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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Revitalization, Public Space + Modernism: Beko Masterplan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Revitalization, Public Space + Modernism: Beko Masterplan by Zaha Hadid Architects | green streets | Scoop.it
Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a swirling complex of apartments, offices and leisure facilities on the abandoned site of an old textile factory in Belgrade, Serbia. Covering an area of 94,000 square metres, the Beko complex will give the historic quarter a new destination on a site that is just 500 metres from the city but is currently unused and inaccessible.
Zaha Hadid Architects took influence from the twentieth century Modernist architecture typical in the capital and combined it with the studio’s signature parametric style to design a cluster of buildings (including a hotel, a congress center, galleries and shops) that flow into one another.
“The masterplan follows the region’s strong Modernist traditions and has applied new concepts and methods that examine and organize the programs of the site; defining a composition of buildings with the elegance of coherence that addresses the complexity of twenty-first century living patterns,” said Zaha Hadid.
“It is absolutely critical to invest in these public spaces that engage with the city. They are a vital component of a rich urban life and cityscape, uniting the city and tying the urban fabric together,” she added...
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Softening Modernism's Hard Edge: contemporary landscape interventions

Softening Modernism's Hard Edge: contemporary landscape interventions | green streets | Scoop.it

Contemporary landscape interventions are transforming midcentury buildings and plazas to address their urbanistic failings.

Inserting a work of contemporary landscape architecture into the context of a mid-century modernist complex is a challenging proposition. Many of the most prominent plazas, pocket parks, and courtyards from the modernist era feature stark, austere designs, intended to complement the buildings they served.

Some renowned modernist spaces such as the plaza in front of Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building were not designed with the intention that people would linger. “When Mies van der Rohe saw people sitting on the ledges, he was surprised,” Phillip Johnson is said to have commented. “He never dreamed they would.”

Certainly the sensibility of the typical mid-century modernist urban landscape is at odds with contemporary tastes and activities. Now, urban open spaces are designed for populated plazas, with a variety of seating options, shade trees and open space...

Indeed, many public plazas from the modernist era have been redesigned to conform to the contemporary program.


Read the full article for more in-depth case studies, preservation inititives, and issues related to preserving modernist architecture- in balance with the needs of today's urban spaces.

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