ADA Day Announced for June 26th

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AIA East Bay offers ADA Day Attorney and accessibility expert Jan Garrett, CASp presents the full five-hours of education required for your 2019 California license renewal. Topics include: universal design, aging-in-place and barrier-free access in multi-family projects. This program will sell out – … Continue reading

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Urban Field Studio

AIAEB newsletter Firm Profile Questions — Urban Field Studio

1. How did the firm get its start?

The firm was founded by Jane Lin and Heidi Sokolowsky in 2014 as the recession made a turn. Frank Fuller joined as a partner to the firm in 2015. All three of us worked together previously at Field Paoli Architects for many years on urban design projects, but had moved on to other things before being reunited as Urban Field Studio.

2. How did your firm get its name? The work we do as urban designers has us looking at cities, towns, and open spaces. We wanted to allude to the fact that it’s all an experiment, which is why we set up our field studio. And the thing we wanted to observe in the field? Urbanity!

3. Where are you located? In the Mission District in San Francisco, and also at satellite offices in Rockridge and Piedmont in the East Bay.

4. What is the firm personality? Fresh and fearless!

5. What’s the firm’s focus? Urban design, development strategy, and conceptual architectural design. We are passionate about designing active and memorable places that people will use, treasure, and remember.

6. What’s the most unusual project your firm has done? The most unusual pairing of projects for one client has been working on the Oakland Coliseum site and the Uptown Signage Program. They were both at the opposite ends of scale. However, one got built and the other slipped by.

7. When was the firm established? We were established in 2014.

8. What’s your favorite local building? The flatiron Cathedral Building!

9. What is the makeup of your firm and do you have other disciplines? We have degrees in both architecture and planning. The projects we work on range from specific sites on main streets in neighborhoods to special districts than can span a metropolitan area. We collaborate with planners, economists, landscape architects, transportation planners, civil engineers, developers, and artists to provide conceptual architecture and to test the physical potential of sites.

10. Do you have any office pets? The office has three parrots and a cat. Jolie, Jerry, Paris, and Sugarloaf Cat make their appearances from time to time during conference calls.

11. Which method of marketing has been the most successful for the firm? Personal involvement with special projects. What may feel like extra often seems to lead to the next project.

12. How would you describe your firm’s culture? Ad hoc! We make it work. We experiment. We are out to figure out how we can make the most of what’s next.

13. What’s your firm’s favorite lunch spot? Grand Lake Kitchens, Oliveto downstairs, or the Stable at 18th and Folsom (in San Francisco) – there are so many good places to eat!

14. What type of client has been the best to work with? We love clients with a collaborative growth mindset.

15. What does the future hold for the firm? Seems like there’s a demand for tough urban problems.

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1/28/19 Letter to AIAEB Members

January 28, 2019
Message from the President of the Board, Mark B. Steppan, AIA, CSI, NCARB, and the Board of Directors of the East Bay Chapter of the AIA.
Dear East Bay AIA members,
The Board of East Bay AIA remains committed to maintaining a strong service-focused AIA Chapter dedicated to its membership.
Late last year, our past Executive Director of 15 years departed. The purpose of this letter is to further update you, following on the December 2018 letter to membership presented at the Member Appreciation Party and in the AIAEB Newsletter, as to the Chapter’s current situation and to reassure you that – while challenges remain – the Chapter stands on solid ground.
Regarding the Executive Director position and the state of the office, the Board brought on interim Executive Director, Selene Wong, who began managing many aspects of the Chapter office starting late December. Selene has first-hand knowledge of the chapter and the AIA. She has helped to manage Bay Area architecture and interior design firms , where she led business operations and worked with Principals to organize affairs and maintain communications. Selene is an excellent fit for providing immediate assistance as we keep the chapter operating.
As is appropriate we have also advertised to fill the Executive Director position permanently. Our ideal candidate is deeply committed to the Chapter’s mission and to serving its membership, and will have the organizational development and communication skills that will allow the Chapter to flourish. We have received a few resumes, so far, and we encourage our members to also solicit applications from qualified persons. A description of the position can be found at:
The Chapter office is open for business to serve its membership and the public. Please come by, and meet Selene, who is there to help and answer questions! Steadily and deliberately, we continue to clean up and organize the office.
The Board is particularly dedicated to its fiduciary responsibilities. Since the departure of our prior Executive Director, we have discovered that tax returns need to be filed and that our non-profit status needs to be renewed. We are also working to ensure that there is no interruption in our AIA accreditation. These matters are being addressed
and we expect them to be resolved quickly. We have hired a highly-qualified local Certified Public Accountant to assist us.
All of us on the Board, along with Selene, will continue to keep the membership informed as these important issues are addressed, with an emphasis on transparency. Please email any questions or concerns you may have.
The Board intends to use this transition as an opportunity to rebuild the Chapter to be more robust, resilient, and responsive to member’s needs. We also welcome constructive suggestions for how your chapter should be structured moving forward. Thank you for your patience and continuing support. We hope to see you at one or all of the chapter’s upcoming events:
Joint Lecture with UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design – Wednesday, February 13
AIAEB Committee Forum – Thursday, February 28
Additionally, Robert Ivy, FAIA, current AIA Executive Vice President and CEO, will be visiting our chapter in early February, while in California on other business, to meet with us and discuss how things are going, how national can assist us, and to provide insights and suggestions where appropriate. I personally look forward to having this dialogue with our president and to see where it leads us.
Please visit the chapter website for more information on these events.
Mark B. Steppan, AIA, CSI, NCARB, President Devi Dutta-Choudhury, AIA, President Elect
Kim-Van Truong, AIA, Secretary/Treasurer
Winston Win, AIA, Past President
Rudolph Widmann, AIA, Director
Matthew Taecker, AIA, Director
Daniel Morales, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director
And your New Board Members for 2019:
Ali Rafieetari, Associate AIA, Associate Director
Ashley Rybarczyk, AIA, Director

