy Nothenberg told the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a colleague of Wright and San Francisco's former chief administration officer. "More than anyone I worked with, he was the kind of person you would want as a fermenter of ideas and possibility."

Foster + Partners Reveal Initial Renderings for San Francisco Tower

The latest playground for big-name architecture is San Francisco's Transbay District. As AN reported this spring, the city's forthcoming Transbay Transit Center has spurred new projects from some of the field's biggest names, including OMA, Studio Gang, Cesar Pelli, and Foster + Partners. Less than two weeks after Studio Gang revealed plans for its twisting tower in the district, Foster + Partners is out with some images of its own. Don't get too excited—they're fairly vague—but they were enough for San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic John King to call Foster's plan, "gasp-inducing...from the ground up." Here are the basics: the shorter of the two towers rises 605 feet and is entirely residential. The other includes apartments, offices, and a hotel, and tops out at 910 feet, which will make it the  second-tallest tower in the city. The tallest prize will go to Cesar Pelli’s 1,070-foot-tall Salesforce Tower that is currently under construction. “If built as now envisioned, the San Francisco tower would be equally futuristic, with brawny structural columns slicing across a mid-block space 80 yards wide,” King said, referring to Foster's taller tower that was designed with Heller Manus Architects. “Except for the elevator lobbies at the rear of the plaza the tower would begin 70 feet in the air, clad in glass and held in place by diagonal columns forming giant X's along the outer walls.” Foster considers the tower's appearance in the city's skyline just as important as how it meets the street. “At ground level, the buildings are open, accessible and transparent—their base provides a new ‘urban room’ for the region, and the new pedestrian routes through the site will knit the new scheme with the urban grain of the city,” Foster said in a statement on his firm's website.