Seoul, South Korea by Saik Kim. Think you’re seeing double? Think again! These absolutely breathtaking photographs, seen on scene360, show the stunning mirrored effect that happens when a panoramic cityscape sits on a body of water. Taken by various photographers, each image shows a unique skyline at different times of day, and captures the character
Architects: Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Area: 208,000 sq ft
Photographs: Courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Developer: Liberty Property/Synterra, L.P., a joint venture of Liberty Property Trust Synterra Partners
Workplace Strategy: Francis Cauffman
Building Sustainability Consultant: Buro Happold
4-story, 208,000 rentable square feet, inclusive of over 53,000 square feet of amenity space The first double LEED®® Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council in Philadelphia (Core & ShellTM and Commercial InteriorsTM). Project developed on a rehabilitated brownfield site within The Navy Yard Corporate Center fronting the beautifully landscaped 3.5-acre Crescent Park and Rouse Boulevard.
80-foot high central atrium with dramatic architectural lighting and a 4-story monumental stained maple veneer stair Amenities include cafeteria, coffee bar, central pantries, fitness center, health clinic, virtual bank teller, conference center, quiet rooms, production studio, a help lounge, roof garden, and a company store.
10,300-square-foot cafeteria with fresh offerings from a salad bar, deli, grille, chef’s table and a coffee kiosk 900 parking spaces on site and additional on-street parking. Five Standards (Dazzle), a dynamic exterior sculpture by Philadelphia native Virgil Marti commissioned by the Mural Arts Program
Five Crescent Drive / Robert A.M. Stern Architects originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 23 Apr 2013.
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Photo courtesy of OLIN
Most museums push the majority of their collections so deep into climate-controlled storage that they’re rarely (if ever) seen by the general public. But sometimes these crates have been in storage for so long that no one—not even the museum’s directors and curators—knows what’s inside of them.
Such was the case at the Rodin Museum. Set between the Barnes Foundation directly across the street and the Philadelphia Museum of Art further down, the Rodin Museum is a frequently overlooked jewel of a building in Center City Philadelphia. Paul Phillipe Cret, the architect responsible for most of the buildings lining the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, designed it; he also designed the original Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania. Like the Barnes, the Rodin Museum houses the collection of one man, Jules Mastbaum, an early film mogul with an obsession for, yes, Rodin. The collection of sculptures, notes, and drawings is actually the largest group of Rodin’s work outside of France. Read more.
In the summer of 2012 the museum undertook a $9.1 million restoration of the building, sculptures, and grounds in an attempt to return it to its original design as laid out by Cret. Sculptures that had been brought inside due to Philadelphia’s harsh industrial environment were returned to their original site in the garden, and the faux marble of the walls were replaced with linen.
During the renovations, a crate was discovered in the attic of the museum. Unmarked, its contents were unknown until a curious curator requested that it be opened. Inside the crate was the original model of the Rodin Museum made by Cret’s firm. The model is highly detailed and specific, down to the sculptures placed inside the museum. In an age without computer renderings an impressive model was a necessity.
Although the specific model fabricator is unknown, it is possible that Louis Kahn, the influential American architect, had a hand in its creation. Kahn was a favorite student of Cret’s at the University of Pennsylvania, and he was interning with Cret during the construction of Rodin. It is not a far leap that Kahn may be have had a part in building the model.
In any case the curator’s curiosity was satisfied, and the model placed back in its crate and out of the public’s eye. The crate still resides in its corner of the attic collecting dust, the model inside a simulacrum of the building around it.
All photos by Luke Barley, unless otherwise noted.
Photo: Mike Blabac
Le Corbusier has been called many things. A visionary genius, a madman, a fool. But”the patron saint of skate boarders”? In a recent episode of Roman Mars’s 99% Invisible about the life and times of Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza (aka LOVE Park), Mars discusses how the park’s smooth paved expanses, trapezoidal shapes, and granite ledges were reappropriated by skateboarders. These same skaters would come to declare their abiding faith in modern(ist) architecture and in its preeminent proselytizer, Le Corbusier. Continue.
Life after LOVE: FDR Skatepark, where the skaters were forced to go. Photo: K. Scott Kreider
This faith in modernist urban planning would inform their critique of the contemporary American city and, by extension, the neoliberal policies that shape and govern them. The beautification of LOVE Park in the last decade—a mayoral initiative to drive the city’s undesirables out of the touristic center—brought physical impediments such as planters and metal bench-guards that voided the innate “skateability” of the heralded plaza-cum-inadvertent skatepark.
The park’s planner, architect and urban designer Edmund Bacon, was aghast at the interventions, which he considered criminal and discriminative. As the city’s former Executive Director of the City Planning Commission, Bacon helped remake downtown Philadelphia, with projects such as JFK Plaza that opened up the city center for use as public space. When LOVE Park was redesigned with the intent of privileging one portion of the city’s inhabitants (office workers, officials, tourists) over others (skaters, vagrants), Bacon took a stand and sided with the skaters. The city would not back down, but did build a compensatory skating venue five miles south of the historic center, under interestate 95, that would become FDR skatepark.
The entire drama, or much of it, is recounted in Mars’ broadcast which you can listen to below.
