Posts Tagged ‘design’

OMG, It’s Your Larger, $555,000,000 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) – Free Ground-Level Galleries Coming!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Well, here it is, from Snøhetta Arkitektur Landskap AS with love, it’s your new SFMOMA.

That white structure shows what the expansion will look like come 2016:

Click to expand – Snøhetta, SFMOMA Expansion Aerial Southeast Façade; all images courtesy Snøhetta

And check the video:

Get all the deets from your SFMOMA OPEN SPACE Blog:

“This morning, SFMOMA unveiled new design details of the expanded building project. The expansion, as you likely know by now,  is being designed by architectural firm Snøhetta in collaboration with SFMOMA, and this morning Craig Dykers, one of the principals of the firm, talkedSFMOMA staff through a presentation of the new designs. There will be new education spaces, lots of light, and ground-level galleries and orientation spaces that will be free to the public.  Craig will be presenting and discussing details of the new design for the first time in public tomorrow evening, in YBCA’s Novellus theater. You’ll also be able to watch his presentation LIVEonline, HERE.

Have you got questions for the architects? Don’t miss Rooftop TV: The Future SFMOMA, a special interactive webcast conversation with Craig and some fantastic guests, Friday morning, 11:00 a.m.

Groundbreaking for the expansion is scheduled for summer 2013, with completion of new digs projected for early 2016.  Here’s the PRESS RELEASE. There’s more detailed info on our expansion page.”

All right, a few more images of all the new work below and ever more deets after the jump

Bon courage, SFMOMA!

Isn’t it kewl?

(more…)

Gaia Bless Writer John King – Protecting San Francisco From Larry Ellison and the Organizers of America’s Cup 2013

Monday, November 7th, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle Urban Design Writer John King was in fine form over the weekend:

“They know how to win a regatta. Soon, we’ll learn if organizers of the 2013 America’s Cup also know how to keep legitimate concerns from becoming full-scale controversies.

If they don’t, a huge project with a rare degree of support in San Francisco could find itself the target of sniping by second-guessers from all sides. The event organizers also could find themselves scrambling for permits as the clock ticks down in a time frame that leaves no room for error.

That’s why it makes sense to make a few concessions early – such as Cup officials clearly stating that they will not seek to build marinas along the downtown waterfront after the conclusion of the summer-long sailing spectacle.”

Is there anyone left in town who thinks that former Mayor Gavin Newsom did a good job negotiating the America’s Cup agreement? Or, at this point, even an average job? Not to my knowledge.

So our Road to AC13 will be full of nails and garbage pails – of that you can be certain. But it’s nice having John King around to mind the store, in’nt?

JK OTJ in SF – The Man in the Trilby Hat:

Via Justin Beck – click to expand

Gaia Bless John King

San Francisco’s Presidio Once Again Wins Preservation Design Awards: Officer’s Club and Landmark Projects

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

All the deets, below.

Via Presidio Trust

“PRESIDIO TAKES HOME TWO PRESTIGIOUS PRESERVATION DESIGN AWARDS
OFFICERS’ CLUB AND PRESIDIO LANDMARK PROJECTS HONORED

Presidio of San Francisco (October 4, 2011) — An innovative approach to historic preservation of the Presidio’s historic Officers’ Club has earned the Presidio Trust a Preservation Design award from the California Preservation Foundation (CPF). The award in the Culture Resources Studies and Reports category was one of two the Trust received at the CPF’s 28TH annual awards ceremony Saturday night. The rehabilitation of the Presidio Landmark was also honored in the Preservation category. These projects were among 27 winners in nine categories statewide.

It is the third consecutive year the Trust has earned a Preservation Design Award.

“It is a great honor to receive these awards from the California Preservation Foundation,” said Craig Middleton, the Trust’s executive director. “We take great pride in preserving the historic fabric and character of the Presidio and it is extremely gratifying when those efforts are recognized by an organization such as the CPF.”

The award for its Non-Destructive Evaluation Report, honors the Trust’s ground-breaking use of technology in preservation of the adobe walls inside the historic Officers’ Club. Using thermal imaging technology, similar to that used by fire departments to find hot spots or people in trapped in burning buildings, the Trust was able to map moisture levels and cavities inside the walls without having to drill into them or tear them down. Guided by these “maps” crews are now able to repair the walls using new adobe bricks.
“This is true preservation and conservation at its best and it’s exciting that the California Preservation Foundation has recognized that with their award,” says Christian Wallace a Project Manager for Planning and Historical Rehabilitation with the Trust.

