Sunday, February 26, 2012

Landscape Design: General Maister Memorial Park - Slovenia

Very dynamic and prismatic landscape design.  From an article by Landezine:
General Maister Memorial Park
Photo by Miran Kambič

General Maister Memorial Park
Photo by Miran Kambič

General Maister Memorial Park
Photo by Miran Kambič

General Maister Memorial Park
Photo by Miran Kambič

Slovenia 2007

"The park, dedicated to General Maister and the soldiers for the northern border was planned as an abstract three-dimensional space, where the paths lead around geometrically cut grass crests. It is an abstract representation of the crest of the northern border, for which Maister’s soldiers fought."

"The crest next to the road is truncated and ends with a supporting wall, which serves as a part of the memorial symbol, for onit there is a line of metal sticks, bearing the names of the soldiers for the northern border. The symbolic composition ends with an abstract life-size bronze figure of a horseman."

Landscape architecture: Bruto (Matej Kučina, Tanja Maljevac)
Sculpture: Primož Pugelj – sculptor

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Light and Music: Chicago's Luminous Field

Luminous Field is by Luftwerk.  To really get the feel for this and what it's about watch the videos.  The photos are mine and the videos are by others:  explorechicago, thequinzilla, and thereseflanagan.  Wonderful hearing all the different languages while visiting this installation which ran until 2/21/2012.  Chicago, international City ...

Luminous Field 1

Luminous Field 2

Luminous Field 3

Luminous Field 4

Luminous Field 5

Luminous Field 6

Luminous Field 7

Luminous Field 8

Luminous Field 9

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ocean Imagination: BIG Thinking in South Korea

Ocean Imagination

“Ocean Imagination” is the proposal for the Thematic Expo Pavilion of Yeosu 2012 by Unsangdong Architects.
Ocean Imagination
Ocean Imagination
 This “Ocean Gate” takes the culture of the sea shore and shifts it vertically and allows visitors to experience the ocean’s ecosystems. This move creates a dynamic visual that is a constant reminder of nature’s different environments, flora and fauna.

Ocean Imagination

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dubai: The Future is Now

As the title of above video suggests the real city of Dubai seems inspired by George Lucas' Star Wars fantasy below.

George Lucas' Coruscant 1999

George Lucas' Coruscant 1999

Sunday, February 05, 2012

A Place Set Apart: The NYC AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition

memorial court
This is my entry for the NYC AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition hosted by Architizer and chaired by Michael Arad, designer of the 9/11 Memorial.  A sunken court with an altar - a living memorial - where personal tributes can be placed.  The place is a quiet place.  A place to remember.  A place to contemplate.  It is a special place in NYC for those to remember loved ones, known, unnamed, unremembered.  A place to honor health care providers who helped those with AIDS.  A place to remember those who died from AIDS.  A place to think about AIDS.  A place to recall and feel our common ties.  A place to move on. A place set apart.

There is no true standing memorial to HIV victims . . . so the bland sarcophagus along Seventh Avenue holds that place in the geography of our plague memory; it is a museum, almost, a place haunted by Whitman’s “carols of Death.”

– David France, New York Magazine

aerial view

street plan - the park

basement plan - the learning center
The Altar in the Memorial Court is in line with the main open-plan digital exhibition space.  Since all the walls in the digital exhibition space are glass the Altar and Court are always visible.  The plan is set up to encourage visitors to remember. 

From Architizer about the site:

The site is located at the gateway to New York City's storied West Village neighborhood and blocks from the Chelsea neighborhood, on a triangle of land bounded by Seventh Avenue, West 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue. The cultural significance of this site cannot be overstated; it stands at the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in New York City through its adjacency to the former St. Vincent's Hospital.

St. Vincent's is the single site most associated with the AIDS crisis in New York City. The hospital figures prominently in The Normal Heart, Angels in America, As Is and other important pieces of literature and art that narrate the stories of the plague years in New York. The area is also in close proximity to the LGBT Community Center, where ACT-UP and other AIDS advocacy/support groups first organized. The memories, personal stories, and associations with the hospital run very deep.

This triangle was the location of the Loew's Sheridan movie theater until the late 1970s when it was demolished to make room for the hospital's expansion including a loading facility, medical infrastructure and below-grade storage space. St. Vincent's hospital tragically went bankrupt in April 2010, and the entire former medical campus is being redeveloped into a new luxury residential development.

As part of that redevelopment, this site is being redesigned as new public open space. For many years, the community has expressed desire that the site be turned into a public park. The West Village, like most of Lower Manhattan, is starved for public, green, open places for relaxation.

The significance of the location, coupled with this redevelopment, creates an unprecedented opportunity. We strongly believe that the time has come for New York City to recognize this important history with a living memorial park that connects current and future generations and guides us forward.

section looking towards Saint VIncent Hospital

Also from Architizer:

We are looking for designs that function simultaneously as a useable park for the surrounding park-starved neighborhood and a significant memorial to the AIDS Crisis. Designs will be evaluated in their success at creating a functional park, available for both passive and active recreation, and a significant memorial with a strong commemorative narrative. Designers should consider reusing existing below-grade space to expand and extend the commemorative narrative: As a space for exhibition, teaching, meditation, or memorial elements. The park, memorial features, and any use of below-grade space must be integrated both functionally and aesthetically.               

Additional evaluation criteria call for park designs that:
  • Creatively and comprehensively integrate the important commemorative narrative into the fabric and essence of the park to create a living memorial
  • Seamlessly integrate any adaptive reuse of the below-grade space, including issues of access/egress and ventilation
  • Are welcoming, accessible and usable by all
  • Seek to maximize planted areas and gardens
  • Include ample seating and pedestrian walkways                   

My solution proposes a sunken court that ties the park above with the learning center below.  The court is oriented towards the original hospital paying homage.  A water monument stands on the 7th avenue end signifying loss while a garden is placed on the opposite Greenwich avenue end to signify life.

Functionally the court is designed to work with the existing grid structure of the abandoned basement.  The court is separate from the learning center and provides an opportunity for natural light to penetrate the basement below as it punctures ground from above.  Stairwells also act as lightwells.

The park is designed to protect the memorial.  Also the memorial is part of the park.  It is a mix of public and intimate.  The park has places to sit, enjoy, play chess, stroll, farm.  But through out the park the memorial with its water monument is always perceived and present.  People should not be forgotten.

The learning center is completely accessible from above and below.  Tunnels under West 12th and 7th are re-used so that pedestrians can get to and from the park safely.  Elevators are provided.

All this to provide a place to remember.  A place set apart.  To remember those lost to AIDS.  To learn.  To sit.  To move on.  It is a respite from the urban hub-bub.  Sweet.  Bittersweet.  Bitter.  Sweet again.

Life from death ...

obelisk at Greenwich and 7th
A digital display for time, art, weather, and news provides a new landmark for the intersection at Greenwich and 7th.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Gehry - New York

Great video and music of Gehry's New York.  He says he is "resurrecting the bay window".  I'll say.

Bay Window - OLD
Bay Window - GEHRY