31 May 2010

Excitiment on the AT

Today's NY Times announces the grand opening of a new stretch of the historic Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park. This is the result of design process which included our 2004 Junior studio and 2 student-led charettes. The construction has also relied heavily on huge amounts of volunteer hours, necessary to build huge stone stairs up the mountain.

The kick-off ceremony is Saturday June 5th and the public is very welcome.

28 May 2010

Manhattan vs. Wal-Mart

The hike of Manhattan tip-to-tip is great because we suddenly recognize the massive scale of  this island that is so often dismissed as a small sliver of land.  If we hike straight through, it takes 6 hours and we hardly see anything.  The width alone makes it a much richer place than we sometimes realize.

So I was fascinated when ArchiDose linked over to Jesse LeCavalier's posting comparing Wal-Mart's footprint with the island.

27 May 2010

More birds than you should shake a stick at

This year's World Series of Birding winning teams tied by spotting 228 species each.  For those unfamiliar with the event, it means they saw all 228 species in New Jersey in a specified 24 hour period.  Hard to know how to compare this to the Superbowl, but 228 is not bad for a state whose image is more refineries, sprawl, and highways than wetlands and meadows.

NJ Is White Castle country

At least based on Lexicalist's Demographics of Fast Food.  (h/t MapRoom)

26 May 2010

Banks matter

The recent financial crisis should be plenty of evidence, but here is more discussion of how much control banks have over planning. (h/t PlaNetizen)

Garden State gardens

With Memorial Day weekend on its way, the Asbury Park Press has some tips on gardens to visit here in NJ. Their suggestions include the Arboretum at Georgian Court College, Willowwood Arboretum and Bamboo Brook.

Bruges up close

The details in Bruges make the larger experience

The people were an interesting detail

And there was this seemingly dutch detail

24 May 2010

Exclusive opportunity for Places and Spaces readers!

By "exclusive" I mean "open to anyone including".

Mapping Contest and food

The full results are out from the NJ DEP map contest. And, you can look at the winners online. One of the winners that I found interesting was the DVRPC map examining the food supply in the greater Philly area

Liège Guillemins TGV Station by Calatrava

I was fortunate enough to transfer trains in Liege, where Santiago Calatrava has designed a large train station. I wish I had explored the station more, but I certainly saw enough during my brief stay to see why this is a true architectural landmark. I wish I had realized I was going there so I could have thought more about the photos I was taking.

And, while walking down the platform I ran into Rob Hewitt from Celmson. Small world.

21 May 2010

Duisburg: Details and Fun

Part of the amazing thing thing about Emscher Park, or Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park, is that while the park is so large, it is filled with little details. Latz and Latz seemed especially able to turn even a small lip of a wall or a hidden space into something special.

They even turned some spare bricks into a moss garden.

The indoor spaces are just as lively and memorable, and certainly quite usable.

And the park turns bleak industrial walls and spaces into play areas and climbing walls.

20 May 2010

"individuals of dissimilar temperaments"

“Unlike McHarg, most landscape architects have neither the knowledge nor the interest to embrace the entire scope of the discipline – the shaping of the landscape from garden to region – within their practices and theories. The synthesis forged by McHarg and others has tended to dissolve, not because of inevitable strains imposed by professional practice and the demands of specific projects, but because the study and practice of the two ends of the spectrum – garden design and regional planning – have tended to attract individuals of dissimilar temperaments who borrow methods and theories from disparate disciplines rather than generating them from within the core knowledge and actions of landscape architects.”

- Anne Whiston Spirn

Spirn, A. W., 2000. “Ian McHarg, Landscape Architecture, and Environmentalism: Ideas and Methods In Context” in Environmentalism in landscape architecture.

Duisburg: The Big Picture

Although I had seen lots of photos of Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord, I had never quite cognized its grand scale. So I doubt my photos will change it for our dear readers. But, today's part 2 on the park offers photos that mostly show large areas, especially from the viewing areas atop the blast furnace.