Archinect - News 2015-11-26T18:15:37-05:00 13 lawsuits emerge after deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-11-16T18:51:00-05:00 >2015-11-17T11:07:10-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The lawsuits make disturbing allegations that the balcony was poorly constructed, sustained dry rot to the point of growing mushrooms and officials at the apartment complex knew about the dangers, but failed to fix them. [...] The lawsuits allege the builders cut corners to save money, that a subcontractor did not use plywood called for in the plans, but cheaper oriented strand board that is more susceptible to water damage and dry rot.</p></em><br /><br /><p>After a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">balcony collapse</a> at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, CA killed six and injured seven others in June, the city has <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tightened building codes</a> and began a forensic inspection into the balcony's&nbsp;construction. Lawsuits have since been filed against Segue Construction (the complex's builders and sub-contractors), Blackrock Investment (current Library Gardens owner) and Greystar (the complex's property management firm), among others involved in the building's construction.</p><p>The lawsuits, filed by the surviving victims and their families, allege that the balcony wasn't properly waterproofed:</p><p><em>The builder framed the balcony in Oct. 2005, but did not waterproof it right away.&nbsp;The next two months, the bare wood was exposed to more than 13 inches of rainfall. It was a wet winter.</em></p><p><em>The lawsuits say, that January, "These defendants consciously chose to waterproof and complete construction of the balcony for apartment 405, without correcting the water saturated wood components."...</em></p> After deadly balcony collapse, Berkeley building and safety codes tighten Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-17T18:29:00-04:00 >2015-07-17T18:30:23-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Balconies in Berkeley must now pass a safety inspection every three years, and new ones must be built of rot-proof wood or steel, under measures passed Tuesday as the campus community addresses the deaths last month of six young people and grave injury of seven more. [...] With pressure from one council member and the lawyer for one of those killed in the June 16 tragedy, the City Council agreed to shorten the time between mandatory inspections [from five] to three years.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The deadly balcony collapse that took place almost exactly a month ago today prompted an investigation into Berkeley's building codes and safety inspections, culminating in this new inspection practice. Primary in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">discussion of safe and best building practices</a> here on Archinect was the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">use of wood</a>, especially in climates where water can drastically compromise a building's integrity.</p><p>We discuss the delicate balancing of liability among city building departments, victims and building owners on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">episode #36</a> of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect Sessions</a>.</p><p>For background on the balcony collapse in Berkeley, California:</p><ul><li><a title="6 dead after Berkeley balcony collapses" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">6 dead after Berkeley balcony collapses</a></li><li><a title="Dry rot to blame for Berkeley balcony collapse; existing building codes called into question" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry rot to blame for Berkeley balcony collapse; existing building codes called into question</a></li></ul> Poor Doors of Perception: discriminatory design, collapsing balconies, and virtual realities on Archinect Sessions #36 Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-02T20:11:00-04:00 >2015-07-17T14:36:09-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="333" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>This week, we dip into the swamp of whether so-called "poor doors" (separate entrances for affordable and market-rate housing tenants) are discriminatory, highlighting discussion points made in the wake of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York's decision to make them illegal</a>. We also follow up on the investigation into a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">balcony collapse in Berkeley, California</a> that led to six deaths, and ask Brian Newman, Archinect Sessions' Legal Correspondent, what legal recourse is possible for everyone involved.</p><p>Virtual built environment wizards Thomas Hirschmann and Anthony Murray, founders of documentation and preservation firm <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Third Fate</a>, also join us for an interview. Their work seeks to document, preserve and activate the built environment through virtual realities.</p><p>Listen to episode thirty-six of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Archinect Sessions</strong></a>, "Poor Doors of Perception":</p><ul><li><strong>iTunes</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to listen</a>, and click the "Subscribe" button below the logo to automatically download new episodes.</li><li><strong>Apple Podcast App (iOS)</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="pcast://" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to subscribe</a></li><li><strong>Stitcher</strong>:&nbsp;...</li></ul> DS+R's new Berkeley Art Museum gets opening date Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-06-29T18:44:00-04:00 >2015-07-05T09:48:48-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="288" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>After having to relocate its facilities due to seismic issues, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives</a>, collectively known as BAM/PFA, will open <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">its new home</a> on January 31, 2016 in Downtown Berkeley. Designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Diller Scofidio + Renfro</a>, the $112M project integrates a preexisting art deco building, the former printing plant of neighboring UC Berkeley, into a 35K sq ft new structure. All in all, the new BAM/PFA will include two theaters, a performance space, cafe, four study spaces (the museum has a strong connection with UC Berkeley's film and art departments), an "art-making lab", and a reading room.