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Project Profile: Levitch Associates, Inc.

Warm Modern Remodel + Addition
Text provided by Levitch Associates, Inc.

Albany homeowners wanted a modern design, open plan and additional space for family and guests at their two-bedroom, 1 Bath, 1,053 SF home on a 30’ wide lot. At the same time, they wanted to respect their neighborhood of mostly one and two-story bungalows. A 3,600 SF lot meant a vertical addition was the most feasible solution.

At the main level, Levitch Associates, Inc. created an open plan and completely remodeled the entire floor. Removing an accessory structure made way for a back deck, accessible through the dining nook and family room. Since the deck faces west, they designed a pergola for shade. Now with an easy flow inside to the outdoors, there’s plenty of room for everyday living and entertaining.

The owners asked for a stair to the new second-story that would have a minimal footprint while bringing light into the home. Levitch met their request with a staircase lit by a skylight and windows and accented by a dramatic light fixture and teal walls. The upper level has laundry, three bedrooms and two bathrooms including a master suite.

During construction Levitch took the house down to the floor structure, so it’s essentially a new 2,000 SF home. Given the scope of the remodel there were some challenges:

  • It was more complicated to leave a section of foundation intact than to replace all of it, which would have added to the cost; in hindsight we could have completely demolished the home.
  • There was, however, a nonconforming setback on one side so leaving one corner allowed us to maintain about 1’ of width in footprint.
  • Fire sprinklers were required.

Despite the challenges, a consistent theme of colors, textures and materials such as wood, metal and glass inside and out creates a modern aesthetic that is warm and livable for their client’s new home.

Architect: Maurice Levitch, AIA
Structural Engineer: Aghazarian Consulting Engineers, Inc.
General Contractor: Levitch Associates, Inc.
Railings: Carrillo’s Ironworks
Cabinets: Ecohome Improvement
Cabinet Installer: Semolina Design
Painting: Aurora Painting and Decorating
Flooring: Amber Flooring Inc.
Wallcovering: Bay Area Toile, designed by Matt Ritchie and Jorma Taccone
Wallcovering Installation: James Hauge
Fire Sprinklers: Thorpe Design Inc.
Photographer: Treve Johnson Photography, Inc.

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YAF Holiday Happy Hour

Thursday, December 20, 2018
Free and open to all. Drinks are no-host.
Location: Mad Oak, 135 12th Street, Oakland

RSVP on Facebook here.

Happy holidays Young Architects Forum! We are having our last happy hour event of the year on December 20th at Mad Oak in Downtown Oakland. Come join us as we recap the year, discuss leadership for the group and plan our events for 2019.

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Emerging Professionals Design Competition

Sign up today for this years Emerging Professionals Design Competition

AIA California has partnered with Sprung Structures to host an Emerging Professionals Design Competition. Each year, this competition will challenge California’s emerging professionals to solve real-world scenarios that continue to effect California. The 2019 Emerging Professionals Design Competition will address earthquakes and housing.

THE DATES | 2019
May 15, 2019: Registration Opens

June 21, 2019: Registration Deadline

August 5, 2019: Submission Deadline

THE PRIZE | 2019
Complimentary registration and lodging at the 2019 Monterey Design Conference.

More Information Here

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