Wall Street 9/11 Memorial Fountain

What could be simpler than a glass bowl?

Actually, when it is the nine-foot bowl of an outdoor fountain, just about anything could be simpler.

“It proved to be a lot more difficult in the execution than anybody imagined,” said Adrian Benepe, commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

As part of a downtown parks program financed by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Deutsche Bank proposed in 2004 to donate a memorial fountain at the foot of Wall Street. It was to commemorate bank employees who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, and, more abstractly, take the place of the handsome fountain at the base of the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street. That fountain, the setting of Ophelia’s drowning in the 2000 movie version of “Hamlet,” was destroyed on 9/11.

The new fountain was to be set — like the period of an exclamation point — at the east end of Manahatta Park, a narrow landscaped plaza along Wall Street designed by George Vellonakis, a landscape architect in the parks agency. He specified a fountain made of structural glass.

more at New York Times David W. Dunlap

Day of reckoning comes for Washington Square Park

GREENWICH VILLAGE. Robert Moses had to quit trying to remake Washington Square Park after decades of protest. Yet the Bloomberg administration is now closing in on Moses’ goal by keeping its redesign under wraps for nearly three years. The last of several lawsuits aimed at stopping the plan is expected to be decided today.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick wrote Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month asking him to reconsider the plan in light of a process that “consistently attempted to circumvent any type of exchange with the community.” Last May, Community Board 2 rescinded its approval, saying it hadn’t seen an “accurate” design. This claim was backed up by a state appeals court, which acknowledged “essential aspects” were not disclosed but let the city proceed. patrick arden / metro new york

Commission to hire landscape architect to complete Rails-to-Trails path with a flourish

A 20-year Rails-to-Trails project is culminating with flourish.

On Monday, the Limestone County Commission will approve an agreement with Birmingham landscape architectural firm Dale Fritz & Associates to design plantings and layout for both ends of the trail—Piney Chapel to the south and Veto to the north. more at News Courier, Athens

Seven win Designers of the Year awards

ARCHITECT Mok Wei Wei of W Architects has become synonymous with designing buildings that are sensitive to their surroundings.

Mr Ban Yinh Jheow is the founder of toy company Stikfas, a multi-million-dollar enterprise famed for its three-inch-tall plastic action figures.

Then there is Paris-based fashion designer Andrew Gn, arguably Singapore’s most successful fashion export whose designs are sold worldwide.

The three are among seven who were crowned Designers of the Year at this year’s President’s Design Award.

The others are landscape architecture firm Cicada’s Casey Gan and Lim Swe Ting, advertising director Lim Sau Hoong of 10AM Communications, artist Eng Siak Loy and graphic design firm :phunk studio comprising Jackson Tan, Alvin Tan, Melvin Chee and William Chan.

The award, now in its second year, recognises Singapore designers who develop unique and iconic products that make an impact on the international design scene. more at Strait Times

The politics of remembering Ground Zero

NEW YORK – Michael Arad achieved the dream of many architects: He won the competition to design the memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan. If he had thought, somewhat naively, that his plans would be implemented in the format he envisioned, he was quickly disillusioned. Arad, a young architect who seemed steeped in euphoria and quite astounded by his win, became caught up in an imbroglio of politicians, architects, public officials and interest groups. more at haaretz.com