Archinect - News 2018-05-21T14:20:10-04:00 A brutalist fragment displayed at the Venice Biennale speaks to our current housing crisis Hope Daley 2018-05-15T18:41:00-04:00 >2018-05-15T18:41:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>While some were delighted that at least a small part of the architectural heritage of Robin Hood Gardens was being preserved for posterity, others were furious that the V&amp;A &ndash; a so-called &lsquo;arms-length&rsquo; body, governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Prime Minister &ndash; considered the estate valuable enough to collect, but not valuable enough to help save from demolition in the first instance.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The story behind London's brutalist Robin Hood Gardens reveals issues pertinent to our current housing crisis. Crystal Bennes unpacks the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">V&amp;A's decision to preserve and display a section of demolished housing</a> in this year's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Venice Architecture Biennale</a>, revealing condemnation of the building before it was even completed.&nbsp;</p> Patrik Schumacher calls for a 'capitalist revolution' to fix housing Alexander Walter 2018-05-15T15:06:00-04:00 >2018-05-21T04:29:00-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Housing is one of our most essential and cherished commodities. It is rightly one of our biggest markets, but unfortunately one of the most politicised, suffocating under quasi-socialist political interventionism. The loss of prosperity in our whole society is enormous. Not only because of poor housing provision, but because of its stifling impact on all economic activities. That&rsquo;s why the need for a capitalist revolution is so urgent.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's been a bit quiet around Zaha Hadid Architects principal and outspoken free-market evangelist <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Patrik Schumacher</a> since his last big public statement calling for the elimination of social housing caused an <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">overwhelming backlash</a>, but now he's back with a new commentary piece on how to fix housing via privatization and deregulation, published in <em>The Guardian</em>.<br></p> 62-acre site along Chicago River to be developed with potential for Amazon's HQ2 Hope Daley 2018-05-14T15:13:00-04:00 >2018-05-14T15:13:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A hardscrabble half-mile stretch along the Chicago River's South Branch would become a vibrant neighborhood of cutting-edge architecture, parks and a riverwalk in the plans a developer unveiled Thursday for the last big piece of empty land near downtown. Developer Related Midwest plans a transformation of the vacant, relatively isolated 62-acre site into a vibrant neighborhood of homes, restaurants, cultural institutions and businesses...</p></em><br /><br /><p>The currently undeveloped site along <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chicago</a>'s river has been named "The 78", declaring its scale large enough to add to the city's official number of 77 neighborhoods. The site is also rumored to be a contender for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Amazon's HQ2</a> if the city is chosen, which would require reworking current plans.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Current 62-acre riverfront site in Chicago. Image: Mark Segal/Related Midwest.</figcaption></figure><p>Plans for the massive development include&nbsp;13 million square feet of&nbsp; building space for residential, office, educational and other uses.&nbsp;12 acres would be dedicated to parkland or public&nbsp;riverwalk with a performance venue. Related Midwest stated that affordable housing was an important part of its housing development.&nbsp;<br></p> <p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p> <figcaption>Rendering of the education hub and riverwalk. Image: Related Midwest.</figcaption><p>The new site would also&nbsp;extend three existing city streets through the property to create through routes for bikes. A metro stop would be added to the Red Line, as well as potentially adding a Water Taxi stop.</p>... Uber reveals six "Skyport" designs for its flying taxis Alexander Walter 2018-05-11T16:06:00-04:00 >2018-05-12T19:03:08-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>If Uber is to get its &ldquo;flying taxi&rdquo; service off the ground, it will need dozens of launchpads and landing sites on rooftops around cities as a supportive infrastructure. At the ride-hailing company&rsquo;s second annual Elevate conference in Los Angeles, six architecture firms presented their winning designs of what these so-called &ldquo;Skyports&rdquo; could look like. And holy cow, these things look straight out of Star Wars.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It was all futuristic sky towers, helipads, and beehive references this week when six architecture firms presented their "uberAIR Skyport" design proposals for Uber's autonomous flying taxi service in the not-too-distant future.