Amazon is set to deliver two new towers to Pentagon City after getting zoning approval Saturday from the Arlington County Board.
The 2.1-million-square foot project will occupy 6.2 acres in Pentagon City’s Metropolitan Park. The development will replace vacant warehouses and parking lots.
The plans call for two 22-ystory towers along South Eads Street, as well as a new public park. Amazon is also contributing $20 million to the county’s affordable housing fund.
“This project is extraordinary in many respects,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said in a statement. “It will bring us significantly closer to fulfilling the community’s vision of Pentagon City as an urban neighborhood with a better balance of office, residential and retail development, more and better public spaces, and more and better access for pedestrians and cyclists.”
A lot of things happened in the summer and the fall of 2004. What sticks out most is the night in August I stood with three of my closest friends at the entrance of a new parking garage in downtown Silver Spring, yet to open, daring each other to go in.
The concrete was still clean and smooth as we strode up the big ramp, our voices bouncing around seven empty floors as we ascended. At the top of the garage, we walked out onto the sun setting over the then- brand new development called Downtown Silver Spring: a 20-screen movie theatre, a Whole Foods, a hotel, a brightly-colored tile plaza with a fountain.
It felt especially surreal for the 16-year-old me, having lived in little-D downtown Silver Spring, land of boarded-up buildings and empty storefronts, until 5th grade. Now there were signs saying “Silver SprUng” (as in, Silver Spring had “sprung”) and even a TV commercial.
Read more Source: After 15 years, Downtown Silver Spring is getting a big update – Greater Greater Washington
The force may be with Disney, but Universal’s empire is putting up a good fight in the theme park wars.
Comcast Corp.-owned Universal Parks & Resorts on Thursday fired the latest salvo in a decades-long battle to give entertainment giant Disney a run for its money, announcing a major expansion in Orlando that includes hotels, restaurants, shops and a new theme park called Universal’s Epic Universe.
“Our new park represents the single largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall,” Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said in a statement. “It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida.”
The news from Universal comes just weeks before larger rival Disney opens a giant new Star Wars-themed land at its Florida property.
Source: Universal challenges Disney with new Epic Universe theme park – The Washington Post
After an extensive restoration, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Ennis House in Southern California is on sale for $23 million. It may seem like a lot, but it’s nothing for a classic included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Built in 1924, the temple-like home rises on a 36,000-square-foot plot in Los Feliz, one of the prettiest neighborhoods of Los Angeles, full of beautiful ravines, hills, and forests.
Source: You can now buy one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic houses
“The doom and gloom merchants who said our great city would implode as we tried to stage the greatest show on earth have been proved wrong,” said Johnson. “And they will be proved wrong again as we use the catalyst of the games to attract investment into the wealth of opportunities arising in London now and in the coming years. Put simply there is no other place on the planet where investors will see greater returns.”
For London, how to deal with the new buildings and modifications made for the Games could be more complicated. Plans for the legacy of the Olympic Park (to be named Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) were recently unveiled by London mayor Boris Johnson, highlighting how exactly the city hopes to continue to use the park to the benefit of its citizens and not serve as a reminder of wasted resources. It’s a tricky thing to do, when something is so purpose built.
via London unveils plans for the future of the Olympic Park | SmartPlanet.
I am following much of the Summer Games in London but I am mostly impressed with some of the exciting and beautiful architecture that has been created to house the many sporting events and the Olympic Village housing the athletes.
Check out how architecture has set the tone for the drama and beauty that backdrops the human spirit and athleticism of this years Summer Games in London.
Ahead of the London 2012 Olympics opening on Friday, here’s a slideshow of images from photographer Edmund Sumner documenting architecture created for the games.
Sumner captured buildings including the Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid and Velodrome by Hopkins Architects plus infrastructure and the athletes’ village for two books published by Wiley: The Architecture of London 2012 by Tom Dyckhoff and Claire Barrett, and London 2012 Sustainable Design by Hattie Hartman.
See all our stories about Sumner’s photographs here.
via Edmund Sumner photographs London 2012 Olympic architecture.
To move toward an Architecture of Place, we must all advocate for our cities to take a Place-Centered approach to creating new buildings and public spaces.
When an opportunity to develop a site in your city comes up, what kind of approach do the people leading the process take? Do they treat the site as an independent piece of real estate, to be interpreted by architects and planners first before involving any of the local residents? Or do they reach out to people to find out what needs already exist in the area around that site, and then begin devising a plan with the community?
We call the former of these two a Design-Centered approach, and the latter a Place-Centered approach. One of our 11 Placemaking Principles is that it is critical to remember, in any project, that you are creating a place, not a design. While good design is important to creating great places, it is but one tool in your kit–not the driving force behind good Placemaking. When a community is involved from (or even before) the start of a design process, that process serves the site and the people who will use it, instead of serving the designers’ own interests. This creates places that are accessible, dynamic, and inclusive–the kind of places that are central to building strong neighborhoods and cities.
via Is Your City Design-Centered or Place-Centered? « Project for Public Spaces – Placemaking for Communities.
One of the illustrations of the 11th Street Bridge by Ed Estes, has received a lot of attention and is being blogged on several popular sites in Washington, DC. Ed’s conceptual designs and illustrations are part of the 11th Street Recreation Bridge Potential Study published by the DC Office of Planning.
I called it! Sort of. Back in 2009 when DDOT held a presser to start work on the 11th Street Bridge I wrote When I asked about the upstream span and the possibility of repurposing it, I was told that DDOT had not ruled that out yet. That would be a great idea. DC would save the cost of demolition and could put that towards maintenance – which would be less without car traffic. Then they could give it the High Line treatment, creating a space with plantings, art etc.. And cyclists could use that part too.
via TheWashCycle: 11th Street Recreation Bridge.