Posts tagged with "Indianapolis":

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Indy developer drops $1.4 billion plan to revamp old GM stamping plant

Update from Ambrose Property Group at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, September 30:  “Ambrose Property Group and Central Indiana Community Foundation, in partnership with Exhibit Columbus, have decided to postpone the Waterside Design Competition Juried Presentations scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2. Ambrose will not be the long-term owner of Waterside, however, the three organizations hope to work with Hood Design Studio, SCAPE, and Snøhetta to explore opportunities to meaningfully advance important conversations about design for our city. We are thankful for the designers’ work on this project and the important role they play in strengthening arts and culture in Indianapolis.” A former General Motors (GM) stamping plant in Indianapolis was set to become a massive new corporate campus designed by some of the biggest names in architecture. Today, the owner of the site, Ambrose Property Group, announced it is scrapping its plans. AN previously reported that three shortlisted design teams were chosen in May for a competition that would reimagine the 103-acre plot of land, home to the Albert Kahn–designed GM plant formerly known as Crane Bay. The teams included Hood Design Studio with Thomas Phifer and Partners and Arup; SCAPE with SO-IL, Guy Nordenson and Associates, James Lima Planning + Development, Art Strategies, Nelson\Nygaard, and Manuel Miranda Practice; and Snøhetta with Moody Nolan, Arup, HR&A, Art Strategies, and Chris Wangro. Spearheaded by Ambrose in partnership with Exhibit Columbus and the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the redevelopment contest was expected to finalize a vision for what would one day be a new, mixed-use district near downtown Indianapolis. Over 1,300 residential units, 2.75 million square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, and a hotel would make up the $1.4 billion neighborhood of Waterside. In a letter addressed to the Indianapolis community, Ambrose’s founder and CEO Aasif Bade explained his reason for selling the property: 
I’m writing to update the local community of Ambrose’s decision to focus our business on e-commerce and industrial development both in Indianapolis and nationally. We believe that a focused approach on one segment of real estate development is best for our investors, our clients, employees and the communities where we invest. As part of this decision, we plan to pursue the sale of our mixed-use and office projects, including Waterside. 
The news came as a shock to the designers today, who all presented their design philosophies and approaches to the public in June. The teams were expected to unveil conceptual schemes on October 2 and go into further details about how they would repurpose the old Crane Bay, build an urban plaza surrounding the site, and construct a pedestrian bridge over the White River, connecting Waterside directly to downtown.  SCAPE told AN in an email that while its office understands the complexity of financing, real estate, and strategy, the timing of the announcement was “not ideal.”
Our team has fallen in love with the GM Stamping Plant site, and we have so much to offer this process. We’ve enjoyed ideating on and building out ideas about how this place—a 100-acre slab of concrete—could transform by investing in civic life and landscape at its core. We believe the City, local residents, community members, and other stakeholders that have contributed their time and knowledge over many years will remain committed to an engaged and collaborative process. At the same time, everyone is sobered by this setback and acknowledges the challenge ahead.
Located in an opportunity zone, the project was a top priority for the city of Indianapolis. The nearly-90-year-old structure has sat empty ever since it closed its doors in 2011 following GM’s declaration of bankruptcy. and the Waterside development was a key part of the city’s failed pitch to host Amazon’s HQ2. A representative from the mayor’s office told The Indianapolis Star that Ambrose’s decision is disappointing, but the city will keep trying to find a way to develop the site. “We intend to use all available tools to ensure that the future of this parcel will live up to the years of planning that has occurred and the ongoing White River Vision Plan,” said Thomas Cook, the mayor’s chief of staff. According to Ambrose, the design competition will still be moving forward next week, but it’s unclear if and how those ideas will be used or whether the participants will be reimbursed for their efforts. The Central Indiana Community Foundation said it hopes the momentum will continue regardless:  “Our partnership with Ambrose and Waterside has been unique in the way it connected residents and neighborhoods to community development,” said the Foundation in an email, “and we are proud that the Waterside Design Competition put a spotlight on our city’s current development success and potential by bringing three world-renown and award-winning designers to Indianapolis...CICF will continue to engage the community to ensure Southwest Indianapolis residents are part of the neighborhood’s equitable and inclusive growth.”  AN reached out for comment from the other shortlisted firms and will update this story we hear back. Additional reporting by Shawn Simmons. 
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SCAPE, Snøhetta, Hood Design among finalists for major Indianapolis project

