Thursday, November 17, 2011
Moses Bridge / RO&AD Architecten
The West Brabant Water Line is a defense-line consisting of a series of fortresses and cities with inundation areas in the south-west of the Netherlands. It dates from the 17th century but fell into disrepair in the 19th century. When the water line was finally restored, an access bridge across the moat of one of the fortresses, Fort de Roovere, was needed. This fort now has a new, recreational function and lies on several routes for cycling and hiking.
It is, of course, highly improper to build bridges across the moats of defense works, especially on the side of the fortress the enemy was expected to appear on. That’s why we designed an invisible bridge. Its construction is entirely made of wood, waterproofed with EPDM foil. The bridge lies like a trench in the fortress and the moat, shaped to blend in with the outlines of the landscape.
The bridge can’t be seen from a distance because the ground and the water come all the way up to its edge. When you get closer, the fortress opens up to you through a narrow trench. You can then walk up to its gates like Moses on the water.
Text provided by RO&AD Architecten
Full article here
Monday, October 24, 2011
Parking Lots Quickly Emerging as New Hotspot for Solar Projects
by Urban Land Institute on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 7:47am
by Jeffrey Spivak, Urban Land institute
All across America, surface parking lots dot metropolitan landscapes, serving the same solitary purpose day after day, a poster child for underutilized real estate.
But that is changing in some parts of the country. Parking lots are quietly becoming the new frontier in solar power.
While photovoltaic solar-panel installations are most often seen on swaths of vacant land or on top of buildings, parking lots are quickly emerging as a new hotspot for solar projects, primarily on the East and West Coasts. So far this year, thousands of solar panels have been constructed over parking lots at government offices in California, a football stadium in Maryland, a zoo in Ohio, and a corporate campus in New Jersey, among other places . . .
Continue reading the entire Urban Land magazine story: http://bit.ly/nXFXJJ
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Five developers on ACE park shortlist
LOVELAND - The city of Loveland and the Colorado Association of Manufacturing and Technology have five developers on the shortlist of candidates to help run the Aerospace and Clean Energy manufacturing park, according to media reports.
The city and the trade group are trying to establish the facility at the campus formerly occupied by Agilent Technologies Inc. CAMT said the center could be used by more than 70 companies and provide up to 10,000 jobs. Loveland bought a long-vacant portion of the campus for $5.5 million in June.
CAMT and Loveland initially signed an agreement with United Properties, a Minneapolis-based developer, to help create the center, but in August the developer withdrew from the project.
The city and CAMT have received requests for proposals from five developers, according to press reports. Three are from Colorado.
Local candidates include Loveland Commercial LLC, which is based in Loveland, Neenan Co., which is in Fort Collins, and the Broe Group, which is headquartered in Denver.
Cumberland & Western Resources, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Beck Group, which is headquartered in Dallas, are the other bidders.
Betsey Hale, Loveland's director of economic development, could not be reached for comment.
Read the article here: http://bit.ly/r9QL8H
By Michael Davidson
© 2001 Boulder County Business Report
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
An Apple Tree Grows in Suburbia
The hot trend in the suburbs is to mix homes and agriculture
Used to be, developers built high-end suburban communities around golf greens.
In a movement propelled by environmental concern, nostalgia for a simpler life and a dollop of marketing savvy, developers are increasingly laying out their cul-de-sacs around organic farms, cattle ranches, vineyards and other agricultural ventures. They're betting that buyers will pay a premium for views of heirloom tomatoes—and that the farms can provide a steady stream of revenue, while cutting the cost of landscaping upkeep.
Forget multimillion-dollar recreation centers—"our amenities are watching the cows graze and the leaves change," says Joe Barnes, development principal for Bundoran Farm, a 2,300-acre development set amid apple orchards and cattle pastures outside Charlottesville, Va.
