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Thread: Anything grab your fancy here?

  1. #1

    Anything grab your fancy here?

    http://urban.cccb.org/

    Just thought I would post it, in case any of you are planning a vacation to Europe etc, or know any other planners doing a grand tour.

    garethace.

    P.S. I would love to know you opinions of the projects featured, Dublin Ireland even has the boardwalk featured. Give the images a while to load too, server isn't the fastest in the world, but worth the wait. Navigation in the site is woeful.

    You may just manage to figure it out - but there are all archived projects there in Europe going back to early 1990s. Projects I happened to like looking at the archiver were for example:

    Train Stations to and from EXPO 2000. Mom Park, Budapest. Malmö, Sweden’s Western Docks. St. Paul’s Bus Station Walsall united kingdom. Töölönlahti Bay Arts Garden. Nueva plaza del Ayuntamiento, Carrión de Calatrava (Spain).

    But they are all up to a fine standard, and show just how well money can be spent sometimes. Bearing in mind, that some of the Spanish projects are for towns of perhaps only 3,000 people.
    Last edited by garethace; 22 Feb 2004 at 1:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Navigation is a little funky but it's a cool site.

  3. #3

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    I need to experience these spaces in person.

    BUT, from photographs and descriptions, I have to admit that there seems to be too much of an emphasis on artsy "objects in space." I recently published an interesting Spanish book, "Urban Spaces," printed in Barcelona that looks at modern urban public spaces. Spanish design in particular seems to really emphasize these spindly metal structures that, FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHS, seem to not really define space very well. I like horror movies as much as any guy , but I'm not sure I want a spindly metal monster looming over me while I try to sit in a barren concrete plain and drink coffee or read a book.

    The Project for Public Spaces has good commentary on this issue.

    Do you have this impression, also, of a lot of the "avante garde" Spanish and European design of urban spaces? Too much "design" and not enough common sense?

  4. #4
    Parc Guell is on my must see list of public spaces/ parks.

    From the disaster section of PPS -this really is a nightmare imho.

  5. #5

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    Yep. Irish One. There are too many photographs like that in my book!

    Very, very intellectual-but little utility or pleasantness in the public space. Abstract sculpture may be more appropriate for a art museum courtyard.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    I thought it was a skateboard park when I first saw it
    Je suis Charlie

  7. #7

    I've got my designers jacket on

    As far as I can tell, no utility. The designers should consider putting boganvillas all over this thing and let the vines grow, then it would have aesthetic value (imho) from there you could put some tables benches facing the water front and put some grass in for the kids, napping adults, etc..

    Abstract sculpture may be more appropriate for a art museum courtyard.
    Agree

    I thought it was a skateboard park when I first saw it
    Or the lay out for a childrens roller coaster. Perhaps this sculpture is best viewed from above??

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Parc Guell is on my must see list of public spaces/ parks.

    From the disaster section of PPS -this really is a nightmare imho.
    Put that on the side of a ski hill... and I (and many others) would have a grind fest as we ride it.

    (for non snowboarders.. we will slide sideways all over it and have fun)
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  9. #9
    www.sasaki.com

    A slightly different approach, but a lot of similar projects. Have any of you got anymore links like that one?

    What I lilke about Sasaki website, is how they deal with so many situations all over the world, making you really think about public space and its maintenance in urban contexts as a resource.

  10. #10
    What I lilke about Sasaki website, is how they deal with so many situations all over the world, making you really think about public space and its maintenance in urban contexts as a resource.
    This is one of my passions under the umbrella of urban planning. I like to compare public spaces. So, I like to look at really down and dirty type of places and see the reasons why safe effective public spaces work, and where the designers pool their ideas from. One of the most exciting examples of public spaces (parks) working in a scary place is Bogota, Colombia. Latin America has many examples of parks in hell holes. I'd be interested to see what Africa and Asia have done to put safe parks/ spaces in dangerous places.

  11. #11
    Well yeah, to a degree, working as an architect anywhere in Ireland can involve doing more of the same.

    But to be honest, it just gets me out of the office, away from the 'graphics', the visuals, the paper stuff... and it just reminds me of what is real once in a while.

    You would be astonished for a profession as much haltered with the responsibility of creating real environments, how very little time many architects do currently spend 'smelling the landscape' as Glenn Murcutt calls it.

  12. #12
    You would be astonished for a profession as much haltered with the responsibility of creating real environments, how very little time many architects do currently spend 'smelling the landscape' as Glenn Murcutt calls it.
    That's a tragedy! You end up with places that, as BKM says, have " little utility or pleasantness in the public space"

  13. #13

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    How about this "gateway" plaza? :)


  14. #14
    My ramblings about density of development, open space etc. Just click on the underlined parts to link to images.

    Typical one of wilderness development, driven by having cars, and lots of home entertainment, web access etc, in the USA. If I get any more extreme rural developments, I will post them. I think some of these may work as retreat type places, like the ancient Cistercian monastery etc, but as new residential developments.... ?Outer Suburbia?

    same?

    Open space as part of scheme. Some things like this, have integrated well into places like Rathgar Road etc, I think.

    Perhaps not pretty in some peoples' eyes, but definitely sustainable as development I think, on smaller available plots. another one; I dunno, how to calculate densities on FARs for this but, I think you get the idea.

