Archinect - News 2016-10-26T00:18:51-04:00 It's the infrastructure, stupid: benefits of using adaptable strategies to revamp the U.S. Julia Ingalls 2016-10-25T13:39:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T13:39:19-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="365" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>LIke everything else in the 21st century, infrastructure is no longer about big moves but rather about nuance, refinement,&nbsp;and creative strategy. This is the argument advocated by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Hill</a>, which makes the case that all infrastructure projects should be resilient and made to serve multiple functions. As the article notes:&nbsp;</p><p>"In the wake of Hurricane Sandy there were calls for a flood wall around lower Manhattan. But the path the city, state and federal government took was far better &ndash; instead of just building a wall, they are creating a system of parks which will provide the same protection, provide additional greenspace for the city, and improve community cohesion by giving people public space to meet and socialize. Instead of gray infrastructure, the city will have a brand new park."</p><p>For more on infrastructure:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michael Maltzan Envisions the Future of LA's Infrastructure</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Norman Foster reimagines global infrastructure strategies in new essay</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will Brexit kill &pound;405B worth of infrastructure ...</a></li></ul> Airbnb helps the homeless while getting involved with L.A.'s City Council Julia Ingalls 2016-10-25T13:27:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T13:29:15-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>After being criticized for helping to displace renters by inadvertently motivating landlords to turn long-term rentals into short-term hotel-like quarters, Airbnb is getting political and donating $100,000 to Los Angeles' Proposition HHH, which would require city officials to raise tax dollars to build 10,000 units of homeless housing. According to an article in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">L.A. Times:</a></p><p>"The contribution&nbsp;comes as a proposed ordinance&nbsp;to regulate short-term rentals is working its way to the&nbsp;<a title="Los Angeles City Council" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">City Council</a>. The measure, approved in June by the Los Angeles Planning Commission, would limit short-term&nbsp;rentals to 180 days per year,&nbsp;exclude&nbsp;rent-controlled units and impose a tax on rentals.</p><p>Airbnb welcomes&nbsp;being regulated&nbsp;but is not endorsing all the terms of&nbsp;the proposal as is, said spokesman Christopher Nully."&nbsp;</p><p>Airbnb in the news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airbnb adds a Frank Lloyd Wright home, the Cooke House</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airbnb turns to urban planning as it looks towards the future of home-sharing</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airbnb offers landlords a cut of the profi...</a></li></ul> Third runway at Heathrow gets the go-ahead Ellen Hancock 2016-10-25T12:30:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T12:30:43-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="365" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Ministers approved the long-awaited decision at a cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling called the decision "truly momentous" and said expansion would improve the UK's connections with the rest of the world and support trade and jobs. Although Heathrow has always been the favourite among businesses, it has attracted the most opposition from MPs with constituencies near the airport or under flight paths.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The expansion which had been publicly opposed by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Tory MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith and Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson has been widely debated for years.</p><p>Funded with private sector cash the new runway will cost &pound;17.6 billion but provide 260,000 more flights with an estimated boost of &pound;147 billion to the economy over 60 years. However, construction is unlikely to begin until 2020 at the earliest.&nbsp;</p><p>Read more about Heathrow and UK aviation projects here:&nbsp;</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will Brexit kill &pound;405B worth of infrastructure projects?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Expansion of London City Airport granted planning permission</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Grimshaw chosen to design Heathrow's new terminal</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">After Brexit, &ldquo;the priority for the government at this time will not be big sexy projects&rdquo;</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Benoy Announced in Heathrow Shortlist for Terminal of the Future Expansion</a></li></ul> The (potential) Impact of Building Energy Codes Nam Henderson 2016-10-25T00:07:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T00:07:03-04:00 <img src="" width="635" height="413" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In terms of financial benefits to consumers from reduced utility bills, energy codes could save $126 billion dollars from 2010 to 2040. This equates to a CO2 reduction of 841 million metric tons (MMT). These savings are approximately equal to the greenhouse gases emitted by 177 million passenger vehicles driven for one year or the CO2 emissions from 245 coal power plants for one year.