Posts Tagged ‘design’

OMG, Lexus “Laws of Attraction” at City View Metreon – SF’s Party of the Year – World Premier of New LS 460 F Sport

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Now why did Lexus choose San Francisco, of all the cities of the world, as the place to debut its “Laws of Attraction” exhibit and to unveil it’s brand-new LS 460 F Sport model?

I don’t know, I guess we’re special.

Hey, look who was there, high atop the Metreon at City View:

It’s  the Stars of the Lexus Laws of Attraction Photo Exhibit as they pose with the 2013 Lexus LS: (left to right) Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan, Devon Aoki, James Bailey, Jaime King, Kyle Newman, Brady Cunningham and Jason Schwartzman.

Man, this Monday night party was off the hook – I was transformed from an overweight Dell Jockey into an overweight Dell Jockey at the City View:

Oh, and what’s this just outside but four stories up, a Lexus supercar, the likes of which I’ve only seen once before? How did they get this halo vehicle to the roof of the Metreon? Crane, chopper, ramps, giant elevator? It’s a mystery:

(You can’t just buy one of these, Lexus has to invite you to buy this $400,000 car. There’s just 500 in the world, that’s it.)

The place was packed, hundreds and hundreds of party-goers were up there:

Oh, here we go, the moment of unveiling:

Do people take iPads to parties to take photos these days? People do:

See the photos behind the car? That was the point of this shindig, deets below:

A good time was had by all, all the dolled-up gals from the east and south bay and all the older dudes from Marin…

If you ever get invited to a free party hosted by Lexus, jump at the chance, is all I can say.

Get all the deets, see all the art photos of the couples, see the new, sportier Lexus, see the new “spindle” grill, see the less-luxurious, performance-oriented SPORT F sedan, see it all, right here and/or after the jump.

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That EXPRESS Chain Store is Going to Replace Our Beloved Gold Dust Lounge with … a “Dual-Gender Denim Lab”

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

EXPRESS, Inc has just announced what it’s going to do with the former Gold Dust Lounge on Geary in Union Square – it seems we’re going to be blessed with a 16,000-square-foot “flagship” store.

Here’s what EXPRESS has to say about it:

“Located at 301 Geary Street, the Union Square location is comprised of approximately 16,000 square feet and will feature two floors, plus a mezzanine, of selling space.  One of the vacating tenants delayed Express taking possession of the space.  The property is owned by Handlery Hotels, Inc.”

Yes, that delay was the talk of the town.

Anyway, bygones.

I think this is it, a “dual-gender Denim Lab” as seen in Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia town, an East Coast version of Emeryville I guess: 

Click to expand – more shots at the RetailDesignBlog

All right, together now:

Dual-Gender Denim Lab!

Dual-Gender Denim Lab!

Dual-Gender Denim Lab!

Myself, I just got a pair of “Kirkland” jeans on sale at our dual-gender Costco #144 in SoMA. $11-something. (Now that was a deal because normally they’re $13-something. And I remember when they were just $12-something, back in the day. Ah mem’ries…)

All the deets:

“COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 23, 2012  – Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), a specialty retail apparel chain operating over 600 stores, today announced that the company will open two flagship locations in Times Square in New York City and Union Square in San Francisco.  Both locations are scheduled to open in 2013.  Union Square, located at the corner of Powell and Geary streets, is scheduled to open next summer; and Times Square, located at the corner of 46(th) Street and Broadway – in the heart of the Bowtie – is scheduled to open in the fall.

“We are extremely excited to officially announce both of these flagship locations for 2013,” said Michael Weiss, chairman, president & CEO of Express, Inc.  ”The age old mantra of ‘location, location, location’ was certainly at work in the selection of these two properties.  These flagships will not only reflect the strength of our fashion authority within these two cities, but also serve as a gateway to our brand for international visitors and shoppers as part of our international expansion strategy,” he added.

Times Square: Located at 1552 Broadway, the Times Square location is comprised of approximately 30,000 square feet and will feature three selling floors.  The prominent location also includes a 125 foot tall, 9,000 square foot LED sign package on the facade of the building facing Broadway.  The property is owned by joint venture partners SL Green Realty Corp. and Jeff Sutton.

Union Square: Located at 301 Geary Street, the Union Square location is comprised of approximately 16,000 square feet and will feature two floors, plus a mezzanine, of selling space.  One of the vacating tenants delayed Express taking possession of the space.  The property is owned by Handlery Hotels, Inc.

Both locations will be constructed in Express’ new store design created by Japanese design firm, Wonderwall.  With uptown finishes and downtown cool, the store features design elements of refined chic and forward-thinking composition that creates individual spaces with a sense of style.  Divided into three sections of Men’s, Women’s and a dual-gender Denim Lab, products are divided by lifestyle categories and outfitted by gender.  A refined Express brand is conveyed through the use of modern industrial fixtures, displays and textures.  Mortar walls and concrete floors create an open, expansive space accented with aged oak wood floors.  Glossy white walls divide the space into rooms and provide a dynamic contrast to the natural wood outrigger shelving system.

About Express, Inc.:
Express is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer of women’s and men’s merchandise, targeting the 20 to 30 year old customer.  The Company has over 30 years of experience offering a distinct combination of fashion and quality for multiple lifestyle occasions at an attractive value addressing fashion needs across work, casual, jeanswear, and going-out occasions.  The Company currently operates over 600 retail stores, located primarily in high-traffic shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico, and also distributes its products through the Company’s e-commerce website, www.express.com.”

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?

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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…