130 william: a new look at david adjaye’s first NYC project


the building's façade will be custom hand crafted maintaining new york's classic manhattan architecture through a contemporary interpretation of stonework, providing new york with a new phase of it's ever changing skyline.

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fuksas transforms marseilles’ industrial harbor with hotel and office complex


the project is aligned with the neighboring boulevard and seeks to enliven the district through a mix of architectural styles and functions.

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Soft Republick

Unilever’s famous Wall’s brand came together with I-AM and created Soft Republick to re-imagine soft serve ice cream for Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
 

British Ceramic Tile collaborate with Holiday Inn Express to regenerate self-service area

Dedicated to developing new and existing relationships with some of the UK’s biggest
names in hospitality, British Ceramic Tile has completed its latest project with national hotel
brand, Holiday Inn Express.
 

brydee rood creates a gigantic windsock sculpture to explore the issue of plastic pollution


titled 'may the winds not carry us out to sea', the installation is created by collaging reused sections of assorted single-use plastic trash bags.

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Vulnerability Anywhere Means Vulnerability Everywhere

The view looking west along the Eisenhower Expressway, in Chicago. (Photo by dori)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an excerpt from “The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City,” by Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper, now available from Beacon Press.

At any time of day, on any day of the year, you can see cars zooming down Chicago’s Eisenhower Expressway. The bulk of drivers head to downtown jobs in the morning, rushing to desks with coffee in hand. In the evening, they drive out into the sunset, a pink and orange sky that appears for twenty or so fleeting minutes, a temporary horizon equally accessible to all. Those drivers head back to subdivisions and cul-de-sac homes, communities that might have made President Eisenhower smile. Going the opposite way, city dwellers head out to suburban jobs in the morning. They make the reverse commute at night, many of them heading back to friends, partners, and kids of their own.

Each day the expressway is filled with cautious motorists and careless lane switchers focused on the views directly in front of them. Windshields discipline their gaze and frame their focus. Through their radios, the world speaks many tongues: Talk shows and soft rock. R&B and throwback hip-hop. Classical music and country. Each car its own listening booth en route to its destination. While each vehicle makes its own journey, the larger patterns are clear—a predictable flow of traffic, rising to intense peaks on weekday mornings and evenings. The flow bridges downtown Chicago, the region’s western suburbs, and the half-dozen neighborhoods that stand in between. Drivers within this traffic all share the same asphalt trade line. For the length of their commute, they are bound by the same lanes, speed limit, and rules of the road. But each and every day, they enter and exit diverging worlds, where the rules differ wildly.

Every few off-ramps, a new world begins. Depending on where you get off, the housing stock changes: from the high-rise condos at the heart of the city, to brick homes near Little Italy, to West Side greystones, to the charming mini-mansions of inner-ring suburbs, and, finally, the sprawling newer construction deep in suburbia. Employment levels vary dramatically. Chicago, where race and geography are commonly linked, has one of the largest racial employment gaps in the county. The employment rate for whites is about 73 percent among twenty- to twenty-four-year-olds, compared to 47 percent for blacks. Across these differing landscapes, violence plagues some communities, while others are affected much less directly. Incarceration rates also vary dramatically, with some neighborhoods having the highest levels of imprisonment in the world while others are far below the global average.

The Eisenhower Expressway begins in the city’s center. Downtown Chicago is home to skyscrapers, theaters, hidden restaurants, and universities. It is also home to city hall’s fifth floor, where Chicago’s mayors have chosen, with surprisingly few exceptions, to pour their greatest resources into a vibrant central business district and a robust police force. These mayors, like the city councils they’ve controlled, have labored under the delusion that a rising downtown might lift all boats and that anyone left behind could simply be policed. Meanwhile, the undercurrents of violence and addiction have never ceased, drowning thousands and thousands of Chicagoans each year with waves that constantly pound on much of the city’s West and South Sides. These same mayors have struggled to keep reporters at bay when these waves are detected by national media outlets, when outbreaks in shootings confirm, yet again, the limits of their theories on how to make a city great.

Head away from the city and you’ll reach the Morgan Street exit, where you’ll find the University of Illinois at Chicago, a large state school just west of downtown. The campus, composed of concrete buildings, is organized around a large riot-proof tower, built in an era in which fear of racial unrest was translated into defensive architectural design. Erected roughly a decade after the expressway was opened, the tower hovers quietly, looking over the daily traffic, a reminder of a time when vast racial inequality was not so well disguised. The remnants of Greek Town and Little Italy are near the campus, each with its own ethnic restaurants and small stores, carry-overs from a time before the university and the expressway displaced tens of thousands of white immigrant families.

