Abu Dhabi Builds Its Architectural Cred

The building boom in the capital of the United Arab Emirates rivals that of Dubai. But Abu Dhabi hopes to distinguish itself with ambitious green architecture

In recent weeks, the rivalry between neighboring United Arab Emirates Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been heating up on a world stage—most notably with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s purchase of a $7.5 billion stake in Citigroup (C) (BusinessWeek.com, 11/27/07), which came on the heels of Dubai’s investment in Sony (SNE) in late November.

Abu Dhabi Builds Its Architectural Cred– Business Week – Reena Jana

Palo Alto Online : Stanford Med Center picks big-name architects

Stanford University has brought in two top-tier New York City architecture firms to design the $1 billion-plus Medical Center expansions, spokeswoman Shelley Hebert said recently.

Rafael Vinoly Architects will lead the Stanford Hospital project and Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) has been selected for the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Hebert said.

Palo Alto Online : Stanford Med Center picks big-name architects.

Interesting piece on Daniel Libeskind’s latest building

On this snowy Saturday morning in Toronto, I’m moving with the big press pack, up the dramatic staircase inside the Royal Ontario Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. At the front, two men are carrying enormous sound booms, and they are leaning in to record the conversation between ROM director William Thorsell and the architect Daniel Libeskind, the maker of the museum’s controversial new wing who is visiting for a media morning. Behind them are the rest of us: me, a TV crew from Israel, assorted bloggers, print journalists, the folks from Fashion Television, and a film crew under the direction of Kenton Vaughan, who is making a documentary film about the building.

globeandmail.com: A 10-minute conversation with the starchitect.

Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center Opens

The National Park Service and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announce the opening of the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center at milepost 384 on the parkway on December 17.

The building itself reflects the cutting edge of energy saving technology. Constructed to LEED certification standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), it features active/passive heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, a “green” roof and other energy efficient features.

Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center Opens December 17, 2007. – Blue Ridge Parkway Guide

Cities cultivate 2 types of green

Squatting on the roof of a row house with a panoramic view of the sewage plants and warehouses that surround the South Bronx, James Wells sounds like a tree-hugger.

He photographs the progress of seedlings he planted on the roof, one of his first “green roof” installations, and explains how roofs covered by soil and plants, more trees on the ground and cleaner parks are key to fighting the pollution that overwhelms the neighborhood. As he speaks, a pungent rotting smell emanates from a sewage plant.

“Imagine living under these types of conditions,” says Wells, 29. “It’s one of the reasons asthma rates are so high in the Bronx.”

Two years ago, Wells made an improbable conversion from convict to environmentalist. He was just out of prison after serving 10 years for armed robbery and couldn’t find a job that would pay enough to make the rent.

Then he found Sustainable South Bronx, and he found a calling.

Cities cultivate 2 types of green – USATODAY.com. Marisol Bello

Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny

couple of weeks ago, the Congress Centre team met with NCC design advisers, including an architect and landscape architect who raised concerns about the design of the project. But the centre has received generally positive reviews from community leaders and has won commitments of $50 million each from the federal and Ontario governments, and $40 million from the city.

NCC approval is essential because the commission has authority over development changes in the core of the capital. As well, the building plan includes reducing the NCC’s scenic Colonel By Drive from four lanes to two at this location, to accommodate a bigger development footprint.

Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny – Ottawa Citizen – Patrick Dare

Force of nature weighs in on Presidio plan

If you don’t like Gap founder Donald Fisher’s proposal to erect a modern-looking modern art museum in San Francisco’s Presidio, Lawrence Halprin is on your side.

Colorful and commanding, the 91-year-old landscape architect is no stranger to the Presidio: He designed the romantic terrain that enfolds the Letterman Digital Arts Center at Lombard Gate. And when he saw the conceptual design for Fisher’s Contemporary Arts Museum of the Presidio – a glassy stack of white cubes by New York’s Gluckman Mayner Architects – he didn’t mince words.

“The proposed design … is absurdly inappropriate,” Halprin wrote to the Presidio Trust

PLACE / Force of nature weighs in on Presidio plan.

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