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Bandshell for Sale! (runs good)

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The world-renowned Panhandle Bandshell is for sale!

The Panhandle Bandshell is a full-scale performance stage made from reclaimed and repurposed materials, including 65 automobile hoods, obsolete computer circuit boards, reclaimed wood and recycled structural steel. Equal parts monumental sculpture and functional performance venue, the Bandshell has hosted a diverse range of community-based programs in city and national parks in San Francisco.


Also a visually arresting sculpture, the Bandshell illustrates the creative potential of recycling, repurposing and reuse, and promotes collective awareness of human impact on the environment. The Bandshell is well-pedigreed: it has won several design awards and has been displayed at some of the most prestigious architecture exhibitions in the world.


In the summer of 2007, the Bandshell was installed in San Francisco’s Panhandle Park, where it was open all summer for both impromptu and scheduled performances of all varieties. In the summer of 2009, the Bandshell was transported and re-installed at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center, the largest urban national park in the country, where it hosted community-based performance programs for more than a year.

Currently in storage, the Bandshell seeks an appropriate permanent home!

The Bandshell entertains at Fort Mason, San Francisco

The piece is award-winning and world famous! Exhibition and awards include:

2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy
2008 American Institute of Architects, San Francisco, CA.
2009 National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA.
2009 Parsons School of Design, New York, NY.

2008 AIA Design Awards, Urban Design, Merit Award
2008 ASLA Professional Awards, N. Cal. Chapter, Merit Award
2009 ASLA Professional Awards, General Design, Honor Award


We are seeking proposal submissions from art galleries, city parks, community organizations, landowners and other interested parties.

For more information, please download the brochure [PDF].

The Submission deadline is Friday, June 17, 2011.


The Bandshell was designed and fabricated in San Francisco by The Finch Mob, Rebar, CMG Landscape Architecture and Scene 2 with the generous support of Black Rock Arts Foundation.

Written by Matthew

May 17th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

United Nations proposes “Resolution on Sustainable Urban Development through Access to Quality Urban Public Spaces”

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The United Nations proposes a resolution calling for “resilient” public spaces and

Invites Governments and local authorities to facilitate the use of public spaces of cities such as streets, parks and markets to foster social, cultural, economic and environmental convergences so that all citizens have access to public spaces in a socially just landscape and within resilient environmental conditions

Via PPS.

Written by Blaine

May 16th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Announcements

UQAM Design International 2011

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Rebar was invited by Professor Anne-Marie Broudehoux to spend the week in Montreal to take part in University of Quebec’s Design International 2011 event.

The event brought together designers, researchers and practitioners of international repute working in different fields to host a series of intensive workshops that allowed students to identify problems and explore themes shaping both conventional and alternative practices.

The week began on Saturday with presentations from conference guests Ginette Caron, Hans Vrijmoed , Juhani Pallasmaa , Paul Cox , Tim McDonald ,  Tomasz Walenta, and John Bela of Rebar.


During the following week, each guest worked with up to 25 students each in an intensive workshop, leading up to a final presentation at the UQAM design school.


Rebar’s workshop, led by John Bela and Masha Slavnova, was to construct a public space house party in 96 hours to be deployed at three sites in Montreal using bicycles. The goals of the workshop were to:

  • Activate a set of underutilized public spaces in Montreal
  • Explore boundaries of public and private in the public realm
  • Explore social codes that govern behavior in public space
  • Create an invitation for urban inhabitants to play and party with us
  • Give ourselves and those around us permission to be playful, kind, and generous
We began by asking some fundamental questions:
  • What are the essential elements of a house party?
  • What materials and fabrication processes lend themselves to a temporary installation deployed by bicycle?
  • What is the role of sound, light, graphics, surfaces, enclosures in creating and defining space?

atelier_rebar_ma_3 (1)

The public space is transformed into a festive indoor environment (public space house party). A temporary facility will be deployed by bicycles.
The workshop group, led by John Bela of Rebar and Masha Slavnov, will create and construct a movable feast in 96 hours and deployed at three sites in Montreal using bicycles.
The aim of the workshop is to activate a set of underutilized spaces in Montreal, to explore the boundary between public and private sectors in the public domain, to discover the social codes governing behavior in public space , create an invitation for urban dwellers to play and have fun with them, give and give to those around us permission to be playful, kind and generous.