Drive farther away from downtown and you will pass through the Near West Side, North and South Lawndale, East and West Garfield Park. If you exit at Central Avenue, you will be in Austin, the most western part of Chicago’s West Side. Austin is the focus of our story. Like much of the West Side, Austin’s economic bottom started to fall out after World War II, with the onslaught of deindustrialization. Once a mecca for the production of products as diverse as candy and telephones, boarded-up factories are now strewn across its major thoroughfares.

While billions in tax subsidies have gone into the development of Chicago’s downtown from the 1980s through the present, the West Side economy was heavily neglected. Businesses still line Austin’s commercial corridors, but shoppers are fewer and farther between, and prices must be kept low enough to stay relevant in a neighborhood where living-wage jobs are all but an urban legend. Disposable income is rare. Often, unbudgeted purchases cannot be afforded, without risking the rent, diapers, or groceries. The parks are gorgeous and abundant, but the programs and sports leagues that should fill them up are too few. Meanwhile, prisons have been used to obscure the deeper needs of the neighborhood: the need for jobs, more stable housing, well-resourced schools, and a higher quality of life. Though it has failed to uproot violence or drug sales, the criminal justice system has been the dominant approach to neighborhood governance since the 1980s.

Riding westward, the next exit leads to Oak Park, the first suburb past Chicago’s western city limit and a common congestion point for traffic. The census reads very differently here, as does the institutional landscape and the approach to governance. Oak Park is a land of great schools and vibrant businesses. On lunch breaks, evenings, weekends, or anytime in their retirement, Oak Parkers can choose from a wealth of bars, ice cream shops, and restaurants. Many of them have the income available to do so regularly, a benefit accumulated from years of great-paying jobs, from family wealth passed down the generational bloodline, from investment strategies now paying dividends, or from a little bit of all three. Here, double-income households are the norm. The median household income of $80,196 is more than double that of neighboring Austin’s $33,800. An inner-ring suburb, Oak Park is full of unique character and historic buildings. It is home to many biracial families and was once voted one of the “sexiest suburbs in America.” Its buildings are deemed beautiful, and lovers of architecture pass through regularly to see the prairie houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a Midwestern point of pride. Here, imprisonment is a rare occurrence, with the criminal justice playing a relatively minor role in community life.

The impacts of racism on these diverging landscapes is often hard to perceive. From the expressway, drivers cannot see the legislative histories, tax codes, and public-spending patterns that shape the terrain. There are no road signs explaining that redlining prevented banks from investing in West Side neighborhoods in the 1960s and ’70s, using artificial geographical lines to refuse loans to people because of their race and class. Nor are there markers of the inverse strategy that targeted households in these areas for subprime loans in the 2000s. Drivers cannot see the white flight that persisted throughout the closing decades of the twentieth century, the ways that fear of black neighbors helped to drive the fast sales of homes and real estate agents exploited the atmosphere for personal profit. They cannot see how the residents in some communities are much more likely to be punished, to be removed from their homes, taken away from families and neighbors for years at a time.

These historical forces are not detectable when traveling at fifty or sixty miles an hour, but their influence is extraordinary, shaping the odds of success and stability, one generation after the next. As these forces make clear, racism is not marked merely by Confederate flags and monuments. It goes far beyond individual hate or bigotry, far beyond even the violence that hateful individuals may commit. Racism is also structural. It shapes places themselves, the very environments in which life unfolds. Without a willingness to look deeply, to cross boundaries of social comfort and convenience, you will miss these shaping effects. To see structural racism, it is not enough to stay behind your windshield, to peer only into your social media feed and immediate surroundings. You won’t see how antiblack attitudes act upon institutions, upon budgets and laws, and then ultimately upon entire communities. You won’t pierce the myth of punishment, the false idea that everyone is equally likely to be held accountable for their actions. You won’t see the ways certain segments of society have been kept vulnerable, one of the rare constants in the more than sixty years since the Eisenhower Expressway opened. All of that will remain hidden in plain sight. And because of this blind spot, you will also miss how the vulnerability of some endangers us all.

 

Nature, craft and modern design meet at this coastal Costa Rican hotel

A new, boutique hotel in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, blends modern design, traditional craftsmanship, and the natural environment.
 