Three finalists have been invited to develop their ideas for new public spaces at a former General Motors site in Indianapolis. The developer Ambrose Property Group partnered with Exhibit Columbus and the Central Indiana Community Foundation to identify a shortlist of studios to develop specific areas of Waterside, a massive $1.4 billion redevelopment of the 103-acre former GM stamping plant site. The shortlisted teams are: 1) Hood Design Studio with Thomas Phifer and Partners and Arup; 2) SCAPE with SO-IL, Guy Nordenson and Associates, James Lima Planning + Development, Art Strategies, Nelson\Nygaard, and Manuel Miranda Practice; and 3) Snøhetta with Moody Nolan, Arup, HR&A, Art Strategies, and Chris Wangro. According to the announcement, the finalists were selected based on their experience working on projects of a similar size and scale as well as for their design acumen. Waterside was announced last year by Ambrose as a new downtown district on the site of the former GM plant that has sat in disuse since the motor company declared bankruptcy almost a decade ago. (The same site was also being proposed as a potential Amazon HQ2 hub by Indiana officials). It would include 1,350 residential units, 620 hotel rooms, 2.75 million square feet of office space, and 100,000 square feet of retail with a projected development timeline of 15 years. The Waterside Design Competition zeroes in on the adaptive reuse of 25,000 square feet of the Albert Kahn–designed Crane Bay; the design of a public plaza around Crane Bay; and a pedestrian connection across the White River to link the site to Indianapolis's urban core. The three teams will present their design philosophies and approaches to the public on June 12 in Indianapolis. Later in October, they will present their conceptual schemes, and the winner will be decided by a jury of community stakeholders and national experts.
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Jesus, Mary, and Joseph put in ICE detention by Indianapolis church

Overnight, a church in Indianapolis made headlines with a bold message regarding America's current zero-tolerance immigration policy. Christ Church Cathedral, a 161-year-old episcopal institution located in the heart of Indy's downtown at Monument Circle, put up a display on their lawn showcasing the statues of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus fenced inside a cage topped with barbed wire. The image calls attention to idea of The Holy Family as refugees seeking asylum from Egypt. In a statement released this morning, the church announced that the display is part of their #EveryFamilyisHoly campaign, which is designed to bring awareness to the immigrant family separations happening at the US-Mexico border. The church first revealed the display on Twitter at 1:12 a.m. with the caption: “On our lawn tonight we placed The Holy Family...in #ICE detention.” In addition to the display, the church placed a banner on their grounds that reads #EveryFamilyisHoly and the equivalent in Spanish, #CadaFamiliaEsSagrada. “The Holy Family today calls us to stand with all families seeking safety and a future for their children,” said the church's Dean and Rector Steve Carlsen in the press release. “We will not stand by while children are being taken from their parents, and families are being taken from our communities and organizations.” Church officials haven’t specified exactly when the display will come down, but they’ve suggested it could remain up as long as families are detained.
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Deborah Berke Partners calibrates the facade for Cummins office headquarters

