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Tag Archives: San Francisco

These Stunning Underwater Paintings By Isabel Emrich Will Take Your Breath Away

Isabel Emrich is a Californian painter who creates intricate expressionistic style underwater paintings of women. The artist carefully captures every wave and ripple of water and giving the viewer a unique glimpse of what otherwise would remain unseen.

In her artist statement, Isabel says she forged a strong connection to the ocean growing up in Southern California. The artist expresses gratitude to her grandmother, who used to take her up to the cliffs overlooking the water to paint in the outdoors.

More info: Isabel Emrich | Instagram | h/t: My Modern Met

In 2013, Isabel moved to San Francisco to fulfill her dreams of studying at The Academy of Art University. She received a BFA in Fine Art Painting and Drawing in 2016.

“Emrich explores the sensations of peace and calm one feels submerged in water, the dynamism of moving through water, and of the body luxuriantly enveloped in it. A subject’s body may float freely in a pose of complete relief, but the subject’s face and limbs blur with the airy world above, as they break the surface,” says the artist’s statement.

“Isabel explores the dynamics of this boundary with tension and interplay at work – where air and water and light and body converge.  Light plays on the surface, reflecting, dancing in endlessly fascinating patterns.  But it also passes through the water, illuminating what is beneath, bringing out the color and life of the body.”

“Different colors ‘pop’ through the light with the changing visuals implied in a moment’s time. Indeed, being in water is one of most explicit examples one can imagine of ‘being in the moment.’ Time stands still, and once and for all the past and future disappears. Zen-like, one is in the here and now.

“Isabel brings her paintings to life with broad, energetic brush strokes, thick and thin paint qualities, and generous color variety – all hallmarks of Expressionism. In fact, one of her main inspirations is the expressionistic master Van Gogh.”

Check out more of Isabel’s stunning underwater paintings in the gallery below!

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Aušrys Uptas 

One day, this guy just kind of figured – “I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?” – and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that’s trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that’s too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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Our top 10 Most Famous Landmarks as wall art decor!

If you are unable to travel the world, at least you can gaze at some of the most majestic landmarks with these wall murals by Eazywallz. These highly detailed wallpapers of our famous landmarks, towers, bridges and castles will add something incredible to your walls. We have compiled a list of famous places and sights just for you to discover why they are so highly regarded.

10. Mount Fuji – Japan

Our last but not least famous landmark in the world is Mount Fuji. Located on Honshu Island, it is the highest mountain in Japan. Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres from Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.

9. Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California

Another Super Famous American landmark is The Golden Gate Bridge. This suspension bridge spans the strait, which is in between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been recently declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World.

8. Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy

Another famous landmark in Italy is The Leaning Tower of Pisa. This freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, is known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized.

7. Taj Mahal – India

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal who was the Mughal emperor’s favourite wife. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

6. Machu Picchu – Cuzco Region, Peru

Machu Picchu was built around 1450 at the height of the Inca and was built in its classical Inca style. Its three primary structures are the Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. Machu Picchu was voted one of the new Seven wonders of the world in a recent poll.

5. Statue of Liberty – New York, USA

The Statue of Liberty is a giant sculpture on liberty island in New York. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, is a robed female figure representing Libertas. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.

4. Great Wall of China – China

The Great Wall of China is a the largest wall ever built and it is made of stone, brick, wood, and other materials. The Wall was built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect them against the raids and invasions of their known enemies.

3. Big Ben – London, England

Another Famous European Landmark is the Tower nicknamed the Big Ben in london. This clock has become a cultural symbol in London. When someone needs to showcase London to indicate a generic location in the country, a popular way to do so is to show an image of the tower, often with a red double-decker bus in the foreground. A recent survey found that the tower was the most popular landmark in the United Kingdom!

2. The Colosseum – Rome, Italy

This famous landmark in Rome is best known for hosting gladiatorial contests and other things such as mock sea battles, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas. Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of the famous roman empire.

1. Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

This famous landmark in Paris, France was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design but since then it has become one of the most recognizable icons in the world! The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

One of our most popular landmark wall mural is the Eiffel Tower. We have a wide variety of different wallpaper mural options and each one is a unique version of this monumental design!

For More Information About This blog Post, Click Here!

These Stunning Underwater Paintings By Isabel Emrich Will Take Your Breath Away

Isabel Emrich is a Californian painter who creates intricate expressionistic style underwater paintings of women. The artist carefully captures every wave and ripple of water and giving the viewer a unique glimpse of what otherwise would remain unseen.

In her artist statement, Isabel says she forged a strong connection to the ocean growing up in Southern California. The artist expresses gratitude to her grandmother, who used to take her up to the cliffs overlooking the water to paint in the outdoors.

