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.

SPG Solar Installs 69 Kilowatt Solar PV System

MCA Architecture Planning Interiors, Payroll Masters and vanderToolen Associates, in partnership with SPG Solar, Inc., announced today the completion of a 69 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) powered energy system at their headquarters in Napa.

“As a landscape architectural firm that’s involved in projects which promote energy conservation and efficiency it only made sense for vTA to convert our office to take advantage of solar technology which further strengthens our commitment to minimizing vTA’s carbon footprint on the environment”, Phil vanderToolen, ASA – Principal.

SPG Solar Installs 69 Kilowatt Solar PV System for MCA Architecture Planning Interiors, Payroll Masters, and vanderToolen Associates in Napa.

‘Disneyfication’ of NY city Parks?

GREENWICH VILLAGE. Last week’s dispute over the cost of relocating Washington Square’s fountain is just the latest wrinkle in a longer debate that’s sure to continue.

A request to interview Parks Dept. designer George Vellonakis was denied, but the National Park Service’s former head of preservation called Metro to scold Vellonakis for the “Disneyfication” of historic parks.

“You don’t create revisionist history,” complained landscape architect Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation.

metro new york – paul arden

Russian City Risks Its World Heritage Status Over new tower

Saint Petersburg, the imperial capital of Russia famed for its elegance and beauty, risks losing status as a world heritage site under plans by a Scottish company to build the highest tower in Europe there.

RMJM, Edinburgh-based co-architects of the contro-versial Holyrood building, have designed the £1bn-plus, 396m Okhta Tower as headquarters for state-controlled Gazprom – one of the world’s largest energy companies.

The proposals have promp-ted an outcry from heritage and conservation groups that it would ruin St Petersburg’s historic skyline.

Russian City Risks Its World Heritage Status Over Scotsdesigned Tower (from The Herald – UK ).

Best cities to live in Canada- Calgary tops the list

Calgary is the best Canadian city in which to live and the third best in North America, a Conference Board study released this week suggests.

The report rates urban centres’ attractiveness along seven main categories, such as economy, housing and health, and 46 sub-categories, such as commuting time and crime.

The top six cities were, in order, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Victoria and Ottawa-Gatineau.

The Calgary Sun – City tops list says report.

Going green with a cycleway above the streets

LIKE the walkways built in the canopies above rainforests, North Sydney Council hopes to lift pedestrians and cyclists above the urban jungle, with an ambitious plan to build an elevated path running from the southern end of the Harbour Bridge to as far north as Falcon Street.

The path, still at the concept stage and estimated to cost up to $30 million, would run 2 kilometres from the deck level of the bridge to St Leonards Park and Falcon Street along the Warringah Freeway. The council hopes that by bypassing North Sydney’s hilly streets, traffic congestion and car pollution, many more people will walk or ride to work.

Going green with a cycleway above the streets – Environment – Sydney Morning Herald

Government bans urban dwellers from buying farm houses

The Chinese central government is reiterating that urban dwellers are banned from buying residential land or houses from farmers. Contrary to a recent report, the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources says land owned collectively by villagers’ committee will not be allowed to be used for commercial residential projects.

Houses built on rural land can only be sold to rural residents or villagers. The ministry also adds those vague properties are also banned from renting to urban residents.

CCTV International.

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