L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times

When is a public square not a public square? When it’s designed and built in Los Angeles, circa 2008. Our city–which has lacked plazas and other open-air gathering spots for so long–is now building them in a number of high-profile locations. Yet none of these spaces is fully civic in the traditional City Beautiful sense. Each one is shaped, controlled or compromised by private, commercial or other interests. Arguably, of course, that makes them right at home in Los Angeles, the most private metropolis ever devised.

Next month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will unveil the much anticipated first phase of its expansion, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. He is probably best known for the Pompidou Center in Paris, which opens onto a square that, despite its popularity with mimes, ranks as one of the world’s great public gathering places.

Read more @ L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times – Christopher Hawthorne

Moriyama + Teshima Architects to design the Region of Waterloo History Museum – Canadian Architecture News

The Region of Waterloo History Museum, to be built at Doon Heritage Crossroads, will be “an architectural statement integrated with the landscape” and “symbolic of the ethics and vision of our time,” according to the team hired by the Region to design the new museum and Visitor Orientation Centre.

The Regional Council approved a recommendation by the Museum Steering Committee to hire Moriyama + Teshima Architects of Toronto in association with The Walter Fedy Partnership of Kitchener to design the new Region of Waterloo History Museum and Visitor Orientation Centre. The exhibits at the museum will be completed by a team of designers led by VUE Design of Toronto.

Moriyama + Teshima Architects to design the Region of Waterloo History Museum – Canadian Architecture News.

Singapore landscape industry to grow 10% a year

The landscape industry is worth an estimated S$1 billion and the government expects it to grow rapidly.

This is according to the Minister of State for National Development, Grace Fu.

She was speaking at the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) Design Awards Presentation and Dinner on Monday evening.

Ms Fu said the industry is expected to grow about 10 per cent a year, over the next few years.

Manpower demand is projected to grow at about 4 per cent per year for the next five years, creating about 700 jobs annually.

She added that besides Singapore, landscape architects are also highly sought after overseas, in China, India, Vietnam, and the Middle East. -CNA/vm


Dubai Municipality undertakes 109 landscape projects

Dubai Municipality has announced that it will undertake this year 109 landscape and beautification projects worth Dhs463 million which will include development of the existing six public parks, setting up of 21 neighbourhood parks, 23 community facilities, four Ponds Parks and several other beautification projects.

This was revealed by Eng. Rashad Bukhash, Director of General Projects Department, while addressing GLADAC 2008, the first Gulf Landscape Architecture and Design Awards Conference, which was held on Monday at the Conference Centre of Knowledge Village.

Dubai City Guide: News – Dubai Municipality undertakes 109 landscape projects at a cost of Dhs463 million.

John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition

John Atkin, Reader in Fine Art at Loughborough University, has been selected from 2,600 applicants to create a new sculpture for the major exhibition at Olympic Park, Beijing later this year. His initial designs received an ‘outstanding award’ from the judging panel.

The sculpture weighs 27 tons and is carved from marble and granite. It takes its inspiration and name – Strange Meeting – from a poem by Wilfred Owen. The poem tells of a dramatic meeting between two dead soldiers who had fought on opposing sides. No longer enemies, they find it possible to see beyond conflict and hatred in a shared awareness of “the truth untold”.

‘The Chinese workforce were tremendous – their attention to detail and ability to translate the subtle shifts in form of the sculpture was a remarkable achievement. It was also great to meet a number of artists from other parts of the world’ said John.

The public art exhibition launches in May 2008 and is based on the 2008 Olympic theme of One World, One Dream. John’s sculpture allows people to walk through the spaces between each element of the sculpture. The two identical, shapes, based on garment template contour patterns, are cut from the same veined block, turned inward on each other.

John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition – Landscape Institute

Work Underway To Transform City Square

Work to transform Preston’s prestigious Winckley Square is now underway.

The City Council and the Preston Vision Board have been given cash from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Landscape Institute to re-design the square, making it a more attractive and encouraging people to use it as a link between Avenham Park and the city centre.

Five landscape design practices have been invited to submit designs, with the winner being announced in March.

Work Underway To Transform City Square (from Preston and Leyland Citizen).

Holl to design new arts neighbourhodd at Princeton

Steven Holl Architects, an award-winning firm with extensive experience in the arts, has been selected to design the initial academic buildings for Princeton University’s new arts and transit neighborhood.

The firm, with offices in New York and Beijing, is led by Steven Holl, who was named America’s Best Architect by Time magazine in July 2001 for “buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye.”

At Princeton, the firm will be responsible for designing several buildings to house the Program in Theater and Dance, components of the Department of Music, the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Society of Fellows in the Creative and Performing Arts. Encompassing an estimated 135,000 gross square feet, the preliminary plans include a black box theatre, a large dance studio, an orchestral rehearsal studio, several smaller acting studios, dance studios, music practice rooms, classrooms, support spaces, a café and offices.

Mark Burstein, executive vice president noted that the landscape architect who collaborated with Holl on the water treatment facility in Connecticut was Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the same firm that will be working on the Princeton project. Sustainable building and landscaping practices will be of key importance.

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