New look for Federal Plaza, gone are the green benches

The award winning Federal Plaza designed by Martha Schwartz is going to get a new design as the plaza is reconstructed over a 12-18 month period to fix the plaza deck that is settling and leaking affecting the building and carpark below the plaza.

The current design of swirling green benches designed by Martha Schwartz will be removed and replaced by magnolia trees, low evergreen plantings, marble benches and  a fountain designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA).

The Tribeca Trib recently reported  about  Matthew Urbanski’s (a principal with MVVA) presentation of the new design to Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee.

Much of the design, Urbanski said,  was influenced by the “microclimate” of the plaza, which receives too much sun in the summer and too little in the winter, plus a wind tunnel effect along Worth Street. The magnolia trees are positioned at the northern end of the plaza where they can provide shade and some shielding from winter winds.

To read and see more about the new plaza design go to the [SOURCE: Tribeca Trib - Yet Another Look in Store for Federal Plaza]

Vectorworks 2010 gets new Service Pack

Recently Nemetschek released Service Pack 2 for English Vectorworks 2010 and its variations (eg Landmark, etc).

Vectorworks 2010 now has Service Pack 2 which fixes issues with DXF/DWG import & export, wall joining as wells as a few other updates. For all you techies who want to know everything that has been updated you can go here for the full list of SP2 updates. To download the Mac(169Mb) and Windows(64Mb) 2010 Vectorworks Service Pack 2 go here. Remember to follow the instructions and have SP1 installed before updating to SP2.

SOURCE: Nemetschek

2010 World Architecture report released

Building Design has just released its 2010 World Architecture report and it has some interesting findings.

The some of the world’s architecture firms have shrunk due the Global Financial Crisis while others have increased in size due to the growth of cities in Asia.

Building Design states

The world’s biggest 100 firms has fallen by more than 3,200 in the last year………..

…..The world’s top five firms this year — ranked by number of architects employed — are: Nikken Sekkei, Aedas, Gensler, HOK and RMJM.

You can get your copy of the report from Building Design for £10 at bdonline.co.uk/wa100

Read the summary of the report at the SOURCE: Building Design – Top global architects lose 10% of staff in 2009

US companies on the M&A trail in the UK?

Building posted a report today that some large US firms the size of Jacobs, AECOM and CH2MHill maybe looking at acquiring firms in the UK. Many UK firms have established offices in Europe, Middle East and North Africa which makes their businesses more appealing as they have established company structures and trained personnel. They also have large infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and work in North Africa already on their books.

US Companies are seeing that the recession has abated in the US and Europe so its the most opportune time to acquire companies at low valuations and increase their personnel count and revenues across the world.

Read the article at Building for a list of targeted companies, analysis and interviews.

[SOURCE: Building.co.uk]

Edinburgh College of Art launches its ‘Vision’ of academic research

Edinburgh College of Art is delighted to launch Vision, a major new publication about its current and future research projects in the creative disciplines.

A lavishly illustrated book, Vision includes focus features on the College’s current research groups as well as profiles of over 100 staff and their ‘visions’ of future research developments.

With the aim of progressing lively and accessible public engagement with academic research, Vision presents ground-breaking creative thinking across a vast range of art, design, architecture and landscape architecture disciplines. It also highlights the increase in cross-disciplinary and external collaboration in projects where experts in architecture, digital design, visual communications, business, anthropology, medical and computer science work with us to develop imaginative solutions to theoretical and practical issues.

Read more about Vision go to Edinburgh College of Art where you can download a copy of Vision

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