Deborah Berke Partners' first new construction office project, located in downtown Indianapolis, opened earlier this year. Designed for Cummins Inc., the nine-story building includes flexible office space, retail, and a new urban park, all of which support the engine company's business goals and the revitalization of downtown Indianapolis. The building sits on the site of a former arena that the architects say produced an anti-urban “gaping hole in the city.” The transformation of this site was driven by urbanistic motives designed to correct these failures, producing a carefully scaled mid-rise tower that is informed by contextual and environmental criteria.
  • Facade Manufacturer Erie Architectural Products
  • Architects Deborah Berke Partners (design architect); Ratio (architect of record)
  • Facade Installer The Blakley Corporation
  • Facade Consultants Front, Inc.; Atelier Ten (sustainability)
  • Location Indianapolis, IN
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System Post-tensioned concrete structure; Unitized curtain wall
  • Products Curtain Wall and Storefront systems: Erie Architectural Products; Glazing: Viracon and Cristacurva (curved glass); Sunshade manufacturer: Clover Architectural Products; Garage façade manufacturer: Proclad, Inc.
Examples of this design approach can be seen on the prominent south facade where its patterning undulates along the length of the building as opportunities for views outward into the city appear. A gradient pattern of frit glazing gives way to full view glass at the middle of the building facade to demarcate a series of double height “social hubs” centrally located in the building to foster a collaborative work environment. Elsewhere, on the west facade, afternoon shadows cast by a neighboring building allowed large projecting fins on the curtain wall to taper in depth as they track down the facade. Noah Biklen, principal at Deborah Berke Partners, said that having a client who is a technology leader like Cummins inspired a careful “tuning” process in the design of the facade system, involving life-cycle analysis and a global look at project's design approach. “We wanted everything to have quality and precision, and [we] spent a lot of time thinking about the shaping of vertical fins, horizontal shades, and the detailing of connections. We introduced curvature to provide a very machined and engineered presence. Particularly at the corners, where we wanted to evoke a certain fluidity—a line that could be tracked around the building as the massing shifts.” Biklen added, “This feels like a Cummins engine to us.” One of the biggest challenges to the project was the schedule, which was fast-tracked at 28 months from the initial site visit to construction completion. The critical challenge of this schedule was ordering the glass, due to coordination and shipping times. To manage this challenge, a design assist process was introduced to help establish a collaborative project team early. Starting around the middle of the design development phase, a “basis of design” document that combined outline specs with some basic design drawings were used to bid out the project to facade contractors and fabricators. Biklen said, "you can immediately start talking about ordering the glass, tricky details, the corners of the building, and more. We were able to have these conversations four or five months into the design process, and we had a design partner who was ultimately going to be the one fabricating these details." The unitized curtain wall facade features three modular widths and a subgrid of two-panel widths. This allows for some controlled variation to the compositional grid of the facade. The New-York–based architects said having a large site area to work with allowed plenty of room for various sizes of unitized panels to be delivered and stocked on site, which helped to ease the complexity of construction sequencing. Another goal was to limit the amount of tempered glass in the project, which the architects said was not desirable due to known issues with spontaneous breakage, and visual “roller wave rippling” distortion from the manufacturing process. The alternative was to use heat-strengthened glass, which undergoes a manufacturing process that minimizes imperfections in the glass. The end result was a product that maximized visual clarity and reflectivity of the building envelope, which Biklen said supported the urbanistic goals of the project. "You have a sense of the internal workings of the building from the city. The more you can be transparent at what's going on helps to make a strong connection to the city," Biklen said. "Having the building be a little didactic makes it a good urban neighbor."
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Deborah Berke completes new Cummins office building

Cummins Inc., the Columbus, Indiana–based diesel motor company has completed a new office tower in downtown Indianapolis. The nine-story building was designed by New York-based Deborah Berke Partners. The building will be home to distribution and select corporate offices. The slender profile of the new Cummins office, along with its orientation, are optimized to maximize environmental performance. Along with reducing heating and cooling loads, the shape allows for every worker to have direct access to natural light. The facade of the project is made up of a varied grid of glass and metal fins that are calibrated for the particular shading and daylight needs of each face of the building. J. Irwin Miller, Cummins’s former Chairman and CEO, had an intense interest in architecture and was a major architectural patron. The foundation which he founded helped fund many civic and cultural buildings by famous modernist architects in the small town of Columbus, Indiana. Cummins itself has facilities designed by architects such as Kevin Roche, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Weese. “Over the decades, Cummins has demonstrated a commitment to great design that benefits its employees, its customers, and the community,” said Deborah Berke in a press release. “This building carries that legacy forward with an environmentally sustainable design that dignifies the work going on inside while enhancing the urban realm. The building’s articulated facades and distinctive form serve a purpose—to create a comfortable, light-filled work environment for employees that adds to the vitality on Market Street. Adding some muscle to the great bones of downtown Indianapolis, the park is a public amenity that does double duty as a robust piece of green infrastructure.” The base of the tower includes a lobby and retail. Employee common spaces fills the second floor, including a space called the Square for large gatherings of employees and guests. The second floor also includes a conference center for employee development. Throughout the building flexible work spaces and connective common spaces allow for workers to collaborate and work in multiple configurations. Throughout the building, an art program will fill the workspaces with over 60 individual works of art. Three pieces by artists Kendall Buster, Odili Donald Odita, and the collaborative of Jennifer Riley and Emily Kennerk were commissioned specifically for the building. This article appears on HoverPin, a new app that lets you build personalized maps of geo-related online content based on your interests: architecture, food, culture, fitness, and more. Never miss The Architect’s Newspaper’s coverage of your area and discover new, exciting projects wherever you go! See our HoverPin layer here and download the app from the Apple Store.
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Planning, transit, and parks projects are transforming Indianapolis

