Search results for "James Corner Field Operations"
Save The Bay
BIG, James Corner, SCAPE and Bionic unveil final proposals for Bay Area resiliency challenge
A pop-up preview of James Corner Field Operations’(JCFO) “Brickell Backyard” will be unveiled Tuesday next week. The temporary mini-gym and fitness area has been designed and installed by Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation and will provide a six-month sneak preview of what is to come for the Underline project.
The event will signal the start of the Underline's first stage of development. It's the precursor to the “Brickell Underline Park," a northern section of the Underline located near the Miami River. The park aims to breathe new life into the ten-mile stretch of underused land beneath Miami’s Metrorail, transforming it into a linear park, urban trail and living art destination. Once complete, the area will offer picnic areas, park benches, native vegetation, a nature-inspired playground, a dog park, basketball court, and art installations. In addition to this, further mixed-use parks are planned for other parts of the Underline, all of which come under JCFO’s master plan for the site.
According to the Underline website, the project is "aimed at encouraging Miami-Dade residents to walk, bike or ride transit as an alternative to driving... [it] will serve as an enhanced mobility corridor, designed to better connect communities, improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and promote a healthier lifestyle with accessible green spaces and park amenities for exercise and relaxation."
The Underline is the product of a public/private partnership among Miami-Dade Parks, Miami-Dade Transportation and Public Works, and Friends of The Underline. It also fits within the county’s wider scheme of the Masterplan Greenway network that comprises 500 miles of trails and connected public spaces.
As for the Underline’s “Brickell Backyard” fitness area, funding for the pop-up gym equipment—amounting to a total of $47,000—will come from the Community Outlay Reserve Funds (CORF).
An ongoing debate resurfaced at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. One critic in particular, Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects, criticized the curators, saying that it seems that “contemporary architecture [has] ceased to exist, the discipline’s guilt and bad conscience has sapped its vitality, and driven it to self-annihilation. Architects have now en masse dedicated themselves to doing good via basic social work.”
His complaint is part of an ongoing crisis in architecture that has divided the discipline. In one camp is a group of architects who work to build new forms, many of whom are divorced from a particular social or political agenda. Often, advanced technology is involved, though it is not mandatory. In the other camp, a group is far less concerned with form-making, and more with attempting to make the world better through design and architecture-related thinking and practice.
What has emerged, perhaps as a result of the fallout of the 2008 economic crisis, is a more expanded field of architectural thought, propelled by progressive urban politics and a hope that architecture can still make an impact in the world. These projects often eschew traditional notions of building altogether, looking to activism and conceptual art as fertile productive territory.
Of course, architecture is at its best when it encompasses both lines of thought—beautiful, inspiring solutions to relevant, urgent problems. But recently, architects seem to struggle to reconcile these differences.
In the realm of landscape architecture, however, these ambitions seem to be in harmony more than ever.
Landscapes are no longer simply beautiful complements to buildings or vague public social spaces. Designers and clients are activating landscape design to operate environmentally as flood barriers and water remediation zones, among other goals. Rebuild by Design harnessed this potential after Hurricane Sandy, and hopefully the proposals will come to fruition, as they are currently being moved forward by their respective governments now that HUD has stepped aside.
Landscape architects are also tasked with operating socially to create new public spaces, connect previously separated neighborhoods, and reclaim underused land in and around infrastructure, often in synch with other rebuilding and recovery efforts, such as waterfront development or neighborhood revitalization.
In our landscape feature, we profile some of the ways landscape plays out as a political agent in Detroit, where artists, activists, and farmers are using ecological planning and landscape design to create a new kind of urbanism—one that provides green space and fresh food while promising a better city for future generations.
While landscapes are growing in size and scale, technology is being implemented successfully to plan and execute bold new landscape forms, such as the green swoops and concrete curves of Brooklyn Bridge Park and the High Line. Landscape architecture incorporates Rhino, Grasshopper, and even Arduino and advanced robotics, to give new life to green social spaces across the country. Invivia, a team from Cambridge, MA, was recently selected to build 99 White Balloons at Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas. The project utilizes movement sensors to activate the installation when people are nearby and a series of weather sensors to illuminate the installation according to temperature changes.
Technology is implemented on the front end of design, too. The Trust for Public Land’s Climate Smart Cities initiative, for example, aggregates layers of GIS data to make it easier for cities and designers to use in a graphic interface. The data allows users pinpoint the sites that will best match their ambitions for the city. In the other half of our landscape feature, we look at socially activated projects that marry design and urban politics by engaging the public through visual software and presentation.
As landscape design becomes more relevant and powerful in the urban sphere, perhaps architecture could learn a thing or two about how to get along?
Bjarke Ingels and James Corner give Philadelphia’s 214-year-old Navy Yard a boost into the 21st century
The team led by James Corner Field Operations has been selected to redesign the public spaces at Chicago’s Navy Pier. With a fine-grained proposal that mixes pragmatism with enough conceptual punch the Corner team prevailed over competitors AECOM/BIG, Aedas, Xavier Vendrell, and !melk.
Visited by more than 9 million people annually, Navy Pier is in many ways already highly successful. Non-profit Navy Pier Inc. organized the competition to improve the public spaces to appeal to both local Chicagoans and tourists, as well as generate new revenues and interest in the pier’s large, historic exhibition hall.
The Field Operations proposal seeks to strengthen the pier’s connection to the city and to the lakefront, as well as emphasize the experience of being out in the lake. A dramatic light installation designed by Leo Villareal and an improved tunnel under Lake Shore Drive would make the Pier more accessible at all hours. The park at the pier’s entrance would be redesigned with new textured pavers and a changeable fountain/skating rink/splash pool. The pier itself is divided into a series of programmatic rooms, including a renovated Crystal Garden with suspended planter pods that can be raised and lowered for events or to create differing visitor experiences. Beyond that, the amusement area would keep its iconic Ferris Wheels, swing ride, and carousel and gain biomorphic planting beds. Perhaps the most dramatic element would be a floating pool at the end of the pier. “It really extends the horizon and allows you to think about the scale of the lake in a new way,” said Justine Heilner, development director at Field Operations.
Many of the competitors sought to extend the pier or remake its edge with zig-zagging paths or constructed wetlands. The Corner team’s scheme, however, retains the existing footprint of the pier. “We knew that once you start extending out into the water, you immediately involve the Army Corps of Engineers, and that slows things down and makes things very expensive, very quickly,” Heilner said.
As in any competition, time will tell what survives from the original proposal. “All the teams put a tremendous amount of work into their designs,” Heilner said. “So the client will have a lot of elements to pick and choose from.”