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Found 26 results

  1. The office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been commissioned to design a large-scale residential complex in Singapore. The project will be located on an expansive 8 hectare site bounded by the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Alexandra Road, in a central position between the National University and downtown Singapore. With 170,000 m2 of built floor area, the development will provide over 1,000 apartment units of varying sizes with extensive outdoor spaces and landscaping. Instead of creating a cluster of isolated, vertical towers – the default typology of residential developments in Singapore – the design explores a dramatically different approach to the issues and challenges of living and social space. 32 apartment blocks, each six-stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form six large-scale permeable courtyards. The interlocking volumes form the topography of a “vertical village” with cascading sky gardens and private roof terraces vertically extending the landscape of the courtyards. Extensive communal facilities which are embedded in the lush vegetation offer multiple opportunities for social interaction in a natural environment. While maintaining the privacy of the individual apartment units through unobstructed views and generous spacing of the building blocks, the horizontal and interconnected volumes create an explicitly social network of outdoor spaces within the green terrain. The site completes a green belt that stretches between Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah and Mount Faber Parks, while the stacked volumetric relationship of the apartment blocks extends the landscape and forms a mount/hill that relates to the surrounding topography. Beyond the extensive presence of nature and collective space, the project will be designed to respond carefully to the tropical climate and address issues of sustainability through incorporating multiple features of energy-saving technologies. The project is lead by Ole Scheeren, Director of OMA Beijing, together with Eric Chang, Associate. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=1943
  2. The world is welcome to park downtown 150 spots set aside for diplomats, staff ANNE SUTHERLAND, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago Parking downtown is difficult enough: Who hasn't done the "once more 'round the block" routine over and over before throwing in the towel and paying sky-high prices to park in a lot? Adding to the frustration is seeing prime spots reserved for the diplomatic corps - 150 spaces in all - in the Ville Marie and Plateau Mont Royal boroughs. Who are these people with special licence plates and why do they get to park - free of charge, on top of everything - in some of the most advantageous places? Cars fill Cathcart St. parking spots designated for use by diplomatic staff. Those sites represent only a handful of the 16,800 metered parking spaces in Montreal, a city official says.View Larger Image View Larger Image Cars fill Cathcart St. parking spots designated for use by diplomatic staff. Those sites represent only a handful of the 16,800 metered parking spaces in Montreal, a city official says. For staff of consulates and employees of international organizations, like the International Air Transport Association or the International Civil Aviation Organization, free parking is part of a range of diplomatic perks. Italy, for example, has its own consular building and parking lot on Doctor Penfield Ave. Many other consulates rent space in office towers downtown, however. As a matter of courtesy and security, the city of Montreal designates 150 spots to international officials and consular and diplomatic staff, said Jacques-Alain Lavallée, spokesperson for the Ville Marie borough. Montreal has been extending this privilege for more than 30 years, and does so "to attract international institutions and for security reasons," said François Goneau, of the city's public affairs department. There are 16,800 metered parking spots in the city, so the 150 spots for consular officials represent a minuscule percentage of available street parking, he noted. Michel Philibert of Stationnement de Montréal, the para-public agency that manages parking in the city, said there is no way to gauge how much revenue metered parking in those diplomatic spots might bring in. Extending perks to the international market is very lucrative in the long run for Montreal, Goneau said. "It has been estimated these international organizations bring in excess of $200 million in business to the city," he said, citing a study done in 2000. Only drivers with a CC (Consular Corps) or a CD (Diplomatic Corps) prefix on their licence plates are eligible to park in the diplomatic corps spots. There are 191 CC plates and 140 CD plates issued to people in Montreal, according to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec. If you park in a spot designated for the diplomatic corps and get caught, you will get the usual $42 fine for parking in a restricted zone, Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe said. The city receives two requests a year, on average, for diplomatic corps parking spots. If a consulate closes or moves, the designated parking spots are returned to the public, Lavallée said. [email protected]
  3. Very very cool story. The building was constructed in 1929 for the Laurentian Bank. In 1975, the bank covered the building with chunky cladding made of metal and white stucco. Then, last spring, the overlay was torn off, revealing a striking stone building built in a Beaux Arts style, made of Scottish red sandstone. - The new owner plans to set up his son’s veterinary clinic in one of two ground-floor commercial spaces. - A third floor will be added to the building to accommodate 15 residential condo units. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-diary-new-life-for-parc-ave-building http://histoireplateau.org/architecture/architectures_traditionnelles/facades/ancienneFacadeBeauxArts.html
  4. Montreal's tempest in a beer cup A summertime deal between Labatt and the city's Gay Village raises questions about private interests dominating public spaces From Tuesday's Globe and Mail August 5, 2008 at 3:57 AM EDT MONTREAL — Stéphanie Dagenais didn't mind the Bud Light parasols and cups she was forced to use on her restaurant patio in Montreal's Gay Village. It's when the brewery started telling her Bud Light had to go in those plastic cups that the manager of Kilo bristled. "I think it's an aggressive way of doing a sponsorship," said Ms. Dagenais, who was forced to sell the beer under an exclusive deal struck between Labatt, which brews the beer in Canada, and the Gay Village business improvement group. The business association sold the right to sell beer on 54 new patios along a stretch of Ste-Catherine Street to Labatt, part of a summer-long festival that will see cars banished from the street. Owners say the $100,000 deal came with minimum sales quotas for each bar and restaurant, including a healthy sample of Bud Light. Patrons at a bar on Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal drink Molson Export out of the Bud Light cups required through Labatt’s sponsorship of the area. (John Morstad for The Globe and Mail) The Globe and Mail The deal irks restaurateurs like Ms. Dagenais, who doesn't sell much beer at her small restaurant, best known for tasty desserts, and others who try to tempt palates with fine dining, wine and specialty ales. A representative of the business group even suggested Bud Light is a popular beer among gays in the United States. While the banishment of cars from the street has been good for many businesses and great for pedestrians, the sponsorship is triggering a broader tempest in a beer cup over how much control private enterprises should have over public space. "I guess everything has a price," said Ms. Dagenais, who has several cases of Bud Light collecting dust. "But should it be that way? I don't think so, but it seems to be the way we work in North America." Christopher DeWolf, a writer for Spacing Montreal, an urban affairs website affiliated with the Toronto magazine Spacing, questions how corporate interests were allowed to take over a public street. "The closure to cars has created a destination, it creates an ambience that is impossible with cars," Mr. DeWolf said. "But here you have a product foisted on merchants and their customers. It raises the question of how far we should allow private interests to have such control over our public spaces. I think it's a burden on merchants and it restricts public choice." Bernard Plante, director of the Gay Village business association, said the deal is no different than exclusive beer rights negotiated at other city venues. He pointed to the privately owned Bell Centre where only Molson beer is sold. Mr. Plante brushed aside complaints about the use of public space, saying his business group is provincially legislated and democratically run. "These are the decisions we made on behalf of businesses on the street," Mr. Plante said. Merchants could shed the restraints of sponsorship when the deal runs out after the summer of 2009, he added. But they will have to agree to pay for the street closing, including the cost of street decor and rent to the city for having patios on public streets and sidewalks. Across North America, summer festivals run by private entities take over parks and streets, often with exclusive rights to allow access and to sell products. Many of the examples are more intrusive than the Montreal beer sponsorship. In one infamous example in the United States, Washington's National Mall was fenced off for a Pepsi product launch and concert - a 2003 scene described by the Project for Public Spaces as "singularly shocking for its sheer scope and audacity." Steve Davies, a vice-president of the New York-based group that encourages sensible integration of private business in public spaces, says sponsors get in trouble when they start constraining normal commercial activity. "It goes too far when they use a sponsorship to start telling dozens of private businesses what to do on public land over an entire summer," Mr. Davies said. In Montreal, big chunks of major downtown streets are regularly closed to traffic for short periods for everything from the Jazz Festival to Just for Laughs. The Gay Village pedestrian mall will last 2½ months. Mr. DeWolf said Montreal has one big thing right: The city usually emphasizes free public access, even if access to products like food and drink are often restricted. Labatt officials could not be reached yesterday. But Jean-Luc Raymond, owner of La Planète, which specializes in international cuisine, says he's noticed a little more flexibility from his brewery representative since the controversy broke out. Mr. Raymond has managed to get a little more of the fashionable Stella Artois and a little less Bud Light. "The Bud Light is still languishing," he said, "but I'm not like some others who have to try to sell Bud Light and cheesecake."
