Mind your planners

This week's Creative Loafing has a small feature on Urban Charrette. Urban Charrette was founded by AIA Tampa Bay Associate Director Adam Fritz and Taryn Sabia. According to Fritz, the goal of the group is to "serve as a conduit between the public and the Planning Commission." Be sure to check out their upcoming series of urban design forums "Tampa: Small, Medium, and Large." The first forum will focus on small scale issues and is scheduled for Saturday, September 8th. It will feature the following speakers/topics:

Taryn Sabia, AAIA, NCI: Walkability: Creating Opportunities

Vikas Mehta, PhD: Designing the Street

Grant Rimbey, CNU and Ralph Bosek: Temple Terrace Redevelopment

Marc J. Yacht, MD, MPH: Health Promotion Essential to Urban Design

Click here for more information about the forums.

Congratulations to Adam and Taryn on the publicity!


vacancies in Tampa boards

Looks like there are a few prime vacancies in the city of Tampa boards. All vacancies are volunteer and with no pay, but they are great opportunities to shape the future of Tampa. Every act of architecture is political. And every change comes one building or one approval at a time. Some of the vacancies include;
Architectural Review Commision, Variance Review Board, Historic Preservation and Hillsborough Planning Commision.
For more info...


the cigar factory debate continues

Article in St Pete Times describing the development of the Oliva Cigar Factory.
Originally the factory was planned to be an artist enclave. For some reason the owners later decided to sell. This did not sit well with the artists. and they are making their voice heard.
Other than the artist enclave, a hotel is a good answer for this building.
However, the City of Tampa is increasingly making it more and more difficult for developers to invest in infill properties. Another Barrio meeting, another council meeting, this takes time and money, no wonder developers choose to invest money in the outer regions of Tampa Bay. And why are we one of the most decentralized cities in the nation?
There are so many empty buildings in Ybor, becuase the city no longer wants bars, but offers no incentives to invest for offices, restuarants, hotels, or other uses.


Reality Check

There will be a presentation and briefing from the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Reality Check Tampa Bay to discuss the finding from the May 18th visioning exercise. Remember the event with the legos? Examples of the post-event reports and examples of the "lego tables
can be found here. Some really good ideas and some ...well... ideas.
It seems as though every group wanted the same things, mixed use communities, preserve natural resources and better transportation corridors. The true reality check is actually getting it done without ruining the vision through politics. Didn't we vote 6 years ago for the high-speed rail? Wasn't the Tampa Orlando corridor supposed to be completed by now?
The presentation will also include information on future events and workshops.
The cost is only $25 for non-members and is at 7:30 on August 29th at the Maestro's inside the Tampa Preforming Arts.
This is a great way for architects to shape the future of Tampa Bay rather than question why the city is so dysfunctional. Hope to see you there.


The Future of Architecture?

I just watched the Gregg Pasquarelli (from SHoP Architects) lecture from the Harvard podcasts link below during my lunch break. I highly recommend that everyone check it out. He of course talks about some of their terrific projects, but more interesting to me was his discussion of the future of the profession. He discusses the typical relationship of architect + contractor + developer and the harm that it has done to the profession in marginalizing the architect. He posits a new way for the profession which returns the architect to a position of power. They have now started having ownership or equity positions in about 6-7 of their projects which has allowed them more design freedom. Finally he discusses near the end of the lecture about how they have received an investment of $200 million from Wall Street to pursue their new pattern for the profession. He also throws in a bit of AIA bashing for good measure.

Check it out and post some comments below. How is BIM going to effect the future of the profession? Also, obviously we can't all get $200M investments, but how can we gain equity in our projects? Are their other ways to return the architect to a power position in the building industry?


MacDill media park

Interesting article in the Tampa Business Journal. A group of "creative" thinkers are banding together to come up with ideas to transform MacDill park in downtown. Macdill Park is just South of Kennedy and north of Whiting, on the Hillsborough River. The parcel is known as Section 12 of the riverwalk. Unfortunately, the Biz journal requires a subscription to view the article, but here's the link with a quick abstract. The full article was published on another blog found here.
The idea for the park is similar to Bryant Park in NYC with infrastructure for multi-media events.
They have set up a website for the park "redesign." http://www.designtampa.com/
It looks as though it is something that e-tba could help them out on. I'll try to contact them.



Sketch-up training is coming to Tampa on 08.29 and 08.30.
Training is at TechSherpa's in Ybor.
$300 for a 3 hour class, seems completely reasonable. Try to get this one expensed!


What does it mean to be green?

GREEN. The catch phrase of the year
Will the TMA be green?
What is GREEN?


More Architecture Podcasts

Harvard's Graduate School of Design has a library of video podcasts of their lecture series. They will also stream their lectures from this year's series. The lectures available include Rem Koolhaas (pictured), Jeff Kipnis, Ben Van Berkel, and David Adjaye, among many others.


Architectural League NY: Young Architects 2007

This year's Architectural League NY Young Architects include PARA (whose Times Square Recruiting Center project is pictured to the left), Productora, UNI, and Ludens.

The Architectural League has posted podcasts from each of the honorees. Also, in the 2006 Young Architects section, you can also check out an interview of Craig Borum and Karl Daubmann of PLY Architecture, the keynote speakers at this year's EP Conference.

There are also podcasts of lectures by such luminaries as Renzo Piano and Bob Stern. Also, if you're interested in sustainability, be sure not to miss the "Architecture and the Environment" podcast from Bill McKibben, the author of the landmark book "The End of Nature".

photo competition

AIA Tampa Bay is pleased to announce its photo competition open to the general public*. Entries will be judged by a panel of professional photographers and artists from the local area. The top fifteen entries will be printed in the 2008 AIA Tampa Bay calendar and exhibited at the 2007 Archifest Dinner Gala at Raymond James Stadium, October 6th. For more info go here


2007 AIAFLA Emerging Professionals Conference

You should have received your "save the date" cards in the mail by now. I got mine in the mail yesterday. You can see some preliminary information about the conference on the AIA Florida website. This year's conference will be held in Sarasota on October 26-27. Mark your calendars now and make sure that you don't miss keynote speakers Craig Borum and Karl Daubmann from PLY Architecture

Be sure to check out the Emerging Professionals Design Problem brief while you're there. The projects will be juried by the aforementioned keynote speakers. This year's design problem focuses on the development of a prototypical light rail system for the Sarasota region.

TMA Approval Featured in ArchRecord

The approval of our very own Tampa Museum of Art is featured in the news section of this month's Architectural Record.

And, if you haven't seen all of the renderings yet, you can check them out here.

What do you think about the design so far??? Is is fantastic? Is it lackluster?


here we go!

finally e-tba blog site has begun.