February 15, 2012

Our post on the NYC highline project last year completely changed the way we thought about the potential of neglected spaces in dense urban cities. We started to see potential everywhere – in laneways, abandoned buidings, walls and rooftops, but never underground! Subterranean spaces, being void of natural light and generally disconnected from the world above, were less exciting prospects for design. That is, until now…

The latest proposed project out of NYC has ambitious (and fantastic) plans to create its next urban garden in a discarded subway station, making use of the latest in fibre-optic technology to flood the space with natural sunlight during the day and light up at night. Over two acres of concrete nothingness will be converted into a futuristic playpark complete with living grass, plants and trees. The move opens up a whole range of possibilities for local re-development, and projects like Tonkin Zulhaika Greer’s conversion of the Paddington …

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JOHN COOTE (1949 – 2012)

February 1, 2012

I would like to take a moment to pay my greatest respects to John Coote who recently passed away.

John was a wonderful designer, an inspiring mentor, and a dear friend.

We met by chance 13 years ago and our connection was immediate and lasting.

When I was 22, John took me to Europe on his version of the “Grand Tour”. On that trip he gave me my greatest education as a designer. He put the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in context for me – the history, the culture, the politics, the art, the architecture, the design – and how it all came together.

At the end of the trip he told me not to wait another moment, that I was ready to begin my private practice. And on his advice, I did.

Over the years, John & I travelled together and rendez-vous’d in various parts of the world, and on all our trips …

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