While most things appear to be going gangbusters in San Francisco, it appears the fun hasn’t spread to HOK’s office there. The rumor mill says the firm has let go of a couple of its most revered staff, including Vice President Louis Schump. Schump, whose partner Todd Hosfelt owns the respected Hosfelt Gallery, headed some of the firm’s best workspace designs. Schump is in fact no longer with the firm. Other rumors are flying about people being put on “standby status,” but we won’t report them until they’re confirmed. We’re learning here at Eavesdrop, aren’t we?
Posts tagged with "San Francisco":
A big one hasn't hit California for a little while, which means it's the perfect time to enact more stringent retrofit legislation. Just in case, you know... Near the end of last month San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed into law the city's new mandatory soft-story retrofit program, which calls for retrofits to buildings with large openings for storefronts or garages. There are quite a few in the city: 2,800, home to about 58,000 people and 2,000 businesses, according to the Mayor's office. The city estimates that between 43 and 85 percent of these buildings would be unsafe after a 7.2 earthquake in the area. The law requires that such buildings be evaluated for possible upgrades, which would be phased in over several years. The scary news: according to San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) about a quarter of the city's overall housing stock will provide adequate shelter after a major earthquake. Hopefully this measure will improve those statistics.
One of the jewels of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Golden Gate National Parks (including their new visitors centers), last week received the Stewardship Excellence Award from The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF). The award, created in 2001, is given to a person, group, or agency that shares TCLF’s mission of stewardship through education. In this case the groups overseeing the project were The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and The Presidio Trust, working with the National Park Service. The Golden Gate National Parks was established in 1972 and comprises 80,000 acres of open space and historic districts along the San Francisco and Marin coasts. It is considered one of the nation’s largest urban parks and is used by 16 million people annually. "These stewards, working with many Bay Area practitioners, have skillfully faced the daunting design challenge of balancing nature and culture within the parks," said TCLF founder and president Charles A. Birnbaum in a statement. The award was given concurrently with the publication of a guidebook, What’s Out There: Golden Gate National Parks, produced by TCLF.
Last Wednesday, Pelli Clarke Pelli's long-anticipated Transbay Transit Tower, at San Francisco's First and Mission streets, finally broke ground, and architect Cesar Pelli was on hand to help turn dirt with ceremonial gold-plated shovels. At 1,070 feet and 61 stories, the tower would be the tallest on the West Coast—at least until AC Martin's Wilshire Grand opens in Los Angeles—and seventh tallest in the nation, taking the title from New York's Chrysler Building. At the ceremony, Pelli told the San Francisco Business Times the tower is "svelte but dynamic, elegant, and very gracious." The developers, Boston Properties and Hines, delivered a check for more than $191 million to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), which owned the 50,000-square-foot parcel of land before the sale was wrapped up this week. Completion for the whole complex is set for 2017, although that still looks like an ambitious goal. According to the Business Times, Boston Properties CEO Mortimer Zuckerman, responding to a name gaff from Mayor Ed Lee, dropped hints that Facebook may be the future anchor tenant of the tower. As AN recently noted, the horizontal component of the Transbay project, a $4 billion transportation terminal being built next to the tower, looks to be shedding its glass facade for budget-saving perforated aluminum. Pelli Clarke Pelli's video rendering of the entire Transbay complex. See videos of the tower here and here.
