Bologna to get an upgrade

Hey... looks like my hometown is getting some good and much-needed press from the Financial Times...

Yet all the developers and planners need to do for inspiration is to look around them. Bologna’s most striking architectural feature is one that many visitors to the city may not even notice: approximately 40km of arcades that line the streets of the medieval heart of the city. One of their delightful benefits is to allow the Bolognese to walk through almost the entire old city without getting wet, snowed on or sunburnt. They make the passeggiata, the evening stroll beloved of Italians, possible in all weathers.

The challenge for today’s planners, developers and architects, Ms Gabellini says, will be to learn from that, “to value the existing architecture by inserting new buildings
into the middle of it. It will be like wearing a beautiful old brooch with a new jacket.”

Killing Time in Cambridge, MA

So I checked into my hotel in Cambridge, MA this afternoon around 4:00... I happen to be in town for a big client presentation tomorrow. The first thing I did when I checked in was to take care of my e-mail... you know how it piles up when you travel (although Delta now has wireless for a fee on some of their planes). E-mail was checked... changed out of my uncomfortable clothes... and then? Harvard was about a 2.5 mile walk and I just didn't have the time to make a 5 mile round trip. So, I decided to head to the MIT campus.

Why MIT? Granted... everyone I passed was smarter than me... book smart, anyway. Yeah... I was a fish out of water. BUT... I wanted to see some great architecture... some iconic architecture. MIT fits the bill with great works by architects like Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry. Personally, I wanted to see Saarinen's MIT chapel and Frank Gehry's Stata Center. Simmons Hall was also on my list but I opted against it when I realized it was time to head back.

So, here are three great buildings that I saw while walking on campus... if only I had my real camera with me. Part of me wants to walk back over to the MIT Chapel again and take a deeper look. As simple as it was, the building really impressed me.

Eero Saarinen's Kresge Auditorium (1955)

Eero Saarinen's MIT Chapel (1955)

Frank Gehry's Stata Center (2004)