Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 8, 2007 at 1:19am

A Model Building Design for Tacoma?

Tacoma is full of urban critics, including myself.  People have railed against proposed blank walls on "main streets," walls blocking pedestrian access, and blightful parking garages hampering our streetscape.

Occasionally, it is nice to point out a good example of urban design. Yet, we can't always look to Portland.

Below is the 2008 recipients of one of the most distinguished awards in the field of architecture, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize by Duany and Plater-Zyberk, founders of the Congress for New Urbanism.

Pretty nice.  I am envious.   Although the original buildings on Pacific Avenue are as attractive and functional IMO.

A continous retail front, mixed use with living above.  A median in the street for traffic calming.  Hard to believe this is new construction.  Here is a model mixed use center where not every other lot needs to be a surface level parking lot.

The Driehaus Prize is awarded annually to a living architect or firm whose work embodies the principles of traditional and classical architecture and urbanism in contemporary society, and creates a positive, long-lasting cultural, environmental and artistic impact. It honors, promotes and encourages architectural excellence that applies the principles of traditional, classical and sustainable architecture and urbanism in contemporary society and environments.

With new urbanist collaborators and members of their firm, Duany and Plater-Zyberk have completed designs for almost 300 new towns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects. They are also responsible for innovative work -- including educational models, influential planning tools such as the rural-to-urban Transect and advances in the field of form-based coding – that have helped reestablish urbanism as a viable model for city and town planning.

Established in 2003, the Driehaus Prize is funded by Richard H. Driehaus and awarded by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Previous recipients include: Jaquelin T. Robertson (2007), Allan Greenberg (2006), Quinlan Terry (2005), Demetri Porphyrios (2004) and Leon Krier (2003).

In first reporting news of the award in the Chicago Tribune, the newspaper’s architecture critic Blair Kamin wrote that Plater-Zyberk and Duany “are among the nation's leading critics of suburban sprawl, arguing that car-dominated settlement patterns have victimized everyone from commuters stuck in traffic to inner-city residents who lack access to jobs and services that have spread to the suburban fringe.”

“Beginning with Seaside, which opened in the early 1980s, they have revived traditional town planning principles, bringing back street grids, front porches, town squares and other elements of pedestrian-friendly town planning that suburban planners had largely abandoned in favor of subdivisions and cul-de-sacs.” DPZ has also worked extensively on planning downtowns such as Providence, RI, West Palm Beach, FL and Baton Rouge, LA and on urban infill projects.

Duany and Plater-Zyberk will receive the Driehaus Prize, which includes a $200,000 award, on March 29th in Chicago.

DPZ's Riverside development in the Buckhead area of Atlanta is surrounded by suburban office parks and uses diverse building types to blend office, residential, and retail uses on the same streets, at densities (72 units per acre) many times greater than those of adjacent developments (72 units per acre for residential). Image courtesy of DPZ.

comments [3]  |  posted under congress for new urbanism, washington


by NineInchNachos on 12/8/2007 @ 10:16am
no video?

by Erik on 12/8/2007 @ 10:54am
no video?

I suppose I could superimpose some graphical people walking by for an "artist rendition."

by Erik on 12/8/2007 @ 10:55am
no video?

I have posted two videos on another entry today for your viewing pleasure.