Today the Chronicle reports that Emeryville is holding a good old fashioned bake-off to choose the architecture firm for their Center for the Arts. The site will be at the Old United Stamping Co, but the city is giving the architects carte blanche to renovate or tear it down. Five of the six firms competing for the job are from San Francisco, so the walk through of the building and neighborhood completely blew their minds about the kind of place Emeryville is. "I probably know Emeryville as well as most people elsewhere in the Bay Area," said Neal Schwartz of Schwartz and Architecture, another of the competitors. "I've been to Ikea. I've passed through on the freeway." While Schwartz is probably out of the running due to that sound bite alone, the competitors will present their visions in November, with a final $12m decision made in January.
- Contributor Abby Pontzer
· Architects' prize: Emeryville Center for Arts [SF Gate]