Catalyzing Kalamazoo

Staff at the newly opened Family Health Center in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood discuss a patient’s care. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

Sponsored content from Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Sponsored content policy

To step into the new Family Health Center in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood is to experience what community health care should look like — for everyone.

Calming, light-filled waiting areas adjoin state-of-the-art exam rooms; dental chairs pivot to give patients a view of sky and trees beyond enormous plate glass windows. Social workers meet with each person who comes through the door to assess what factors, from unemployment to family dynamics, may be affecting their physical and emotional wellbeing. Mental health, physical therapy and a pharmacy, all onsite, mean people don’t have to shuttle across the city for services.

But the 50,000-square-foot facility, which opened last year on a former brownfield, represents even more than high-quality, free and accessible health care for a community with a poverty rate upwards of 58 percent, and a high incidence of chronic disease like diabetes and obesity.

“Before we opened, there were only three full-time dentists for an area population of 62,000,” said Eileen Chiang, the center’s energetic CFO. “This building sends a message to everyone who walks through the door: ‘Your health matters. You matter.’”

Before the Family Health Center opened last year in Edison, there were only three full-time dentists serving some 62,000 low-income residents in the area. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

The one-stop clearinghouse for medical, dental and mental health care is one of an array of investments — large and small scale — that have begun reenergizing Edison and bringing opportunities back to this eastside Kalamazoo neighborhood of 8,500 people that was once one of the most economically robust in the state. LISC has been investing in the Edison for more than 15 years, helping stoke economic mobility and community cohesion, and revitalizing buildings and blocks that declined over decades of deindustrialization.

The work is paying off, says Chuck Vliek, LISC Michigan’s longtime director, because “all of our activity spurs other development. That’s a big part of our case.” To date, LISC has injected some $19 million, leveraging more than $68 million for projects ranging from resident-led home repair and a farmer’s market to attractive affordable housing to cutting-edge facilities at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC). LISC’s contribution to the health care center alone included $8.5 million in tax credits. Interest in all these improvements has attracted another $193 million in public and private development.

Together with the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, LISC invested to build the Marketplace housing development, which transformed a former brownfield in Edison and created attractive, quality homes for residents there. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

The projects LISC supports have in turn, created jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, prepared residents to fill quality jobs, and foster a climate of social connection and economic dynamism all at the same time. Their success has so impressed the City of Kalamazoo that earlier this year it designated $10 million for LISC to expand and deepen its inclusive economic development projects.

The federally-qualified health center, for one, has already employed some 140 workers, many of them native to Kalamazoo and trained through local medical programs. About a mile up Portage Street, Edison’s main artery, a gleaming new culinary and health education campus at the community college houses the country’s premier brewing school and offers degree and certification programs for everything from emergency medical technology to restaurant management to respiratory care.

A class in organic farming at the new Center for Food Sustainability and Innovation campus at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

Nearby sits the equally stunning new Center for Food Sustainability and Innovation, which readies people for careers in sustainable food production. Both facilities, erected with LISC support, train Kalamazoo students for living-wage jobs in industries in serious need of skilled employees.

Before all this activity got underway, it had been a long time since the residents here saw any sign that they and their community mattered. Beginning in the late 19th century, Edison was a bustling nexus of Victorian homes and thriving businesses whose fortunes rose with those of the paper mills and pharmaceutical factories that flanked the neighborhood. But by the 1980s, most of the mills had shuttered, leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs. Edison’s middle class largely moved away, and those who remained had few prospects for work. Neighborhood stability fractured, crime became commonplace, and the PCBs that once poured from the paper mills seethed in brownfields that ringed the neighborhood.

In fact, all the players rooting for Edison say that essential to transforming the neighborhood is healing the land beneath it. “When the paper mills left, they took the jobs and left the poison behind,” said Gerry Hoffman, who moved to Edison as a child and still owns the turreted Queen Anne house his parents bought in the 1960s when his dad worked for the Upjohn pharmaceutical company. (In addition to being a paper-producing titan, Kalamazoo was the birthplace of the first dissolvable pill, and was also known as the Celery Capital, for the vegetable it produced in such great abundance.)

In order to break ground on the health center and the new community college buildings, millions of dollars went into removing toxins from the ground and the Portage River that runs through Edison. It’s an ongoing process, and part of building the Kalamazoo Valley River Trail that will eventually link the northern and southern halves of Kalamazoo. The trail will create a green circuit for walking, biking and playing.

