Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of January 28, 2012











Decoding landscape urbanism. Michael Mayer of OLIN Studio seeks to find out what is landscape urbanism at OLIN’s Theoretical Symposium.

While the book The Landscape Urbanism Reader defines the term as “a disciplinary realignment currently underway in which landscape replaces architecture as the basic building block of contemporary urbanism,” the symposium explored four definitions of landscape urbanism as the framework for the studio’s theories to clarify the term.

  1. Landscape urbanism as diagnosis
  2. Landscape urbanism as framework and process
  3. Landscape urbanism as green infrastructure 
  4. Landscape urbanism as landscape + urbanism

Via OLIN Studio Blog

Community building through arts education. Because of the increase of financial inaccessibility to higher education and city center exhibition and production space, creative practitioners have had to find alternative strategies to sustain creative knowledge exchange.

Sustainable Cities Collective looks at five very different and innovative London-based engagement projects that offer individual insights into alternative arts education and their positive effect on connecting the local community.

  1. Trade School Croydon
  2. Zeitgeist Arts Projects, New Cross
  3. National Portrait Gallery, Late-Shift
  4. Wide Open School, Hayward Gallery
  5. Q-Art London

Via Sustainable Cities Collective

Embarking on adaptive reuse. Tom Ito, a principal in Gensler's Los Angeles office and a leader of the firm's global hospitality practice, explores the use of adaptive reuse -- the art and design science of reinventing buildings -- in hotels.

Many important urban centers in the U.S. don’t have much buildable, open space but offer a nice supply of underperforming buildings, which could be a golden opportunity for hotel owners and developers looking to bring their brand to those sought-after cities.

Via Gensleron Lifestyle Blog

Retail serenity. The new Alchemist store, a 2,500 square-foot oasis of calm designed by Rene Gonzalez Architect, was designed to offer refuge from the frantic pace of Lincoln Road’s bars, banks, shops, theaters and restaurants.

Tucked into the ground level of an award-winning concrete parking structure at 1111 Lincoln Road (designed by the Swiss firm Herzog and DeMeuron), the new retail space will complement the original Alchemist on the fifth floor.

Via Architects and Artisans

Landscape architects vs. architects. A reader responds to an article in The Atlantic Cities about the transformation of Youngstown, Ohio, in which the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted is referred to as a ‘famed architect.’

The Atlantic Cities clarifies the distinction between architect and landscape architect, pointing out that licensed landscape architects study a quite different curriculum than architecture and typically have a choice between completing a four or five-year bachelor's degree or a two-year master's degree.

Via The Atlantic Cities


Weekly Roundup for Week of May 14


China’s TV Headquarters Complete. The futuristic building — with two leaning towers linked with a 90-degree twist at the top — has attracted much controversy since the day its design debuted a decade ago.

The 54-story, 772-foot headquarters for China Central Television has two leg-like structures that lean toward each other, meeting in mid-air with a right-angled deck-like connecting body that hangs 528 feet above the ground. Its bold design has drawn praise and detractions and earned the nickname of "big boxer shorts" from local residents.

Via Architectural Record

HOK to Design Medical School. Helmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) has been selected to design the $375 million University at Buffalo (UB) School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on its downtown campus in New York.

Located at the center of the region’s emerging bio-sciences corridor, this new transit-orientated medical school development will anchor a lively, urban mixed-use district on campus and bring 1,200 students, faculty and staff downtown.

NY Tech Sector Booming. A report released by the Center for an Urban Future has positioned New York City as the fastest growing tech sector in the country, outpacing Boston to become second to Silicon Valley.

The study indicates a remarkable turnaround for a city that was considered a second-rate tech center half a decade ago. Today, New York boasts thousands of tech startups across the five boroughs, drawing investment from venture capital firms across the globe and bringing high-paying jobs to the city—not to mention some of the best and brightest minds.

Via ArchDaily.com

Changes to Eisenhower Memorial Design. Architect Frank Gehry publicly unveiled changes to the contentious design for the Eisenhower Memorial this week at a session in Washington.

Gehry made the adjustments following complaints by members of the Eisenhower family that the design put too much emphasis on the former president's upbringing in Kansas and not enough on his accomplishments as a military and political leader.

Via Los Angeles Times

Redesign of Modernist Landscape in Minneapolis. Peavey Plaza – one of the country’s most significant modernist landscapes located in downtown Minneapolis – will soon be demolished. Originally designed by M. Paul Friedberg, the two-acre public space consisting of a terraced amphitheater-like space, fountains and reflecting pools was heralded as an “urban oasis” when it was unveiled in 1975 but in recent years, the plaza has fallen into disrepair.

Much controversy surrounds the redesign. Preservationists are urging the City Council to save Peavey Plaza by making ADA and other upgrades. Donors to the project, and the Minnesota Orchestra – which owns 25 percent of the project – support new construction over rehabilitation. The city’s public works department is set to appeal the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission’s recent denial of a demolition permit. If the permit is approved, the issue will be voted on by the City Council on May 25.

Via New York Times