The Department of Transportation has published in map form the traffic and aviation noise levels around the country. Zoom into the San Francisco area and it’s easy to see where highways and airports make their impact.
With stucco, you can either let it show its natural color, or you paint it. The problem with painting it is that if any water gets in behind the paint, there’s no way for it to get out. And paint cannot reliably keep water out in the first place—there are always cracks forming in the substrate that acrylic or even oil emulsion cannot span. The result is saturated stucco with enough hydrostatic pressure built up in the lower areas to delaminate the paint, forming the sagging pockets of water seen here.
A marine-grade plywood would have been a better choice for these backboards. Even an exterior-grade ply with its phenolic binders would have held onto the laminations, though edge protection is always a wise safeguard.
Clients frequently ask which local appliance stores I recommend. Consumer Reports actually did a study of stores in June 2013, showing how much appliance shopping had moved online, even for large items. Highest rated will ship to the bay area: ABT Electronics and Appliances (score: 93), followed by Amazon (90), and Nebraska Furniture Mart (90). Best ranked local brick and mortars: Costco (89, though poor selection), Lowes (85), Best Buy (84), and Home Depot (84).
Ratings were based on price, selection, in-store service, checkout ease, website usability, shipping, installation, and haul-away. Rankings had remained quite consistent for the previous half dozen years.
Important as color is, it sometimes blinds us to form. “I see in color, so I shoot in color,” Jay Maisel once told my uncle. But if what you want to convey is shape and volume, doing away with any distracting hues can be the best tool. Photo here is by Clyde Butcher.
An interesting look at street grid patterns over the past century, and into the future: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/publications/en/rh-pr/tech/socio75.html
It is as perilous to design a prominent building in the giddiness of a tech-fueled economy as it is to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You may find yourself with buyers remorse the morning after. This could easily be the case with the New Mission Theater condos – a carnival’s fun house aesthetic on both the Mission Street and Bartlett Street sides.
Today this may come across as a welcome respite to Mission Street’s past several decades of dereliction. But architecture has the unenviable role of having to support its inhabitants through all their meandering moods—joy, yearning, optimism, uncertainty, celebration, grief. A dour neo-brutilist ediface can be as much of a downer when life is going great as the sight of a carnival is when you’ve just lost your job.
ArchNewsNow just published my article on the new SFMOMA. Specifically, I divulge how both Mario Botta’s original building and Snøhetta’s expansion each reflect the tenor or society at the time they were built.