With the help of Laser Alliance and Chris French Metal, Aidlin Darling Design crafted a hanging ceiling canopy composed of 180 wooden ribs.Wexler's refined spin on farm-to-table barbecue in San Francisco's financial district offers guests an authentically char-grilled dining experience, minus the smoldering cinders. Inspired by its progressive grill menu, local multidisciplinary firm Aidlin Darling Design dreamed up a 46-foot-long billowing ceiling canopy that hovers over the dining room like a plume of smoke. The feature also extends to the exterior, doubling as an awning over the main entrance that beckons passersby. "The original design, based on an undulating plane of smoke, was designed in both AutoCad and Rhino, [using the] lofting feature that extrapolates geometry between two curves," said Adrienne Swiatocha, project architect for Aidlin Darling Design. The canopy’s softly curving profiles at the exterior and at the end of the wall were hand-drawn. The architects used Rhino to amplify and adjust these curves throughout the center portion of the canopy. This varying amplitude echoes the way smoke dissipates across a room. "[Then], we sliced the three dimensional plane every few inches to generate a bunch of curved line profiles, and offset it by 5 inches to create a second, curving, thickened line." Once a 3/4-inch profile had been achieved for each of the 180 ribs, an inverted J-shaped hook was carved into the profile of each slat so every piece could be hung from a metal rail system. "For each slat, you can take a point from the J-hook and let Rhino extrapolate a profile that connects those hooks so they slide," Swiatocha explained. The architects also added notches in each hook to prevent them from slipping. "It was really challenging because the ceiling was low and had exposed ductwork, sprinklers, and lighting. All those conduits run beneath the joists so we had to design our system around those preexisting elements." In addition to providing easy access to the ceiling, the system of ribs also made for a speedy installation on-site and a clean look that didn't use invisible fasteners. To produce the ribs, which are made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) and medium density overlay (MDO), the Aidlin Darling team contracted the services of Alan Vien at Laser Alliance, who tested both laser and CNC cutting methods before suggesting laser fabrication for speed and cost savings. "Material can sometimes become charred with lasers but, because we were painting each rib, that wasn't a problem," Swiatocha said. The teams chose MDO for the exterior ribs due to the material’s durability and weather resistance. Both MDO and MDF ribs were painted the same charcoal hue. Each rib hangs from a metal rail system that was fabricated and installed by Chris French Metal of Oakland. Laser-cut, carbon steel rails were screwed to a plate stock metal hanger, and then bolted to the ceiling joists. "Both the right and left rails in this case had arcs of different radius lines that weren't symmetrical," said Chris French of the challenge presented by the wooden canopy's irregular volume. The studio generated an install image in VectorWorks with a datum line. "While installing the hanging bars, we would measure from the center line of the bracket to that datum line, plus or minus, according to that drawing." Once the metal rail system was installed, the ribs, which were sequentially numbered, were hung from front to back by one person on a ladder in a matter of hours. "It was fun to see it go in so quickly," said Swiatocha.
[beforeafter] [/beforeafter] The perforated aluminum skin would replace the previously proposed glass facade. (Courtesy TJPA) It looks like Pelli Clarke Pelli's Transbay Transit Center, which stretches about three blocks through the city's Rincon Hill neighborhood, might go ahead with its first major piece of value engineering. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the architects have suggested that the building's undulating glass skin become perforated aluminum. The move would meet federal safety guidelines and chop $17 million from the estimated $1.59 billion budget for the center's first phase. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) board will be asked to approve the change at its March 25 meeting. The structure is not expected to be complete before 2017. [beforeafter] [/beforeafter] "This is a dramatic change in material, but the philosophical change is not enormous," said Fred Clarke of the firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, who said the terminal would still feel light, not heavy. Chronicle critic John King warned that the move "could make the transit center less of a sinuous, snaking form—and more of a drab block—as it spans First and Fremont streets." On Pelli's side, Clarke argued that the wrapping would still be transparent. Of course he admitted: "Architects who do this kind of building must be very, very pragmatic."
Travis Somerville: A Great Cloud of Witnesses Catherine Clark Gallery 150 Minna Street, San Francisco Through April 13 In his solo exhibition at Catherine Clark Gallery, Travis Somerville presents a mixed-media exhibition, layering past and present. He continues his work investigating historical memory and questioning how particular fragmented stories are simplified into collective truths. Specifically, Somerville uses imagery from the Civil Rights movement to explore the status of human rights in our contemporary society. By presenting current stories of immigration, Uzbekistan’s child labor, and the uprisings of the Arab Spring against collages, images, and objects from the Civil Rights movement, Somerville explores our “post racial” culture. One installation presents a line of reproduced racially designated water fountains mounted to a gallery wall.