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the call for proposals, all facilities needed to be able to handle 4,000 passengers an hour within a three-acre footprint, provide charging spots for all the eVTOL (<em>Vertical Take-off and Landing</em>) aircrafts, and minimize environmental impact on adjacent neighborhoods.</p> <p>The selected firms and proposals are:</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>&uarr; Gannett Fleming: "The Paw"</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>&uarr; Pickard Chilton and Arup: "Sky Tower"</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>&uarr; Corgan: "Connect"</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>&uarr; The Beck Group: "The Hive"</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>&uarr; BOKA Powell: "Skyport Prototype"</p> <p>(Cover picture) Humphreys &amp; Partners: "Uber Hover"</p> <p>Watch the archived live stream of the entire Uber Elevate Summit design presentation <a href=";t=5392s" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> A new "super wood" nanofiber biomaterial is stronger than spider silk Hope Daley 2018-05-11T14:56:00-04:00 >2018-05-11T14:56:55-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Spider silk has long held the title of strongest natural biomaterial, so scientists have been trying to harness it, mimic it and even improve on the recipe for years. Now, researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a new biomaterial out of wood nanofibers that steals the strength record.</p></em><br /><br /><p>A new material called "super <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">wood</a>" is eight times stiffer than silk, which has been considered one of the strongest <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">bio-based</a> materials. KTH researchers found a new technique to "densify" wood where fibers assemble to make the cell walls stiff and strong, a process called&nbsp;cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs).&nbsp;</p> <p>This wood <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">nanomaterial</a> is found to be as strong as steel, surpassing metals, alloys, ceramics and E-glass fibers. Researchers assert the technique could be used to produce strong and lightweight materials for constructing cars, planes, bikes, and furniture&mdash;as well as helping to assemble other nanofibers like carbon tubes.&nbsp;</p> US sanctions against Iran could negatively impact EU engineering and construction firms Hope Daley 2018-05-10T20:24:00-04:00 >2018-05-11T08:06:23-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Much is at stake for US and European companies enjoying revived trade with Iran following US President Donald Trump&rsquo;s decision this week to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and impose fresh sanctions. Hardest hit will be oil and gas firms, plane makers like Airbus and Boeing, and car makers. But European engineering and construction firms, recruited in the last two years to help Iran develop its transport infrastructure, could lose out as well.</p></em><br /><br /><p>US President Donald Trump&rsquo;s decision to pull out of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Iran</a> nuclear deal and impose new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sanctions</a> will drastically impact European engineering and construction firms and could restrict the availability of international finance for big schemes.</p> <p>After the nuclear deal was signed, Iran launched immense <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">transit</a> programs spending around $25 billion. Vinci and Ferrovie dello Stato have signed deals in Iran&rsquo;s expanding rail and aviation sectors.</p> California is now the first state to require solar panels on new homes Alexander Walter 2018-05-10T14:12:00-04:00 >2018-05-16T18:46:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>California just sent the clearest signal yet that rooftop power is moving beyond a niche market and becoming the norm. On Wednesday, the Golden State became the first in the U.S. to require solar panels on almost all new homes. Most new units built after Jan. 1, 2020, will be required to include solar systems [...]. While that&rsquo;s a boost for the solar industry, critics warned that it will also drive up the cost of buying a house by almost $10,000.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Rooftop <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">solar panels</a> are finally becoming an integral part of most new California homes beginning in 2020, however skeptics say that the move will further worsen the state's&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">housing crisis</a>.