Indianapolis has been busy remaking its downtown, embarking on several developments and planning projects that city officials hope bode well for the city's future growth. The editors at Indianapolis Monthly rounded them up this week, picking out “five projects improving Indy right now.” Two are long-term plans: Mayor Greg Ballard's LiveIndy Plan, which focuses on public safety through education and new police hires, and Plan 2020, a $2 million roadmap of “promises we're making to residents” on the occasion of the city's bicentennial in 2021. They've also got their eye on the redevelopment of Tarkington Park, a 10.5-acre green space at 39th and Illinois streets currently on the fringe between the low-income Crown Hill and “genteel” Meridian-Kessler neighborhoods. Full funding for the development, which goes toward park improvements and a new grocery store, is still pending. Local design firm Rundell Ernstberger Associates (REA) is leading the process. Indianapolis is also in the middle of a transit overhaul, which may include building a new $20 million downtown transit hub. The project's breaking ground soon. Indianapolis Monthly also calls out an in-progress luxury apartment tower at the former site of Market Square Arena. Since the demolition of Market Square Arena, surface parking lots have deadened the downtown area.
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Urbana's Shape-Shifting Parking Garage Facade

Folded aluminum panels deliver the illusion of movement to passersby.

During their recent expansion, Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis approached Urbana Studio with an unusual request. The hospital wanted the Los Angeles-based art and architecture firm to design an interactive facade for a recently completed parking structure. "With Indianapolis' really extreme weather patterns, we gave a lot of thought to: how can we make something that's interactive but won't be broken in a year?" said Urbana principal Rob Ley. "Unfortunately, the history of kinetic facades teaches us that that they can become a maintenance nightmare." Urbana's solution was to turn the relationship between movement and the object on its head. Though the aluminum facade, titled May September, is itself static, it appears to morph and change color as the viewer walks or drives by. May September—a semi-transparent rectangular wall comprising 7,000 angled aluminum panels—was inspired in part by Ley's interest in camouflage, and specifically active camouflage. "I wanted to take that on more in a passive way than an active way," he said. The designers set out to create something like a lenticular image, which seems to shift or jump into three dimensions as the angle of view changes. "Could we make something where the pieces themselves don't move, but we recognize that the people in front of it will be moving?" asked Ley. Urbana Studio dedicated six months to the design before sending it to fabrication. The first half of the work was digital, primarily using Rhino and Grasshopper as well as software the designers wrote themselves in Processing. The team spent a lot of time on color. "The idea was to find two colors that would have a good contrast, and that maybe don't exist at all in Indianapolis," said Ley. The final scheme, which pairs deep blue with golden yellow, drew on the work of local landscape artist T.C. Steele. After building renderings and animations on the computer, the firm constructed mockups to check their assumptions. The unique site conditions influenced both the choice of material—aluminum—and the placement of the panels. "It had to be very lightweight, because it was going on a structure that wasn't engineered to have anything like this on it," said Ley. The designers also had to contend with the natural movement of the garage, and wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour. "It doesn't seem that interesting, but when the entire project is basically making sails, the wind issue is counterintuitive to what you're doing," said Ley.
  • Fabricator Indianapolis Fabrications
  • Designers Urbana Studio
  • Location Indianapolis
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • Material aluminum flaps from Ryerson, custom aluminum extrusions from Northern States Metals, stainless steel fasteners
  • Process Rhino, Grasshopper, scripting, cutting, folding, bolting, sliding, lifting, hanging
Indianapolis Fabrications fabricated and installed the facade. "We'd worked to pare the design down to be very modular, so there would be no waste materials," said Ley. "We also worked out a system that would look like there's an infinite number of variations of angles, but in the end there are only three. We're faking a lot of variability with a system that doesn't have that many possibilities." Urbana Studio also designed a custom aluminum extrusion so that the bolts—three per panel, or 21,000 in total—could slide into the facade's vertical structural elements without the use of a drill. "It allowed us to have this very erratic placement of elements without having thousands of holes to verify," explained Ley. Indianapolis Fabrications assembled the facade off site in 10 by 26 foot sections. The size of the pieces was dictated by factors including the width of the street, the overhang on the existing structure, and the wind resistance each component would face as it was lifted into place. Ley was pleasantly surprised by the interest May September generated among other would-be garage designers. "There are a lot of parking garages out there," he said. "Usually they're very much an appliance. As an archetype, the parking structure is not very interesting, but everyone's anticipating that they're not going away." As for his own firm, Ley would welcome another commission for a parking structure—particularly one that allowed him to work from the ground up. "I enjoyed dealing with a window treatment," he said. "But it would be nice to be involved earlier on, to be able to pursue it in a more holistic way."
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Is expanding Chicago's soldier field a hail mary pass?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly considering a plan to boost capacity at Soldier Field, the city’s football stadium, in a bid to host the Super Bowl. But as the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin laid out in a story Sunday, the play is a Hail Mary. Indianapolis’ new Lucas Oil Stadium, designed by HKS' Bryan Trubey [read AN’s Q+A with Trubey here], hosted the Super Bowl in 2012. Indy has also hosted the NCAA Final Four and the Big Ten football championship. The stadium, which holds 70,000 people under its retractable roof, has spurred nearby development and solidified Indianapolis’ position as a Midwest sports Mecca. The ability to seat 70,000 fans is considered a prerequisite for hosting the Super Bowl, so Soldier Field’s capacity of 61,500 falls short. Soldier Field is currently the smallest stadium in the NFL. But an additional 5,000 would still make the home of the Chicago Bears a tight squeeze for spectators of the country’s biggest sporting event. Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman it’s also about other events:
“I know everybody looks at the Super Bowl. But, look at this hockey event [between the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins], which we started last year with college hockey. You look at two years ago when we had the Mexican soccer team here. We have Liverpool coming. These things not only sell out. They sell out fast. And it’s clear that you could do more, given these super events and they would be self-financing and self-sustaining.”
Dirk Lohan, who led the master plan for the stadium’s expansion, told Kamin he’s not optimistic about the preliminary expansion plans. He said the original renovations had to balance capacity and preservation, leading to a design whose structural system could not be updated today without considerable expenses. [Read AN’s Q+A with Dirk Lohan in the upcoming March issue of the Midwest edition.] Architects Benjamin Wood and Carlos Zapata modernized 1920s-era Soldier Field in 2003, but the Bears’ desire to add more seating lost out to the city’s imperative to preserve Soldier Field’s historic colonnades. The $690 million renovation lost its National Historic Landmark status anyway in 2006. It’s unclear who’s studying the possible expansion for the Mayor, but whoever reviews the plan may have to lock heads with public scrutiny as intense as the stadium’s design challenges.
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PeopleForBikes Issues Green Light For Six Cities Seeking Improved Bike Infrastructure

