Belt Collins buys Colorado firm

Architecture and consulting firm Belt Collins Hawaii Ltd. said yesterday it has acquired Colorado landscape architecture firm Shapins Associates. Shapins, founded 18 years ago, has 12 employees in its Boulder, Colo., office and is currently handling between 50 and 60 projects on the mainland, said Bill Bobzien, executive vice president of the office. The company’s name has been changed to Shapins Belt Collins, and one landscape architect has moved from Hawaii to join the Colorado team, he said. more at Star Bulletin

Seeing the Light at Last

Told from the beginning, the tale of the new Norman Foster-designed glass canopy over the Smithsonian‘s Old Patent Office Building isn’t pretty. Historic preservationists did not like the idea of covering the courtyard of the building, which houses the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. And they were incensed when renovation at the museums, which began in January 2000, resulted in the removal of the previous courtyard’s historic features, including two fountains and elm trees. The Smithsonian didn’t help things when it seemed to navigate the shoals of the various approval processes with the subtlety of a Visigoth re-landscaping ancient Rome.

more at Washington Post

Demand For Landscape Architecture Services Remains Strong

Washington, DC, November 19, 2007— Despite a housing slowdown, the vast majority of landscape architecture firms report they are just as or even more busy than before, according to a third quarter survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). More than three out of four firms reported steady or increased billable hours compared to the previous quarter, and four in ten firms were planning to hire additional staff. more at ASLA.org

The politics of remembering Ground Zero

NEW YORK – Michael Arad achieved the dream of many architects: He won the competition to design the memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, in Manhattan. If he had thought, somewhat naively, that his plans would be implemented in the format he envisioned, he was quickly disillusioned. Arad, a young architect who seemed steeped in euphoria and quite astounded by his win, became caught up in an imbroglio of politicians, architects, public officials and interest groups. more at haaretz.com

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