SF Architects Give Online Tours of Favorite City Buildings

SF Architects Give Online Tours of Favorite City Buildings

Susie Nadler
Apr 27, 2009
The Swedenborgian Church in San Francisco, built in 1895, is an example of the beginnings of the Arts and Crafts tradition.

This month, San Francisco is hosting the national convention of the American Institute of Architects, and so in celebration, Architectural Record magazine has put together a series of online videos called "My San Francisco," in which local architects show us around their favorite city buildings. It's fun to hear these talented designers talk about what inspires them, and in the process to learn some details about the design of our city's landmarks (and hidden treasures!).

The architects' favorites range from pre-1906 historical preservation sites to brand new, still-in-progress projects. Don Rudy, current president of the SF chapter of AIA, takes us through the lovely hundred-year-old Swedenborgian Church (above), with its beautifully crafted details, like rafters made from Santa Cruz madrone trees and hand-woven rush seats in the pews.

Bonnie Bridges of Boor Bridges Architecture visits the new SFMoMA rooftop sculpture garden, which won't open until May 10. Her video tour offers a sneak peak of the project designed by Mark Jensen, an outdoor plaza with an enclosed glass pavilion in the center.

The Old U.S. Mint, standing up tall on its little hill above Market Street, is a fascinating structure; in his tour, Paul Woolford, Design Director at HOK, takes us into the bowels to explain how the building's ingenious engineering helped it withstand the 1906 quake. He also points out some hidden details, like coin-shaped dents in the lead walls.

Visit Architectural Record to view these videos and explore the whole series. The AIA site has more information about events going on around town for this month's convention.

Photos: Jim Karageorge (Swedenborgian Church); Jensen Architects (SFMoMA Rooftop Garden); Wikimedia user SanFranMan59, licensed under Creative Commons (Old U.S. Mint)

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