Posts tagged with "Tom Wiscombe Architecture":

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Cryptocurrency mogul taps California architects for tech-powered desert utopia

Bitcoin and its competitors haven’t managed to topple the world’s existing currencies just yet, but the blockchain technology underpinning them might soon be making the leap to urbanism. As The New York Times revealed, millionaire lawyer Jeffrey Berns has bought up 100 square miles in the Nevada desert and tapped Los Angeles’s Tom Wiscombe Architecture and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects (EYRC) to design an as-of-yet-unnamed, futuristic city. Complete with homes, offices, a college, and research campus, the city will, if it gets built, also introduce a novel form of urban citizenship that allows citizens to vote on the blockchain. What is the blockchain? The digital currency Bitcoin was the tool’s first proof-of-concept, but the underlying technology, a ledger shared among all users of a service that allows for trackable peer-to-peer transactions without a middleman, has uses in nearly every field. Improving efficiency on construction sites and documenting the chain of ownership for artwork are only a few of the potential uses proposed for the technology (and unlike Bitcoin, don’t involve destroying the environment). Berns made his fortune on the rise of Ethereum, a Bitcoin competitor indirectly pegged to its value (as many other cryptocurrencies are). While the prices of cryptocurrencies are constantly in flux, Ethereum allows for more than the transfer of more information than just monetary value. Berns has proposed that all future residents will be given an Ethereum-based ID, which they can use to hold their personal information and securely vote from. Berns has already spent a reported $300 million on the city through his company Blockchains LLC, including commissioning a set of renderings of the future smart city from Wiscombe and EYRC. The architects went big, and plans include a technology park for the advancement of artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, and nanotechnology, all integrated into a blockchain-based system. Vertical manufacturing and workplace hybrid typologies have also been proposed, and from the renderings, it appears that many of the buildings might be clad in dizzying panel arrays that recall circuit boards and harken back to Wiscombe’s previous work. For the residential portion, Berns has already received pre-approval for thousands of homes, which will vary from single-family houses to mixed-use blocks to communal buildings. The preliminary designs for the larger housing complexes draw on existing desert precedents and will bring a touch of Arcosanti-meets-Blade-Runner to the city. Drone deliveries, fully electric autonomous vehicles that can weave between indoor and outdoor spaces, and plans to power the city off of 100 percent renewable energy are all on the table. It might seem pie in the sky, as so many utopian communities are, but Blockchains LLC is already engaging with the residents of Storey County, Nevada, and the tech companies who have industrial parks at the border of the 67,000-acre plot. The feedback gathered will go towards putting together a master plan and the environmental impact statement; construction is slated to begin at the end of 2019 if all goes as planned.
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AIA|LA awards highlight diverse range of practices and projects

