Daily Archives: May 8, 2010

UK Tesco Towns + IM Pei’s Oklahoma 1964

### guardian.co.uk Wed 5 May 2010
‘This town has been sold to Tesco’
By Anna Minton
Are towns built by the UK’s leading supermarket the future of urban development?
Imagine living in a Tesco house, sending your child to a Tesco school, swimming in a Tesco pool and, of course, shopping at the local Tesco superstore. According to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe), the government’s adviser on architecture and design, this collective monopoly is not an imaginary dystopia. “Tesco Towns” on this model are already being planned across the UK, from Inverness in Scotland to Seaton in Devon.
While the economic downturn has hit many parts of the development industry hard, Tesco recorded profits of nearly £3.4bn last year. Its plans for expansion are reflected by a growing tide of what are described as “supermarket-led mixed-use development proposals” – entire districts of homes, schools and public places built by the company.
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• Anna Minton is the author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-first-century City (Penguin, June 2009).

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### 2 May 2010
Downtown Oklahoma City’s plan revisited
By Steve Lackmeyer
Almost a half century has passed since architect I.M. Pei arrived in Oklahoma City with plans to remake its downtown. And downtown has been a consistent construction zone ever since.
Pei’s plan, which included the demolition of more than 500 buildings, was despised by the city’s locals and outdated in the end, and met its demise in the late 1980s.
A major exhibit of the plan, including a model created by Pei and his firm, is being put on display at the Cox Convention Center starting Monday.
Made of wood and plastic, each inch of the 10-foot-by-12-foot model equals 50 feet of land. Without the advancements of modern technology, this model likely took a sizeable team six months or more to construct by hand. Though the model cost $60,000 to create in 1964, Norman-based architectural model builder Wiley White estimates the display would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars today.
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17 May 2010 – D Day for public airing of the Tertiary Campus Development Plan (a rose by by another name…) in the University of Otago ISB Link, off Cumberland St.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management, Site, Town planning, Urban design

Architecture: New Modesty

### architectmagazine.com April 27, 2010
Design: Crit (from ARCHITECT May 2010)
New Modesty? Not Really
By Clay Risen
If the architecture of the next few years is subdued, it’s not because designers have decreed a new ethic. In announcing that Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, the duo behind SANAA, had won the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the jury noted the firm’s “deceptively simple” design, imbued with “a much-appreciated straightforwardness, economy of means, and restraint” that “stands in direct contrast with the bombastic and rhetorical”.
Sejima and Nishizawa may well deserve the award for their talent. But it seems they also won because, at least for the jury, SANAA embodies the supposed new ethos of architecture: the New Modesty.
Alternately called the New Puritanism or Radical Traditionalism, the movement is a recession-fueled reaction to the post-Bilbao era of high-tech, high-price, hypertrophied design.
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### thenational.ae Last Updated: 7 May 2010 11:09PM UAE (7:09PM GMT)
A place to call our own: An architecture that reflects Emirati traditions
By Tom Gara
At the base of the tallest structure ever made, across from the largest fountain in the world and the biggest mall ever built, Omran al Owais shares his philosophy on buildings. “It’s pretty simple,” the Emirati architect says, glancing up the 808-metre Burj Khalifa. “I don’t want to build anything taller than a tree.”
At an outdoor table overlooking Dubai’s most monumental development, such an idea seems archaic, out of touch with the forest of skyscrapers that punctuate the city. But al Owais is putting his mind to work on how to build a cityscape in proportion to the humble, personal, hospitable roots of his culture. Downsizing is central.
“I love this, this is amazing,” he says, gesturing at the 160-storey building across from us. “But I cannot say that it is mine, that this is Emirati.”
While others were thinking big, al Owais has spent much of the last decade designing living spaces for families, working to integrate what he sees as the timeless values of Arab and Emirati culture into small buildings. As duplex apartments, infinity pools and suburban lawn-and-garage life spread across Dubai, al Owais worked to build homes that surround open courtyards or balance privacy with openness, trying to make modern spaces that capitalise on old, proven ways of living.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Ron Anderson: “It’s the most iconic stadium in New Zealand”

### ODT Online Sat, 8 May 2010
Firm revolutionised building industry
By John Lewis
“We started out with no clients and no income. All we had was a $200 typewriter and an office in the basement of a building in Clark St.” Arrow International Group Ltd’s beginnings in Dunedin 25 years ago were humble.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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