When is a public square not a public square? When it’s designed and built in Los Angeles, circa 2008. Our city–which has lacked plazas and other open-air gathering spots for so long–is now building them in a number of high-profile locations. Yet none of these spaces is fully civic in the traditional City Beautiful sense. Each one is shaped, controlled or compromised by private, commercial or other interests. Arguably, of course, that makes them right at home in Los Angeles, the most private metropolis ever devised.
Next month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will unveil the much anticipated first phase of its expansion, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. He is probably best known for the Pompidou Center in Paris, which opens onto a square that, despite its popularity with mimes, ranks as one of the world’s great public gathering places.
Read more @ L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times – Christopher Hawthorne
In the early days of modern architecture, its alien forms were sold to the public using science. Architect Richard Neutra’s “Health House” – designed and built between 1927-29 for physician Philip Lovell in the Griffith Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles – was featured in newspapers and magazines all over the world.
Mr. Neutra’s four-storey, steel-framed and stucco-clad house was graceful in the way it clung to its hillside site. But far outweighing any discussion of architectural merit were reports of its fresh-air sleeping porches, large areas of glass (to allow life-giving sunlight to penetrate), exercise and sports areas and the water-purification and juicing facilities in the kitchen.
Even before that, in 1923, architect Le Corbusier wrote: “A house is a machine for living in.”
Read more @ globeandmail.com: In architecture, as elsewhere, sex sells.
The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today that AIA Dallas has completed a lease to double its office space to almost 9,000 square feet at 1909 Woodall Rodgers. The space also will accommodate the new Dallas Center for Architecture, a major new initiative of AIA Dallas and other architectural groups.
American Institute of Architects to house Dallas Center for Architecture | pegasusnews.com | Dallas / Fort Worth.
After more than five months of clamorous work, the eco-roof atop English House in Kings Court/English House has been completed.
According to Business Services, Penn’s first ‘green’ roof was finally completed during the winter recess.
Yet, there’s still time before students can walk through patio gardens and bask in eco-friendliness.
But when the bleak layer of sod on the roof of the building begins to bloom, residents will begin to reap the benefits.
First green roof at University nearing completion – News.
Hoku Solar, Inc plan to build Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park which would be the largest photovoltaic (PV) facility on Oahu.
The Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park would be capable of generating approximately 1.5 megawatts of photovoltaic power. Over the life of the system, it would produce enough electricity to power approximately 6,700 homes for one year. This solar facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating 38,161 tons of carbon dioxide and saving 120,000 barrels of oil over 25 years. The solar facility will be located in the planned Kapolei Harborside industrial project on a 12-acre parcel owned by the Campbell Company next to the James Campbell Industrial Park.
Campbell Company and Hoku Solar Plan to Build Oahu’s Largest Solar Farm.
The jury has spoken – and it wants San Francisco in 2108 to be a place where forests of towers grow algae as well as house people, and where geothermal steam baths sprout atop Twin Peaks.
Those elements are part of the proposal by IwamotoScott Architecture, selected Sunday as the winner of an eight-team competition to imagine how San Francisco could change during a century likely to be defined by global warming and the search for new forms of energy.
In addition to a $10,000 prize, architects Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott received the satisfaction of triumphing over rivals who offered such visions as an offshore island housing 250,000 people and 40-story towers used for commercial farming.
Read more at SFGate.com Local architects offer their visions of S.F. 100 years hence in a competition – John King
The owners of San Francisco’s Parkmerced want to add nearly 5,700 homes to the World War II-era rental housing complex, an ambitious renovation that could rank as one of the greenest in the country.
Over 20 years, the developer says, the minimum $1.2 billion project would take the 115-acre property off the power grid by employing wind turbines and other low-emission energy sources, slash water consumption through improved plumbing and recycling, and halve tenants’ automobile use by, among other things, adding public transportation options.
“I almost consider it a moral obligation in a project of this size to be responsible and do whatever we can do to help confront the problem of climate change,” said Craig Hartman, lead architect on the project and partner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.
Read more at Grand green vision for S.F.’s Parkmerced – SFGate.com – James Temple