Getting down with the LED grow lights to be used in NYC's Lowline
Although still just a mock-up in the Lowline Lab, the LED grow lights designed by Lighting Science for use in the real Lowline are a promising iteration.Combining everything that's great about glowing hexagons with three different settings ("soft-white light, one that mimics daylight, and one that... View full entry
Transit hubs increasingly designed to serve as desirable (and profitable) public spaces
The notion of spending time at a subway stop or other major transit center for pleasure may strike you as odd, but many cities and transportation companies are investing heavily in building up this part of their infrastructure to create desirable public spaces (it adds a whole new dimension to... View full entry
"Poissy Galore" artfully frames green public space on the banks of the Seine
Situated in Carrière-Sous-Poissy in France along the River Seine, "Poissy Galore" by Armengaud Armengaud Cianchetta (AAC) and Herlach Hartmann Frommenwiler (HHF) is designed primarily as an ecological public space for both Parisian residents and far-flung visitors. Consisting of an observatory... View full entry
Zaha Hadid Architects rejects Patrik Schumacher's "manifesto" in open letter
The perenially opinionated Patrik Schumacher, who gave a speech about his "urban policy manifesto" at the November 17th World Architecture Festival in which he called for an end to all social housing and privatization of public space, has attracted push-back from an unexpected source: the firm he... View full entry
How the stressful voting-poll experience can be redesigned
From longer-than-expected lines to technological fumbles, voting polls in urban cities are typically a gnarly mess on Election Day — sometimes causing some voters to end up discouraged and skip out. In response to this still-too-common situation, the Van Alen Institute launched the “Open... View full entry
An ambitious plan to overhaul Penn Station, by moving Madison Square Garden
Penn Station is much more than a transportation center. As the heart of the Northeast Corridor rail system, it has the potential to link downtown to downtown along the Eastern Seaboard in a way far more economical, expedient and environmentally sustainable than air travel.
But while the governor’s recently announced plan is a step toward this goal, more must be done. What we propose in addition is a completely new commuter station on the site of Madison Square Garden
The proposed plan for Penn Station's redesign comes by way of Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. Previously, Chakrabarti was the director of Manhattan's Department of City Planning under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he also... View full entry
DTLA's Music Center Plaza will get a $30M remodel, its first since 1964
Grand Avenue’s Music Center Plaza is about to get a major renovation for the first time since it opened to the public in 1964.
Often overshadowed (literally) by the prominent Downtown venues that stand above it, the plaza is a gathering place and event space in its own right. Thus, a major part of the plan would increase event capacity from 1,500 to 2,500.
[LA County] has already given $2 million to plan the project, with $25 million of funding expected down the road.
More recent L.A. news on Archinect:Michael Maltzan proposes greening L.A.'s 134 freewayDowntown LA has a new museum on the horizonHistoric LA Times Building to be redeveloped"Bouncy-house urbanism is on the rise." – Christopher Hawthorne rides the U.S. Bank Tower's 'SkySlide'Agence Ter and Team... View full entry
Architecture in the age of transparent hostility
With the growing trend towards hostile architecture now openly admitting its political incentives, are we in an age of transparent hostility? [...]
Whereas other instances of hostile architecture are marked by their deliberate obscurity, the Camden Bench was developed, constructed and deployed in plain sight, making it an all too visible reminder of persistent negligence, raising the question: will hostile architecture become an accepted feature of the built environment?
Related stories in the Archinect news:Amid London's austerity measures, "defensive design" becomes even more hostileLAPD directs officers to treat homeless people “with compassion” in new vague policyArchitecture of paranoia View full entry
Jan Gehl: "Never ask what the city can do for your building, always ask what your building can do for the city."
I’m not so critical about New York, because they have this very firm grid-pattern. Even the newer buildings are lined up on good streets. If you stand in front of the Empire State Building, you can’t really guess how tall it is, because it meets the street in a friendly way. [...] It’s not so important how high the building is, or how much it looks like a perfume bottle, it’s more important how it interacts with the city.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Jan Gehl's perspective on making "a good urban habitat for homo sapiens"Is Jan Gehl winning his battle to make our cities liveable?How to design that elusive "Perfect Town" View full entry
From sundlaugs, to rockpools and The Basin
These public pools, or sundlaugs, serve as the communal heart of Iceland, sacred places whose affordability and ubiquity are viewed as a kind of civil right....The pool is Iceland’s social space: where families meet neighbors, where newcomers first receive welcome, where rivals can’t avoid one another.
Dan Kois considers how communal pools and the sociability of soaking, are "a key to Icelandic well-being." On a related note, Dan Hill recently published an essay reflecting on ‘The Pool’, a book published as part of The Australian pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The... View full entry
Kentucky students defend shared living spaces over "innovative" new dorms
with the rise of these innovative areas, traditional-style dorms, characterized by shared bathrooms and two or more students living with one another in a single space, are becoming less frequent on campus, and will soon be discontinued altogether. [...]
living in a traditional-style dorm is important, especially for first-year students, because the living arrangements allow for greater communication between residents that may not necessarily occur in the newer dorms.
Related on Archinect:Luxury UK student housing is on the rise, and with it, gentrification fearsViennese student dorms may Passively House refugeesHomework and Jacuzzis as Dorms Move to McMansions in California View full entry
Dror envisions second geodesic dome in Montreal's Expo 67 site
Originally built as the U.S. Pavilion in the memorable World Expo of 1967, the steel structural frame of Buckminster Fuller's Biosphere remains standing to this day as a sole landmark in Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau. In planning for the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 as well as Montreal's 375th... View full entry
On the rapid privatization of public space in post-communist cities
From 1917 to 1991 in the former Russian Empire, and from 1945 to 1989 in the countries it dominated after the war, there was no real private ownership. No landowners, no developers, no “placemakers” - in half of Europe. Did this mean public space was done differently, and are attitudes to it different in those countries? [...] observed more closely, public space here is every bit as complex as it is elsewhere in Europe.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Owen Hatherley on a Stalinist city's efforts to "de-communize"The New East is where western starchitect dreams come true (or turn into nightmares)Michael Kimmelman on Public Squares View full entry
Race for the Prize – Aravena's Pritzker ceremony, the scourge of unpaid internships and more on Archinect Sessions #59
Last week we witnessed the loss of Dame Zaha Hadid, one of architecture's most formidable and prolific talents. We'll be devoting a later podcast episode to remembering her and honoring her work. Until then, we'll continue catching you up with the most significant architecture news from the past... View full entry
Michael Kimmelman on Public Squares
Squares have defined urban living since the dawn of democracy, from which they are inseparable. [...]
I don’t think it’s coincidental that early in 2011 the Egyptian revolution centered around Tahrir Square, or that the Occupy Movement later that same year, partly inspired by the Arab Spring, expressed itself by taking over squares like Taksim in Istanbul, the Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona, and Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan.
Related stories in the Archinect news:The Art of Architecture Criticism: Archinect Sessions One-to-One #7 with Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for the New York TimesMichael Kimmelman in praise of NYC's new garage-and-salt-shed complex: "Best examples of new public architecture in the... View full entry