Lighting artist Leo Villareal has been busy lately, opening installations in the New York City subway system and in Madison Square Park, but an even bigger achievement is set to debut tonight in San Francisco. Villareal has attached 25,000 LED lights to the San Francisco Bay Bridge and connected them to a computer in order to create dazzling lighting displays viewable from the city and the water along the suspension bridge. Called The Bay Lights, the project celebrates the bridge's 75th anniversary and is set to go live tonight at 8:30 PST. But don't worry, if you're not in San Francisco to view the installation from the Embarcadero or Telegraph Hill, the event will be streamed live online at the project's website here. Until then, check out a couple videos below of the installation being tested. The Bay Lights is believed to be the largest of its type in the world and will be in San Francisco for two years, lit each night from dusk till 2:00a.m. [h/t to WNYC and Inhabitat for the videos.]
San Francisco's North Beach library, which AN reported on today is finally under construction after more than two years of delays, is the last of more than 20 city library branches to be repaired or rebuilt thanks to a $105 million bond measure that SF voters passed in 2000 called the Branch Library Improvement Program (with the unfortunate acronym, BLIP). The measure has spurred innovation from several of the city's top firms, and we couldn't resist sharing more of their work in the slideshow below. Only two remain: North Beach and the Bayview Branch Library, designed by THA Architecture in collaboration with Karin Payson A+D, which is scheduled to open later this month. Find a full list of library projects here.
There's a new couture addition to PROXY, the temporary shipping container village in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, designed by architects Envelope A+D. Adding to PROXY's cool coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and Biergarten is a new store for clothing company Aether, made up of three forty foot shipping containers stacked atop one another, supported by steel columns. The guts of the first two containers have been carved out, making a double story retail space, with a glass mezzanine above jutting to the side, providing display space and views. A third container for inventory storage is accessible via a custom-designed drycleaners' conveyor belt spanning all three floors. Workers can literally load garments from the ground floor and send them up to the top. PROXY, which has been a huge success, is planning more. The next installation: PROXY_storefront, a series of 9 storefront spaces carved into six shipping containers, to be located around the corner from Aether. Indeed shipping containers are moving beyond residential, taking off in the retail realm. You can visit the new Aether store in person Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00am to 7:00pm or Sunday from 11:00 to 6:00.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has seen some success in his time in office. But one element still remains a thorn in his side: MUNI, the city's transit agency. In his State of the City address the other day (watch full speech below) Lee vowed to improve the notoriously late and overcrowded system, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. "We need to modernize our system...to better match up with 21st century patterns of where people live, work, and shop," said Lee. A few remedies that Lee has suggested: the formation of a task force to help develop a plan for modernizing the system and dealing with the city's growing population; expansion of BART, the Bay Area's regional transit system; new work rule reforms; and a bevy of new technologies. "Truly great cities have great transportation systems—Paris, New York, London, Tokyo," Lee said. "I say San Francisco is pretty great, too, and deserves one as well." The city is in fact adding a new transit line, the downtown T-Central, to help alleviate congestion problems. It's slated to open in 2019. Check out images of the city's upcoming line below.
Visit Greenbuild, the world’s biggest green design conference taking place this year in San Francisco, for a chance to win an iPad Mini and a $250 AMEX gift card thanks to The Architect’s Newspaper, Buro Happold, YKK AP America, Greenscreen, Monodraught, and Firestone Building Products. Hit up the GRAPSHISOFT, YKK AP, Firestone, and Greenscreen booths to collect a postcard to be stamped by each of the four companies. Be sure to fill out your contact information on the postcard. Your postcard will be entered in a lottery and AN will select a winner the week of November 19th. See you at Greenbuild!