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Año Nuevo Island Restoration Project Update

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Work has begun once again on the Año Nuevo Island Restoration project! Rebar, in collaboration with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge and expert habitat restorers GoNative, began prepping for Fall work on the island in early October. Last week the team moved 160 Eucalyptus logs out to the island. Local landowners were more than happy to allow the Eucalyptus on their land be removed and the Año Nuevo team was pleased to be able to repurpose this invasive species. These logs will be utilized in the construction of the last part of the habitat ridge. The ridge is itself thriving habitat for a number of bird species on the island, and it acts as both a physical and visual barrier between the habitat of the pinnepeds on the island and the Rhinoceros Auklet, a listed bird species of concern. Since the first planting last year, the indigenous flora on the island has done quite well; however, a small bit of replanting is also planned for this year to round out the restoration effort and to establish a long-lasting habitat for a healthy and biodiverse Año Nuevo Island.

For more info on the Año Nuevo Island restoration project look for our previous post or our even earlier post – and be sure to visit the restoration project blog.

Check out the below videos of the log move and look for future updates as the project continues!

Written by Rebar

October 25th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Bubbleware at Treasure Island Music Festival

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Rebar was delighted to provide some of our Bubbleware at the 2011 Treasure Island Music Festival, one of San Francisco’s premier music festivals. Bubbleware is a modular social furniture system that uses an inflatable interior structure covered by a sewn ripstop nylon skin. The skin, created in partnership with messenger bag company Timbuk2, is a durable material perfect for heavy-duty playtime. Bubbleware is rearrangeable and stackable, allowing for endless options and lots of fun. The design for Bubbleware was originally commissioned by Sydney Art and About’s Laneways exhibition, where Bubbleway (the Australian incarnation of the project) is currently on display at Bulletin Place through January 2012.

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bubbleware TI 3

Bubbleware provided a great perch for both relaxing and people-watching during the Treasure Island Music Festival.

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Attendees of the festival enjoyed sitting, bouncing, lying, eating, sleeping, and lounging on the Bubbleware which was stationed around the festival. Some guests even brought the Bubbleware right up to the front of the crowd during the show!

bubbleware TI 2

Written by Rebar

October 25th, 2011 at 10:54 am

Bubbleway at Sydney Art & About

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Rebar traveled to Sydney, Australia in early October for Sydney Art & About, an annual arts festival that utilizes public spaces around the city of Sydney. The idea of Sydney Art & About is to create an interactive public art gallery in the streets, transforming the city itself into a living canvas. Evoking a response from residents of Sydney, whether it be to laugh, question, think, or simply smile, Art & About seeks to bring art to the forefront of the social conscience.

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Rebar’s contribution to Art + About is Bubbleway — a modular, inflatable social furniture system designed specifically for Laneways 2011, the fifth installment of Laneway Art. Utilizing an inflatable system enclosed in a brightly colored skin, Bubbleway serves as a fun, comfortable, and inviting place to relax. The skin, which was designed in collaboration with the San Francisco-based messenger bag company Timbuk2, is a resilient ripstop nylon perfect for the urban playground. It was also made locally in San Francisco. Bubbleway modules can be reconfigured and adapted to support a variety of interactions and the space it is occupying. Bubbleway was created to encourage a rethinking of preconceived notions of public space, and to develop new forms of informal social interactions and play.

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Other commissioned works for Art + About and Laneways included artists from around Australia and Americans Janet Echelman, whose work can be seen as locally as at SFO, Bay Area native Barry McGee, and Austin-based founder of Knitta Please, Magda Sayeg. Rebar would like to extend a profound thank you to the city of Sydney and to acknowledge the curators who brought us to Sydney, Amanda Sharrad and Justine Topfer for their hard work and commitment to experimental and innovative public art.