</p> Cube Haus commissions top architects to design modular, affordable homes Hope Daley 2018-05-08T15:57:00-04:00 >2018-05-08T18:25:14-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>What if buying a house were more like buying a car? Could the process of choosing between a Ford, Volkswagen or Nissan ever translate into picking between an Adjaye, Rogers or Assemble? Beyond the dream of ever being able to buy a house, the prospect of commissioning an architect-designed home is an impossibly remote prospect for most of us, a luxury confined to the glossy pages of Sunday supplements and Grand Designs.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The founders of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cube Haus</a> have commissioned well known architects such as&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Adjaye Associates</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Skene Catling de la Pe&ntilde;a</a>, and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Carl Turner Architects</a> to design <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">modular homes</a>&nbsp;at affordable prices. Targeting infill and backland sites in the London area, Cube Haus is looking to fill a small housing niche with well-crafted, off-plan new properties.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>Off-site production and lower margins allow the company to produce houses&nbsp;10%-15% cheaper than equivalent properties in a given area. The trick is to come up with modular designs that can properly adapt to different, awkward sites. Cube Haus aims to create a portfolio of building types that can be scaled up for larger number unit sites&mdash;creating <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">affordable housing</a> designed by some of the top names in architecture.&nbsp;</p> Bjarke Ingels Joins WeWork as Chief Architect, to Start Developing Neighborhood-Scale "Campuses" Frank Gössage 2018-05-08T11:12:00-04:00 >2018-05-09T23:27:46-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Neumann says that in 2018, that will mean WeWork will build more buildings, some that reimagine what&rsquo;s already there, like the Lord &amp; Taylor project, and others that WeWork and Ingels will design in their entirety. Then, in 2019, the company plans to start creating &ldquo;campuses&rdquo;&ndash;essentially, WeWork on a neighborhood scale. That could look like a several-block radius where there&rsquo;s a coworking space, coliving residence, and a school all clustered together, all operating under the WeWork umbrella.</p></em><br /><br /><p>BIG has shared with Archinect the following press release:</p><p><strong>WeWork announces Bjarke Ingels as Chief Architect to advise and develop the firm&rsquo;s design vision and language for buildings, campuses and neighborhoods globally. Bjarke will maintain his role as Founding Partner and Creative Director at the New York, London and Copenhagen-based architecture firm, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;WeWork was founded at the exact same time as when I had arrived to New York. In that short amount of time &ndash; the blink of an eye at the time scale of architecture &ndash; they have accomplished incredible things and they are committed to continuing their trajectory to places we can only imagine. WeWork&rsquo;s commitment to community and culturally-driven development is perfectly aligned with our active, social and environmental agendas.&nbsp;As WeWork takes on larger and more holistic urban and architectural challenges, I am very excited to contribute with my insights and ideas to extend their community-oriented vision to g...</em></p> Is Kanye West really starting a Yeezy architecture venture? (He tweets he is.) Alexander Walter 2018-05-07T14:07:00-04:00 >2018-05-10T19:00:37-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kanye West</a>'s flirt with the architecture profession appears to take on a more 'It's complicated' kind of status&mdash;if you're willing to lend enough credibility to his tweet from yesterday, announcing "we&rsquo;re starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We&rsquo;re looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's unclear whether West was already looking for prospective would-be employees for this newly announced venture when he made a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">surprise appearance</a> at SCI-Arc's Spring Show recently, but he's certainly expressed his admiration for the profession for some time now&mdash;receiving <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">mixed reactions</a> from practitioners for statements like, "I hang around architects mostly, people that wanna make things as dope as possible &hellip; This is the reason why I&rsquo;m working with five architects at a time," among others.<br></p> <p>Kanye being Kanye, we're accepting his 146-character venture announcement with enough caution and see if Yeezy home actually turns into a stable 'In ...</p> Small and mid-size cities are attracting more millennials Hope Daley 2018-05-04T15:24:00-04:00 >2018-05-05T09:04:28-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Mid- or second-tier cities, loosely defined as those under a million people that aren&rsquo;t regional powerhouses like Austin or Seattle, are increasingly seen as not just places to find a lower cost of living, easier commute, and closer connections with family, but also a more approachable, neighborhood-oriented version of the urban lifestyle that sent many to the larger cities in the first place.