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) evaluates impacts of model energy codes in residential and commercial buildings. The most recent assessment focuses on the current model codes and their prospective national and state-level impacts from 2010 through 2040.</p> A vast urban pathology Nam Henderson 2016-10-23T22:52:00-04:00 >2016-10-23T22:53:01-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="975" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>But it is traffic that has sealed Dhaka&rsquo;s reputation among academics and development specialists as the great symbol of 21st-century urban dysfunction, the world&rsquo;s most broken city. It has made Dhaka a surreal place, a town that is both frenetic and paralyzed, and has altered the rhythms of daily life for its 17.5 million-plus residents.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Jody Rosen writes about Dhaka's legendary traffic congestion.</p><p>For more check out; more incredible photos by&nbsp;<a title="Nicolas Chorier" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nicolas Chorier</a>&nbsp;and get&nbsp;LIVE: Traffic updates for Dhaka city via <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Daily Star</a>. Or read about how the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UNDP-designed Bus Finder Feature</a>&nbsp;and Transport Pioneers program&nbsp;is trying to solve the problem.</p> British construction criticised for lack of innovation by government report Ellen Hancock 2016-10-20T11:47:00-04:00 >2016-10-25T23:34:12-04:00 <img src="" width="642" height="428" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The review highlights the sector&rsquo;s dysfunctional training model, its lack of innovation and collaboration, and its non-existent research and development culture. Low productivity continues to hamper the sector, while recent high levels of cost inflation, driven by a shortage of workers, has stalled numerous housing schemes as they have become too expensive to build.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Read more UK industry news here:&nbsp;</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mayor of London launches probe into the impact of foreign investment in city's real estate</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Engineering giant Arup announces imminent layoffs following Brexit vote</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The former-football stars tackling England's affordable housing shortage</a></li></ul> Javier Senosiain's low-income "bio-architecture" housing proposal Julia Ingalls 2016-10-18T14:26:00-04:00 >2016-10-24T22:25:45-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="330" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Forming a closer, more harmonious bond between humanity and nature is the underlying goal of Javier Senosiain's organic or so-called "bio-architecture." His buildings often take the shape of organic forms--in one case, mythic serpent Quetzalcoatl--while simultaneously harvesting rainwater and providing natural shade and ventilation, among other attributes. The Mexican architect and professor at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UNAM</a> has a retrospective exhibition at The Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City displaying his buildings, including a proposed low-income housing complex which breaks away from the cram'em'in monolithic housing milleu and instead creates a walkable, livable village. Check out this <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">CCTV-America</a> video profiling Senosiain and his work:</p> Can Cleveland combat climate change with compact communities? Julia Ingalls 2016-10-18T12:54:00-04:00 >2016-10-18T12:54:49-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="397" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Although Cleveland often serves more as a punchline than a solution (the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969 due to pollution), a climate change conference convened by the United Nations and currently being held in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Quito</a>, Ecuador sees new potential in the city. As <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">StreetsBlog</a> reports, if Cleveland can transform its current suburbia into denser neighborhoods, the metropolis could serve as a model for numerous water and climate-challenged cities in how to adapt to the demands of an increasingly populated globe. As a paper entitled "Where to put the next billion people" states:</p><p>"Cleveland could play a significant role in the fight against climate change by developing a strategy for more compact communities and with a more open and encouraging immigration policy, the report concludes.</p><p>The influx of immigrants should probably be planned better.</p><p>Cleveland&rsquo;s outer suburbs and nearby rural towns hold the key. If the suburbs can figure out strategies to retrofit themselves as dense, walkable com...