Some argue that Salesforce's decision to stay downtown in buildings such as 50 Fremont is better for San Francisco.

Deja vu and SoMa’s second chance

Salesforce leased space at 50 Fremont before abandoning plans for a new campus at Mission Bay.

Earlier this year, Salesforce’s seemingly sudden decision to abandon plans for a new 2-million-square-foot campus at Mission Bay raised immediate concerns about San Francisco’s already tightening office market—and some murmurs of relief. > Read More

Craft stalls in downtown Oakland. Photo: Leah Marthinsen.

DIY Global

Local artisans sell their wares near downtown Oakland. Photo: Leah Marthinsen.

 

Think local, buy local—we are currently experiencing a surge in assertions of independence from the global supply chain. > Read More

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

Opening day at Pruitt Igoe. Photo via http://www.pruitt-igoe.com/urban-history/

Ghost Story

Opening day at Pruitt Igoe. Photo via http://www.pruitt-igoe.com/urban-history/

It remains nearly impossible to escape architecture, urban design, or planning education in the United States without hearing the name Pruitt-Igoe, even forty years after the St. Louis housing project’s demolition in 1972. > Read More

Rodolfo Machado at UC Berkeley on March 9, 2012. Photo by John Parman.

Rodolfo Machado at Wurster Hall

Rodolfo Machado at Wurster auditorium, UC Berkeley, on March 9, 2012. Photo by John Parman.

 

“Where were the students?” one of their professors asked me as we were leaving. It was a pity they missed the lecture, because Professor Machado had aimed to instruct, showing in detail how three of his projects moved from planning to completion, warts and all. > Read More

Photo by Yuki Bowman

‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’

Photo by Yuki Bowman

 

Co-curated and designed by CCA’s Ila Berman and Douglas Burnham, ‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’ is an Herculean and painstakingly crafted 3-dimensional exhibit that indexes some 75 works of ‘installation architecture’—an experimental terrain of practice explored by Erin Hyman for this magazine. > 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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Lars Lerup explaining his analysis of the Houston cityscape. Photo by John Parman..

Lars Lerup at Wurster Hall

Lars Lerup explaining his analysis of the Houston cityscape. Photo by John Parman.

 

Playing to a big, friendly crowd, Rice Professor Lars Lerup acknowledged his Berkeley roots in a lecture on Wednesday night, 7 March, centered on his new book on the Houston cityscape, One Million Acres & No Zoning (Architectural Association, 2011). > Read More

Architectural model, plan view, for MOS’s 'Thoughts on a Walking City' project for Orange, New Jersey. Photograph courtesy of James Ewing. © 2011 James Ewing.

Dreaming of Home

Architectural model, plan view, for MOS’s "Thoughts on a Walking City" project for Orange, New Jersey. Photograph courtesy of James Ewing. © 2011 James Ewing.

 

It didn’t take the mortgage meltdown to make clear that residential patterns affect individual, societal and environmental health. And the crash only made the ruinous implications of conventional sprawl development harder to ignore. Now an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art asks how architecture and planning might ameliorate those consequences, proposing alternate ideals of home and imagining buildings and places to express them. > Read More

Gerhard Richter. Atlas. Tafel 5. Albumfotos 1962-1968. © Gerhard Richter 2011

STRANGE ATLAS 02: PULL IT TOGETHER

Gerhard Richter. Atlas. Tafel 5. Albumfotos 1962-1968. ©Gerhard Richter 2011.

 

The creative process is an intriguing design problem of its own: how should you craft the method used to craft other things? This is the second in a series of essays exploring this topic through the lens of strange atlas, an interpretive creative process. Although this approach applies beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries, the essays focus on its application for designing the built environment.

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Image courtesy Richard Ingersoll.

The Dis[re]membered Body

Image courtesy Richard Ingersoll.

 

Richard Ingersoll, Nomads in  Sprawltown

February 2, 2012

 

Like every lecture nowadays, the speaker begins hunched over a cinderblock media counter checking to see if his technology is compatible with the space. Wearing mostly black and bedecked in a small beret, the Montevarchi, Italy based architectural historian and professor Richard Ingersoll commands the attention of around 50 students and visitors who stare down at him from the blocky bare wood of the New Soft Room at the Architectural Association’s London office.

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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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2.10 – 2.11 Studio One Symposium

The inaugural Studio One Symposium (a component of Berkeley Department of Architecture’s new Studio One curriculum) kicks off at 6:00pm on evening Friday, February 10th, and continues through the day on Saturday, February 11th. > Read More

Charles and Ray Eames "pinned" by chair bases, 1947. © 2011 Eames Office, LLC.

Overexposed?

Charles and Ray Eames "pinned" by chair bases, 1947. © 2011 Eames Office, LLC.

 

The Architect & The Painter, the new film on Charles and Ray Eames, is broad in its ambitions and captures a few things very well. > Read More

Macintosh 512K. Photo: Steve Garfield

Steve Jobs’s Unified Field Theory

Macintosh 512K. Photo: Steve Garfield

In his truncated life, Steve Jobs exerted a measure of influence in design that few architects have managed to achieve. As an architect in the most general sense, Jobs helped to shape the desktop worlds we occupy on a daily basis; his design interests encompassed all scales from typography and product packaging, to furniture and retail stores. > Read More

Google NY by ToastyKen

The new corporate? It’s about the mix.

High tech in the city: Google's New York campus dwarfs its neighbors. Photo by ToastyKen

A standing-room-only crowd turned out for SPUR’s January 11 program on “The Not So Corporate Campus.” The program promised to reveal the “future of work,” with a panel including Alexa Arena, Forest City’s vice president in charge of the groundbreaking 5M Project, John Igoe of Google, Everett Katibak of Facebook, and moderator Laura Crescimano of Gensler. While the discussion highlighted three campus projects that are trying to go beyond the typical speculative development of office parks, it posed unanswered questions about the importance of diversity and flexibility in sparking innovation. > Read More

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

Image source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/385881718X/ref=dp_image_z_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

1.5.12 at swissnex san francisco: 17 Stories on Architecture

Image source via amazon.com

 

This Thursday evening at swissnex san francisco, Marc Angélil and Sarah Graham, of Zurich- and LA-based agps.architecture and the Harvard GSD, will be debuting a comprehensive survey of the firm’s multi-disciplinary body of work entitled Another Take: 17 Short Stories on Architecture. The book will be available for purchase and signing. Registration is free but required.

Under-utilized parcels of city-owned land in San Francisco, re-imagined by Nicholas de Monchaux as part of his Local Code / Real Estates project, 2009. Image: Courtesy Nicholas de Monchaux

Cities and Spacesuits: An Interview with Nicholas de Monchaux

Under-utilized parcels of city-owned land in San Francisco, re-imagined by Nicholas de Monchaux as part of his Local Code / Real Estates project, 2009. Image: Courtesy Nicholas de Monchaux


Nicholas de Monchaux
is an architect, urbanist, writer and Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UC Berkeley. His recent book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, unearths the truly fascinating story behind the design of the Apollo spacesuit, which has surprising relevance to architectural and planning discourse, particularly in the Bay Area. > Read More