To be sure, the shaky economy has taken a toll on some of these developments, including Bundoran Farms, where the developers are moving ahead with new financial backers after a co-owner of the acreage went into foreclosure. Still, Bundoran's developers say they have sold 19 lots, which run from about $250,000 to more than $1 million, in the past 10 months. And new communities centered on agricultural development are in various stages of planning and construction in cities from coast to coast, including South Burlington, Vt., Hayes, Va., Boise, Idaho, and Stockton, Calif.
"Agriculture is the new golf," says Ed McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit group focused on land-use planning.
Read more at http://on.wsj.com/r9ixzX
Monday, September 12, 2011
Military Offers Opportunity for Entrepreneurs
The military real estate market is marching forward.
From Florida to Georgia, California to Texas, military projects are being proposed, planned, and built—providing welcome work for architects, land planners, and construction firms across the country and beyond. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines have all embarked on major housing upgrade programs in the past decade, creating a military housing construction boom.
Those in the industry say assignments for the military are one of the hot sectors in the real estate market. Like Washington, D.C., they add, the military sector seems “recession proof.”
The reason? Companies involved in military construction expect even more contract opportunities during the years ahead as the U.S. military looks more toward private development.
Read more on ULI
© ULI 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The Four Mile Canyon fire outside Boulder has left a residue of anger, confusion and loss
By Steven Titus/photograph by Thia Martin
The 6,250-acre Four Mile Canyon fire was deemed "contained" on Sept. 13, 2010, a week after it started a few miles west of downtown Boulder. But for those whose homes it touched, the impact of this relatively small forest fire will be felt for decades.
Some 169 structures were destroyed and hundreds more damaged. Since then Boulder County has issued only 30 building permits, and some residents of the area predict only half the homes will be rebuilt. Depending on whom you speak to, blame for the slow pace of rebuilding is spread between county officials, the state of Colorado, the economy and insurance companies.
Conversations with residents about this subject can quickly spiral into anger and frustration. Some still can't talk about it. Others talk as a kind of therapy. To understand how bad the situation was - and is - and how ravaged people living in the canyons feel, it helps to go back to the day residents were allowed to go home.
Read more at ColoradoBIZ Magazine: http://bit.ly/pi1SZe
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I always say that you build a project twice; once on paper and once in the field. Communication is the key to any good, successful project.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Unlike many architects, Jeanne Gang, designer of Chicago's mesmerizing Aqua Tower, respects builders and lives for construction. Paul Treacy, the 87-story skyscraper's concrete superintendent, knows this well.Photo By Steve Hall/Hedrich BlessingGang is known for projects of different looks, scales and types. (42,000-sq-ft Starlight Theatre and 18-ft-tall “Marble Curtain.”)----- Advertising -----
Gang had a profound effect on Treacy during construction of her first tower, an innovative residential building that evokes a vertical landscape of rolling hills and ponds. And it is not only because the designer and the “super” bonded over means and methods for Aqua's 78 unique and undulating slab edges, which have extreme cantilevers of up to 12 ft. Gang also left a lasting impression with Treacy on the home front.
“My son Ryan is an architecture student at the University of Illinois-Chicago, thanks to Jeanne,” says Treacy, who works for James McHugh Construction Co., Chicago. “She inspired him.”
In 2008, when Aqua was up only 40 stories, Treacy—mildly distracted by his teenage son's lack of direction—asked Gang for words of wisdom. Her response was to invite Ryan to spend a day at Studio Gang Architects (SGA).
The gesture is part of the 47-year-old architect's style. “I thought Paul's son would get a better idea of what it was like to be an architect by spending a little time in the office. Plus, I think the world of Paul,” says Gang, who gained “starchitect” status last year when the 859-ft-tall Aqua, the world's fourth-tallest residential-hotel tower, opened.
For Treacy, Gang's gesture was above and beyond the call of duty. “She changed my son's life. She didn't have to do that,” he says. “That's really something.”
