Archinect - News 2018-08-15T22:32:10-04:00 Twitter account dedicated to traditional European architecture draws ire as an architecture-themed dog-whistle Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-08-15T15:17:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T22:07:49-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>A <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">twitter account</a> dedicated to traditional European architecture has drawn ire for being a magnet for white nationalism. In a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">recent article</a> in&nbsp;<em>the Newstatesman</em>, writer Sarah Manavis chronicles how the account called ArchitecturalRevival&mdash;which posts pictures of old buildings and architectural details&mdash;has become a feed full of anti-Semites, Islamophobes, and white nationalists, their architectural and aesthetic preferences often tethered to their particular ideologies.&nbsp;</p> <figure><figure><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></figure></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>The account's more innocuous tweets tend to feature images and memes of classical architecture or new traditional styles that celebrate their beauty and craftsmanship. Repeatedly accompanied with harsh charges against examples of modernism, the International style and modernist architects such as Le Corbusier seem to provoke exceptional anger from the account and its followers. More incriminating, though, is the fact that as Manavis notes, "the account has also shown a preference for cultural conservatives in its 'lik...</p> Notre Dame is falling apart and relying on US donations for major repairs Hope Daley 2018-08-15T14:21:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T14:21:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>One of Europe&rsquo;s most visited sites, with about 12 million tourists a year, is in dire need of repairs. Centuries of weather have worn away at the stone. The fumes from decades of gridlock have only worsened the damage. &ldquo;Pollution is the biggest culprit,&rdquo; says Philippe Villeneuve, architect in chief of historic monuments in France. &ldquo;We need to replace the ruined stones. We need to replace the joints with traditional materials. This is going to be extensive.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Notre Dame</a> faces major <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">repairs</a> as the historic Cathedral's structure decays due largely to pollution. Funding for the repairs needed were difficult to raise as the cathedral is owned by the French government, yet their arrangement allows the&nbsp;Catholic archdiocese of Paris&nbsp;to use it for free. Both claimed the other responsible for raising funds, however the&nbsp;archdiocese stepped up <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">creating&nbsp;Friends of Notre Dam last year</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The organization allows US citizens to make tax deductible contributions to the renovation of this historic landmark. Friends of Notre Dame hope to raise $114 million within the next five to 10 years.&nbsp;</p> Motorway bridge collapses over houses and buildings in Italy, leaving 20 dead Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-08-14T16:29:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T13:44:44-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>A motorway bridge, running above houses, streets and railroad tracks in the center of Genoa, Italy, collapsed this morning dropping dozens of vehicles and leaving at least 35 dead and many more injured. Operations remain underway to clear the rubble as at least 30 vehicles sit trapped. Rescuers warn that the death toll may continue to rise as they pick through the debris.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>"The collapse of Ponte Morandi is an immense tragedy for our city,"&nbsp; said Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci, who&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">told</a> CCN that the collapse "was not absolutely unexpected." Deputy transport minister Edoardo Rixi also <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">confirmed</a> that the bridge had shown "signs of problems" in the past.</p> <p>Constructed in the 1960s, when many of the country's viaducts, galleries and other infrastructure projects were built, the Ponte Morandi bridge was beginning to show its age. A cable-stayed bridge, the design featured two pretensioned concrete cables used on both sides of the pillar. Subject to corrosion, it may have made the bridge, which re...</p> Global heatwave is symptom of early stage cycle of civilisational collapse Orhan Ayyüce 2018-08-13T18:59:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T20:03:26-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>This summer&rsquo;s extreme weather has hit home some stark realities. Climate disaster is not slated to happen in some far-flung theoretical future. It&rsquo;s here, and now.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Penned by Nafeez Ahmed, investigative journalist, recovering academic, tracking the Crisis of Civilization, the article points to a more urgent than urgent times in terms of civilisation and not merely the climate change.&nbsp;<br></p> <p>Also an urgent quote from a friend internalizing the article for architecture, "I am surprised that with contemporary conditions that require a radical re-orientation and re-conceptualization of discipline and profession, architecture professors continue to talk about elements, tectonic, "Fundamentals", context, composition, scale, poche, sustainability... Bla,bla...&nbsp;Let's build a new ontology..."