More info: Isabel Emrich | Instagram | h/t: My Modern Met

In 2013, Isabel moved to San Francisco to fulfill her dreams of studying at The Academy of Art University. She received a BFA in Fine Art Painting and Drawing in 2016.

“Emrich explores the sensations of peace and calm one feels submerged in water, the dynamism of moving through water, and of the body luxuriantly enveloped in it. A subject’s body may float freely in a pose of complete relief, but the subject’s face and limbs blur with the airy world above, as they break the surface,” says the artist’s statement.

“Isabel explores the dynamics of this boundary with tension and interplay at work – where air and water and light and body converge.  Light plays on the surface, reflecting, dancing in endlessly fascinating patterns.  But it also passes through the water, illuminating what is beneath, bringing out the color and life of the body.”

“Different colors ‘pop’ through the light with the changing visuals implied in a moment’s time. Indeed, being in water is one of most explicit examples one can imagine of ‘being in the moment.’ Time stands still, and once and for all the past and future disappears. Zen-like, one is in the here and now.

“Isabel brings her paintings to life with broad, energetic brush strokes, thick and thin paint qualities, and generous color variety – all hallmarks of Expressionism. In fact, one of her main inspirations is the expressionistic master Van Gogh.”

Check out more of Isabel’s stunning underwater paintings in the gallery below!

Continue reading These Stunning Underwater Paintings By Isabel Emrich Will Take Your Breath Away

30 Times People Encountered Hilariously Terrible Kitchen Designs

Stove, kettle, fridge, toilet, dishwasher – can you spot one thing that doesn’t belong in the kitchen? If you can, congratulations – you’ve got the basic concept of what a kitchen is supposed to look like and are about to have a laugh at some terrible kitchen designs. And if you can’t – you just might see all of it as inspiration.

From funky layouts to bizarre furniture, check out the hilariously terrible kitchen designs in the gallery below! Also, see our previous posts for more terrible design inspiration here and here!

#1 “I Have Two Of Those In My Kitchen”

Image source: Dovydas Skarolskis

#2 Even The Oven Is Like Why Are You Doing This To Me????

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#3 What If They Get Divorced?

Image source: Chujowe mieszkania do wynajęcia

#4 Crappy Kitchen Design

#5 It’s The End Of Days

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#6 $1 Million San Francisco Loft Has Diagonal Support Beam That Cuts Through The Middle Of The Kitchen

Image source: DewayneJones

#7 Finally A Place For My Tetris Tupperware

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#8 But How Will People Know We’re Fancy Unless We Etch The Lamborghini Into The Window?

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#9 This “Form Over Function” Kitchen In My Apartment…

Image source: chefmacari

#10 Open Concept Gone Too Far

Image source: apriltaurus

#11 This Entire Kitchen’s Counters And Backsplash Are Covered With This “Faux Mold” Tile

Image source: iheartcatsandcoffee

#12 Interesting Cupboard Design

Image source: Chujowe mieszkania do wynajęcia

#13 Just Added The Curtain For Privacy!

Image source: Chujowe mieszkania do wynajęcia

#14 Crappy Kitchen Design

#15 That Open Concept Will Getcha Every Time

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#16 Did This Get Installed Upside Down?

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#17 When You Don’t Know If The Kitchen Is In The Bathroom Or The Bathroom In The Kitchen

Image source: Chujowe mieszkania do wynajęcia

#18 This Kitchen Appears To Be Under The Attack Of Some Giant At-At Walkers

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#19 I Wouldn’t Want To Come In Here After Smoking

Image source: Chujowe mieszkania do wynajęcia

#20 Blanche Done Blown The Whole Island Budget On Her Chandeliers

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#21 If Only There Was Some Other Utensil They Could Have Put On This Kitchen Decoration…

Image source: Engineer_Toast

#22 Kentucky Comin In For That “Texas Kinda Crazy” Title

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#23 Crappy Kitchen Design (Literally)

#24 When Space Saving Hacks Go Too Far

Image source: Chujowe mieszkania do wynajęcia

#25 There’s Fancy. Then There’s Kitchenette In The Master Bathroom Fancy

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#26 Opening My Fridge Turns Off The Kitchen Light

Image source: whoakid

#27 An Abundance Of Prep Space Though, You Can’t Deny That. Just Don’t Let The Chicken Slide Off When You Go To Change Out The Load Of Darks

Image source: pleasehatethesethings

#28 The Worst Kitchen Layout Ever

Image source: sellforsure

#29 Shower In The Middle Of A Kitchen

#30 Crappy Kitchen Design

Continue reading 30 Times People Encountered Hilariously Terrible Kitchen Designs

10 Modern-Rustic Weekend Houses in the Country

Hot summers in the city get old pretty fast, so having a weekend house in the country is a luxury. But that doesn’t mean that luxury can’t be rustic. Here are 10 residences that are stunning in their get-away-from-it-all simplicity.

Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20

1. Hilltop Aerie by Aidlin Darling Design Provides Respite in Northern California

Two San Francisco denizens working in finance and tech came to Aidlin Darling Design with a straightforward proposition. Create a simple, efficient house, restrained in cost and scale, for their empty hillside site in Glen Ellen, about an hour north of the city. The couple’s only imperative? A single-story plan. Since Barry Mehew and David Rice were familiar with tending to aging relatives, they knew to avoid the hazards staircases present (their main residence, a four-story Victorian in the city, has plenty). Although they envisioned this new house as a weekend getaway for now, they anticipate eventually spending most of their time there, and downsizing to a pied-à-terre back in the city. Read more about this project

2. Jan Henrik Jensen Designs Unconventional Round House in Denmark

In the Danish shelter magazine that Finn and Janni Holm subscribe to, architect Jan Henrik Jansenwas pictured sitting in front of a house that he had constructed with his own hands. “We just rang him and asked him to do one for us,” Janni Holm says. “That’s where our adventure started.” The Holms had decided to build a new home on a lot and a simple wooden farmhouse was what they had in mind. What they got was entirely different, thanks to Jansen’s standard procedure: always conceiving more than one solution for a project. He first showed the Holms a design that corresponded exactly to their farmhouse brief. Then he surprised them with plans for a radically different idea: a round house. Read more about this project

3. SPG Architects Transforms Lilian Swann Saarinen’s Former Cape Cod Residence

Modernist royalty, by marriage, Lilian Swann Saarinen had met her husband, Eero, when she was studying sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, headed by his father, Eliel. After the younger Saarinens’ divorce in 1953, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, with their two children and asked former Eero Saarinen and Associates architect Olav Hammarstrom to expand a fisherman’s cottage in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet for use as a low-budget family getaway. “On the Cape, a lot of architects built on a dime and a prayer,” SPG Architects principal Eric Gartner explains. Considerably more painstaking was his own task: updating the Hammarstrom design for repeat clients, one in financial services and the other a sculptor. Read more about this project

4. The Success of Andreas Martin Löf’s House Near Stockholm Lies in Being Playful and Taking Risks

“Everybody was against it,” Andreas Martin-Löf says, looking at the offending infinity pool outside his weekend house in the Stockholm archipelago. “My friends thought it was nouveau riche. They wondered why I couldn’t just go down to the jetty for a swim, like everyone else.” Traditionally, Swedes favor rustic summer retreats, and Martin-Löf concedes that he usually dislikes “luxury” architecture both personally and in his work at Andreas Martin-Löf Architects. Yet he was intrigued by the possibility of the infinity pool as a mirror for the property’s pine trees and expansive water views. “The pool is a crucial part of the success of the house,” he continues. “You have to be a bit playful and take a few risks.” Read more about this project

Read more: 15 Incredible Pools from Around the World

5. Michigan Lake House by Desai Chia Architecture: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Country House

A real-estate entrepreneur clipped and saved a newspaper story about Arjun Desai and Katherine Chia’s glassy weekend pavilion that won a Best of Year Award in 2013. The entrepreneur was intrigued by the way the house practically floated above its spectacular surroundings, a bucolic estate in rural New York—because he had just bought 60 acres on a remote peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Arguably even more extraordinary than the New York site, this one sits between a cherry orchard and a bluff plunging 120 feet down to the water. Read more about this project

6. Minimalist Gem by Atelier Carvalho Arujo Masters a Tricky Site in Portugal 

Modernist-minded designers often mine bodies of water for inspiration. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater—perhaps the greatest house of the 20th century—wouldn’t exist without the stream that runs, dramatically, below it. Following in this storied tradition, Atelier Carvalho Araújo used water as both guide and counterpoint in designing a house in Vieira do Minho, Portugal. The site is a steep slope overlooking the Caniçada Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Braga. A stream meanders down the site, connecting ponds at the top and bottom of the hillside, both now corralled into freeform pools.“Architecture must have the gift of awakening sensations, emotions,” principal José Manuel Carvalho Araújo says. “The only thing I don’t want to evoke is indifference.” Read more about this project

7. Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks Conceive Stone-Clad House Near the Estate of Her Father, Charles

When it comes to delivering the unexpected, Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks, respectively 33 and 35 years old, have already developed a reputation. The pair transformed a tiny tile showroom in London with an installation of porcelain planks, playing cleverly with geometry in just four shades of gray to achieve a dazzling op art effect—a tour de force that landed right on the cover of Interior Design. Now, with a weekend house in Scotland, Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio have defied expectation in very different ways. Read more about this project

