Turkey Passes Legislation to Protect Istanbul’s Historic Skyline Silhouette from Rapid Urbanization

International
Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Urbanization is changing Istanbul's skyline. (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

Urbanization is changing Istanbul’s skyline. (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

For 1475 years, the colossal dome and four minarets of the Hagia Sofia have remained the focus of Istanbul’s historic silhouette. That is, until three hulking towers known as the OnaltiDokuz Residences interrupted the scene last summer, sparking another battle over development in the Turkish capital. In late May, the Hurriyet Daily News reported that the city’s 4th Administrative Court ordered the demolition of the skyscrapers, claiming that their construction was illegal because it “negatively affected the world heritage site that the Turkish government was obliged to protect.” To guard against future infractions, this Wednesday the Turkish Parliament passed legislation calling for additional safeguards nationwide to protect historic areas from rapid urbanization.

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Conservation Case Study on the Eames House

West
Monday, June 24, 2013
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Eames House Conservation Project (Kyle Normandin, GCI)

Eames House Conservation Project (Kyle Normandin, GCI)

Charles and Ray Eames designed their Pacific Palisades home in 1949 as part of the Case Study Program, which was begun by John Entenza, editor of Arts & Architecture Magazine. The program invited some of the best architects of the day to share their ideas for using new materials and methods to construct well-designed, mass-producible housing. The two-part, rectangular house was constructed of prefabricated materials and off-the-shelf products. Now, the  Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has made the mid-20th century modern architecture landmark a subject of its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative.

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Land Crisis Puts Pressure on Lutyens’ Housing Quarter in New Delhi

International
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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A house in New Delhi's Lutyens Bungalow Zone. (Courtesy World Monument Fund)

A house in New Delhi’s Lutyens Bungalow Zone. (Courtesy World Monument Fund)

Indian officials have proposed that high-rises be built on the site of Edwin Lutyens-designed bungalows dating from the 1920s and 1930s, threatening Delhi’s colonial era architecture, according to the Guardian. Lutyens’ Delhi, a 3,000-acre zone containing the Mughal Garden at Rashtrapati Bhavan, has endured monsoons, riots, and acid rain, but now many of the area’s government buildings, parks, and homes have met a new menace: a scheme to loosen planning limitations to permit construction of high-rise structures.

Continue reading after the jump.

President Obama to Nominate REI CEO to Lead Interior Department

National
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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REI CEO Sally Jewell. (Courtesy REI)

REI CEO Sally Jewell. (Courtesy REI)

President Obama is expected to nominate Sally Jewell, the President and Chief Executive Officer of national outdoor retailer REI, to succeed Secretary Ken Salazar as the head of the Interior Department.

Jewell, a former engineer for Mobil Oil and commercial banker, has run the $1.8 billion company for over a decade and has established herself as a strong advocate for land conservation. The Washington Post reported reported that she is one of the founding board members of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and serves on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

The Department of the Interior manages and protects the country’s lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources, along with relations with tribal nations. As extreme weather patterns put climate change front and center of the policy debates in Washington DC, the Secretary of the Interior will take on an increasingly critical role this term.

Bogey at Pebble Beach: Another Neutra House in the Rough

Newsletter, West
Thursday, February 16, 2012
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Neutra's Connell House, Pebble Beach (Anthony Kirk)

While Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were busy fighting for supremacy at Pebble Beach last weekend, another important battle was taking place just down the street (unbeknownst to almost everyone). Richard Neutra’s 4,124 square foot Connell House (1958) in Pebble Beach is being slated for demolition in favor of a 12,000 square foot behemoth mega-mansion. The new home was proposed in December, and still needs several permissions for approval.

Author Barbara Lamprecht, author of Richard Neutra: Complete Works (Taschen), has written a letter to the Monterey County Planning Department urging it to save the “aesthetically compelling, spatially complex house,” with its “careful asymmetric composition of volumes and opposing opaque (stucco) and transparent (glass) planes.” She encourages others to contact the department as well. Think of it as a pro/am for architecture buffs.

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