During his time in power, as head of state and as leader of the all-powerful, secularist Ba’th party, Saddam would oversee an unprecedented program of monumental development across the historic city of Baghdad. This was not limited to monuments of war and hollow bronze shells, but enormous palatial complexes, museums, art galleries, and civic squares [...] marshal it, awkwardly, unevenly, into the post-industrial age, a modern city shaped by the aspirations and egotistical tastes of a despot. — failedarchitecture.com
Since August of 2015, Germany has become home to more than 1.1 million refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers. This influx has German architects and urban planners asking the question: “Do we have a refugee crisis on our hands? Or a housing crisis combined with huge challenges to the ability of cities, job markets, and schools to integrate the newcomers?” — the Atlantic
Sweden, once one of the most welcoming countries for refugees, on Tuesday introduced tough new restrictions on asylum seekers, including rules that would limit the number of people granted permanent residency and make it more difficult for parents to reunite with their children.
The government said the legislation... was necessary to prevent the country from becoming overstretched by the surge of migration to Europe that began last year. — the New York Times
The one and only Phyllis Lambert continues to rake in architecture honors from around the globe. She received the American Academy's Brunner Memorial Prize this past April and was bestowed the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement during the 2014 Venice Biennale. Most recently, the former Canadian Centre for Architecture Director has been honored with the 2016 Wolf Prize in Israel. Past laureates include Eduardo Souto de Moura, David Chipperfield, and Peter Eisenman. — Bustler
Is planning still important in a city that's been razed to the ground by civil war? Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni thinks so. She describes life in the city of Homs, which has sustained massive destruction during the Syrian war, and reveals what she'd like it to look like in the future. — abc.net.au
Amid Cairo's brick buildings and heaping piles of trash is a sprawling work of art, which, at first, looks messy and incoherent.
But when you stand on the nearby hillside and read the spray-painted Arabic "calligraffiti," as its creator Tunisian-French artist eL Seed calls it, the message reads loud and clear: "If one wants to see the light of the sun, he must wipe his eyes."
[...] in total secrecy from the Egyptian government due to the country's strict laws forbidding artistic expression. — techinsider.io
An 80-storey ‘Dynamic Tower’ will be standing in Dubai by 2020 is everything goes to plan, architectural firm Dynamic Group has told us. When built it will be the world’s first skyscraper consisting of separate rotating floors attached to a central column, and inside there will be luxury apartments (natch).
If you’re wondering what a rotating skyscraper actually is, it’s very much as the name suggests. [...] control the rotation speed and direction of their apartment through voice activation. — whatson.ae
Iraq’s earliest Christian monastery has been destroyed by Isil extremists. [...] This seems to have occurred in September 2014, three months after the site on the southern outskirts of Mosul was seized by Isil forces. [...]
If the near-total destruction of Mar Elia is confirmed, 16 months after the event, it is worrying that it went unreported, since it suggests that other Christian sites may have also been destroyed without publicity. — theartnewspaper.com
The systematic destruction of Saudi Arabia is under way—in silence. Historic mosques, tombs, mausoleums, monuments and houses: more than 90% of the old quarters of the holiest cities of Islam has been razed to make room for a new urban landscape of hotels, shopping centres and apartment blocks. [...]
Construction works have already transformed Mecca and Medina into cities without a past, dominated by skyscrapers. — theartnewspaper.com
Cairo is an unruly urban sprawl that has spun out of control. Now, officials want to build a new capital in the desert -- a potent symbol of President Sisi's regime. But will it ever happen? [...]
The old Cairo is an ugly city, an affront to the senses. [...] a city of contradictions, created from the bottom up, even though that had never been the intention. It has been growing wildly since the 1960s -- from 3.5 million back then to 18 million now -- against the will of the country's rulers. — spiegel.de
Dubai, the city of superlatives, is set to get a new tower on Sheikh Zayed Road that will have an artificial beach and a rainforest-like landscape development on top of the tower's podium. [...]
The project consists of two towers, 47 storeys high with a combined five-storey podium and two basement levels, that will house the facilities. [...]
Kieferle & Partner is the architect. — emirates247.com
A raft of museums, most backed by private money, are springing up in what is, for many, an unlikely cultural hub: Beirut, the capital of Lebanon [...]
The design competition launched on 1 October; the architect Zaha Hadid is on the jury along with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones of London's Serpentine Galleries.
Salamé, who founded the Aïshti fashion chain, invested $100m in funding a contemporary art museum, designed by the British architect David Adjaye, in Jal El Dib [...]. — theartnewspaper.com
Europe will soon have more physical barriers on its national borders than it did during the Cold War. This year’s refugee crisis, combined with Ukraine's ongoing conflict with Russia, has seen governments plan and construct border walls and security fences across Mediterranean and eastern Europe... Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, 40 countries around the world have built fences against 64 of their neighbours. — the Economist
A new high-rise building called the Freedom Pyramid will change the face of Jerusalem’s downtown area. The project, conceived by architects Daniel Libeskind and Yigal Levi, will see a multi-purpose tower comprising commercial shopping and residential units atop the old Eden theater.
The idea for a high-rise at this location, adjacent to Mahaneh Yehuda market, first hit headlines in 2011. But a Jerusalem municipal committee only now approved the construction. — israel21c.org
Correction: Studio Daniel Libeskind has informed us that the correct project title is "The Pyramid." The incorrect title "Freedom Pyramid" has been the result of an unauthorized press leak.Studio Daniel Libeskind also provided us with new renderings of the project as well as some more information...
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