Category Archives: Urban planning

Preservationists object to plan for new colleges

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Buildings to be demolished, clockwise from top left: Daniel Cady Eaton house, Hammond hall, Seeley Mudd Library, 88 Prospect Street.

“I find it very shocking that the total demolition of a giant site like this is still thought of as the way to proceed,” says Anstress Farwell ’78MA, president of the New Haven Urban Design League.

More seriously, she questions the wisdom of emulating the neo-Gothic architecture of Yale’s central campus. Calling it “a fantasy environment about what Yale has been in the past,” Farwell says, “I don’t think that if the university succeeds in this plan, the debate will ever go away: why did Yale do something retardataire at a moment when architecture is looking to be innovative?”

Preservationists object to plan for new colleges Carol Bass Yale Alumni Magazine 7/7/09

-Chris

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Roundup of new architecture in New Haven

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Design New Haven has a great new post here, summarizing new works of architecture in New Haven:

With major new commissions such as the Yale School of Management New Campus (Sir Norman Foster), College Square (Robert A.M. Stern), 55 Park Street (Svigals + Partners and Behnisch Architects), Yale-New Haven Hospital’s new 500,000 square-foot Cancer Hospital (SBRA), 360 State (Becker + Becker), University Health Services (Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam) and Gateway Community College (Perkins + Will) — and many others — currently in design or construction, the image of Downtown New Haven will be changing for years to come. Can New Haven sustain its longstanding reputation as a place for some of the nation’s most groundbreaking architecture and design?

Also, check out their coverage on the streetcar proposal for downtown New Haven, here.

-Chris

After the Bubble

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Vincent Laforet

New York City is no stranger to the effects of economic downturns. The Empire State Building, once known as “the Empty State Building”, didn’t become profitable till almost 20 years after it was completed. But Jonathan Mahler suggests that, as in the past, the current downturn will give the city a much needed chance to contemplate the consequences of its recent architectural boom.

Since November, some $5 billion worth of development has been delayed or canceled. New York is again a city of abandoned lots, half-finished buildings and free-floating anxiety. “At this particular moment, I think that everyone who is honest with themselves can’t but help think about 1929, which came at the end of an extraordinarily fertile period for architecture,” says Robert A. M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture

After the Bubble Jonathan Mahler NYT 3/12/09

-Chris

Keller Easterling show reviewed in ArtCal

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Image: Storefront for Art and Architecture

In Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that “the most powerful men have always inspired the architects; the architect has always been influenced by power,” and it is with this sentiment that Easterling’s press release seems to resound.

The show employs the notion of the hoax – taking form here as commercial design – to attractively present fiction as fact and call into relief architecture’s sociopolitical implications. Masquerading as advertisement, the exhibition draws attention to architects’ role as arbiters of space, converting useless or unwanted sites into desirable ones, and for better or worse, drawing everything they touch into the global economy.

Some True Stories at the Storefront for Art and Architecture Jessica Loudis ArtCal 12/15/08

Professor Keller Easterling Exhibit in Soho

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Via ArtCal: Change rarely follows sanctioned plot lines. Rather it often pivots around hoax, hyperbole and stray details. These phantom turning points are not easily taxonomized or moralized within orthodox political logics. We expect the right story-an epic binary tale of enemies and innocents, when it is often the wrong story-a little epidemic of rumor and duplicity-that rules the world.

Still, the fact that most pigs are wearing lipstick expands an activist repertoire!

Architecture and urbanism contribute many wrong stories to the mix as they move headlong into the world, propagating forms of polity faster than proper political channels can legislate them. If the world spins around the actions of discrepant characters, architects, as classic facilitators of power, have long had a seat at the table.

Visit the Storefront for Art and Architecture homepage here.


Mixed-Use Strategy Helping New Haven’s Science Park Grow

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MARK MIRKO / HARTFORD COURANT

After a decades-long slow start, the 60-acre complex of vacant firearms factories that the state, city and Yale University have been redeveloping for bioscience companies is roaring to life under a broadened, mixed-use strategy that envisions general office, retail and housing uses.

The university’s investment effectively expands the campus northward from downtown and westward from Prospect Street, helping to transform an area near the future dorms that is widely considered unsafe.

Mixed-Use Strategy Helping New Haven’s Science Park Grow Eric Gershon Hartford Courant 11/11/08

Posted by Chris

‘360 State’: In transit

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Snigdha Sur

Developers broke ground on the 32-story building at 360 State late September; now, they are trying to avoid broken spirits.

Although both the University and the city have recently cut back on their capital-project spending, the developers of 360 State said they have no plans of slowing down and hope their project will revitalize downtown by providing a new hub for the city’s public transportation.

“It is a real opportunity to, in a sense, correct the issue of Union Station,” Rubin said. “It is so far removed from downtown, and the walk from Yale or the financial district is uncomfortable on foot. This development is a real chance to update the State Street station to an urban rail terminal.”

‘360 State’: In transit Stephannie Furtak Yale Daily News 11/6/08

Read more at Design New Haven here.

Posted by Chris