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Census data shows</a> that smaller metros are seeing more <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">migration</a> from millennials while&nbsp;larger cities are experiencing slower growth. These smaller cities have been attracting new growth in part due to investing in green spaces and parks, upswings in local tech hubs, and downtown <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">redevelopment</a>.&nbsp;</p> Who owns real estate flooded from climate change? Hope Daley 2018-05-03T16:54:00-04:00 >2018-05-07T11:48:05-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>As seas rise and coasts wash away, who owns the land that goes underwater? Versions of that debate are taking place in courtrooms, legislatures, and government offices, raising the question of whether and when climate change justifies seizing private property. The stakes are enormous, affecting not just ownership of offshore mineral and fishing rights but also potentially trillions of dollars of coastal real estate.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Climate change</a> has left many rules governing <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">real estate</a> ownership murky. As sea levels rise this especially affects coastal property and laws hinging on high-tide lines.&nbsp;</p> 5 Fundamental Ways to Boost Utilization (and Morale) Sponsor 2018-05-02T08:00:00-04:00 >2018-05-17T13:54:57-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><figure><p><a href=";utm_medium=sponsoredblog_Feb2&amp;utm_content=Getting-data-you-need-run-successful-firm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href=";utm_medium=sponsoredblog-041118" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BQE Core</a>.</strong></em></p> <p>Your employees' billable hours are the lifeblood of your business, but they can also be a source of frustration. A recent AEC industry study pegged employee utilization rates--defined as the percentage of billable hours out of total hours worked--at around 59 percent, a grim reminder that the average business is losing around 40 percent of its worker productivity to non-billable activities.<br></p> <p>There are some approaches to boosting your employee utilization rate that will not only help increase productivity and revenue, but also provide your employees with a supportive workplace environment.</p> <p>1.&nbsp;<strong>Manage stakeholder expectations.</strong>&nbsp;Managing your client's expectations is a given, although scope creep can (and usually does) happen. However, are you also managing the expectations of your internal stakeholders - your employees?&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, your business development reps need a clear understanding of what your team can provide. Business development shoul...</p> What's new with the promise of the floating city? Alexander Walter 2018-05-01T16:13:00-04:00 >2018-05-01T16:13:58-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A plan to build a platform in a tropical lagoon caught heat from locals, and a campaign stoked by opposition politician Valentina Cross swept away their proposals for an inaugural colony. In February, the Tahitian government stated publicly that an agreement with the Seasteading Institute in 2017 was now outdated and non-binding. [...] That leaves the Institute, and their movement, once again at sea, shopping for a new host nation willing to take on a partnership.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In her article for <em>CityLab</em>, writer Hettie O'Brien looks into the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Seasteading Institute</a>'s promise of a&nbsp;libertarian offshore utopia in Polynesia and the challenges the movement has been facing recently.</p> New Miami Frost Science Museum faces lawsuit from contractor Skanska over unpaid bills Alexander Walter 2018-04-25T16:14:00-04:00 >2018-04-27T00:14:34-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Frost Science Museum has been open for nearly a year, and it&rsquo;s already been visited by almost 1 million people. But it&rsquo;s not finished, and the nonprofit and the general contractor are fighting over who should pay to complete the work. The museum faces a lawsuit from its main contractor claiming the nonprofit unfairly held back payments and left construction work undone as budget strains forced it to cut costs in the final months of building the mostly tax-funded $300 million project [...].</p></em><br /><br /><p>"Frost is already in litigation with its original contractor, Suffolk Construction, which the museum fired in 2014, two years after starting one of the most complicated construction projects in the Southeast," the <em>Miami Herald</em> reports.