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ArchitectureWeek No. 538 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is
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The project to update and extend the Portland Transit Mall in Portland, Oregon, is one of nine projects awarded for general design in the 2011 ASLA Professional Awards. The downtown transit mall now supports light rail in addition to bus and automobile traffic on a north-south street couplet.
Photo: Bruce Forster/ ZGF Architects
AMERICAN LANDSCAPE AWARDS
When it originally opened in 1978, the Portland Transit Mall
created a transit-focused corridor in downtown Portland, Oregon.
For a distance of 11 blocks through the commercial core, a pair
of one-way streets combined dedicated bus lanes and limited car
traffic with wide brick sidewalks and an abundance of trees,
benches, and shelters. But despite being an icon for progressive
urban planning, the mall suffered deferred maintenance and
deterioration over time.
The recent decision to add light-rail service within the same
right of way became an opportunity for a broader revitalization.
Completed in 2009, with design and construction led by ZGF
Architects LLP as urban designer/ landscape architect, the
now-extended transit mall integrates buses, light-rail, and more
car traffic, and also features rebuilt intersections and 45 new
The renovated Portland Transit Mall was one of 37 projects
honored recently by the American Society of Landscape Architects
in its 2011 Professional Awards. With both design quality and
sustainability as selection criteria, the awards recognize
exemplary public places, residential designs, campuses, parks,
and urban planning projects from around the United States and
Revitalizing the Portland Mall
Portland's three-county transit agency, TriMet, is widely
regarded as an innovator in the U.S. transit industry,
pioneering low-floor light rail in North America 25 years ago.
Its ambitious original transit mall project — designed by
architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, landscape architect
Lawrence Halprin and Associates, and engineer Moffat, Nichols,
and Bonney — comprised an 11-block-long bus transit corridor on
5th and 6th Avenues. A seven-block-long north extension to Union
Station was built in 1994.
The mall revitalization addressed both of those sections and
added a new nine-block-long extension south to Portland State
University, integrating light rail throughout. The mall now
stretches a total of 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers), along 116 block
faces in six downtown districts.
For the overhaul, TriMet made an unusual move in assigning the
urban designer as design lead on an infrastructure project.
Working with TriMet and a citizens advisory committee, ZGF
conducted an extensive program of evaluation and design
A wood-shelved corridor with fixed and moveable glazing connects two wings of La Roca House, designed by Mathias Klotz, in the village of José Ignacio, Uruguay. Photo: Roland Halbe
New Wood Work
by Philip Jodidio
Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity
reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest
sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years.
In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I
feel that nothing can befall me in life,— no
disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which
nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare
ground,— my head bathed by the blithe air, and
uplifted into infinite space,— all mean egotism
vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing;
I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate
through me; I am part or particle of God.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature," 1836
The facade of the Central Facilities building, designed by Auer + Weber + Assoziierte for the Martinsried Campus of Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, is shaded with layers of crisscrossing wood. Photo: Roland Halbe
Wood is, first of all, the forest, the "plantations of God." It is in the moonlit woods that the characters of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream play out their transformative comedy; it is again in the forest that architecture itself, in disguises ranging from the simple column to the temple and the cathedral, finds much of its inspiration.
A canopy of branches, stacked trunks to provide shelter from the storm, wood is a quintessential element of the earliest built habitations, most of which returned to the earth in time.
Architecture in wood is often reputed to be ephemeral. Indeed, depending on such factors as climate and maintenance, wooden structures may not last very long. And yet, to take just one example, the five-story pagoda at Daigoji Temple, built in 951, is the oldest building in Kyoto.
And so wood, properly turned, can stand a thousand years even as the earth shakes and the generations pass. Before they are cut and formed, trees live, depending on the species, longer than any other organism on earth.
A Great Basin Bristlecone Pine aptly named Methuselah, in the White Mountains of California, is estimated to be more than 4,800 years old. Clonal trees like the so-called Pando, a Quaking Aspen located in Utah, send up shoots from a single massive root system — thought in this instance to be 80,000 years old, a tree far older than human civilization.
Trees, both figuratively and literally, are at the origin of built form, shelter and inspiration; the stuff of the earth.
Hardware and Systems for Architecture by FSB
The FSB acronym is a global byword for good looks and phenomenal functionality. Wherever hardware solutions for outstanding building projects are required, the world of architecture defers to our 130 years of experience as well as to our holistic view of the demands made by ambitious public projects.
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Tools and Downloads
Master Guide Specification Software
BSD SpecLink(R)-E is a sophisticated master guide specification
system subscribed to by architects, engineers, and specifiers to
produce documentation for all types of projects and for all
phases of a project - from programming all the way through
High-Reflectance Coatings Save Energy
A new white paper from PPG Industries summarizes an energy
modeling study showing that high-reflectance coatings on metal
walls, window frames, and roofs reduce energy use in high-rise
buildings, even in cold climates. An independent firm simulated
the energy performance of a prototype eight-story office
building in 12 North American cities.
The Sky Is Not the Limit - Cadalyst, 2011.1103
Autodesk Expert on the Future of Construction in Qatar - AME Info, 2011.1101
The Impact of BIM for Construction Industry - AddPR, 2011.1031
Dassault Acquires Elsys for Electrical Schematics - TenLinks, 2011.1027
The Training Circle - Cadalyst, 2011.1026
Your Own Private CAD Cloud - Cadalyst, 2011.1026
Product News - Precast Concrete Fence Wall
Artisan Precast of Los Angeles introduces the
ChiselCrete® precast concrete wall, which imitates
the look of hand-chiseled stone. As for all Artisan
fences and barriers, the wall consists of
steel-reinforced modular concrete components that
interlock when installed. Engineered for durability, the
system decreases the necessary foundation concrete and
steel by as much as 35 percent compared to traditional
masonry. Pigments are integrated into the concrete mix,
so no painting or staining is needed. The panels are
lighter weight than functionally equivalent brick,
stone, CMU, or monolithic concrete panels. Casting molds
are manufactured in the United States with VOC-free and
-- * --
"Thanks, you are a great resource."
— JAH, McPherson, Kansas
-- * --
In older buildings with thin-stone anchorage systems
using carbon steel shims and anchors, the sealants
occasionally fail and the steel can corrode.
Which statement correctly explains this?
a) The corroded steel is greater in volume than
uncorroded steel, and joints inadequate to accommodate
this volume increase sometimes fail.
b) The corroded steel is lesser in volume than
uncorroded steel, and connections become loose due to
the volume decrease and sometimes fail.
How big is a six-mat Japanese room? How thick is a
Classic Home 021 — Western brick bungalow by George W. Repp
"The simple Western lines of this house are enriched by a pleasing brick pattern in the porch gable and by the pergola which forms a delightful feature when covered with rambling vines. Six rooms and a sleeping porch, which is virtually an extra bedroom, with a den that could serve as another bedroom, make this a small house for a large family, and the floor plan has been carefully worked out.
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London Alpine, by Don Barker
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Art of Ando in St. Louis, by ArchitectureWeek
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