Have you been to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis? Do you know that the iconic stainless steel structure is the world’s tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and the tallest publicly accessible building in the State of Missouri? I recently visited the Arch which is the centerpiece of the Gateway Arch National Park, previously known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and came away impressed by both the monument and its newly renovated surroundings. [Read more…] about Gateway Arch National Park: A Visual Tour
I have been learning a lot lately. No, I have not returned to school or taken a few courses through Planetizen. Instead, I have simply been playing with my five-year old daughter and gaining a few insights along the way. Some of her favorite toys these days are Blockitecture sets which consist of colorful wooden blocks of buildings, parks, green spaces, rivers, and lakes. Together, we have built neighborhoods and had humorous conversations about what makes a city “fun” or “awesome,” two of her most often-used adjectives. Of course, this has brought me, a plannerd and father, much joy and satisfaction, knowing that my daughter is beginning to understand what I do as a planner and that she may even aspire to be one in the future (well, I am not sure about this yet). All kidding aside, I have seriously learned a few things through our play sessions that I would like to share below. [Read more…] about Urban Planning Insights: Learning and Reflecting through Play
Welcome back to the Island of Utopia! Part I began the first installment of a three-article series commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the publishing of St. Thomas More’s classic book, Utopia. In Part I, the word “Utopia” was defined and several of the key geographic features of More’s fictional Island of Utopia were described. In Part II, we’ll delve into the some of the urban design characteristics of Utopian cities. [Read more…] about Anecdotes on the Urban Design of Utopia: Part II of III of the Utopia 500th Anniversary Series
When I mentioned to some friends that I would be vacationing in Washington, D.C., most of them told me about the Smithsonian museums which offer free admissions. While I did end up visiting a few of these amazing museums, I also went to one that nobody suggested: the National Building Museum. This museum is dedicated to the interpretation of the history and impact of the built environment, and is perfect for architects, planners, landscape architects, and designers. (I knew about the museum because it helped to organize a symposium on Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. that I attended a few years ago). Here are some highlights of the museum: [Read more…] about A Museum for Architects and Planners
Do you love parks and trains? What do you think about a train-themed park? As a park planner and a train lover, I must say that I am a fan of Station Square Park in the City of Monrovia. This new park is located adjacent to the Monrovia Gold Line Station, which was constructed as part of the Gold Line Foothill Extension project and opened on March 5, 2016. [Read more…] about Station Square Park: Monrovia’s Newest Park
Over the weekend I was glad to do my monthly architecture tour through Los Angeles and Orange County. On my tour I was in search of grey flames, hot emerging materials and textures that exist within a grayscale spectrum but are much more vibrant than mundane. I analyzed and criticized aluminum, zinc, metal, grey paint, grey concrete, etc, and found these images (below) as a result, enjoy! [Read more…] about Grey Flames: Aluminum Photo Blog
“ What do Shaq’s party shoes and the Dodger’s Stadium have in common?… they both have similar square feet.”
As a fan of square foot ‘dress’ shoes, I believe the historic link between shoe fashion and multifamily architecture to be quite interesting. On the accompanying image there is an implicit link between the hidden keystone and selling the image of ‘great arch support’ that transforms a solid column into a horizontal billboard. [Read more…] about Of Cents and Ratios
Cruising one day along Commonwealth Avenue in Fullerton, CA, I noticed a sequence of fallen birds that were either decayed or decaying on the sidewalk. It seemed to be the result of a complex context; an intersection of natural habitat and built (man-made) artifact (in this case a tunnel with a vehicle underpass and train overpass). So I thought to myself, built environments almost always have to interact with and react to their context. Whether it is regarding the slope of a site, or natural soil conditions, or even existing natural habitats: animals, flora, fauna, etc. [Read more…] about Common Birds of Commonwealth
NI-HILL-ISM – Niland, CA
If we take, for example, nihilism, lodged between blasé and cynicism, as a superficial and yet interstitial thread we can begin to start the process of reconciliation, mutual understanding, and compromise.
We should all be on the same page, be of one fabric, united and complete.
NI-HILL-ISM – Hills and Valleys
It is a symphony of euphony, of discrete organisms and contradictions. A confluence of fluent artistic languages.
It is also about the blurred distinctions between hard objects and soft landscapes. Or within the ebbs and flows of artists pioneering and re-engineering the folk art movement in mainstream or livestream media.
NI-HILL-ISM – Good PR from Isms to prisms
(Inside ‘Salvation Mountain’ – Leonard Knight)
Three such filters as Holism, Euphemism, Racism, and Sexism are some of myriad nodes to connect to and react from. A play on color, form, and part-to-whole relationships.
Finally, we can see the call-to-action tweet (#We are saved!) or on ribbons and buttons, too.
The Campanile at the University of California, Berkeley, will be turning 100 years old next year -for those that do not already know. To celebrate this special centennial occasion the school is planning several events around summertime culminating in the 2015 Homecoming celebration (LaDawn Duvall, Campus Executive Director of Visitor and Parent Services). [Read more…] about Happy Birthday, Campanile!!