<br></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Grimshaw Architects</a> designed the ambitious museum complex in downtown Miami after winning the architectural competition in 2007.</p> Plans for the first commercial Hyperloop system in the United Arab Emirates Hope Daley 2018-04-24T18:08:00-04:00 >2018-05-01T18:37:16-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT)&nbsp;recently signed an agreement with Aldar Properties PJSC, a leading real estate developer in Abu Dhabi, to begin construction on the first commercial <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hyperloop</a> system in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">United Arab Emirates</a>.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Rendering of HyperloopTT station in UAE, in collaboration with AN.ONYMOUS. Image: HyperloopTT. </figcaption></figure><p>The first phase of construction will begin with a 6 mile stretch of development between&nbsp;Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Design for the Hyperloop pylon is a collaboration with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MAD architects</a>, while the station design is in collaboration with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AN.ONYMOUS</a>. The agreement also includes building a Hyperloop XO Square Innovation Center and Visitor Center. This section is located close to the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport, with the goal of having it up and running in time for Expo 2020.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Rendering of HyperloopTT station in UAE, in collaboration with AN.ONYMOUS. Image: HyperloopTT. </figcaption></figure><p>The Hyperloop system, first presented by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Elon Musk</a>, will move pe...</p> London man jailed for forcing 15 construction workers into slavery Alexander Walter 2018-04-24T14:13:00-04:00 >2018-04-24T14:13:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A Romanian man who used threats of violence and indebtedness to keep a group of his countrymen as slaves while he pocketed their wages from a London construction site has been sentenced to seven years in jail.</p></em><br /><br /><p>David Lupu, a 29-year-old Romanian, was found guilty of holding 15 of his countrymen in&nbsp;slavery or servitude in two small one-bedroom apartments in East London and sentenced to seven years in jail.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lupu had lured the men to work as demolition workers in the UK, falsely promising a wage of &pound;50 a day for work and a good standard of living accommodation, however took away the victims' ID cards upon arrival and threatened that they had to pay hundreds of pounds for permits and certificates to work in the UK. When Lupu failed to pay them after one month of work, they confronted him, and, according to the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London Metropolitan Police report</a>, "his response was to threaten to beat them to death."</p> <p>Two victims managed to escape when Lupu traveled to Romania and reported him to the police.</p> How 'smart glass' at airports boosts alcohol sales Alexander Walter 2018-04-23T14:21:00-04:00 >2018-04-24T14:02:49-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The tinted world of tomorrow is coming, and&nbsp;airports&mdash;mini-cities of steel, concrete&nbsp;and lots and lots of glass&mdash;are interested.&nbsp;In a test last fall, Dallas-Fort Worth&nbsp;International Airport outfitted one of its gates with a new type of &ldquo;smart glass&rdquo; that can&nbsp;adjust for sunlight exposure. The obvious point is to keep travelers from getting overheated&mdash;but the exercise also brought a&nbsp;more lucrative benefit.</p></em><br /><br /><p>A <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cornell</a>-led study at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport found that implementing a new type of electrochromatic '<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart glass</a>' at one of its gates not only led to cooler, more pleasant surface temperatures in the waiting area, but the tinted glass, and the resulting dimmer light in the neighboring bars and restaurants, also resulted in increased alcohol sales&mdash;by as much as 80%.</p> <p>More airports have announced plans to upgrade their lounges and terminals with&nbsp;'smart glass.'</p> How a small, conservative Texas town became a key player in the renewable energy revolution Alexander Walter 2018-04-20T14:33:00-04:00 >2018-04-20T14:33:58-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Georgetown (pop. 67,000) last year became the largest city in the United States to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Previously, the largest U.S. city fully powered by renewables was Burlington, Vermont (pop. 42,000), home to Senator Bernie Sanders, the jam band Phish and the original Ben &amp; Jerry&rsquo;s. Georgetown&rsquo;s feat is all the more dramatic because it demolishes the notion that sustainability is synonymous with socialism and GMO-free ice cream.