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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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3 Clever Ideas To Re-Use San Francisco's Aging Infrastructure

3 Clever Ideas To Re-Use San Francisco's Aging Infrastructure | green streets | Scoop.it

Called SF RE:MADE, San Francisco-based IwamotoScott Architecture propose up-cycling Candlestick Park and two other out-of-use waterfront landmarks, the Hunters Point Crane and the Islais Creek Silos, providing alternative uses for aging 20th-century structures whose original purposes have become outdated.

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Suzette Jackson's curator insight, August 17, 8:28 PM

Regenerative design requires a certain boldness by government, the courage to acknowledge when infrastructure is outdated and the future is on a different path. Kudo to SF RE:MADE

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5 Architects Envision New Port of Kinmen

5 Architects Envision New Port of Kinmen | green streets | Scoop.it

The culmination of an international competition for Kinmen County has resulted in five schemes that use architecture as a means of elevating the county’s national identify as a maritime gateway. Responding to the need for expansion and the desire to establish the port as a tourism and recreation destination, the Kinmen Harbor Bureau challenged architects to a two-stage competition for an energy-smart, low-carbon, and possibly expandable port that could host a variety of passenger services.

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Eco-Friendly Architectural Projects Raising Awareness of Earth's Biomes

Eco-Friendly Architectural Projects Raising Awareness of Earth's Biomes | green streets | Scoop.it
The largest natural biome in the world is the maroon colored Taiga, a Russian word for forest, covering large parts of Canada, Europe and Asia with coniferous forests.

The term “Boreal” forest refers to the southern part of this biome and has heavier tree cover while the Taiga refers to the northern portion which is a mostly barren area that borders the Arctic treeline. In order to understand how biomes work, scientists and researchers have created projects like Biosphere and Eden.

The design refers to the integration of architectural structures into natural ecosystems, emphasizing a symbiotic relationship between buildings, landscapes, people and nature.

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'Designing Recovery' Winners: Resilient, Livable Homes for Vulnerable Cities

'Designing Recovery' Winners: Resilient, Livable Homes for Vulnerable Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

“Designing Recovery,” a competition focused on the planning and rebuilding of resilient and sustainable communities, has announced its three winning entries, bysustainable.to Architecture + Building, GOATstudio LLP, and Q4 Architects.

The competition, which was a collaboration between the American Institute of Architects (AIA),  Make It Right,  Architecture for Humanity, the St. Bernard Project, and Dow Building Solutions, was envisioned to aid communities affected by devastating natural disasters.


“When examining all of the designs submitted we continually asked ourselves if this would be a house we would want to live in regardless of safety considerations,” explained Jury Chair, Michael Willis, FAIA, NOMA.  “The three designs that we chose all had the ideal combination of addressing disaster mitigation and actual livability.”

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New designs to breathe life back into our cities

New designs to breathe life back into our cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Urban buildings use up precious materials and cause pollution. We need visionary thinking to create more sustainable designs that respond to their environment.


By the middle of this century, our cities are likely to be hotter, experience more dramatic changes in weather, be noisier and have an increasingly tenuous relationship with our natural world.

There’s a problem. Not only are cities responsible for 40% of our total carbon emissions, but they also deal with a limited set of physical conditions, and assume that our weather is going to be constant. Our buildings are designed for dryness and therefore deteriorate in the presence of water. Modern architecture is also designed to just house people, not other life forms, and therefore does not inherently promote biodiversity.

We therefore need to think about architecture very differently. We must search for new models for constructing buildings, as well as searching for improvements to our current industrial processes.

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Can Architects Solve Our Cities’ Pollution Problems?

Can Architects Solve Our Cities’ Pollution Problems? | green streets | Scoop.it

As populations continue to move to urban areas, architects must address how their designs will impact the cities they are trying to improve— and those inhabitants whose access to clean air is determined by their proposals. How can architects best use design to repair the health of our cities?


