Union Iron Works, photo by William Porter, 2004.

Preserving Industry in the Eastern Neighborhoods

Union Iron Works, photo by William Porter, 2004.

 

The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, adopted in late December 2008, states that “San Francisco is a special place because of the way in which it has always balanced preservation with change.” It is true that despite generations of natural and manmade disasters, demographic shifts, and  radical economic realignment, San Francisco has managed to hold on to its essence as a place that “doesn’t look or feel like anywhere else.” > Read More

Ant Farm, 50’ x 50’ Pillow, 1970, temporary installation in Freestone, California. Photo: Chip Lord. Courtesy Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Tracing a History of Architecture Installations in the Bay Area

Ant Farm, 50’ x 50’ Pillow, 1970, temporary installation in Freestone, California. Photo: Chip Lord. Courtesy Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

 

San Francisco is often compared unfavorably to other major cities in terms of its tolerance for architectural experimentation. One area where this experimentation has thrived, however, is that of installations, which by dint of their short duration and theoretical orientation, have been a potent force for examining the limitations and potentials of architecture and its social ramifications.

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Caption: Costantino Nivola at his farmhouse, Dicomano, Italy, 1981. Photo courtesy of Richard Ingersoll.

TINO THE GIANT (PART ONE)

Costantino Nivola at his farmhouse, Dicomano, Italy, 1981. Photo courtesy of Richard Ingersoll.

 

Memories of the sculptor and painter Constantino Nivola, a friend of Corbu, a neighbor of Jackson Pollock, and in the 1970s a lecturer at Berkeley CED.

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Randel Farm Map no. 55, vol. 1, p. 16, showing 101st to 109th Street, from Third Avenue to the East River, July 21, 1820. Used with permission of the City of New York and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

Mash-up at Right Angles

Randel Farm Map no. 55, vol. 1, p. 16, showing 101st to 109th Streets, from Third Avenue to the East River, July 21, 1820. Used with permission of the City of New York and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

 

The 1811 plan mandating an orthogonal street grid helped make Manhattan a paragon of urban form. Today we take rectilinear New York for granted, and love its vitality. An exhibition reveals both prescience and problems in the grid’s rich history.

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Minoru Takeyama: Number 1Building, Tokyo. Photo courtesy of the architect.

MY POSTMODERNISTS

Minoru Takeyama: Number 1 Building, Tokyo. Photo courtesy of the architect.

 

Postmodernism is enjoying a modest revival, with a retrospective exhibit at the V&A, a conference in New York, and several new books that reassess its past and present claims. Postmodernism emerged here in the late 1970s as serious competition for the corporate modernism and bay regionalism predominant earlier in that decade, but my personal encounters with postmodernists began slightly earlier. This short essay recounts them.

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View from Yerba Buena Gardens. Image courtesy Snøhetta.

SNØHETTA DESIGNS THE SFMOMA EXPANSION

View from Yerba Buena Gardens. Image courtesy Snøhetta.

 

Compared to the existing San Francisco Museum of Modern Art building, the new addition designed by Craig Dykers of Snøhetta looks, well, very new. This is not stating the obvious; it seems as if the museum itself is about to change into something completely different. > Read More

Aerial photo of Ronchamp today. Photographer: Iwan Baan (Bauwelt)

Renzo Against Corbu

Aerial photo of Ronchamp today. Photographer: Iwan Baan (Bauwelt)

When Renzo Piano was commissioned to make some additions and adjustments to Le Corbusier’s iconic Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, it caused an uproar. Now that the scaffolds have been removed, Richard Ingersoll wonders what the controversy was about.

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1020Pine_PhotoByTimGriffith

Random Selection, or Intelligent Design?

1020 Pine, Kennerly Architecture; Photo Tim Griffith

 

Kennerly Architecture’s 1020 Pine, San Francisco, received a Merit Award for Architecture from the AIA California Council this fall. Justly so: it’s a handsome project. > Read More