Point of View - Point of View August 2010

 

Places that Work: II, The Rookery

On a recent visit to Chicago, I ducked into the light court at The Rookery on the corner of Adams and LaSalle. I do this every time I’m in this city on the lake, because I love the space. As…

Accessibility Watch: Retrofitting

A new trend is emerging as the baby boom grows older. Some homes and communities are designed to allow residents to age-in-place, or for young people to begin their lives in a house that can, eventually, be adapted as their…

A Teachable Moment

Today, at noon, there were 91,700 entries posted on New Orleans five years after Katrina. Everyone from President Obama to Sandra Bullock got mentioned. But of the thousands of articles, films, blogs, newscasts I skimmed through, not one architect or…

Americans bring their "can-do" approach to Venice

The form of Duck-and-Cover produces the big box logo from a Google-Earth point of view, and a verdant garden at street-level, image courtesy RSAUD Starting this Sunday, August 29, when the Venice Biennale opens (and runs through November 21), there…

Accessibility Watch:Two Decades of Living with ADA

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our federal government’s attempt to ensure the civil rights of U.S citizens with disabilities. It requires that all public spaces and programs be accessible to everyone, regardless of…

Life at the Rural Studio

Is there a blog, a website, a magazine, a book….that hasn’t yet told the story of Auburn University’s legendary Rural Studio? In the Metropolis archives alone, there’s a piece on the new pragmatism afoot these days at the popular Design-Build…

Getting to Net Zero

The Living City Design Competition invites project teams from around the world to imagine how existing cities might be retrofitted to achieve all twenty imperatives of the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most rigorous green building standard. Like the standard…

Flash Floods Severely Damage Arup-Designed School

1 School Outside The Druk White Lotus School in Shey, India, which I wrote about back in 2009, was seriously damaged in a recent flood and mudslides that took place in the remote Ladakh region of the Himalayas in last…

Crowdsourcing Architecture Criticism

Gone are the days when you have to trawl through Wikipedia and scores of architecture blogs to reliably research a building online. OpenBuildings.com is the Web site architecture geeks like me have been waiting for: it aims to collect everything…

NASA Goes Green and Platinum

In keeping with President Obama’s “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” executive order, we’ve seen a decisive push for greener federal buildings over the past year. It even appears that different agencies are actually vying with each other…

IDSA + DIY

Grace Bonney and John Jay In Portland, Oregon last week the IDSA International Conference asked: DIY Design Threat or Opportunity? Why, you may wonder, would a community of makers, independent thinkers, and entrepreneurs be so apprehensive? To explore this uneasy…

Q&A: Thomas Heatherwick on His "Seed Cathedral" in Shanghai

Photos: Edward Lifson Great world’s fairs traditionally leave one main, indelible image in the public’s consciousness.  In 1893, Chicago gave us civic monuments around a reflecting pool, out of which sprang the golden statue of the Republic. The Eiffel Tower…

The Beauty of Ecological Tragedy

Oil Field #13, Taft, California, Edward Burtynsky In last week’s Q&A with Susan Szenasy, the organizers of the CoolClimate Art Contest spoke of the role of art in raising awareness about ecological issues. In a similar vein, Ecoaesthetic: The Tragedy of…

Ed Mazria's Master Class

Ed Mazria, known to American architects for his 2030 Challenge to clean up the environment through sustainable practices, recently joined select members of the DLR Group at the Island Wood campus on Bainbridge Island, Washington to help them design a…

Giving Harlem its High Line

La Marqueta, between 111th and 116th streets in Harlem, New York, was once the place to drive a bargain on plantains and avocados. But it never recovered from a slow decline in the 1970s, and several attempts to revive it…

Vertical Farming Comes Down to Earth

Dr. Dickson Despommier’s ten-year-old vision of vertical farm facilities for urban areas received a shot in the arm last week. When the architectural firm Weber Thompson presented their design for the Newark Vertical Farm to city officials and local businessmen…

Letter from Tel Aviv

The architect Guy Zucker inserted an elegant, light-filled penthouse into this 1960s-era apartment building on Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. Photo: courtesy Z-A Studio It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but during a recent 12-hour flight from New…