Visit the article link for project links and an overview of some of the innovative ways architecture addresses climate change, air quality, emissions and is rethinking our cities through design, technology and new approaches to sustainable urbanism...

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A Dialog between Ancient & Contemporary: Musée de la Romanité by Elizabeth de Portzamparc

A Dialog between Ancient & Contemporary: Musée de la Romanité by Elizabeth de Portzamparc | green streets | Scoop.it

This winning proposal for Musée de la Romanité in Nimes, France, by Elizabeth de Portzamparc had to deal with a fragile situation which required respectful and exceptional urban dialogue.

Located on the gate of the old city of Nimes, and emerging from the archaeological remains, it had to establish a complex relationship with the two thousand years old antique Arenas of Nimes.


The museum building was only a part of wider project, including urban regeneration of the "Grill“ plot, the museography, the archaeological garden landscaping and a feasibility study of a congress center and a hotel.

Two geometries coexist successfully – in contrast with the magnificence of the static, great stone volume, the Museum’s offers light and luminous presence of one fluid architecture. Acting as a gate of an urban promenade, museum reveals the Arenas through its transparent ground floor, which attracts and invites visitors inside.

The building of the museum was designed to generate coherence in the city, the inventive museography within it and the archaeological garden that extends it...

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A Jungle Gym for City Sidewalks

A Jungle Gym for City Sidewalks | green streets | Scoop.it
A knotty lattice of colorful play-tubes is an intriguing use of a public space.


They say the city is an urban jungle. But an urban jungle gym? A\V Studio‘s new design for a spunky tubular playground at the foot of Morphosis’ Cooper Union New Academic Building proposes just that. "CMYPlay" is a knotty lattice of colorful play-tubes embedded in the ground floor of the Morphosis building, with crawl spaces wrapped around slanting columns and each other in a dense social thicket "befitting of Manhattan." The fanciful design is an appealing gesture and an intriguing use of what is virtually empty space.


An entry to the 3Dimensional Front,"CMYPlay" creates an interactive space outside the Milavec Hakimi Gallery at 41 Cooper Square. A\V Studio’s proposal "thickens" the facade by rehabilitating the underskirt area as an active social space within the local city fabric.

Burrowing visitors will (quite literally) run into strangers and colleagues alike, while the tops of the tubes can be street furniture. The clash of color and use of plastic are a pointed contrast to the details and surfaces of the Morphosis building. Also, the tubes could be recycled and sent to various playgrounds and schools to be re-used...

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The New Architecture of Smart Cities

The New Architecture of Smart Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
What makes a city a “Smart City” as opposed to a city where some “smart things” happen?


Three criteria for answering that question clearly stand out:


  1. Smart Cities are led from the top – they have a strong and visionary leader championing the Smart agenda across the city. 
  2. Smart Cities have a stakeholder forum – they have drawn together a community of city stakeholders across the city. Those stakeholders have not only created a compelling vision for a Smart City; they have committed to taking an ongoing role coordinating a program to deliver it. 
  3. Smart Cities invest in technology infrastructure they are deploying the required information and communication technology (ICT) platforms across the city, and doing so in such a way as to support the integration of information and activity across city systems.

 

It’s also important, though, to consider what is different about the structure and organization of city systems in a Smart City. How does a city decide which technology infrastructures are required? Which organizations will make use of them, and how? How can they be designed and delivered so that they effectively serve individuals, communities and businesses in the city? What other structures and processes are required to achieve this progress in a Smart City?

 

Read on to learn about the design of the infrastructures and systems of Smart Cities and view  them visually represented in an accompanying diagram.

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The Playful City + Urban Renewal: the London Festival of Architecture

The Playful City + Urban Renewal: the London Festival of Architecture | green streets | Scoop.it
This year's edition of the London Festival of Architecture invites architects, planners and the public to reflect on whether cities do actually provide the best environment for people to improve their quality of life.