After brainstorming together to develop design concepts, students broke into teams focused on structure, ground plane, social furniture, lighting and sound.



After a week of rain, on Friday morning the sky cleared and sun illuminated the city streets.  We rapidly assembled the elements of our mobile installation and hit the streets.

We installed at three sites over the course of the day and evening, using the intervention to explore the social codes governing behavior in different neighborhoods of the city.

vendredi0094 copy

After a few day time installations, we returned to the school to recuperate and prepare for a night mission.  At dusk, we launched our armada and headed to the Village where we set up our final installation and witnessed the ingenious work of our lighting team which created a beautiful nighttime spectacle that drew in young and old residents to dance with us.

rebar_vendredi (1)



REBAR+UQAM_2011 from OLI on Vimeo.

Design International 2011 was a great experience and great success. We are thankful to Anne-Marie for the invitation to participate, to our passionate and energetic students, and to our colleagues in the workshop whom together created some novel and compelling work.

Written by Rebar

May 9th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Announcements

72 Hour Urban Action @ Rebar Studio

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 7:30 PM Rebar hosted a 72 HOUR GATHERING AT REBAR at the studio on 20th street btw Folsom and Shotwell.

Title: 72 Hour Urban Action – Regulated Architectural Anarchy

Presented by: Architect Kerem Halbrecht, Founder of 72 Hour Urban Action



This was an informal evening of exciting knowledge sharing about temporary use of public space and urban interventions. As a part of the Bat-Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, that took place in Israel September 2010, unforeseen potentials and solutions to public problematic sites was examined and reacted on by 120 progressive volunteers from 20 different countries. This was a competitive architectural festival that generated interventions in the public realm within an extreme deadline, a tight budget and limited space. Now this interesting and powerful impact is searching for a new city to take action in.

The evening led to a great discussion about the difficulties of creating this kind of projects. How is the process of applying for permit for this kind of project that has no concrete technical drawings or even visionary renderings? And how do you communicate it? The answer isn’t easy and will probably vary depending on the project and it’s context. Kerem Halbrecht explained that taking a determined decision and daring to go for it is crucial for making it happen. The 72 Hour Urban Action was a part of the Bat-Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, and because of that no application for further fundings or grants was necessary. But convincing the Mayor Shlomi Lahiani of the success of this project was hard, and making it was a bet. You don’t know what it will end up becoming, but you do know that the desire, initiative and the power of wanting to create is there. And good qualified volunteers! It turned out that all the 10 teams made positive spin-off of their projects and the tree winning project is still active and existing in the urban realm of Bat-Yam.

Check out more at

72 Hour Urban Action Movie Trailer from 72 Hour Urban Action on Vimeo.

72 HOUR URBAN ACTION | EPISODE 01 from 72 Hour Urban Action on Vimeo.

Written by Rebar

April 27th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Events

2011 Sister City Biennale: San Francisco and Sydney

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Rebar is thrilled to participate in SF Arts Commission 2011 Biennale exhibition, entitled “Urbanition.”
The show opens this week in San Francisco and then travels to CarriageWorks in Sydney from Aug 4 – Sept 3, 2011.

Here in SF, the show will be at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery

Exhibition Dates: April 28 – July 2, 2011
Public Reception: April 28, 7 – 9pm. Free and open to the public

There are some really stellar artists involved in this show, including:

Amy Balkin + Alicia Pozniak

Sergio De La Torre

And from Sydney:

Chris Fox


Josephine Starrs & Leon Cmielewski

Written by Matthew

April 25th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Announcements

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

LA alert – Rebar is at Cal Poly, Pomona Wednesday, April 6

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Rebar’s Blaine Merker will be giving a talk at the Department of Landscape Architecture on Wednesday, April 6 at 12PM in the Atrium of Building 7, College of Environmental Design.

If you’re in the LA area, drop by and say hello!