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his piece for <em>Smithsonian Magazine</em>, Dan Solomon tells the story of Georgetown, TX's green energy transformation and its unexpected champion, Republican mayor Dale Ross&mdash;who is now friends with Al Gore and was even featured in his <em>An Inconvenient Sequel</em> documentary.<br></p> Architecture Billings Index in March ends first quarter in positive terrain Alexander Walter 2018-04-19T13:57:00-04:00 >2018-04-19T13:57:43-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The American Institute of Architects [...] reported that architecture firm billings rose for the sixth consecutive month in March, although the pace of growth slowed modestly from February. Overall, the AIA&rsquo;s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for March was 51.0 (any score over 50 indicates billings growth), which still reflects a healthy business environment.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>&ldquo;New project activity coming into architecture firms continues to grow at a solid pace. As a result, project backlogs&mdash;in excess of six months at present&mdash; are at their highest post-recession level,&rdquo; said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. &ldquo;Business remains strong in the South and West, and firms with a residential specialization continue to set the pace.&rdquo;</em><br></p> <p>The American Institute of Architects reports these key <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ABI</a> stats for the month of March:</p> <ul><li>Regional averages: West (53.4), Midwest (50.7), South (53.2), Northeast (49.0)</li><li>&nbsp;Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.4), institutional (49.7), commercial/industrial (53.1), mixed practice (51.1)</li><li>Project inquiries index: 58.1</li><li>Design contracts index: 51.5</li></ul><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><em>All graphs represent data from March 2017 - March 2018. Images provided by the American Institute of Architects.</em><br></p> Vienna leads global Quality of Living index for 8th year in a row Alexander Walter 2018-04-17T14:49:00-04:00 >2018-04-17T14:49:43-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities offer the world&rsquo;s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment, according to Mercer&rsquo;s 19th annual Quality of Living survey. [...] Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The latest annual Mercer <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Quality of Living survey</a> with the&nbsp;world's most desirable cities for business professionals to relocate to was recently released, and the ten top contenders are mostly the same familiar players:</p> <ol><li>Vienna, Austria</li><li>Zurich, Switzerland</li><li>Auckland, New Zealand</li><li>Munich, Germany</li><li>Vancouver, Canada</li><li>Dusseldorf, Germany</li><li>Frankfurt, Germany</li><li>Geneva, Switzerland</li><li>Copenhagen, Denmark</li><li>Basel, Switzerland</li></ol><p>"In North America, Canadian cities take the top positions in the ranking," the survey summary states. "Vancouver (5) is again the region&rsquo;s highest ranking city for quality of living. Toronto and Ottawa follow in 16th&nbsp;and 18th&nbsp;place respectively, whereas San Francisco (29) is the highest ranking US city, followed by Boston (35), Honolulu (36), New York (44), and Seattle (45). High crime rates in Los Angeles (58) and Chicago (47) resulted in these cities dropping nine and four places respectively."<br></p> Grenfell-style cladding causes value of upscale London apartments to drop by 90% Alexander Walter 2018-04-16T16:21:00-04:00 >2018-04-16T16:21:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A homeowner in a housing complex in London with Grenfell-type cladding has been told the value of her &pound;475,000 home has collapsed and is now just &pound;50,000. Galliard Homes, the developer of the 11-block complex in New Capital Quay in south-east London, is facing a &pound;30m-&pound;40m bill to replace the cladding and is locked in a legal dispute over who should pay.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The New Capital Quay development&mdash;home to about 2,000 residents&mdash;is believed to be the largest private development to have flammable cladding after the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2017 Grenfell fire tragedy</a> that killed 71 people, <em>The Guardian </em>reports. The apartments are now considered unsellable.<br></p> How financial technology benefits from architectural design Hope Daley 2018-04-16T16:13:00-04:00 >2018-04-16T16:15:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Design lies at the heart of both architecture and software. People continuously try to define what design is (which maybe means designers are not good at designing design), and the reason is perhaps because there is no single type of design but several. Here I&rsquo;m going to talk about three that are relevant to both architects and fintech: blueprint-based design, recipe-based design, and systems design.