More of the world's population than ever before live in cities, and the trend looks set to continue. Whether cities do actually provide the best environment for a high quality of life remains uncertain, however. An architecture festival is one way to focus the attention of architects, planners & the public on that crucial question, hence the London Festival of Architecture (LFA).

 

If the festival has a headlining act, it is perhaps the London Pleasure Gardens, which present an unusual vision of urban renewal in the capital's former industrial heartland. Inspired by the English pleasure garden, the 60,000 square metre site, surrounded by dilapidated industrial mills and landmarks, includes oddities such as a golf-ball-like concert hall, monopoly houses and an oyster bar with a grass roof that doubles as seating for the open-air cinema.

Renewal at the micro-scale is also being tested at LFA 2012. Gibbon's Rent, near the Shard at London Bridge, used to be one of those neglected back alleys that people avoided. Architect Andrew Burns and landscape architect Sarah Eberle have turned it into a "theatre of the jungle", or at least the beginnings of one, as the winding garden has been left incomplete to encourage local residents and businesses to take ownership of it and to develop it as they see fit. That bottom-up approach may become a bigger factor in city planning: similarly inspired projects are a feature of this year's festival...

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In New Copenhagen Suburbs, Aim Is Sustainable Living

In New Copenhagen Suburbs, Aim Is Sustainable Living | green streets | Scoop.it
Hard times or not, two urban development projects — from two centuries — plow ahead.

How does a city expand and, at the same time, reduce car use and emissions? Officials in Copenhagen believe part of the answer is to build and extend a modern mass transit network while trying to eliminate the need for commuting altogether.

Copenhagen, with a population of 1.2 million in the city and its suburbs, will need to find homes for a projected 100,000 new residents by the year 2025.

Fortunately, the city still has room to grow.

In 2001, the first building in a new master-planned suburb called Orestad, south of downtown and named for the Oresund, the channel separating eastern Denmark from Sweden, was completed. Work on preparing a second major site, Nordhavn, in the docks north of the city, has just begun on land freed up by the departure of heavy industry...

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Proving Ground - The Architect's Newspaper

Proving Ground - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

Known as the Granite City, Aberdeen, Scotland’s silvery gray townscape will soon have a dynamic new emerald heart. Designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, with OLIN and Scottish architects at Keppie Design, a new hybrid park and cultural center will transform an existing park and extend over a road and rail trench to better connect the city with a highly programmed, fully accessible indoor and outdoor space with a rolling highland/lowland landscape. 

The existing park has a 65-foot grade change, so DS+R exploited the sectional possibilities of the site. “Some of the other proposals simply placed pavilions in a park,” said principal Charles Renfro. “We created a layered three- dimensional matrix, where the building is woven under and into the park.” The cultural center will include an approximately 5,000-person outdoor amphitheater—with a dramatic walkway crisscrossing overhead—a 215,000 square foot exhibition hall, and a 500-person black box theater...

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A Green Revolution in Chicago

A Green Revolution in Chicago | green streets | Scoop.it

Several major projects are on Chicago's lakefront docket, aiming to complete the makeover that began nearly a decade ago and create an unbroken, 3-mile stretch of green jewels. Up first is a do-over for Navy Pier. Remade just a decade and a half ago for $225 million, the current version is widely seen as a pavement-heavy, retail-dominated tourist trap.

The new scheme, shaped by the pier's owners and Gensler design, envisions new green spaces, sculptures and pools to go along with a redesign of the shopping arcade and family pavilion. A design competition is underway. Several favorites – including Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and local architect and recent MacArthur “genius” winner Jeanne Gang – have already been eliminated.

The winning design is to be announced in mid-February, after a public viewing period of the finalists' proposals, starting February 2. The project, which is scheduled for completion for the pier's 100th anniversary, is budgeted around $200 million.

