Late this summer, I was pleased to spend an afternoon with Spencer Campbell of 5280 Magazine, touring him around the city and looking at examples of new residential designs, discussing their positive or negative impact on the public realm.
His article is now out, and I am so pleased that 5280 Home is taking on the issue of design quality in Denver. To read the article, click here.
Next week, I am honored to be presenting a lecture at the Seminario Internacional Arquitectura y Humanismo being held at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in conjunction with the Premio Rafael Manzano Martos. I will be presenting the rationale and work of our new center, CARTA, and my thoughts on the role of place, particularly in the American West. An excerpt from the catalog accompanying the symposium follows the break below, the full text of which may be downloaded by clicking HERE.
Denver’s Larimer Square.
As America rebounds from the Great Recession of 2008, cities such as Denver, Seattle, and Portland are experiencing rapid growth, in both city-center infill projects and expanding suburban development. This building boom, driven as much by demand for new housing and commercial space as it is by capitalism, is unfortunately characterized by buildings that all too often lack durability, sustainability, and beauty. Many of the buildings being built, especially in historic neighborhoods, have nothing in common with their contexts.
ICAA Rocky Mountain Chapter President Don Ruggles, Irene Stillman, Leon Krier, Contemporary Traditional Architecture Initiatives director Christine Franck, ICAA Rocky Mountain Chapter secretary Tom Matthews on Leon Krier’s visit to Denver.
“We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure.” Henry David Thoreau[i]
At dawn I jogged up the granite steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Reaching the top and turning to face Civic Center Park and its dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, I succumbed to the awe any Easterner feels in the vast American West. Below me lay a graceful tableau of Beaux-Arts city planning painted in green grass and trees and white marble, purple mountains and Colorado-blue sky. It hardly seemed to contain the uncontainable space and energy of the West.
Figure 1 – My early morning view of Civic Center Park from the steps of the Colorado State Capitol.