Video: Studio Beneath the Railway + Step Plaza

Beneath an elevated railway in the former red-light district of Kogane-cho, the city of Yokohama and NPO Koganecho Area Management Center commissioned five architects to transform a 100 to 150 square meter site into what is now a destination for local artists and residents. Each practice – Contemporaries, Studio 2A, , Koizumi Atelier, and Nishikura Architectural Design Office – was assigned a single project, providing the community with a gallery, cafe, studio, meeting hall for artists, and stepped outdoor plaza. Tour through each space with this video, provided by JA+U

Is the American Dream Shifting Towards Density, In-fill Housing and Accessibility to Amenities?

Ipera / Alataş Architecture Consulting © Gürkan Akay

A recent survey into the billing activity of architecture firms across the country has revealed a growing trend in homeowners’ preferences. The Home Survey released a series of charts, marking the rise between 2011 and 2012 of preferences for low maintenance, and energy efficiency home options with a rise in a desire for homes that have a proximity to neighborhood amenities. What this means is that home buyers are moving away from the auto-centric lifestyle of mid century suburbs and are coincidentally opting for the more sustainable choice where walking and public transportation may take preference. AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, notes that in many areas, there has been a rise in interest in urban infill locations over exurbs, and a general push within communities for public accessibility and proximity to work places, retail options and open space.

What is behind this trend? Is the influence of sustainable design breaking into the mainstream of the American home-buying conscience? Is sustainability changing the “American Dream”?