8. Nani Marquina’s Costa Brava Retreat Is a Collector’s Paradise

Nani Marquina has a thing for straw hand brooms. The textile designer and Nanimarquinafounder owns more than two-dozen such specimens, sourced from locales as far flung as Thailand, Pakistan, and Ibiza. Her collecting passion also extends to woven baskets, beaded necklaces, teapots, seeds, dried gourds, soap, succulents, and sand (stored in fish bowls), all of which garnish the Esclanyà, Spain, getaway she shares with her husband, photographer Albert Font. The 1970s dwelling has a whitewashed simplicity that renders it a perfect backdrop for the couple’s assorted ephemera. “The most important thing is not the container, but the contents,” Marquina says. Read more about his project

9. Architect Mathias Klotz Creates a Pair of Cottages on a Remote Island in Chile

For Chileans—especially those who live in the frenetic capital, Santiago—a second home is an essential refuge, an escape to the serene beauty of the natural landscape. Architect Mathias Klotz, principal of his eponymous firm, has designed many such houses, characteristically with a clean-lined modernism that nods to one of his heroes, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. For his own family’s retreat on a largely undeveloped coastal island, he used archetypal forms that evoke both past and present. Constrained by the remote location and tricky logistics, the result is a timeless design that blends into the pristine setting. Read more about this project

10. Mork Ulnes Architects and Office of Charles de Lisle Create a Minimalist Guesthouse in Sonoma

Casper Mork-Ulnes was born in Norway, moved to Italy at age 2, and came to San Francisco at 16. He also lived in Scotland and studied architecture at California College of the Arts and Columbia University before establishing Mork Ulnes Architects back in San Francisco. That’s an unusually lengthy introduction, granted, to an unusual small project in the Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen. Mork-Ulnes had remodeled the property’s original house for its previous owners. The new ones, a family of five, brought him back for a guesthouse. At 840 square feet, it comprises three volumes, each of which contains a bedroom and a bathroom. They’re arranged in a stepped configuration, sharing party walls and a canted roof but no internal corridor. Read more about this project

Read more: 10 Bright and Modern Beach Houses

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Beyond Amenities, What’s Next for Workplace Design?

At a panel discussion titled “The New Basics,” designers, developers, and facilities experts tried to work out what will be essential to the office of the future.

 

From private chefs to meditation rooms, companies have pulled out all the stops when it comes to amenities in the workplace. Whether driven by the battle for talent or employee demands, tech and media organizations in particular continue to vie with one another to provide employee benefits. Cafes, phone booths, and lounges have become commonplace, with nap rooms and fitness centers following suit. But how much amenity is too much amenity? Is there any downside to this trend, and what should we consider to be the new basics of the office?

A group of workplace experts gathered at the Poppin showroom in San Francisco earlier this year to discuss these questions and point to a way forward in office design. Primo Orpilla, whose award-winning firm Studio O+A created some of the first amenity-rich offices in the tech sector, spoke to the origins of the trend. “We really just wanted to create a place where people would come together, collaborate, share ideas and maybe spend a little more time, and that time be more meaningful,” he said. “It was also a great way for the company to show that they cared.”

But now the pendulum might have swung too far, said Alex Spilger, vice president of development and director of sustainability at Cushman & Wakefield: “I see friends that work for these tech companies that say, ‘I want to leave my job but I’m afraid to give up the free massage and the free food,’ and I have to ask them, ‘Are you staying there for the right reasons?’”

Amenities cannot be expected to stand in for a sense of purpose among employees, and companies have to work at fostering that spirit of community. “The spaces have to have meaning to the company and to the employees,” said Verda Alexander, cofounder of Studio O+A. “The idea of superficial amenity spaces really needs to fall by the wayside.”

So what kinds of amenities would not be considered superficial? Sometimes, essential amenities are determined by the culture of the organization, said John Liu, facilities director at Rakuten. At his company, “AV is gargantuan everywhere because that allows [companies] to have video conferencing with every office, to be able to sync up without having employees travel as much.” Hoteling is another such amenity, which Liu finds he has to figure more and more into his headcount projections.

However, workers aren’t just concerned about short-term benefits for themselves or their employers. “People want to work for companies that care,” Spilger said, “so a commitment to sustainability is a core amenity.” The urban (or suburban) context, and the company’s commitments to the community outside also figure heavily in employees’ list of wants. “Those values are part of the new basics,” said Jason Bonnet, vice president of development at Brookfield Properties. “I can get a paycheck from any tech company here, but what are you really doing when I step outside as it relates to improving where I live?” At Brookfield’s new developments in San Francisco, such as 5M and Pier 70, office spaces are situated within a mixed-use context. The developers have built social impact into the plans, offering ground-level activations and donating spaces to non-profits.