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA) chapter recently announced the winners of its 2017 Design Awards, which recognizes practices and projects across the region in categories celebrating overall design, status as rising talent, and quality of environmental sustainability. The three award categories—Design Award; Next L.A.; and COTE—paint a picture of the diverse and multi-faceted character of Los Angeles’s architecture scene, with winners representing a broad spectrum of practice.   Design Awards AIA|LA’s Design Awards highlighted two projects in particular with top honors: The New United States Courthouse by SOM and the Crest Apartments by Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA). Since opening in late 2016, the new courthouse has become one of the region’s premier public buildings. The iconic cube-shaped structure utilizes a 28-foot cantilever over the ground floor areas to create an open, public plaza and garden designed by Mia Lehrer + Associates. MMA’s Crest Apartments, on the other hand, is a very different sort of project. The 64-unit affordable housing project utilizes minimal ground floor structure and exuberant plantings and paving strategies to create flexible recreation spaces that double as car parking when not in use. The project was developed with Skid Row Housing Trust to benefit veterans who have previously experienced homelessness. The following projects were awarded “merit” and “citation” designations by the AIA|LA Design Awards jury:   Merit Awards Road to Awe, Dan Brunn Architecture West Hollywood, CA Hyundai Capital Convention Hall, Gensler Seoul, South Korea Oak Pass Main House, Walker Workshop Beverly Hills, CA House Noir, Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects Malibu, CA Citation Awards Helmut Lang Flagship Store, Standard Los Angeles, CA Southern Utah Museum of Art, Brooks+Scarpa Cedar City, Utah South Los Angeles Pool Renovation, Lehrer Architects LA South Los Angeles, CA Sunset La Cienega Residences, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP + Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects West Hollywood, CA Prototype | A True Starter Home, Lehrer Architects LA South Los Angeles, CA The Salkin House, Bestor Architecture Los Angeles, CA Corner Pocket House, Edward Ogosta Architecture Manhattan Beach, CA Ayzenberg Group, Corsini Stark Architects Pasadena, CA Platform, Abramson Teiger Architects Culver City, CA Desert Palisades Guardhouse, Studio AR&D Architects Palm Springs, CA The Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Kevin Daly Architects Los Angeles, CA Rice University Moody Center for the Arts, Michael Maltzan Architecture Houston, TX Saddle Peak Residence, Sant Architects Topanga, CA Mar Vista House Addition and Renovation, Sharif, Lynch: Architecture Los Angeles, CA 2017 AIA|LA Design Awards jurors were Gabriela Carrillo, co-founder, Taller | Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo; Lance Evans, associate principal and senior vice president, HKS Architects; and Neil  M. Denari, professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA. AIA|LA Next L.A. The AIA|LA Next L.A. awards honor yet-to-be-built projects that are in the design and planning stage.  This year’s winning project—The West Hollywood Belltower—is designed by Tom Wiscombe Architecture. The project aims to redefine the vernacular billboard as a spatial, digital installation framed by a public park. The proposal was generated as part of a design competition orchestrated by the City of West Hollywood to guide the design of future billboards. The following projects were awarded “merit” and “citation” designations by the AIA|LA Next L.A. awards jury:   Merit Award Los Angeles Residence, Baumgartner + Uriu Los Angeles, CA   Citation Award St. Georges Church, PARALX Beirut, Lebanon A4H Office Building, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Glendale, CA Varna Library, XTEN Architecture Varna, Bulgaria Sberbank Technopark, Eric Owen Moss Architects Moscow, Russia Silver Lake Duplex, Warren Techentin Architecture Los Angeles, CA Twin Villa, Patrick TIGHE Architecture & John V Mutlow Architects Beijing, China Second House, Freeland Buck Los Angeles, CA Jurors for AIA|LA Next L.A. awards were: Mark Foster Gage, principal, Mark Foster Gage Architects; Alvin Huang, design principal, Synthesis Design + Architecture; and Julia Koerner, Director, JK Design GmbH.   COTE Award AIA|LA’s Committee on the Environment focuses on highlighting projects that “demonstrate achievement in the implementation of sustainability features” and is awarded by a panel of experts who focus on performance, systems integration, and sustainability research. For 2017, the committee awarded four projects with top honors, including the Mesa Court Towers at University of California, Irvine designed by Mithun. The project features a LEED Platinum sustainability rating, exterior circulation, and an emphasis on day-lit spaces. Other winners in the category include: the J. Craig Venter Institute La Jolla by ZGF Architects; the New United States Courthouse by SOM; and The SIX Veterans Housing by Brooks+Scarpa.   Citation Award UCLA Hitch Suites & Commons Building, Steinberg Los Angeles, CA Kaiser Permanente, Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center, Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign Anaheim, CA The jurors for the 2017 AIA|LA COTE Awards were: Ezequiel Farca, creative director, Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin; Dan Heinfeld, president, LPA; and Ben Loescher, founding principal, Loescher Meachem Architects.   Other Awards At its award ceremony last week, the organization also presented its 2017 Presidential Honoree awards, which included honors for architects Design, Bitches, builders MATT Construction, and Mike Alvidrez of the Skid Row Housing Trust, among others. Those awards include: Emerging Practice Award: Catherine Johnson, AIA; Rebecca Rudolph, AIA | Design, Bitches Design Advocate, Builder Award: Steve Matt, Affiliate AIA|LA, Co-Founder, MATT Construction; and the late Paul Matt, Co-Founder, MATT Construction Community Contribution Award: Southern California Chapter, National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCalNOMA) 25-Year Award: Grand Central Market Restoration Design Advocate, Developer Award: Mike Alvidrez, Chief Executive Officer, Skid Row Housing Trust Building Team Award: Wilshire Grand Building Team Honorary AIA|LA Award: Tibby Rothman, Marketing Strategist, AIA|LA | journalist, writer, creative Educator Award: Dr. Douglas E. Noble, FAIA, Ph.D; Discipline Head, Building Science, Director of the Master of Building Science, University of Southern California, School of Architecture Gold Medal: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA; Design Principal, Brooks + Scarpa
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12-story tower proposed next door to L.A.’s new Main Museum

