World Trade Center Site
I thought of you this evening, osso, while listening to another story on the design for the redevelopement of the WTC site (aka The Freedom Tower). The guest was the architecture critic from the New Yorker.
I made some quick notes from the discussion which may or may not be accurate. (Source: NPR All things Considered 6/29).
NYC safety officials had a problem with the earlier design based on security issues. So the new plan (lamentable in the eyes of the critic) calls for the architectural design to be based on security concerns. I hear what he says but doesn't architecture have to deal with reality?
Anyway, the new plan calls for the office building to be built upon a pedestal. A wonderful euphemism for a 30 foot high, presumably 6-foot thick wall facing the streets. What could be put in on the inside is one issue; what folks walking by on the outside would see is perhaps a larger one: a cold, sterile wall from shoe level up 30 feet. As an aside, this was a concern of mine when I told you about how UVA planned to build their new Pediatric hospital on Main Street in Charlottesville. It would, as originally conceived, have killed off pedestrian traffic.
An interesting comment that the critic made re the WTC site: It is an evolving area. Most high-rise centers of commerce are shifting to other parts of the city. So maybe, just maybe (I thought I heard him say) the whole project is a white elephant. I don't know NYC, so can't comment.
I would appreciate your thoughts and any links. Thank you. -johnboy-
Oh, lord, I saved batches of links for a while. I have sort of given up. I was interested originally in the planning as a problem and opportunity and now see it as a bizarre tangle of constraints. Originally liked a Maya Lin piece on it (she avoided working on the project).
My own instincts are not to build much, to leave the tower footprints as grasses and trees, and to have the surrounding buildings be a low mix of data-memorial, and then, cafes, bookstore devoted to NYC history, museums of cultural history, art galleries, art supply store, garden center? photo stores, performing arts center, video making center, craft store? basically businesses/groups that give people ways to build a creative life.
Possibly schools for the arts.
I have always been pessimistic about leasing a new bunch of tall buldings there to businesses. I realize my proposal is outlandish economically.
Still, Central Park is has been a jewel (mostly) for the city and remains a powerful place.
I think a lot of big buildings are a mistake, especially with some gawdawful spiral tower (since deleted, I believe). And I think a park would entwine and engage surrounding neighborhoods.
I think this could be done if there was a will to do it. (yes, I know it's private property, but deals can be made if money is at hand.)
I may have not yet deleted some links (I've been cleaning out my files...) on the 911 site, and may have others on memorials in general.
If I do, I'll post them in this Post, and keep adding to it.
Realjohnboy, I've printed out your missives. Was enjoying reading, and then got sidetracked. Back on that soon.
Light Fantastic on the River Clyde Bridge -
RealJohnBoy, I am going to forward you a page of recent links on the 911 site...
I look forward to that, osso.
But back for the moment to the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow. I know it well. Something about that story troubles me, but I can't figure out what it is. Perhaps the money being spent to do this? Perhaps johnboy's naivete about what "art" is? I wish I could express it, but I can't.
Hmm. Well, I like bridges for themselves, from the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate - which I just saw this week in lowering afternoon sunlight - to Calatrava's work, and am rather biased toward certain old bridges in Italy - oh, and a bridge that was in a thread or two here on a2k last year, one that spans a valley in France. (Although that one sort of bothered me on whether it was necessary...) So, the light thing is a little hokey to me. Given how much money flows to this and that, it isn't the money that particularly bothers me - more the amusement park effect. It's hard to tell. I might really like this if I would see it in person.
Thanks, osso, for the Landscape Architecture link. It will take me awhile to wade through it, and the pictures, of course, can't do justice. I will be in Portland once or perhaps twice in the next few months. I look forward to getting to Seattle to look at the first one reviewed. I also was pleased to note that, further down the list in the residential category, was a Charlottesville firm (Greg Bleam). As you may know, I have a small chain of art supply stores and number amongst my customers a bunch of architecture firms, including his.
Ah, I did notice that. I haven't looked through the photos and associated stories myself yet, though I did see the one that was featured in Garden Design - in the Garden Design magazine - which I don't personally subscribe to but my cousin keeps giving me for Christmas (and say, re that garden, phooey - I liked something else in that magazine, forget what just now.)
Ah, I remember, that was van Valkenburgh's residential garden design. I don't like that myself, found it annoying. I often like his work though, as well I should, he is kingpin among practicing landarchs now.
Who would have thought, osso, that carpet waste constituted such a large contributer to landfills. Johnboy, in an earlier life, was a CPA working for a major firm out of the Atlanta office. We had a number of audit clients in that field and, though that wasn't my specialty, I participated in a few of those. I got to see carpeting being manufactured.
I reckon that carpet ingredients are more benign than they used to be and, I suspect, there have been significant improvements in the process known as "incineration." We may be close to the time when that word, with the connotations of smokestacks belching out toxic waste, should be retired. The economic benefits (efficient energy production and reduced landfill deposits etc) significantly outweigh the environmental costs (due to improved technology). I am sure that there are arguments on both sides.
ps osso. I got you out of my spam folder and into my address book. I hope I did't put you to needless effort that went nowhere. pps Maybe you should retitle your thread so it doesn't sound quite so scholarly. It would be nice to hear from other folks about their attitudes about their space.
Yeh - I've been stymied by the title. Hard to convey the idea in a few words...
maybe just land use..