Friday, December 26, 2014

Look what's cooking in South Park

A skyline-altering retail, residential and hotel complex with three
high-rise towers in the bustling South Park neighborhood in downtown Los
Angeles is finally moving forward.

Chinese developer Oceanwide
Real Estate Group began leveling several structures this month on a
sprawling parking lot across from Staples Center on Figueroa Street,
paving the way for an early 2015 groundbreaking. The demolition ends
years of inactivity at the 4.6-acre lot — long envisioned as the
shopping section of the L.A. Live entertainment complex.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Booming South Park

Work has begun on another large-scale housing and retail project in South Park, a booming neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles east of Staples Center.
Olive & Pico, as the $54-million complex will be known, is under construction on the block surrounded by Pico Boulevard and Olive, 12th and Margo streets.
The seven-story complex being developed by the Wolff Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz., will have 293 apartments over street-level shops and restaurants. It was designed by TCA Architects and should be completed by mid-2016.

Wolff Co. also plans to develop a 347-unit apartment and retail complex nearby at 12th Street and Grand Avenue.

Monday, May 12, 2014

UFO or APPLE ???

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple's ring-shaped, gleaming "Spaceship Headquarters" will include a world class auditorium and an orchard for engineers to wander. Google's new Bay View campus will feature walkways angled to force accidental encounters. Facebook, while putting final touches on a Disney-inspired campus including a Main Street with a barbecue shack, sushi house and bike shop, is already planning an even larger, more exciting new campus.

More than ever before, Silicon Valley firms want their workers at work.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has gone so far as to ban working from home, and many more offer prodigious incentives for coming in to the office, such as free meals, massages and gyms.

This spring, as the tech industry is soaring out of the Great Recession, plans are in the works for a flurry of massive, perk-laden headquarters.

"We're seeing the mature technology companies trying to energize their work environments, getting rid of cube farms and investing in facilities to compete for talent," said Kevin Schaeffer, a principal at architecture and design firm Gensler in San Jose. "That's caused a huge transition in the way offices are laid out."

New Silicon Valley headquarters or expansions are under way at most of the area's major firms, including eBay, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia and Oracle. Many will be huge: Apple Inc.'s 176-acre campus will be one of the world's largest workplaces. On the outside, many of the new buildings boast striking architectural designs and will collectively be among the most environmentally friendly in the country. Inside, there are walls you can draw on, ping pong tables, Lego stations, gaming arcades and free haircuts.
Critics say that while some workplace perks and benefits are a good thing, the large, multibillion dollar corporate headquarters are colossal wastes of money that snub the pioneering technology these firms actually create.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Enjoy "Autumn Tunnel"

Photographed in glorious autumn colors by Kevin McNeal, this tree tunnel is simply astonishing! The picture was taken on the way up to Smugglerâs Notch, a Vermont state park.
The eye-catching foliage starts changing its color in the northern region, in response to many environmental factors, and spreads south as the fall season advances.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Festival of Color in Barcelona"

People throw colored powders in the air during celebrations for the Holi Festival of Color in Barcelona, Spain, on April 6. The festival is fashioned after the Hindu spring festival Holi, which is mainly celebrated in the north and east of India.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"a swanky outpost of the James"

A striking new hotel under construction on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood will be a swanky outpost of the James, an upscale boutique brand in major urban centers.
The 286-room hotel at the southeast corner of Sunset and La Cienega boulevards is part of a $300-million complex under construction at the intersection. The development, known as Sunset La Cienega, will also have apartments, shops and restaurants.

"A Work of Art"

Geisel Library – University of California San Diego Campus



"over-the top Gothic statemen"

Opened in Bombay in 1887 on the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's ascension, the Victoria Terminus train station was an over-the top Gothic statement about the supremacy of the British Empire. That ended soon enough, but the station, now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is still a landmark in the city, itself renamed Mumbai. Many Americans have been in it, at least via film: The climax of 2008's Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, was filmed here.

An immense body of work

By the time of his death, William  Pereira had over 400 projects to his name. Among the structures he designed throughout Southern California were CBS Television City, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, and the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. He is also responsible for creating the monumental Spanish-inspired facades that defined Robinson's department stores for nearly 20 years, and he was the architect of Pepperdine University at Malibu, named by the "Princeton Review" as the most beautiful college campus in America. Out of his immense body of work, three have really stood out in the public mind: the master-planned cities of Irvine and Newport Beach, and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (shown above).

USC got its start with 53 students . . .

It was in this rough-and-tumble town of Spaniards, Mexicans, Indians, Europeans, Easterners, and Midwesterners— this pueblo of aspiration and of experiment—that USC got its start with 53 students taught by 10 faculty. They gathered in a two-story building perched on a donated parcel of land that the Los Angeles Daily Herald unenthusiastically described as “covered with a rank growth of mustard.” In those early days the school had no electricity, and students tended wood-burning stoves to earn part of their tuition. Transportation to the university was provided by horse-drawn rigs, including a horse-drawn streetcar that operated on a line established by USC’s principal founder, Robert Maclay Widney. Students had to follow specific rules of conduct that forbade them from leaving town without the permission of the university president, wearing firearms in their classes, and shooting jackrabbits from the platform of the streetcar.


Oriental DreamWorks is developing the Dream Center, an integrated tourism destination in Shanghai that will open in 2016.

The Dream Center, to be located in Zuhui Riverside, will include theaters, restaurants, tourist attractions, cinemas, waterfront hotels, galleries, studios and other commercial facilities. The visionaries plan to create an "Oriental paradise for all dream seekers." That could explain the proposed “Dream Walk”, the world’s largest IMAX theatre to be used for film premieres.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

" slowing global warming using fantastical technologies "

WASHINGTON — As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.

Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive "reverse" power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation's top climate thinkers to investigate. Several agencies requested the inquiry, including the CIA.

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, scientists are modeling what such technologies might do to weather patterns. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., a fund created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates — an enthusiast of research into climate engineering — helps bankroll another such effort.

"There is a level of seriousness about these strategies that didn't exist a decade ago, when it was considered just a game," said Ken Caldeira, a scientist with the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, who sits on the National Academy of Sciences panel. "Attitudes have changed dramatically."
Even as the research moves forward, many scientists and government officials worry about the risks of massive climate-control contraptions.

This rendering above shows a cloud-brightening scheme by scientist John Latham in which a ship sprays salt particles into the air to reflect sunlight and slow global warming. (John MacNeil),0,3602250.story