By all accounts 2014 has been a great year for landscape architecture, and not just because of the completion of the final phase of the High Line by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations. Previously published by the Huffington Post as “2014′s Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture,” this roundup of the year by the President of The Cultural Landscape Foundation Charles A Birnbaum finds plenty of promising developments, marred only slightly by some more backward-looking descisions.
This year there was a cultural shift that saw landscape architecture and its practitioners achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and influence.
This year the single most notable development came courtesy of the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman who wrote: “Great public places and works of landscape architecture deserve to be treated like great buildings.”
Landscape architecture and architecture on equal footing. Let that sink in.
With the advent of the High Line and the recent announcement about Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, it’s becoming clear that the ‘parkway’ is a powerful new force in urban planning, which has the potential to change the way cities around the world function. A new project in Pittsburgh seeks to harness these possibilities, as the city’s history of industry has left its stamp upon the city in the form of a rusting industrial riverfront. A plan by Saski Associates envisages re-using this space to create a green belt, tying the city closer together. By adding pedestrian, cycling and light-rail transport routes, and creating plenty of green spaces, they hope to tap Pittsburgh’s unrealized potential to be a river-front city, while encouraging geographical and social closeness amongst its communities.
More images and the architect’s description after the break…
Known for drawing in a diverse background of well-known architects, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture‘s spring 2012 lecture series began January 23rd with Jesse Seppi and concludes with Tatiana Bilbao on April 23rd. All events will take place at the Carnegie Museum complex and the series is co-sponsored by the Heinz Archiectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art. A schedule of the lecture series can be viewed after the break.
Our friends from Weiss/Manfredi have shared their Portal to the Point Design Ideas Exploration proposal, a project exploring the connection between city and the environment for Point State Park in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently, Point State Park, which is located at the geographic epicenter of Pittsburgh, does not take advantage of its potential to bridge the city, which is built on industrial accomplishments, with the river banks of the Allegheny and the Monogahela, both of which have granted Pittsburgh a prosperous ecological history. Weiss/Manfredi’s proposal attempts to stitch the city and its river banks together with a new brigde typology, a Mobius Pathway that is “not about the singular act of connecting two disparate parts, but about the comprehensive connectivity of a larger network.”
More about the Mobius Pathway after the break.
Portal to the Point is a design project initiated to honor the completion of renovations to Pittsburgh’s most visible National Historic Landmark, Point State Park. wHY Architecture is one of five finalists selected to redefine the space beneath the Portal Bridge that leads into 36-acre park.
Continue reading for more project information and renderings.
USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh.
See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.
Architect: EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
EDGE Studio Design Team: Gary Carlough AIA, Jonathan Golli, Matt Fineout AIA, Stephen Mrdjenovich
Pfaffmann & Associates Design Team: Rob Pfaffmann AIA, Carl Bergamini RA, Erik Hokanson
Completion Date: 2011
Photography: Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates
The recession that began in 2007 technically ended in 2009, but you wouldn’t know it from visiting Detroit. The capital of U.S. auto manufacturing has been hit particularly hard, and stories of its plight during the economic downturn abound. Less reported, though, are the ideas and proposals put forth to return this city to its former glory. The urban renewal projects proposed are some of the latest in a long line of design projects that attempt to bring renewed prosperity and well being to the downtrodden sections of cities throughout the world. More on urban renewal and Detroit after the break.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Civil Engineer: ATS Chester Engineers
Lighting: Studio i
Project Area: 64,500 gsf
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Steinkamp Photography, VEKA Marketing, Joshua Franzos Photography
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., currently the sixth largest bank in the United States, is a leader in green design, currently possessing over 100 green buildings. PNC was an early adopter of sustainable design, opening its first green building in 2000. PNC and Gensler have recently announced plans to design and construct the world’s most environmentally friendly skyscraper at PNC’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. More information and images after the break.
Director Christopher Nolan is preparing to shoot his third and final Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which promises to bring the events of its blockbuster predecessors full circle. The filmmaker will experience new ground with the conclusion to his trilogy by shooting a portion of the film in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Shooting locations for Nolan’s Batman installments are shot all over the world, in places such as, India, Iceland, Romania, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and now Pittsburgh. Each location offers unique elements of architecture to create the look and feel of Gotham City and Batman’s world. More information after the break.
Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies / Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
The Gates Center for Computer Science will complete a computer science complex on Carnegie Mellon University’s west campus. The building will house the three departments of the School of Computer Science providing offices, conference rooms, open collaborative spaces, closed project rooms and a reading room for more than one hundred and twenty faculty, three hundred and fifty graduate students, one hundred researchers or postdoctoral fellows and fifty administrative staff members along with a more public component of ten University classrooms, a two hundred and fifty seat auditorium, a café and two University computer clusters.