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

Day of reckoning comes for Washington Square Park

GREENWICH VILLAGE. Robert Moses had to quit trying to remake Washington Square Park after decades of protest. Yet the Bloomberg administration is now closing in on Moses’ goal by keeping its redesign under wraps for nearly three years. The last of several lawsuits aimed at stopping the plan is expected to be decided today.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick wrote Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month asking him to reconsider the plan in light of a process that “consistently attempted to circumvent any type of exchange with the community.” Last May, Community Board 2 rescinded its approval, saying it hadn’t seen an “accurate” design. This claim was backed up by a state appeals court, which acknowledged “essential aspects” were not disclosed but let the city proceed. patrick arden / metro new york

Landscape architect to head Ann Arbor’s planning department

A 20-year landscape architect and veteran of two local private development services firms will take over a key role in Ann Arbor’s planning department starting on Dec. 3.Connie Pulcipher will become the city’s senior planner, filling a role that has been vacant since Coy Vaughn left for a job with Washtenaw County in the spring.

She will supervise five planners and a support staff, and her responsibilities will include site plans and planning reviews.  Ann Arbor Business Review

Seven win Designers of the Year awards

ARCHITECT Mok Wei Wei of W Architects has become synonymous with designing buildings that are sensitive to their surroundings.

Mr Ban Yinh Jheow is the founder of toy company Stikfas, a multi-million-dollar enterprise famed for its three-inch-tall plastic action figures.

Then there is Paris-based fashion designer Andrew Gn, arguably Singapore’s most successful fashion export whose designs are sold worldwide.

The three are among seven who were crowned Designers of the Year at this year’s President’s Design Award.

The others are landscape architecture firm Cicada’s Casey Gan and Lim Swe Ting, advertising director Lim Sau Hoong of 10AM Communications, artist Eng Siak Loy and graphic design firm :phunk studio comprising Jackson Tan, Alvin Tan, Melvin Chee and William Chan.

The award, now in its second year, recognises Singapore designers who develop unique and iconic products that make an impact on the international design scene. more at Strait Times

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

New Shenzhen Stock Exchange Building Starts

Shenzhen; 22 November 2007) Officials from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) and local government together with representatives from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have broken ground for the construction of the new headquarters for China’s equivalent of the NASDAQ.

The new SSE is planned as a financial center with civic meaning. The external area is designed as a public space for festivals and gathering whilst the 250m tall tower will host the trading floor of high-tech and many new, high growth stocks as well as the SSE offices, registration and clearing house, the Securities Information Company and ancillary services in a gross floor area of 200,000m2. OMA

Planning Rwanda

Metropolis Magazine
‘Just before nine one morning in May, I arrived at the Alpha Palace Hotel, not far from the center of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. A team of American architects waited nervously outside, dressed in blue suits and holding battered travel tubes of drawings. In them was the conceptual master plan for the future of Kigali: a sweeping vision to turn today’s red-dirt ad-hoc city into a verdant capital with tree-lined boulevards, mixed-use neighborhoods, a new university, parks, and a network of wetlands to mitigate storm-water runoff. OZ Architecture, from Denver, along with EDAW, a landscape-architecture and urban-planning firm, had been quietly working on the scheme for three years. This morning, 13 years after Rwanda’s genocide, they would present it to an audience of local planning officials, foreign consultants, and politicians. I had come to watch, to see what American-style urban planning looked like in Rwanda, and what it could possibly do to help transform a place of poverty and struggle into one of prosperity and peace.’ more at Metropolis Magazine




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