The oldest and most loved building in the Presidio, and the oldest in San Francisco, the Officers’ Club is undergoing a complete rehabilitation that includes the repair and restoration of all significant historic spaces, the construction of new exhibit space and event venues, and seismic upgrades and improvements to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities. Work is scheduled to be completed late next year and the project is expected to receive a LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

While the award is a first for the rehabilitation of the Officers’ Club, it is the sixth award for the Presidio Landmark project since its completion in July, 2010 and comes on the heels of a Gold Level Building Design+Construction, Reconstruction Award. The Presidio Landmark awards recognize the Trust, and its partner, Forest City Development, for the rehabilitation of the former Public Health Service Hospital and its transformation into 154 residential apartments.

The Trust and its partners in historic rehabilitation have now won a total of seven Preservation Design Awards since 2000. Past winners include:

Ø 2010 Cultural Resource Study Award—for the Cultural Landscape of the Presidio’s Fort Scott
Ø 2009 Rehabilitation (Large Category) Award—for the rehabilitation of a former army airplane hangar for La Petite Baleen, a children’s swim school
Ø 2009 Craftsman/Preservation Technology Award—for the restoration of the Presidio’s historic Arguello Gate
Ø 2006 Rehabilitation Award—for the rehabilitation of an historic warehouse for Senspa, a stunning day spa
Ø 2000 Rehabilitation Award—for the rehabilitation of the Presidio Fire Station

Founded in 1977, the California Preservation Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of California’s diverse cultural and architectural heritage. With over 1,500 members it is the leading voice for historic preservation in the state. Since 1984 the foundation’s highly competitive Preservation Design Awards program has honored exceptional historic preservation projects for excellence in design, construction, planning and technology.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is one of the largest and most ambitious historic preservation projects underway in the United States. The Presidio’s historic buildings represent the nation’s most comprehensive collection of military architecture, dating from the Civil War through the Cold War, including homes and barracks that reflect how the military social hierarchy and domestic life evolved in the Presidio. Since 1994, approximately 75 percent of the park’s historic structures have been rehabilitated for new uses. The Trust has won numerous awards for planning and historic preservation.”

Octavia Boulevard is Our Fork-Tailed Doctor Killer – “Livable Streets” Gone Awry – What Can We Do?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Let’s see, where to start with horrible Octavia Boulevard.

Oh, here we go, with some bold, confident words from all the way back in 2003:

“The replacement freeway and Boulevard were charged with ensuring a level of service comparable to the previous structure and configuration. This has been achieved…”

In no way, shape, or form does the newish Octavia Boulevard have a level of service comparable to the old Central Freeway.

And, BTW, did the Central Freeway block Fell, Oak, Page, Haight and Market? Nope. Does Octavia Boulevard? Yep, every day, all the time.

(This is an example of misplaced confidence, of the hubris.)

Now, what kind of signal timing does it take to accommodate a 3000-mile-long freeway ending on Market Street. Well, let’s take a look here. Do you notice that Market street peds have about four seconds to begin the journey across Octavia during the 95-second cycle? Why is that? I mean, that means that any given ped on Market has over a 95% chance of having to stop and wait for all those cars on Octavia to go by. Is that fair? Now, what about cars and streetcars and bikes and buses and whatnot heading outbound on Market – do you think it’s much better for them? Well, it’s not. Just 20-something percent of the traffic signal cycle allows traffic to flow uphill on Market at the Octavia Intersection. Why are the lights so biased in favor of the cars driving through on Octavia, you know, as opposed to Market Street?

Check it (oh yeah, that’s some homeless dude coughing at the end there, not me.)

Now, the term “fork-tailed doctor killer” used to be the nickname of the Beechcraft Bonanza, you know, the plane what killed Buddy Holly on the Day That Music Died. But that whole V-Tail sitch got addressed and now, Beech makes those Bonanzas with regular old straight tails. So let’s recycle this phrase and use it for Octavia Boulevard, why not?

Here’s the fork of the tail:

Now, how can I justify blaming the whole “Boulevard Movement” fad of the aughts for an famous accident that killed that UCSF doctor if the UCSF van driver ran a red light? Well, take a look at this:

Click to expand

See? Sometimes half the lanes of Oak have a red light and the other half have a green. Does that make sense? Well, if you’re struggling to make pathetic Octavia work and you don’t want traffic routinely backing up to Golden Gate Park, well then you yourself would be tempted to do whatever you could to help Octavia flow.

Does this unorthodox design factor in human nature, you know, the nut behind the steering wheel? No, it doesn’t. The fact is that car drivers, those sheeple, follow the pack. If the car to the right goes, then they want to go.

Of course, drivers should do better, but we need to factor in their behavior when we design roads, right?

