Archinect - News 2016-02-11T01:46:56-05:00 America has an infrastructure problem – and it's getting critical Nicholas Korody 2016-02-10T19:54:00-05:00 >2016-02-10T20:26:08-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It would be helpful if there were another word for &ldquo;infrastructure&rdquo;: it&rsquo;s such an earnest and passive word for the blood vessels of this country, the crucial conveyors and connections that get us from here to there (or not) and the ports that facilitate our trade (or don&rsquo;t), as well as the carriers of information, in particular broadband... The word &ldquo;crisis&rdquo; is also overused, applied to the unimportant as well as the crucial. But this country has an infrastructure crisis.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Elizabeth Drew considers several recent books on American infrastructure, with an eye to both the material reality and the political system producing it. She concludes that fixing our infrastructural systems "may require even more widespread paralyzed traffic, the collapse of numerous bridges, and perhaps a revolt in parts of the country that have inadequate broadband."</p><p>"In other words, we may well need to incur more chaos and ruin and even deaths before we come to our senses," she writes.</p><p>Unfortunately, in the US, while infrastructure is falling apart everywhere, certain contingencies bear the brunt of this more heavily. The ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan brings into sharp focus the socioeconomic and racial undercurrents of infrastructural collapse.</p><p>Interested in related issues? Check out these links:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The crisis in Flint and why architects should care about decentralizing our water systems</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Infrastructure or advertisement? Sky to sponsor the Garden Bridge</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thirst-quenching as Los Angele...</a></li></ul> Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture Orhan Ayyüce 2016-02-09T00:48:00-05:00 >2016-02-09T10:50:20-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>If we can protect the old city walls for architectural and historical reasons, then the gardens that have existed ever since the walls were built also deserve to be protected. They are a unique, intangible heritage.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"While urban farming gains in popularity in many capitals around the world, Istanbul is struggling to keep its centuries-old farming plots due to the drive for modernisation. Dozens of farmers face being kicked off the land they have cultivated for generations."</p> China may dam its only free-flowing river left Nicholas Korody 2016-02-04T13:07:00-05:00 >2016-02-04T13:07:25-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="390" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>...the Nu [River is] the last remaining major watershed in China without a dam. For years, though, the local government has planned to build a series dams along the Nu, too. Entire villages have already been relocated to make way. If the dams are built, China&rsquo;s last free-flowing river will turn into a series of cascading lakes.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a uniquely Chinese phenomenon,&rdquo; smiled Fan. &ldquo;A local government sets up an investment company, attracts investors, approves and builds its own projects with developers. All of them make enormous profits. They claim this helps alleviate poverty, but it only causes common people more problems.&rdquo;</em></p><p><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Disastrous landslide burying dozens in Shenzhen likely caused by piled up soil from construction work</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Touring China's past, present, and future: an examination of "Architectural Guide China"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beijing's latest "airpocalypse" is bad enough for city to issue first ever red alert</a></li></ul> This greenhouse can grow legs to escape flooding Nicholas Korody 2016-01-28T18:47:00-05:00 >2016-01-31T12:20:28-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Constructed in an area which experiences frequent flooding, the Greenhouse That Grows Legs incorporates a novel approach to flood protection. The building is fabricated on a bespoke steel frame with four hydraulic legs, capable of lifting the building 800mm from the ground on command.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the designer, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bat Studio</a>, the greenhouse stands on hydraulic legs that can lift it up in case of flooding &ndash; a common occurrence in the area.&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Built in glue-laminated timber sections, the greenhouse is meant to be both visually-pleasing and functional. The most prominent fa&ccedil;ade includes externally-expressed "glulam" columns with mirrors bonded to their sides.</p><p>"As the building becomes established and filled with plants we hope this effect will become better and better," state the architects.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>"The aim was to construct an experimental building exploring a novel approach to flood defence whilst not compromising the quality of the buildings design."