Design: House Vision (

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Tokyo — Japanese design icon Kenya Hara’s House Vision exhibition gathered some of the nation’s most creative thinkers in Tokyo to explore new possibilities for urban living.

Donovan Gillman‘s insight:

A vision for the Japanese house – impressive Architects create a temporary vison for revitalising the home

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Daily Maverick – Is the future of Cape Town 25km from Cape Town?

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South Africa is rapidly urbanising, and in many cases infrastructure and municipal services are struggling to keep up. In the Western Cape, a private group of urban designers and developers think they have a solution. They want to build a new city 25km north of Cape Town’s city centre called Wescape, and so far they have the land, the plan, and seemingly the City of Cape Town’s blessing. But not everyone is convinced that the development is a very good idea.

Donovan Gillman‘s insight:

Lots of flames – it remains to be seen how much fire there will be – already the "urban edge," so valiantly fought for by the urbanists, is ready to be dispalced by ploiticians – what next?

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BIG with West 8, Fentress, JPA propose Miami Beach Square « World Landscape Architecture – landscape architecture webzine

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BIG with West 8, Fentress, JPA propose Miami Beach Square


Miami Beach is a unique city in so many ways. It is one of the youngest cities in America – and perhaps right now one of the most vibrant and dynamic. Its streetscape is characterized by a lively walkable urban fabric with a friendly human scaled environment under the cool shade of tropical trees and art deco canopies – except at the convention center. It is a dead black hole of asphalt in the heart of one the most beautiful and lively cities in America. Our mission is to bring Miami Beach back to the Convention Center – and to imagine an architecture and an urban space unique to the climate and culture of Miami Beach.

Donovan Gillman‘s insight:

More BIG ideas – with West8 innovation is assured 

Design / Planning Team: BIG (master plan and architecture), West 8 (public realm), John Portman & Associates (hotel), Fentress (convention center), Revuelta Architects (local)


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ASLA 2012 Professional Awards | Quarry Garden in Shanghai Botanical Garden

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Renovated from abandoned quarry yard, Quarry Garden has become one new landmark and name card of Shanghai. Its capabilities are fully displayed based on ecological restoration and culture reconstruction strategies. One dangerous inaccessible abandoned land has been built into one attractive tourist resort for visitors approaching natural landscape and experiencing the culture of quarrying industry. And the challenge of constructing dramatic aesthetical space on highly-difficult construction techniques also becomes one highlight of this project.

Donovan Gillman‘s insight:

By Lucy Wang from Land8

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Ideas on transforming cities – Singapore a case study

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We know that the planet is warming up and the human population is growing, raising our demand for resources. The combination of these factors is why the battle…

Donovan Gillman‘s insight:

Is Singapore  with its autocratic government and its rampant comercailism a suitable model for 21st Century sustainable cities?

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renzo piano: masterplan for the ex-falck area, milan

From Design Boom

visualization of renzo piano’s masterplan for the ex-falck area in milan rendering by frédéric terreaux © renzo piano building workshop

milan has historically been home to some of the world’s most recognized brands. being the hub of fabrication for many of them,
the city now finds itself with decommissioned factories, closed, abandoned and often times forgotten, leaving a considerable amount of space
unusable and often times unsightly. the falck steel plant of sesto san giovani in northern milan is one such place, leaving behind many
aged social housing units, an industrial skeleton, and a greying landscape. renzo piano has recently been given legal rights to the 1.3 million square-meter site
where he plans to restore it as a vibrant place for the community, complete with a museum, library, research centers, universities, homes, shops,
and a 1 million square-meter park tying it all together – slated for completion by 2018. the master plan follows a bi-axial concept whereby
the north-south axis (dubbed the ‘rambla’) will contain commercial and residential program and will add approximately 1270 new housing units.
the east-west datum will host the public functions mentioned above, merged with a newly green landscape. the rambla will feature a series of towers
ranging between 40 and 90 meters tall, elevated on columns  above the ground with hanging green gardens clad in terracotta-colored tiles.


a project of this size must also take energy use and infrastructure into account if it is to be successful. the entire campus is designed to be autonomously
powered, relieving the grid of more energy loads. connections with various parts of the city will also be improved; a redesigned train station will better link
to existing public transport services and the ‘elf’ – alternative energy vehicles – will be introduced as a new means of low-capacity mobility.




street view visualization of commercial and residential buildings
rendering by frédéric terreaux © renzo piano building workshop



rendering by stefano goldberg © renzo piano building workshop



ground plan
© renzo piano building workshop



site plan
© renzo piano building workshop



site diagram
drawing by stefano goldberg © renzo piano building workshop

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Traders and mayor differ on approach to build a modern Kantamanto after fire

I wonder if all the traders who were displaced will survive the re “modernization” I think they would be better off doing it themselves with assistance from the authorities – but this is unlikely to give ht payoffs that these authorities want.


“…the overall good that should come out of this is the need for us to take advantage of an unfortunate situation to bring about modernization,” said Accra City Mayor Alfred Vanderpuye, referring to the recent fire that destroyed the immense Kantamanto Market in the city center on Sunday morning. The market is a center for the trade of secondhand imports from North America, Asia and Europe.

“And the time has come; it’s far long overdue for us to put our market into the modern status that it needs to be, and that I can say that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is taking full responsibility to bring modernization around these two disaster activities”

On Sunday, May 5, the immense secondhand trading center known as Kantamanto Market was destroyed by a fire that raged for hours. Two days later on Tuesday evening, there was a large, but limited fire at Tudu Market

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Oxford Circus Diagonal Crossing

laud8 -landscape architecture+urban design

Project by Atkins; Oxford Circus, in the heart of London.


It is one of the world’s most congested intersections, with more than 80 million pedestrians crossing it each year. The innovative makeover allows shoppers to walk across Oxford Circus diagonally for the first time. Atkins’ design was inspired by Tokyo’s famous Shibuya crossing, renowned for allowing people to cross with ease.

Before the project:



After the project:


The solution enabled all existing barriers and street clutter to be ripped out and remodelled in order to give pedestrians the freedom to move around quickly both straight ahead and diagonally – across both Regent Street and Oxford Street.

Text: Atkins

Images: Atkins, e-architect

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Olympics Landscape Legacy: Landscape Engineering the London Olympic Park

It WAS the greenest games – but how sustainable are these parks and buildings now?

Landscape Interface Studio

An interview with Tom Armour, Global Landscape Architecture Leader for Arup, on the role of the Landscape Engineer in the Olympic Project.  The film was made by Room60 as part of a series of 10 interviews commissioned by the Landscape Institute.  The films feature some of the key practitioners involved with the development and creation of the Olympic Park and Athletes’ Village.  Both Tom Armour of Arup and Matt Parker of Room60 are  alumni of the Landscape Architecture courses here at Kingston University.  Tom recently spent a day at the Landscape Interfaced Studio to present to post-graduate landscape students and also to give critical feedback on their recent New York and Hull projects.

In the short film Tom addresses some specific questions:

What was your role in the project, what was the site like when first visited and how was the soil on site treated?  Is additional training needed to turn a Landscape Architect into a…

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