Ken Shuttleworth, Designer of the ‘Gherkin,’ Has a New Spire at University of Nottingham – Chronicle.com

Some artists might take offense if their work were likened to a giant pickle, but the architect Ken Shuttleworth has no objection to the nickname that Londoners have bestowed on his most famous design, 30 St Mary Axe, aka the Gherkin.

A newer creation, which is to be erected this year on the Jubilee Campus of the University of Nottingham, has been officially christened Aspire. The red-and-orange steel sculpture is a gift from an anonymous donor who wanted a new symbol for the university and the city — something that the people of Nottingham can see from a long way away, says Sir Colin Campbell, the university’s vice chancellor.

Read more @ Buildings & Grounds: Ken Shuttleworth, Designer of the ‘Gherkin,’ Has a New Spire at University of Nottingham – Chronicle.com.

Princeton unveils most comprehensive campus plan in its history

For more than two years, a team of architects, landscape architects and planners at Princeton University has labored to strike a perfect balance between the old and the new. They have balanced between centuries of tradition and plans for innovative new spaces where architects can continue to design buildings that are both of their time and timeless.

Read more @ Princeton University – Princeton unveils most comprehensive campus plan in its history.

Florence says no to new tramline; city says it will be built anyway – International Herald Tribune

Residents of the city that gave birth to the Italian Renaissance voted against a plan to build a controversial tramline through the historic center, but they will probably get one anyway, officials said Monday.

Of about 120,000 residents who voted in the referendum over the weekend, 53.5 percent voted against the tram while about 46 percent voted in favor. Despite the rejection, after a campaign that brought out fewer than 40 percent of eligible voters for the nonbinding poll, city officials said they would proceed with construction of the €560 million, or $820 million, project as planned.

Read more @ International Herald Tribune – Florence says no to new tramline; city says it will be built anyway by Elisabetta Povoledo- .

The monstrosity next door

The City Council is considering a proposed ordinance that would curtail “mansionization.” If the measure passes, the maximum allowable size of a house on many residential lots would drop from about 7,000 square feet (excluding garage) to about 3,000.

The use of the word “mansion” here is not complimentary. It’s meant to conjure up a scenario in which a residential street of, say, 1920s cottages or 1950s ranch houses suddenly gets a new neighbor — a 3,500- or 4,000-square-foot house with two full stories. Though meeting the required setbacks, the building’s bulk makes it more visually prominent than the older houses on the street. What’s more, it may have an architectural style or features that some find ugly — or simply out of place on the block. The result: unhappy longtime homeowners bemoaning the changing character of their neighborhood — loss of privacy, sunlight, views or charm — and demanding that City Hall do something.

Read more @ Los Angeles Times – The monstrosity next door – Todd Gish.

Oases in the sky are a growing trend in our concrete jungles

Scientists and property developers say green roofs on commercial buildings are good for the environment and good for the soul.

“Green roofs reduce energy through insulation, reduce stormwater run off and benefit individuals and communities,” says Green Roofs Australia president Geoff Wilson. “But Australia is behind the rest of the world. We have to act soon. Climate change is a fact.”

read more @ theage.com.au – Oases in the sky are a growing trend in our concrete jungles | .

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