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Archive for the ‘Landscape Architecture’ Category

* Residential Architecture: Green Box by act_romegialli

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Green Box by act_romegialli

Residential Architecture: Green Box by act_romegialli: “..This glazed garden hideaway in Italy by Italian studio act_romegialli is disguised inside a dense thicket of bushy plants and blossoming wildflowers..The little building previously functioned as a garage for a weekend retreat in the Raethian Alps, but act_romegialli was asked to convert it into a space where the owner can keep gardening tools, prepare meals and entertain guests..Retaining the rustic stone walls and columns of the old garage, the architects installed a galvanised metal framework with a skeletal pitched roof, then added glazed panels to infill openings on each of the walls..Steel wires strung up around the structure help a selection of deciduous plants to climb over the facade, plus a mixture of annual and perennial shrubs are planted around its base, providing a constant blanket of exterior greenery..The interior of the building is divided into two rooms, both with weather-beaten larch floors and exposed concrete ceilings. The kitchen is constructed from galvanised steel and features a sink with metal pipes for taps..”  Extensive glazing, natural light, garden views; lovely garden pavilion; original article features a five-image slideshow and many additional images..

image: Marcello Mariana; article: Dezeen

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Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Green Design, Interior Design, Interiors, Landscape Architecture, Residential Architecture, Slide Shows, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* Architecture & Design: Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2013 National Design Awards Winners

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2013 National Design Awards Winners

Architecture & Design: Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2013 National Design Awards Winners: “..Now in its 14th year, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards is continuing its legacy to recognize outstanding achievement across a variety of disciplines in the design community.  The awards were established to “promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world”.  This year the recipients will be honored at a gala in October during National Design Week in New York City.  The goal of recognizing this achievements is to reinforce the idea that “everything around us is designed” and the potential for innovation and creation is present across all types of development. The winners of this year’s design awards were selected based on excellence, innovation and public impact..James Wines is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Wines is the founder and president of SITE, multidisciplinary studio based in New York City that develops site-specific structures that utilize information about the surrounding environment.  The work includes buildings, public space, environmental art, landscapes, master plans, interiors, video productions, graphics and product designs, all of which use the context to determine the design.  With projects numbering over 150 in 11 countries, Wines’ and SITE’s work has been highly influential in the design community..Michael Sorkin is honored with the Design Mind Award for his work in architecture at his practice, Michael Sorkin Studio; for his work in architectural and urban critique for Architectural Record and as professor at the City College of New York; and as an urbanist for his work with the non-profit organization Terreform which is dedicated to research and intervention of urban morphology..The popular non-profit organization that produces lectures covering issues of technology, entertainment and design – TED – is awarded the Corporate and Institutional Achievement.  The talks cover a wide range of disciplines and have grown exponentially in popularity since its beginnings in 1984.  To promote local outreach, TED has also developed the TEDx talks which allows individuals to independently organize events in their communities..The Architecture Design Award is going to Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective that uses design to connect with and respond to contemporary issues.  Each project addresses the individual cultural and environmental concerns of the site, using specific strategies to deal with global issues of urbanization, climate and sustainability.  The projects cover a range of scale and scope, from individual building towers to infrastructure and public space..Graphic Designer Paula Scher is recognized for the Communication Design for her work with “iconic, smart and accessible images”.  Her work uses typography to develop images that have meaning and evoke feeling.  Her work is highly recognizable and has been used for environmental graphics, packing, publications and branding systems..Fashion Designer Behnaz Sarafpour is being recognized for her work in elegant and innovative textiles.  Her collection blends high design with affordability, while consciously choosing organically produced materials for her designs..Media design firm, Local Projects, is being recognized for Interaction Design.  The firm specializes in work for museums and public spaces and has been creating work for the 9/11 Memorial Museum.  It is being awarded for its use of physical space and interactive design to create collaborative storytelling projects..Aidlin Darling Design is the recipient of the Interior Design award for the studios interest in designing spaces for all five sense.  The studio functions as a hub for collaborators of many disciplines, including builders, fabricators, artists, engineers, and chefs..Margie Ruddick work is being recognized for the Landscape Architecture award for her pioneering approach in incorporating ecology into the urban landscape.  Ruddick is also an author and professor whose work has gained international acclaim and is likely an inspiration in today’s desire to design environmentally conscious sites in modern cities..NewDealDesign is honored with the Product Design award.  The multidisciplinary firm collaborates with industrial, graphic and interaction designers to create innovative products “dedicated to helping people live better everyday”. (via Cooper-Hewitt.org)

See our post on another project by Studio Gang Architects: Solar Carve Tower by Studio Gang Architects in New York City, next to the High Line linear park.

