Madrid’s Shell Bridge gets its concrete dome – West 8

Construction is moving along at the first Shell Bridge, West 8+ MRIO designed for the City of Madrid. 100 m3 of concrete was poured inbetween the two layers of the wooden mold, moving another step closer to the desired end result: a concrete dome.

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SOURCE: WEST 8
IMAGE CREDIT: WEST 8

Sketchup Book for Everyone

HeadShotDaniel Tal is a registered landscape architect and member of ASLA with over 10 years experience and has recently written a book on Sketchup, the easy to use 3D modeling program that has given students and design firms an affordable way to produce 3D renderings for projects. Daniel has been using Sketchup since the early days and consulted with the developers of Sketchup in 2004. We caught up with Daniel and asked him about his newly published book.

WLA:When or What was the ‘light bulb’ moment for writing the book?

DANIEL: First and foremost, I wrote a book about SketchUp because I love using the program. It borders on obsession. It has imbued my work with tremendous satisfaction. I use SketchUp with process in mind and it neatly fits into design flow.

By 2007, I’d been practicing landscape architecture for about 10 years and had actively been using SketchUp for 5.  I noticed that many people use SketchUp sort of randomly; they do not apply a process to how they build models or how they fit SketchUp into the design process

I had been using SketchUp and AutoCAD in tandem since day one.  Again, it is all about process; making the two platforms work seamlessly. The integration between the two allows the creation of detailed models lighting fast; in many cases it’s possible to generate a model from a CAD plan in under an hour. I am not talking about a basic spatial model, but one that is fully articulated to represent a completed design.

So, between wanting to relate process and ways to create conceptual grading and integrate AutoCAD, I felt like I had enough material to teach and share.

WLA: How long was the process of writing the book?

DANIEL: I wrote the book in two drafts. I started the first draft in February of 2008 and completed it in June, 2008. I reviewed what I had and I was not satisfied with the flow or cohesion. So, in July 2008, I took a 3 month sabbatical from work and I hashed out the bulk of the book. I completed the final draft on December 24th. From January through June of 2009, Wiley edited and compiled the book into its present form. The whole process took roughly 18 months.

WLA: SketchUp is a relatively new tool for landscape architects and other built environment professionals, how do you think it assists designers during the design process?

DANIEL: SketchUp is a unique tool. Because it’s a real time render, meaning you can see what a model looks like as its being pieced together, it allows designers to view and analyze spatial relationships instantaneously. In real world terms, it allows designers to catch possible issues early on in the design process.

SketchUp is fast. Because of its speed, it fits into the design process. I start modeling a site during concept phase. This gives the designers, the client and consultants a better understanding of what the project looks and feels like.

WLA: Currently SketchUp is used by firms for testing design and other firms are using it for presentation, what are the benefits of using SketchUp for presentation?

DANIEL: Photo-realistic rendering is becoming the norm for design presentation. At RNL, I worked with some very talented render artists. They use 3D max, Revit, Viz and many other 3D rendering programs to represent projects. They are pushing the limits and their work is outstanding.

Many firms do not have access to this technology and while it’s becoming more mainstream, it requires motivated and highly trained individuals to advance these technologies within a firm.  SketchUp is not a specialized program. If someone has the desire to learn they can do so, with little cost and a decent time investment. That is one of the purposes of the book.

The other difference is the number of views and the type of representations that can be created with photo-real rendering vs. SketchUp. It can take hours and days to generate multiple photorealistic images and the resources to create animations is time consuming and large.

Simply, SketchUp allows users to create multiple views and animations of a project in hours. These are not photorealistic renderings, but with enough practice and know how, you can generate some highly expressive images and animations with Sketch Up.

WLA: Who is the audience for your book?

DANIEL: Wiley originally wanted me to write an advanced SketchUp manual exclusively for landscape architects. The publisher encouraged me to send the draft manuscript out for review by various professionals. It became clear that designers and educators wanted a more holistic book that went beyond landscape architecture and met the needs of designers and students with varied levels of experience.