Bubbleway is available for viewing and playing on for free 24 hours a day from September 23, 2011 to January 31, 2011 and is located at Bulletin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Written by Rebar

October 5th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Año Nuevo Island Restoration Project Update

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In an earlier blog post we wrote extensively about our habitat restoration project on Año Nuevo Island. On the island – one of only a handful off the coast of California – Rebar collaborated with a broadly interdisciplinary team, including Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, Año Nuevo State Reserve, Go Native, the artist Nathan Lynch and the California College of the Arts ENGAGE program. Our aim was to rehabilitate the habitat of the Rhinoceros Auklet, a state-listed species of concern. On the island, which resembled a ruin more than a state park when we first arrived, Rebar designed a set of ceramic nest modules for the Auklet, as well as a habitat ridge made from harvested eucalyptus logs that would separate sea lion habitat from Auklet habitat. The restoration project was supported by generous grants from the Luckenbach Council Trust and the Creative Work Fund and would not have been possible without the help of an army of skilled and dedicated volunteers. Thanks to you all!

Año Nuevo Island - before habitat restoration

The "central terrace" of Año Nuevo Island - before habitat restoration

The "central terrace" of Año Nuevo in April 2011

We are pleased to present this video update of the project, which – along with the photos above – shows how much the island has changed in six short months since we finished the restoration. The video was produced by Peck Euwer and Swell Pictures, Lloyd Fales and Michelle Hester. Enjoy the show!

Written by Matthew

August 16th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Mint Plaza in Landscape Architecture Magazine

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Mint Plaza_1Mint Plaza is featured in the July issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.  CMG’s Willet Moss and Scott Cataffa are the lead designers of the project, which was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2010. Rebar’s John Bela worked on the project as landscape designer while at CMG. Its great to see CMG, Sherwood Engineers, and Micheal Yarne (formerly of Martin Building Company) receive recognition for this groundbreaking project that pairs robust ecological function with a vibrant, socially diverse public space reclaimed from a former derelict and underutilized street.

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From the article by Lisa Owens Viani

“One block of San Francisco’s Jessie Street is no longer. It was once a decrepit alley where drug deals and porno films were made and tour buses idled for hours. In its place lies a clean, European-style pedestrian plaza surrounded by upscale lofts and restaurants, coffee shops, and the “Granite Lady,” the Old Mint, an 1874 Greek Revival building with National Historic Landmark designation. Designed by CMG Landscape Architecture and Sherwood Design Engineers, the revitalized alley—now known as Mint Plaza—has spurred the successful redevelopment of the historic warehouses that lined the alley into housing, offices, and commercial spaces, and provided the city with a prototype for treating stormwater in tight urban areas.”

Written by John

July 13th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Projects

Juneau Day 4: Sho-Globe pops up in Marine Park

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Tomorrow lunchtime….the state capitol…

Written by Blaine

April 15th, 2011 at 1:40 am

Juneau Day 2: The shell emerges!

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Whoa, day 2 has been huge! Many of our volunteers have commented that they’ve done more ironing in the last day than in their whole lives. It’s strange that architecture and ironing….two ends of the domestic spectrum…are converging in the making of the Sho-Globe. We have 26 long sections (each, coincidentally, 26 feet long) seamed together to form the two concentric shells of the Globe.

We’ve had – again – a great volunteer turnout, and many curious passersby stopping by to ask when we’ll be deploying Sho-Globe on the streets and squares of Juneau. Just a few more hours…

By the end of the day, all of our major sections were put together and we’ve scoped out several potential sites around town to launch. Karen, Adam and Blaine also did a radio interview with James on Juneau’s KXLL.

Written by Blaine

April 12th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Juneau Day 1: Sho-Globe is underway

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Day 1 saw a busy volunteer turnout at our storefront workspace at 118 Seward, with all the panels cut for Sho-Globe, power system up and running, and getting ourselves organized at our new space. That took less time than we thought…which is good, because the next step is sealing the panels together which can be a tricky process. Thanks to the many folks in Juneau who came in to help Monday!