Talking about the backlash against tech giants in Seattle and San Francisco, Alexander said she wished offices could integrate “more amenity spaces that are maybe on the ground floor, accessible to the public and that interact with the public. I would love to see more social responsibility, environmental responsibility, and any kind of amenity space that could directly engage the public.”

Spilger summed up the discussion by offering a demographic analysis of where workplace design needs to focus next. “A lot of amenities were driven by millennials—ping pong tables, foosball, free food, happy hours,” he said. “Those millennials are starting families. They no longer need the happy hour or the ping pong table; they want flexibility, autonomy, and purpose behind the work.”

Categories: Workplace Interiors

Continue reading Beyond Amenities, What’s Next for Workplace Design?

A quick refresher on architecture’s continuing battle with earthquakes

Antonio Pacheco

Jul 9, ’19 12:45 PM EST
View of damage following the 1994 Northridge earthquake that struck Los Angeles. Image courtesy of FEMA.

View of damage following the 1994 Northridge earthquake that struck Los Angeles. Image courtesy of FEMA.

With earthquakes in the news following a pair of recent tremors in California, it’s important to remember that seismic design is an integral and increasingly complex aspect of building design architects work hard to address. An ever-improving standard, seismic codes not only save lives, but also help to shape the built environment, and in places like California, play a large role in terms of building design, overall. 

Below is a round-up of some of Archinect’s recent earthquake-related coverage.

Changing seismic codes and other earthquake-related issues are currently coming online in many American cities, including in Seattle, where new seismic standards for tall buildings have prompted worries about the safety of certain types of existing buildings. 

Seattle boosts seismic construction standards for new skyscrapers, but older high-rises are biggest concern

In San Francisco, seismic concerns run deeper than meets the eye. There, much of the city’s downtown is built atop landfill areas prone to liquefaction, with many of the city’s tallest buildings designed with obsolete structural designs. 

italy
The town center of Amatrice in Italy was destroyed during a 2016 earthquake. Image courtesy of Leggier il Firenzepost.

Are San Francisco skyscrapers prepared for the next big earthquake?

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has embarked on a long-term plan to retrofit its massive stock of “soft-story” structures, buildings that are constructed without enough shear wall protection and are therefore likely to collapse whenever the “Big One” strikes. 

Twenty-four years after the Northridge quake, Los Angeles still has thousands of ‘soft-story’ buildings to retrofit

As part of a ten year plan, the Los Angeles City Council agreed to allow landlords and tenants of the city’s 15,000 soft-story apartment complexes to share the costs for upgrading the structures. 

In Los Angeles, landlords and tenants will share seismic retrofit costs

Internationally, earthquakes have wrought extensive damage to many regions over the last decade, including in Taiwan, where a 6.4-magnitude earthquake toppled many buildings and killed hundreds of people in 2018.  

Five buildings tilt dangerously after magnitude 6.4 Taiwan quake

In Italy, architect Renzo Piano was called upon by the national government to help develop a plan for reconstruction efforts following a disastrous 2016 earthquake.

mexico
Faulty seismic design resulted in the collapse of many buildings during a 2017 earthquake that hit Mexico City and Puebla. Image courtesy of Wikimedia user AntoFran.

In wake of deadly earthquake, Italy’s prime minister calls on Renzo Piano to help reconstruction effort

In Chile, meanwhile, the country’s strict building codes helped reduce earthquake casualties during a sizable 2015 earthquake. 

 How Chile’s strict building codes help reduce the country’s earthquake casualties

A 2017 earthquake that hit Mexico City prompted some soul-searching in California, where thousands of existing concrete frame buildings, like many of those damaged in the Mexico City quake, await retrofitting despite the existence of new, more stringent seismic codes. 

Mexico Earthquake reminds that California architecture is vulnerable, with 1,500 at-risk buildings in LA

This is just a small sample of how the design of seismic codes is being felt around the world’s earthquake-prone regions. Not only can adequate seismic design and proper retrofitting be a matter of life and death during a seismic event, its one area of design where architects can have a profound impact on the health and safety of the people who occupy the buildings they design. 

Stay tuned for more coverage of the changing nature of seismic codes. 

Continue reading A quick refresher on architecture’s continuing battle with earthquakes

25 Sustainable Projects to Celebrate Earth Day

 

Happy Earth Day! Sustainability is becoming a standard in architecture, and LEED certification is only the beginning. These projects prove that green design is the new frontier.

1. Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Strikes All the Right Notes With Arvo Pärt Centre in Estonia

Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos won a two-phase competition to design this center with their thesis that links music and architecture. Considering the ratio of glass to metal also became essential because of the layers of thermal insulation needed to create a sustainable and easily heated structure. But first Nieto Sobejano decided what the project shouldn’t have: right angles, a main facade, and a discernable front or back. Instead, what emerged was a pattern of “continuous links echoing the trees,” Sobejano says. Read more

2. Sustainably Designed and Architecturally Significant Buildings in Singapore

Not only is the entire 27-floor external facade wrapped in a natural vine covered sunscreen, but the Oasia Hotel Downtown also has four lush sky terraces, 1,793 large planter boxes, and four large structural cores that allow for good cross ventilation reducing the overall energy cost. Designed by WOHA and completed in 2016, the hotel is home to over 33 species of plants and 21 species of creepers. In addition, the 314-room property is notable for its striking interior design by Patricia UrquiolaRead about 7 more sustainable buildings in Singapore

3. Warmth and Modernism Are at the Heart of 3XN’s Design for Olympic House

Two of the most poignant concepts International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach wanted the design to articulate were sustainability and transparency. 3XN certainly delivered; the build is LEED platinum-certified, and has reused 90 percent of the concrete from the previous headquarters that was demolished to make way for the new build. Read more

4. ACDF Architecture Partners With Architecture49 for Mega Project Parq Vancouver

Six stories high, capped with a 30,000-square-foot roof garden, this contemporary structure “is an urban oasis,”ACDF Architecture CEO Maxime-Alexis Frappier says. ACDF partnered with Architecture49 and their response was not a looming hulk but rather a curving, low-rise presence wrapped in a mirrored facade that reflects its surroundings. Aluminum louvers, capturing sunlight, reflect pixelated images of the Rocky Mountains in the distance. The daylight resulting from abundant glazing contributes to the project’s LEED Gold status, proving Parq fits into the global environment, too. Read more

5. Annapolis Residence by Bates Masi + Architects Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Waterfront House

When a prospective client in Annapolis, Maryland, told Bates Masi + Architects‘ principal Paul Masi that he and his wife had recently purchased a house on the water, he really meant it: The residence’s second-floor deck literally hung right over a cove in the Chesapeake Bay. However, the 1970s structure was sorely outdated, located in the flood plain, and didn’t meet current energy codes. Masi’s solution yielded a new, flat-roofed house, raised three feet higher than its predecessor—and LEED-certified to boot. Read more

6. TPG Architecture Makes Headlines With Its Office for the Associated Press in New York

The AP staffers have had a chance to settle into their new digs by TPG Architecture, which have since been awarded LEED Gold certification. As you might expect, good news travels fast. As Carmel says, the office “compliments who we are as an organization.” That includes a bit of spirit, as seen at the perimeter of the café. There the white floor tile bursts into a confetti of colors, as if celebrating the much-decorated news agency. Read more

7. Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat by Neri & Hu Design and Research Office Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Green

For Neri & Hu, this project entailed repurposing and renovating existing structures—including a former warehouse that now hosts a restaurant, a theater, and an exhibition space—as well as erecting new ones, among them a lakeside pavilion containing four of the 20 suites. “The rustic materiality and layered spaces redefine tradition via a modern architectural language,” says Neri. Read more

8. Studio Rianknop Creates Flexible, Sustainable Space for Amsterdam Tech Company

When an Amsterdam company that manages a file-sharing platform decided to move from the city center to a warehouse near the city limits, it shared a few tasks with local design firm Studio Rianknop: Create a flexible space for the company’s staff; make it sustainable; and take advantage of the industrial space in a relaxing, inviting way. In a clever nod to the wires funneling data across the globe, a “cable tree” grows from the lower level with branches powering first-floor public spaces and a tubular chandelier. Read more

9. The Center for Fiction by BKSK Architects Brings Books and Sustainability to Brooklyn

The Center for Fiction started out as the Mercantile Library in 1821 and moved locations throughout Manhattan over the years. In 2008, it was rebranded, and more than 10 years later, the Center has a permanent home in a LEED Silver-certified building in downtown Brooklyn by BKSK Architects. In the writers’ studio, locally-made custom wool felt panels are perforated with the Center’s logo, an open book. Read more

10. ASID Headquarters Becomes World’s First Space to Earn LEED and WELL Platinum Certification

The Washington, DC office, designed by Perkins + Will, is brimming with features that support health and wellness. One is a circadian lighting system that mimics natural daylight, paired with automated shades that follow the sun’s movement to help eliminate eye strain. The design team also implemented biophilic design strategies, for instance by using a range of natural materials and patterns. Read more

11. Mohawk Group’s New NYC Showroom Embraces Wellness

Located in a former textile factory in historic Chelsea, Mohawk Group‘s 13,000-square-foot showroom was designed by Gensler and incorporates LEED and WELL Building Standard qualifications, fully expressing Mohawk’s company ethos: Believe in better. Read more

12. Huntsman Architectural Group Downsizes McKesson for Maximum Efficiency

For McKesson’s San Francisco office, Huntsman Architectural Group went with undeniably contemporary furnishings. Sui generis, however, is a break room’s custom bench, a repurposed conveyor belt hinting at McKesson’s core business. Which brings us to the fact that the premises are going for Well Building certification as well as LEED Gold. Read more