What we shouldn’t do is to let Hayes Valley insiders, that very small but very influential group, to design anything for the rest of us.

And BTW, why on Earth are left turns allowed on inbound Market onto Octavia? Could it be for the convenience of those Hayes Valley insiders?  Check it out. You’d think that Hayes Valley types would be satisfied with being able to make a left at the prior intersection or the next intersection, but no, traffic on Market has to wait on a dedicated signal for a dedicated lane of drivers.

Does that make sense?

Why not this? Why not narrow Octavia dramatically and just give up on the whole boulevard experiment? Just take out the frontage roads and all that on-street parking and those medians and that would be a good start on “completing” the Horrible Octavia Experiment, turning it into a “Complete Street.” Even the Great Designer of Octavia admits now that the boulevard is too wide.

And let’s get rid of that left turn lane that was built just for the NIMBYs of Hayes Valley. Why should Market Street, the more important one, take a back street to Octavia, which is basically a glorified freeway onramp?

And why not give people on Market Street half the time of the light signal and then the people on Octavia the other half? Wouldn’t that be more fair?

Mmmm…

Or, we can continue to value higher condo prices and “trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques” over everything else in this world:

“Before the destruction of the Central Freeway, condominium prices in the Hayes Valley neighborhood were 66% of San Francisco average prices. However, after the demolition and subsequent replacement with the new Octavia Boulevard, prices grew to 91% of city average. Beyond this, the most dramatic increases were seen in the areas nearest to the new boulevard. Furthermore, residents noted a significant change in the nature of the commercial establishments in the area. Where it had been previously populated by liquor stores and mechanic shops, soon the area was teeming with trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques.”

At Least Our Poorly-Designed, “Livable Street,” P.O.S. Octavia Boulevard has Traffic Cameras – Do They Run 24-7?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Do you know how painfully cheap it is to record on video a problematic street intersection 24-7 in this day and age?

Well the City & County doesn’t, that’s for sure.

Anyway, here’s your red light camera at Oak and Octavia – perhaps it will prove useful today.

Here’s another view, from back in the day:

Horrible Five-Block Octavia Boulevard Claims Another Victim – Is This the Best Way To End the 3000-Mile Long I-80 Freeway?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Details of today’s accident on hated Octavia Boulevard can be found here, from Henry K. Lee and Nanette Asimov.

Looking south from Fell:

Click to expand

The UCSF shuttle van:

How did Octavia boulevard end up being so gosh darn wide? Even The Creator, who likes wide, says that Octavia ended up being too wide in Her opinion.

Why are there parked cars and trees and medians all over dangerous Octavia Boulevard? Why don’t we get rid of all that and focus on safety instead?

Oh well.

Say Cheese! Here are Your Fairly New Red Light Cameras of Poorly Designed Octavia Boulevard

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Or that’s my guess, anyway, based on where this one’s pointed and the two white lights that are all set to go flash flash like a camera speedlight.

Check it out at the dangerous intersection of Oak and the hated, 133-foot wide(!) Octavia Boulevard:

Click to expand

Hey, the people who run Octavia Boulevard – are they the same people who run MUNI?

Looks that way…

Here Comes the SFMTA, the People Who Run MUNI, to Save Us From Alcoholic County and State Workers on Masonic Avenue

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

This isn’t my “preferred option,” but it’s the preferred option, so there you go.

Click to expand

How much will this cost?

Tens of millions, before overruns. $50,000,000 per mile or about $50,000 a parcel depending on how you look at it.

Who’ll pay for it?

Local, state, and federal taxpayers, just like the Bridge to Nowhere (let’s do something for Alaska) and the Chinatown subway (let’s do something for District 3).

Why does the public hearing notice enumerate the dozen-and-a-half parking spaces to be added but then leave out the hundred-something parking spaces that will be taken out?

Because this is a political document written by a politician.

Well, is there a cheaper, safety-only option to go along with the SFMTA’s “preferred option?”

Not that I’m aware of. Safety improvements have been held hostage over the years on account of this big maghilla project. The Project Director will tell you that if you ask him.

Do you have something against wide medians filled with trees that can never ever, ever, ever be removed for any reason at any time in the future, the likes of which can be found on Octavia and Divisadero?

Yes.

Any advice for cyclists in the mean-time?

Yes. Cyclists should stay the hell off of Masonic between Turk and Fulton. Use the wide, underpopulated sidewalks, and, if you want, run the red light at Golden Gate to get a head start on traffic going downhill to Fulton.

Look Forward to Bocce or Volleyball on Masonic Avenue, But There are Signs of Rebellion Against City Plans

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Uh oh, for the first time at one of these Masonic Avenue meetings in the Western Addition, I met people who are pissed at the whole process. And these are people who are nearby residents.

