Suisman on Related Co. team for Grand Avenue

Suisman Urban Design has been invited to join one of the four finalist teams for the multi-billion redevelopment of Grand Avenue. Collaborating with such architectural luminaries as David Childs of SOM and Thom Mayne of Morphosis, Suisman was asked to bring urban design skills and knowledge of Bunker Hill to the team of the Related Companies of New York, which also includes Brenda Levin, Katherine Gustafson, and Elkus/Manfredi. The competition, which has received considerable attention in both the local and national press, is expected to be decided in June.

Transit Center in San Francisco Bay Area

A team led by renowned engineering firm Ove Arup will develop a concept plan for a new commuter transit facility in Richmond, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay area. Suisman Urban Design will provide architectural design services for the project, which will include a 700-car parking structure, a 10-bay bus transit facility, and retail and amenity services for commuters and local residents. Also on the team are Nelson/Nygaard and Strategic Economics. The client is the Contra Costa County transit planning agency and Alameda Transit.

New Town Center and Transit Station on the Monterey Peninsula

Suisman Urban Design has developed a vision plan for downtown Marina, focused on a new town center that combines a major transit facility, housing, retail, and a public square. Working with Sacramento-based Local Government Commission, which led the project, Suisman was brought in by the city of Marina to help reconcile the city’s redevelopment goals with the transit operations requirements of Monterey Salinas Transit, the regional transit operator. The results were presented in a series of public meetings and workshops over two days in mid-April, and received broad support from the local community. The city and the agency are now …

Transit-oriented development in California

Doug Suisman joined development and transit specialists on a panel to discuss transit-oriented mixed-use development in California. On the panel, part of a conference organized by the California Studies Association and held at Loyola Marymount University, Suisman raised the question of whether Bus Rapid Transit could catalyze transit-oriented development as well as light rail projects. He presented some of the firm’s work on L.A.’s Metro Rapid system, and on the proposed bus transit center and associated town redevelopment in Marina, California.

Residence and Studios on LACMA tour

The Modern Art and Architecture Committee, a support group at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, recently visited a canyon residence and work studios designed by Suisman Urban Design. Doug Suisman personally welcomed the group and led the tour. The group also visited homes designed by Oscar Niemeier, Richard Neutra, Stephen Ehrlich, and Johnston Marklee.

Better Homes and Gardens

A combined residence and design studio designed by Suisman Urban Design was featured in a 12-page spread in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The magazine, which has the largest circulation of any “shelter” magazine, focused on the “live-work” aspects of the design, which it dubbed “a modernist masterpiece”.

Walt Disney Concert Hall di Frank O. Gehry

A new Italian monograph on the Disney Concert Hall cites the work of Suisman Urban Design in the master planning of Grand Avenue. Authored by Mariopaolo Faddo, the book reproduces two drawings of Grand Avenue developed by Suisman for its CRA-sponsored work in the late 1990’s.

Symphony: Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall

The “official” monograph on the Disney Concert Hall, published by Abrams, includes a chapter length essay on the history of planning in downtown Los Angeles, including the work of Suisman Urban Design on the “Ten Minute Diamond”, the master plan for the Los Angeles Civic Center. The essay, by the noted planning historian Carol McMichael Reese, cites Doug Suisman’s leading role among the “visionaries” of the plan, whose imagery she calls “brilliantly concise and revelatory.” Suisman’s iconic axonometric drawing of the plan is reproduced.

The Slatin Report: Grand Avenue

The long and somewhat tortured history of planning efforts along Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles has been elegantly summarized in a Slatin Report essay by Morris Newman. Newman’s chronicle, which includes Suisman Urban Design’s work for the CRA/LA in the late 1990’s, reviews the succession of initiatives and visions which–despite strong political support–failed to remake the avenue in time for the openings of the new Cathedral (2003) and Disney Concert Hall (2004). Newman sets the stage for the current massive redevelopment project now being launched by the Grand Avenue Authority.

First Bus Rapid Transit Line for San Antonio, Texas

Suisman Urban Design will provide conceptual architectural and graphic design concepts for what would be the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in San Antonio, Texas. The team is being led by the Houston office of Lockwood Andrews & Newman, a subsidiary of Leo A Daly. The team also includes Nelson/Nygaard and Ximenes & Associates. The study for the corridor is expected to lead to a $30 million transit investment along the “Northwest Corridor”, primarily on Fredericksburg Road. The client is the San Antonio–Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Revitalizing Los Angeles Boulevards

The Westside Urban Forum held a panel on revitalizing the commercial corridors and boulevards of Los Angeles with new housing and mixed-use projects. Doug Suisman moderated the panel, which included specialists in transit, housing, and development.

Theater Row in the Hollywood Media District

With much fanfare and press coverage, the Theater Row section of Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood was given a shot of publicity and a boost in visibility with the raising of 30 wayfinding banners. The opening ceremony, attended by city and state officials, highlighted the new banners and the more than a dozen theater companies on the Row. Together the theaters have more than 1,000 seats. Suisman Urban Design developed the revitalization and marketing strategy, as well as the design of the banners, as part of its overall master planning work along Santa Monica Boulevard. The client is the business …

Staffer Admitted to Columbia Graduate School of Architecture and Planning

Daniel Windsor, a recent graduate of USC School of Architecture and a designer at Suisman Urban Design, has been admitted to the Master of Urban Design program at Columbia University. Daniel will move to New York for at least the duration of his three-semester program. He has worked on numerous Suisman projects, and will be missed. We send him our best wishes for success.

Urban Design and Transportation Course at UCLA

In December 2003, Anastasia Likaitou-Sideris, chair of the Urban Planning department at UCLA, invited Doug Suisman to teach a course on Urban Design and Transportation. Suisman focused the 10-week seminar on Bus Rapid Transit and Transit-Oriented Development. 33 graduate planning students took the class.

Suisman Elected to LA/AIA Board

Doug Suisman has been elected to a two-year term as a member of the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which is headquartered in the landmark Wiltern Building. Founded in 1894, the L.A. chapter is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

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