13. Perkins + Will Creates a Contemporary Office for Nixon Peabody in New York

Perkins + Will designed this space to be easily reconfigured as needs change. A feature stair connects the office’s three levels with show-stopping views of the city, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls help foster synergy between practice areas. It was also awarded LEED Gold certification. In all, the office is a balance of functionality and design statement. Read more

14. Five Global Green Projects Pay it Forward

For Park + Associates‘s own office, minimal intervention transformed a 1960’s former school into a showcase of clean-lined design, thanks to vintage furnishings, a black-and-white palette, and painted-steel arches highlighting the reinforced-concrete barrel vaults. Read about all 5 global green projects

15. SKB Architects Creates Lively Lobby for Key Center Office Tower

No longer merely pass-through places, lobbies have become hotel-esque settings. They entice potential tenants to lease, and existing tenants get a perk that might entice them to stay. Such is the case at the Key Center office tower across the water from Seattle. After purchasing the 23-story building, Kilroy Realty Corporation opted to implement changes resulting in LEED Platinum certification and to transform the immense lobby into a “people place,” SKB Architects senior principal Shannon Gaffney recounts. “That’s our thing.” Read more

16. Mosa Tiles Enliven Venetian Villa by JM Architecture

Italian studio JM Architecture outlined a sustainable agenda to maximize the home’s energy-efficiency. Mosa’s LEED-contributing ceramic tiles, which received Cradle-to-Cradle® Silver certification, join the multitude of eco-friendly features that distinguish the villa, including inlaid photovoltaic panels and radiant floor heating. Read more

17. Venable by Alliance Architecture Wins 2017 Best of Year Award for Large Law Office

Moving to a gleaming LEED Platinum palace in the booming East End, this 117-year-old law firm left behind the endless dreary silos of its former headquarters and embraced a cultural shift toward wellness and ergonomics. Thanks to Alliance Architecture, sunlight penetrates offices with clear glass enclosures, every employee has a motorized standing desk, and the café opens onto a terrace complete with barbecue grills, a fire pit, a bar, and a bocce court. Read more

18. 1 Hotel’s Miami Beach Debut by Meyer Davis Studio

Meyer Davis Studio was charged with transforming the lower eight stories of a 1968 building into 1 Hotel Miami. “We paid homage to the natural landscape of south Florida,” Meyer notes—versus the art deco razzle-dazzle typically associated with the area. Moves large and small rack up points in the quest for LEED Silver certification. Uses of reclaimed wood represent a virtual forest preserved. Dialing down to details, Meyer andDavis specified organic bed linens, hemp mattresses, and clothes hangers molded from recycled paper, while bedside note pads have disappeared in favor of chalkboards. Read more

19. Lotus Square Art Center by Shenzhen Dae Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Outdoor

It’s basically common knowledge these days that installing a green roof on a building helps reduce its energy use, absorb stormwater, and combat air pollution. This practice has become increasingly mainstream in hotter developed land masses known as urban heat islands. One such is Hengqin island, overlooking Macau. That’s where this sculptural verdant roof tops an art exhibition hall. Read more

20. Six Futuristic Projects Sprouting Green Roofs

From reducing storm water runoff and city dust to energy-efficient cooling, the benefits of green roofing go beyond beautification. As costs lower and technology makes installation easier, this environmentally conscious trend is increasingly defining the facades of both existing and new buildings. A 660-foot-long undulating wave of verdant green grass forms a rooftop park at Université Paris-Est’s technology and science center, the Espace Bienvenüe designed by Jean-Philippe Pargade. Read about all six green roofs

21. Kimpton Travels to the Caribbean

Amid the sea blues and sandy whites of this resort, there’s a good amount of green, too: A solar array generates electricity, rainwater is harvested for maintaining the landscape, and air-conditioning is geothermal. Read more

22. Mortenhals House by Stinessen Arkitektur Wins 2017 Best of Year Award for Green

The unusual configuration of this family compound by Snorre Stinessen, comprising multiple cabins, plays with the way that the visitor slowly discovers what’s hidden behind the wooden doors. Even the outdoor areas remain private, with only waterscapes or trees as neighbors. In addition to the aesthetic appeal of the design, it checks off all the eco-conscious boxes: The forest was protected during the building process, all wood was sourced locally, water is used with restraint, and electricity is primarily hydropower. Read more

23. HKS’s Loretta Fulvio Decodes U.S. Bank Stadium, Site of Super Bowl LII

When designing for a Super Bowl–sized audience, there’s no greater expert than Loretta Fulvio, lead interior designer for architecture firm HKS’s Sports sector. When tasked with designing the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Fulvio and her team sought to create experiences that extend far beyond Super Bowl Sunday. In the stands, visitors can feel good about making a positive impact: 91 percent of waste is recycled, composted, or donated, due to the concession stands using compostable packaging. And the entire venue is run on wind power. Read more