The most important thing to note about the book is it focuses not just on how tools work, but also explains what to do with the tools to meet specific goals. In Part 1, the spotlight is on process and using the right methods and process to setup models from the start. Part 2 is a series of exercises leading to a goal–the creation of a detailed, effectively articulated 3D model. You start by building a site plan and modeling detailed elements (lights, benches, rails, etc.). Next, you model 3 buildings.  Last, you compile the site plan, elements and buildings into a single model. What I am showing people is a method that can be applied to almost any project type; how to start, generate detail and end with expressive design images. The book also goes into depth about how to use the Sandbox tools to generate conceptual grading, complex organic forms and architecture. And, like I stated earlier, there is a whole section on integrating AutoCAD with SketchUp.

The book is tailored to multiple audiences. I believe the book is useful to beginners and advanced users, including architects, landscape architects or hobbyists. It’s also useful as a guide/textbook for educators and students in the design professions.

For more information on Daniel’s book, SketchUp for Site Design: A Guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain and Architecture, visit www.daniel-tal.com

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Plaza

Dunes

Shrub-planting

IMAGES: DANIEL TAL


DISCLOSURE: Daniel Tal was an advertiser with World Landscape Architect
This interview was not paid for or a condition of advertising.

WPA 2.0 Finalists Announced

cityLAB (UCLA) announces finalists for “WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture.” WPA 2.0 an open competition that seeks innovative, implementable proposals to place infrastructure at the heart of rebuilding our cities during this next era of metropolitan recovery. The finalists include an Urban Algae: Speculation and Optimization Mining Existing Infrastructure for Lost Efficiencies, Coupling Infrastructures: Water Economies/Ecologies, Border Wall as Infrastructure, 1,000,000,000 Global Water Refugees.

1014_image4_1inP1014 Urban Algae: Speculation and Optimization
Mining Existing Infrastructure for Lost Efficiencies

Proposal location: applicable nationwide to tollbooths, coal-fired power plants, automobile tunnels and other locations of CO2 production; main sample project is a Brooklyn to Manhattan pier/bridge armature

Primary issues: This proposal seeks to turn negative byproducts of auto use and coal-fired energy (CO2) into ecological, economic, and social opportunities. Three site types are targeted – toll booths, coal-fired power plants, and automobile tunnels. The team’s design for a pivoting, pier-like, armature between Red Hook, Brooklyn and the Battery in Lower Manhattan not only captures the CO2 from the underwater auto tunnel, encouraging photosynthesis and alternative fuel production using algae pontoons, but also creates new public spaces (swimming pools, boardwalks, and plazas) and new locations for ecological or agricultural development including controlled wetlands and fish habitats.

TEAM: PORT

Andrew Moddrell, Chicago, IL;  Christopher Marcinkoski, Larchmont, NY;


1117_image4_1inP1117 Coupling Infrastructures: Water Economies/Ecologies

Proposal location: case studies include Salton Sea, Mono Lake, and Owens Lake in California and Pyramid Lake in Nevada yet proposal is applicable to numerous locations, particularly in the southwest.

Primary issues: This proposal focuses on America’s impending water crisis, particularly in cities in the southwest where growth is high and water availability is limited, by rethinking water use, distribution, and storage. Using the Salton Sea as a model site, the proposal envisions “converting the Sea back to its recreational use while allowing multiple economic opportunities for the production of water, salt, and more efficient greenhouses.” Here “infrastructure [becomes] an extension of nature.” Island pods provide for salt harvesting, recreation, and new animal habitats.

TEAM: Lateral Office / Infranet Lab

Mason White, Toronto, ON; Lola Sheppard, Toronto, ON; Daniel Rabin, Toronto, ON; Fei-ling Tseng, Toronto, ON;


p1145_image2_75in

P1145 Border Wall as Infrastructure
Proposal location: US/Mexico border

Primary issues: “[T]here exists far more potential in a construction project that is estimated to cost up to $1,325.75 per linear foot.” Recognizing the high cost, limited effectiveness and unintended natural consequences of the new, multi-layered US/Mexico border wall (disruption of animal habitats, diversion of water runoff that has caused new flooding in nearby towns), this proposal names 30 alternatives (covering nearly the whole of the Mexican alphabet, literally from Aqueduct wall to Zen wall) that might better combat the energy crisis, risk of death from dehydration, disruption of animal habitat, loss of vegetation, negative labor relations, missing creative vision and lack of cross-cultural appreciation likely in the government sponsored version.

