Spectator Sports: Thoughts on New Spectator Facilities

I attended the national water polo championships at UC Berkeley’s Spieker Aquatics Center in 2011 and at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center in 2013. I like to see how colleges and universities are actually using their facilities and managing big events, because it helps feed our design thinking. And watching big water polo events like these are particularly revealing, because very… more

Mixed-Use and Retail Outlook and Trends II

November 25th, 2013 |
For the latest installment of ELS' Mixed Use and Retail Outlook and Trends, Ryan Call (Senior Associate), Jamie Rusin (Principal), David Petta (Principal), and Sean Slater (Director of Retail and Mixed-Use), pictured from left to right, discuss inspirations, current projects, and forecasts for the upcoming year. Who or what has inspired you recently? Jamie: This summer I escorted my 99-year-old… more

Millennials in Action

September 30th, 2013 |
At the end of summer with students headed back to school, I profiled our Millennial designers (those from the generation born between 1980 and 2000) who have graduated within the last four years. Here are their reflections on architecture and the profession. ALICE KAO:  Education: UC Berkeley, B.A. Architecture, 2011. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M. Arch 2017. I am moving… more

From Argentina to the USA

August 15th, 2013 |
I’ve worked in architecture all of my adult life; near Buenos Aires until I was 39-years-old, then in California after my family and I moved to the U.S. in 1991. Architecture in Argentina While in high school, I was interested in car styling, but since there were no car design programs in Argentina I enrolled in an architecture program in… more

New Suburbanism: Reinventing Inner-ring Suburbs

Originally published in Urban Land Magazine Retail, housing, and activity are among the keys to successful infill development. And don't forget about parking. By D. Jamie Rusin, Ryan Call and Sean Slater As inner-ring suburbs in the United States become denser, demand for access to nearby walkable urban environments is rising. Residents are looking for shorter driving distances to commercial,… more

The Real Green Opportunities in Retail

Originally published in Eco-Structure By Sean Slater, AIA Sustainable design has come a long way in the past 20 years, but by and large, the retail sector--especially shopping malls--still lags behind property types. The reasons for this have a lot to do with the structure of the developer/tenant relationship. However, while green building techniques may not be as widely adopted… more

Mixed-Use and Retail Outlook and Trends

April 24th, 2013 |
I recently sat down with David Petta (Principal), Jamie Rusin (Principal), Ryan Call (Senior Associate), and Sean Slater (Director of Retail and Mixed-Use), pictured from left to right, to discuss current projects, future trends, and hot topics in the retail and mixed-use sector. What are you working on now that excites you? Jamie: We have several terrific retail repositioning projects, such… more

A Testament to Perseverance

All historic preservation projects are a testament to perseverance. But some have a longer road to fruition than others. Take the Old Administration Building on the campus of Fresno City College. Built in 1916 as the first permanent structure on Fresno State Normal School campus, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Only two years… more

My Year in Review: Learning at Cal and ELS

January 30th, 2013 |
In the past twelve months, I pulled my last studio all-nighter for my final project, received my B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and got my first “real job” out of college. 2012 has been a wonderful whirlwind of a year. I have been fortunate to join ELS as a new designer within one month of graduating from Cal last… more

Invisible Architecture: Notes on Sherith Israel

Sometimes, if we do our work well as architects, our handiwork is nearly invisible. At least that can be the case with historic renovation and seismic strengthening projects. Recently we completed the first phase of work on a historic Classical/Romanesque sanctuary in San Francisco’s Upper Fillmore. For more than a century, Congregation Sherith Israel has been worshipping in this building,… more