24. San Vicente 935 by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Rental Apartment Building

All apartments in this building have balconies overlooking the central courtyard. Its accessibility eliminates the need for interior, climate-controlled hallways, saving on energy consumption. For the solid faces, Lorcan O’Herlihy employed two materials that contrast each other for visual interest and also help to reduce scale. Siding is fiber cement made of recycled content. Screens, which act as a rain-shield system, are slats of ipe harvested from a local, sustainably managed forest. Read more

25. A Bamboo Kitchen Dominates This Super-Green House by Minarc

Built with prefab panels, this 2,500-square-foot structure by Minarc is sustainable to the max. Bathrooms overflow with eco consciousness. In the powder room, wood scraps stack up to form a vanity supporting a sink in recycled rubber. For a truly back-to-nature experience, right next to the soaking tub in the master bathroom, there’s a lush plant wall. Read more

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These Stunning Images Will Make You Rethink Garden Photography

A new book chronicles over a century of the relationship between photographers and gardens

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The most beautiful interiors in San Francisco, mapped

Earlier last week, Curbed readers were asked to nominate buildings with the most beautiful interiors, posing the question, “What interior spaces make you say, ‘whoa’?”

The readers’ picks that rolled in didn’t disappoint, from hotels to churches to bathrooms. And one thing we learned is that a trip to the dentist office is made a little less painful by the awe-inspiring decor of one Art Deco structure.

And now, the 17 most beautiful interiors in San Francisco, as chosen by Curbed SF readers, listed in order from west to east.

Of course, this is by no means a complete list, so please keep the conversation going by sharing your favorite interiors in the comments section. We will continue to update with more spacious beauty as you give it to us.

1. The Salon Doré at the Legion of Honor
The best example of French Neoclassical interior architecture in the United States, the Salon Doré (which moved from the Hôtel de La Trémoille in France) at the Legion of Honor is possibly the most gorgeous room in all of San Francisco.

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2. Conservatory of Flowers
Ever since 1879, the conservatory of flora has dazzled many with hundreds of species of flowers and plants. This Victorian-era beauty has been promoting flower power well before the hippies and their patchouli-laced summer of love.

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3. San Francisco Columbarium & Funeral Home
Inspired by the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, architect Bernard J.S. Cahill designed this gorgeous ode to the deceased resulting in a structure that’s beautiful inside and out. The eight rooms on the ground floor bear the names of the mythological winds. Six of the ground floor rooms boast stunning stained glass windows.er in design. A home for the dearly departed has never looked so alive.

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4. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
Loving rechristened Our Lady of Maytag by locals, due to its washing machine agitator-like exterior, the interiors merit just as much fanfare. Built well before the advent of social media, this midcentury-modern church is blessed with many Instagrammable moments.

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5. Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
According to Curbed SF reader Loop Seven, “It’s not ornate and likely considered unremarkable but I think it really captures late 1970s design.” Indeed. Opening at the start of 1980, the Hayes Valley behemoth, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Pietro Belluschi exemplifies modernist ’70s style. The addition of the Fratelli Ruffatti electro-pneumatic pipe organ, boasting 147 ranks, was added in 1984. It later underwent a major acoustic overhaul in 1992, resulting in the look we see today.

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6. Grace Cathedral
Taking almost 40 years to finish, this circa-1964 gem atop Nob Hill is a celebration of French Gothic revival. Soaring ceilings, sweeping arches, tall stained glass windows, and more give this church a holier than thou look that brings tears to the eye. According to Grace Cathedral’s website, “The cruciform plan, twin towers, central fleche and polygonal apse are all French in origin, with the cathedrals of Amiens, Paris (Notre Dame), Beauvais and Chartres being principal influences.”

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7. The Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse
There are many stunning rooms inside the grande dame of San Francisco hotels, but the penthouse is the best. Clocking in at 6,000 square feet, it rents for $18,000 a night. Created in the 1920s by American archeologist and art historian Arthur Upham Pope, the penthouse maintains the majority of its original charm—e.g., the vaulted billiards room that’s entirely covered in floor-to-ceiling Persian tiles—even though it underwent an extensive remodel by Alexandra Champalimaud, principal of Champalimaud Design, in 2010.

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8. 450 Sutter Medical/Dental Building
“Next to the lead garden court in the Palace, 450 Sutter’s Mayan Deco facade and lobby are memorable, singular and spectacular,” says reader AngelusLiving. “Unfortunately, my dentist was in this building when I was a kid, so it was all a bitter-sweet experience when I visited.”

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