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A Concept ‘Vertical City’ Skyscraper That Supports An Ecosystem

A Concept ‘Vertical City’ Skyscraper That Supports An Ecosystem | green streets | Scoop.it

London-based design and academic research architecture practice SURE Architecture has designed and developed a concept skyscraper with multiple functions.
Called ‘Endless City’, the organic skyscraper is built around six steel tubes with an “endless” ramp that goes around the building from the ground floor, all the way up to the top. 
It also features energy-saving and waste management elements that give the building another purpose—supporting an ecosystem. Plazas and communal spaces will occupy most parts of the skyscraper. 
According to the architects, the shape of the skyscraper “attempts to maximize passive energy and reduce artificial lighting and ventilation”...

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Grant Graves's curator insight, August 21, 10:21 AM

Cities of the future will evolve as our ideals and control of the world change. Future cities as such would not have traffic jams , population woes, congestion, and many other issues that near all cities of today face. In this manner, cities will be designed for the ever changing needs of humans.  These cities will probably be build from the ground up instead of in an existing town or city. Overall, the future in these directions, will allow for a better advancement of the human race as a whole. -GG

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 24, 9:39 PM

Future sustainability - urban architecture

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 24, 9:40 PM

Future sustainability - urban architecture

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A Bubble over Beijing for Clean Air

A Bubble over Beijing for Clean Air | green streets | Scoop.it

Architecture firm Orproject has proposed the construction of a sealed canopy filled with clean air. Bubbles would cover a park and botanical garden, providing a healthy, temperature- and humidity-controlled area.

Beijing has the worst smog levels among the world’s capital cities – so bad that playing sports outdoor is often banned – but it could get a stunning new set of lungs in the form of a covered botanical garden, retail and office complex under a giant transparent roof.

Called Bubbles, the architectural concept might seem an unlikely candidate for a high-rise city of 21 million people. But its designers believe it offers something that every urban environment needs.


“It’s just an infrastructure project like building metro stations and parks – it’s applicable in every dense, polluted metropolis where there’s a need for open, green spaces throughout the year,” says Rajat Sodhi at Orproject, an architecture practice with offices in London, Beijing and New Delhi.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, April 29, 6:31 PM

One way to have clean air is to avoid making bad air, but what a lousy solution this bubble is to industrialization.

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Self-Sustaining “Farmscrapers” are Cities in Stackable Steel Rocks

Self-Sustaining “Farmscrapers” are Cities in Stackable Steel Rocks | green streets | Scoop.it

Smart cities, if they are ever to emerge, will likely center around redesign of urban buildings and infrastructure that will make them “self sustaining” and reduce carbon emissions and other “negative externalities.”

The Chinese city of Shenzen, a candidate for green transformation if there ever was one, and Asian Cairns will be a group of six “space age” looking buildings that will produce food for residents. The project will cover 79 acres (320,000 sq. m) with green vegetation incorporated into the structures of the building. Dubbed “farmscrapers” instead of “skyscrapers” the buildings will include housing, office space, shops and recreational areas.

Photovoltaic and photo thermal solar cells as well as wind turbines will be incorporated into the structure of the building to provide more energy than is consumed by residents. Callebaut designed the building so that no fossil fuels will be necessary, completely eliminating CO2 emissions.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, November 17, 2013 10:22 AM

This is worth looking over. These at least look more interesting than the typical sky scrapper.

umikael's curator insight, November 17, 2013 12:24 PM

it is not sci-fi

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How LEDs Will Make Or Break The Skylines Of Global Cities

How LEDs Will Make Or Break The Skylines Of Global Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

LED lighting is transforming skylines all over the world—and architects, city governments, and urban denizens should take note. These illuminated nightscapes promise a new worldwide arena where global cities will compete for recognition.


It's a gradual trend that has reached a fever pitch in recent months. Recent articles from the New York Times and NY1 discuss the LED-ification of two of New York City's landmark skyscrapers: the Empire State Building and the Helmsley Building. Why the intensifying deployment of these powerful lighting systems? Well, for starters, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are energy-efficient, long-lasting, increasingly affordable, and easily controlled by computer programs. Architecturally, these little lights can significantly change a building's nighttime character, transforming shadowy forms into immaculate performances of infinite color and vivacity...

