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

In architecture, as elsewhere, sex sells

In the early days of modern architecture, its alien forms were sold to the public using science. Architect Richard Neutra’s “Health House” – designed and built between 1927-29 for physician Philip Lovell in the Griffith Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles – was featured in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

Mr. Neutra’s four-storey, steel-framed and stucco-clad house was graceful in the way it clung to its hillside site. But far outweighing any discussion of architectural merit were reports of its fresh-air sleeping porches, large areas of glass (to allow life-giving sunlight to penetrate), exercise and sports areas and the water-purification and juicing facilities in the kitchen.

Even before that, in 1923, architect Le Corbusier wrote: “A house is a machine for living in.”

Read more @ globeandmail.com: In architecture, as elsewhere, sex sells.

American Institute of Architects to house Dallas Center for Architecture | pegasusnews.com | Dallas / Fort Worth

The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today that AIA Dallas has completed a lease to double its office space to almost 9,000 square feet at 1909 Woodall Rodgers. The space also will accommodate the new Dallas Center for Architecture, a major new initiative of AIA Dallas and other architectural groups.

American Institute of Architects to house Dallas Center for Architecture | pegasusnews.com | Dallas / Fort Worth.

First green roof at Penn University nearing completion

After more than five months of clamorous work, the eco-roof atop English House in Kings Court/English House has been completed.

Well, almost.

According to Business Services, Penn’s first ‘green’ roof was finally completed during the winter recess.

Yet, there’s still time before students can walk through patio gardens and bask in eco-friendliness.

But when the bleak layer of sod on the roof of the building begins to bloom, residents will begin to reap the benefits.

First green roof at University nearing completion – News.

Hoku Solar Plan to Build Oahu’s Largest Solar Farm

Hoku Solar, Inc plan to build Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park which would be the largest photovoltaic (PV) facility on Oahu.

The Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park would be capable of generating approximately 1.5 megawatts of photovoltaic power. Over the life of the system, it would produce enough electricity to power approximately 6,700 homes for one year. This solar facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating 38,161 tons of carbon dioxide and saving 120,000 barrels of oil over 25 years. The solar facility will be located in the planned Kapolei Harborside industrial project on a 12-acre parcel owned by the Campbell Company next to the James Campbell Industrial Park.

Campbell Company and Hoku Solar Plan to Build Oahu’s Largest Solar Farm.

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