Cities need Goldilocks housing density – not too high or low, but just right | Life and style | The Guardian

I am an architect and I certainly consider myself an environmentalist, but it appears to me that in a lot of cities, these new glass towers don’t add much at all to the city in terms of energy efficiency or quality of life. Often they don’t add many more housing units than the buildings they replace. I am also a heritage activist, not because I particularly love old buildings, but because there is so much to learn from them and from the neighbourhoods. and cities that were designed before cars or electricity or thermostats, and were built at surprisingly high…

‘The worst building in the world awards’ | Culture | Architects Journal

A massive gulf persists between the buildings that win architecture awards and those that  the public prefers, suggests research by Create StreetsIn 1987 a young psychologist conducted an experiment into how repeated exposure to an image changed perceptions of it. A group of volunteer students were shown photographs of unfamiliar people and buildings and asked to rate them in terms of attractiveness. Some of the volunteers were architects; some were not. As the experiment progressed, a fascinating finding became clear: while everyone had similar views on which people were attractive, the architecture and non-architecture students had diametrically opposed views on…

Stamps and Nasar: Design Review and Public Preferences (1997)

The findings confirm the stability of earlier research showing the public to dislike modern or atypical styles (Groat, 1982; Devlin & Nasar, 1989; Purcell & Nasar, 1992) and it confirms findings of a large effect of style independent of location of the style (Purcell & Nasar, 1992; Purcell, 1995). It also extends those findings in two ways. First, it shows the results as stable for respondents from two very different cities. It also shows the results as stable for respondents of differing levels of sensation seeking. Both high and low sensation seekers favored the popular styles to the high style…

Favored 14 to 1 in Post-Katrina Architecture: New Orleans Styles over Contemporary Styles

“Our study reveals that in selecting an exterior aesthetic for their new homes, New Orleanians reached into their historical treasure chest. Whether you call it historicism, historical revival, neotraditionalism, pastiche, retro, or New Urbanism — we use the terms more or less interchangeably — the upshot is clear. In the rebuilt streets of 21st-century New Orleans there are thousands of new houses paying homage to 19th-century New Orleans. The number rankings were overwhelming. New homes in historical styles (“6” through “10” on our scale) were 14 times more popular than contemporary styles …” Source: 14 to 1: Post-Katrina Architecture by…

Andrés Duany:  Why We Code | Studio Sky

Within the last half-century, some 30 million buildings have degraded cities and reduced landscapes. Must we tolerate this comprehensive disaster in exchange for the (perhaps) three thousand great buildings that great architects have produced? Such a win-loss ratio is as unacceptable in architecture as it would be in any other field. We are compelled to intervene and have found that codes are the most effective instruments of reform.We must code because the default setting in contemporary design is mediocrity and worse. Those who object to codes imagine that they constrain architectural masterpieces (their own, usually). But great buildings are few…

Faculty and Alumnus Honored with ICAA Acanthus Awards // News // School of Architecture // University of Notre Dame

The Acanthus Awards … honor exemplary student work in classical or traditional design from current students and recent graduates.  School of Architecture alumnus Christopher C. Miller, M. Arch ‘14, received recognition for his thesis project, Market Bridge for Bath:  Fitting Type to Local Character—Professor Richard Economakis was the thesis advisor.  Miller developed a plan for a mixed use neighborhood development in the area surrounding River Avon in the historic city of Bath in England. Source: Faculty and Alumnus Honored with ICAA Acanthus Awards // News // School of Architecture // University of Notre Dame See A Market for Bath:  Fitting Type to…

The Stones of Washington by Michael Knox Beran, City Journal December 26, 2015

Like so many other new-made towns, Washington lacks whatever it is that gives Old Western (I have followed C. S. Lewis in capitalizing the words “Old Western” as he did in his lecture “De Descriptione Temporum”) cities like Arles and Kraków, Munich and Venice, their charm and interest. It would be extravagant to criticize Lewis for his failure to ask why Washington lacks this deeper civic artistry: yet it is difficult not to conclude that the problem of Washington—essentially the problem of the American city—is bigger than Lewis allows.A truly revealing history of any American town, big or small, would…

IASTE / LEGITIMATING TRADITION December 17-20, 2016 | Kuwait City

In contemporary contexts of globalization, political conflict, and dynamic social and cultural change, legitimacy is often invoked, questioned, or challenged by various actors to achieve certain ends. This conference seeks to ask: What role does tradition play in legitimating practices that produce place-based or placeless built environments?Recent IASTE conferences have explored the role of subjectivity, authorship, and power in the construction of traditions in space and place. These themes often implied processes of legitimation that affect the built environment in ways that are sometimes more hidden and sometimes more obvious. This conference will seek to address this issue and to…

Heroes and Victims in Modernist Memorials | Intercollegiate Review

At least since the Renaissance and probably long before, Western civilization has placed a premium on originality in the arts of form. But as long as common sense is operative, originality is not taken to mean the creation of something unrelated to any precedent or prototype, but rather the reconfiguration of a given prototype in a vitally creative way, thereby endowing that prototype with new life and significance. A restoration of that sounder understanding of originality can only arise from a radical revaluation of our classical heritage and the rich treasury of forms it makes available to us for the…

Launching our Housing London Report | The Princes Foundation for Building Community

We’re delighted to have launched our report entitled Housing London: A Mid-rise Solution. The report looks at the problems of affordability and inclusivity facing London’s housing supply and offers up recommendations to achieve more mid-rise housing in the capital. HRH The Prince of Wales joined us at our offices in Shoreditch yesterday to launch the report. HRH spoke on the challenges of housing facing the city and recommended that we build more mid-rise developments that support mixed-tenure, sustainable and harmonious communities: “In order to continue to prosper, any healthy city requires a built environment that provides good quality housing, the…