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ParadigmGallery's comment, August 2, 2013 4:44 PM
I grew up in the "lighting industry" so I was particularly interested in this story. The absolut best part of it is the comments/interaction...Duilio Passariello and Zachary Edelson the author...
Linus Ridge's comment, August 15, 2013 6:41 AM
A really interesting article.
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Multimodal Interchange by Tetrarc Architects

Multimodal Interchange by Tetrarc Architects | green streets | Scoop.it

Tetrarc Architect’s designs for a public transport hub in Saint-Nazaire, France were recently completed. The projects – a bus shelter and a bridge – make up two points in this multi-modal interchange designed to accommodate increasing bus and rail traffic in Saint-Nazaire, while catering to pedestrians and their comfort.


The bus shelter runs parallel to the public square in front of Saint-Nazaire’s train station. The dynamic form and bright yellow hue of the roof adds visual interest to grey surroundings and makes the roof-cover a focal point, drawing pedestrians to it. It gives the impression of speed that is realised in the function of the shelter as a traffic-easing intervention. Daylighting is maximised in the shelter as the gap between its two canopies admits sunlight and a view to the sky. The glossy finish overhead and the shiny columns also reflect light, increasing visual effects both day and night. The overhang protects pedestrians from rain while glass-walled waiting areas shield passengers from the wind, all while maintaining visual connections to the surroundings.

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Gardens By The Bay: Singapore's Most Brilliant Architectural Innovation

Gardens By The Bay: Singapore's Most Brilliant Architectural Innovation | green streets | Scoop.it

Gardens by the Bay is the newest addition to Singapore's green space innovations, making this architecturally brilliant metropolis truly a “City in a Garden.”

Still a work in progress, Gardens by the Bay was named the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival 2012. The use of innovative energy saving technologies is a noteworthy element of this unique project.

More than 217,000 plants belonging to approximately 800 species and varieties are represented in the Gardens “with the hope that it will help to promote awareness of the wonders of nature and the value of plants to Man and the environment.” In this way, visitors are instilled with new or renewed awareness of plants, while experiencing different ecosystems without disturbing original forests. Gardens by the Bay also supports the sustainability of culture through a wide array of “edutainment” available onsite — from school programs to concerts  – to further enhance an understanding of this experience...

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Chia Yi Xuan's curator insight, June 29, 2013 11:40 AM

From this article, I can see that Singapore's architectural design of the Gardens by the Bay has been known and that people find it very innovative and fascinating. It was named the World Building of the Year in the year 2012. I think that the Gardens by the Bay is a very good idea as it can attract tourists and draw international attention.It also make Singapore known to more countries.I wonder if the people in the other countries will find it fascinating and a joy to see this architectural innovation.

Tan Teck Ling's curator insight, June 30, 2013 9:24 AM

This is my insight using See-Think-Wonder routine,

I can see from this article that Singapore has gained some recognition for its attempt to built a creative and interesting architecture while ensuring it to be Eco-friendly.
I think that this type of architectures are beneficial to everybody as it provides shelter for people while ensuring that the building is a great attraction through the usage of a large variety of plants that is Eco-friendly.
I wonder what would Singapore come up with that would allow it to gain such recognition once again by others 

RuiHan Chia's curator insight, June 30, 2013 9:59 AM

I see that Singapore 's new addition, Gardens by the Bay, has already drawn international attention and was named the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival 2012. I think that Gardens by the Bay is good because it promotes energy saving and is a great tourist attraction and showcases many different plants and habitats. It also has great potential since it is not complete yet. I wonder how it will change as it is being completed.