</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Artist creates real-life "Inception" style photography Julia Ingalls 2016-01-28T18:33:00-05:00 >2016-01-29T12:23:13-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="455" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Turkish artist&nbsp;Ayd&#305;n B&uuml;y&uuml;kta&#351;&nbsp;has created warped, three dimensional photographic portraits of various cities, buildings, and landscapes around the world that bring to mind both the trippy dreamscapes of "Inception" and the curved future dwellings in "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Interstellar</a>." According to his <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>, the works are "inspired by Edwin Abbott's book '<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Flatland</a>: A Romance of Many Dimensions.'"&nbsp;Here's a sampling:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>His "Parallel Universes 2" series, meanwhile, seemingly mirrors and transports its largely architectural subjects:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Between a rock and a refurbished place: inside 700-year old UK luxury rockhouse Julia Ingalls 2016-01-28T13:13:00-05:00 >2016-02-10T23:33:53-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="429" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Seven centuries ago, denizens of the&nbsp;Wyre Forest in Worcestershire carved themselves a "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">rockhouse</a>" from&nbsp;Triassic sandstone. Apparently considered to be among the best of the 40 or so rockhouses currently in earthly existence (including the Kinver Edge Holy Austin Rock)&nbsp;the recently refurbished and restored dwelling is now open to visitors, and features "stylish creature comforts such as&nbsp;under floor heating, rainforest&nbsp;shower&nbsp;and clever ambient lighting for&nbsp;a nurturing and natural ambience." Here's a look inside:</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Madrid is about to get a lot more green Nicholas Korody 2016-01-26T15:31:00-05:00 >2016-02-10T23:02:30-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Nature is poised to reconquer Madrid. Faced with rising summer temperatures, Spain&rsquo;s capital has announced plans, reported in today&rsquo;s El Pais, to seam the city so thoroughly with new green patches that its face could be quite transformed. City parks will be expanded and restored, and 22 new urban gardens created. Vacant public land will be freed up to create community gardens while the banks of the city&rsquo;s scrappy Manzanares River will be thickly planted with trees...</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the report, other components of the initiative include funding and encouragement for green roofs and fa&ccedil;ades. Plants beds would be added to paved squares and ponds may be created to catch excess stormwater <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">like in Copenhagen</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Madrid's location &ndash; perched high on a plateau that receives little rain &ndash; has always brought harsh winters and grueling summers. But according to a study made by Arup, rainfall could drop by 25% by the midcentury. When it does arrive, it's probably going to be in massive summer storms that can have more averse effects than positive.</p><p>If put into action, this plan could greatly improve the city today &ndash; and save it from tomorrow.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture of the Anthropocene</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Copenhagen copes with extreme weather by building parks that turn into ponds</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Last year was the warmest since (at least) 1880</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our cities must adapt to climate change and growing populations within a single generation, according to the head of Arup</a></li></ul> What's new in Dubai: shipping a gigantic floating swimming pool deck over all the way from Finland Alexander Walter 2016-01-26T13:56:00-05:00 >2016-01-27T08:45:36-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Dubai&rsquo;s iconic sail-shaped hotel, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, is about to undergo a dramatic expansion of its footprint with the addition of a huge deck extending out over the waters of the Gulf. In what&rsquo;s being called a &ldquo;world first&rdquo; in marine design and engineering, the so-called North Deck has been manufactured at a shipyard in Finland and is now undergoing an 8,000-nautical-mile journey by ship, in six sections.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related news stories on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect speaks to designer of controversial Dubai Frame project</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">After massive Dubai skyscraper blaze, experts concerned about towers built before 2012 with 'highly flammable exterior cladding'</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new study</a></li></ul> "The Hills" park in NYC scheduled to open almost a year in advance Justine Testado 2016-01-25T15:14:00-05:00 >2016-02-10T23:00:36-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="311" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Hills on Governors Island will welcome visitors this summer &mdash; nearly a year ahead of schedule, it was announced last week &mdash; and add 10 acres of green space to the city, largely in the form of four artificial hills. Made of recycled construction debris and clean fill, the hills rise as high as 70 feet above the island...An unseasonably warm fall contributed to faster-than-expected construction times.