After landing at the dock and walking through the parklike serenity of this walled island, you finally catch a view of the cinema, a pavilion with the same oval rondeur, says the artist, as the great Fenice Theater. Though it functions as a theater showing documentary films and holds an audience of 35 to 40 on its stepped rows of square seats, the pavilion retains a special intimacy and scale that make viewers feel they are entering an architectural model itself. On the outside, Putrih assembled a seemingly random (though actually precise) criss-cross installation of rusted trusswork bolted into place.
As part of his recently released plan for New York by the year 2030, entitled PLANYC: A Greener, Greater New York, Mayor Michael Blooomberg is actively promoting a scheme for congestion pricing in the busiest parts of Manhattan. Modeled on programs in Singapore, London, and Stockholm, the system is intended to curb vehicular traffic (and raise money for public transportation) by imposing charges ($8 for cars and $21 for trucks) to enter the borough below 96th Street. The proposal has the support of virtually every bien-pensant urbanist in town, although it has met some resistance, particularly from the outer boroughs
Spaces of free access The contraction of the public realm, however, extends beyond these Orwellian developments. Public space is produced from the private: In democracy, the commons is always a compact about what is to be shared, what reserved; about where we choose to interact with the other. There’s been a lot of criticism from certain academic quarters about traditional notions of public space, about overidentifying the idea with streets, squares, parks, and other historic settings for face-to-face interactions. This critique is predicated both on the idea that these spaces fail to acknowledge the existence of multiple publics and that
“The development of an official style must be avoided. Design must flow from the architectural profession to the Government, and not vice versa.” The words are those of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. They’re part of his famous "Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture" (1962), which helped inspire a revolution in government architecture. The revolution was the Design Excellence program in the General Services Administration (GSA—sorry, it’s hard to write about government without bogging in multisyllables). From 1994 to 2005, under the GSA’s chief architect, Ed Feiner, the program tried to choose the best architects in the country for the design of courthouses
Pink Floyd was playing on the loudspeaker of the ferry transporting us over the Rio Napo into the 2,700-square-mile Yasuni National Park in the Amazon basin in Ecuador’s El Oriente region. We had missed the previous ferry after making hours of slow progress over rutted roads through a largely denuded countryside, then had to kill an hour in a shoreside scene of extreme informality—hot sun, muddy, littered paths along the river, lazing dogs, scattered houses, a little shop, and a dirt parking lot for waiting vehicles. The scene on the other side, however, was more like Guantanamo. From the dock,
The roadways slashing through the rain forest instigate both extraction and attraction, becoming the medium for still larger territorial reorganization. As roads are built, forest is cleared to make way for three rows of agricultural plots, each 820 by 6,562 feet, creating a space 7.5 miles wide and, in aggregate, hundreds of miles long, a vast linear settlement occupied by colonos from elsewhere in the country—well over a quarter million have poured into Oriente since the discovery of oil. Much of this is pasture land: rain-forest soils are a poor basis for conventional agriculture, and clearing the jungle dooms the