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TED Talk: Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia

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2 Responses to TED Talk: Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia

  1. Tony P July 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Here is another thing to think about. It took uncovering the rivers in Providence before we got:

    a) The original Westin tower
    b) The Providence Place Mall
    c) The Convention Center
    d) The Courtyard Hotel
    e) The Gtech Building
    f) The 17 and 19 story ugly towers
    g) The BC/BS RI HQ

    I don’t think any of that would have been built if not for the uncovering of those rivers.

  2. Peter Brassard July 8, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    If f) the 17 and 19 story towers are “ugly” then it follows that d) the Courtyard Hotel is a “phony simulation pretending to be an authentic old building.” It has no street entrance and its first floor is a garage. Its proportions don’t even come close to the elegance of the original Union Station buildings it so desperately tries to copy by mimicking materials of buildings produced roughly a century earlier. To anyone familiar with architecture, modern or historic, the Courtyard is embarrassing. It’s a fake.

    One style may appeal to one person and another style to someone else. Either make an unqualified neutral list or equally criticize or comment on all that you list.

    The point of the video is that a degraded environment can be transformed through good urban design and planning strategies. As in most urban development all buildings are not equal in period, quality, design, or style, which are all ingredients to create an authentic urban place.

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