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Given its hybrid exhibition/screening requirements, BAM/PFA's total gallery space is relatively small at 25k square feet &ndash; compared to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sn&oslash;hetta's SFMOMA</a> across the bay at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">130K</a>, or <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Renzo Piano's new Whitney</a> at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">50K</a>. The museum's inaugural exhibition, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Architecture of Life"</a>, will "explore the ways that architecture&mdash;as concept, metaphor, and practice&mdash;illuminates aspects of life ex...</p> Dry rot to blame for Berkeley balcony collapse; existing building codes called into question Alexander Walter 2015-06-24T21:05:00-04:00 >2015-07-02T12:29:41-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In a report released a week after the incident, officials with Berkeley&rsquo;s Building and Safety Division confirmed suspicions that dry rot had deteriorated the wood beams supporting the balcony. They also said they found no construction code violations.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's been a week since the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tragic balcony collapse</a> occurred, and while the victims' families try to cope with the grief, experts have been searching frantically for the cause of the accident. Was the fault in the structural design? Is the contractor to blame for poor execution? Speculations quickly ran wild, and the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">comment section</a> of Archinect's news post quickly flared up.</p><p>The newly released report seems to have determined the cause of the collapse, but the debate on how to improve existing building codes (and properly enforce them) has just begun.</p> 6 dead after Berkeley balcony collapses Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-06-16T17:51:00-04:00 >2015-06-25T18:04:39-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Berkeley city officials have shut down access to public records regarding the construction of the apartment complex, which was completed in January 2007. Normally, they would be viewable upon request, but zoning office staff cited a pending police investigation and a request by the Berkeley city manager that the records not be made immediately available.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The fifth-floor balcony collapsed early morning Tuesday, in the midst of a birthday celebration for one of the victims. At the time of collapse, there were reportedly thirteen people on the balcony; the seven who survived the fall now face life-threatening injuries. Of the six dead, five were Irish citizens, living or working in the Bay Area for the summer.</p><p>Library Gardens apartments, where the collapse occurred, was completed eight years ago, and typically houses students and faculty of nearby University of California, Berkeley. As victims were identified and families notified, the collapse quickly became international news, and a police investigation into the building's safety is pending. Historically, the Bay Area has been a popular destination for Irish students to spend a summer abroad &ndash; it's unclear what effect this tragic event will have on future exchanges.</p><p><strong>Update: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry rot could be factor in Berkeley balcony collapse, engineers say</a>&nbsp;</strong><em>(via LA Times)</em></p> DS+R's Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive announces first exhibit, preps for 2016 opening Justine Testado 2015-03-27T17:26:00-04:00 >2015-03-27T20:17:17-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="287" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive</a> recently revealed details to their inaugural exhibition and other fun-sounding programs as they prepare to move into their new downtown Berkeley location at Oxford and Center Streets, across the University of California, Berkeley campus. The new museum -- which Diller Scofidio + Renfro was <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">commissioned</a> to design -- is scheduled to open in early 2016.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>With DS + R as design architect, the $112 million project will integrate the former UC Berkeley printing plant and a new steel-clad curvilinear structure, encompassing about 82,000 sq.ft total. The new structure will include improved accessible spaces to house BAM/PFA's exhibition spaces, film screenings, offices, and other public amenities. On the other hand, the project preserves some original elements of the UC Berkeley printing plant such as the north-facing sawtooth roof to let natural light filter into the ground-floor galleries.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>The new structure will also feature two film theaters (232 ...</p> UC Berkeley team unveils "Bloom" 3D-printed cement structure Archinect 2015-03-06T20:49:00-05:00 >2015-03-15T16:30:07-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="335" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A UC Berkeley research team led by Ronald Rael, associate professor of architecture, will unveil today (Friday, March 6) the first and largest powder-based 3-D-printed cement structure built to date. The debut of this groundbreaking project is a demonstration of the architectural potential of 3-D printing. It will close the fifth annual Berkeley Circus, which celebrates the research and accomplishments of the College of Environmental Design (CED) community.