</p></em><br /><br /><p>David Galbraith, previously&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">featured in our Working Out of the Box series</a>,&nbsp;explores what financial <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">technology</a> can learn from architectural design by diving into&nbsp;three design types.&nbsp;Galbraith has worked for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Norman Foster</a> and&nbsp;Fisher Park, and is currently a partner with Anthemis Group, a VC firm that focuses on financial services.</p> Radical Candor; Archinect Sessions ep. 120 Paul Petrunia 2018-04-12T18:09:00-04:00 >2018-04-16T20:35:00-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>This week Ken, Donna and I&nbsp;talk about some topics in recent architecture news, along with a little discussion about dealing with criticism.&nbsp;</p> <p>Listen to&nbsp;episode 120 of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect Sessions</a>, &ldquo;Radical Candor&rdquo;.</p> <ul><li><strong>iTunes</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to listen</a>, and click the "Subscribe" button below the logo to automatically download new episodes.</li><li><strong>Apple Podcast App (iOS)</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="http://pcast//" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to subscribe</a></li><li><strong>SoundCloud</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to follow Archinect</a></li><li><strong>RSS</strong>:&nbsp;subscribe&nbsp;with any of your favorite podcasting apps via our RSS feed:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></li><li><strong>Download</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">this episode</a></li></ul><p><br></p> <p><strong>Shownotes:</strong></p> <ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Commemorating 50 Years of the Fair Housing Act When We Still Have a Long Way to Go</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture's Page Six moment: Brad Pitt hangs out with American-Israeli architect and MIT professor Neri Oxman</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Wire mesh artist Edoardo Tresoldi to present large-scale installation at Coachella Festival</a> (stayed tuned for an update on Edoardo's Coachella installation to be published here on Archinect tomorrow, Friday April 13)</li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Belgian Architect Aude-Line Duli&egrave;re ...</a></li></ul> 5 Foolproof Ways to Keep Projects Within Budget Sponsor 2018-04-11T09:00:00-04:00 >2018-04-10T14:59:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><figure><p><a href=";utm_medium=sponsoredblog_Feb2&amp;utm_content=Getting-data-you-need-run-successful-firm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><em><strong>This post is brought to you by <a href=";utm_medium=sponsoredblog-041118" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BQE Core</a>.</strong></em></p> <p>You&rsquo;re probably all too familiar with budget overruns. Whichever professional services field you work in, they seem almost inevitable. Indeed, the Project Management Institute (PMI)&nbsp;reports that last year, 43% of projects went over budget. So, what can you do? Here are some suggestions.</p> <p><strong>1. Get Educated</strong>: PSMJ noted an interesting trend among AEC firm: There&rsquo;s a direct correlation between project manager training, budget performance, and client satisfaction. Businesses who say that they formally train all of their project managers are able to stick to their budgets more often. They also have the happiest clients. On the other side, firms that have no formal training program are the worst at adhering to budgets and satisfying clients. </p> <p>These results send a clear message: It&rsquo;s worthwhile to learn the ropes before diving into project management. </p> <p><strong>2. Set Realistic Goals</strong>: Don&rsquo;t set yourself up for failure by always agreeing to shoestring budgets and...</p> The Steel Tariff and Construction Cost: Putting It Into Context Nick Butcher 2018-04-06T19:28:00-04:00 >2018-04-11T21:12:19-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>On March 8, 2018, President Trump signed an order to place a 25% and 10% tariff on steel and aluminum imports, respectively, effective March 23, 2018. The new tariff&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">granted a temporary exemption</a>&nbsp;to certain countries including Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, and the European Union until May 1, 2018, as discussions continue.</p> <p>Now that the steel tariffs are in place, the question everyone is asking is&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;What does this mean to the cost of my construction project?&rdquo;&nbsp;</em>&nbsp;While this is a straightforward question, the answer may not be as simple.</p> <p><strong>US Steel Import Volume</strong></p> <p>The United States is the world&rsquo;s largest importer of steel, importing approximately 35 million metric tons in 2017, which accounted for 33% of the total steel used in the country.