  5. The small town of Triberg, Germany is creating big headlines these days, after its mayor designated a number of difficult or tricky parking spaces for men-only. Mayor Gallus Strobel has risked countless accusations of sexism after marking the town's toughest parking spots with a male or female symbol depending on their level of difficulty. "Men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges... There are also great women drivers who are, of course, most welcome!" Mayor Strobel told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The idea behind this new policy was designed to attract ambitious drivers to utilize more difficult spaces. Parking spaces which are wider, well-lit and close to exits have been painted with female symbols, while narrow, obstructed and awkwardly angled spots have been labeled with male symbols. So far the parking challenge has been met with mixed opinions, however its also increased tourism to the area, as countless drivers have traveled to the small town in order to test their parking abilities. A major study in Britain earlier this year showed that while women might be slower at parking, they are more accurate and have better technique. The survey also suggests men liked to "pose park" by opting to park in a smaller spots, even when a larger spot is available. http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/10/12664764-german-mayor-designates-parking-spaces-just-for-men?lite
  6. The jury members are: - Melvin Charney, architect; - Odile Decq, architect and Director of the École Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris; - Jacques Des Rochers, Curator of Canadian Art, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; - Michel Dionne, architect, Cooper, Robertson & Partners, New York; - Raphaël Fischler, urban planner and professor at the School of Urban Planning, McGill University; - Mario Masson, landscape architect and Division Manager, Service du développement culturel, de la qualité du milieu de vie et de la diversité ethnoculturelle, Ville de Montréal; - Alessandra Ponte, associate professor, School of Architecture, Université de Montréal; - Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec, landscape architect and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at Université de Montréal. Instructions for prospective entrants (Courtesy of CNW Telbec)
  7. Last week, Quebec gave some additional funding to 2 English CEGEP's (and one French CEGEP) to increase enrolment due to the application crunch. Mme. Courchesne stated that this was done so that anglophones could attend an anglophone CEGEP. The statement was later "clarified" that this applied only to the current crunch. Given that some in the PQ want English CEGEP's available only to Anglophones (although Pauline Marois is hesitant to endorse this), does anyone see the following scenario unfolding? English CEGEP's enrolment will be frozen at or near current levels. First priority for admission will be anglophones with a Certificate of Eligibility. Second priority for admission will be anglophone immigrants. Any remaining spaces would be available to other immigrants and francophones.
  8. Does anyone know what the status is on the construction that was being done in the Olympic Stadium tower? http://www.busac.com/index.php?lang=an&sect=3&offset=0&region=5&id=5733552 Judging by the 3D tour http://www.busac.com/previz/on the Busac Real Estate site, it looks like they are planning to remove some of the concrete panels on the side of the tower and replace them with more windows. Thus creating 20 floors of office space. The floor spaces in the tour were built with very high ceilings and windows that were much to high. I wonder if and how many floors they might be adding to fill up these large rooms. If anyone has anymore info on this project or pictures of construction of any part of the Olympic Complex I would be very interested. All Pictures are from Busac Real Estate www.Busac.com
  9. Voici quelques photos que j'ai pris aujourd'hui de l'événement. C'est vraiment intéressant et impressionnant ! Je vous invites tous à participer, c'est jusqu'à mardi. Plus d'infos : http://www.fta.qc.ca/spectacles/2011/bodies-in-urban-spaces
  10. MONTREAL'S FIRST 100% GREEN CONDO AND TOWNHOUSE PROJECT Overview Located minutes from Montreal’s downtown core and the historic Atwater Market, Maison Productive House (MpH) is a contemporary, green living project that offers a contemporary architecture that makes sustainable urban living bountiful and verdant. At Maison Productive House empowers consumers to live intelligently. Maison Productive House offers you two housing choices to meet you specific needs, Condo and Townhouse. Each unity offers a contemporary and green design that is both rich in space and refined in its architecture. MpH residences offer a privileged, refined living environment, which is refined and avant-garde. MpH perpetuates the exceptional architectural style with the most advanced Green (sustainable living) elements. MpH is Montreal’s first ecological design that seeks carbon-neutrality and addresses various productive aspects of a responsible lifestyle: alternative energy, food garden, active transportation, more personal productivity and leisure time. Here are some of the design principles that inspired the vision for the MpH Its walking distance from Charlevoix metro station Amenities MpH is very green. Its infrastructure can contribute to the environment instead of being as drain upon it. Maison Productive House seeks a LEED® Platinum certification and follows zero-emission development (ZED) design principles. What is unique about the MpH project is that it is Novoclimat® certified, uses Solar Panel and Geo-thermal energy; includes EnergyStar® appliances, dual-flush toilets and radiant heated floors. Additional examples of this unique project include: Onsite garden Custom-built doors kitchens and stairways using FSC or reclaimed wood or bottles No use of VOC products in lacquers, and natural fibers wherever possible (insulation, wall structure). Social and productive spaces, mixing ecological and social functions, such as: its year-round greenhouse, sauna, meditation room, and laundry room recovering grey waters and balcony. The sauna is strategically placed to allow for voluntary heat loss that directly will benefit the otherwise passively heated (solar) greenhouse. The greenhouse is supplied with recouped rainwater and filtered gray water for irrigation. Other amenities include: - Attention to linkages between outdoor and indoor spaces with the innovation of SunSpaces and ample roof, garden and balcony spaces for social interaction and growing. - Artisan bakery integrated into the residential development - Creation of possible income-streams to owners through rental spaces - Proximity to public transportation and the provision of a shared car service - Both inside and outside the greenhouse, the roof is maximized for growing vegetables. Cold-frames are integrated in the roof balustrade with seasonal covers to extend the growing season. - This social gathering area will have all the amenities for Bar-B-Qs, sun-bathing and gardening. - The Sauna uses an electrically-powered design which utilizes pine wood and is large enough for 4-6 people. - In addition to the roof greenhouse, every owner has their own private plot for growing fruits and vegetables in the garden as well as access to a fruit orchard and a herbal garden. - Water filtration systems: Units 2,4 and laundry room have recycled gray waters. Also personal units are supplied with carbon filters in the kitchen counters to provide the cleanest possible drinking water. backview They say they have 55% sold. It seems like they have 3-4 condos [only 1 left] (each are 3.5 equalling 809 sq.ft) and there is 4 townhouses [only 2 left] PDF File
  11. http://gehlarchitects.com/blog/hurray-for-smart-montrealers/ HURRAY FOR SMART MONTREALERS! Over the last couple of months I have written about the different aspects of smart cities, the pros and cons, the dos and don’ts. The outcome of these musings suggests that we ought to discard the idea of a smart city for the sake of promoting smart communities, in which smartness is a tool for benefitting and improving the local social sustainability. However, within this approach lies a fundamental challenge: how do we actually make communities engage with and take responsibility for the shaping of the public realm, using tools and methods they have never known before? Enter Montreal. Montreal uses pilot projects to kick-start the regeneration of the urban spaces. A vacant parking lot on the outskirts of Downtown was turned into an urban beach thanks to the local organization l’ADUQ. Public Life in Montreal To understand the social life of Montrealers, one must first understand the basic history of the city’s public spaces. During the era of modernisation, more than 1/3 of the downtown core was demolished to make way for massive super-complexes embodying offices, car pars, underground malls and cafes. In the industrial suburbs, thousands of housing units were torn down to allow vehicular traffic an easy access into the city. These “renovations” were carried out in less than two decades, but they still managed to methodically get in the way of public life. Since then, the city has taken a completely different approach to urban planning, superseding even today’s hype for attractive, green and lively metropolises. “My colleagues and I, we based our entire careers around reconstructing the city from where it was left after the 1970’s and 1980’s demolitions (…) we want Montreal to be a network of public spaces.” – Wade Eide, Montreal Urban Planning Department, private interview July 15, 2014 Throughout the year, Montreal hosts hundreds of events that all contribute to a lively and active public life. Today, the effects of Wade Eide and his colleagues’ efforts are absolutely visible in the streets and squares of Montreal, which have indeed been transformed into a coherent experience of activities and life. The most remarkable part of this transformation is the effect that it has had in the mentality of the citizens (or maybe it was the other way around?): in Montreal, the city truly is for its people, and people care for and participate in public matters to a degree that I have rarely seen. I believe, because of this mentality, Montreal has a serious chance of actually fulfilling the vision of a smart city built for and by communities. The steps of Place des Arts serve as a public space, popular with everyone on a sunny day. The Montreal Model Montreal’s outstanding mentality for public participation has – luckily – also been recognized by the current smart Montreal’s front-runners, mayor Denis Coderre and Vice-President of the Smart and Digital Office, Harout Chitilian. In their campaigns for a smarter Montreal, they enthusiastically encourage the citizens to voice their opinions and share their ideas: “This ambitious project of making a smart and digital city will take advantage of new technologies, but above all it will draw on the collective intelligence to create a specific Montreal model. I count on you, Montrealers to give your opinions on the various forums that are available to you. I invite you to participate today. The floor is yours!” – (translated from French) Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, 2014 Focus on citizens is visible in the public space. In this project residents of Montreal share their unique stories in a virtual exhibition. As part of the public participation process, the city has developed a web portal, “Faire MTL” (Make Montreal), where Montrealers are offered the chance to contribute to, comment on, collaborate with and follow 180 tangible projects that are to be implemented over the next couple of years. The ambitious plans also include the creation of physical spaces for innovation and co-creation, along with the use of public spaces as living laboratories for the growing smart communities. The fusion of a genuinely open and inclusive government and the natural participatory spirit of the Montrealers, makes Montreal a key player to follow in the game of defining how future (smart) cities could be shaped and function at the hands of the citizens. Every summer Sainte-Catherine Street (the city’s commercial high street) transforms into a pedestrian street, allowing citizens to walk, shop, eat and enjoy the city life. Find more about Montreal’s projects here. August 25, 2015 __ Camilla Siggaard Andersen sent via Tapatalk
  12. MONTREAL - When James Essaris looks out over his flat concrete kingdom of 20 downtown parking lots that he started collecting in 1956, he sees a precious urban resource where others see ugliness. The much-maligned parking lot, long considered an urban eyesore and enemy of public transit, is becoming an increasingly rare feature on the downtown streetscape. Essaris, longtime owner of Stationnement Métropolitain, sees his barren concrete as more than just a chance for him to pocket some cash on the barrelhead: he believes in the good that parking lots do and considers the spaces to be the lungs of downtown commerce. “The City of Montreal should give free parking to come downtown. We’re chasing people out to the shopping centres,” he said. The new parking lot tax was adopted in 2010 and brings in $19 million a year to fund public transit. The tax is determined by a complicated formula that Essaris says in practice makes city taxes about twice as expensive on a surface lot as it would for another type of structure. The city held public hearings on the issue this spring and response to the surface parking eradication campaign — through the new parking tax and allowing larger-scale buildings on the empty lots — was greeted positively, according to City of Montreal Executive Committee member Alan DeSousa. “It brings more money into the city coffers and removes the scars in the downtown area,” he said. He said that some of lost parking spaces have been replaced by indoor parking in the various projects. But after seeing his taxes double in recent years, Essaris is now doing what many other parking-lot owners have done: He has started sacrificing his supply of parking spaces for housing, most recently building a 38-storey Icône condo tower at de la Montagne St. and René Lévesque Blvd. He has some misgivings, however, knowing that those spots will be sorely missed. “We cannot survive without parking in the city. I wish everybody could take the bus and métro, it’d make things easier, but you cannot force people onto the métro when they have a car,” he said. Urban retailers have long begged their merchants associations to create more places to park, perhaps no more than on the Main where about half of all members regularly plead for more parking, according to Bruno Ricciardi-Rigault, president of the SDBSL. “It would be really nice if we had a few more parking lots,” he said. However, the dearth of spaces is only going to intensify as the few remaining parking lots near St. Laurent Blvd. are slated to be redeveloped. Ricciardi-Rigault is bracing for more complaints from restauranteurs who have lost customers because their motorist clientele was fed up with circling the block. “Some people want to spend the whole afternoon, shop, go to Jeanne Mance Park, come back for a beer. Paying $20 to park on the street, that‘s asking a lot,” he said. Condo towers have been replacing lots in the downtown core at an impressive pace and the result is higher prices at indoor garages, reflected in a recent Colliers study that ranks Montreal as having the second-highest parking prices of any big Canadian city. Rates have risen an eye-opening 11 per cent since last year, as the average monthly price for an unreserved spot in a downtown underground commercial lot was $330.96 — $88 above the national average. The proliferation of private parking lots once inspired many to liken Montreal to a bombed-out city, but that is no longer the case. “We were spoiled by having tons of parking lots, now Montrealers will have to get used to much higher parking costs,” said Colliers representative Andrew Maravita. He credits a lower commercial vacancy rate for pushing prices higher. Up until the 1960s, Montreal tacitly allowed even historic buildings to be demolished and replaced by parking lots and until recently turned a blind eye to the countless rogue illegal lots that dotted the downtown core. For ages, Montreal surface parking lots were fly-by-night operations, changing ownership to avoid bylaw restrictions ordering them to be paved, landscaped. The city always said they couldn’t chase every owner down. But in recent years, authorities have increased taxes and cracked down on illegal lots, combining the stick of punishment with the carrot of juicy rezoning booty. In the past, many property owners failed to see the point of building on their parking lots, as the zoning frequently only allowed for small buildings. Those restrictions have been lifted on many of those properties, resulting in a bonanza for parking-lot owners whose land increased in value. The strategy was put into place with input from architect and former Equality Party leader Robert Libman, who previously served on the city’s Executive Committee. “A lot of projects going on now, on streets like Crescent and Bishop and that area, were previously zoned for two or three storeys. The urban plan capped those at a minimal height. The rezoning has made it more alluring for owners to build instead of leaving it vacant,” he says. Libman’s war against above-ground parking lots is personal. “They’re ugly and they undermine the downtown urban fabric,” Libman said. But he concedes that commerce relies on people being able to drive to a business. “You’ve got to find that careful balance between offering too much parking, making it too easy vs. your objective of discouraging people to take their car downtown and using public transit, that’s the fine line you have to find between the two,” he said. Developers are required to include parking in new projects, but the amount varies from place to place. In Laval, many projects are required to have two parking spaces per condo unit, while in the Plateau it’s close to zero spaces, although a typical recipe calls for one spot per two units. The one part of the city perhaps most challenged by a dearth of parking facilities is the booming Old Montreal area. The issue has long been considered such an urgent problem that one proposal from a decade ago even suggested that the massive silos in the Old Port be used to park cars. More recently, Old Montreal planners have installed an electronic billboard indicating where spaces could be found, but the pressure on parking endures, according to Georges Coulombe, whose real-estate company has been snapping up properties in the area for the last four decades. Coulombe concedes that area commerce has been hurt by a lack of space for cars. “People from places like Longueuil want to come shop on the weekend, but they can’t do it anymore, it’s too expensive to park, they end up going to malls closer to home.” He attempted to address the problem through a plan to build a high-tech robotic parking facility that could accommodate twice as many cars as a regular indoor lot. However, he did the math and found that it wouldn’t make sense because of city taxes. “I had a small 3,000-foot terrain that I would have turned into 300 spaces, but the city wanted to tax not just the building but the machinery inside. It made it impossible.” Much-hyped futuristic robotic parking systems are seen by some as a potential solution to parking woes and have actually been around for quite some time. The city has had at least three pigeon-hole parking systems as the earlier incarnations were known; one was opened on de la Montagne St. in the 1950s and another on Mansfield, where a worker was crushed by an elevator. A third more recent one was in operation at St. Jean and Notre Dame until a decade ago. Authorities frequently cite the fear of being unable to put out a car blaze in their opposition to such facilities. And although a few such high-tech robotic lots could elegantly alleviate parking pressures, one expert says that the standalone dedicated parking buildings will probably never get built. Chris Mulvihill, the New Jersey-based President of Boomerang Systems, a high-tech car-stacking parking lot system, notes that any landowner would most probably opt for a different sort of project. “Take any place where it’s very hard to get a parking spot,” Mulvihill says. “You’d think building a garage and charging for parking would be a good business model, but the economics dictate that if there’s a high demand for parking in that area, it’s because it’s a hot, happening place, so there are real-estate developers who want to build on that land. The demand makes it uber-expensive. A landowner could make a lot more money doing something other than parking on it.” © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Parking+squeeze+Downtown+businesses+feeling/7453989/story.html#ixzz2ASqBCwJE
