I was walking home late tonight, passing through Archibold-Glover Park, a car sped by me, all lights and noise. In the silence after it had passed by, I briefly heard the trickle of Foundry Branch. It reminded me of Ёжик. Then the moment too passed.
The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces is the single most important book for creating non-monumental public spaces. The reason it’s so great is not just that it’s always right, but that it’s all about behavior and process and not so much about architecture, so it lets you expand on its rules, rather than just being some nuts-and-bolts guidebook.
So how awesome is it that Tropolism found this video of William Whyte going through the areas of the book. With the film you get to see a little more of the behaviors that don’t come across on the page and you get to see the time-lapse film that Whyte used to make rigorous studies of the Seagram building. After you’ve seen this, you’ll see social spaces in totally different ways.
One topic I want to talk about more, but don’t have a good enough grasp of, is offsite prefabrication for construction. That is, building parts of buildings into larger assemblies in controlled factory environments and bringing the assemblies out to sites. It’s been saving money, reducing mistakes, and making life easier for workers in other industries for a few years now, and it’s coming into the building world slowly, primarily through structure and building system contractors.
Anyway, I can’t give you the details, but watch this video, where some people with New York and Boston accents explain how they and KlingStubbins made prefabrication work for Autodesk’s new Trapelo Road office in Waltham, MA. Via (BIM)x.
Charlie Rose is one of the few people on TV who actually gives any attention to architecture. At the same time, he’s still a dilettante, so it’s interesting to see him gush over buildings while she cooly discharges years of wisdom. There’s some good chatter about Gehry and Mies, and why they’re much better than even their fans think.
Watch Mr. Samuel T. West, local legend and gentleman scoundrel, skewer the concept of a PR videoblog by talking about nothing for 7 minutes.
You might also want to check out his film productions at Cocaine in Motion, particularly their Sand Moon movie (not really funny). They also have some amazing parables on Youtube. They feature the Methodist Cemetery and Fort Reno in a number of flicks.