</p> <figure><img src=""><figcaption>Nearly 60% of steel imported into the US originates from only 5 countries</figcaption></figure><p>Nearly 60% of this total imported volume originates from five countries, including Canada and Mexico which alone accounted for 25% of the total imported v...</p> Why Richard Meier's behavior was known and went unchecked Hope Daley 2018-04-05T15:27:00-04:00 >2018-04-10T04:48:00-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>After a report last month by The New York Times detailing a pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Meier, more women have come forward to share their own upsetting encounters with him. But in recounting such experiences, these women said they had also been disturbed by a sense of helplessness that pervaded the firm. Mr. Meier&rsquo;s behavior was common knowledge, they said, but no one seemed to have the power to stop it.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">#metoo</a> movement, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">women have come forward exposing&nbsp;Richard Meier's abusive behavior</a> to his employees. Further investigation has explored why this behavior of powerful men harassing or <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">assaulting</a> women went unchecked at their organizations. The common thread is fear of losing a job.&nbsp;</p> <p>Many women did not lodge formal complaints with the company for fear of being fired (although some were fired regardless soon after an incident). Other employees in the company who knew what was going on did nothing to stop it for fear of losing their own jobs.&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking for a job at a women-led firm?&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Check out our latest job roundups featuring current (at the time of writing) opportunities at firms powered by amazing women.</a></p> AA annual report shows upwards of $1M loss last year Hope Daley 2018-04-04T14:08:00-04:00 >2018-04-04T14:08:30-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Architectural Association made a loss in excess of &pound;800,000 last year, its annual report has revealed. The cash-strapped school &ndash; which made nine redundancies this winter &ndash; posted net expenditure of &pound;819,732 for the year ending 31 July 2017, according to accounts due to be filed at Companies House. This compared with a net income of &pound;244,551 in the previous year.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AA</a>'s annual report stated the "Expenditure increased in the year due to one-off costs in governance reform as part of preparation for the TDAP application, together with increased costs of compliance monitoring and property rentals at Bedford Square."&nbsp;</p> <p>The report also states an income issue with student numbers not meeting their target resulting in a tuition fee income of around $22M for last year.&nbsp;</p> <p>On a positive note the AA's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">gender pay gap</a> report showed the school's median female staff salary way equal to its median male salary.&nbsp;</p> Salvatore Settis on the "the commercial rape of Venice" Alexander Walter 2018-03-29T14:15:00-04:00 >2018-03-29T14:15:56-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Venice is doomed, says, Salvatore Settis, unless there is a moral revival in Italy. He is a professor of archaeology who has been an advisor on cultural matters to the Italian government and was head of the Getty Center for the Arts and the Humanities in the 1990s. Italians know him from his eloquent denunciations in the press, which say that everything that has made La Bella Italia so beautiful is going to hell in a handcart.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Art Newspaper</em> reviews <em>If Venice dies</em>, the new book by former Getty Center for the Arts and the Humanities director,&nbsp;Salvatore Settis,&nbsp;and elaborates on his warning calls of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">La Serenissima's impending doom</a>: "Venice, he emphasises repeatedly, is a paradigm for other cities around the world in the tensions between its historic nature and modern needs, in the delicate relationship between the built city and the environment and in the rush to exploit it for short-term gain."</p> Chicago city council approves $8.5 billion O'Hare airport expansion Alexander Walter 2018-03-29T13:35:00-04:00 >2018-03-29T13:36:16-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Chicago&rsquo;s City Council on Wednesday approved a multibillion-dollar expansion plan for O&rsquo;Hare International Airport, after an earlier dispute between the airport&rsquo;s two largest carriers had previously threatened to snarl the project.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The city of Chicago entered into an agreement with carriers United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines for airport renovations that include expanding the airport&rsquo;s existing terminals and increasing the number and availability of some gates," <em>Reuters</em> reports.</p>