</p> Perkins + Will proposes 80-story timber skyscraper in Chicago Julia Ingalls 2016-10-13T13:56:00-04:00 >2016-10-17T09:37:23-04:00 <img src="" width="620" height="521" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>As part of its ongoing Riverline community project, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Perkins + Will</a> has proposed an entirely conceptual 80-story, 300 unit residential skyscraper made from timber called the River Beech Tower.&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Announced 145 years after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this proposed tower would feature a massive central atrium and an aluminum veneer over the exposed diagonal lattice timber beams. While engineers say it is structurally possible, Perkins + Will is currently trying to figure out just how much it would cost to build.&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>The River Beech Tower distinguishes itself by being one of the tallest wooden structures currently proposed; for a round-up of other tall wooden structures, take a look at these recent news stories:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Future sustainable skyscrapers will be made of...wood?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rise of the wooden skyscrapers: "Where all you need is a giant allen key to put it together."</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Two wooden towers to rise in Bordeaux</a></li></ul> The absorbing design of China's anti-flood "sponge cities" Julia Ingalls 2016-10-11T13:08:00-04:00 >2016-10-13T23:55:31-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="486" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Is flood mitigation the new frontier in urban planning?&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China</a>, whose urban centers have regularly been experiencing infrastructure-shuttering floods, is actively encouraging its metropolises to start reshaping themselves to handle the new reality via the so-called "sponge city" program. As an article in<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">&nbsp;The Guardian</a> notes:</p><p><em>The sponge city programme takes inspiration from low impact development in the US, water sensitive urban design in Australia and sustainable drainage systems in the UK.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>But nothing at this scale has ever been attempted before. &ldquo;The sponge city programme is more comprehensive and ambitious,&rdquo; says WenMei Ha, head of the China water management team at Arcadis, an international urban consultancy which was appointed to this plan by the government.</em></p><p>For more on flood mitigation and the entities trying to rise above it:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Come rain or shine: reviving collective urban form with the GSD's Office for Urbanization</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Designing around sea-level rise in New York</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">At home in a changing cli...</a></li></ul> The Rainforest Solutions Project wins the 2016 Fuller Challenge Award Justine Testado 2016-10-06T20:11:00-04:00 >2016-10-10T23:03:40-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="435" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC, and formed the Rainforest Solutions Project as part of the Tides Canada Initiative. The coalition has spent nearly two decades developing a sophisticated legal and policy framework called Ecosystem-Based Management to tackle the persisting struggle over Canada's treasured Great Bear Rainforest, while also negotiating the conflicting interests of multiple groups.</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Winning over six equally worthy finalist teams, the Rainforest Solutions Project addresses both natural and cultural preservation, and it enforces stronger ecological responsibility in industrial economic pursuits. The Project resulted in a landmark 250-year agreement between all stakeholders &mdash;&nbsp;government, First Nations, environmentalists, and logging companies &mdash;&nbsp;to conserve and sustainably manage the 15 million-acre Great Bear Rainforest.</p><p>&ldquo;Selecting the Rainforest Solutions Project...comes at a critical point in the evolution of the Challenge itself, as design is being recognized as an integral part of business and society,&rdquo; the Fuller Challenge Review Committee wrote in a statement.</p><p>Learn more about it <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">on Bustler</a>.</p><p>Previously:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2016 Fuller Challenge finalists announced</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2016 Fuller Challenge announces 19 semi-finalist initiatives</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">GreenWave's 3D ocean farm initiative wins the 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge</a></p> Steven Holl's Visual Arts Building opens Oct. 7th at University of Iowa Julia Ingalls 2016-10-06T19:34:00-04:00 >2016-10-10T23:09:37-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>On Friday October 7th, Steven Holl and&nbsp;Senior Partner Chris McVoy will be on hand to officially open the firm's Visual Arts Building for the University of Iowa, which in addition to being the only building in the United States that uses an integrated hydronic radiant heating and cooling system in combination with a cast-in-place "bubble deck" (thereby eliminating the need to cool or heat air mechanically), is simply gorgeous.