</p></em><br /><br /><p>You can find more photos and renderings from the Governors Island's Flickr <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a> and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Scroll down for a drone video of the park under construction.</p><p>More about public parks on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pershing Square Renew competition narrows down to four finalist teams</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BIG unveils 28-acre master plan for Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Taking a stand against privately-owned public spaces</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Locals welcome The 606, a.k.a. Chicago's "High Line", but anxiety for its future remains</a></p> To better predict sea level rise, scientists resort to crowdsourcing and ask drone owners to help create data Alexander Walter 2016-01-19T14:24:00-05:00 >2016-01-19T21:08:53-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="313" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Using drones for aerial photography has been a source of controversy for several years now. But amid increasing concerns over privacy and safety, some conservation scientists are hoping drone owners will help them to document sea level rise. With an expected increase in storm activity in the Pacific Ocean this winter, scientists believe they are getting a glimpse of the impacts of climate change on coastlines.</p></em><br /><br /><p>To see an interactive example of a&nbsp;DroneDeploy-stitched high-resolution map, click <a href=";lat=34.044211625&amp;zoom=17.0&amp;token=eyJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJ0eXBlIjoiUHVibGljVmlld2VyIiwiaWQiOiI1Njk5NDU1NTE2MWJlMjAwMGFlZjQxOTEiLCJleHAiOjI1MzQwMjMwMDc5OX0.TFovFDGOncH_M3p_R4-KIRxuhin-6mQL49sCJ9jzkng072hd5BVMGwpq1AWSHbqSzUIZmyOJd6xjNvPEd_WPbw&amp;view=569a74e2dd322724233846ac" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Ehang passenger drone might be another way people will get around town someday</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">License and registration, please: new FAA regulations mandate drone registration</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Construction update: More (unofficial) drone footage of Apple's spaceship campus</a></li></ul> Subterranean theme park: photographer Richard John Seymour captures the new life inside an ancient Transylvanian salt mine Alexander Walter 2016-01-18T15:11:00-05:00 >2016-01-19T12:00:57-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="333" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Deep in the Transylvanian countryside lies an ancient salt mine dating back over two millennia. Today Salina Turda has become an unlikely tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors descending its vertical shafts each year to play mini-golf, go bowling and row around its underground lake. [...] British photographer Richard John Seymour recently travelled to Salina Turda in his quest to document human-altered landscapes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chinese Fun: Photographer Stefano Cerio captures the eerie side of empty amusement parks</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Odd beauty: downtown S&atilde;o Paulo through the lens of Felipe Russo</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Photographer captures the beauty of Beirut's architecture</a></li></ul> How to turn Martian soil into concrete Julia Ingalls 2016-01-07T17:46:00-05:00 >2016-01-18T01:47:13-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="455" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Thanks to the work of Lin Wan and pals at Northwestern University...these guys have worked out how to make Martian concrete using materials that are widely available on Mars. And, crucially, this concrete can be formed without using water, which will be a precious resource on the red planet.</p></em><br /><br /><p>For more of Archinect's coverage of extra-terrestrial architectural news, check out:</p><p>&bull; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NASA launches competition for structures built in situ using Martian resources</a></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&bull; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Mars Ice House envisions the day Earthlings can live with ease atop the Martian surface</a></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&bull; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ESA proposes a village on the moon</a></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> A house for spite and haunting Nam Henderson 2016-01-05T13:35:00-05:00 >2016-01-05T13:35:16-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>While a dream house tells us what we want, and a haunted house tells us what we fear, a haunting house sits somewhere in between: seductive rather than spooky, suggesting an alternate reality that is more adventurous or transgressive or fulfilling than the one actually being lived.