Her bent for building, which Gang calls a “love of concretizing objects,” is a cause of her forward motion. “Jeanne has succeeded not only because she's imaginative but because she knows how to build,” says Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic.
Her concretizing is infectious. “If you care about construction methods and you engage people in the design, you get something better,” says Weston Walker, an SGA senior designer. “All of her projects are embedded with an idea of how they [will] be made.”
Ron Klemencic, president of Aqua's structural engineer, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, says, “She makes everyone around her better, and they get more invested in design. She listens and then draws things out of people, including me.”
Gang's late father, a civil engineer, nurtured her interest in building as well as science, nature, infrastructure and exploring. On family vacations, he would drive “way out of the way to see some bridge,” says Gang, the third of four daughters who grew up in Belvidere, Ill., 73 miles northwest of Chicago.
A self-proclaimed info-junkie, Gang says she gets a thrill from discovery. She likes to break and crush rocks, then study the results. Informal organizations, such as cities, and formal ones—such as crystals, shells, networks, neurons, and landscapes—are sources of fascination that find their way into her work.
Composer Harold Meltzer, a New York City native, was inspired by Aqua to write music. “I was mesmerized by the photos,” says Meltzer. The Avalon String Quartet played the premier performance of Meltzer's composition “Aqua” in Chicago on April 27.
Gang also credits her mother and grandmother, who often worked with fabrics, for her fascination with materials, which led her to the crafts. “I started connecting with tradespeople because our work explores materials and taking them in new directions,” says Gang. “Tradespeople know their materials best and always have great insights.”
Carrie Warner, an associate principal with local structural engineer Halvorson and Partners, who is working on SGA's Blue Wall Center in Greenville County, S.C., says, “Compared to other architects, Jeanne digs deeper into the idea of what can be done with materials, rethinking how we can use them.”
And dig she does. Her current obsession is dirt of different colors.
Gang first became aware of architecture when she saw ancient cliff dwellings carved into the sandstone mountainsides of Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park. She calls skylines “mountain ranges,” skyscrapers “mountains” and terraces “precipices.” She says any resemblance between the dwellings and Aqua's terraces, with their overhangs, is unintentional.
Friends and colleagues describe her as accessible, unassuming, flexible, innovative, cooperative, organized, pragmatic and fun. They also call her serious, gutsy, tenacious, driven, competitive, principled, demanding and opinionated. At home in the city or the country, she is public about her ideas and private about herself. Despite the many contradictions, Gang finds a way to live in peaceful coexistence with her traits while putting them to work in her profession.
Gang sees herself as an environmental steward. Concerned with a coming crush in human population concurrent with a predicted extinction of 20% of living species by 2028, she tries to minimize the impact of shelter, especially through small-footprint, high-density residential towers.
Her sustainable ways are rooted in her waste-not, want-not Midwestern values. As a child, she would spend hours drawing on the blank back sides of desk calendar pads from her father's office. She considered a career in studio art or engineering but decided on architecture because it combined the two.“She inspired my son. She didn't have to do that.”—Paul Treacy,concrete superintendent
Gang likens the architect to a cook, a prospector and a nomad. Like a sustainable cook preparing menus from seasonal, local food, the studio switched to expressed concrete after losing a masonry donation for the exterior of the SOS Children's Villages Lavezzorio Community Center in Chicago. Like a prospector, SGA found scrap metal from former steel plants nearby for columns for the Ford Calumet Environmental Center (as yet unbuilt), lined up slag and broken glass for terrazzo floor aggregate and reclaimed reinforcing steel for a filigree patio enclosure that prevents birds from crashing into windows. Like a nomad, SGA designed the local Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond pavilion with lightweight, prefabricated wood and fiberglass elements so that two workers could assemble the structure in one day, without using heavy equipment.
Great piece on Jeanne Gang.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Photo Credit: LUXE Magazine and Barrett Studio Architects - www.barrettstudio.com