• How variety within limits makes great places

    The most-loved places are comprised of buildings with an endless variety of details within a limited range of architecture, giving distinct and recognizable character.
    The most-loved places around the world vary enormously. At first glance, there seems to be no common thread, because it is the uniqueness of each of these places that makes them notable. Further observation, however, yields at least one common thread: each of them exhibits great variety within a...Read more
  • A dead mall becomes a downtown for a sprawling suburb

    Although Lakewood, Colorado, is the fifth largest city in the state, until the last decade the city had no true downtown. Instead, the Denver suburb boasted one of the country’s largest indoor shopping malls, built in the 1960s—but by 2000, that mall was largely vacant. That mall has been converted...Read more
  • The missing middle response to urban housing demand

    The mismatch between current US housing stock and shifting demographics, combined with the growing demand for walkable urban living, has been poignantly defined by recent research and publications by the likes of Christopher Nelson and Chris Leinberger and the Urban Land Institute’s publication,...Read more
  • The architect’s new clothes

    Avant-gardist catch phrases ring hollow. Designers can move beyond rhetorical red herrings to create good places for people.
    Architecture that learns from earlier styles is sometimes criticized by modernists as “nostalgic.” This label and other catch phrases get in the way of developing architecture that responds to the real needs of our time. For example, New Urbanists have designed neighborhoods laid out like the old...Read more