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Why Bikes are Good for Brevard County

Walkable Brevard

By Wigdan Al-Guneid, June 2, 2014

For the first 100 years following its invention in the early 19th century the bicycle was a very popular way for people of all ages to exercise, explore, and commute.  After the introduction of cars in the U.S., however, bikes took a back seat.  Cars gave people a different kind of power and freedom, and quickly turned bikes into an item used strictly for leisure or exercise.

bikes1

bikes2

Since that time American cities and lifestyles were changed forever. Suburbs spread out to sprawl endlessly away from their core downtowns. People started spending more and more time behind the wheel, more than ever! This turned out to be a bad idea for human beings as we are social and active creatures by nature. Suburban isolation turned obesity and depression into epidemics in this country as it decreased social interaction with our neighbors and increased car dependence…

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History of Cocoa Beach ,on the brink!

People measure history of a place with the amount of artifacts it has. Recently I have been following the heart breaking news on the demolition of The Prentice in Chicago, and followed by the controversy of demolishing the folk museum in NYC I could not help but to reflect and think of similar examples in history and around the globe. I could not think of any project that I know that was a replacement to a landmark and was better than it’s previous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA prentice_tower_01

I am not talking here about little cookie cutter houses or strip malls around suburbs. (I would actually prefer if they rip them off out of the ground and through them to the dogs!) However, am talking about projects that enhance the public realm, and encourage you to talk about them and become an essential memoire of the city’s history.

Here in Central Florida, the glass bank building had been at the center of a big discussion between demolishing a building that historically hosted stars Like Frank Senatra and Bob Dylan in lavish parties celebrating each time a missile went up with the famous space coast astronauts. It was big part of people’s memories.  It had a restaurant on the rooftop of the building with view to the Banana River. Unfortunately, the building lacked maintenance and with years of continuous weathering and hurricanes demolishing became a reality the owners had to face. To add more darkness to that, sadly, its owner committed suicide, at his penthouse in the building itself, after continuous failure to change the decision. He called it home since the eighties of last century.

GlassBank

The current Situation of the Glass Bank

The current Situation of the Glass Bank

Demolishing has more disadvantages than benefits. First, it is a valuable piece of the history of Cocoa Beach city. A city that is relatively new and thrives because of tourism!

Second, the scale of the building and its architectural setting is very different to anything else around it. Drive around the beach towns in Central Florida and see for yourself, see how unique this building is.The architectural style belongs to the Brutalist Architecture movement that grew in between the 1950s-1970s. This building was built during the 1960s, which is a perfect witness for the change of times. Construction was with Cast in place concrete, which means the builders created specific molds just for that building to let those curves gracefully stretch upwards.

This building is one of few buildings in Cocoa Beach that is mixed use. This is a great potential for renovation and rehabilitation of the whole area around it.Brave developers and the people who care about Cocoa Beach history and economy should stand up together to bring this building back to its old glory.  Designers and Architects in Central Florida, our community should start a competition to gather best ideas to renovate the building. There is so much can be done to create a truly Sustainable and green architecture out of that big structure, besides it could be a facilitator to a bigger projects in Cocoa beach and Central Florida.

History is what fuels the future, how do we want the future to be?!

P.S:

If you have a sketch, or drawing proposal that you would like to share on my blog please do so! Be in touch with me on my twitter @ WigdanGuneid or through the blog.Thanks!

https://www.cityofcocoabeach.com/citylife/Photos_Historical.html

 

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Atlantis Theme & Design…

What is that about hotels that we like so much?

Is it just the feeling that we are in a trip or that it is something about the design its self.

Hotels can be categorized into different types, some of them are geared more for business trips and conferences, some are for family entertainment and tourism, and some just simply to sleep-in for one night, and you notice that rooms are smaller and simpler.

However, some hotels are considered as destinations to go to, the Atlantis in the Caribbean is one of them.

This hotel, takes the essence of the Atlantis myth, the continent that sank thousands of Years ago, according to the old Greek methodology.

As you hop in the Atlantis, you sense the dramatic ambiance in the lobbies, entrances, and with the integration of landscape with the biggest aquarium in the world around the whole hotel.

This Themed architecture is blended very well with sophisticated materials, and elements of design, that brings richness to the overall environment and truly makes people’s experience enjoyable.

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Fast pass to Miami Architecture

MIAMI SKYLINE 2013

There is no question that Miami is the art-deco capital of the world.

You like this style of architecture or you hate it, this style is part of the architectural identity of city of Miami, and so, many new buildings are adapting to that style too.

Miami is a relatively new city. It flourished back in the early 20th century when  rich business men from up-north started to visit to escape the long dull winter season, those , including Al Capone, the famous Chicagoan mafia leader, bought properties and encouraged businesses to come to Miami.

The architectural style in Miami is more adventurous let’s say , you will find the art-deco dominating in the city center, and the more further you go out, it starts to be more modern , and of course some buildings have an old Spanish feel to them too due to the presence of a big latin american community out there.

 

 

 

 

Walking around in town at night is a wonderful experience,   the buildings are all dressed with colorful lights, and what looks cheesy and ordinary in the morning looks glamorous and fancy at night.

 

 

The city looks very different at night!

The city looks very different at night!

 

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