Written by Rebar

April 12th, 2011 at 8:33 am

The Sho-Globe

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Sho-Globe flyer

Created for the Alaska Design Forum‘s Common Space program in Juneau, Alaska, Rebar’s “Sho-Globe” is a portable inflatable structure that redefines urban common space. Inclement weather often nullifies the functions of outdoor public space–however, with the “Sho-Globe”, any space can be transformed into a soft, warm ephemeral shelter. With a form originally derived from a seed pod (hey it’s almost spring here!), this emergent space provides a venue for meeting, sharing, relaxing, playing and meditating. It also serves as an ideal venue to host jam sessions and socializing around the Alaska Folk Fest, which is happening in Juneau all week.

Starting today, construction of the Sho-Globe begins in Juneau, Alaska. We will be building it with the help of volunteers at 118 Seward St., please come and stop by! Construction will be completed on the 13th and we will be taking the “Sho-Globe” to key locations around the city of Juneau. Please be sure to follow us on Twitter @rebargroup to find out where we’ll be. Or keep checking ADF’s Common Space website for more updates and volunteer information.

Written by Rebar

April 11th, 2011 at 9:05 am

Zephyros comes to (digital) life

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Last week we submitted our invited proposal for the San Francisco Arts Commission’s public artwork at the Palega Recreation Center in the Portola neighborhood…and were proud to make what we think is pretty strong use the letter Z in a project name….and the wind conditions across the site! Check out the proposals page online. This is a bit of a departure from Rebar’s usual public art direction (form-wise) but nevertheless is part of our ongoing exploration of interactive site elements that engage the public with their social and physical environment. From the description…

Zephyros is a wind-activated sculpture in the form of a helix composed of reflective panels braided around a tall aluminum mast. Three unique, tapered  spirals—clustered in the landscape at the crossroads of park pathways—will gently spin at varying speeds, revealing wind patterns that may be unnoticed at ground level. The reflective stainless steel panels will capture light and mirror the activity in the park and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Zephyros is both an environmental art piece that captures and reveals wind patterns in the sky, and a social sculpture that literally reflects the park and the neighborhood. Looking at the piece from below, the visitor sees her own reflection, but also the neighborhood and the sky in an ascending collage high above. The movement in the sky will be made visible on the ground as the sun casts dynamic, undulating shadows across the landscape.

The gently warped panels are made of a light, mirror-finish stainless steel sheet with a reinforcing rib. The design process will test various finishes to identify the best option that shimmers and reflects the sky and light, but does not produce unwanted glare. The panels are light enough to be activated by the wind, but durable enough to withstand the elements. Because they are attached to a single sleeve around the mast, they will turn in sync and use their combined wind force to add to the overall motion.


Written by Blaine

December 1st, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Permits for parklets: available soon

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As the culmination of its Pavement to Parks parking space pilot program, the City of San Francisco will soon (late summer/early fall) make a permit available for businesses wanting to convert the on-street parking spaces in front of their storefronts to pedestrian plazas, mini-parks, or “parklets”. Rebar has prototyped a plug-and-play, modular system that will be available for businesses to specify as their design of choice when the City releases the application. To connect with Rebar about purchasing Walklets for your storefront when the City permit becomes available, contact us by email.

Written by Rebar

August 28th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Hayes Valley Farm named top 7 recycled architecture projects by Huffington Post

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The Hayes Valley Farm–a Rebar project created in collaboration with the SF Permaculture Guild and others–occupies an urban site where San Francisco’s Central Freeway once touched down. It’s been recognized alongside the High Line, the Tate Modernand Lima, Peru’s Ghost Train Park as among seven of the world’s best “recycled architecture” projects by the Huffington Post. Rebar has been busy finishing up the modular greenhouse, which is made from recycled scaffolding and water-filled highway barriers.

Written by Blaine

June 22nd, 2010 at 4:25 pm