Gerry Hoffman in front of the Queen Anne home his parents bought in the early 1960s, when jobs in Kalamazoo's then-robust economy were plentiful. Hoffman has volunteered with the Edison Neighborhood Association since its inception. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

As has also happened in scores of Midwestern neighborhoods that have lived through deindustrialization, a small group of residents — some born and bred in Kalamazoo, like Hoffman, and some more recent transplants — refused to give up on their home, a place with such deep history and potential.

In the 1990s, an ad hoc group of organizers formed the Edison Neighborhood Association, hoping to get their community back on track. “You couldn’t get any more grassroots than we were,” said Tammy Taylor, an Edison resident who has served as director of the association since 2001. Taylor and one half-time associate function as a full-on social service clearinghouse for residents looking for everything from food assistance to job training to the loan of a lawn mower or circular saw from the tool library. “We’re still trying to do a lot with a little,” Taylor said, after a lengthy phone call with a homeowner she connected to a subsidized roof repair program. Advice and financial support from LISC she added, has helped keep the association going.

For Taylor, a program she helps promote called Building Blocks is an example of the quiet but profound effect of neighborhood transformation that takes place street by street, and that is every bit as important as grander, more recognizable projects like the health center. Through Building Blocks, groups of residents on the same block receive small grants they can use to fund much-needed home and garden upgrades. The program, now in its twenty-third year, requires neighbors to decide communally how to allot the money, and to do the work together, too.

Toneesha Herrera found new purpose and connections in her neighborhood as a volunteer leader for Edison's Building Blocks program. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

Toneesha Herrera has lived in Edison for much of her life, and raised two children on Eggleston Street, where she owns a home. Several years ago, she volunteered to organize a Building Blocks project on her street. “Most of us are struggling financially in some kind of way,” said Herrera. “When I learned about Building Blocks, I was like ‘Oh my God, I can get a window!’” she recalled. “In the winter, most of us with leaky windows cover them with plastic and put up heavier curtains. But then your home is dark.”

Herrera got her window, and other neighbors got roof and porch repairs, fixed fences or added topsoil and landscaping to scraggly front yards. But just as impressive as the physical improvements were the social ties that formed and an emerging sense of ownership. Herrera met her best friend, a woman her daughter now calls “Aunt Amy.”

“People have pride in the neighborhood now,” said Herrera. “They’re not so afraid to come out of their house and say ‘hello.’” Herrera, in fact, was so moved by the program that she now leads Building Blocks in other areas of the neighborhood.

Assembling a scooter at Fido Motors and Cafe, part of a complex of repurposed industrial buildings in Edison that also house an auto mechanic, a welder, an electrician and the Kal-Tone Musical Instrument Co. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

The progress Edison has made, and continues to make, is the cumulative effect of many efforts and interventions over the long haul, says Mary Balkema, Kalamazoo County treasurer and president of the board of directors for the Kalamazoo County Land Bank.

“Community development is hard,” Balkema said. “It’s technical, it’s involved. You have to have fire in the belly to stick with it.”

That’s what partners like LISC bring to the endeavor, she said, explaining, “The role of an intermediary is to be the first money in, and then the private market will follow. We’re finally seeing that, but it’s taken 10 years.”

The revival of Washington Square, a prominent corridor in the heart of Edison, is still another example of what Balkema calls the “invest in it and they will come” model. In just two years, the neighborhood association, LISC, the county land bank and others effectively reclaimed a sagging strip that comprised a porn shop, a liquor store and boarded up commercial spaces.

By purchasing and refurbishing buildings, making façade improvements and bringing better lighting and signage to the area, the partnership has attracted six new small businesses to the square and created an inviting public gathering space. Washington Square is now the site of a semi-regular “art hop” that brings residents and vendors out to the street for music, food and a key component of community-building: fun.

A young Edisonite enjoys the streetlife during a recent Art Hop along the newly refurbished Washington Square corridor. (Photo by Fran Dwight)

“Now,” said Balkema, “when people see Washington Square or the new health campus at KVCC or the new clinic they think, ‘what else can we do?’” They may also think, and understand, that Edison, and its residents, truly matter.

   

MINOR lab transforms a beijing residence into a permeable office and exhibition space


the architects have adopted a light and flexible approach, retaining memories of the site and keeping the dynamics of the city and the street while refining the main structure.

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