  13. Nakheel to build 1km-high new tower Dubai: 5 hours and 49 minutes ago Dubai-based master developer Nakheel has announced plans to build Nakheel Harbour & Tower, a new community which will boast a tower more than a kilometre high and the world’s only inner city harbour. The project, inspired by Islamic design and geometry, was launched at a VIP event hosted by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World. The development will cover an area of more than 270 hectares and become home to more than 55,000 people, a workplace for 45,000 more and attract millions of visitors each year. “There is nothing like it in Dubai”, Bin Sulayem said at the launch. “Nakheel Harbour & Tower is located in the heart of ‘new Dubai’, where we have focused on creating a true community, a location for living, working, relaxing and entertaining, for art and culture. All of this is concentrated in one area.” Nakheel Harbour & Tower incorporates elements from great Islamic cities of the past - the gardens of Alhambra in Spain, the harbour of Alexandria in Egypt, the promenade of Tangier in Morocco and the bridges of Isfahan in Iran. Nakheel Tower will have four individual towers within a single structure – a groundbreaking engineering feat. A distinctive crescent-shaped podium encircles the base and complements its remarkable height. Not only has a development of this shape and scale not been attempted before, but it is also a further example of Nakheel’s innovative projects that have changed the way the world looks at Dubai, he said. The multibillion dollar Nakheel Harbour & Tower development will include 250,000 sq m of hotels and hospitality space, 100,000 sq m of retail space and huge expanses of green spaces including canal walks, parks and landscaping. The new development is geographically central to the Emirate of Dubai, at the intersection of Sheikh Zayed Road and the Arabian Canal; and will also complement Nakheel’s surrounding developments including Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Islands, Discovery Gardens and Ibn Battuta shopping mall. The Nakheel Harbour & Tower development minimises car use and maximises train, bus and water transportation. A complete transportation hub blends into the harbour area with metro transportation combined with a unique water transport interchange, with Abra and Dhow station links. Sustainability and safety will be key to the planning and design of Nakheel Harbour & Tower, with the latest standards and technology incorporated in the development. “It sends another message to the world that Dubai has a vision like no other place on earth.” FACT SHEET • The project will take in excess of 10 years to complete, but completion will be phased, with various stages coming on line much earlier • The project location is at the intersection of Sheikh Zayed Road and the Arabian Canal, with Waterfront to the west and Deira to the east • It will cover an area over 270 hectares • It includes the world’s only inner city harbour • It includes a tower that will be more than a kilometre high • Apart from the Nakheel Tower there will also be another 40 towers ranging in height from 20 floors to 90 floors (250 meters to 350 meters) • Nakheel Harbour & Tower will be home to more than 55,000 people and a work place for more than 45,000 people • There will be more than 19,000 residential apartments. These will include a diverse mix of housing – from affordable family homes to exclusive villas and penthouses. • There is more than 950,000 sq m of commercial and retail space • There will be more than 3,500 hotel rooms. There will be a super luxury 100 room hotel at the top of Nakheel Tower • There will be approximately 30,000 workers involved in the development of the Nakheel Harbour & Tower • Nakheel Tower public space: to complement the dramatic height and volume of the tower, an expansive, breath-taking crescent-shaped open space “rings” the tower and extends out into the neighbouring districts • The (Arabian) Canal Promenade: visitors and residents will have access to over 3.9 km around the tower precinct of meandering canal promenade environment and stretching to over 10 km along the entire embankment. As one of the unique features of this development, the canal promenade will connect Sheikh Zayed Road to Emirates Road through a myriad of urban experiences and spectacular views to the Tower • Internal public space: while every block will be identifiable by a unique common internal open space, a series of distinctive neighbourhoods are planned. Weaving through the precinct blocks will be a chain of interlinked open and public spaces. Residents and visitors will be able to walk though continuous walkways stretching over 1800 m, while experiencing the uniqueness of every community block • An eight hectare canal district along the bank of the canal will incorporate a network of waterways. This district will also allow for the most desired vantage points towards the tower. Onlookers will be able to see the uniqueness of an over a kilometre high tower with a bustling marine harbour at its base • To provide an active connection to the Ibn Battuta district, a ‘living’ bridge is planned over the canal allowing a seamless urban experience. This will be complemented by another iconic pedestrian bridge connections overlooking the Arabian Canal The Nakheel Tower • The Nakheel Tower will be more than a kilometre high • It will have over 200 floors • It will have approximately 150 lifts • The design structure of four separate elements allows for structural rigidity while also allowing the wind to pass freely in the spaces between the skybridges reducing the overall wind load • Total volume of concrete will be 500,000 cu m • All of the reinforcing bars laid end to end could stretch from Dubai to New York (1/4 of the way around the world) • The tower will have 20 km of barrettes – (almost 400 barrettes). Barrettes are a form of pile used to make the foundation. A single foundation barrette has the capacity to support a 50 storey building. • The building has enough cooling capacity to air-condition over 14,000 modern homes or to service 14 luxury resort hotels each with 2,000 rooms and all the public areas and amenities • The building is so tall that it experiences five different microclimatic conditions over its height, each with individual design features • The temperature in the atmosphere at the top of the building can be as much as 10 degrees cooler than the bottom • Due to the high speed shuttle lifts one may be able to see the sunset twice from the bottom and again from the top of the building • The goal is to achieve the highest LEED certification we can for a building this size • There will be approximately 10,000 car parking spaces in Nakheel Tower • Nakheel Tower and podium combined will be in excess of 2 million sq m – TradeArabia News Service http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...-1km-high.html http://www.tradearabia.com/news/REAL_150270.html http://canadianpress.google.com/arti...djiFHAm5kzMsIA http://www.thenational.ae/article/20...042682/-1/NEWS
  14. http://www.smart-magazine.com/en/jan-gehl-architect-interview/ Jan_Gehl_Portrait The city whisperer Portrait 3 minutes read - Oliver Herwig on November 3rd, 2015 Jan Gehl champions something that few architects have mastered: cities for people. The Dane favors compact neighborhoods over grand master plans. The 79-year-old city planner values the wishes of residents over architecture. And his resounding success proves him right. Ssssshhhhhrrrrr. In the background, a cordless screwdriver buzzes away. Jan Gehl apologizes for the distraction; “Excuse me, they’re doing some work in the kitchen.” Life is quite busy for the professor emeritus and city planner. As a city planner, Gehl‘s detail orientation and screw-tightening skills come in handy wherever mayors or councilors realize that something needs to change. Over the past few years, they have been beating a path to his door: Gehl is considered a top global expert on humane cities. “I’m an idealist,” states the 79-year-old. “And the projects I’m working on are all about creating better environments for pedestrians and public life.” To Gehl, both of these are intrinsically linked – people should be able to experience their city on foot. He goes on to scoff that we know more about the perfect habitat for Siberian tigers than a good environment for people. His wife Ingrid and he started out studying life in the cities – and then traveled to Italy on a grant in 1965. In 1971, “Livet mellem husene,” life between buildings, was the first result of their studies between streets and squares – and turned out to be quite a flop. Yet Gehl labored on and continued to hone and develop his methods over the years, by then a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts. Jan Gehl Brighton “My projects are all about creating better environments for pedestrians”. Photo: Gehl Architects Gehl’s foremost success is Copenhagen Today, his successes prove him right. And the standout example is Copenhagen – the city of Gehl’s alma mater, teaching career, and a company he co-founded. In a way, it serves as an open-air lab for his ideas: All the way back in 1965, the city – advised by Gehl – created Europe’s longest pedestrian zone, the Strøget. Copenhagen has become a template for the fundamental shift from post war car-centric