Daily Archives: December 28, 2010

‘Demolition of the Paris Metro’ by sleepycity

[Excerpts] “On 20 April 1896 the project to construct an underground transportation system for the city of Paris began. Four short years later the Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (CMP) opened their first line, running east-west from Porte Maillot–Porte de Vincennes. Not long after that the CMP was joined by the Société du chemin de fer électrique souterrain Nord-Sud de Paris (Nord-Sud) and between the two companies almost all of the 10 lines initially planned for Paris were built by 1920. Initially these lines served only the city of Paris (the snobby residents even went to far as to ensure the metro ran right hand side, to guarantee non-interoperability with the left hand side system in the suburbs) but in the 30’s – 50’s the suburbs were finally connected. Today Paris’ metro is still growing and changing through constant renovations, line extensions and currently the conversion of more lines to use the driverless robotrains like those of line 14…

Back in October 2007 sometime after midnight and before the first trains rolled into regular service, qx and I took our first timid steps onto the tracks of the Paris metro. With more nervousness and care than I’d like to admit we gingerly stepped down between the metal rails just off the end of a platform wondering what madness had possessed us to do so. We’d never done Metro like this before and this scary new world was full of elements we didn’t understand at all…

Before developing a deeper appreciation of the system we were drawn initially to the abandoned stations. Some of these seem totally abandoned and haven’t been reappropriated for other uses, some have become RATP storage and others, even more rare, were never even open to the public…”

Photo essay at sleepycity
Blog author: dsankt

Tweet name and profile: sleepycity @dsankt Europe
World wandering hobo with camera, seeking adventure involving: sewers, drains, metro, subway, bridges, mines, abandonments, industry, infrastructure.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘Light urbanism’ – planners influencing residential design

USA’s Builder magazine picks their 10 Residential Design Trends for 2011, which include smaller houses, green building, a farm-to-table influence in the kitchen, and a walkable, village feel.

### builderonline.com December 16, 2010
10 Design Trends for 2011
By Jenny Sullivan
[excerpt] “Village Vibe. The suburbs are starting to feel more like little cities as planners and developers find ways to weave density and walkability into existing hot spots. “Fewer large-scale development opportunities have shifted the emphasis to smaller infill projects,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker wrote in a recent design trends report. But these new nodes of “light urbanism” aren’t replacing existing subdivisions; they are popping up between them and connecting the dots. Prime targets for infill redevelopment include big box parking lots, dead shopping centers, strip malls, and transit stations. “People who want an urban lifestyle but either do not want to live in a ‘big city’ or cannot afford to will look to live in the many suburban town centres that have been emerging,” Urban Land Institute senior resident fellow John McIlwain wrote in a recent white paper.”
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Layers: Preservation / Creativity / Tradition / Modernity / Ideologies

### nytimes.com December 26, 2010
Art & Design: Critic’s Notebook
Preserving Heritage, and the Fabric of Life, in Syria
By Nicolai Ouroussoff
ALEPPO, Syria — At first glance it seems an unremarkable scene: a quiet plaza shaded by date palms in the shadow of this city’s immense medieval Citadel, newly restored to its looming power. Foreign tourists sit side by side with people whose families have lived here for generations; women, both veiled and unveiled, walk arm in arm past a labourer hauling tools into an old government building being converted into a hotel.

But this quiet plaza is the centrepiece of one of the most far-thinking preservation projects in the Middle East, one that places as much importance on people as it does on the buildings they live in. The project encompasses the rebuilding of crumbling streets and the upgrading of city services, the restoration of hundreds of houses in the historic Old City, plans for a 42-acre park in one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods and the near-decade-long restoration of the Citadel itself, whose massive walls dominate the skyline of Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and a gem of Islamic architecture.

[The real lessons that cities like Aleppo and Damascus can teach:] Their power is not just the beauty of historical layers. It is that the coexistence of those layers, often piled one on top of the other, embodies a world in which every generation — including ours — has the right to a voice and individual creativity triumphs over ideological difference. It is the point at which tradition and modernity are no longer in violent conflict.

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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus / Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle

Updated post 18.11.14 at 7:02 p.m.

Urban Outfitters urbn banner [urbn.com]

Innovation Incubator
When profits depend on employees’ ability to create cutting-edge designs, a business simply can’t survive unless its workplace is an incubator for innovation: Urban Outfitters “lives and dies in creativity”. –Richard Hayne

After relocating to an abandoned naval yard, Urban Outfitters, the retro-chic retailer sees revenue skyrocket—and once skeptical employees have embraced the gritty, but inspiring space.

Amenities such as a gym, yoga studio, dog park, and farmers’ market further add to the lively and informal atmosphere. The exterior landscaping was designed by Julie Bargmann’s D.I.R.T. studio, known for turning derelict industrial sites into vibrant public spaces.

### hq.construction.com 1 December 2009
Urban Outfitters’ Edgy Adventure
By Jenna M. McKnight and Sebastian Howard
PHILADELPHIA—Richard Hayne, chairman and president of Urban Outfitters, met stiff resistance when he initially announced plans to move his company’s headquarters from traditional high-rise offices to five dilapidated buildings in the decommissioned Philadelphia Navy Yard. “I wouldn’t say it was a mutiny,” Hayne says, recalling his colleagues’ reactions. “But there were definitely some blank stares and ‘are you kiddings?’”
The retailing giant, which sold nearly $2 billion worth of its clothing and apartment wares in 2008, for many years had been spread among six buildings in downtown Philadelphia. This physical separation was “horrible”, Hayne says, because each department was “unsure about what the other was doing”.
Increasingly, Hayne realised that to maximise performance his company needed a unified campus — and a generic office park was out of the question given the spirit and reputation of Urban Outfitters.
Founded in 1970, the retailer offers hip merchandise with a vintage twist aimed at trendy, young buyers. Most of its retail brands, which include Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People, are housed in renovated old buildings with double-height ceilings and exposed brick, concrete and timber.
So Hayne began looking for a setting for his new corporate home that would mirror the aesthetic sensibility of his stores, and in 2004, he found what he judged to be a near-perfect spot: the naval shipyard, which the Defense Department shuttered in 1995.
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Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus, Philadelphia’s Navy Yard (2006) - Lara Swimmer PhotographyConversion of Philadelphia’s Navy Yard (2006). Photo: Lara Swimmer

### uli.org [Urban Land Institute]
Awards for Excellence: 2007 Winner
Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Navy Yard, which encompasses more than 1,000 acres (405 ha), 2,000 buildings, and 2.5 miles (4 km) of riverfront, was decommissioned in 1996. In 2000, ownership was transferred to the Philadelphia Authority of Industrial Development (PAID), and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) began developing the property on behalf of PAID and the city. The Navy Yard is rapidly becoming a dynamic and viable new business location, as evidenced by the Urban Outfitters corporate office campus, which was completed and opened in October 2006.
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Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle- Urban Outfitters HeadquartersUrban Outfitters’ pioneering move has positively impacted the entire Navy Yard. A new creative district, with top advertising agencies, graphic designers, and photographers, is growing around the retailer. New coffee shops and restaurants serve workers and visitors alike. More than 4,000 jobs have been created in the Yard since the company moved.
worldarchitecturenews.com (Thursday 29 Oct 2009)

UrbanOutfitters 2 - Lara Swimmer [archdaily.com]UrbanOutfitters 1 - Lara Swimmer [archdaily.com]UrbanOutfitters 3 - Lara Swimmer [archdaily.com]More photographs of the heritage dock yard complex by Lara Swimmer at archdaily.com (1 December 2010).

█ Website: urbanoutfittersinc.com

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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