Hard architecture and urban grit will be missed

The first laneway house in Toronto. The first sculptural gateway to a Toronto ravine. The work of Jeff Stinson and Adrian DiCastri, two architects who defined architecture in very different ways, stands as a testament to their imagination, their urban grit and their tenacity. Both men recently died of cancer, surrounded by their respective families, on the very same day. Yet their architecture – their belief in the making of a triumphant city – lives on.

Read more @ globeandmail.com: Hard architecture and urban grit will be missed.

Dirty Work

As reports of the subprime mortgage meltdown continue, an exhibition on view through March 16 in Gund Hall Gallery highlights a real estate crisis of an altogether different sort. A third of the world’s city dwellers — 1 billion people — live in shantytowns.

“Slums” is another term for these places, as is favelas. Yet another is “nonformal cities,” and that’s the one that has made its way into the title of the exhibition, “Dirty Work: Transforming the Landscape of Nonformal Cities in the Americas.”

Read more @ Dirty Work – The Harvard University Gazette.

UK PM to get tough on plastic bags

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday warned retailers they had to start charging shoppers for the 13 billion plastic bags they currently get for free each year or the government would step in to force them.
Most bags end as landfill waste or being blown across the countryside, littering the landscape and harming wildlife.

Read more @ Business – Guardian.co.uk|.

Terminal lifts Beijing into the high-flying club

The dragon at Beijing Capital International Airport came to life on Friday. Everyone who walks into the dragon-shaped Terminal 3 (T3) will see the flattery heaped upon it before it opened was no deception.

The new terminal wasn’t even half as crowded as the two older ones around noon, when this reporter walked in. No lines in front of check-in desks, no passenger running down the passages, no arguments in hushed or loud tones, No strains, at all. That’s should be good news for those traveling to and from Beijing for the Olympic Games.

The building runs for 3.25km and covers 98 hectares of floor space, the equivalent to about 170 soccer pitches.

Architect – Norman Foster

Read more @ Terminal lifts Beijing into the high-flying club – China Daily

Buildings & Grounds: New Stanford Environmental-Science Building Uses Its Own Standards, Not LEED’s – Chronicle.com

The first building in a new Stanford University science and engineering quadrangle will open Tuesday, complete with a long list of features intended to minimize energy use and maximize interaction among scholars. The 166,000-square-foot structure, which will house environmental-science researchers, was designed to the university’s own Stanford Performance Criteria for High Performance Buildings. It is being referred to as “LEED platinum-equivalent.”

Buildings & Grounds: New Stanford Environmental-Science Building Uses Its Own Standards, Not LEED’s – Chronicle.com.

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