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Kate Bolick writes about the&nbsp;Pink House, located&nbsp;on the road to Plum Island, overlooking a vast flat landscape of pristine salt marsh Massachusetts. Rumored to be a "spite house", it served&nbsp;as personal real estate fantasy, as well as inspiration for&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">artists</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">photographers</a> and now <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">preservationists</a>.</p> Educational space for flourishing community garden, Huerta Del Valle, Ontario, California Orhan Ayyüce 2016-01-03T13:14:00-05:00 >2016-01-24T13:59:39-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="383" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>When three architecture students from Cal Poly Pomona, Kirill Volchinskiy,&nbsp;Hana Lemseffer and Necils Lopez&nbsp;invest their skills and resources with the community, the possibilities are endless.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><em>We are a team of 3 architecture students who have worked for a year to make this project a reality and today we need the final push to materialize the desires and needs of a community.</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><em><em>Why crowdsource architecture?&nbsp;</em></em></p><p><em>Crowdsourcing building projects puts financial power back in the hands of the people. By focusing on one public space project at a time, communities can develop built public space with the help of other communities. With the internet and platforms like Kickstarter, public projects paid by people for communities in need become a feasible reality.</em></p><p>This is their story.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">educational space for flourishing community garden</a></p> Forget it, Jake, it's Antarctica: nations jostle to establish influence at the world's end Julia Ingalls 2015-12-30T12:48:00-05:00 >2016-01-17T00:47:48-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>More than a century has passed since explorers raced to plant their flags at the bottom of the world, and for decades to come this continent is supposed to be protected as a scientific preserve, shielded from intrusions like military activities and mining. But an array of countries are rushing to assert greater influence here, with an eye not just toward the day those protective treaties expire, but also for the strategic and commercial opportunities that exist right now.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Water, oil, krill: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Antarctica</a> isn't just an ice-locked science station any longer, but a giant potential resource center hotly pursued by several strategic-thinking nations. Is the pursuit of scientific inquiry being stripped away in favor of the extraction of raw materials? Um, it would appear so, at least according to this <a href=";contentCollection=Magazine&amp;module=MostPopularFB&amp;version=Full&amp;region=Marginalia&amp;src=me&amp;pgtype=article&amp;_r=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York Times article</a> which predicts changes in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Europe</a>-plus-sized continent's status: "The treaty banning mining here, shielding coveted reserves of iron ore, coal and chromium, is expected to come up for review by 2048 and could be challenged before then."</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> China hopes to improve its cities with newly released urban planning vision Alexander Walter 2015-12-28T14:54:00-05:00 >2016-01-17T00:45:18-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>China has detailed its urban planning vision, which has been designed to make its sprawling cities more inclusive, safer and better places to live. [...] policymakers pledged to transform urban development patterns and improve city management. The last time China held such a high-level meeting was in 1978, when only 18 percent of the population lived in cities. By the end of 2011, in excess of 50 percent of the population called the city their home.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related news on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China considering drastic ban on coal</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Disastrous landslide burying dozens in Shenzhen likely caused by piled up soil from construction work</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beijing's latest "airpocalypse" is bad enough for city to issue first ever red alert</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China&rsquo;s "most influential architect" is not pleased with the state of Chinese urbanism</a></li></ul> A Bobbing Forest will soon float in Rotterdam's harbor basin Alexander Walter 2015-12-23T14:20:00-05:00 >2015-12-28T22:36:28-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>We all want our cities to be greener, but it is often quite hard to grow trees in a concrete environment. So, why not turn to waterfronts or lakes to place trees? Rotterdam will get its first &lsquo;bobbing forest&rsquo; in 2016: a collection of twenty trees that are floating in the Rijnhaven, a downtown harbor basin. [...] After experimenting with a sample tree last year, an entire floating forest of twenty trees is scheduled to be &lsquo;planted&rsquo; on March 16, 2016.