A list of over 100 cities has been whittled down to six. PeopleForBikes has announced the latest cities that will be the focus of the 2014 iteration of the Green Lane Project, an initiative that promotes urban bike infrastructure. The decision means that beginning in April, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle will all be on the receiving end of expert assistance, training and support in efforts to become increasingly bike-friendly. The project's director Martha Roskowski said that all the selected cities demonstrated "ambitious goals and a vision for bicycling supported by their elected officials and communities." Pittsburgh and Seattle's inclusion comes as each takes steps towards establishing bike share programs within their borders. Boston is already in possession of such a system. A major focus of the Green Lane initiative is to increase the number of protected bike lanes, and Seattle, Indianapolis, and Atlanta are already in possession of lanes included in PeopleForBikes' Best Of List for 2013. Since the program was launched in 2012, the number of such lanes within the US has nearly doubled, rising from 80 to 142. Half of this growth can be found in the Green Lane Project's six original focus cities: Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. [Via Streetsblog USA.]
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Indianapolis Moves to Privatize Parks

Indianapolis’ public parks system, Indy Parks, is looking for third parties interested in privatizing some or all of the city’s parks and recreation holdings. The move follows last year’s survey seeking ways to upgrade the city’s 207 parks properties. With a $46 million backlog of needed improvements and just $3.4 million available in the annual budget, Indy Parks could use some help. Deputy Director Jen Pittman told Indianapolis Business Journal the agency’s aware that the request for proposals, issued in November, is broad: “We wanted to cast a wide net to engage the creativity of the community … We’re looking for proposals that will take our parks from good to great.” Any deals larger than $25,000 must be approved by the city-county Council, but the parks board can handle smaller sponsorship agreements itself. Parks board members are appointed by the mayor and members of the City-County Council. One candidate for private operation is the 50-acre World Sports Park, currently under construction. Five multi-use fields at 1313 South Post Road would host cricket and other international sports. Its $6 million price tag is the subject of controversy. Indiana is no stranger to privatization. Indy Parks’ golf courses are already privately operated, as is its Major Taylor Velodrome complex. Nashville, too, has sought private bids to help sponsor its public parks system. Partnership proposals must be in by Jan. 31, 2014.
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Indianapolis Gas Station Could Make Way for Mixed-Use Development