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Feed Your City: How Architecture and Farming Work Together

Feed Your City: How Architecture and Farming Work Together | green streets | Scoop.it

It’s easy to argue that architecture plays a part in the world of food; most restaurants are uniquely designed to better the dining experience after all. However, the architect’s ties to the industry go much deeper, and designers are beginning to revolutionize the way we see & manage food production.


As these cities grow, it is important that we continue to find new and innovative ways to provide for the populace. Vertical farming and urban agriculture offer relief in metropolitan environments, helping to reduce the pressure of public food supply while also changing our traditional approach to food production.


See 11 great examples at the article link...

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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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SANAA Meanders Through What Could Have Been a Subdivision

SANAA Meanders Through What Could Have Been a Subdivision | green streets | Scoop.it

Tokyo-based SANAA has unveiled its next U.S. project, a meandering structure called The River for the Grace Farms Foundation a non-profit in New Canaan, CT. Situated on an acre of the 75-acre Grace Farms, the building is defined by its flowing roof that hovers ten feet above the landscape on slender metal posts. Interior spaces are formed by increasing the building’s width and enclosing spaces in floor-to-ceiling glass, creating a seamless transition between interior spaces and a landscape designed by Philadelphia-based OLIN.

 

The River descends from a sanctuary space for the Community Church atop a hill and includes a library, meeting space, dining room, gymnasium, and children’s spaces along its route.

“Our goal with the River is to make the architecture become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building,” said Kazuyo Sejima, principal at SANAA, in a statement. “We hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River.”

 

The landscape of meadows, wetlands, lakes, and woods at Grace Farms was preserved from development in 2008 when a 10-house subdivision was once proposed.

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Toward an Architecture of Place: Moving Beyond Iconic to Extraordinary

Toward an Architecture of Place: Moving Beyond Iconic to Extraordinary | green streets | Scoop.it

We all realize that a “sense of place” is of fundamental value to people everywhere — in every city, every town, every neighborhood, and every culture, for all ages.

At least, that is what the average person recognizes instinctively. It is a fundamental reality that all too often is missing from the discussion when it comes to architecture and design.

We want to steer the discussion about architecture and design toward the idea of place, and how it can contribute to healthy, comfortable, engaging public spaces and destinations. We will do that by examining both positive and negative examples. Our idea of an “Architecture of Place” is about creating design that ennobles people — that makes them feel empowered, important, and excited to be in the places they inhabit in their daily lives.

Whether we like the buildings as pure formal objects is another matter, and not of primary significance. What is truly significant is whether architecture creates a place. When we discuss a building, that criterion should be as important as whether it is “green” or “sustainable” or “iconic.”

 

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Five Approaches to Reviving Chicago’s Navy Pier

Five Approaches to Reviving Chicago’s Navy Pier | green streets | Scoop.it

Five proposals to rethink the public spaces at Navy Pier have gone on view at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The finalist teams–AECOM/BIG, Aedas/Davis Brody Bond/Martha Schwartz Partners, James Corner Field Operations, !melk/HOK/UrbanLab, and Xavier Vendrell Studio/Grimshaw Architects–use variety of approaches to revitalize the historic pier, which has long been a favored destination for tourists. Organizers hope revitalizing the pier’s public spaces will make it a world-class destination for residents as well as visitors, much like Millennium Park and the rest of the lakefront. AECOM/BIG’s proposal calls for a series of undulating ramp/bleachers that form a new landscape over much of the pier’s midsection, culminating in a new park at the tip.

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Mirror, Mirror: Playground Pavilion Gets Funhouse Treatment

Mirror, Mirror: Playground Pavilion Gets Funhouse Treatment | green streets | Scoop.it
A playground pavilion and multi-use building in Copenhagen is clad in mirrored steel on its gabled ends, giving kids a funhouse experience.

The architects say, “At night the shutters are closed making the building anonymous. During the day the building opens up, attracting the children who enjoy seeing themselves transformed in all directions. With simple means it has succeeded to transform an existing, sad and anonymous building to a unique and respectful installation in the newly renovated park.”

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