Brownstones in New York City

3 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Living, Working, Building, New York City Reading Time:  11 minutes

Brownstones in Park Slope © Mikeruggy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brownstones in Park Slope © Mikeruggy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brownstone is a brown TriassicJurassic sandstone that was historically a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States and Canada to refer to a townhouse clad in this or any other aesthetically similar material. Brownstone, also known as freestone because it can be cut freely in any direction, was used by early Pennsylvanian Quakers to construct stone mills and mill houses. In central Pennsylvania, some 1700s-era structures survive, including a residence known as the Quaker Mill House.   read more…

Neom in Saudi Arabia

22 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Building Automation, Green Buildings, Green Technologies, Living, Working, Building, Sustainability Reading Time:  12 minutes

© neom.com

© neom.com

Neom is a city being built in Tabuk Province in northwestern Saudi Arabia. It is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and function as a tourist destination. The site is north of the Red Sea, east of Egypt across the Gulf of Aqaba, and south of Jordan. It is planned to cover a total area of 26,500 km² (10,200 sq mi), extending 170 kilometres along the coast of the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia aimed to complete major parts of the project by 2020, with an expansion completed in 2025, but it is behind schedule. The project has an estimated cost of $500 billion. On January 29, 2019, Saudi Arabia announced that it had set up a closed joint-stock company named Neom. The aim of this company, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, is to develop the economic zone of Neom. The project is planned to be totally powered by renewable energy sources.   read more…

Urban planning

20 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Environment, Building Automation, Green Buildings, Intelligent Buildings, Living, Working, Building, Sustainability Reading Time:  15 minutes

Plan of an ideal city of 100 000 inhabitants by Jean-Jacques Moll from 1801

Plan of an ideal city of 100 000 inhabitants by Jean-Jacques Moll from 1801

Urban planning, also known as town planning, city planning, regional planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility. Traditionally, urban planning followed a top-down approach in master planning the physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern was the public welfare, which included considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects of the master plans on the social and economic activities. Over time, urban planning has adopted a focus on the social and environmental bottom-lines that focus on planning as a tool to improve the health and well-being of people while maintaining sustainability standards. Sustainable development was added as one of the main goals of all planning endeavors in the late 20th century when the detrimental economic and the environmental impacts of the previous models of planning had become apparent. Similarly, in the early 21st century, Jane Jacob‘s writings on legal and political perspectives to emphasize the interests of residents, businesses and communities effectively influenced urban planners to take into broader consideration of resident experiences and needs while planning.   read more…

Tudor City in New York

30 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building, New York City Reading Time:  17 minutes

U.N. Secretariat Building and Dag Hammarskjoeld Library behind Prospect and Tudor Towers © April Anderson/cc-by-sa-4.0

U.N. Secretariat Building and Dag Hammarskjoeld Library behind Prospect and Tudor Towers
© April Anderson/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tudor City is an apartment complex located on the southern edge of Turtle Bay on the East Side of Manhattan in New York City, near Turtle Bay’s border with Murray Hill. It lies on a low cliff, which is east of Second Avenue between 40th and 43rd Streets and overlooks First Avenue. Construction commenced in 1926, making it the first residential skyscraper complex in the world. Tudor City was one of the first, largest, and most important examples of a planned middle-class residential community in New York City. It is named for its Tudor Revival architecture.   read more…

Brewer’s Star

25 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  7 minutes

Stammhauses der Riegeler Brauerei © Andreas Schwarzkopf/cc-by-sa-3.0

Stammhauses der Riegeler Brauerei © Andreas Schwarzkopf/cc-by-sa-3.0

The brewer’s star (also: beer star, beer pointer, brew star, in the Upper Palatinate also Bierzoigl and Zoiglstern) is a six-pointed star (hexagram) that is used as a guild sign for brewers and maltsters. The brewer’s star is also the symbol for the issuing office of the house drink of a brewery, which is therefore also called “star” or “stars”. The six-pointed Zoigl star, which is formed from two interlocking equilateral triangles, symbolizes the three elements involved in brewing, fire, water and air, and on the other hand the ingredients water, malt and hops that were common in the late Middle Ages. In the house book of the Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung from 1425, a brewer named Hertel is shown at a brew kettle with a brewer’s star. There are (so far) various hypotheses about the origin of the brewer’s star.   read more…

Abisko in Sweden

22 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  6 minutes

Abisko Östra © Helleborus

Abisko Östra © Helleborus

Abisko is a village in Sápmi (Lapland), in northern Sweden, roughly 250 km within the Arctic Circle, and near Abisko National Park, located 4 km west of the village. It has 130 inhabitants. Abisko is home to the Abisko Scientific Research Station, an important centre for research into Arctic ecology and climate change. The research station hosts the Climate Impacts Research Centre, Umeå University, where research, education and outreach on aquatic and terrestrial ecology are undertaken.   read more…

Distillery District in Toronto

1 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  12 minutes

© flickr.com - mark.watmough/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – mark.watmough/cc-by-2.0

The Distillery District is a commercial and residential district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located east of downtown, it contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than forty heritage buildings and ten streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America. The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988. The Toronto Christmas Market has been an annual outdoor tradition run within the Distillery District since 2010. The market includes “Santa’s house”, an Indigo pop-up shop, pet photos with Santa, a Ferris wheel and themed entertainment each day. There are food vendors and dining locations that are popular tourist attractions. The 2020 edition of the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. The event returned for its 2021 edition from November 19 to December 31 2021 under the new moniker “The Distillery Winter Village”.   read more…

Cotswolds in England

20 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Broadway row © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

Broadway row © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Cotswolds is an area in south-central, West Midlands and South West England comprising the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden-coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this stone; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.   read more…

Schnoor Quarter in Bremen

6 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Lucas Kaufmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Lucas Kaufmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

Schnoor is a neighbourhood in the medieval centre of the German city of Bremen, and the only part of it that has preserved a medieval character. The neighbourhood owes its name to old handicrafts associated with shipping. The alleys between the houses were often associated with occupations or objects: There was an area in which ropes and cables were produced (string = Schnoor) and a neighboring area, where wire cables and anchor chains were manufactured (wire = Wieren). Schnoor is also the name of the main street in this neighbourhood. Another street there is Marterburg.   read more…

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