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>In a signature Steven Holl move, the interior is illuminated by&nbsp;seven vertical cutouts that are defined by the slide and jostle of the four floors against one another. This shifting dynamic creates opportunities for a series of balconies and informal working spaces.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Check out our conversation with Steven Holl from earlier this week:</p><p></p><p>For the latest on Steven Holl:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"A Dance for Architecture": A conversation with Steven Holl</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Steven Holl designs "concave response" lighting for new visual arts building</a></li></ul> "Our architecture works harder than your architecture": Inside the city of Arcosanti Julia Ingalls 2016-10-06T13:03:00-04:00 >2016-10-15T09:14:30-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="430" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Can cities be built not only to be harmonious with their environment, but to outperform traditional architecture? The residents of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Arcosanti, Arizona</a>, which is profiled in this video excerpt from the Atlantic,&nbsp;seem to think so. Part campus, part permanent dwelling, Arcosanti embraces the concept of "arcology," or the blending of ecology and architecture, to create a holistic, tightly engineered mini-metropolis:</p><p><br><em>The City of the Future</em></p> American firms aren't doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint, according to new report Nicholas Korody 2016-10-05T13:38:00-04:00 >2016-10-10T00:31:24-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>&ldquo;We are simply not making significant strides in crucial metrics that predict building performance,&rdquo; states Greg Mella, FAIA, Director of Sustainable Design at SmithGroupJJR and co-chair of the AIA 2030 Working Group, in a new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">report</a> that gauges the progress made by firms voluntarily committing to reduce the carbon emissions produced by their buildings. &ldquo;These findings should serve as a wake-up call to architects that there needs to be greater urgency to drive improved energy efficiency across their project portfolios if we are going to reach our ultimate carbon reduction goals.&rdquo;</p><p>While a total of 152 firms submitted data, amounting to a 9% increase from 2014, the reports aren&rsquo;t terribly impressive. A scant 4% of the total gross square feet (GSF) represented met the target of reducing carbon emissions by 70%. And just 10% of total GSF met the previous target&mdash;a 60% carbon reduction&mdash;representing a decrease of 4% since the last report. That being said, 614 design projects met the 60% tar...</p> LED streetlights may contribute to 'serious health conditions' says AMA, prompting cities to re-evaluate Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-09-26T13:16:00-04:00 >2016-10-04T12:03:49-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="494" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>high-intensity LED streetlights ... emit unseen blue light that can disturb sleep rhythms and possibly increase the risk of serious health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. [...] Some [researchers] noted that exposure to the blue-rich LED outdoor lights might decrease people&rsquo;s secretion of the hormone melatonin. Secreted at night, melatonin helps balance the reproductive, thyroid and adrenal hormones and regulates the body&rsquo;s circadian rhythm of sleeping and waking.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While the American Medical Association cautions cities to re-evaluate their use of high-intensity LED lights for health reasons, others have pointed out that most televisions and computers also emit the blue light wavelength found to be potentially harmful. Aside from human health concerns, LEDs are also "a major contributor" to anthropogenic light pollution in the night sky.</p><p>Related on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a title="This atlas shows how much light pollution has infiltrated night skies worldwide" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">This atlas shows how much light pollution has infiltrated night skies worldwide</a></li><li><a title="Not-So-Bright Lights, Big City" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Not-So-Bright Lights, Big City</a></li><li><a title="LEDs to be installed in the Sistine Chapel" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LEDs to be installed in the Sistine Chapel</a></li><li><a title="Scientists Develop Technique to Improve Flexible, Conductive, Transparent Glass" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Scientists Develop Technique to Improve Flexible, Conductive, Transparent Glass</a></li></ul> aka *Old people afraid of the sky in big cities, featuring white streets and roofs and fast cheap trees Nam Henderson 2016-09-22T14:20:00-04:00 >2016-09-22T14:20:48-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="274" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>How many lives could be spared, the researchers then asked, if the city planted more trees and grass, replaced dark asphalt and concrete with light-colored and reflective roofs and pavement, and cut back on the excess heat seeping out of buildings and the tailpipes of cars and buses?