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

The making of an eco-deco mansion

“Is that ‘echo’ with an ‘h’?” asks architect Paul Dowsett cheekily, referring to the extensive list of eco-friendly and sustainable technologies his firm, Scott Morris Architects, is incorporating into the renovation and expansion of this historic mansion.

There is a duality to the project. Firstly, Mr. Daniels’s team – which, in addition to Mr. Dowsett, includes project manager Nick Egizii, landscape architect Ron Holbrook, interior designer Phillip Moody and Simon Boone of Generation Solar – will be restoring as many of the home’s art deco features as possible. They include the domed foyer ceiling, the sweeping terrazzo staircase and the amazing sprung-floor ballroom in the basement.

“I’m fanatically devoted to Toronto and to preserving what we can of the housing stock,” explains Mr. Daniels, a self-confessed heritage lover. Reconsidering, he corrects himself: “Preserving is not the right word because this is not a preservation, this is a reimagining of something but trying to respect as much of what the original building has to offer.”

Since the home’s deco features seem to stop somewhere past the foyer (perhaps because the original owner got a case of cold feet), Mr. Daniels is “reimagining” what might have been and installing deco trim, moulding and other finishes throughout. more at Globe and Mail – Dave Leblanc

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

AIA – Green Building Report

‘Cities with Green Building Programs Have Increased More Than 400% since 2003′

American Institute of Architects report spotlights geographic breakdown, case study examples and recommendations for local program development

Washington, D.C., November 28, 2007 — Since 2003 the number of cities with green building programs has risen from 22 to 92 for an increase of 418%. In an effort to examine the eco-friendly initiatives of U.S. cities, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) commissioned a study of communities with populations of greater than 50,000 to spotlight the growth and effectiveness of green building policies. The report, Local Leaders in Sustainability, analyzed 661 communities’ best practices, strategies and trends, as well as provides recommendations for cities that are looking to implement green building programs.

Key findings:

• 1 in 7 cities surveyed currently have green building programs
• Number improves to 1 in 5 by next year with current projections
• 39% of citizens live in cities with green building programs
• 36 cities are in an advanced stage of developing a green building program

Click here for regional breakdown and case study examples in full report

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

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