Heavy rains on Monday complicated rescue efforts in south China’s mountainous Yunnan province, where a major earthquake Sunday killed at least 398 people and injured more than 2,000 others [...] The magnitude 6.1 quake flattened or damaged more than 10,000 homes and other structures, again raising questions about China’s building standards and ability to respond to natural disasters. — Miami Herald
The tragic news from the Yunnan province is bringing back memories of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, as well as the public scandal that emerged over allegedly faulty construction of schools by corrupt officials.
Istanbul is the city of transformation and contradiction. As an urbanist, I am trying to keep record and make sense of this transformation and am especially interested in its winners and losers. At the moment we live in a giant construction site, where skyscrapers, mega projects and urban renewal projects are taking place all around. There is a gold rush to real-estate development. — theguardian.com
Kite Bricks has developed "Smart Bricks" (S-Bricks) made out of high-strength concrete that can be used to make buildings rapidly, cheaply and energy efficiently.
The bricks -- which are patent pending -- are much like Lego in that they come in a variety of forms for different purposes and can easily connect together, with rows of knobs along the top of bricks that slot into voids along the bottom of other bricks. — wired.co.uk
While Renzo Piano's Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens (SNFCC) is still under construction, it didn't keep the first performance from being staged last Wednesday on the site. Based on Renzo Piano's own idea, the Greek National Orchestra scored a 15-minute "dance" performance...
A team of researchers from Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia are working on another solution: A swarm of tiny robots that could cover the construction site of the future, quickly and cheaply building greener buildings of any size. [...]
"The robots can work simultaneously while performing different tasks, and having a fixed size they can create objects of virtually any scale, as far as material properties permit” — fastcoexist.com
The fourth cycle of the Holcim Awards has appointed its international expert jury members, who will take on the big task of selecting this cycle's winners of the prestigious global competition, which has a total cash prize of US$2 million...More than 6,000 submissions from 152 countries were sent to this year's call for entries. Later this year, regional winners will be selected based on their team's entry addresses the competition's target issues regarding sustainable construction. — bustler.net
The jury members are:Mohsen Mostafavi (head), Dean of the Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University (USA)Marc Angélil, Senior Dean, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)Alejandro Aravena, Executive Director, Elemental (Chile)Maria Atkinson, Founding CEO, Green Building...
The flagship museum of the billionaire financier and art collector Eli Broad, still under construction, has filed a $19.8 million lawsuit against a German company for what it describes as delays in fabricating the building blocks for its unusual latticed facade. — nytimes.com
Construction spending posted modest gains in April, driven by an uptick in home building and government construction that lifted total activity to the highest level since March 2009.
Spending rose 0.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $953.5 billion [...]. — nytimes.com
Tokyo’s extreme housing production and resulting market is a product of Japan’s uniquely liberal zoning rules. Taken along with its dense network of profitable, private railways, Tokyo is the closest thing this planet has to a city that has completely surrendered itself to market forces. And its construction numbers show it. — nextcity.org
At a hard-hat tour of the Whitney’s Renzo Piano-designed building in downtown Manhattan earlier this month, it was announced that the institution plans to extend a year of museum membership to the project’s construction workers. — hyperallergic.com
Lewis Mumford wrote that, in a city, “time becomes visible.” Not, it would appear, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where a city board has just decided that a rather discreet and understated modern house might need to be torn down because it damages the ambience of a historic district, which is to say it destroys the illusion that the neighborhood is a place in which time has stopped. — Vanity Fair
A battle of bureaucracy and "historic preservation" is playing out in a Raleigh, NC neighborhood. Louis Cherry, FAIA, is building his own home in the Oakwood neighborhood of Raleigh. After having received approval for his design by relevant city agencies, including the Raleigh Historic Development...
Mark your calendars! Some popular architects will be speaking in the upcoming "Innovators" talk series at the Museum of the City of New York, starting tomorrow May 6 at 6:30 p.m...
Accompanying the current "Palaces for the People" exhibition, each talk will explore the influence of the Guastavino Company, led by a Catalan father-son team whose architecture, construction, and design practices helped shape NYC's built landscape. — bustler.net
Below is the panelist line-up:May 6 - Innovators: Building Design and Construction: Guy Nordensen (Guy Nordenson Associates); Valentine Lehr (Lehr Consultants International); Jill Lerner and Marianne Kwok (Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates); and Corie Sharples (Shop Architects)May 14 - Innovators with...
Inside a warehouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard steel beams and flat metal sheeting rest atop a workbench. A diagram–which looks an awful lot like IKEA furniture assembly instructions–spells out where each beam and metal screw belongs. [...]
The metal may not look like much yet, but it’s on its way to becoming part of the world’s tallest modular residential high-rise. [...]
“This is bringing the best of manufacturing and construction together.” — forbes.com
Construction has been underway for 10 Design's Zhongxun Times in recent months in the historic city of Chongqing, China. Commissioned by the ZhongXun Group, the mixed-use office and retail development is phase one of the Danzishi Central Business District, which 10 Design masterplanned.Corporate...
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
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