Design at heart of sustainable Wales

DEVELOPERS should push the boundaries of design to help Wales achieve its sustainable development goals, the new development director of the Design Commission for Wales has said.

Wendy Richards, an experienced urban designer and landscape architect, has been involved in delivering a diverse portfolio of high profile design projects, ranging from a major urban park development in Hong Kong’s New Territories to the Riverfront Theatre in Newport as part of a team at Austin-Smith: Lord.

She has spent the last three years working with Newport City Council and Newport Unlimited as their principal urban designer and has worked within the private and public sectors over a number of years, as well as being a voluntary member of the Design Commission’s own Design Review Panel. more at westernmail

New town ‘will form important wildlife habitat’

A NEW town will provide an “internationally important” wildlife habitat.

An ecologist acting for Multiplex Stannifer will today tell a planning inquiry that plans for the Mereham development include a wetland which would help water voles, reed buntings, amphibians and reptiles to thrive.

The inquiry will also hear from two other experts backing Multiplex with claims that the 5,100-home new town on the A10 near Stretham will enhance the landscape and will not be prone to flooding. more at Cambridge Evening News

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