Found over at Digital Urban.
Here, there, everywhere. We have to call it something, don't we? Who's got an idea? Let's call it Toponymy.
Project for Public Spaces does a lot of great work. They identify the best practices of some of the most inspiring civic spaces in the world. That doesn't mean they're right 100% of the time.
After reading "Toward an Architecture Of Place" on Planetizen I might have been led to believe that Vienna's relatively new contempary arts museum (officially Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, MUMOK) was a brutal scar on the streetscape. However, I have the benefit of experience, and I can honestly stay that the structure is actually a superb piece of the Museumsquartier.
What PPS misses in this article is that the MUMOK is a piece of a much larger district called the Museums Quartier (MQ). This very large collection of institutions is located in central Vienna near the palaces of old Austrian Emporers. The semi-enclosed space creates a vibrant, art-focused crowd. While it is something of a tourist magnet it is hardly devoid of street-life. The monolithic structure of MUMOK stands in contrast to the rigidly fenestrated streets and the exterior buildings of the Museums Quartier.
My experience in Vienna hardly led me to the conclusion that any building failed to "add to people’s experience of the ground floor." A plethora of street-level attractions already exists on the pedestrian scale. In the context of the Museums Quartier, MUMOK stands as a hyper modern interpretation of exhibition space and a dark compliment to the Leopold Museum. While I can't speak to the other two cases of unfriendly architecture that the article cites, I do believe it's important to consider how a building fits into its surroundings before condemning it.