Nardi Associates are planning to unveil a scheme for Main Tower, a new 12-story mixed-use complex next door to the proposed Main Museum in Downtown Los Angeles this week. As reported by Urbanize.la, the proposed scheme for 433 S. Main Street would take over a surface parking lot, replacing the parcel with 196 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, 6,300 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and underground parking stalls for 167 car and 334 bicycles. According to renderings included in a presentation prepared for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee (DLANC), the tower will match cornice lines with the Rosslyn Lofts building, a 12-story residential masonry building built in 1913 and located next door. The Rosslyn Lofts were originally designed by architect John Parkinson, designer of Los Angeles’s Union Station, City Hall, and the L.A. Coliseum in Exposition Park. The building was renovated in 2009 and targeted toward mixed-income residents; it now features 259 income-restricted micro-apartments as well as market rate lofts. Nardi Associates’ proposal would locate retail functions along Main Street as well as within an interior courtyard open to the street. Apartments would rise above commercial areas in a variety of configurations, leaving a large void along the building’s Main Street facade. The void would create a secondary courtyard space in the complex that would house shared building amenities, including terraces and balconies. Renderings indicate a series of balconies looking onto Main Street joined by various louver assemblies and punched openings. The tower sits directly next door to the forthcoming Tom Wiscombe Architecture-designed Main Museum, a new non-collecting art institution. That project will contain a 40,000 square feet of exhibition areas spread across two buildings; it will also feature a rooftop sculpture garden and amphitheater area. A timeline has not been released for the Nardi Associates project while the first phase of the Main Museum expected to be completed by 2018. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
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How Tom Wiscombe Architecture will reinvent the Sunset Strip billboard

Tom Wiscombe Architecture (TWA) has been selected as the winner for “The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign Request for Proposal” (RFP) competition for a site located at 8775 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California.

TWA’s proposal reinvents the billboard as an overall typology, replacing the static, image-based, automobile-centric qualities with digitally driven, interactive, and public-space–making approaches.

The RFP comes as the City of West Hollywood, California, seeks to modernize the ubiquitous billboards that dot the Sunset Strip, a 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that cuts across the city’s northwestern edge. The municipality’s RFP called on designers to “design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure” while also inspiring “a 21st century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media, and multidimensional graphic design.”

TWA’s proposal reinvents the billboard as an overall typology, replacing the static, image-based, automobile-centric qualities with digitally driven, interactive, and public-space–making approaches. The scheme takes the typical “sign-on-a-stick” billboard and rotates it 90 degrees so that the short edge of the sign rests on the ground. In the process, the billboard transforms from a sign to a bell tower and, in the architect’s words, “speaks to a world where commercial and cultural content can be hybridized, and media is no longer just a way of advertising but a way of life.”

These two, now-vertical billboard planes are then bent and folded into a configuration that allows for human occupation. The billboard assembly is placed onto the site, which is articulated in the manner of a public plaza.

