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Built Environment and Urban Planning


By Martha Schwartz

Martha Schwartz first came to prominence with her Boston bagel garden - a radical manifesto for a more artful approach to landscape design. Her recent projects include Dublin Docklands Grand Canal Square in Dublin, Mesa Arts Centre in Arizona and Jacob Javits Convention Center Plaza, New York. In this talk, she describes her project Fengming Mountain Park in the Chinese city Chongqing for a major Chinese developer. The project is a rectangular section cut through a large construction site designed to showcase the sales centre for a series of forthcoming residential towers. Building on the idea of zigzagging movement of water down a mountain, she has created a processional route across the site, marked by a series of monumental orange cut-steel structures - like origami mountains on legs - that glow at night. This is a truly exciting time to be working in China, she says, with construction taking place on an epic scale and developers just beginning to appreciate landscape architecture as art-form.

CD-ROM (Win) / 2014 / () /

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By Iain Borden

Iain Borden Machines of Possibility: urban space as social product P1305 Architectural historian Iain Borden is vice dean at the Bartlett school of architecture. His work focuses less on architecture with a capital A, than on everyday spaces and buildings, from bus benches and bill boards to food stalls in Japan. In this talk, Borden discusses urban space as a social product. Applying the theoretical approach of Henri Levebre, he explores how different people experience the city, focusing on skateboarders, car drivers and the French film-maker Jacques Tati.

CD-ROM (Win) / 2013 / () /

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By Balkrishna Doshi

Veteran Indian architect BV Doshi looks back at the two key influences on his work - his mentor Le Corbusier and his roots in India. Sangath, his studio in Ahmedabad, built after Doshi passed 50, marks the unification of these two strands.

CD-ROM (Win) / 2013 / () /

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Norman Foster is England's leading architect and is a Gold Medallist in Britain, France and USA. The buildings in this image set are: Sainsbury centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK; Renault Building, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK; Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Hong Kong; Stansted Airport, Hertfordshire, UK; Cranfield Institute of Technology Library, Bedfordshire, UK.

DVD-ROM (68 images) / 2008 / () /

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By Jim Eyre & Chris Wilkinson

The twice Stirling-prize-winners are developing a process of design in all their work. In this recording they cover many themes - art and science linked to a study of nature; architecture and engineering; lightness; structure that responds to the environment; exploring new forms in terms of space and surface. More than anything they seek to create the kind of architecture that can lift the spirit.

CD-ROM (Win) / 2006 / () /

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By Neave Brown

The architect Neave Brown, born 1929, qualified at the AA School of Architecture and worked with Lyons Israel & Ellis for three years. But the peak period of his life was when he worked for the London Borough of Camden and was selected to design and build the huge Alexandra Road housing estate, against enormous political opposition. The prototype for this and all the other schemes he describes in this recording, was a terrace of identical houses he built for himself and four friends. These are structured in section and in plan responding to the priority of sequences of privacy and public life. All his work is dominated by strong ideas of social structuring and the recognition of the inter-related identity of all the pieces in a project, while at the same time solving the problem of architectural and urban composition His talk is equivalent to a primer in how to design housing at any scale.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1999 / () /

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By Terry Farrell

In his recorded talk (see also his earlier recording 'A more plastic form' P8303), Terry Farrell concentrates on that aspect of his work to do with transportation systems and their connectedness to other parts of the cites they are in, and how this can be improved by their design. He describes work already completed and work as yet incomplete or still on the drawing board at the time of the recording. Farrell has always been fascinated by the problems of transportation, even for his student thesis; and he tells us of later ideas he has promoted: for linking railway stations across the River Thames, for example, so as to provide double access for passengers. He is a great proponent of travel for pleasure and in this category we have the huge symbolic structure he was completing on Hong Kong's 'Peak', reached by a cable-drawn tram much enjoyed by tourists. Also for Hong Kong is the Kowloon railway station which will rise on reclaimed land and will connect to the new airport, the Metro and local lines. But the most integrated piece of transportation design that he has been involved in is for a transport centre for Seoul airport, the arrival and departure point for all passengers by whatever method of transport, and is highly specialised in its relationship with air travel. Terry Farrell received his architecture education at Durham University and the University of Pennsylvania. Before setting up his own practice in London he was in partnership with Nicholas Grimshaw from 1965-1980. He is a master of three-dimensional planning and has built many very large scale buildings in Britain.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1996 / () /

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Gough and his partners have provided London with some of its most witty architectural statements.