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">It's official: trees are good for your health</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rotterdam considers paving its roads with recycled plastic</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Follow the yellow wooden road into Rotterdam's new Luchtsingel pedestrian park</a></li></ul> 'Cool roofs' substantially reduce temperatures during a heat wave, according to new study Nicholas Korody 2015-12-22T19:39:00-05:00 >2015-12-28T22:35:43-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="326" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It is well established that white roofs can mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and reducing a city's temperature. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, researchers found that during a heat wave, the effect is significantly more pronounced. Reflective roofs, also called cool roofs, save energy by keeping buildings cooler, thus reducing the need for air conditioning.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to a new study by Berkeley lab researchers&nbsp;Dev Millstein, Ronnen Levinson, and Pablo Rosado, alongside Meichun Cao and Zhaohui Lin of the Institute of Atmospheric Physic in Beijing, so-called "cool roofs," or roofs painted white, substantially reduce the urban heat island effect during a heat wave.<br><br><img title="" alt="" src=""><br>&nbsp;</p><p>Prior research had shown that cool roofs could mitigate the urban heat island effect, but the new study shows just how drastically this can make a difference during a heat wave. Heat waves affect both public health and energy resources, requiring massive amounts of air conditioning and other cooling systems that can overtax the electric grid.<br><br>"The hotter it is, the more cooling you get with cool roofs--and it is a significant difference, compared to the margin of error," Millstein told ScienceDaily. "We found that the stagnant conditions of a heat wave, where the air is just sitting over the city, was one of the main factors."<br><br>The research was conducted in&nbsp;Guangzhou, a large city ...</p> See 2,000 Years of Urban Growth Around the World With This Interactive Map Alyssa Alimurung 2015-12-22T19:20:00-05:00 >2015-12-22T19:20:33-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="290" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Back in 1 A.D., ancient civilizations like the Mayans experienced &ldquo;urban booms&rdquo; of their own. This mind-boggling interactive map made by Esri puts thousands of years of global population growth into perspective, ultimately showing us that NYC is kind of just a blip on the radar&mdash;or in this case, the 2,000-year timeline of life.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> 30th St. Station District Plan Proposes Mixed-Use Neighborhood Above Rail Yards Alexander.Ayala 2015-12-18T12:46:00-05:00 >2015-12-18T16:48:59-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="317" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In addition to the dense mixed-use development above the rail yards, the new draft calls for doubling the size of Drexel Park, a river overlook, a series of boardwalks and green spaces along the west bank trail of the Schuylkill, and a transit terminal for buses.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Something like a new golden age of public art in NYC Nam Henderson 2015-12-18T09:06:00-05:00 >2015-12-18T12:40:14-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>I hate this historical turn, which for me is contained most neatly in the High Line...The trend I mean is this: toward ersatz, privatized public spaces built by developers; sterile, user-friendly, cleansed adult playgrounds with generic environments that produce the innocuous stupor of elevator music; inane urban utopias with promenades, perches, pleasant embellishments, rest stops, refreshments, and compliance codes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Jerry Saltz analyzes how the rise of bad,&nbsp;privatized public spaces&nbsp;has actually been great for public art. However, these "<em>nightmares of synthetic space</em>" bring&nbsp;with them significant&nbsp;downsides such as a loss of "<em>quietness, slowness, whimsy, stillness, different rhythms, anything uneasy, aimless, inner-directed, accidental, for silence</em>".</p> The ecological footprint of your Netflix binge Nicholas Korody 2015-12-16T23:07:00-05:00 >2015-12-28T00:07:24-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="321" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The impact of data centers&mdash;really, of computation in general&mdash;isn&rsquo;t something that really galvanizes the public, partly because that impact typically happens at a remove from everyday life. The average amount of power to charge a phone or a laptop is negligible, but the amount of power required to stream a video or use an app on either device invokes services from data centers distributed across the globe, each of which uses energy to perform various processes [...]</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Still, it seems weird that most people&mdash;most engineers building the platforms people use every day, even&mdash;lack the basic comprehension that different online activities have different energy impacts, or that an individual&rsquo;s online activities have energy impact at all beyond a laptop&rsquo;s battery life."