</p></em><br /><br /><p>Madeline Ostrander visited&nbsp;Louisville Kentucky, to learn how one city is trying to&nbsp;cool it. With&nbsp;an increase in urban deforestation, extreme heat waves and global climate change, the urban heat-island effect is now a concern for politicians and non-profits. Not just researchers and&nbsp;scientists.</p><p>* h/t @<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bruce Sterling</a></p> Norman Foster reimagines global infrastructure strategies in new essay Julia Ingalls 2016-09-22T13:36:00-04:00 >2016-09-26T23:32:26-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="364" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Back in May, Foster + Partners unveiled their design for the Droneport, a modular shell-like structure that is constructed with local labor from earthen bricks and thin compressed tiles to create loading areas for food and medical-aid bearing transport drones. A version of the Droneport was built at this year's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Venice Biennale</a> (which is open until November 27th).&nbsp;Now, in the freshly unveiled <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">thematic supplement to the&nbsp;</a><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2015 Annual Statistical Report on United Nations Procurement,</a> Norman Foster has written an essay which builds upon the idea of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Buckminster Fuller</a>'s "trim tab" to help foster enormous change in Africa and other countries with relatively small, if holistically conceived, gestures such as the Droneport.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Norman writes: "There is a moral imperative to provide more globally available energy while seeking to conserve its consumption. The answer to this apparent paradox is to adopt&nbsp;a holistic approach to the design of sustainable communities in which the infrastructure and indi...</p> Introducing Bjarke Ingels' floating student housing, "Urban Rigger" Julia Ingalls 2016-09-22T12:48:00-04:00 >2016-10-17T17:04:23-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="443" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Bjarke Ingels has found the elusive silver lining in global sea level rise and the European affordable housing crisis in the form of "Urban Rigger," a series of inexpensive student housing complexes that are designed to float in the sea, especially in those cities which have dense urban cores next to the waterfront. The idea here is to provide students with affordable digs that are close to class while simultaneously making the most out of changing climate conditions and post-industrial port repurposing. The first complete Urban Rigger has already been assembled in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Copenhagen</a>.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>According to an article in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">FastCompany</a>, "Each unit, which can house 12 students at once, is composed of modular shipping containers. These modules are powered by a photovoltaic array and use a heat-exchange system that draws upon the thermal mass of water to warm and cool the interiors. Meanwhile, an aerogel developed by NASA insulates the interiors."</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>For the latest on Bjarke Ingels:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Play "Arkinoid" arcade on BIG...</a></li></ul> Turn the lights off on the way out: Iñaki Ábalos's keynote at Day 2 of the GSD's Heliomorphism conference Anthony Morey 2016-09-19T19:31:00-04:00 >2016-09-22T22:56:12-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="487" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Day one of Heliomorphism</a>, the inaugural conference convened by the new research arm of the Harvard Graduate School of Design&rsquo;s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Office for Urbanization</a>,&nbsp;ended with Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects finally breaking through the jargon and superficiality of the topic at hand. The theme of the environment, solar performance along with sustainability were all absorbed and raised to the echelon of where they should exist; as already built in qualities of any project, not a topic or excuse for architectural exuberance. Thom Mayne&rsquo;s ability to recognize and exploit this only provided further proof of the scale, method, and nature of his work as worthy of his recognition and role as a leader in the discipline.</p><p>Sadly, during the second and final day of the conference we found ourselves again forcibly located at the epicenter of Ivy League semantic blurring and Copernican alignments. Day one seemed to have fallen into the shadows of the tone and wording at hand. The day was kicked off with a s...</p> This man is building an entire village from recycled plastic bottles Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-09-16T14:37:00-04:00 >2016-09-19T00:16:49-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>"Humanity went through stone age, went through ice age, and today, going through plastic age. We need to find solution,&rdquo; explains Robert Bezeau, the man intent on amending the global reach of plastic waste by building houses out of it. A transplant to Panama from Montreal, he has started building an entire village from discarded plastic bottles, placing them inside metal cages, and then stacking them into a simple house structure.