On a small and skinny lot wedged behind its historic city hall, Santa Monica is trying to accomplish something that has never been done before in California. By 2020, the city hopes to construct a 50,000-square-foot city services building that will meet the requirements of the International Living Future Institute’s “Living Building Challenge” — the most stringent environmental building standard in the world. — latimes.com
"Should the city succeed it will prove that net-zero water is possible in our arid climate, even in a drought — and that if we’re serious about staving off the effects of drought and climate change, we should settle for no less. It will also familiarize code officials with new innovations...
The $1.5-billion second leg of the Expo Line, which opened Friday from Culver City to Santa Monica, adds seven light-rail stations and more than six miles of track to the growing Los Angeles County transit network. [...]
In the immediate context of L.A.'s attempts to turn its public-transit network from national punch line to something that increasingly resembles a mature system, 13 new Metro stations in less than three months qualifies as a pretty dramatic upgrade. — latimes.com
The aggressively expanding LA Metro system in recent Archinect news stories:How LA is changing, one rail line at a timeWill LA's new metro extension bring growth to the city's peripheries?L.A. seeks to accelerate infrastructure projects in advance of potential Olympics
"Small houses can tell big stories," read the apt white words on the pamphlet's blue cover.
The shotgun house's Ocean Park neighborhood had once been full of such modest dwellings. It was a working-class place — home to carpenters and painters and people who washed other people's laundry.
But that kind of history most often is erased over time, as little houses make way for bigger ones. Ordinary people often don't chronicle their lives — and when they leave, their stories do too. — LA Times
Related:"Stop the unpermitted demolition": Roche Dinkeloo's shiny UN Plaza Hotel lobby might be remodeledIt's easier now to tear down "historic homes" in Beverly Hills than before – is this progress or folly?Preserving a Home in All Its Marred GlorySelective memory: Old Penn Station, ruined...
In the 1930s and '40s, the Mabery Road house in Santa Monica Canyon belonged to Hollywood screenwriter Salka Viertel, who made her house a home not only for her family but for hundreds of refugees, some very famous and others unknown... While anti-Fascist volunteers were spiriting people out of Europe, Viertel in Santa Monica was taking them in... She helped to rescue, among many others, the German Expressionist writer Leonhard Frank, the Dadaist poet Walter Mehring, and Alfred Döblin... — Los Angeles Times
"The public sector stopped making public space a long time ago," Los Angeles architect Jon Jerde told Wired magazine rather matter-of-factly in 1999. [...]
A little more than two decades later, there is something quaintly fatalistic about Jerde's attitude toward the frail state of public space. In Los Angeles, at least, it has returned pretty dramatically to health. — latimes.com
KCRW, the NPR-affiliated public radio darling of Southern California, broke ground yesterday on its new 35,000 square-foot Media Center, located on Santa Monica College's Academy of Entertainment & Technology campus. For the past thirty years, KCRW was run out of a basement underneath the...
Oren Safdie, architecture-turned-playwright (and son of Moshe Safdie), has taken his play False Solution to Santa Monica, after a run in NYC last year. False Solution, Safdie's 3rd architecture-themed play, following Private Jokes, Public Places and The Bilbao Effect, follows German-Jewish...
[Santa Monica will] be able to offer its residents real net neutrality, which the [FCC] is working on rolling back for just about everyone else in the US. [...]
Santa Monica has cleverly and quietly been installing its own network of city-owned fiber-optic cables for years, and they intend to keep the net neutral. [...]
Santa Monica has also made about $5 million providing internet service and leasing out the cables to other providers, and their competition has driven down rates. — la.curbed.com
The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed that internet service providers (like Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable) should be able to charge companies extra for faster service -- so for example, Netflix could pay AT&T more to ensure faster download speeds for its viewers...
The design called for a series of rectangular buildings skewed on an axis comprised of ground-floor retail, office development and proposed residential and flex office space and the upper section would be a hotel, according to city officials.
“I have to say that the Metro Pacific is a beautiful project and you look at it and it’s stunning architecturally,” Davis said. “The affordable housing is kind of an afterthought … . It’s a little unclear of how many units we are going to get.” — smdp.com
OMA is on a winning spree on both American coasts right now: we reported last week that the team consisting of OMA, Tishman Realty and UIA Management had won the Miami Beach Convention Center Master Plan competition, and just earlier this month, OMA's New York office was also declared winner of a major competition for a mixed use development in Santa Monica, California. In both cases, OMA's submissions prevailed over entries by fellow finalists Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). — bustler.net
Frank Gehry is designing a new 22-story tower that developers want to build in downtown Santa Monica, near the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, according to the official website for the project. The structure will feature space for a hotel and condominiums, as well as restaurant and retail space. — latimes.com
Designed by John Kaliski Architects, in conjunction with Lawrence Moss & Associates, Landscape Architects, and Kimley-Horn & Associates, Civil Engineers, the Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street recently broke ground on December 12, 2011. When completed in early 2013, it will be the longest complete green street in the City of Santa Monica, and one of the longest in Southern California. — bustler.net
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the Gehry Residence in Santa Monica, California for the 2012 AIA Twenty-five Year Award. [...]
A seemingly ad hoc collection of raw, workmanlike materials wrapped around an unassuming two-story clapboard bungalow, Frank Gehry’s, FAIA, home for his wife, Berta, and two sons found a literal, but unexpected, answer to the question of neighborhood context, and used it to forever re-shape the formal and material boundaries of architecture. — bustler.net
... according to a person familiar with the plans who is bound by a nondisclosure agreement, Apple has already begun work on such a store in Santa Monica. Like the Peter Bohlin-designed Apple Store on New York's Upper West Side, it will have a tall, striking glass storefront... — cnn.com
The Santa Monica store episode also illustrates Apple's unusually covert way of doing business. Interviews with almost two dozen people familiar with Apple Store negotiations say the Cupertino, California, company sometimes employs uncommon legal tactics, refuses to name itself in public...
But the real show is outside, where the garage includes a number of large-scale public-art installations, including pieces by Anne Marie Karlsen (along 2nd Street) and L.A. firm Ball-Nogues Studio (along 4th Street). The Ball-Nogues piece, called “Cradle,” features hundreds of stainless-steel spheres suspended from one of the garage’s exterior walls. The design is open-ended enough to suggest both sea foam and a Newton’s Cradle... — latimesblogs.latimes.com
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