SHoP and Ken Smith Unveil Another Piece of the East River Esplanade

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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(Courtesy SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop)

(Courtesy SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop)

Connecting two existing waterfronts—Battery Park and East River Park—the rehabilitation of the East River Esplanade has been a catalyst of renewal along Manhattan’s East River. The latest phase of the plan—by SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop—extends the current three-block-long Esplanade north, adding recreational amenities and addresses the challenges of building a new landscape beneath an elevated highway between Catherine Slip and Pike Slip in Lower Manhattan..

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SCAPE, Rogers Marvel to Design Water Works Park in Minneapolis

City Terrain, Midwest
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Water Works

The new park in Minneapolis will be developed adjacent to St. Anthony Falls, where the city’s milling industry once thrived. (Minneapolis Parks Foundation)

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board have announced that two New York-based firms, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Marvel Architects, will collaborate to design Water Works Park, part of the city’s ongoing RiverFirst project.

Slated for completion in early 2014, Water Works Park will be incorporated into the existing Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park above St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall along the Mississippi River and an important part of Minneapolis’ history. The park already draws 1.6 million visitors each year, a number that officials expect to increase with the addition of the year-round, multi-use park.

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Landscape Architect Laurie Olin Wins the 2013 National Medal of Arts

City Terrain
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Laurie Olin. (Courtesy Olin Studio)

Laurie Olin. (Courtesy Olin Studio)

The National Medal of Arts, conferred by the National Endowment for the Arts and presented by the President of the United States, is the highest honor an American artist or arts patron can receive. For twenty-seven years the prestigious award has recognized the importance of the arts and expressed the nations appreciation for the boundless creative expression of America’s artists. This year it was bestowed upon renowned landscape architect, Laurie Olin—most notably known for his 1988 transformation of New York City’s Bryant Park.

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New Guide Offers an Insider’s Look at New York City’s Urban Landscapes

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
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West Harlem Piers Park Credit. (Alison Cartwright)

West Harlem Piers Park Credit. (Alison Cartwright)

In just the nick of time for outdoor summer weekends in New York City, Norton Architecture and Design Books has released a Guide to New York City Urban Landscapes. It’s a concise and beautifully illustrated guide to thirty-eight public spaces that claims to be the “first wide-ranging survey of New York urban landscapes from the first half of the nineteenth century to, well, tomorrow.”

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Whimsical Green Promenade Aims to Revive London’s Disconnected Vauxhall Neighborhood

(COURTESY OF ERECT ARCHITECTURE)

(COURTESY OF ERECT ARCHITECTURE)

From the mid-17th to the mid-19th century, crowds of Londoners sought entertainment at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, located on the south bank of the River Thames. The acres of greenery that made up the garden were once the site of numerous whimsical attractions, including tight-rope walkers, concerts, fireworks, and narrow winding walkways perfect for amorous adventures. Today the neighborhood of Vauxhall, located in the heart of Nine Elms, is mostly known for the railway arches that slice across the neighborhood, disconnecting it from the riverside and labeling it as the “missing link” between the New US Embassy Quarter and London’s South Bank.

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Unveiled> A Grimshaw-Designed Garden Vision for Wimbledon

City Terrain, International
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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(Courtesy Grimshaw)

(Courtesy Grimshaw)

The All England Club has unveiled its Grimshaw-designed Wimbledon Master Plan, which establishes a vision for the future of the site and a structure to direct the ongoing development and improvement of the Club. The Master Plan draws on existing assets and reflects the history of The Championships while resolving certain challenges that the site presents. Three new grass courts will be repositioned to ease overcrowding, No. 1 Court will be reworked and a fresh landscape scheme will enhance and define public areas.

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Proposed Garden Bridge Over the Thames Invites Commuters to Slow Down

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Rendering of Hearthwick Studio’s design of the new Garden Bridge. (Courtesy Heatherwick Studio)

Heatherwick Studio has envisioned a refreshing way for Londoners to safely commute from the North to the South side of the city that doesn’t involve the hassle of waiting for a bus, squeezing onto the overcrowded “Tube,” or sitting in mind-numbing traffic. The firm, which has been working closely with actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley to develop the design, proposed a pedestrian garden bridge that will extend across the River Thames, providing Londoners with a safe, green river crossing.

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Tower Implosion Makes Way For Mountains on Governors Island

City Terrain, East
Monday, June 10, 2013
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gov_imploded_01gov_imploded_02

It took only a few seconds for Building 877 on Governors Island—dynamited at various key points—to come crashing down in a pile of sand-colored dust (hopefully with no asbestos)! A group of about 150 lucky New Yorkers, including Raymond Gastil (heading back to his home in Seattle), Margaret Sullivan (H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture), Jonathan Marvel (Rogers Marvel Architects and one of the architect’s of the new Governors Island), Lance Brown, and The Guy Nordenson family, were invited to witness the “implosion” at 6:37a.m. on Sunday, June 9.

Videos and mountainous

Michael Van Valkenburgh Releases Details of Main Street Section of Brooklyn Bridge Park

City Terrain, East
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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bbp_mainSt_02bbp_mainSt_03

Much has been brewing at Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) over the last six months starting with the opening of Pier 5 to the completion of Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge. And now, according to DUMBO NYC, the Park, along with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, recently unveiled plans at a community meeting to overhaul the Main Street section of its 1.3-mile waterfront stretch at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.

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Bike Share Programs Roll Along in New York, Chicago

City Terrain, East, Midwest
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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"Divvy," Chicago's forthcoming bike share program, features three-speed bicycles painted the same blue as seen as seen in the city's flag. (Courtesy Divvy / Alta Bicycle Share)

“Divvy,” Chicago’s forthcoming bike share program, features three-speed bicycles painted the same blue as seen as seen in the city’s flag. (Courtesy Divvy / Alta Bicycle Share)

Chicago’s bike-for-rent made its test premiere during the annual “Bike the Drive” event on the Windy City’s Lake Shore thoroughfare Sunday, and Wednesday opened the new service for membership sign-ups.

Chicago’s Department of Transportation unveiled its bike share plans in April, tapping Portland, OR–based Alta Bicycle Share, which also runs New York and DC’s bike-share programs, to roll out 400 stations and about 4,000 three-speed “Chicago Blue” bicycles across the city.

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Providence Considers Plan for a More Pedestrian Friendly Kennedy Plaza

City Terrain, East
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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providence_plaza_06providence_plaza_05

All images courtesy TimNelson3D.com / Union Studio Architecture & Community Design

Not unfamiliar with daring urban design endeavors, Providence, RI is gearing up for a $20 million transformation of Kennedy Plaza, a major transportation hub and park dating to 1848 in the city’s downtown. The overhaul designed by Providence-based Union Studio Architects was announced in late April and calls for upholding the plaza’s principal position as a public-transit terminal, preserving the 2002 intermodal station. Change in the site’s layout will relocate bus kiosks to the perimeter of the plaza so as to create supplementary space for public and private activities to enliven the space.

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Squandered Land: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

City Terrain, National
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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(Courtesy Peter Murray)

(Courtesy Peter Murray)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

When the author Bill Bryson moved back to the US from England he wrote a goodbye book entitled Notes from a Small Island. I was frequently reminded of Bryson’s analysis as I rode through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. By comparison to these great open spaces England is neat and manicured, with everything in its place.

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