TEAM: Rael San Fratello Architects

Ronald Rael, Oakland, CA; Virginia San Fratello, Oakland, CA; Emily Licht, Oakland, CA;


1155_image1_16P1155 1,000,000,000 Global Water Refugees

Proposal location: Great Lakes Region

Primary issues: Combining the rust belts’ loss of population with its abundance of fresh water, this proposal outlines a strategy for redensification of under-utilized post-industrial landscapes (parts of Milwaukee, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland) by relocating populations threatened by water scarcity.

TEAM: UrbanLab

Martin Felsen, Chicago, IL; Sarah Dunn, Chicago, IL; Lee Greenberg, Chicago, IL; Jeff Macias, Chicago, IL;


1168_image1_1inP1168 HYDRO-GENIC CITY, 2020

Proposal location: Los Angeles, with other possible urban applications

Primary Issues: Through the development of integrated, ecologically sensitive, and aesthetically compelling architecture, this proposal seeks to turn the often mechanistic infrastructural system of LA – in this case, the waterworks – into an interactive and sensory series of public nodes. As mist platforms/light rail stations, urban beaches, energy producing water treatment plants, solar-panel encased water towers, pools, and aquatic parking lots, these water-based landscapes become organizational moments for community building.

TEAM: Darina Zlateva and Takuma Ono

Darina Zlateva Los Angeles, CA; Takuma Ono, Beverly Hills, CA;


2001_image1_1inbP2001 Local Code: Healing the Interstitial Landscape
Proposal location: San Francisco, with secondary applications, per the proposal, in New Orleans, Seattle, and New York City

Primary issues: Tapping into the Department of Public Works catalogue of San Francisco’s “unaccepted streets” (those no longer maintained by the city and hence neglected and often impassable), this proposal utilizes various computer models and statistical data to determine and propose new public, park-based uses for these interstitial spaces. Over 1600 of these sites are available, a selection of which are analyzed for the proposal in terms of elevation and topography, microclimate, soil type, hydrology, population density and demographics, economics, crime, and existing networks to determine the most parametrically appropriate transformation of use.

TEAM: Nicholas de Monchaux & Associates

Nicholas de Monchaux, Berkley, CA;  David Lung, Berkley, CA; Matt Smith, Berkley, CA; Sara Jensen, Berkley, CA;  Thomas Pullman, Berkley, CA; Kimiko Ryokai, Berkley, CA; Benjamin Golder, Berkley, CA;  Son Nguyen, Berkley, CA;


SOURCE: WPA 2.0 and cityLAB

IMAGES: Courtesy of WPA 2.0 and cityLAB

IMAGE CREDIT: Copyright and Credit goes to each entry team as noted

Unveiling NY400 Pavilion in Battery Park

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On Wednesday September 9th the official unveiling ceremony of The New Amsterdam Pavilion with the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands will take place.

The New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, is a gift from the Netherlands to New York in honor of 400 years of friendship. Part of Battery Park’s Peter Minuit Plaza will be renamed New Amsterdam Plein. The unveiling ceremony and the Pavilion can be viewed from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal terrace however the plaza will be closed until the construction is completed later in the year.

The Pavilion and street furniture for the surrounding plaza are designed by Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. It will serve as an attractive gathering place for New Yorkers, commuters and tourists, as well as a tribute to our common history and shared values. The Pavilion is situated on Peter Minuit Plaza at the Battery, one of New York’s main intersections, with 75,000 people passing through each day.

The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion will be located within The Battery’s Peter Minuit Plaza, named for the enterprising Dutch Director-General who in 1626 consolidated the early settlements at the tip of Manhattan – a grouping that came to be known as New Amsterdam. This destination is, in the words of architect Ben van Berkel, ‘the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York, because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbor where Henry Hudson sailed, but is also entirely focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future.’

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SOURCE: UN Studio
IMAGES : UN Studio & Richard Koek

Burle Marx mural installed in Naples

The newly designed and constructed expansion of the Naples Botanic Garden has recently had a Roberto Burle Marx mural installed as a feature piece of the design. The mural came from Venezuela and is believed to be the only Burle Marx mural in North America. The installation took two days and was overseen by Julio Ono son of Haruyoshi Ono(Burle Marx business partner).

Watch the video below of the Mural Installation from Naples News featuring Carrie Wise

SOURCE: Naples News
VIDEO SOURCE: Naples News

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