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Now sitting empty, brutalist Berkeley Art Museum building faces unclear future Alexander Walter 2015-02-23T18:18:00-05:00 >2015-02-26T22:57:23-05:00 <img src="" width="450" height="338" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>On December 21, 2014, the Berkeley Art Museum permanently closed its iconic Modern building in preparation for a move to a nearby new building in 2016. Considered by many to be the Bay Area&rsquo;s most remarkable example of Brutalism [...]. Although the building is a local landmark and listed on the National Register, its intricate concrete forms pose seismic safety risks, leaving a future for the building unclear.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Get Lectured: UC Berkeley, Fall '14 Justine Testado 2014-10-02T14:09:00-04:00 >2014-10-14T13:05:02-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="685" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Fall 2014</strong></a></p><p>Say hello to another edition of Archinect's <em>Get Lectured</em>! As a refresher, we'll be featuring a school's lecture series&mdash;and their snazzy posters&mdash;for the current term. If you're not doing so already, be sure to keep track of any upcoming lectures you don't want to miss.</p><p>Our next featured poster comes from the University of California - Berkeley, College of Environmental Design.</p><p><em>Want to share your school's lecture series? Send us your school's lecture series poster and details to </em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em></em></a><em>.</em></p><p>Unless noted, all events begin at 6:30 p.m. at 112 Wurster Hall, and are open to the public. Below are upcoming department of Architecture events only.</p><p><em>Oct. 8</em><br>THE MAKING OF THE AVANT GARDE<br>Film screening + panel with Diana Agrest / Cooper Union - NY<br>Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects - San Francisco<br>Sylvia Lavin / UCLA - Los Angeles<br>Nicholas de Monchaux / UC Berkeley</p><p><em>Oct. 15</em><br>KEES CHRISTIAANSE / Kees Christiaanse Architects + Planners - Z...</p> Artistic landscape architecture brings a sense of belonging Alexander Walter 2014-05-19T13:23:00-04:00 >2014-05-28T20:14:03-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>When five of the nation's leading landscape architects gathered before their peers last weekend in Berkeley, the projects they discussed were located in Massachusetts and Minnesota, China and Spain. [...] The issues and ambitions on display can be applied to any 21st century metropolitan region like ours, where the most challenging frontiers for growth lie in struggling with issues of growth and change; where the land in question is high-profile and politically charged.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Cal Architecture Grad Asks Fellow Alums to Urge Toy Titan: LEGO My Campanile Alexander Walter 2014-05-01T13:16:00-04:00 >2014-05-06T22:16:40-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="214" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>He merely wanted to immortalize the most iconic of Berkeley&rsquo;s icons&mdash;the Sather Tower campanile&mdash;in a Lego kit. &ldquo;A couple of months ago I started fooling around with Legos and I made a couple of mock-ups of the Campanile,&rdquo; he recalls. &ldquo;I knew that Lego has a suggestion site&mdash;if you submit a proposal and it gets 10,000 votes, they&rsquo;ll consider making a kit. I thought it would be very cool if they included the Berkeley Campanile in their architecture series.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> 2014 BERKELEY PRIZE Winners Announced Alexander Walter 2014-04-21T17:27:00-04:00 >2014-04-28T19:50:37-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="534" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The winners of the 16th annual international BERKELEY PRIZE competition were just announced. The 2014 challenge revolved around the topic: 'The Architect and the Healthful Environment.' 141 undergraduate architecture students from 28 countries responded to this year&rsquo;s call to describe examples of healthful and unhealthful environments in their respective cities and to compare them analytically.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> 108 eighth-grade students design their school's library in Berkeley Justine Testado 2014-02-28T20:25:00-05:00 >2014-03-05T15:29:00-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>What good is a school without a library? A team of 108 eighth-grade students at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">REALM Charter School</a> in Berkeley, CA let their curiosity take the lead in designing their school's own reading space, which they call X-SPACE.<br><br><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><br>X-Space started out as a school project in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studio H</a>, an in-school curriculum led by&nbsp;director Emily Pilloton and 8th-grade teacher Hallie Chen that lets students in grades 8-11 design and build in socially-engaged projects.<br><br>The idea and name of X-Space came from the students' desire for a place to study, to relax, to learn and discover "X"&nbsp;&mdash; the unknown. In short, they wanted a welcoming library space for fellow students at the growing charter school.<br><br><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><br>Another product of the project is the X-shaped "STAX" shelving system the students helped construct. The stackable shelves were designed from low-tech 13-ply finished plywood and made using high-tech CNC technology with the help of Autodesk CEO Carl Bass.<br><br><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><img title="" alt="" src=""><br><br>Studio H launched a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kickstarter</a> on Feb. 25 and has already raised o...</p> Get Lectured: UC Berkeley, Spring '14 Justine Testado 2014-02-12T17:41:00-05:00 >2014-02-22T23:59:29-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="1671" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Winter/Spring 2014</strong></a><br><br>Archinect's <em>Get Lectured</em> is up and running again for the Winter/Spring '14 term! As a refresher from our <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fall 2013 guide</a>, every week we'll feature a school's lecture series&mdash;and their snazzy posters&mdash;for the current season. Be sure to keep track of any upcoming lectures you don't want to miss.