Mitchell Joachim; New York has, over the last few centuries, become one of the world’s most densely packed cities. But what if you could redraw the city’s map – and build it from scratch? — BBC
Just two years ago [...] Australia’s previous government created the Major Cities Unit which outlined key long-term priorities for urban productivity and sustainability. Highly regarded by academia, as well as infrastructure, planning and property councils, the Unit showed promise for strategic city alignment, including investment into high-speed rail.
Today, all investment into the Unit has been withdrawn and momentum towards a national urban strategy has come to a halt. — thisbigcity.net
Last fall, a group of transgender students at Wesleyan University tore down gendered bathroom signs and replaced them with ones that read, “All Gender Restroom.” [...] On college campuses across the country, student activists are dismantling what Sheila Cavanagh dubs an “architecture of exclusion,” more commonly known as gendered bathrooms. [...]
To this day, plumbing regulations in Massachusetts limit the number of gender-neutral bathrooms a building can have. — dailycollegian.com
Some pretty lackluster news from the housing market today.
Construction spending rose a measly .1% in February. Part of that was because of the wild weather we saw this winter, but economists say that only accounts for part of the lacklusterness. It seems we’re not building or buying homes like we used to. Pending home sales fell in February to their lowest level in more than 2 years. The housing market made big gains last year, but so far 2014 isn’t looking so hot. — marketplace.org
Architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin, writes about China's building boom in his story, "Designed in Chicago, made in China." [...]
"Chinese developers lack the expertise to do great skyscrapers," he says. "During the Cultural Revolution their architectural profession was decimated. It really became more about purely engineering. So if you're a Chinese developer, you go to Chicago." — Public Radio International
A training barracks used by Roman gladiators and the 2,000-year-old mausoleum of the Emperor Augustus could be restored with money from the Saudi royal family, in the latest effort by Italy to secure funding for its crumbling cultural heritage.
In a deal brokered by Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, the Saudi royals are to provide millions of euros to pay for the restoration of some of the capital's neglected monuments. — telegraph.co.uk
In city after city, U.S. transit advocates face a similar problem: What to do with bad, or at least less-than-perfect, public transportation proposals? Big transit projects don’t come around every day, and rejecting a proposal, perhaps one with support in high places, in the hopes that something better will come along can leave you with nothing. — nextcity.org
After reviewing a record number of applications to host MICD Regional Sessions this year, we're thrilled to announce our 2014 regional partners and hosts. Congratulations to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Syracuse University School of Architecture, and Florida Center for Community Design and Research (FCCDR) at the University of South Florida! — Mayors' Institute on City Design
Saadiyat Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, has seen $27 billion in investments pour in as the island hopes to become a new beacon of culture in the region
developers behind the island have received international attention for the poor conditions in which migrant laborers work and live. Reports have found that in some cases, the control employers hold over the island's workers, such as withholding their passports to prevent them from returning to their home countries, amounts to forced labor. — Al Jazeera America
Saadiyat Island includes a half-billion-dollar branch of the Louvre Museum designed by Jean Nouvel, a national museum designed by Norman Foster and a variety of luxury resorts, golf clubs, marinas and private villas.Where does an architect's responsibility begin and where does it end?
... when it comes to buildings that have cultural significance – like museums and arts centers, those buildings have also been dominated by foreign architects like Zaha Hadid or Norman Foster, who designed the Beijing Airport for example. But I think with the Pritzker Prize winner being a Chinese, Wang Shu, in 2012, you ‘ll find that when a building is important culturally and needs to relate to more to the Chinese culture, more and more that work will be done by Chinese architects. — forbes.com
If liberal cultural and educational institutions are to operate with any integrity in that environment, they must insist on a change of the rules: abolish the recruitment debt system, pay a living wage, allow workers to change employers at will and legalize the right to collective bargaining. Otherwise, their gulf paymasters will go on cherry-picking from the globalization menu [...] while spurning the social contract that protects basic human rights. — nytimes.com
Britain’s decades-long planning “chaos” has left London a city of great individual buildings, such as the Gherkin and the Shard, standing in a sea of “woeful” architecture, the Government’s design czar said today.
Marylebone-based architect Sir Terry Farrell called for a “revolution” in the planning system, to end the culture of Nimbyism and put the creation of well designed places to live, work and shop at the heart of policymaking. — London Evening Standard
Farrell 's remarks certainly aren't limited to contemporary architecture in London: “If you dump yourself in any town centre and look at what the end of the 20th century and start of the 21st century has brought, it is woeful.”
Twenty-five young artists from 21 countries have been selected as finalists for the 2014-2015 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. — Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
Rolex recently unveiled the names of the 4 finalists for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in the field of architecture. From left to Right: Amritha Ballal, India; Gloria María Cabral Insaurralde, Paraguay; Orlando García, Colombia / United States; Hiba Shahzada, Jordan.
A spoof Guggenheim website, globalguggenheim.org, went live this morning with a satirical “Sustainable Design Competition” for the global museum’s embattled Abu Dhabi branch. The website, a slightly modified replica of the official Guggenheim version, features images of Saadiyat Island, where the museum is to be built, overlayed with the hashtag #futureguggenheim, as well as references to Gulf Labor’s ongoing 52 Weeks campaign. — hyperallergic.com
Caissons are a technology borrowed from bridge building, and they are what makes this project possible. The engineers will drill them anywhere from 40 to 80 feet into the Manhattan schist (the dense, metamorphic bedrock that supports the city’s soaring skyline). The caissons are meticulously arranged in the narrow spaces between the tracks. Above, the they will connect to deep-girdle trusses – some up to 8 stories tall – that control and redirect the towering weight overhead. Finally, the slab. — wired.com
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