    And another attempt at density. High density, low cost. I think that Wright was very good at doing this sort of thing here. Perhaps suitable for a number of smaller apartments nowadays on suitable site, circa Rathmines or similar? Certainly would be contextual anyhow.

    Another kind of place, sunnier,

    Or here. Or this. Cross of ancient and modern at high densities. Kahn who first started trend in this. Goind even further denser in FAR;

    Similar idea. We certainly haven't built like this in Ireland since the times of the Eucharistic congress! This type of development, is attractive, as it actually manages to create a strong definition of a street I think.

    Pastiche probably, but still good amount of accomodation packed in. As this one does;

    The sort of thing which drove Temle Bar development style. Which, I believe was new at the time here in Ireland. Docklands? Notice how elements like that bridge in the background, are important perceptual landmarks in such a place. Handsome looking attempt at very high density. Another one.
    Last edited by garethace; 25 Feb 2004 at 9:33 AM.

  15. #15

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    I like the Temple Bar Townhouses. I'm a fan of kinda sleek, "high tech" style townhouse development. Townhouses to me, as a building type, are appealing. More density and architectural interest than single family homes, without the disadvantages of apartment living.

    There was a neat project in San Francisco I saw the other week. Will try to photograph it this weekend.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    There was a neat project in San Francisco I saw the other week. Will try to photograph it this weekend.
    In that sentence alone, is basically the difference between yourselves and architects. Architects don't really wonder about the 'overview' of the built environment enough, to ever substantially grasp the concept of densities and development, and open space etc.

    Because it requires you to move about, compare, observe and think. It is like having your face so close to the newspaper, that you cannot read the article any more.

  17. #17

    some art in public space

    This is probably private space but, worth a look.

    Ok public space/parks in and around downtown Medellin. These are replicas (life size -I think) of Botero sculptures. I think they're nice, the plump nude figures are easy on the eyes and kind of relaxing. Tastefull nudity imho. Botero is native to Colombia.

    I think this postcard is also a Botero -not sure.

  18. #18
    I know of a couple of University campuses here in Ireland in particular, who got a lot of US capital to build nice new buildings and erect nice expensive sculptures, and go the whole nine yards in terms of giving everything the 'designer, art treatment' but because there was no strong overall concept or master plan - all you still get is a mish mash of shining new expensive objects.

    I think those spaces and sculptures who showed there, tend to work gracefully together - because you have good quality urban spaces to work with. A strong sculpture needs a strong space too. Any of those spaces you have shown, would work well for a campus type situation.

    http://www.archiseek.com/content/sho...8&pagenumber=2

    That discussion at Archiseek says a little bit more.

  19. #19
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by garethace
    My ramblings about density of development, open space etc. Just click on the underlined parts to link to images.

    Pastiche probably, but still good amount of accomodation packed in. As this one does;
    Is 'pastiche' a negative term?

    I like this kind of pastiche:


    If it is filling a gap in a district that is of similar design style, than I think it is appropriate.

    The Temple Bar townhouses/rowhouses appear to effectively express a more urban, efficient use of land, but what would be their context:


    If we compare the 'pastiche' with the Temple Bar, I think the former would be easier to construct, technologically, and may have more predictable maintenance requirements. I look at the projections and complexity of elements on the Temple Bar design and I just see those elements with rust streaks and cloudy, leaking windows in the future.

    What do you think?

    I guess I'm more of a design traditionalist.

    I do appreicate the experimentation with design and style of the Temple Bar design.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  20. #20

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    I do agree with Mendeleman a little bit. While I like the high tech, sleek look, and feel that the townhouses have proportions that could fit in an existing traditional urban context (guessing from the images), I am not quite as willing to dismiss "traditional" architecture with the derogatory epithet "pastiche." It still comes down, in my opinion, to taste. Many modern "functionalist" buildings don't actually function as well as the traditional buildings they replaced.

    At the same time, I myself (repeating myself) like the high tech design. I'm just not willing to say that it is the only "moral" architecture (if there is such a thing anyway) or that only such architecture "reflects our time." On the other hand, so much new traditional architecture is really, really bad. Foam classical trim elements probably won't look good over time, anyway.

    I'm rambling. I'll be quiet, now

  21. #21
    It was one of the best examples of pastiche design working, I have come across. I think as a solution, it was excellent in the context of that older city core. The fact, it doesn't rise to four stories like the Temple Bar stuff, didn't bother me one bit either - because with two stories and a basement it is far from being bad, in terms of using the land it was given.

    It was also a good clear development, creating a very strong space in front of it - definitely a positive addition to the street. It is possibly designed for use by important politians, doctors, lawyers and architects. That is fine in my book.

    It would be great to see developers doing development like that I think, especially in sensitive old traditional urban cores. With those high ceilings, large generous internal rooms and fine sunlight through large openings, I think the units could accomodate nice boardrooms or perhaps several people using workstations in the same room - something which would be crucial for good team workers like architects and lawyers.

  22. #22
    canceled my post, nevermind move along.

  23. #23
    Have you seen this web site?
    Dutch firm, nice projects.

    http://www.mecanoo.com/index.php

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