cities to more pedestrian-friendly 21st century metropolises. “In order to reclaim a human dimension, city planners need to re-evaluate the many capacity-friendly ideas,” he states in the recently released “Cities for People”. This means: Our cities are filled with too many traffic lights, narrow sidewalks, and multi-lane highways that squeeze in pedestrians and force them to cross streets in a rush. According to Gehl, that’s not a given: “There is a good, pedestrian-friendly solution for any traffic planning issue.” And he adds that “it is high time to revisit our priorities.” To this end, Gehl has introduced a check list of small changes that – taken together – produce great results. He favors “polite reminders” (as in Copenhagen) over flashing traffic lights that “encourage hasty crossings” (as in New York City). Gloomy pedestrian underpasses (like the one near Zurich’s train station) should be replaced by sunlit “zebra crossings at street level.” Copenhagen stroget Jan Gehl Advised by Gehl, Copenhagen installed Europe’s longest pedestrian zone, the Strøget. Photo: Yadid Levy / Getty Images From New York City to Shanghai: a globally sought-after urban consultant Gehl knows cities better than most. Paraphrasing a well-known analogy, some people are good with horses and become horse whisperers, while others are good with people. The latter usually become doctors, nurses, or priests. As a city planner, Jan Gehl is a little bit of all. First and foremost, however, he is a self-professed “missionary.” He preaches human scale development and has been consulting for cities around the world for years, helping them to redesign entire neighborhoods to benefit their residents. The formula is simple: go to the city, observe, and listen. And then join together to effect change. A fun video on his website tells the story behind it all. It took the love of developmental psychologist Ingrid to open the builder’s eyes: Architecture should serve people. In this spirit, Jan Gehl draws on insights by sociologists and psychologists to turn ivory tower planning into bona fide collaborations. The Herald Square before Jan Gehl The Herald Square in New York City before … Photo: DOT The Herald Square after Jan Gehl … and after Gehl Architects. Photo: DOT Gehl’s top priority: the human scale His drive really picked up in 2000 when Gehl and Helle Søholt, a former student, joined forces to found the company Gehl Architects. Maybe, it’s all just a question of scale. Modernism delighted in completely redesigning metropolises or conjuring up abstract plans on the drawing board. Builders like Le Corbusier, who considered rented dwellings “housing units” or “living machines,” liked to subdivide cities by function. This is a kind of thinking Gehl would like to leave behind. The architect is less interested in models and buildings than in their residents. Over the years, Gehl came up with a range of basic principles that support and define thriving communities around the world. One of these rules might be not to build skyscrapers since six or more levels up residents lose touch with the street and feel removed from it all. Or: consider the ground floor. It shouldn’t be uniform or forbidding, but varied and full of surprises. MarDelPlata Jan Gehl Gehl’s formula is simple: … Photo: Municipality of Mar del Plata Mar Del Plata Jan Gehl … go to the city, observe, and listen. Photo: Municipality of Mar del Plata “Better city spaces, more city life“ Nowadays, Gehl provides coaching for cities like New York City, Shanghai, Singapore, St. Petersburg, or Almaty. And his insights sound so simple, matter of fact, and even trivial that it can be hard to fathom how our modern cities, divided by functions, could ever have forgotten these wisdoms. “Better city spaces, more city life,” one of his premises states. High quality spaces encourage leisure activities and interactions. “It’s so obvious, we have simply overlooked it.” P.S. The interview was conducted over an old telephone on the fifth floor of a building in the center of Munich. Sao Paulo Jan Gehl “Better city spaces, more city life.“ Phpto: Luis E. S. Brettas Header image: Sandra Henningsson / Rights Gehl Architects sent via Tapatalk
  15. Growing ideas all the way from Montreal Yvonne Michie Horn, Special to The Chronicle Wednesday, August 8, 2007 sfgate_get_fprefs(); Long, cold winters and short summers made Montreal an unlikely mecca for gardeners. Then Flora came to town. In its second year, Flora winds along the banks of a derelict quay in the center-city Old Port district, revealing, in 10 acres of twists and turns, 49 innovative residential gardens matched with 24 "showcase" gardens spotlighting what's new in products, plant materials and design. Towering abandoned grain elevators serve as a backdrop; in the foreground are the shining skyscrapers of downtown. The location in the middle of the city sets the stage for what Flora is all about. The array of gardens on display is designed to inspire urban dwellers with postage-stamp backyards to take a second look at their small outdoor spaces (decks or even rooftops) with the idea of turning them into life-enhancing "green room" extensions of their houses. "These are real gardens, not roped-off gardens to be strolled by," said Raquel Peñalosa, Flora's artistic director. "You can walk into them, linger in them, sit down and visit, pretend they are your own, while giving thought to how the ideas presented might be adapted to your spaces at home." Once Flora 2007 ends, Peñalosa and Flora's artistic committee will be looking at proposals from landscape architects who want to be included next year. "We look for sustainability with an aesthetic edge, usefulness and originality," Peñalosa said, adding that from the start, Flora received proposals from as far away as Europe and Australia. Unlike most garden shows - installed for "here today, gone tomorrow" impact - Flora is on display for Montreal's entire growing season, from mid-June into September, offering repeat visitors the opportunity to see gardens mature and change, just as they would at home. Color rules the day, from a lineup of gigantic orange flowerpots and orange benches at the entrance to the color coding of the garden's seven themed sections: city, nature, slope, nurturing, rooftop, avant-garde and street-side. A long, bright red table flanked with matching stools turns the space at No. 13, "Feast," into a dining room set in the midst of planting beds that pay more attention to edibles than flowers. Garden No. 17, "Emerald Enchantment," has a deck painted a startling lime green, scattered with orange beanbag chairs and topped with an orange canopy. Multicolor Plexiglas disks atop tall rods at No. 35, "Earth and Sky," turn the light-colored gravel underneath into colorful polka dots when the sun shines through. I made a mental note to consider adding bold color when contemplating a backyard face-lift. Other thought-provoking themes emerged as I walked Flora's paths: -- Forget the separate vegetable patch; plant edibles with the flowers. It is the rare Flora garden that has not done so. One example harnesses a seemingly haphazard assortment of tomatoes, herbs, peppers, parsley and more with a border of euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' and orange marigolds. The idea appears to have quickly jumped out of Flora into Montreal's heart - the median strip dividing the busy four lanes of Boulevard Rene-Lévesque in front of Montreal's venerable Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel intersperses its shrubs and flowers with rainbow Swiss chard. -- Furniture is the key to enjoying outdoor space. Every Flora display garden includes seating of some sort, not just placed for a visitor's contemplative convenience but also incorporated into the design. One unforgettable setting duplicates a living room - traditional sofa, coffee table, deep armchairs - but all carved from stone. They're surprisingly comfortable and undeniably weatherproof. -- Make use of indigenous perennials. Easy to grow and modest consumers of water and fertilizer, they introduce authentic, creative and sustainable solutions to the landscape. -- Think of annuals as accents. Allow shrubs and perennials to become the backbone of the garden. Add annuals sparingly for quick seasonal color. -- Repetition adds unity. Instead of sticking in a couple of these and those here and there, achieve impact with the massing of material - three-deep rows of a single variety of grass, an entire bed filled with Russian sage. -- Add art. Such additions as a single large piece of sculpture, a scattering of colored-glass baubles or a mounted "window" of stained glass add individuality and impact. -- Create private spaces with screens. Flora's gardens offer screening ideas using both permanent dividers, such as walls of stone, and those that are movable, making use of such materials as woven slats of lightweight wood or strung-together canes of bamboo. An easy low-cost suggestion is a stretched cloth banner. -- Think about planting up. Space-saving lattices are not only for roses and morning glories but are also ideal for climbing edibles such as tomatoes, cucumbers, gourds, melons and beans. It is not too late to visit Flora this year, and it's not too early to mark calendars for next summer - and, for a complete Canadian garden experience, to consider getting there by train. ViaRail Canada has put together a cross-country garden route that begins in Victoria, British Columbia, and ends up 16 spectacular gardens later in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Montreal and Flora, of course, are a must-stop along the way. Flora's flora French-speaking people in Montreal call them "Les Exceptionnels," plants voted as exceptional by Flora's designers and visiting public: Zinnia 'Profusion,' deep apricot, blooms repeatedly, easily grown from seed. Cleome 'Señorita Rosalita,' vivid pink blooms against dark, green foliage. Rudbeckia 'Irish Spring,' rich, golden blossoms with green central cones. Pansy 'Karma Denim,' large deep-blue flowers blotched with yellow. Scaveola 'Diamond,' graceful and compact with fanlike clusters of lilac and white. Celosia 'Fresh Look,' flower stems up to 10 inches, never needs deadheading. Begonia 'Solenia Cherry,' semi-trailing. Penstemon 'Phoenix Red,' orderly and brilliant. Anigozanthos 'Kanga Red,' also known as kangaroo paws, are attractive to bees and butterflies. Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost,' mannerly border plant with a white froth of blossom. For information www.floramontreal.ca/en/index.asp . For ViaRail's garden itinerary, (888) 842-7245; for general information and booking, www.viarail.ca . Yvonne Michie Horn is a travel and garden writer. E-mail her at [email protected]
