Design

currently fashionable idea - the focus is on abstract intellectual aesthetic theories rather than life as it is lived. A new norm is appearing in the architecture and urban design of the global commercial marketplace. It is based on producing building forms that are a departure from geometric norms using expensive materials. The results should not be dismissed out of hand as 'glitzy' or 'kitsch' even though much new Asian architecture has been referred to as 'non-judgemental kitsch'.

The architecture versus the city literature is well established. Many of the recent buildings of architectural luminaries have paid little heed to the public spaces they are creating or how the buildings they design help make good streets. They do not relate their buildings to their surroundings other than to use their contexts as a backdrop for a display. Many, if not almost all, architectural critics support this position. They focus on a building as a work of art and many young architects strive to emulate the work. Fine though the Seattle Public Library (completed 2003) designed by Rem Koolhaas might be, it shows a 'disdain for comfortable public spaces' and turns its back on the city; it does not encourage people to hang around and participate in urban life. Nor is the plaza facing the Guggenheim Museum (1997) designed for Bilbao by Frank Gehry a hospitable place. The museum is an exciting building as is his Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (completed 2003; see Figure 6.1). Neither adds much to the streetscape. Is this the new urban design as leading architects and their patrons see it?

There are four situations in which the design of individual buildings or individual building complexes seem to be regarded by mainstream architects and architectural critics as urban design. The first is when buildings pay some respect to their built contexts - street alignments, ground floor uses and designs, and overall massing (i.e. they have the same 'texture' as their surroundings). The second is when a building acts as a catalyst for urban development. The third is when the facilities that are traditionally in a neighbourhood or city are incorporated into a single multi-use building, and the fourth is when there are a number of buildings in a complex - large-scale architectural projects.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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