Friday, October 29, 2010

Leon and Robert Krier visit Georgia and speak in Atlanta

On Tuesday October 26 it was my good fortune attend a lecture by Leon Krier and his brother Robert Krier. Pronounce "Krier" in 2 syllables, the first with a long "e" sound: kree'er. Leon Krier is considered by many to be the intellectual godfather of the New Urbanism movement in America. Leon made the case that resulted in Seaside and it's successors.

On Monday Robert and Leon lectured at SCAD and toured Savannah with Rodney Cook. Leon was called to Italy unexpectedly so Robert made the trip to Atlanta with Dhiru A. Thadani. Here is Rob signing one of his books.

The lecture was at the Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station? Have you seen it? You can't miss it if you been to IKEA. You can't see this view on a drive-by. The museum is on the lower level.

They moved the exhibits aside to improvise a lecture hall.

These are the details of an important space. Yet the rooms are comfortable and cozy.

Rodney Cook welcomed the crowd. He was still quite pumped: He'd just taken some of the world's foremost town planners to Savannah, America's first planned city. I wish we could have been there too.

Dhiru A. Thadani filled in for Leon.

Here is a tiny lesson in New Urbanism. Mix fancy public buildings, plainer private buildings, and humanely scaled piazzas.

Rober Krier himself.

We asked what he thought of Savannah. Can you guess the answer?

The Gate was full of architects. Here are Rick Hatch, David Person, and Frank Heery.

Architect Sandy Cooper (whose face is just under the stair rail) designed the Millennium Gate.

The chatting and the hor d'oeuvres continued after the lecture.

Special thanks to Anne Yauger and Victoria Woodruff for making me feel welcome.

Let me say this about the Millennium Gate: It's an odd duck that I like very much, not the least for the vision and exuberance that produced it. It takes me somewhere else. You should go.

Here is the view I didn't expect. There is a lawn and a lake on the west side, lower than the roadway. It's visually and aurally quiet. Looking west is a rare Atlanta "big sky" view framed by the roadway and condos. It was very pretty that night.


  1. Good urban architecture seems to always be hijacked by those intent on their own pocket or those intent on creating 'the great society', or worse, both.

    Love the view of Atlanta when I return from Douglasville, I-20, at nite.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. Looks like a great event Terry! We all bought into the new urbanist idea and became big fans of Andres Duany & Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk's work. A look into how Seaside and all those other communities are doing would be fascinating reading. Here is a link to their villages and towns.


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