  16. Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks | Cities | The Guardian Cities Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks It’s a traditional complaint about urban life: there’s never anywhere to park. But in the 21st century, do cities actually need less parking space, not more? Paris has banned traffic from half the city. Why can’t London? Houston, Texas Parking lots dominate the landscape in downtown, Houston, Texas. ‘Though the perception is always that there’s never enough parking, the reality is often different,’ says Hank Willson. Photograph: Alamy Cities is supported by Rockefeller Foundation's logoAbout this content Nate Berg Tuesday 27 September 2016 12.23 BST Last modified on Tuesday 27 September 2016 15.51 BST With space for roughly 20,000 cars, the parking lot that surrounds the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, is recognised as the largest car park in the world. Spread across vast expanses of asphalt and multi-storey concrete structures, these parking spots take up about half the mall’s 5.2m sq ft, on what was once the edge of the city of Edmonton. A few blocks away, a similar amount of space is taken up by a neighbourhood of nearly 500 homes. Despite its huge scale, the West Edmonton Mall’s parking lot is not all that different from most car parks around the world. Requiring roughly 200 sq ft per car plus room to maneuvre, they tend to be big, flat and not fully occupied. Often their size eclipses the buildings they serve. Even when they’re hidden in underground structures or built into skyscrapers, car parks are big and often empty: parking at homes tends to be vacant during the workday, parking at work vacant at night. A 2010 study of Tippecanoe County, Indiana found there was an average of 2.2 parking spaces for each registered car. The US has long been the world leader in building parking spaces. During the mid 20th century, city zoning codes began to include requirements and quotas for most developments to include parking spaces. The supply skyrocketed. A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land. Nobody goes to a city because it has great parking Michael Kodransky “As parking regulations were put into zoning codes, most of the downtowns in many cities were just completely decimated,” says Michael Kodransky, global research manager for the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy. “What the cities got, in effect, was great parking. But nobody goes to a city because it has great parking.” Increasingly, cities are rethinking this approach. As cities across the world begin to prioritise walkable urban development and the type of city living that does not require a car for every trip, city officials are beginning to move away from blanket policies of providing abundant parking. Many are adjusting zoning rules that require certain minimum amounts of parking for specific types of development. Others are tweaking prices to discourage driving as a default when other options are available. Some are even actively preventing new parking spaces from being built. A typical road in San Francisco. A road in San Francisco. Photograph: Getty To better understand how much parking they have and how much they can afford to lose, transportation officials in San Francisco in 2010 released the results of what’s believed to be the first citywide census of parking spaces. They counted every publicly accessible parking space in the city, including lots, garages, and free and metered street parking. They found that the city had 441,541 spaces, and more than half of them are free, on-street spaces. “The hope was that it would show that there’s actually a lot of parking here. We’re devoting a lot of space in San Francisco to parking cars,” says Hank Willson, principal analyst at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “And though the perception is always that there’s never enough parking, the reality is different.” Knowing the parking inventory has made it easier for the city to pursue public space improvements such as adding bike lanes or parklets, using the data to quell inevitable neighbourhood concerns about parking loss. “We can show that removing 20 spaces can just equate to removing 0.1% of the parking spaces within walking distance of a location,” says Steph Nelson of the SFMTA. The data helps planners to understand when new developments actually need to provide parking spaces and when the available inventory is sufficient. More often, the data shows that the city can’t build its way out of a parking shortage – whether it’s perceived or real – and that the answers lie in alternative transportation options. Parking atop a supermarket roof in Budapest, Hungary. A parking lot on a supermarket roof in Budapest, Hungary. Photograph: Alamy With this in mind, the city has implemented the type of dynamic pricing system proposed by Donald Shoup, a distinguished research professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. In his book The High Cost of Free Parking, Shoup explains that free or very cheap on-street parking contributes to traffic congestion in a major way. A study of the neighbourhood near UCLA’s campus showed that drivers cruised the area looking for parking for an average of 3.3 minutes. Based on the number of parking spaces there, that adds up to about 950,000 extra miles travelled over the course of a year, burning 47,000 gallons of gasoline and emitting 730 tons of CO2. After San Francisco implemented a pilot project with real-time data on parking availability and dynamic pricing for spaces, an evaluation found that the amount of time people spent looking for parking fell by 43%. And though there’s no data available on whether that’s meant more people deciding not to drive to San Francisco, various researchers have shown that a 10% increase in the price of parking can reduce demand between 3-10%. Sometimes, the supply of parking goes down because nobody needs it. Since 1990, the city of Philadelphia has conducted an inventory of parking every five years in the downtown Center City neighbourhood, counting publicly accessible parking spaces and analysing occupancy rates in facilities with 30 or more spaces. Because of plentiful transit options, a walkable environment and a high downtown residential population, Philadelphia is finding that it needs less parking. Between 2010 and 2015, the amount of off-street parking around downtown shrank by about 3,000 spaces, a 7% reduction. Most of that is tied to the replacement of surface lots with new development, according to Mason Austin, a planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and co-author of the most recent parking inventory. Philadelphia Planners in Philadelphia have noted the decrease in demand for parking, and reduced spaces accordingly. Photograph: Andriy Prokopenko/Getty Images “At the same time, we’re seeing occupancy go down by a very small amount. So what that’s telling us is the demand for this public parking is going down slightly,” Austin says. “And that could be alarming if we were also seeing some decline of economic activity, but actually that’s happening at the same time as we’re seeing employment go up and retail vibrancy go up.” And though many cities in the US are changing zoning and parking requirements to reduce or even eliminate parking minimums, cities in Europe are taking a more forceful approach. Zurich, has been among the most aggressive. In 1996, the city decreed that there would be no more parking: officials placed a cap on the amount of parking spaces that would exist there, putting in place a trading system by which any developer proposing new parking spaces would be required to remove that many parking spaces from the city’s streets. The result has been that the city’s streets have become even more amenable to walking, cycling and transit use. Copenhagen has also been reducing the amount of parking in the central city. Pedestrianising shopping streets raising prices of parking and licences and developing underground facilites on the city’s outskirts has seen city-centre parking spaces shrink and the proportion of people driving to work fall from 22% to 16%. Paris has been even more aggressive. Starting in 2003, the city began eliminating on-street parking and replacing it with underground facilities. Roughly 15,000 surface parking spaces have been eliminated since. A world without cars: cities go car-free for the day - in pictures View gallery But progress is not limited to Europe. Kodransky says cities all over the world are rethinking their parking policies. São Paulo, for instance, got rid of its minimum parking requirements and implemented a maximum that could be built into specific projects. Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are hoping to emulate San Francisco’s dynamic pricing approach. And as cities begin to think more carefully about how parking relates to their urban development, their density and their transit accessibility, it’s likely that parking spaces will continue to decline around the world. “Ultimately parking needs to be tackled as part of a package of issues,” Kodransky says. “It’s been viewed in this super-narrow way, it’s been an afterthought. But increasingly cities are waking up to the fact that they have this sleeping giant, these land uses that are not being used in the most optimal way.” Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion.
  17. #12 - Montreal (Courtesy of GOOD) Read more The 50 cities they selected are quite interesting; #1 Hong Kong, #2 Johannesburg and #3 Mexico City.
