If you take the New York subway to the Bronx end of the No. 4 train line, make sure you turn and look west before descending from the elevated platform. From that vantage point, against the urban backdrop, you will see an oval-shaped swath of manicured turf with small sculpted hills, shallow valleys, and perfectly outlined patches of sand. This enigmatic landscape looks like burial mounds created by an ancient civilization or land art worthy of Robert Smithson.
It’s no surprise that, when New York chose to build a garage for 150 garbage trucks in an upscale residential neighborhood, the community rebelled. But the 425,000-square-foot facility now standing just north of TriBeCa, beside expensive condo buildings, is sheathed in fritted glass and aluminum louvers that pixilate its long facades.
Modesty is rare amongst global architectural practices, yet Dutch firm Mecanoo is an exception. With major projects under way from New York to Taiwan, Mecanoo has recently completed a surprisingly understated railway station and municipal offices in its hometown of Delft that also helps repair a torn urban fabric.
The old football field may be long gone, but Mrs. Clark Thompson’s temperance-era rite was oddly prophetic. More than a century later, on the footprint of its grandstands, Ohio Field has been reincarnated as a new chilled-water facility.
To create the iconic curving forms of the cruise-ship terminal in Porto, Portugal, architect Luís Pedro Silva began working from the project’s territorial context rather than simply seeking a display of formal prowess.
The Whitworth Gallery, in England’s booming second city, Manchester, is a cultural institution that took a walk in the park back in 1889—it was the first English art museum to adopt a parkland rather than urban setting.