Wiscombe described the project this way: “Just a few months ago, Elton John and Lady Gaga did a pop-up duet right nearby our site, in support of his AIDS Foundation. I like to think of ‘The Belltower’ as a contemporary catalyst and venue for civic engagements like that. We are also committed to making it into a kind of digital testing ground for artists, who will be curated by our partner MoCA. They will essentially be able to take it over for periods of time. I think that fusing together the worlds of art and commerce will give the project life and force us out of our habitual modes of consuming media.”

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Tom Wiscombe Architecture beats out Zaha Hadid Architects and Gensler to redesign the L.A. billboard

  Tom Wiscombe Architecture (TWA) has been selected as the winner for The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign Request for Proposals (RFP) competition for a site located at 8775 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. The firm’s proposal, a partnership with Orange Barrel Media and Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) beats out submissions by JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Ltd.; Outfront Media, Gensler and the MAK Center; and Tait Towers Inc. The RFP comes as the city of West Hollywood, California seeks to modernize the ubiquitous billboards that dot Sunset Strip, a 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that cuts across the city’s northwestern edge, for the 21st century. The municipality’s RFP called on designers to“ design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure” while also inspiring “a 21st-century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media, and multi-dimensional graphic design.” TWA’s proposal seeks to reinvent the billboard as a typology overall, replacing its static, image-based, and automobile-centric qualities with digitally-driven and public space-making approaches. The scheme takes the typical double-sided billboard and rotates it 90-degrees so that the short edge of the sign rests on the ground. The two planes are then bent and folded into a configuration that allows for human occupation, with the whole assembly located in a public plaza. Wiscombe described the project via email to The Architect’s Newspaper, saying, “Just a few months ago Elton John and Lady Gaga did a pop-up duet right nearby our site, in support of his AIDS Foundation. I like to think of our Belltower as a contemporary catalyst and venue for civic engagement like that. We are also committed to making it into a kind of digital testing ground for artists, who will be curated by our partner MoCA. They will essentially be able to take it over for periods of time. I think that fusing together the worlds of art and commerce will give the project life, and force us out of our habitual modes of consuming media.”
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Architect Tom Wiscombe really lets loose with this space ship of a building in Los Angeles

Last year AN reported that Los Angeles developer Tom Gilmore and LA architect Tom Wiscombe were teaming up to build the Old Bank District Museum in downtown's historic core. The facility, which will showcase Los Angeles–based contemporary artists, will be located inside of—and on top of—the old Farmer's & Merchant's Bank, the Hellman Building, and the Bankhouse Garage at 4th and Main Street. The team has released new renderings of the project, which show in much greater detail how Wiscombe's folded structures will peek over rooftops, punch through floors and walls, and create an entirely new architectural language for its neighborhood. The rooftop sculpture garden (which contains a cafe, a theater, reflecting pools, and multi-level walkways) is where Wiscombe really lets loose, with angular, etched forms that could be confused for spaceships. Enjoy the images below, and we will keep you posted as details emerge.
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Ishigami Wins Port of Kinmen, the Latest High-Design Port in Taiwan

As we've noted before, water-surrounded Taiwan has become ground zero for ambitious port projects, from Neil Denari's Keelung Harbor to Reiser Umemoto's  Kaohsiung Port Terminal. The latest, the Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center, has just been awarded to Japanese firm Junya Ishigami + Associates, for a series of undulating landform buildings that all but disappear beneath their green roofs. Second and third place went to California firms, Tom Wiscombe Architecture, for a design featuring five crystalline structures hovering over a large box, and Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects (LOHA), for a grid of folded triangular planes weaving through and above a public park. Runners up were Spanish firms EMBT and Josep Mias Gifre. The $62 million Passenger Service Center, located on an island off the Taiwanese mainland, will contain facilities for domestic and international ship arrival, port offices, and commercial, equipment, and administrative uses. The jury included, among others, Japanese architect June Aoki, Mark Robbins, president of the American Academy in Rome; and Jonathan Hill, professor of architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. The center is expected to eventually accommodate 5 million passengers yearly.