  18. Diagrid design completed for Ernst & Young headquarters Foster + Partners has completed a headquarters building for Ernst & Young at the gateway to the Vivaldi-park area of the new Zuidas district, south of Amsterdam. Commissioned by ING, the tower establishes a landmark on the route into the city with its diagrid façade. Ten per cent more efficient than the target Dutch environmental standards, the building also extends the public realm with a water court at its base. The 24-storey building is divided into two twelve metre-wide column free towers with open, flexible floor plates. The blocks are staggered in plan to admit as much natural light as possible and to make the most of the northerly city views. The northern façade is fully glazed, while partial thirty per cent glazing to the east, west and south limits solar gain. Combined with ground water storage to further save on energy for cooling, the overall environmental strategy is highly efficient. Linked by a shared transparent core, the offices are serviced by double-height meeting spaces and light-filled social spaces allowing communication between different floors. The structural steel diagrid is clad in silver aluminium and is offset by opaque black panels, which reduce the definition of the individual floor levels. This lattice scales the entire 87-metre high facade and gives the building its identity. At the base of the building the height of the diagrid creates a triple-storey lobby space, while at the top of each tower north and south-facing terraces are set into the structure. The towers are approached via a water-court with an ecological pond beneath an overhanging canopy. Defining the relationship between public and private, this space houses the social functions, such as staff restaurant, terrace, auditorium and bar, clustered around the water-court. Coupled with a green roof on the restaurant building, the pond has an important environmental contribution. 65 per cent of rainwater is retained on site while the run-off feeds into the Amsterdam canal system to control water levels following peak rainfall. The pond is naturally cleansed by a planted biotope of reeds, water lilies and grasses. David Nelson, Senior Executive and joint Head of Design at Foster + Partners said: “Our first building in Amsterdam not only exceeds Dutch environmental regulations by ten per cent, but provides a striking marker for the Vivaldi park area, a high quality, flexible working environment for tenants Ernst & Young and a lively public water-court with a working ecological pond at its base.” http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=2434
  19. Munch Museum to join Opera House in Oslo's new cultural district Spanish firm Herreros Arquitectos has won first prize in the invited international competition for a master plan of the Bjorvika neighborhood, Oslo, proposing the Munch Museum as the focus. The future complex formed by the Munch Museum MM and the Stenersen Museum Collections is not only to safeguard and disseminate a basic heritage of the history and character of Norwegian culture. The complex is conceived as an institution which is open to the city and highly visible, that “which must be visited many times in a lifetime”, said the spokesperson for Herreros. The project’s spaces include a Leisure Island; Beach Area; Museum Island; Munch Plaza; Library Plaza; Bispekaia Market Square and Housing Courtyards. The Museum building is located at the end of the Pauselkia Peninsula, near the Oslo Opera House, avoiding the cones of perception and ensuring views over the fort from the surrounding mountains are kept. With this position Herreros aim to intensify the tension between the fjord and solid ground, and to avoid the arrogant gesture of placing it frontally. The museum is built as a vertical concrete box of 16 m of free light hermetically sealed except when the program requires opening of spaces. It is built with four 40 cm thick screens which form a prism, the long sides of which require buttresses (60x30cm) every 6m which embrace lightly post-tensioned flagstones. The gap resulting from levelling up the buttresses in order to have exhibition rooms with continuous walls generates an installations chamber which is highly versatile and which runs along the building and ensures exhaustive control of the networks in each room. The proposal as a whole is notably integrated with energy and environmental sensitivity issues. The mass use of water from the fjord as a temperature controlling element in the building is based on the elimination of air conditioning as far as possible, substituting it for an element which is easily treated, subject to work at low temperature and with a minimum waste of energy. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11495
  20. http://spacingmontreal.ca/2011/05/01/saint-pierre-river-site-to-become-montreals-first-woonerf/ Definition of a woonerf: A woonerf (Dutch plural: woonerven) in the Netherlands and Flanders is a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. The techniques of shared spaces, traffic calming, and low speed limits are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile safety.
  21. For their latest museum design in Beijing, Ben van Berkel and UNStudio have designed a formal expression which takes ques from Chinese culture to create an architecture that offers dynamically varied spaces for the NAMOC collections. Based on uniting dualities – past and future, day and night, inside and outside, calm and dynamic, large and small, individual and collective – the two volumes reference ancient Chinese ‘stone drums’ and function in a contemporary way as a media facade with illuminated art projections. The museum focuses on creating varied galleries for the artwork that offer extensive lighting possibilities and ample wall space in order to provide artists and curators with the optimal conditions in which to display their work and communicate their ideas. The circulation is divided into different routes which lead different visitor groups around themed sequences of art and additional programs. “Whilst the architecture of the museum is represented by the ancient artifact of the stone drum, the art within represents its spirit, or its “essence”. In the same way that the agile strokes of ink in a Chinese painting give spirit to a blank piece of paper, the art collection gives spirit to the museum,” explained the designers. In addition to the interior spaces, the museum’s situation within the urban context was of utmost importance. The public urban plinth plateaus of the cultural district serve as connectors to bridge the city with the museum by connecting the street level, the the underground, and the museum volumes. http://www.archdaily.com/189675/national-art-museum-of-china-unstudio/
  22. http://www.archdaily.com/631845/4-techniques-cold-climate-cities-can-use-to-make-the-most-of-their-waterfronts/ 4 Ways Cold-Climate Cities Can Make The Most Of Their Waterfronts Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Urban waterfronts have historically been the center of activity for many cities. They began as economic, transportation and manufacturing hubs, but as most industries changed their shipping patterns and consolidated port facilities, many industrial waterfronts became obsolete. In Europe, smaller historic ports were easily converted to be reused for leisure activities. However, in North America, where the ports were larger, it was more difficult to convert the waterfronts due to logistical and contamination issues. Over the past 40 years or so, architects and urban planners have started to recognize the redevelopment potential for waterfronts across the United States and Canada, and the impact they can have on the financial and social success of cities. Though cold-climate cities pose a unique challenge for waterfront development, with effective planning waterfront cities with freezing winter months can still take advantage of the spaces year-round. Treasure Island project in San Francisco. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Many cities in the northeastern United States and Canada are applying “California design principles” – design tactics that allow individuals to spend time outside 365 days a year – to redevelop their waterfronts and make them accessible to the public all year long. At Perkins+Will we have been active in this change, applying lessons learned in San Francisco and the Bay Area to colder cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Buffalo. Here are four design principles that can help cold-weather cities make the most of their waterfronts: Treasure Island project in San Francisco. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will 1. Planning for winter sun Areas with sun are easily the most well-loved places in any city, but in dark, winter months, they can be especially hard to find. City spaces should find ways to plan for winter sun from the beginning of new development because individuals need, and are drawn to, the warmth that sunlight provides. Maximizing available sun in the winter is key to creating spaces where people love to be. Solar study for Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will San Francisco is a good example of this. In 1984, San Francisco voters passed Proposition K, a historic “Sunlight Ordinance,” specifically to protect the city’s parks from the shadows of new buildings. When Perkins+Will worked on the Treasure Island project—an urban design project to transform the island into a vibrant new San Francisco neighborhood—we implemented that same design principle. We wanted to ensure on chilly days visitors to the small island, opposite the city on the San Francisco Bay, would have access to the sun. However, many cold-climate cities do not have these same regulations, so when we work on projects outside the Bay Area, like the Lower Yonge project in Toronto, we have to bring with us the sentiment that buildings should be designed to protect access to winter sun in public spaces. Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Our Lower Yonge project was the last piece of undeveloped waterfront near Toronto’s downtown area. Before beginning the project, we analyzed not only the existing buildings and transit systems, but also the site’s winter sun patterns. This helped us identify a patch of winter sun in the middle of the site from 10 am to 2 pm on December 21, the shortest day of the year, when the least amount of sun is available. To protect this important asset, we located a public park there—a major open space the site was lacking before—to encourage pickup football or soccer games and winter activity. We then used 3D digital design tools to shape the urban form of this new development ensuring that we would always have that same patch of winter sun. Lower Yonge project in Toronto. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will 2. Creating plazas that block wind In winter months, wind can make cold climates feel 10 to 20 degrees colder than they really are. For people to feel comfortable outside during winter months they have to be protected from cold winter winds. Cities can provide that protection with street patterns and structures that break up and block the wind. Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Over one hundred years ago the U.S. Army implemented this design principle at San Francisco’s Presidio. The Army strategically planted more than 300 acres of large trees that helped block the harsh prevailing winds to protect the officers who resided there. When we recognized the brilliance behind this design principle, we carried it over to Treasure Island, where we planted trees and methodically placed buildings to help block the wind. Similarly, we took this California design principle and applied it to Chaudière Island in Ottawa. Solar diagram for Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will Like the work we did in Toronto, we surveyed Chaudière Island before we designed anything. In addition to identifying several plazas that receive winter sun, we analyzed the prevailing wind patterns that were acting on the island. To protect those plazas from the harsh winter winds, we designed the streets that led to the plazas so they were oriented away from the prevailing wind. We designed streets that were not straight, but instead meandered to prevent the wind from channeling down the streets. This helped create calm, sunny plazas on the island, even in the harsh months of winter. 