</p><p>A recent scientific study estimates that currently, there are over 150 million tons of plastic waste in our oceans, and by 2050, that amount could outnumber fish. In places like Bocas del Toro, where Bezeau is building his plastic village, a rapid influx of new residents produced waste at a rate the city couldn't handle, resulting in an overflow of plastic garbage.</p><p>To cope with the issue, Bezea began gathering plastic bottles from locals and using them as building insulation. Check out <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>The</em> <em>Atlantic</em></a>'s&nbsp;video below for his story.</p><p></p><p>Bezea isn't the only one buildin...</p> The architecture of Cuba's revolutionary (and endangered) National Art Schools Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-09-13T17:43:00-04:00 >2016-09-13T18:39:52-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Designed by three architects, one Cuban and two Italian, the new schools were constructed in flamboyant, sinuous forms deliberately reflecting the local landscape. Built in brick and terracotta as a pragmatic response to the US embargo of imported steel, ... these were a confident repudiation of Western-style International Modernism. But of the five original schools in the complex, only two were completed, as the deepening relationship with the USSR prompted disdain for such exotic forms</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unfinished Spaces premieres tomorrow night on PBS; Archinect talks to the filmmaker</a></li><li><a title="How Havana tries to come out of its crumbling shell without betraying Cuba's revolutionary roots" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How Havana tries to come out of its crumbling shell without betraying Cuba's revolutionary roots</a></li><li><a title="Selling Cuba (Gehry's already there)" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Selling Cuba (Gehry's already there)</a></li><li><a title="The promises and problems of a Cuban architecture market" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The promises and problems of a Cuban architecture market</a></li><li><a title="Ricardo Porro, Cuban National Art School Architect, Dies at 89" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ricardo Porro, Cuban National Art School Architect, Dies at 89</a></li></ul> ZGF Architects tops 2016's Architect 50 "top firms of the year" Julia Ingalls 2016-09-08T12:35:00-04:00 >2016-09-14T00:44:15-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Beating out <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">SOM</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture</a>, the Portland-based firm ZGF Architects has taken the number one spot in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architect Magazine's annual ranking</a> of the fifty best architectural firms. The ranking, which evaluates firms using the criteria of Business, Sustainability, and Design, listed&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">William Rawn Associates</a> as achieving the highest score in business, while&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Marlon Blackwell Architects</a> nabbed the highest design ranking.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>ZGF, which had the highest sustainability score, is known chiefly for its healthcare and hospitality buildings, including the&nbsp;Federal Center South Building 1202, which won the&nbsp;AIA COTE 2015 Top Ten Plus Award. Since its founding, the firm has added five additional offices in the U.S. and Canada, all of which follow a design philosophy that "is centered on the premise that design excellence should be reflected in each and every aspect of a building&mdash;its fit with the community, its function and relationship to its users, its building systems, and i...</p> University of Miami School of Architecture helps to create a new Smart City in the Yucatan Peninsula Joachim Perez 2016-09-02T16:07:00-04:00 >2016-09-05T00:21:02-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="426" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The project, which is being designed by UM SoA&rsquo;s Responsive Architecture and Design Lab (RAD-UM Lab), will be built next to the Yucat&aacute;n Science and Technology Park (YSTP), established by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. RAD-UM Lab specializes in technology-based designing and the &ldquo;internet of things,&rdquo; everyday objects that can collect data and connect to modern tech.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The University of Miami School of Architecture continues to experiment in the realm of responsive architecture, this time at an urban scale. &nbsp;Zenciti is a proposed "smart city" to be located in the Yucatan Peninsula where the gathering of data will play a prominent role. Information technology will be embedded into the inner workings and infrastructure of the project allowing for potential opportunities to monitor urban issues such as traffic patterns, transportation, pollution levels, and energy consumption. &nbsp;Smart City models are curently in use in Europe with examples such as Amsterdam and Barcelona. &nbsp;Zenciti has the potential to be one the first examples in Latin America. &nbsp;</p><p>This initative is a collaboration between the University of Miami's School of Architecture, Center for Computational Science, and College of Engineering, as well as the&nbsp;Yucatan State Government&rsquo;s Information Technologies Innovation Cente. &nbsp;The UMSoA has aggressively been expanding research into responsive arch...