</p> Photos of MAD's Harbin Opera House released Julia Ingalls 2015-12-16T19:21:00-05:00 >2015-12-28T00:17:26-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="260" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Majestic doesn't cover it&mdash;to judge by these photos by Adam M&oslash;rk and Hufton+Crow, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MAD</a>'s new 850,000 square foot Harbin Opera House located on the titular Chinese city's Cultural Island is approaching a masterpiece.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>With two theaters (The Grand Theater seats 1,600, the Small Theater 400) and a sprawling, unhurried attitude towards space, the design is very reflective of its physical surroundings.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>According to MAD Architects founding principal Ma Yansong,&nbsp;&ldquo;We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural center of the future &ndash; a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature."</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Encroaching on the green belt: UK loosens protections on rural land Nicholas Korody 2015-12-16T17:46:00-05:00 >2015-12-16T17:46:15-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>If there is one thing Britons dislike more than their country&rsquo;s housing shortage, it is the idea of building more houses. Even as a lack of homes has sent prices through the roof... cities have remained ringed by protected &ldquo;green belts&rdquo; of land that are off-limits to developers. Attempts to build on them provoke outcry. But on December 7th the government published a consultation on letting councils allocate &ldquo;appropriate small-scale sites in the green belt specifically for starter homes&rdquo;...</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> What if: Perkins Eastman's "Green Line" proposal turns Broadway into a 40-block park in the heart of Manhattan Alexander Walter 2015-12-15T14:39:00-05:00 >2015-12-16T07:24:52-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="367" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Perkins Eastman is taking two of the best-loved urban land-use stories of the Bloomberg era&mdash;the High Line and Times Square&mdash;and combining them into one. The Green Line extends the logic of changes that have already taken root along the limited stretch of Broadway running through Times Square. [...] proposal builds on the work of Jan Gehl and Sn&oslash;hetta, the architects who pedestrianized Times Square. Yet it also echoes the High Line by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Thirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLA Nicholas Korody 2015-12-08T19:18:00-05:00 >2015-12-15T23:55:57-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="282" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Last week, UCLA&rsquo;s Hammer Museum hosted the final iteration of its 2015 program "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Next Wave: Quality, Quantity, and Accessibility of Water in the 21st Century</a>," a robust discussion series that has gathered experts in various fields to explicate and consider the most pressing issues surrounding water in the 21st century. This final event, subtitled "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles</a>," grappled with issues closest to home, largely under the purview of the goals articulated by the ambitious "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sustainable LA Grand Challenge</a>," a UCLA initiative dedicated to achieving water and energy sustainability in the county by 2020.</p><p><strong>Claudia Bestor</strong>, the director of public programs at the Hammer, began the evening by introducing the speakers: <strong>Mark Gold</strong>, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability (among other titles) at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA; <strong>Alex Hall</strong>, the faculty director at the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions; <strong>Eric Hoek</strong>, the founder and CEO o...</p> Stonehenge may have originated in Wales, new study suggests Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-12-08T13:52:00-05:00 >2015-12-08T13:53:47-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>archaeologists have found several recesses in rock formations in Wales that match the size and shape of Stonehenge's bluestones, leading to theories that the monument may have been erected in Wales first, before being moved to its present site in Salisbury Plain. The researchers also discovered evidence of what they described as &ldquo;a loading bay" from where the massive boulders could have been dragged away.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Wales is over 130 miles / 209 kilometers from Stonehenge's current site in Salisbury Plain &ndash; a distance that would have taken Neolithic people over 500 years to transport the monoliths over, according to Professor Mike Parker Pearson,&nbsp;a British late prehistory professor at UCL who led the study.</p><p>Researchers involved in the project find it unlikely that, after the bluestones had been removed the quarry, the harvesters would have immediately set a course for Salisbury Plain. What is perhaps more likely is that the stones were used for a monument in Wales first, and were then transported to their current site through a massive coordination effort with people living in both areas.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the latest theories is that Stonehenge is a monument of unification, bringing together people from across many parts of Britain," Pearson told <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Guardian</a>.