Archinect - News 2015-10-09T02:48:37-04:00 New website on the deep web encourages architects to leak neighborhood-disrupting building plans Julia Ingalls 2015-09-09T18:34:00-04:00 >2015-09-12T19:11:19-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="339" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;There are a lot of people working in architecture who are very frustrated with what&rsquo;s happening, but feel like they don&rsquo;t have a voice to speak out,&rdquo; said Sarah, another of Concrete Action&rsquo;s co-founders, who also wished to remain anonymous. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re hoping that this is going to give them an avenue to do that without worrying about losing their jobs or getting into trouble.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Architects who are dismayed by working on projects that tend to harm, not improve, the neighborhoods in which they are sited now have a secure whistleblowing option: U.K.-based <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Concrete Action</a> allows architects to anonymously submit rent-inflating building plans to the public. The site, which started in response to a slew of development of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">high-rent projects in low income areas</a>, also helps the concerned citizen crack the often arcane and jargon-heavy <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">city planning process</a>. Architects can use encrypted methods to submit copies of the plans and alert the public to just what developers are coveting, er, planning.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> The Guardian reveals how developers play the planning system to get around affordable housing Alexander Walter 2015-06-26T18:49:00-04:00 >2015-06-28T10:09:27-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="349" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Seen exclusively by the Guardian, the document sheds new light on why so little affordable housing is being built across England; why planning policy consistently fails to be enforced; and why property developers are now enjoying profits that exceed even those of the pre-crash housing bubble.</p></em><br /><br /><p>And the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">affordable housing</a> crisis is certainly not restricted to the greater London area as many recent headlines on Archinect show:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">No room for affordable housing in SF? Build it in Oakland</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"We've got enough millionaires": George Lucas wants to build affordable housing on his own land</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Developers in California can be required to include low-income housing, courts declare</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kevin Daly's Backyard BI(h)OME provides affordable housing for humans and wildlife</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chicago Rethinks Rules for Developers to Increase Affordable Housing</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">'Poor doors': not the worst thing about social housing</a></li></ul> Those hipster millennials might not be the true gentrifiers of U.S. neighborhoods Justine Testado 2015-06-23T15:55:00-04:00 >2015-07-04T22:13:05-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Often, at least in America, we think of regular people as the agents of change&mdash;the artist, the boutique coffee shop owner, the tech startup. But as much as gentrification is an organic process, fueled by opportunity seekers and bargain hunters, it&rsquo;s developers and financiers who have become the savvy midwives of change. Once they detect the early signs of gentrification, they bring on the serious money.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More:</p><p><a title='"Eco-Gentrification," or the social ramifications of "urban greening"' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Eco-Gentrification," or the social ramifications of "urban greening"</a></p><p><a title="Revisiting Sharon Zukin's &quot;Loft Living&quot; and NYC gentrification" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Revisiting Sharon Zukin's "Loft Living" and NYC gentrification</a></p><p><a title="With gentrification, the end of racial segregation moves into LA's Highland Park neighborhood" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">With gentrification, the end of racial segregation moves into LA's Highland Park neighborhood</a></p><p><a title="Amsterdam's &quot;ugly&quot; architecture from the 70s proves resilient against gentrification" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amsterdam's "ugly" architecture from the 70s proves resilient against gentrification</a></p><p><a title="So gentrification is just a myth after all?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">So gentrification is just a myth after all?</a></p> “New” Frank Lloyd Wright Home Found Miles Jaffe 2015-06-13T12:24:00-04:00 >2015-06-15T04:04:49-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>the System-Built developer may indeed have constructed this home without Wright&rsquo;s knowledge</p></em><br /><br /><p>Alas, some thing never change.</p> Manhattan community board pushes moratorium on 600ft and higher construction Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-05-19T12:55:00-04:00 >2015-05-19T19:32:16-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"There's actually such a lack of transparency that it is difficult to understand what developers and property owners are actually planning ... There's no mechanism for us or the city for us to understand ahead of time what's in the planning" [...] The board ultimately wants Mayor Bill de Blasio to take steps to create more comprehensive zoning laws that would assess the impact of large towers on open space and mitigate any potential impacts, like shadows on Central Park.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Listen to the full report from WYNC below:</p><p></p> The new 5 over 1 Seattle, where "everything looks the same" Alexander Walter 2015-04-28T14:00:00-04:00 >2015-04-29T15:19:05-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="411" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>There are ways to bring elegance to 5 over 1 structures, but it requires a high degree of skill and commitment. Only a very talented designer can take such a limited palette of materials and make the resulting building interesting, if not elegant. But developers must be willing to hire those skilled designers. Many are simply not interested. [...] Hence, the wildly uneven &mdash;&nbsp;and often uninspiring&nbsp;&mdash; architecture in Seattle today.