The general atmosphere at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, Reporting from the Front, is one of excitement, of subversion. The Fifteenth edition of the Biennale explicitly calls for instances where architecture is an “instrument of self-government, of humanist civilization, and a...
Almost two-thirds of homes in the Tower, a 50-storey apartment complex in London, are in foreign ownership, with a quarter held through secretive offshore companies based in tax havens, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
The first residents of the landmark development arrived in October 2013, but many of the homes are barely occupied, with some residents saying they only use them for a fraction of the year. — The Guardian
The kind of wealth that turns a home into a status symbol—and an underused status symbol at that, with occupancy rates of only a few weeks a year—is not easing London's housing crisis. As the city's housing rates push actual citizens to decamp to cheaper suburbs or simply leave the area...
“The Garden Bridge is a land grab,” says Michael Ball of Thames Central Open Spaces. “That is, a major piece of public space and amenity – the South Bank, the River Thames, and the views across central London – would be sequestered for private interests, albeit cloaked in some appearance of charity and beneficence. When I saw Pier 55 I realised it was an even more blatant example of the same idea.” — The Guardian
In this piece design critic par excellence Alexandra Lange analyzes two similar Thomas Heatherwick designed-projects, London's Garden Bridge and New York's Pier 55, in the hopes of discovering why one seems to be resonating with the public while the other has inspired satiric contests to replace...
I’m not so critical about New York, because they have this very firm grid-pattern. Even the newer buildings are lined up on good streets. If you stand in front of the Empire State Building, you can’t really guess how tall it is, because it meets the street in a friendly way. [...] It’s not so important how high the building is, or how much it looks like a perfume bottle, it’s more important how it interacts with the city. — commonedge.org
Related stories in the Archinect news:Jan Gehl's perspective on making "a good urban habitat for homo sapiens"Is Jan Gehl winning his battle to make our cities liveable?How to design that elusive "Perfect Town"
Private property developers are outmanoeuvring councils in housing negotiations and routinely delivering fewer affordable homes than town halls want, an industry analysis has revealed.
Amid growing anger at the sale to foreign buyers of almost two-thirds of London’s tallest residential skyscraper, which includes no affordable housing, it has emerged that not one London borough which set targets met them in the last six years. — the Guardian
For more on the increasingly dire state of housing in London, take a look at some past coverage:London's Bleak Housing£950 for a mouldy 'central' flat? Welcome to London.The root of London's housing crisis lies beyond its bordersLondon's housing crisis is creating a chasm...
A City Council committee could take the first steps Tuesday toward mandating that developers include affordable units in new housing complexes to be built in several East Austin neighborhoods.
The proposal by Council Member Greg Casar, who chairs the council’s Planning and Neighborhoods Committee, comes as soaring rents have pushed poorer and minority residents out of the city. — My Statesman
The plan would mark a significant shift in direction from the current, incentive-based approach that allows developers to build larger buildings in exchange for including affordable housing units. As it stands now, developers can also pay a fee to the city's housing fund in order to build...
“What we’re seeing right now is what I saw in 1996,” said Mr. Lloyd, a former president of sales and development at Cisco. “We all had I.P. routers and everything was done a certain way. At Cisco, we said, ‘You can carry that over the Internet,’ and everyone said, ‘No.’ But those high-speed networks made the Internet possible.” Hyperloop, he said, “will do to the physical world what the Internet did to the digital one.” — Allison Arieff – nytimes.com
Allison Arieff (editorial director at SPUR and former Dry Futures judge) has some questions for Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) after a propulsion test demonstration in the Nevada desert. While the company has managed remarkably fast developments in its tube technology for such...
...Given all the harm we know air pollution can cause, does cycling actually help, or could it hurt? After all, I’m not breathing in the foul fumes of a truck when I’m sitting inside an air-conditioned train. I’m certainly not breathing them in deeply, as I would while huffing and puffing on my cycle.
Air pollution kills more than 5 million people every year, yet there has been no analysis of the costs versus benefits of city cycling. Until now. — Quartz
Long story short: keep biking. Researchers found that, in almost every city around the world, the health benefits of biking "far exceed" the damage than can be caused by breathing in dirty air. Even in the worst polluted cities in the world, you have to ride at least 60 minutes a...