3. Breaking up outdoor spaces with comfort stations In freezing winter conditions, people typically only feel comfortable walking outside for about 60 seconds. Providing a small destination for them every minute helps break up the cold and encourages individuals to use the waterfront space in the winter. Crissy Field in San Francisco is a large stretch of public park and beach on the northern side of the city. When the fog rolls in and prevailing winds pick up, the beach can be quite chilly. As a result, the city has created small destinations along the beach to break up the stretch. Wind-protected benches are located every few hundred feet and “warming huts” along the beach provide relief from the elements for visitors while offering a chance to learn more about the area, purchase a cup of coffee and warm themselves. We found this same technique to be successful when planning Treasure Island and implemented it again in our Outer Harbor project with the City of Buffalo. Outer Harbor project in Buffalo. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will The Outer Harbor project area spans a total of 200 acres, which can take people 30 minutes or longer to cross. To break up the space and make it more bearable during the freezing months, we provided some sort of visual or physical destination every minute, like benches, public art and other landscape elements. Every five minutes we designed comfort stations with heaters and restrooms. We used these small destinations as a way to incorporate unique artwork and make the area more exciting. 4. Designing for active winter programming Many cities have outdoor spaces that are perfect for summer recreation, but when it comes to the winter months, those spaces go largely unused. Cities looking to make the most of their waterfronts year-round should plan for winter activities from the beginning. San Francisco has large stretches of beach and paved outdoor areas along its waterfront, which makes it an optimal location for walking, cycling and running. On Treasure Island, we planned for similar open spaces with large recreational fields, shoreline promenades and artificial wetlands. While snow is not a factor in the Bay Area, other cities that have harsh winters can still use their spaces all year if they plan accordingly. Through our work with the Outer Harbor project in Buffalo, we created a space along the city’s waterfront we wanted residents to enjoy year-round. The space has an abundant network of walking and running trails, which were designed with wind protection, comfort stations and winter sun in mind. We looked at the site with an eye for specific hills that could be transformed into sledding hills in the winter, or bike paths that could be used for snowshoeing or dog sledding. Now, the space can be used for skating, ice sculptures and winter festivals and is a popular place in both summer and winter months. "Human Comfort Diagram" for the Outer Harbor project in Buffalo. Image Courtesy of Perkins+Will The most valuable asset that a waterfront city has is the waterfront itself. Waterfronts provide locations of growth and commerce within urban areas. For cities where there was previously no activity around their waterfronts, waterfront redevelopment is a great way to breathe life into areas that were once bustling hubs of activity. Activating cold weather waterfronts for year-round use presents serious challenges; however, urban design and planning offers solutions to these challenges and an opportunity for those cities to establish unique destinations that draw people to their waterfronts all year long. Noah Friedman is Senior Urban Designer in Perkins+Will’s San Francisco office. Cite: Noah Friedman. "4 Ways Cold-Climate Cities Can Make The Most Of Their Waterfronts" 15 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=631845> sent via Tapatalk
  23. City promises services for Montreal's homeless in remodelled parks MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 15, 2015 -- A view fence around the perimeter of Emile-Gamelin park, which is closed for renovations, in Montreal city hall in Montreal on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette) Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette With two months to go until Cabot Square is accessible again and the recent closing of Place Émilie-Gamelin, many of Montreal’s homeless have lost two main, relatively safe, gathering spots. But despite the upheaval, officials are promising that once reopened, the spaces will not exclude or forget the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Fences sprang up around Émilie-Gamelin park on April 7, and will remain in place until early May, when a large block party is expected to herald the park‘s rebirth as a concert venue, public garden, food court and outdoor beer garden. It’s a significant overhaul that could have a long-lasting impact on the people who live and work in the neighbourhood. That includes the homeless men and women who spend their days in the park, said Marie-Joëlle Corneau, spokesperson for the Quartier des spectacles Partnership — a not-for-profit organization that co-ordinates and manages many of Montreal’s best-known cultural offerings. Corneau promised that the new park will continue to welcome outreach workers. A food distribution point for those in need at the northern end of the park will not be moved either, she said. “We have noted over the years that in Émilie-Gamelin, and in la Place de la Paix, the homeless will stay around during outdoor performances and events,” Corneau told the Montreal Gazette in an email. “Many have told us that they appreciate the ambience that is created and the presence of other members of the public, which makes the spaces more secure — even for them.” It’s a hopeful message, but it might come as cold comfort to the people who have no roof over their heads and who rely on public parks and buildings during the day. Émilie-Gamelin is one of several spaces frequented by the homeless that has been closed off or forcibly emptied in recent months. In January, city crews dismantled a makeshift camp in Viger Square, using machinery to sweep up more than a dozen beds in the area. Cabot Square is also undergoing a major year-long renovation, and local advocacy groups have warned that its closure has displaced dozens of homeless aboriginals. “We have not noticed a huge impact yet (at Émilie-Gamelin), but I would suspect that our café that’s open during the day would be even busier now,” said Matthew Pearce, president and chief executive officer of the Old Brewery Mission, which is located just a few blocks away from the park. “It may become the kind of park where the homeless are feeling less able to stay. … I hope that those individuals will then understand that the Old Brewery Mission has open arms for them.” According to a spokesperson for the Ville-Marie borough, the city will have eight police cadets stationed in Place Émilie-Gamelin this summer who will help maintain order during public events, but they will not issue tickets to the homeless. As part of an overall intervention strategy in the park, the city has set aside $48,000 to help pay for two dedicated outreach workers through local organization Présence Compassion, along with another $8,000 to assist with needle cleanup. One of the outreach workers works year-round while the other is only employed for the summer, when traffic in the square is much greater. As for the notion of serving alcohol in a public park that has long been home to people with substance abuse issues, Pearce acknowledged that it may not seem like a great idea. “You know, my own take on that is that it won’t be pivotal because people who have substance abuse issues in Montreal, if they don’t go one place they can go to another,” he said. “The challenge is to increase the level of services for that population to help them better cope with dependencies.” Over in Cabot Square, the reopened space is expected to include a number of policing and cultural programming initiatives designed to better serve the homeless and those at risk. A café in the park’s gazebo will employ aboriginal people, and two outreach workers will be establishing a permanent office adjacent to the café. “I think we’re on track with everything,” said Rachel Deutsch, manager of the Cabot Square Project, an umbrella group helping to co-ordinate new programs and services in the park. “We’re looking at cohabitation and issues of safety for everyone. We’ve worked really closely with Ville-Marie borough and they have been very, very supportive.” While Cabot Square is closed (it is expected to reopen in July), the Old Brewery Mission has been shuttling people from that area to the mission’s facilities in the east end, and to other locations — all on the city’s dime. According to Pearce, “if the city wanted us to, we would do it for Viger Square and Émilie-Gamelin as well.” sent via Tapatalk
  24. Site internet: http://www.pps.org/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/projectforpublicspaces About Placemaking for Communities Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs. PPS was founded in 1975 to apply and expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, we have completed projects in over 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 US states. Partnering with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and other civic groups, we improve communities by fostering successful public spaces. Having been brought into to apply Placemaking in a broad range of contexts around the world, an increasing focus of our work is in training and capacity building, often helping to build local Placemaking organizations. PPS trains more than 10,000 people every year and reaches countless more through our websites and publications. PPS is the internationally recognized center for resources, tools and inspiration about Placemaking. Through research, conferences, and strategic partnerships, PPS promotes Placemaking through a series of transformative agendas to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. Our Building Community Through Transportation agenda runs a biannual ProWalk/ProBike conference through our National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) which is a resident program of PPS. Our leadership on Public Markets has included a regular international conference series as well. Internationally, we are looking to influence the governance of developing cities and nations though our partnership with UN Habitat. We are doing this through trainings and projects and a joint conference series, called the Future of Places, that will culminate in a written document to encourage the adoption of Placemaking principles at the Habitat III UN global gathering in 2016. Through the development of a Placemaking Leadership Council (including over 500 members) PPS is working to support a broad network to drive the further evolution of Placemaking and build its potential impact as a movement. In its broadest application, Placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities of the future. Agendas PPS is structured around seven agendas that have the potential to transform cities by breaking down what Placemaking means and how it can happen. These agendas form a lens through which we can view the greater mission of PPS. Place Governance Place Capital Healthy Communities Building Community Through Transportation Architecture of Place Entrepreneurial Places: Markets, Main Streets, and Beyond Creating Multi-Use Public Destinations Team Jobs & Internships Press Room Contact Us Placemaking Leadership Council