Tag Archives: By Z. Mortice

Cistern Splashdown

Meyer + Silberberg Land Architects and Concreteworks collaborate on a high-wire ballet of swinging concrete and flowing water.

By Zach Mortice 

The finished and installed concrete cistern. Image courtesy of Concreteworks.
The finished and installed concrete cistern. Image courtesy of Concreteworks.

Hired to design the atrium courtyard of a San Francisco spec office building that features a canted glass roof that channels rainwater, David Meyer of Meyer + Silberberg Land Architects got a few simple instructions from the building’s architects at Pfau Long Architecture—the most interesting of which was to “do something with the water” that the roof would corral into a cascading stream, dripping into the atrium. Continue reading Cistern Splashdown

Biomimicry from the Ground Up

The Biomimicry Institute digs into soil quality.

By Zach Mortice

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The Living Filtration System. Illustration by Living Filtration System.

It’s the habitat that most determines the health of any ecosystem, but it’s largely invisible to the naked eye. The soil under your feet, if it’s healthy, is filled with all manner of micro-organisms, bacteria, and fungi that break down organic matter into fresh dirt loaded with nutrients, and nourish the plants growing there. Continue reading Biomimicry from the Ground Up

The City, By the Numbers

Nicholas de Monchaux’s book Local Code explains how the military-industrial complex ushered cities into the the age of technocratic data.

By Zach Mortice

An abandoned island is the Venice Lagoon. Local Code by Nicholas de Monchaux, published by Princeton Architectural Press 2016.
An abandoned island in the Venice lagoon. Local Code by Nicholas de Monchaux, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2016.

In his new book, Local Code: 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities, the University of California, Berkeley architecture and urban design professor Nicholas de Monchaux develops new tools for the mass customization of underused and vacant urban lots, highlighting the limits of inflexible systems thinking. Continue reading The City, By the Numbers

Cedar Rapids, Readier for this Flood

How Sasaki’s run-ins with Iowa floods helped Cedar Rapids weather the storms to come.

By Zach Mortice 

The 2008 flooding in eastern Iowa saw the Cedar River crest at 31 feet, inundating much of downtown Cedar Rapids. Image courtesy of Sasaki.

On the morning of Jun 12, 2008, the landscape architects Gina Ford, ASLA, and Jason Hellendrung, ASLA, of Sasaki woke up in their hotel rooms by the riverside in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to stifling heat and eerie silence. Continue reading Cedar Rapids, Readier for this Flood

A Beltline Champion Walks Away

Ryan Gravel believes the Beltline has shifted away from its grounding as a grassroots community movement.

By Zach Mortice

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The Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail. Photo courtesy of John Becker.

When the urban planner Ryan Gravel resigned from the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership board on September 26, the organization lost one of its most vocal and influential proponents, and in a way, its own creator. Continue reading A Beltline Champion Walks Away