West 8 get started on Miami Beach

West 8 has started design work on the 2 1/2 acre park adjacent to the New World Symphony new performance hall with a charrette last monday with Miami Beach residents. Ideas that came out of the charrette were Free Wifi, an interactive water feature, bicycle parking, public art and exotic and native planting.

Jerry van Eyck (partner at West 8) stated to the residents that they are looking for an identity for the park and that due to the parks small size the park could not have everything. Eyck also stated that it doesn’t matter how beautiful the park is and it comes down to programming.

The project has a budget of $13 million and should be completed by January 2011 for the opening of the concert hall.

The next stage of the project is another public meeting in the next few weeks with a preliminary design presentation based on the charrette.

NEWS SOURCE: Miami Herald

Anchorage Musuem plants Birch Grove

As apart of the $106million expansion of the Anchorage Musuem, a two acre birch grove is being planted. The landscape architecture firm is the Seattle based Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture who wanted to bring something different to Anchorage in comparison to other current civic spaces. They wanted the grove to have a forest feel and to reinforce this natural look the designers selected trees that weren’t uniform and also planted several trees in one planting hole to create denser areas of foliage.

SOURCE: Anchorage Press

Jan Gehl to give lectures at University of Saskatchewan

Jan Gehl is giving two lectures at the University of Saskatchewan as apart of the Great Spaces lecture series from the University of Saskatchewan. Sponsored in part by the Regional & Urban Planning (RUP) in the College of Arts & Science, an internationally-renowned leader in urban design and architecture, Jan Gehl, will be visiting Saskatoon Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Jan Gehl is an architect whos vision is to create better cities. Aspiring to create cities that are lively, healthy, diverse, sustainable and safe – and thereby improve people’s quality of life.

The symposium features the following two lectures, both of which are open to the public:
Presentation Part I: Monday, Aug. 31 at 7:30,
Presentation Part II: Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 7:30
Frank & Ellen Remai Arts Centre, 100 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon
Cost: per presentation – Students $7, Public $12; package for both presentations – Students $12, Public $22

For more information goto the lecture webpage

To purchase tickets go to www.picatic.com

SOURCE: University of Saskatchewan via The Sheaf

Expo Wetland to be used for toilet flushing

A wetland park will be built by the City of Chengdu on the 2010 Expo site in Shanghai that will use soil and vegetation to purify site rain water that will be used toilet flushing. The wetland park wil be 2,680 square metres on the Puxi section (north)  and also include underground water tanks as apart of the system. The wetland will consist of 16 terraced ponds planted with 60 plant and tree species over 1,200 square metres of the wetland. Water from the wetland will also be used in a fun ‘piano keyboard’ that will spray water when people step on the keys.

SOURCE: Shanghai Daily

Ruth Reed’s vision for RIBA

Reading the Architects Journal article gives an interesting insight into Ruth Reed. The gist of the article is that next week Ruth Reed takes up her role as the new president of the Royal Institute British Architects (RIBA) and she intends to implement some changes to improve the RIBA and also meet the members. She is planning a 50 towns in 50 weeks tour of Britain to meet the members and hear their concerns and frustrations with the RIBA. She also has a vision under the headings  – planning, education and value. She wishes to reduce the number of planning documents needed for submissions, and ask the government to look at how the green credentials of buildings are assessed. On the education front she wishes to bring in a competency based test to help student who can’t find work to complete their case studies.
Value is to move architects to extend the offer of professionals to assist clients from design through to maintenance.

SOURCE:  Architects Journal

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