Written by Rebar

March 30th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Announcements,Talks

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Help Rebar Transform the City at Noise Pop’s Culture Club

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1297378274cal_noisepopcultureclubIf you are in San Francisco this weekend for the massive and extensive Noise Pop Festival, consider stopping by the Culture Club event on Saturday afternoon at Public Works.

Rebar’s Matthew Passmore will lead a workshop on temporary urban transformations and how guerilla artists just might save the city!

A brief talk will be followed by an interactive workshop. Bring an image or ideas for how to reclaim vacant lots and other underutilized fragments of our city!

Noise Pop Culture Club
Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at 1 PM at Public Works, San Francisco.


Written by Matthew

February 24th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Enlightened Spaces – Wednesday February 23, 2011

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Rebar will be representing at “Innovations in Interactivity: Where Technology & Placemaking Intersect”, Enlightened Spaces’ winter salon on Wednesday, February 23 at the McLoughlin Gallery in SF. Speakers include:

The demand for interactivity has reshaped every aspect of our culture. No longer content to simply observe and absorb, we expect to shape our environment and personalize our experience. Held at San Francisco’s beautiful new McLoughlin Gallery, this salon will explore how cities, neighborhoods and cultural organizations are using interactive media to engage people in public spaces and create a sense of place. Join our eclectic panel as they show innovations from around the globe and hypothesize where this trend is going. Debate encouraged!

Tickets and event info here.

Written by Rebar

February 19th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Announcements,Events

Rebar awarded Portland Tri-Met station artwork commission

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Image: Portland Afoot via Flickr

Image: Portland Afoot via Flickr

It’s official–Rebar has been selected by Tri-Met for the artwork commission at the Clinton Street/SE 12th Avenue station of Portland’s newest light rail line. We are pulling on our galoshes and brewing a big pot of artisan-roasted ideas in preparation for this gig in Stumptown. From the project’s concept design:

The Clinton Street station is a central gathering place framed
by a series of new transit-oriented developments. The area
is now active with a vibrant mix of industrial, employment,
retail, services and housing that successfully integrates with the
character of the surrounding neighborhoods. Easy wayfinding
is provided and enhanced by public art. The station is easily
accessible by bicyclists, pedestrians and bus riders, and
improved connections provide a link to the riverfront. The
Powell Boulevard overpass is a highly visible structure used
by many bicyclists and pedestrians who now enjoy a safe
connection between the Brooklyn and Hosford-Abernethy
neighborhoods. Students who live in the surrounding area use
the station and improved bicycle routes to access OHSU and

The Clinton Street station is a central gathering place framed by a series of new transit-oriented developments. The area is now active with a vibrant mix of industrial, employment, retail, services and housing that successfully integrates with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods. Easy wayfinding is provided and enhanced by public art. The station is easily accessible by bicyclists, pedestrians and bus riders, and improved connections provide a link to the riverfront. The Powell Boulevard overpass is a highly visible structure used by many bicyclists and pedestrians who now enjoy a safe connection between the Brooklyn and Hosford-Abernethy neighborhoods. Students who live in the surrounding area use the station and improved bicycle routes to access OHSU and PSU.

More this year as we dig in!

Written by Blaine

December 3rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Rebar seeks volunteers for Park(ing) Day at SPUR in San Francisco, September 17

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Rebar is seeking 4 volunteers to represent Rebar at Park(ing) Day San Francisco at SPUR on September 17. This year, Rebar will provide several Walklets to demonstrate a new modular, flexible sidewalk system that can create pedestrian plazas in the parking lane, outside SPUR on Mission Street. Our team of volunteers will transport 3 Walklets from our shop to SPUR around 10am, set up in the parking lane (just like all good Park(ing) Day events!), and stay to enjoy the party and answer questions about Walklets, which will be available throughout San Francisco this fall. At the end of the afternoon, the volunteer team will de-install the Walklets and return them to the Rebar shop.

We will provide our excellent volunteer team with a truck for transport, Rebar and Park(ing) Day t-shirts, lunch and Rebar schwag by way of thanks. Volunteers should be comfortable with lifting and a little physical work during installation, and familiarity with tools.

To participate, email blaine [at] rebargroup [dot] org.

Written by Rebar

August 29th, 2010 at 10:19 am

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