Architects ask for CIP stimulus for design work

Architects in Nevada are pleading for local and state governments to allocate capital improvement program(CIP) funds for design work that are needed to create and save jobs in the architecture and construction industry.

Nevada has been heavily hit by the Global Financial Crisis as it is highly dependent on revenues generated from conventions, gambling and nearby natural tourist attractions. Conventions and Tourism in the USA has been hit hard as people are save money by having vacations closer to home and companies are reducing convention spending across the board.
Decreased spending and planning for future private sector buildings has occurred due shifts in the market. Vacancies have increased at hotels and office buildings and there has been recent increase in available space coming on the market including MGM City Center which opens in December. These market shifts and reduced demand have caused wide-spread unemployment in the construction industry in Nevada up to 65% in some cities.

Architecture organisations including the AIA have meet congressional and state legislators to try and get some funds from the state capital improvement program moved forward to the coming fiscal year to fund design work for future buildings to stimulate the economy to get designers working which will then flow on to the construction industry.

The AIA argue that although the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimlus Package) has funded some ‘shovel-ready’ jobs the design & construction work. However, this work will evaporate soon and the state of Nevada needs to spend money now and in 2010 to create a sustainable future for the construction industry. The AIA hopes that the state can spend money on institutional retrofits for renewable energy and making buildings green as this will create more jobs long term than the stimulus money that is currently geared toward residential that create little economic growth.

What do you think?
Will this create a sustainable future for the design and construction industry or or is this merely a band-aid aid solution?
Have architectural practices and construction industry create a supply that Nevada will never demand again?
Do the architectural practices and architects of Nevada need to seek work outside of their state or relocate to survive?
Should the government seize the opportunity and great a green state with retrofitted green buildings with reduced emissions powered by renewable energy?

Read the article that inspired this post – ReviewJournal.com – Architects group seeks stimulus cash, arguing that drawing begets building

On the positive side MGM Center is expected to increase visitation to Las Vegas by 5-10% according to this article in the Wall Street Journal – City Center Could Make or Break Las Vegas

capital improvement program

Syracuse’s creekwalk work back underway

syracuse.com reports

The creekwalk of Syracuse is back. Again.

We’ve been talking about this grand civic project for at least 45 years. Steve Buechner, a landscape architect with a full career behind him, tells me he first got the idea for a “creekwalk” in 1965 when he worked for Syracuse’s parks commissioner at the time, Jim Heath.

read the full article at the SOURCE: syracuse.com – Syracuse’s creekwalk work back underway – it will connect Armory Square to Onondaga Lake

The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall

Ken Belson of the New York Times has written an interesting piece about green walls which looks at the green wall as a source of food production. Belson talks to a varied number of designers, universities and manufacturers about the green walls as food production. He also states that at $500 a panel they aren’t for everyone.

Belson has a great quote he cites from Paul Mankiewicz, the executive director of the Gaia Institute in New York.

“We have 30 miles of rooftop in New York City and maybe 3,000 miles of walls,”

Read the article at the SOURCE: New York Times – The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall

Landscape architecture, once the “parsley on the pig”, must be all things to all people

Ray Edgar of  theage.com.au has written a feature article about landscape architecture. Edgar interviews some landscape architects in Victoria, Australia for the feature and they have some key insights into the role of landscape architecture in society. Here are some of the key statements and encourage you to read the full article.

“Landscape architecture used to be the ‘parsley on the pig’, the token decorative garnish around the building,” says RMIT research leader Dr Sue Anne Ware.

“Landscape architecture is sociology and what interests us is how people use space, feel a sense of ownership over that space, and appropriate it in a socially responsible manner,” said Chris Sawyer of Site Office.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: The Age - New Park Life]

Urban Garden inside Bank of America

WRT Urban Garden, Bank of America New York

WRT’s New York office have installed living sculptures in the Urban Garden Room at Bank of America Tower’s 60-foot high street-level atrium space at One Bryant Park, New York. The Durst Organization, the building’s owner and developer, commissioned WRT to create an appropriate – natural – signature for New York City’s first LEED Platinum office tower. The designers created a sculptural solution: four monumental landscape sculptures, ranging in height from a 7-foot monolith to a 25-foot archway. They have been carefully positioned in the light-filled space at the building’s entrance to create an immersive experience. The WRT team included lead designer Margie Ruddick and sculptor Dorothy Ruddick. The Montreal-based firm Mosaiculture Internationale fabricated the sculpture from scale models using galvanized steel frames. Created in multiple pieces, each sculpture contains an internal irrigation system that was wrapped with porous fabric, then hand-composed with thousands of ferns, mosses, and lichens. When completed, the living sculptures were loaded onto three 52-ton trucks, transported from Canada and carefully assembled on site by a professional installation crew over a 42-hour period. Now known as the Urban Garden Room, the new living green space is a daily pleasure for building users and a delightful urban surprise for busy passersby, offering a welcoming, soothing reprieve from the clamor of everyday city life.

[SOURCE: WRT]

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