Monday, January 2, 2017
critical regionalism criticism
On a street in a town anywhere in New England it's perfectly appropriate to propose a new building made of brick and wood. This effort, by a famous design firm in Cambridge, continues a streetscape tradition in a way that respects local context without being historicist. Scale, use, and geometry are consistent with the vernacular. The primary goal of walkable street level retail is an open facade and good signage. Achieving these goals has now been codified in the planning guidelines of many towns.
The planning and construction of one building, however, does not make a town. Architecture rarely creates prosperity, but rather reacts to it. Regional decline overwhelms the most sincere design efforts.