Beautiful urban architecture boosts health as much as green spaces – Telegraph

A brisk walk in the countryside or a stroll along the beach is a well-known mood booster and health experts have long recommended getting out of the city improve physical and mental wellbeing. But a new study suggests that beautiful urban architecture, the sweep of docklands, or a gritty suburban river bank can have just as much impact on health and happiness levels. Researchers at the University of Warwick say it is ‘scenery’ not just ‘greenery’ which is important when determining what makes a positive environment. “The beauty of our everyday environment might have more practical importance than was previously…

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 Willis Tower In 150 Years

[Illustrated by Andrew Banks, Judson M.Arch.’11 concentration Traditional Architecture and Urbanism] When Chicago was still celebrating the end of the Civil War, the city had a population of roughly 200,000 people. The most memorable structure from that era, the Water Tower, was still three years from construction. Today, 150 years later, the city’s population has grown by more than 1,200 percent, and the city’s tallest building, the Willis Tower, is more than 1,300 feet taller than the height of Chicago’s tallest building in 1866. This is all to say a lot can change in 150 years. Which makes our question,…

Making the Garden by Christopher Alexander | Articles | First Things

The whole purpose of the work I have done is to show that the presence of God in a matter-­configuration is an objectively existing condition, and that there are specific paths and methods and habits of thought through which we may create buildings where the presence of God can be seen and felt. The two go hand in hand. …. That new vision can become a new source of inspiration and motivation. I call it new not because it is at root genuinely new. Of course it is not—it is ancient. But it is entirely new in our era to…

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…

The Environmental Value of Building Reuse – Preservation Leadership Forum

A report produced by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse. This groundbreaking study, The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse, concludes that, when comparing buildings of equivalent size and function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction. The report’s key findings offer policy-makers, building owners, developers, architects and engineers compelling evidence of the merits of reusing existing buildings as opposed to tearing them down and building new. Those findings include: Reuse Matters….

Why Do Old Places Matter? Economics – Preservation Leadership Forum Blog

In writing this series of essays about why old places matter, I have intentionally saved the discussion of how old places support a sustainable and vibrant economy to the last. Why? Because the other fundamental reasons for keeping, using, reusing and preserving old places are given short shrift, and professional preservationists often jump right to the argument that saving old places is economically beneficial, assuming that the economic argument is the only one decision-makers will want to hear. But it seems to me that starting a discussion about the importance of saving an old place with the economic rationale, immediately…

On Sustainability | At Home & Afield

On the surface, sustainability with regards to building appears to be a very straight forward subject; if a building is built of materials that are readily and locally available, renewable, culturally relevant, and has minimal environmental impact; and, it is built to last a hundred, two hundred; let’s say, even a thousand years, then the building is a sustainable structure. A 2004 survey, The Actual Service Lives of North American Buildings noted that the average life of a building in North America is about 30 years, which, by any standard, is not very sustainable.  The study found that the largest…

New York’s Forecast: Rising Seas, Continual Heat Waves, and a Little Hope – NYTimes.com

In New York, unlike many other places, the majority of carbon emissions, 70 percent, come from buildings rather than from transportation. (In some sense, asking New Yorkers to do more to combat climate change is like having your most dutiful child sweep the floor after dinner and wash the dishes; our carbon footprint is already comparatively small because of a reliance on mass transit.) How would the city’s housing stock respond, though, to a weather “event” in the near future, before we all installed triple-glazed windows — something like Hurricane Sandy or approximating it, causing power failures — during a…

Donovan Rypkema on “Sustainability, Smart Growth and Historic Preservation” | Blue Planet Green Living

Sustainable development is about, but not limited to, environmental sustainability. There is far more to sustainable development than green buildings, such as: Repairing and rebuilding historic wood windows would mean that the dollars are spent locally instead of at a distant window manufacturing plant. That’s economic sustainability, also part of sustainable development. Maintaining as much of the original fabric as possible is maintaining the character of the historic neighborhood. That’s cultural sustainability, also part of sustainable development. But if we don’t yet get it in the United States, others do. There’s an international real estate consulting firm based in Great…