Archive for May, 2012

Metropolis by Rob Carter Last Three Minutes

Posted by    |    May 12th, 2012 at 11:32 am

This is a very interesting use of animation to tell a story about a city.  We lifted this story summary in order to present it to you here and to think about how we could shoot something like this for Downtown Dallas.

“Metropolis is a quirky and very abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. It uses stop motion video animation to physically manipulate aerial still images of the city (both real and fictional), creating a landscape in constant motion. Starting around 1755 on a Native American trading path, the viewer is presented with the building of the first house in Charlotte. From there we see the town develop through the historic dismissal of the English, to the prosperity made by the discovery of gold and the subsequent roots of the building of the multitude of churches that the city is famous for. Now the landscape turns white with cotton, and the modern city is ‘born’, with a more detailed re-creation of the economic boom and surprising architectural transformation that has occurred in the past 20 years. (more…)

Belo Gardens: The Wall of Spite

Posted by    |    May 8th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

The  formal opening of the Belo Gardens is May 10th.  The park is coming together and there are many elements of this park to like.  There is an one element that is not so popular, and Urban Planner Patrick Kennedy wrote this article about the 12 foot high, 60 foot yard-long “wall of spite”, that was constructed to separate the gardens from the Metropolitan Building.  We wrote our own article about this very topic last year.

Kennedy is a good writer, so we lifted this paragraph from his article, “Urbanism is about agglomerating compatible projects so that the value of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Any two pieces have a relationship. Everything has its place. The closer the pieces, the stronger that relationship must be.”  Kennedy goes on to say that walls are antithetical to good urban design.  Based on our own observation of this particular wall, we have to agree with Kennedy.

Belo Garden’s sponsors’ hope is that “Belo Garden will inspire others to contribute to help bring the rest of the Downtown Parks Master Plan to life” and that the gardens will provide “an urban oasis for Downtown Dallas residents, employees, visitors and students, and will stimulate economic development by creating in-demand views for nearby buildings.”  We hope so, but we will think about what might have been if UCR and Jack Gosnell could have leased spaces on the Metropolitan Building’s first floor to restaurants that could have designed their space to maximize the park’s amenities.

We give Belo high marks for developing the park and low marks for constructing the wall.  For now, we look to a great leader and eloquent orator who many years ago, implored the Soviets to “tear down this wall!”.   Perhaps, even at this late date, it would be wise to reconsider a bad idea and an impediment to proper urban planning.