Some gas stations boast high-design and architectural bonafides, but usually they’re more significant for what comes in their wake. So it is for a closed gas station at Broad Ripple and College avenues in Indianapolis, along the city’s central canal. Browning Investments has plans [PDF] to turn the site into a $25 million mixed-use development, totaling up to 100 apartments and 32,500 square feet of retail space across five stories. The site currently contains a Shell station and a 40-unit apartment complex built in the 1930s. Browning is seeking TIF funds reportedly to help lure in Whole Foods as a retail tenant. UrbanIndy’s Curt Alles laid out some design concerns with the project, which drew “an uproar from residents and business owners” nearby when it was first publicized in April. Alles writes:

“Taken as a whole, residential density (over 50 units/acre) would see a vast increase with this development taking a step towards making Broad Ripple much more viable as a transit supportive village typology …  Sadly, another dominating structure solely dedicated to automobile parking will be some of the baggage this development will bring with it, but I suppose it is a trade off that Indianapolis will have to accept for the foreseeable future as robust rapid transit is not yet a reality.”

The project awaits a rezoning and variance hearing Aug. 15.
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Discovering Cities: An Update from Architects & Planners Biking Across the Country

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture Center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. As the P2P team gears up for its triumphant arrival in Manhattan on Sunday (June 30th) having completed the U.S. leg of the trip, Peter Murray looks back at some of the highlights of the last week’s riding. ] One of the delights of cycling across the States has been to experience cities whose names were familiar to me but whose contemporary characteristics and qualities were a void. I am ashamed to admit that when first researching our route through Pittsburgh my main ideas of the city were influenced by scenes of Pennsylvania’s shrinking steel industry from Michael Cimino’s 1978 film The Deerhunter. Instead, I found that Pittsburgh is "the regeneration capital of the U.S.," eds and meds have replaced steel and it has a fast-improving bicycle infrastructure. Much of the credit for this last piece of progress must go to the energy of Scott Bricker and Lou Fineberg who founded Bike Pittsburgh just over a decade ago. The city still has a long way to go but it has bike lanes and riverside trails and it is highly probable that the next Mayor will be the Democrat Bill Peduto, who is a strong supporter of better biking. Of buildings in the city, we much enjoyed H. H. Richardson’s powerful Allegheny Courthouse and Jail with its rough stone masonry and Romanesque detailing. Columbus, Ohio was another city I knew little about and often confused for Columbus, Indiana. We managed to find Peter Eisenman’s seminal decon Wexner Centre with its crashing grids, iconic plan, and instantly recognizable "chess piece" turrets. Passing Eisenman’s new convention center in the city, one gets the impression that he is more comfortable working at the smaller scale of the art gallery rather than the multiblock behemoth of the convention center. I left the ride for a few days to fulfill a speaking engagement in London and planned to rejoin the cyclists in Cincinnati and flew to Indianapolis confident that I could take the train to Cincinnati. However it turned out that they only run three times a week! The consequences of—to a European eye—the States' appalling underinvestment in rail transport can be seen in the striking Cincinnati Union Terminal. A giant juke box of a building designed by Alfred Fellheimer and completed in 1933. It has largely been taken over, perhaps appropriately, by an exhibition about dinosaurs, with one small side platform allocated to the trains. Zaha Hadid’s Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is (for her) a restrained building which sits happily in the city block, although internally rather too much has been squeezed into too small a space. Michael Graves’s Engineering Center over at the University of Cincinnati was very grand, and I was surprised to hear later that Bernard Tschumi had designed one of the sports building which I had passed by without realising it had such a pedigree. We cycled round the Over-the-Rhine district, scene of the 2001 riots and now an area of major regeneration which reminded us of similar areas in London like Shoreditch and Spitalfields. Indianapolis has also gone through major regeneration in recent years, it has a vibrant downtown area, new convention center and the massive Lucas Oil Stadium designed by HKS with a brick facade that dominates the city. The architects used bricks to relate to the historic core but there was little they could do about the size of the building. The piece of design that most attracted us as cyclists was the the landscaping and bicycle paths. These have been designed to reflect their relationship with the city rather than selected from the stabdard traffic engineer’s catalogue. I struggle in each of these cities with the number of car parking sites which leave huge gaps in the urban fabric and destroy any feeling of place. In Cincinnati this has been ameliorated by a program of murals on blank walls, but maybe as more people take to bicycles and demand for car parking space reductions they will be developed to form a coherent part of the city.