The bursting of the housing bubble wreaked havoc on cities across the United States causing widespread blight in once-thriving community economies. Foreclosed, abandoned and condemned homes continue to pockmark neighborhoods and communities, adding to the vacant lots of populous but affected cities like Philadelphia. The Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia approximates that there are nearly 40,000 vacant lots throughout the city of brotherly love, about 74% of which are privately owned, making them virtually inaccessible to rehabilitation. But the city has a strong drive to amend these conditions. With organizations like DesignPhiladelphia’s “Not a Vacant Lot” and the city’s Redevelopment Authority, some of this land is being put to good use.
753 of these parcels are currently being used as community gardens or farms across Philly. The conservative estimate, which accounts for 350 farms, comes from the Garden Justice Legal Initiative, according to an article in Next American City by Emma Fried-Cassorla. Urban farming is a practice that promotes health and community well-being across the board. It empowers communities with self-sufficiency and provides fresh food access to all income levels., all while ameliorating the impact that vacant lots have on community growth and development.
In an effort to bring the city closer to its goals for healthy communities and sustainable city planning Philadelphia rolled out a new Zoning Code in 2012 after a four-year process of updates and revisions to the outdated 50 year-old code on the books. The new code now recognizes urban agriculture as a legitimate land use designation. After tackling a few hiccups along the way, namely Bill 120917, that restricted gardening and farming in certain districts, the new code promises to protect and promote urban farming in its various forms whether they are animal husbandry, community gardening or market farming. The code also makes leaps in protecting communities adjacent to farms and making cultivators and farmers responsible for any disturbances to the neighborhood.
As with every zoning code, restrictions do exist and may make things more difficult for existing farms that must now comply with the new laws. But there are many advantages to gaining this kind of legitimacy in the eyes of the city. Vacant land puts an indelible strain on an urban economy and stifles economic and social growth, particularly in affected neighborhoods. The new code creates an incentive for people to legally operate privately owned land. While the residents of Philly now have government support to make use of its vacant land, New York, has taken up a different process. Organizations like 596 Acres help turn city-owned vacant lots into thriving community based organizations that vary in use and context. The organization mentors community groups, neighbors and anyone willing to bring use to the otherwise fenced off voids in the city fabric and provides the resources needed to gain approvals from the city to use the land. A program like 596 Acres helps inspire community interventions in neighborhoods in crisis, making unused land publicly available.
The dialogue concerning vacant land has been a long one. The Architectural League along with the NYC Department of Preservation and Housing tried to tackle this same issue in 1987. Between the 50s and 70s, New York City faced a declining population that followed a financial crisis, high crime rates and overall disorder. The city bought up thousands of properties during this period filled with abandoned, unused, and dilapidated buildings as well as vacant lots. The survey of 1987 sifted through this inventory of land to find those most lucrative for development and investment and then invited architects to speculate on the uses for these properties. Vacant Lots, presented by Urban Omnibus revealed some innovative and exciting prospects of urban development for the properties and traces solutions for reintroducing housing stock into the market, especially in low-income neighborhoods. Still, the overall consequence of this endeavor did not foster as creative solutions as the architects’ own speculations and those same lots remain as empty as they were thirty years ago.
This exercise seems to go in cycles, with every generation generating new conceptions about how the utility of vacant spaces can enrich communities. Every community has its own needs and interests. 596 Acres shows us how these communities can band together to produce worthwhile strategies of neighborhood engagement, while Philadelphia shows how persistence in the direction of urban agriculture can convince a city government to rewrite the laws governing its planning. Vacant land is a perpetual problem in cities across the country, but it turns out that working locally can help address and resolve them. There is more to be learned from Philly as its new zoning code takes broader affect but the consequences remain promising.
Images courtesy of Flickr users: Tony Fischer Photography, David Barrie ; Licensed via Creative Commons
What Cities Can Do with Vacant Lots originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 26 Jan 2013.
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The Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia. Photo: © Michael Moran/OTTO The American Institute of Architects has selected the 2013 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture, and urban design. AIA will honor the 28 winners, selected from a pool of more than 700 applicants, at
Montreal 1967 World’s Fair, “Man and His World,” Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome with solar experimental house. If CAD software had existed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, would the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower, and the Palais de Tokyo have been built? All three grew out of the giant collective experiment of the World’s
From a park in a forgotten metro station to a human-sized “LEGO” bridge (see our post: The 4 Coolest “High Line” Inspired Projects), the massive success of New York City‘s High Line continues to inspire citizens across the globe to see their city’s forgotten spaces with new eyes – as opportunities for action.
The latest vision comes from a trio of plucky Landscape Architect Grads. Today, from 6-10 at Next American City‘s Storefront for Urban Innovation in Philadelphia, they’ll show what they would do with the unused, over-grown railroad (a.k.a the Reading Railroad, of Monopoly board fame) that at points dips under and peeks over the city.
The grads are hoping that the exhibit, called “Above, Below, Beyond: Futures for a Former Railroad,” will stir up debate and maybe even some action (which is highly likely, seeing as two other groups also have hopes for the spot, the Reading Viaduct Project and VIADUCTgreene). If you’re inspired but aren’t in Philly, you can contribute to their Kickstarter Campaign to help them offset exhibition costs (as of press time, they’re less than $2,000 short of their goal, with 5 days to go).
You can learn more about this project at the Above, Below, Beyond Web Site and Facebook Page.
A “High Line” Makeover for A Former Railroad in Philly? originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 12 Oct 2012.
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