History of the Present: Mexico City
An unpopular president, a myth-making architect, and a multibillionaire tycoon are building an oversize airport in a nature preserve. Can they make Mexico great again?
— Places Journal
The progressive capital of Mexico has a long history of massive infrastructure projects — megaproyectos — with egalitarian aims. Daniel Brook looks at the social, political, and environmental issues surrounding the latest — a $13bn new airport rising on a sinking lakebed. This article... View full entry
The video "Oculus" surveys the history, context, and execution of Calatrava's transit hub
How does Santiago Calatrava's Oculus encapsulate the complex history and significance of its site? In this brief video from filmmaker Jeff Durkin, Calatrava's elaborate transit hub canopy is sited in its aesthetic and social contexts via a series of carefully selected voice-over news clips and... View full entry
Reverting from an industrial base to "social capital"-driven economy in Chelyabinsk's winning master plan
How can architects transform the driving economy of a preexisting city? The team of de Architekten Cie. + Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners won The City Administration of Chelyabinsk's competition to redesign the historical center of their formerly industrial town based on a scheme... View full entry
400 of the smartest acres in the country
The Japanese technology giant wanted a place to experiment with solar power and renewable energy, autonomous vehicles and other technologies. And it needed a public partner and community support. It found that in Denver, DIA, Xcel Energy, developer LC Fulenwider and many others.
— Denver Post
Tamara Chuang highlights some of the technology (ranging from consumer electronics, to "smart" public infrastructure) Panasonic was hawking at CES 2017. Some of which will be employed at Peña Station Next, a new TOD, smart city lab on the edge of Denver International Airport. Last month, she... View full entry
Christo abandons $15 million U.S.-based river project as protest against "landlord" Trump
Christo's proposed silver-fabric-panel draped "Over the River" project has been in the making for about 25 years, after he started hunting for a natural host site in 1992 and then gradually garnered the neccessary official approvals and permits over the following decades for a 42-mile stretch... View full entry
Musk claims his plans to bore a tunnel under Los Angeles are moving forward
Elon Musk has received the go-ahead for another wild transit idea: a tunnel beneath Los Angeles. Intended to ease the city’s notorious traffic, it’s not clear where Musk intends to dig, besides that it will start near his Hawthorne office, about 5 minutes from LAX. Musk’s been railing... View full entry
Now that the feds have abandoned reality, enter this competition to keep the SF Bay Area from flooding
Prompted by the success of a similar competition it ran in New York several years ago, The Rockefeller Foundation has launched a completely Ben-Carson-HUD-free contest that challenges architects and urban planners to "imagine climate change solutions" for the San Francisco Bay Area. Opening for... View full entry
Make's 36-storey tower 1 Leadenhall approved
Designed by the former Foster + Partners architect Ken Shuttleworth’s Make practice, 1 Leadenhall will have 540,000 sq ft of office space, as well as 50,000 sq ft of shops and cafes on the ground, first and second floors. A public terrace will overlook the roof of the adjacent Grade II-listed Victorian market. Construction is due to start next year and the building is expected to open in 2021.
— The Guardian
1 Leadenhall, so named due to its location next to the historic Leadenhall Market, will be 182.7-metre (600ft) and 36 stories high. The £400m skyscraper is one of the several new towers being built in the surrounding area, including 1 Undershaft that will be the second-tallest building in... View full entry
Entrepreneurs seek solutions to solve Lagos' housing crisis
From a self-sustaining city to refurbished-shipping containers, private sector real-estate developers are offering both big and small solutions
— BBC News
Nancy Kacungira looks at how entrepreneurs are tackling the housing crisis in Lagos. View full entry
Swiping right (or left!) on the architectural future of the city of Santa Monica
Combining the swiftness of contemporary dating with the decades-long process of urban planning, the city of Santa Monica has introduced "CitySwipe," an app that allows you to comment on everything from transportation to building design to the availability of fine dining in Santa Monica's... View full entry
Holing up in hoity-toity hovels: doomsday architecture for the super-wealthy
Trump is President, the climate is chaos, and the wealth gap is starting to qualify as its own national canyon. So if you've got vats of money and are afraid of all the people who don't, what do you do? Build doomsday architecture to survive the collapse of society! In this piece for The New... View full entry
How Rebuild By Design influenced disaster planning in U.S. cities
[Henk] Ovink’s approach called for a systematic rethinking of American traditional disaster response: to simply rebuild whatever was destroyed...In the US, the Rebuild By Design competition represents a dramatic shift in disaster planning, adopting a more comprehensive and collaborative research and design approach to address complex problems and improve resiliency...The competition was widely hailed as a success, but there was room for improvement before its approach could be replicated.
— The Guardian
What's next for Rebuild By Design? Following the success of its 2013 competition, Rebuild By Design — now its own organization — is already working to continue helping U.S. cities prepare for climate change and potential natural disasters. In the article, the group looks back at how their... View full entry
Woods Bagot to design Australia's AUD $1.85 billion World Trade Center
World Trade Centers aren't just for the northern hemisphere anymore: Perth, Australia will become the recipient of a two-towered, $1.85 Australian dollar World Trade Center designed by Woods Bagot. The uneven towers (one tops out at 36 stories, the other 75) still need official approval by the... View full entry
Architecting for the Golden Years
Building industry professionals are taking note. Since the National Association of Home Builders started to offer a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist program in 2002, nearly 7,000 contractors, architects, interior designers and occupational therapists have become credentialed by attending a three-day course, according to Elizabeth Thompson, a spokeswoman for the association.
Kaya Laterman examines designing for an aging population. Renovations focused on age-in-place fixes, along with rise of NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) in NYC, are creating new market opportunities. See also re: AARP’s livability index, multi-generational architectures... View full entry
Shenzhen's Design Society to feature V&A gallery for its October 2017 opening
As brand-new collaborations go, the Shenzhen Design Society's choice to feature London's V&A gallery as part of its cultural hub opening this October isn't too shocking, unless you consider that galleries of Chinese art and photography aren't necessarily a common feature of the global art... View full entry