Today’s News - Thursday, August 5, 2010
• Urban planners and real estate wonks think Smart Growth trend has legs in the 'burbs, with buyers "ponying up for the urban privilege of public transportation in their own backyards."
• China's heritage chief warns that overdevelopment is "massively demolishing architectural gems" (40% of Beijing's old downtown is already lost!).
• Kendall takes Newsweek's 3 teams' visions for L.A. 2030 to task: rather than building community, they offered a future city "built by others for others - instead of creating a city in which residents were invited to alter, participate, and invest in its design."
• What's happened to "can-do Seattle" when almost new buildings have to be demolished: "perhaps we shouldn't build anything at all. At least not until we can remember how to do it properly."
• Cheers for "impressive" plans for a Nashville riverfront project ("with one major exception").
• Merrick marvels at a new wave of energy plants that "set a benchmark for outstanding design" - with one "that will take British power stations into the Bilbao Guggenheim league of architectural icons."
• Muslim and non-Muslim architects "are redefining the mosque for a 21st century generation," leaving some "traditionalists rattled."
• The Center for Global Conservation at the Bronx Zoo "weaves together ecological and built environments by blurring architectural boundaries."
• Brussat takes on ManTowNHuman: "Which planet do the authors of this manifesto inhabit?
• Pollak finds the mysterious carvings in the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan have much to teach us about the ways natural forces determine urban form.
• Woodman sizes up the Stirling Prize shortlist; most are deserving (though one is an "adventurous exercise in Californian-inflected modernism" that "is too bijou").
• The World Architecture Festival Awards 2010 shortlist (it's anything but short!).
• Aecom gobbles up Davis Langdon, ending "the independence of one of UK industry's biggest names."
• A good reason to head to Canberra at the end of the month: the 3rd International Urban Design Conference: "Designs On Our Future."
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Smart Money in Real Estate Is on Smart Growth: ...the shift toward urban-style living has reached the suburbs. And urban planners insist the trend has legs...walking distance to amenities generates a home price premium...of $4,000 to $34,000...ponying up for the urban privilege of public transportation in their own backyards. -- Peter Calthorpe; Congress for the New Urbanism/CNU; CEOs for Cities; Center for Transportation Excellence- Reuters
Overdevelopment is destroying China's heritage, says official: Shan Jixiang said that many Chinese cities are heading in the wrong direction by massively demolishing architectural gems even as urbanization is causing development problems in urban and rural areas alike...4.43 million meters of old courtyards have been demolished since 1990, covering some 40% of Beijing's old downtown area.- China Daily
Aesthetics and the City: Building Commuinity: ...three prominent architectural firms tasked with envisioning a Los Angeles of 2030...each firm envisioned a future city...built by others for others - instead of creating a city in which residents were invited to alter, participate, and invest in its design. By Dylan Kendall/City LA: pLAy Smart -- cityLAB-UCLA; Michael Maltzan; Rebar [links]- Huffington Post
Can-do Seattle: Can we do a project right anymore? ...when it comes to big construction projects, gridlock and paralysis could be a strategy for avoiding big flops...It’s not just a matter of not building things like we used to; perhaps we shouldn’t build anything at all. At least not until we can remember how to do it properly. By Knute Berger- Crosscut (Seattle)
Metro's plans to make over the century-old NABRICO riverfront complex are impressive - with one major exception: ...architecturally nondescript complex is slated to become the riverfront's "park central"...It's refreshing to see new architecture look its age, especially in a town as addicted to tradition as Nashville...Just fix the trailers. -- Hastings Architecture Associates [images]- Nashville Scene (Tennessee)
Station to station: the new power generation: Two power stations on the London Olympic site...set a benchmark for outstanding design. But it is the massive £150m biofuel-burning plant at Stockton-on-Tees...that will take British power stations into the Bilbao Guggenheim league of architectural icons. By Jay Merrick -- John McAslan + Partners; Nord Architecture; Heatherwick Studio; MVRDV; Dow Jones Architects; Buckley Gray Yeoman; Race Cottam Associates [images]- Independent (UK)
Use your dome: Flashing LED towers, aluminium cladding and ornate facades would be a controversial part of any new development, so it is no surprise that their application to new mosques has got traditionalists rattled...Both Muslim and non-Muslim architects are redefining the mosque for a 21st century generation. -- Omran Al Owais/CENTIMETERCUBE; Fari Hattam/Aedas; Bjarke Ingels/BIG; Khaled Azzam- ConstructionWeekOnline (Dubai, UAE)
Protecting Wildlife and Nature: The Center for Global Conservation’s mandates guided a thoughtful design to improve the well-being of its occupants and the environment...on the campus of the Bronx Zoo...the new LEED Gold building...weaves together ecological and built environments by blurring architectural boundaries. -- FXFOWLE Architects [images + podcast w/Sylvia Smith]- Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C)
ManTowNHuman’s bogus humanism: Which planet do the authors of this manifesto inhabit? ...rails against treading lightly on the earth but calls for architecture that defies the laws of gravity. Towns are not places for people but sandboxes for architects to play with our lives...The manifesto’s idea of humanism is its direct antithesis. By David Brussat -- Austin Williams- Providence Journal (Rhode Island)
Urban Topographies: Cuts & Patches: Linda Pollak investigates mysterious carvings in the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan and finds that they have much to teach us about the ways natural forces determine urban form..."It’s archaeology without physical excavation..." -- Marpillero Pollak Architects [images]- Urban Omnibus
Space Odyssey: Ellis Woodman sizes up this year’s flamboyant shortlist for the Stirling Prize for architecture -- De Rijke Marsh Morgan(dRMM); DSDHA; Theis and Khan Architects; Rick Mather; Zaha Hadid; David Chipperfield/Julian Harrap [slide show essay]- Telegraph (UK)
World Architecture Festival Awards - Shortlist 2010- World Architecture Festival (WAF)
Aecom buys Davis Langdon for £204m: Takeover after months of negotiations ends the independence of one of UK industry’s biggest names- Building (UK)
3rd International Urban Design Conference: "Designs On Our Future"...will examine how our new cities are conceived and our existing ones are adapted, re-designed and managed; August 30 - September 1 at the National Convention Centre- Canberra.- Urban Design Australia
Snøhetta: National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion, World Trade Center Site, New York, NY
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