When the 70th regular session of the General Assembly convenes on Sept. 15, it will do so in a complex of buildings that hasn’t looked so good or felt so secure in generations.
“We now have a very safe compound,” said Michael Adlerstein, [...] executive director of a seven-year, $2.15 billion renovation, known as the capital master plan, that is nearing completion. More visible than anything else is the robust yet crystalline new glass facade of the 39-story Secretariat building. — nytimes.com
Burglary is a spatial crime: its very definition requires architecture...Indeed, burglary's architectural interest comes not from its ubiquity, but from its unexpected, often surprisingly subtle misuse of the built environment. Burglars approach buildings differently, often seeking modes of entry other than doors and approaching buildings—whole cites—as if they're puzzles waiting to be solved or beaten. — BLDGBLOG
Since terrorism has become one of the guiding forces in urban design, the incorporation of immense fortifications into everyday streets has spawned an entire industry of defensive architecture [...]
The latest developments in this rising tide of urban paranoia are on display this week at the Counter Terror Expo in west London’s Olympia, a sprawling trade show that proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof”. It is an enormous supermarket of neuroses [...]. — theguardian.com
There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.
Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."
But the choice between gardens and gates isn't just academic for diplomats — it can affect the way they work. — npr.org
More visibly, this shift means that the familiar security architecture of airports and international borders – checkpoints, scanners, ID cars, cordons, security zones – start to materialise in the hearts of cities. What this amounts to, in practice, is an effort to roll out the well-established architecture and surveillance of the airport to parts of the wider, open city. — The Guardian
Amidst news of the austere, lean venues and reviews of the architectural highlights constructed, Stephen Graham professor of cities and society at Newcastle University and author of Cities Under Siege, reminds us that London 2012 will see the UK's biggest mobilisation of military...
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