Twice a week or so, loaded with bodies boxed in pine, a New York City morgue truck passes through a tall chain-link gate and onto a ferry that has no paying passengers. Its destination is Hart Island, an uninhabited strip of land off the coast of the Bronx in Long Island Sound, where overgrown 19th-century ruins give way to mass graves gouged out by bulldozers and the only pallbearers are jail inmates paid 50 cents an hour.
There, divergent life stories come to the same anonymous end. — the New York Times
"New York is unique among American cities in the way it disposes of the dead it considers unclaimed: interment on a lonely island, off-limits to the public, by a crew of inmates. Buried by the score in wide, deep pits, the Hart Island dead seem to vanish — and so does any explanation for how...
The museum is planning to move from its present landlocked home within the Barbican with no entrance at street level, into a cathedral-sized space, using the abandoned Victorian general market at Smithfield, next door to the famous meat market.
“Our job is to make this the best museum in the world,” Ament said, carefully stepping around pigeon droppings and pools of water in the old market, which has been empty for the last 30 years while developers and conservationists fought over its fate. — theguardian.com
The Museum of London have high expectations and high hopes for this monumental space, set to open it's doors in 2021. There is even a working train line running through the central space, a feature Ament is desperately keen to keep. Read more on London projects here:Shortlist for new Museum of...
The $1.5-billion second leg of the Expo Line, which opened Friday from Culver City to Santa Monica, adds seven light-rail stations and more than six miles of track to the growing Los Angeles County transit network. [...]
In the immediate context of L.A.'s attempts to turn its public-transit network from national punch line to something that increasingly resembles a mature system, 13 new Metro stations in less than three months qualifies as a pretty dramatic upgrade. — latimes.com
The aggressively expanding LA Metro system in recent Archinect news stories:How LA is changing, one rail line at a timeWill LA's new metro extension bring growth to the city's peripheries?L.A. seeks to accelerate infrastructure projects in advance of potential Olympics
Some Pyongyang-watchers believe the changes are merely skin deep, and do not portend or reflect deeper political or economic changes. ‘There is still all this state influence. There is no free development [...] The production of the city has not yet changed. Only the shapes of the buildings have changed.’
‘There is this thing among North Koreans about developing...an architecture that is reflective of their society. So what is an architecture that reflects their society?‘ — Los Angeles Times
More on Archinect:‘Pyongyang Speed:’ North Korea miraculously cranks out massive residential development for scientists in only one yearPyongyang's inner Wes Anderson shines through in its architecture, then and nowAs bicycle ownership in North Korea rises, Pyongyang introduces bike lanes
Many buildings in distinctive Manhattan neighborhoods like Chinatown, the Upper East Side and Washington Heights could not be erected now: Properties in those areas tend to cover too much of their lots (Washington Heights), have too much commercial space (Chinatown) or rise too high (the Upper East Side). [...]
“It’s ridiculous that we have these hundred-year-old buildings that everyone loves, and none of them ‘should’ be the way they are.” — nytimes.com
Related on Archinect:Welcome to the Hudson Yards, c. 2019: the world's most ambitious "smart city" experimentNYC's hot new developer design trend: the 1902 Flatiron BuildingA guide for New Yorkers exploring the "Suburban Jungle"Sidewalks, New York's "most desirable real estate"Michael Kimmelman on...
Benoy has been shortlisted along with three other British design firms including HOK, Grimshaw and Zaha Hadid to create a a new concept for the country's global gateway. The architects were asked by Heathrow to consider the purpose and potential of an airport with the resulting designs...
But an old friend, and a special commission, have gotten the architect to change his stripes. Mr. Meier has designed a black building.
At East 39th Street and First Avenue in Manhattan, developer Sheldon Solow will be unveiling a 42-story, 556-unit residential building. It will be Mr. Meier’s tallest in the city and his first since his trio of apartment towers on West Street were completed in 2004. — The Wall Street Journal
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