DVD / 1990 / () / 31 minutes

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By Richard MacCormac

The British architect Richard MacCormac trained at Cambridge University in the early 60's and, after some travel in the USA and practical experience in England, established his own practice in London in 1969. He is now senior partner in MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and Wright. Concurrently he has always been involved in architectural education, mainly at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, which has led to a series of important university commissions in England. He has published many articles on urban design, housing and architectural history, and he is a member of Britain's Royal Fine Art Commission. The largest and most recent urban design scheme that he has undertaken, together with a developer and the architects The Fitzroy Robinson Partnership, is for Spitalfields, an area on the edge of the City of London. There were three contending proposals but MacCormac's was the one selected. In his recorded talk he distinguishes between what he calls 'foreign' and a?local' urban transactions. 'Foreign' are those that do not relate to the locality (banking, warehousing, factories, etc), 'local' are those that do relate (shopping, eating and drinking, housing, etc). He explains how he has reconciled these public and private interests in his design for Spitalfields.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1988 / () /

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By John Habraken

The Dutch architect N. John Habraken was born in Indonesia and trained at Delft University, where he also taught from 1958-60. After five years of practice in Holland he became Director of the Architects' Research Foundation (SAR) in Eindhoven. Concurrently he was Chairman of the Department of Architecture and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Eindhoven's Technical University, until he left for America in 1975 to become Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at MIT, Cambridge, Mass, where he was still working in 1985. He is author of several books and many articles on urban design and mass housing, in which he proposed using prefabricated "support structures" which could be individually filled in and given identity by the users. It was to further these ideas that the SAR was formed. His studies have continued in America, and in his recorded talk he discusses the built environment and identifies the three ways in which it can be seen. One has to do with territorial order, one has to do with enclosure and resources, and one has to do with personal expression; three networks of social inter-connection that are inseparable and that need to be understood.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1985 / () /

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By Denys Lasdun

The late Sir Denys Lasdun evolved an architectural approach and vocabulary now widely recognised and which can be seen in his major post-war works. He was awarded Britain's Royal Gold Medal in 1977 and a Knighthood in 1976. In his recorded talk he explains that he subscribes to a set of ideas relevant to himself, reasonable in quality and which engage with history. These ideas are about an architecture of urban landscape, which is an extension of the city or the landscape and which indeed seek to promote and extend human relationships. His buildings are related to other buildings which may be close in space however far off in time, but they do not make stylistic concessions to the past. The buildings in fact are often a metaphor for landscape and he tries to express this through a visual organisation of 'strata' and towers. As the architectural historian William Curtis has pointed out in 'A language and a theme' (RIBA Publications, 1976), this architecture of urban landscape turns its back on the transience and brashness of a merely mechanistic world and tries to elicit basic responses and to unearth fundamental human meanings.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1980 / () /

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By R Buckminster Fuller

Richard Buckminster Fuller, who was born in 1895, committed himself in 1927 to the service of all humanity, especially 'to reforming the human environment by developing tools which cope more effectively and economically with evolutionary challenges, in concert with the proposition that Nature is always giving off energiesa and is therefore continually transforming the environment'. He set out over half a century ago to discover 'what one little individual by himself could do for humanity'. The present recording (distilled from a talk he gave at the International Design Conference at Aspen, Colorado, in June 1980) gives some idea of the breathtaking nature of this quest. He says that he now has 'a large logistic control of environment all around the world' by which we will be able 'to phase out the use of fossil fuels and atomic energy'. And in the realm of construction: 'There are already 200,000 geodesic domes around the world, most of them in places where no other structures would do at all. We are on the brink of being able to air-deliver domes wherever we want', Like his early Dymaxion House, these will be self-sufficient autonomous units. 'We have reached the dead end of the old way of building buildings'. After his talk Professor Fuller continued to travel the world, sharing his knowledge with whoever sought it.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1980 / () /

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By Rob Krier

Architect Rob Krier, born and reared in Luxembourg and later Munich, has taken Austrian nationality and, since 1976, practised in Vienna where he is also a Professor and Dean in the Technical University. His book 'Stadtraum in Theorie and Praxis' in 1975, analysing urban space systems, brought him instant recognition. His main goal is the establishment of articulated space in cities. He seeks to reproduce the quality of public life of older cities which he misses in modern cities; and to rediscover the essence, scale, architectural organisation and geometry of the house in relation to itself and to the city. In his recorded talk he adds that he wants to build in such a simple way that the man in the street can understand what he is doing. Work on low-cost housing is, for him, the most fulfilling as it concerns people's everyday life. Though he uses classical categories in defining urban spaces - squares, courtyards, porticoes, streets -- he rejects utterly fashions or isms in architecture. Historical spatial experience is introduced as a new concept - for example, in the Ritterstrasse housing. In a short statement in German at the end of the talk he despairs of the ugliness of modern cities. But he is dedicated to the struggle for truth and beauty and finds solace in his sculpture and beautiful drawings, some of which are shown in these images.

CD-ROM (Win) / / () /

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