Fragmented Nature – New Herzog & de Meuron Project

The new Miami Art Museum has the potential to be a breathtaking, beautiful building, one that could simultaneously express new ideas about architecture and its place in the environment and pay homage to the rhythms, climate and patterns of Miami. The design proposal unveiled Friday is pretty enthralling. It is both daring and familiar: an airy, elegant, ethereal pavilion that captures the sunlight and embraces the bay breezes.

The architects for the new MAM, the Basel-based Herzog & de Meuron, are known for their ability to take a fragment of nature — the composition of a leaf, the structure of a root — and reinterpret it, abstractly, as architecture. And indeed that is the case in the proposed design for this $220 million museum to be located in the northeastern corner of what will be called Museum Park (the current Bicentennial Park).
more at Miami Herald

A walk in progress

A tour of the (more or less) finished sections of the new Greenway reveals that intentions have been met – and missed
There might as well be three Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenways. That’s how varied are the segments into which it’s divided.

Each was designed by a different landscape architect. The Greenway, as a result, is an instructive little anthology of three different design goals, three different attitudes toward public space in the city.

It wouldn’t be fair to make final judgments about the Greenway or how well, eventually, it will turn out. Chunks remain unfinished. There are four sites along its length where buildings are proposed. We don’t know yet which of these will be realized, or what they will look like.
more at the Boston Globe

Landscape Institute Awards

The awards comprised a total of 14 categories, including design, planning and research with 40 schemes either recognised as the winner, highly commended or commended. Winning schemes were as geographically diverse as the Dongtan Eco City in China and the Westergasfabriek Park in Amsterdam.
more at Landscape Institute

Orange County Great Park

In another small step toward the construction of the Orange County Great Park, Irvine will spend $14 million during the next year and a half to spruce up the area around the tethered orange balloon ride that opened this summer by surrounding it with five acres of grass, shade trees, benches and tables, the Great Park board decided Thursday.

Although completion of the 1,347-acre park is decades away, Ken Smith, the landscape architect designing it, said the open space around the balloon would give a preview of what is to come.

“The balloon was born out of the idea of giving the public access to the site while we’re still building the park,” he said. “Now that we have the balloon up, we’re realizing we actually have to provide amenities,” he said. Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times

Orange County Great Park is having an ‘Open House’ on December 1st and 2nd between 10am and 2pm

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