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image: Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre by Studio Gang Architects by Greg Murphy; article: Vinnitskaya , Irina. “Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2013 National Design Awards Winners” 10 May 2013. ArchDaily

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Awards, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Cultural Architecture, Design, Design & Decoration, Designalog, Graphic Design, Interior Decoration, Interior Design, Interiors, Landscape Architecture, Product Design, Public Architecture, Public Parks, Residential Architecture, Urban Design | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* Architecture & Design: Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces

Architecture & Design: Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces:  “..In 2011, UN-HABITAT and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) signed a 5-year cooperative agreement to aspire to raise international awareness of the importance of public space in cities, to foster a lively exchange of ideas among partners and to educate a new generation of planners, designers, community activists and other civic leaders about the benefits of what they call the “Placemaking methodology.” Their partnership is helping to advance the development of cities where people of all income groups, social classes and ages can live safely, happily and in economic security and in order to reach these ambitious goals, the duo recently released 10 informative steps that cities and communities can take to improve the quality of their public spaces.

UN-HABITAT Executive Director Joan Clos i Matheu believes that “what defines a character of a city is its public space, not its private space. What defines the value of the private assets of the space are not the assets by themselves but the common assets. The value of the public good affects the value of the private good. We need to show every day that public spaces are an asset to a city.”

Building inclusive, healthy, functional, and productive cities is perhaps the greatest challenge facing humanity today, but when done right, they can jumpstart economic development, help build a sense of community, civic identity and culture, facilitate social capital and community revitalization. Investing even a little bit into the quality of a public space delivers a significant return to a city that has the foresight to see its value.

Because urbanization is the definitive reality of the 21st century and because it is occurring most rapidly in places with the greatest lack of urban planning, UN-HABITAT and PPS came up with the Placemaking method in order to create places where the community feels ownership and engagement, and where design serves function, meeting basic human needs. The process will identify and catalyze local leadership, funding and other resources, drawing on the assets and skills of a community rather than on relying solely on professional “experts.”

Their 10 Steps to Success are:

1. Improve Streets as Public Spaces

Streets are the fundamental public space in every city, but many are choked by traffic, so Placemaking encourages the planning of cities for people and places, not just cars. The ideal street will be able to sustain different modes of transportation, whether it be car, rail, tram, bicycle or pedestrian, and all will work parallel with each other. Planning out a hierarchy of corridors ranging from major boulevards to quiet neighborhood streets will also affect what develops on that street and create more appropriate street-building interactions. Creating more pedestrian-friendly streets in general will provide spaces for interpersonal interaction and foster a sense of community that is impossible in a primarily vehicular road.

2. Create Squares and Parks as Multi-Use Destinations

if public squares and parks are planned around major public destinations, they build local economies, civic pride, social connection and human happiness. These spaces serve as “safety valves” for a city, where people can find either breathing room and relaxation in a well-planned park space or fear and danger in a badly-planned one. The most successful public spaces are “multi-use destinations” with many attractions and activities, where citizens can find common ground and where ethnicity and economic tensions can go unnoticed.

3. Build Local Economies Through Markets

Historically, the essential function of any urban center has been a crossroads where people have come together to exchange goods and ideas and public markets have been at the heart of most cities since ancient times. Markets are traditionally the most productive and dynamic places in our cities and towns, where the exchange of news, politics and gossip takes place and where people solidify the social ties that are essential to a healthy society. Markets do many things for cities, including but not limited to encouraging entrepreneurship, sustaining farmland around cities, strengthening ties between urban and rural areas and improving access to fresh food. Replacing the traditional market with a supermarket – a staple in the US – has proven to have no social value and has only deteriorated existing community ties.

4. Design Buildings to Support Places

Buildings with interesting interiors may be architecturally successful to some but it is the architecture that permeates outwards beyond the facade and towards the street level where it engages the city fabric that is the most successful because it is built with the human scale in mind. It is especially important to invest in public institutions like museums, government buildings and libraries so that they engage their surrounding urban environment and foster more opportunities for interpersonal interaction.

5. Link a Public Health Agenda to a Public Space Agenda

It’s nothing new that a healthy city offers citizens basic infrastructure like clean water, ablution facilities, sewage treatment, access to healthy food and safety in public areas. Healthcare facilities should serve as community centers, libraries should provide health education and services, public markets should be a source of fresh, affordable and nutritious food and transportation systems should encourage walking and reduce car traffic and air pollution. Where people feel a sense of ownership in their cities, they are more likely to take better care of the common environment and of themselves, resulting in a reduction in daily stress and less neighborhood crime thanks to an active public realm.

6. Reinvent Community Planning

When planning projects within an established community, it is very important to identify talents and resources in that community – people who can provide historical perspective, insights into how the area functions and an understanding of what is truly meaningful to local people. Planners should always partner with local institutions and involve them from start to finish because communities have a more holistic vision for their public space than the more limited outside professional and can act as valuable facilitators and resources. Good public spaces are flexible and respond to evolution of the urban environment, so keeping the community in long-term control ensures that the space will adapt to their changing needs.

