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. — la.curbed.com
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...
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? — failedarchitecture.com
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
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. — commonedge.org
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"
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. — NYT
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...
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. — kykernel.com
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
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...
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. — theguardian.com
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
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...
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. — nybooks.com
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...
The idea, besides removing as many vestiges of Communist rule as possible, is to create a concrete expression of the nationalism [Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban's] governing party espouses. [...]
“These projects, when lumped together, probably constitute the biggest such concentrated architectural project in Budapest in 100 years,” [...]
“He is trying to take the existing city and put it back to the shape it had before 1944...The park is a victim of this whole political machinery.” — nytimes.com
Learn more about a couple of the controversial projects mentioned:First glimpse: SANAA wins over Snøhetta for Budapest's new National Gallery + Ludwig MuseumThe fascinating DIY architecture of these Hungarian summer houses brings back childhood memoriesThree winners, including Sou Fujimoto, are...
“Shady,” “unethical,” “secretive,” “robbed of our due process” — these were just a few of the choice terms used by angry residents this past week at a packed City Council meeting about the selling of Pine Tree Park [in Kent, outside of Seattle, WA].
Longtime Seattle land-use attorney Rick Aramburu has another term for what happened: illegal. It’s also a growing trend in the swath of cities around Seattle, places that no longer receive much scrutiny from the press.
“It’s becoming a cancer" — seattletimes.com
More on recent (legal) park development:A critical look at Downtown L.A.'s ambitious plans for two new public parksTalking parks with Adrian Benepe, senior vice president of The Trust for Public LandTransforming a garbage heap into a public parkAmbitious L.A. Parks Plan Will Require Coordination...
New York collects about $60 million annually for allowing signs, ornamental lampposts, stand-alone clocks, benches, bollards, planters, permanent trash receptacles, delivery ramps and just about anything else imaginable on, over or under the city’s 12,000 miles of sidewalks. [...]
Overall revenue from sidewalk-permit fees has risen by about 50 percent in the past decade, the bulk of it from utility companies for pipes and transformers below ground. — nytimes.com
Related on Archinect:Not all sidewalks are created equal in D.C.Rise in cycling expands NYC's real estate marketProtected bike lanes strengthen city economy, report findsWhy Los Angeles is struggling to fix thousands of miles of sidewalksPeople-streets link small L.A. neighborhood and $325MM...
The only context in which [Times Square] is routinely praised is a historical one, and then usually in a misguided glorification of its former grittiness. Nostalgia clouds the ugliness of the past and conceals the vibrancy of the present, but perhaps worst of all, it offers a pass for looking at Times Square as it really is and as it should be. [...]
if you’re trying to fight your way through the crowds of Times Square, you’re missing the point—the point is the crowd. — observer.com
Related on Archinect:Have a moment at the "Heart of Hearts", now at Times Square for Valentine's DayNY Mayor de Blasio's Times Square overhaul runs into massive oppositionTimes Square throughout the agesTimes Square and the routine of chaosIs that a luge in Times Square?
The Hills on Governors Island will welcome visitors this summer — nearly a year ahead of schedule, it was announced last week — and add 10 acres of green space to the city, largely in the form of four artificial hills. Made of recycled construction debris and clean fill, the hills rise as high as 70 feet above the island...An unseasonably warm fall contributed to faster-than-expected construction times. — NextCity
You can find more photos and renderings from the Governors Island's Flickr here and here.Scroll down for a drone video of the park under construction.More about public parks on Archinect:Pershing Square Renew competition narrows down to four finalist teamsBIG unveils 28-acre master plan for...
Mall of America’s ability to so zealously suppress the December 23 [Black Lives Matter] protest there highlights how, in a nation where more and more public life takes place in privatized spaces, the ability to exercise First Amendment rights has become increasingly contingent...
Legal arguments that free political speech should be allowed at malls center around the idea that the shopping center has replaced the town square as a place where opinions can be heard and exchanged. — the Intercept
Related:Taking a stand against privately-owned public spacesFor in that death of malls, what dreams may come? Archinect Sessions #32, featuring special guest co-host, Nam Henderson!NY Mayor de Blasio's Times Square overhaul runs into massive opposition
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