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Similar tenor in other booming parts of the nation:</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">Blair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developments</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Jeff Sheppard calls downtown Denver's new housing developments "meaningless, uninspiring"</a></li></ul> Snøhetta to take over SF development project near Civic Center Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-10-29T19:53:00-04:00 >2014-11-05T20:03:49-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="330" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>This would be the first U.S. tower for Sn&oslash;hetta, founded in Norway but on the rise in the United States since being selected in 2004 to design the pavilion for the National Sept. 11 Memorial &amp; Museum. Sn&oslash;hetta will replace an even better-known architect for the corner: Richard Meier, the Pritzker Prize-winning designer of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, whose firm has been working on a tower in the same location since 2008.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The site in question is directly adjacent the Civic Center's metro stop on Market St., and a large part of the developer's plans revolve around shifting this existing stop one block north, to avoid (in the SFGate author's words) the "squalid even by neighborhood standards" area. The residential tower being built on the site, which includes condominiums with retail space on the ground floor, would account for its affordable housing requirements by building separate properties three blocks away.</p><p>Sn&oslash;hetta's other work in San Francisco includes&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">SFMoMA's expansion</a>, which is currently under construction.</p> NYC's historic 190 Bowery part of massive buy-up by developer RFR Holdings Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-09-19T20:25:00-04:00 >2014-09-23T17:26:56-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="359" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>RFR plans to spend $250 million on Manhattan land purchases, up to $500 million on office building deals and $100 million to $150 million more on retailing properties &mdash; all before the end of the year. [...] Perhaps the most under-the-radar purchase was 190 Bowery... Developers have been trying for years to buy the six-story Renaissance Revival structure, which appears abandoned, with blocked-off doorways, boarded-up windows and graffiti covering nearly all of the lower facade.</p></em><br /><br /><p>For some more context on 190 Bowery, check out <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Wendy Goodman's 2008 profile of the family living there</a>.</p> The truth about property developers: they are ruining our cities Orhan Ayyüce 2014-09-18T13:03:00-04:00 >2014-09-24T19:34:53-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Conditions that have been agreed are relentlessly renegotiated at reserved matters stage. Good architects are employed to win outline planning, then ditched for a cheaper alternative; high-quality materials are substituted for flimsy plastic panels &ndash; all in the name of viability.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The song remains the same, and you know your favorite Pritzker Prize'rs are involved in them.</p><p>It is usually the floodgate scheme;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Once an outline permission is granted, it makes it very difficult for us to refuse a scheme further down the line,&rdquo; says one officer. In Stratford City&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">&ldquo;International Quarter&rdquo;</a>, part of the promised spoils of the Olympic legacy, consented tower proposals have recently gained a substantial number of extra storeys. Similarly in Wandsworth, a proposed pair of towers have put on a growth spurt and lost their planned mix of uses, reverting entirely to high-end flats.</p><p>Next line of invasion is always, "we provide jobs."</p> The people designing your cities don’t care what you want. They’re planning for hipsters. Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-08-15T13:45:00-04:00 >2014-09-09T13:29:26-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>current conventional wisdom embraces density, sky-high scrapers, vastly expanded mass transit and ever-smaller apartments. It reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. [...] Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want: home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools and &ldquo;human scale&rdquo; neighborhoods.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Hello Dubai-on-the-East-River HotSoup 2013-03-04T19:02:00-05:00 >2013-03-10T14:39:00-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In recent years developers putting up a forest of residential towers have been accused of turning the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront into Miami-on-the-East-River. With his new plan for the 11-acre Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg officially unveiled on Sunday, Jed Walentas has crafted something that might better be described as Dubai-on-the-East-River.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Audacious new waterfront development designed by SHoP unveiled in Brooklyn. Transforms derelict Domino Sugar refinery into 24/7 community with designs the likes of which New York has never seen.</p> 60-Story Twin Towers by SOM Break Ground in Manhattan HotSoup 2013-01-16T12:51:00-05:00 >2013-01-21T10:14:31-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="665" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;With today&rsquo;s groundbreaking, we&rsquo;re taking a major step forward in the transformation and rebirth of the Far West Side of Manhattan,&rdquo; Mayor Michael Bloomberg said from the podium at the corner of 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Hudson Yards is not the only megadevelopnment underway on Manhattan's Far West Side. Brookfield Properties (owners of the World Financial Center, Canary Wharf and Zuccotti Park), broke ground on Manhattan West, a 5.4-million-square foot development on a 5 acre site over a set of Penn Station rail road tracks. The centerpiece is two 60-story towers designed by SOM.</p> Reality Check: Developers React to MoMA’s Show, “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” Archinect 2012-03-27T00:44:00-04:00 >2012-03-27T08:16:58-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Though the panelists agreed that the foreclosure crisis will lead to major changes in suburban development, they all thought new patterns are less likely to be brought about by a revised American dream than by economic and demographic factors. And all said it would be very difficult to change zoning laws to permit denser new development patterns, especially in existing &ldquo;inner-ring&rdquo; suburbs.</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Archinect: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The CRIT: Thoughts on MoMA's Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream</a></p> Why DC's Architecture Is So Boring Archinect 2011-11-09T12:02:08-05:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" width="300" height="224" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Architects innovate through design, but developers also innovate by selecting architects and making decisions to invest in new neighborhoods or provide housing forms that they think other developers are neglecting. Although what developers do is not as obvious as architecture, that doesn&rsquo;t mean there aren&rsquo;t consequences to liming competition among them.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html>