Traditional histories of Urbanism have seen the city as something separate from nature, organized according to its own rules and conventions. Given the current emphasis on environment and sustainability, and recent experiments in the sustainable urbanism, it makes sense to revisit the history of the city from a new perspective. This seminar will look briefly at the history of the city from the 19th century to the present through the lens of landscape and nature. Beginning with Haussmann and Cerda, we will look at Fredrick Law Olmsted and the City Beautiful Movement, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City proposal and post-war suburban development in the US, ending with the emergence of Landscape Urbanism in the late 1990’s.
Featured here are photos of Sou Fujimoto‘s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion taken by Danica Kus. Capturing the semi-transparent, multi-purpose social space situated in London, this delicate, three-dimensional structure is enjoyed by its visitors, creating an inviting social setting.
Fujimoto, the youngest architect to accept the Serpentine Gallery’s invitation at 41, describes his work as, “…a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.” More images by Danica Kus after the break.
The 360 Public Housing winning proposal by BAT (Bilbao Architecture Team) + HUT! (Hut Arkitektura) aims to provide a coherent model with its environment; an example of social and architectural sustainability and a world reference in intelligent economic management. Providing physical, energetic and economic self-sufficiency (construction materials, biomass production and imports savings respectively), this project will finally release the island of Saint Helena of the dependency to which it is subjected and will offer a change of mind for the future. More images and architects’ description after the break.
[ June 7, 2013 0:00 to June 11, 2013 0:00. ] Displayed earlier this month in a Qing Dynasty courtyard garden at Wu Hao in Beijing, Ma Yansong…‘s ‘Shanshui City exhibition featured more than twenty architectural models and works of art that are scattered around the ancient courtyard. Among rocks,
In this interview by Hugo Oliveira, Álvaro Siza presents his ideas on the link between obsolescence and quality in architecture, and the role that a design’s flexibility plays in this relationship. He argues that the convent is perhaps the best example of a typology which is both fit for purpose and very flexible, allowing myriad other uses when its lifespan as a convent has ended. He also laments the current tendency to design a building for a very short period of time – intended to last only as long as it is needed for its original function. He links this tendency back to the Futurists of the early 20th century, where the idea was that “each generation makes its own environment which is later destroyed”, an idea he dismisses since “it also allows you to build badly because it only needs to last twenty years”.
You can see how Siza creates this flexibility in his own work by looking at his past projects featured on ArchDaily:
The 8,500 year old Turkish city of Izmir has announced Zaha Hadid as the architect for its World Expo 2020 bid. As home of the Asklepion, one of the world’s oldest hospitals whose history has played a major role in the evolution of healthcare, Izmir hopes claim the title as host of the New Routes to a Better World / Health for All themed fair over its competitors – São Paulo (Brazil), Yekaterinburg (Russia), Ayutthaya (Thailand) and Dubai (UAE).
Battling against international sanctions, global economic crisis and the challenges behind creating a hotel locally and sustainably in Iran, Ameriha House is a recipe for disaster. Or is it?
Grant Associates…, the UK landscape architects behind Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, has just been appointed by the Royal Botanics and Domain Trust in Sydney to help develop a new sustainable masterplan for the historic Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
In 1961, Phyllis Richman, a student at Brandeis University, was considering applying to the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Department of City and Regional Planning. The response from Professor Doebele, which you can read above, was to question the validity/practicality of her desire to enter into higher education, being, as she would surely be, a future wife and mother.
While today it sounds almost quaint in its blatantly sexist assumptions, Ms. Richman’s letter remains, unfortunately, all too relevant. In her article for The Washington Post, Richman says: “To the extent, Dr. Doebele, that your letter steered me away from city planning and opened my path to writing [a career Richman later describes as "remarkably well-suited to raising children"], one might consider that a stroke of luck. I’d say, though, that the choice of how to balance family and graduate school should have been mine.”
She’s absolutely right, of course; the decision was hers and hers alone to make. However, there’s no avoiding that Richman eventually found success in a job that allowed her to live flexibly as a professional and parent. How many women, and for that matter men, can claim that of architecture? How many architects are convinced, just like Ms. Richman, to pursue success in other, more flexible careers?
More about Richman’s letter, and where Denise Scott Brown comes in, after the break…