</p> Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Outdoors" Pinterest Board Archinect 2015-12-04T15:05:00-05:00 >2015-12-10T06:25:46-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="670" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>In case you haven't checked out <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect's Pinterest</a> boards in a while, we have compiled ten recently pinned images from outstanding projects on various Archinect <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Firm</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">People</a> profiles.</p><p>(<strong>Tip:</strong> use the handy <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">FOLLOW feature</a> to easily keep up-to-date with all your favorite Archinect profiles!)</p><p>Today's top images (in no particular order) are from the board <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Outdoors</em></a>.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&uarr; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">D&ouml;kHaut: Winter Land Station</a> in Buffalo, NY by participants of the +FARM Design + Build studio: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alexander Guzman</a>, William Haskas, Matthew White, Emily Wutz, Michelle Misciago, Liv Marrese, Semi Park, Mel Agosto, Val Arthus, Jonathan Yates, Andrew Nisbet</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&uarr; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Via 31</a> in Bangkok, Thailand by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Somdoon Architects Limited SdA</a>; Photo: W Workspace</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&uarr; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Residence</a> in Santa Fe, NM by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ohlhausen DuBois Architects</a></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&uarr; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Garden House</a> in Portland, OR by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Waechter Architecture</a>; Photo: Sally Schoolmaster</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&uarr; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Oak Pass Main House</a> in Beverly Hills, CA by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Walker Workshop</a>; Photo: Joe Fletcher</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>&uarr; <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Binocular House</a> in Ghent, NY by Michael Bell Architect; Photo: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bilyana...</a></p> A closer look at reasons why the Los Angeles River revitalization is taking so long Alexander Walter 2015-12-03T13:40:00-05:00 >2015-12-15T22:53:26-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="334" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>From a concrete ditch, the river is now, very, very, very slowly becoming that green, recreational space many supporters have imagined. But, the question is, what's taking so long? As anyone who's ever set out to build in Los Angeles knows, things aren't always as simple as they seem. A vision becomes reality at a glacial pace, which can be a good or bad thing.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In other LA River-related news on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Does Frank Gehry &ndash; or his firm &ndash; have what it takes to save the LA River?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will Los Angeles be seeing more housing development along its LA River?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Feds Okay $1-Billion Los Angeles River Project</a></li></ul> Congress approves a $340 billion transportation bill Nicholas Korody 2015-12-02T12:32:00-05:00 >2015-12-15T01:36:45-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>House and Senate negotiators on Tuesday announced a bipartisan agreement on a five-year reauthorization of federal transportation programs&mdash;the longest such measure that Congress has advanced since 2005. Both chambers are expected to pass the deal in the next two weeks before leaving for the year. At a cost of $305 billion, the final compromise is a bit smaller than a $340 billion bill passed by the House last month.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In related news, Hilary Clinton recently released a $275 billion infrastructure plan. More information on that can be found <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.<br><br><strong>Related coverage:</strong></p><ul><li><a title="Are raised bikeways enough to make the San Francisco's riders safer?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Are raised bikeways enough to make the San Francisco's riders safer?</a></li><li><a title="Entrepreneurs look to tackle Austin's traffic woes" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Entrepreneurs look to tackle Austin's traffic woes</a></li><li><a title="Milton Keynes invests in driverless cars over public transit infrastructure" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Milton Keynes invests in driverless cars over public transit infrastructure</a></li><li><a title="Think driverless cars will reduce traffic? Not so fast." href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Think driverless cars will reduce traffic? Not so fast.</a></li></ul>