7. Power of 10

The principle of the Power of 10 is the importance of offering a variety of things to do in one location – making a place more than the sum of its parts. For example, a park should not only be a park, but a park with a fountain, playground, food vendor, nearby library, etc. If a neighborhood has 10 places that each have 10 different things to do, then that neighborhood is on the right track; but if that city then has 10 neighborhoods of this nature, all citizens will be guaranteed excellent public spaces within walking distance of their homes.

8. Create a Comprehensive Public Space Agenda

Both top-down and bottom-up strategies are needed to develop, enhance and manage public space – leadership at the top is essential but grassroots organizing strategies are also integral to its success. A city must honestly assess public spaces and their performance and make bold decisions based off of this analysis. For example, New York City decided to carve a public plaza out of all of its 59 community board districts, Chicago decided to implement a small tax on new development to fund improvements of surrounding public areas and, internationally, Brazil launched an ambitious initiative to build 800 “public squares” in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities across the country over the next 3 years.

9. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Start Small, Experiment

On the other hand, big is not always better – or the only strategy. Small moves like creating places to sit, a sidewalk, a cafe, planning a community event, organizing a container garden or painting crosswalks all have positive effects on a community and its public space. Informal settlements in particular are already accustomed to lightweight, innovative strategies that can rethink their environment, so implementing small changes here and there can really add up.

10. Restructure Government to Support Public Spaces

There’s no getting around it: you need local leaders, funding and other resources in order to create successful public space. There is hardly ever an official power structure in a community that focuses on creating successful public realms – the existing public structure sometimes even impedes successful public space. Each governmental department usually has a specific, narrow approach – transportation deals with traffic, parks with green space, etc – but if the ultimate goal of governance, urban institutions and development is to make places, communities and regions more prosperous, civilized and attractive for all people, then government processes need to change to reflect that goal. Cities need consensus-building, city consultation processes and institutional reform that enhance citizenship and inclusion and work for the public good, removing bureaucratic obstacles to quickly add value to a place and demonstrate future potential.

With these strategies in mind, it is the hope of UN-HABITAT and PPS that more communities around the globe will take on the responsibility of creating better public spaces for their people and will make it into a real priority that will fuel smarter urban development. (Reference: PPS Publication)..”  Very interesting ideas of prime importance..

image: Courtesy of Flickr user Chrissy Olson; article: Porada , Barbara. “Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces” 21 Apr 2013.ArchDaily.

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Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture & Design in China, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Cultural Architecture, Design, Designalog, Green Design, Hospitality Architecture, Humanitarian Design, Landscape Architecture, Mixed-Use Architecture, Public Architecture, Public Facilities, Public Parks, Social Architecture, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Urban Design | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* Residential Architecture: Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette Architects

Posted by the editors on Monday, 8 April 2013

Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette Architects

Residential Architecture: Dialogue House by Wendell Burnette Architects: “..Two volumes of light – one warm and one cool – one projected to the expansive horizon and one toward the canopy of the desert sky. Inspired by John Van Dyke’s ruminations on the phenomena of desert light, specifically “colored air” and “reflected light” in his 1901 book titled The Desert – Further Studies in Natural Appearances, the 2200 square foot Dialogue House is a gestalt instrument for touching the full range and specificity of this light, this “place”- day and night, season to season and year to year..At the base of Echo Mountain (amidst an eclectic jumble of 1950′s-60′s ranch bungalows), the main living volume is elevated above work, guest, and the car, furthest from the street on a lateral pinwheel brace of charcoal masonry walls that extend cardinally capturing the site. This well-shaded volume is projected south toward the South Mountain and Sierra Estrella mountain ranges far across the Phoenix, Arizona, USA, basin and downtown skyline..The exterior surfaces of the pinwheel walls as well as the main volume absorb and reflect light akin to the “desert varnish” that coats the volcanic geology of the Phoenix Mountains turning silver, red, purple-brown-black during the day only to collapse into silhouettes at night. Thus, “life after work” is simultaneously supported by the apparent thickness and thinness of light..The interior of the street volume is plastered cool white, half terrace – half cool water as a retreat from the city within the city where one can only see sky. Wind and water activated light is refracted onto the interior surfaces by day and most dramatically at night, which provides an animated foreground to the skyline and distant horizon beyond..Begun many years ago, the Dialogue House has an interesting history and was finally completed in April of 2012..”  Extensive glazing, natural light, views; indoor / outdoor sensibility; interesting form, contextuality, interior details and decoration..

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image: © Bill Timmerman; article: “Dialogue House / Wendell Burnette Architects” 06 Apr 2013. ArchDaily

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Design & Decoration, Designalog, Interior Decoration, Interior Design, Interiors, Landscape Architecture, Residential Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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