</p> Diller Scofidio + Renfro win $1.3 billion 'Pearl Eco-Island' competition in the South China Sea Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-09-02T13:28:00-04:00 >2016-09-06T09:05:25-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="555" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The South Sea Pearl Eco-Island development is funded by HNA Group and will include houses, hotels, a cruise ship port, yacht harbour, spa and theme park. [...] The jury said the &ldquo;singular and clear&rdquo; design would &ldquo;create a beautiful, iconic form rising naturally out the landscape, recalling the volcanic caldera of the area, and shape the island into a continuous structure that would be an extremely efficient compaction of resort, retail, and housing."</p></em><br /><br /><p>The "eco" stands for... well, it depends. To HNA Group:&nbsp;&ldquo;This proposal is one for a truly a human-made island that celebrates all that makes such water-bound places so attractive and beautiful, while contributing to our understanding of deep, intrinsic ecology.&rdquo; To the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague</a>, these manmade islands&nbsp;are an explicit move by China to exert sovereignty (a status that The Hague explicitly rejects), and they're causing massive environmental harm.</p><p>Investigating China's role in the South China Sea this past July,&nbsp;"The tribunal clearly decided that China had caused severe harm to the coral reef environment," according to&nbsp;Kent Carpenter, the tribunal's expert witness and a professor of biological science. Much of that damage was attributed to island building. You can find more on their proceedings <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Runners up to the competition include <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Foster + Partners</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Morphosis</a>.</p><p>Related:</p><ul><li><a title="Transforming the Bao'an G107 into a multi-modal &ldquo;organic highway&rdquo;" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Transforming the Bao'an G107 into a multi-modal &ldquo;organic highway&rdquo;</a></li><li><a title='Despite ban on "weird architecture", a building that looks an awful lot like a toilet was built in Henan Province' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Despite ban on...</a></li></ul> Los Angeles gets dense (housing-development-wise, at least) Julia Ingalls 2016-09-01T14:14:00-04:00 >2016-09-05T00:14:31-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Once known as the city of single family homes, Los Angeles is now developing high-density housing complexes, not only in downtown, but according to this&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Urban Land</a> article, on the traditionally reluctant-to-develop West Side.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>The developments mark a shift in how Los Angeles conceptualizes living, trending away from its iconoclastic, sprawling roots into a more traditional urbanism. The developments come at a time when Los Angeles is also investing heavily in public transit partially to help alleviate the city's signature traffic congestion.&nbsp;</p><p>For more on new urban development trends in Los Angeles:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">With opening of Expo Line to Santa Monica, L.A.'s dream of a "subway to the sea" finally comes true (again)</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zoning in Los Angeles "doesn&rsquo;t allow for sensible urban development"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will Los Angeles be seeing more housing development along its LA River?</a></li></ul> Architects call for action on climate change Nicholas Korody 2016-08-30T14:10:00-04:00 >2016-09-04T23:24:30-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="377" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The building sector has a uniquely intimate relationship to global warming. One the one hand, cities consume 78% of the world&rsquo;s energy and are responsible for more than 60% of global carbon emissions; building maintenance accounts for nearly 50% of energy usage and construction is one of the most environmentally destructive of human activities. On the other, better design represents one of humanity&rsquo;s best&mdash;and most feasible&mdash;opportunities to reduce global carbon emissions and help prepare for inevitable changes to our environment.</p><p>It&rsquo;s therefore highly appropriate that a group of Chicago-based architects have recently launched an online initiative calling for action on climate change. Following five weeks of grassroots outreach, sixty-six architecture firms and six design industry-related companies have joined the public outreach campaign, dubbed Architects Advocate: Action on Climate Change. Now they plan to rapidly expand to the rest of the United States.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Supporters of the campaign ar...</p> In wake of deadly earthquake, Italy's prime minister calls on Renzo Piano to help reconstruction effort Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-08-30T14:02:00-04:00 >2016-09-04T23:23:44-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="390" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit central Italy on August 24 reduced the medieval towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto to ruins, and has claimed the lives of at least 290 people. With over 3,000 people displaced by the quake's damage, Italy's prime minister Matteo Renzi called on "Italian senator for life" Renzo Piano to lead the reconstruction and disaster prevention efforts in response.