Can Cleveland combat climate change with compact communities?
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 Quito, Ecuador sees new potential in the city. As StreetsBlog reports, if Cleveland... View full entry
Perkins + Will proposes 80-story timber skyscraper in Chicago
As part of its ongoing Riverline community project, Perkins + Will has proposed an entirely conceptual 80-story, 300 unit residential skyscraper made from timber called the River Beech Tower. Announced 145 years after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this proposed tower would feature a massive... View full entry
The absorbing design of China's anti-flood "sponge cities"
Is flood mitigation the new frontier in urban planning? China, 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... View full entry
The Rainforest Solutions Project wins the 2016 Fuller Challenge Award
Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC, and Stand.earth 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.
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... View full entry
Steven Holl's Visual Arts Building opens Oct. 7th at University of Iowa
On Friday October 7th, Steven Holl and 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... View full entry
"Our architecture works harder than your architecture": Inside the city of Arcosanti
Can cities be built not only to be harmonious with their environment, but to outperform traditional architecture? The residents of Arcosanti, Arizona, which is profiled in this video excerpt from the Atlantic, seem to think so. Part campus, part permanent dwelling, Arcosanti embraces the concept... View full entry
American firms aren't doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint, according to new report
“We are simply not making significant strides in crucial metrics that predict building performance,” states Greg Mella, FAIA, Director of Sustainable Design at SmithGroupJJR and co-chair of the AIA 2030 Working Group, in a new report that gauges the progress made by firms voluntarily... View full entry
LED streetlights may contribute to 'serious health conditions' says AMA, prompting cities to re-evaluate
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’s secretion of the hormone melatonin. Secreted at night, melatonin helps balance the reproductive, thyroid and adrenal hormones and regulates the body’s circadian rhythm of sleeping and waking.
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... View full entry
aka *Old people afraid of the sky in big cities, featuring white streets and roofs and fast cheap trees
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?
— The New Yorker
Madeline Ostrander visited Louisville Kentucky, to learn how one city is trying to cool it. With 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... View full entry
Norman Foster reimagines global infrastructure strategies in new essay
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... View full entry
Introducing Bjarke Ingels' floating student housing, "Urban Rigger"
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... View full entry
Turn the lights off on the way out: Iñaki Ábalos's keynote at Day 2 of the GSD's Heliomorphism conference
Day one of Heliomorphism, the inaugural conference convened by the new research arm of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Office for Urbanization, ended with Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects finally breaking through the jargon and superficiality of the topic at hand. The theme of the... View full entry
This man is building an entire village from recycled plastic bottles
"Humanity went through stone age, went through ice age, and today, going through plastic age. We need to find solution,” 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... View full entry
The architecture of Cuba's revolutionary (and endangered) National Art Schools
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
More on Archinect:Unfinished Spaces premieres tomorrow night on PBS; Archinect talks to the filmmakerHow Havana tries to come out of its crumbling shell without betraying Cuba's revolutionary rootsSelling Cuba (Gehry's already there)The promises and problems of a Cuban architecture marketRicardo... View full entry
ZGF Architects tops 2016's Architect 50 "top firms of the year"
Beating out SOM and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the Portland-based firm ZGF Architects has taken the number one spot in Architect Magazine's annual ranking of the fifty best architectural firms. The ranking, which evaluates firms using the criteria of Business, Sustainability, and... View full entry