(Whenever the City gets around to doing outreach with the stakeholders who currently use Masonic, well, there could be some more opposition still.)

Get some of the deets of last night’s meeting over at The Square website (but keep in mind the dollar amounts mentioned there are off by three orders of magnitude).

A good 140 people or so at a local prep school (it’s like Hogwarts but more expensive and less magical) last night:

Click to expand

Boulevard or Gateway or Something Else?

Medians no matter what:

Boulevard up top and Gateway below:

Gateway starting at Fell:

Amenities:

Plaza and Public Arts Space. You’re supposed to play bocce or volleyball on the lane that currently takes traffic from eastbound Geary to southbound Masonic.

But “improvements” are coming irregardless

Here are the next steps. On It Goes:

Truth and Reconciliation Comes to Crappy Octavia Boulevard – SFCTA Hosts Public Workshops Tonight

Monday, September 27th, 2010

OMG, it looks as if somebody is trying to Fix Octavia. Get the deets about today’s workshops and open house, below.

IOW, hated Octavia Boulevard will be getting a little attention in the near future.

(Personally, I’d start by getting rid of all the parking spaces and all the medians – I’d de-boulevard the boulevard.)

Notice the color of the traffic lights?

Anyway, here’s the info. It’s as close as you’ll get to an admission from the Powers That Are that maybe, just maybe, Octavia isn’t just the most perfect thing ever.

See you there!

Upcoming Meetings

Monday, Sept. 27:
SFCTA Hearing Room, 100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor
OPEN HOUSE: 12:00–2:00pm
PUBLIC WORKSHOP: 5:30–7:30pm

Persons requiring translation services should contact the Transportation Authority at 415-522-4800

Background

The Market-Octavia neighborhood has seen several transformative efforts recently, most notably the opening of the Octavia Boulevard/Central Freeway project in 2005 and the adoption in 2008 of the Market and Octavia Better Neighborhood Plan. Octavia Boulevard is the first facility of its kind in the United States in 80 years, redefining traffic engineering practice through context-sensitive solutions. The Octavia Boulevard project has delivered a transportation facility that provides neighborhood access to a regional freeway while providing an attractive public space. A timeline of key Octavia Boulevard events is shown below.

This Circulation Study will quantify and evaluate the performance of the transportation system in the Market-Octavia area and recommend changes for improving travel options and traffic distribution in the area. The study will focus on multimodal and system-level perspectives. These multimodal transportation issues include:

  • Transit routing and reliability, and connectivity to regional transit
  • Automobile traffic circulation
  • Pedestrian crossings and facilities
  • Bicycle access
  • General wayfinding
  • Travel demand management strategies

The study will help support and advance key priorities of the 2008 Market and Octavia Better Neighborhood Plan including improved pedestrian circulation and transit facilities, as well as conversion of streets from one-way to two-way operation.

 

As the study area is both an active local neighborhood and a critical element of the transportation system for regional traffic coming to, from or through the area, the proposed solutions will need to address local, citywide and regional needs. This map of the general local area is consistent with the Market-Octavia Neighborhood Plan. Click here to see the study area map.

Study Objectives

The objectives of the Study are to:

  • Document existing conditions of the transportation system
  • Identify a multimodal package of transportation improvements through technical review and public input
  • Develop cost estimates for these top-priority projects
  • Establish a funding and implementation strategy that considers appropriate levels of contributions from public and private sources.

The Central Freeway and Octavia Boulevard Circulation Study will serve as a vehicle for discussion and coordination among local and regional stakeholders, while providing policy guidance for ensuring integration with the larger regional and long-term needs.

Potential Project List

As area needs are studied and possible solutions prioritized, information on potential projects will be posted here.

Study Products and Schedule

Preliminary Draft Existing Conditions Report. Includes Origin-Destination Survey from October 2009. Completed. 

Public and Stakeholder Outreach. Engagement with key stakeholders and community groups. Ongoing.  Key events planned for September 2010 and November 2010.

Technical Analysis and Project Development. Based on existing conditions and needs assessment, and stakeholder input, an evaluation framework will be developed for potential solutions, resulting in project screening and the selection of up to three potential projects. Conceptual designs will be developed for these three potential projects. September/October 2010.

Funding and Implementation Plan. Funding plan, including fair-share contributions, and implementation roles, steps, and issues. December 2010.

Final Report. Culmination of all recommendations and designs. January 2011.

For More Information

Send an email to Margaret Cortes or call 415.522.4826.

Related Links

Market and Octavia Neighborhood Plan (led by SF Planning Department)