</p><p>The current plan is to build lightweight wooden structures to house the majority of the displaced residents, and then begin reconstruction of the towns in six to eight months. Piano, speaking to&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Guardian</a>, spoke to the importance of government regulation in addition to rebuilding quickly: "Anti-seismic requirements must be inserted in the laws of the country to make our homes safe, just as it's compulsory for a car to have brakes that work."</p><p>Piano has previous experience working in "high-risk quake zones" in Japan and California, but admitted to The Guardian&nbsp;that working in Italy...</p> Architecture Dean Poh says reduction in energy savings is not enough: "I am for net zero." Alexander Walter 2016-08-29T17:11:00-04:00 >2016-09-04T11:55:45-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;Right now (the industry is) setting targets of&nbsp;30&nbsp;to&nbsp;40 per cent reduction in energy savings from the current business as usual.&nbsp;I think that&rsquo;s just not enough. I am for net zero,&rdquo; he says.&nbsp;[...] &ldquo;The time scale between what we know can be done and should be done, and when the technology and processes become the norm, needs to be shortened. Currently it takes about 10 to 15 years.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Masdar abandons its dream of becoming the first zero-carbon city</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">France Mandates "Green Roofs" for all new buildings</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2015 Solar Decathlon winner Stevens Institute of Technology addresses post-Sandy resiliency with the SURE HOUSE</a></li></ul><p>Also, don't miss <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Deans List</em></a>, Archinect's ongoing interview series with the leaders of architecture schools, worldwide.</p> When walkability goes up, so do home prices Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-08-25T09:56:00-04:00 >2016-09-01T23:02:34-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="488" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Los Angeles, where homes sell for a median price of $475,000, has an overall Walk Score of 66.3. Each additional walkability point adds an average of $3,948, or a 0.83% bump, to the sale price. [...] Pedestrian access adds the most proportional value to homes in cities such as Atlanta, where the overall score is 48.4 and revitalization efforts are starting to open up more community gathering hubs. A single-point upgrade to an Atlanta home&rsquo;s Walk Score boosts the sale price 1.69% on average.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on the relationship between pedestrianism and the market:</p><ul><li><a title='Jan Gehl: "Never ask what the city can do for your building, always ask what your building can do for the city."' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jan Gehl: "Never ask what the city can do for your building, always ask what your building can do for the city."</a></li><li><a title="Locals welcome The 606, a.k.a. Chicago's &quot;High Line&quot;, but anxiety for its future remains" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Locals welcome The 606, a.k.a. Chicago's "High Line", but anxiety for its future remains</a></li><li><a title="Stockholm's Vision Zero offers idealistic concept of car-free cities" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stockholm's Vision Zero offers idealistic concept of car-free cities</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Study Links Walkable Neighborhoods to Prevention of Cognitive Decline</a></li></ul> Now that the Olympics have ended, what's in store for Rio's stadiums? Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-08-23T18:05:00-04:00 >2016-09-01T23:05:27-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Future Arena, the handball venue, will be taken apart and the pieces used to build four schools around the city, each serving 500 students. [...] the city will turn the aquatics stadium into two community swimming centers; the media center will become a high school dorm; and the 300 acres of land on which Barra Olympic Park currently sits will go be turned over for public parks and private development.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Rio's Olympic legacy:</p><ul><li><a title="In honor of the Olympics, French artist JR installs giant athletes in Rio" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In honor of the Olympics, French artist JR installs giant athletes in Rio</a></li><li><a title="Rio mayor admits Olympics were a &ldquo;missed opportunity&rdquo;, but believes the city has been unfairly portrayed" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rio mayor admits Olympics were a &ldquo;missed opportunity&rdquo;, but believes the city has been unfairly portrayed</a></li><li><a title="The rapid gentrification of Rio's favelas in advance of the Olympics" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The rapid gentrification of Rio's favelas in advance of the Olympics</a></li><li><a title='Rio Olympics "must be postponed, moved, or both" due to Zika threat' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rio Olympics "must be postponed, moved, or both" due to Zika threat</a></li></ul>