</p><p>Our next poster comes from the University of California, Berkeley - College of Environmental Design. Their Spring poster shows off a French Pop-Tone Sour Apple paper and a fluorescent blue overprint gradient.</p><p><em>Want to share your school's lecture series? Send us your school's lecture series poster and details to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p><p>Lectures will take place at <strong>6:30 pm</strong> in <strong>112 Wurster Hall</strong>, unless otherwise noted. Listed below are upcoming lecture events only. Events open to the public.</p><p><strong>FEBRUARY</strong><br><br><em>Feb 12</em><br><strong>The City of Devi</strong><br><strong>Manil Suri</strong> / University of Maryland, Baltimore County<br><strong>Rajat Dutta</strong> / Trikone, Bay Area and Funding377NoGoingBack<br><strong>Harsha Mal...</strong></p> Moving day a success for UC Berkeley's Julia Morgan building Archinect 2014-01-13T20:17:00-05:00 >2014-01-20T18:45:12-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Though Morgan assisted campus architect John Galen Howard with the master plan, Girton Hall is the only building to be designed specifically for the campus by Morgan.</p></em><br /><br /><p> <img alt="" src="" title=""></p> Get Lectured: UC Berkeley Fall '13 Justine Testado 2013-10-08T16:48:00-04:00 >2013-10-08T16:54:17-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="1580" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Archinect's Architecture School Lecture Guide for Fall 2013</strong></a><br><br> Here on Archinect we recently launched "Get Lectured", where we'll feature a school's lecture series--along with their snazzy posters--for the current season. Check back regularly to stay up-to-date and mark your calendars for any upcoming lectures you don't want to miss.</p> <p> Tuesday's lecture poster is a vivid red-and-gold gradient silkscreen from the University of California, Berkeley - College of Environmental Design, Department of Architecture.<br><br><em>Want to share your school's lecture series? Send us your school's lecture series poster and details to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p> <p> All lectures will be at <strong>6:30 pm</strong> at <strong>112 Wurster Hall</strong>, unless otherwise noted.**<br> Events are free and open to the public.</p> <p> <strong>SEPTEMBER</strong></p> <p> <em><strong>September 18</strong></em><br><strong>Florian Idenburg</strong> / SO-IL - New York City</p> <p> <em><strong>September 23</strong></em><br><strong>Jason Young</strong> / YARD, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor<br> Howard A. Friedman Lecture - Howard A. Friedman Visiting Professor of Professional Practice<br> Sponso...</p> "Unbuilt SF" showcases past and future Bay Area architecture projects Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2013-08-20T21:49:00-04:00 >2013-08-22T18:19:29-04:00 <img src="" width="398" height="600" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>If San Franciscans like to describe their city as &ldquo;49 square miles surrounded by reality,&rdquo; the visionary ideas that were too grandiose for even San Franciscans to consider remain some of the most fantastic designs for any city in the world. Imagine a grand casino on Alcatraz, the city wrapped in freeways and a subdivision covering flattened hills north of the Golden Gate Bridge.</p></em><br /><br /><p> San Francisco is a small yet fierce city; its 7x7 mile girth is home to a rich history of social activism, tech start-ups, foodies, artists, composting programs and <a href=",0,7066358.story" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">absurdist housing rates</a>. Given its compact and hilly terrain, any addition or subtraction would drastically impact the city&rsquo;s image -- how do you regard a San Francisco without the Transamerica pyramid, or with a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">giant freeway at the Embarcadero</a>? As part of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture and the City Festival</a>, the &ldquo;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unbuilt San Francisco</a>&rdquo; exhibition provokes citizens to consider their relationship to the city through its architecture, by examining designs for past and future landmarks.</p> <p> This exhibition may sound familiar -- down south in Los Angeles, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A+D Museum</a> is exhibiting similar themes of architectural potential with Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin&rsquo;s &ldquo;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Never Built</a>&rdquo; show. As discussed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here on Archinect</a> a few weeks ago, the unrealized plans featured in &ldquo;Never Built&rdquo; are all about past imaginations of a city trying to choose its path...</p> Abandoned UC presidential mansion may be renovated after years of neglect Archinect 2013-08-16T17:48:00-04:00 >2013-08-17T12:06:00-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="331" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>North of the Berkeley Hills, nestled in the quiet community of Kensington, lies an abandoned mansion called the Blake House. At the end of a short gravel path, the home historically reserved for the UC president lies behind two wrought iron gates. But the 13,200-square-foot Mediterranean-style mansion &mdash; with an elevator, two kitchens, a massive library and panoramic views &mdash; has been empty for more than five years.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> 2013 Berkeley Prize Winners Announced Alexander Walter 2013-04-24T16:38:00-04:00 >2013-04-24T16:45:22-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="297" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Winners of the 15th annual BERKELEY PRIZE competition have been announced. The 2013 prize program focuses on the topic: 'The Architect and the Accessible City.' 152 architecture students from 26 countries responded to this year&rsquo;s question: "Provide us with an overview of what is being done in your city to make it accessible to people who have physical disabilities. In your opinion as an architect, what more can be done?"</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html>