Each month, AN looks back at what our readers read the most from the paper. In March, those stories included a feature on planning in Houston, a look into New York City resiliency, and an interview with Santiago Calatrava. Check out all five top stories below.
Feature> Houston, We Have A Plan
America’s fourth largest city, long notorious for its lack of zoning, is on the cusp of adopting its first General Plan.
Houston is famously, or notoriously, known as the largest city in America without zoning. It covers roughly 630 square miles. To put that in perspective, Houston could accommodate within its limits Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Miami, and San Francisco combined. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of about 2.1 million with a metro area totaling 5.95 million. In the next 20 years, a million more residents are expected to call the Bayou City home.
Comment> Michael Sorkin
Two hundred and fifty things an architect should know.
1. The feel of cool marble under bare feet.
2. How to live in a small room with five strangers for six months.
3. With the same strangers in a lifeboat for one week.
4. The modulus of rupture.
5. The distance a shout carries in the city.
Editorial> It’s the Client, Stupid
Sam Lubell asks architects to widen their focus, not fight over style.
What do Aaron Betsky, Martin Pedersen, Steven Bingler, and Los Angeles developer Geoff Palmer have in common?
Betsky, Pedersen, and Bingler have recently been arguing in Architect magazine and the New York Times over (among other things) whether architects should dictate their own path or follow the less effete road of consumer demand. In my opinion both approaches are valid—one doesn’t trump the other—and there is plenty of room for both radical and client-centered architecture. But neither will be effective if architects remain shut out of too much work.
Rethinking the Waterfront
Brooklyn redefines the waterfront as a place for stormwater management.
Earlier this month Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams announced the release of Stormwater Infrastructure Design Guidelines, which have the potential to generate exemplary landscape design and benefit all of New York City. The Design Guidelines propose to integrate green infrastructure techniques with a 14-mile continuous corridor for bicycles and pedestrians along the Brooklyn waterfront. The new plan, titled The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway: An Agent for Green Infrastructure, Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency, illustrates how stormwater infrastructure would enhance the Greenway.
Q+A> Santiago Calatrava
The Spanish architect opens up about his work on the World Trade Center Transit Hub and a nearby Greek Orthodox Church.
With the World Trade Center site incrementally becoming more a part of Lower Manhattan, and the blades of the Transit Hub peaking interest from behind the fence, Santiago Calatrava sat down with former AN executive editor Alan G. Brake to discuss the civic role of his architecture, which he hopes will rank among New York’s great infrastructural works of the past. He is also completing the Greek Orthodox Church at the south side of the site, his first religious structure, which is scheduled to open for Easter 2017.