<br></p> <p>-Alex Santander, Architect. Tijuana, Mexico</p> Architecture professor defends brutalism against Trump's call for demolition Hope Daley 2018-08-13T14:40:00-04:00 >2018-08-15T09:06:39-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Depending on who you ask, brutalist buildings like the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C., are little more than misshapen mounds of concrete. But architecture professor Mark Pasnik&nbsp;says the structures were built with a much deeper meaning in mind. "People think of them as communistic or as alienating," says Pasnik, who came to brutalism's defense in a recent Boston Globe op-ed.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Architecture professor Mark Pasnik makes the argument for preservation of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">brutalist</a> buildings in an&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">opinion piece for the Boston Globe</a>. Pasnik's piece was in response to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Trumps recent outcry to tear down the FBI headquarters</a>. He explains the style's history of material honesty, along with reasons to preserve brutalist architecture. Even if the style does not appeal to an individual, Pasnik advocates the historic importance and sustainability of renovation over demolition are worth keeping brutalist buildings intact.</p> Laguna Beach homeowners hit with $1-million fine over illegal seawall Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-08-13T14:23:00-04:00 >2018-08-13T14:23:03-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Environmentalists are celebrating a precedent-setting vote Thursday by the California Coastal Commission to tear down a seawall protecting an oceanfront home in Laguna Beach. After the previous owner received retroactive approval for the previously unpermitted seawall, Jeffrey and Tracy Katz bought the home on Victoria Beach. They performed an extensive remodel, which was completed in January and increased the value of the home from $14 million to $25 million.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Under the 1977 Coastal Act, beachfront properties are required to have substantial setbacks in order not to interfere with the natural flow of sand along the coast. Built in 1951, prior to the Act, the property in question was allowed to put up a seawall in 2005 under the condition it be removed if there was new development on the site.<br></p> <p>Stating that the work done qualifies as repair and maintenance, the Katzes and their lawyer argued that the renovation, which had received city approval, did not require a commission permit. In the end, however, the commission was unanimous in their decision to punish the couple.&nbsp;</p> Sidewalk Labs' Toronto waterfront smart city raises dystopian concerns Hope Daley 2018-08-10T14:40:00-04:00 >2018-08-10T15:40:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Sidewalk&rsquo;s vision for Quayside &mdash; as a place populated by self-driving vehicles and robotic garbage collectors, where the urban fabric is embedded with cameras and sensors capable of gleaning information from the phone in your pocket &mdash; certainly sounds Orwellian. Yet the company contends that the data gathered from fully wired urban infrastructure is needed to refine inefficient urban systems and achieve ambitious innovations like zero-emission energy grids.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Last fall Sidewalk Labs, a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google</a>-affiliated company, announced plans to build a new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">smart city</a> model on 12 acres of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Toronto</a> waterfront named Quayside. The design would include infrastructure with sensors and data analytics with the claim of building an overall more streamlined, economical, and green urban space. Sidewalk Labs' partnership with Canada is the beginning of an urban model they hope to expand globally.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While the goal may look utopian, many see an ominous future where governance is under threat rather than the projected promise of urban innovation. Concerns center around tech monopolies, the collection and commodification of city data, and a democratic process of decision making for our environments.</p> RIBA elects Alan Jones as its next president, as it faces accusations of silencing criticism from another presidential candidate Justine Testado 2018-08-09T17:21:00-04:00 >2018-08-09T17:21:43-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>As one of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">three finalist candidates</a>, Alan Jones has been elected as the next RIBA President, the highest&nbsp;elected position in UK architecture. As RIBA's current Vice President of Education, Jones will replace incumbent RIBA President Ben Derbyshire starting September 1, 2019 and will serve through 2021.&nbsp;Jones will officially become RIBA President Elect next month.</p> <p>In his manifesto during the race, Jones wanted to focus on making the Institute more relevant and engaging, and supports equal opportunity for all. In a statement today, he said:</p> <p>&ldquo;The RIBA is a fantastic organization with great resources, particularly its staff who I am keen to support more than ever. As individuals and as an institution, we need to come together to make the most of our assets, and make the case for our profession. We need to gather evidence and realize a more significant role and position in business and society. We must focus more on the pertinent issues that will increase the quality of service we provid...</p> Aecom and SOM to revamp United Nations Geneva HQ Alexander Walter 2018-08-09T15:26:00-04:00 >2018-08-09T15:28:11-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Aecom has been appointed by the United Nations to work on the renovation of its European headquarters in Geneva. [...] The UN is looking to upgrade the systems at its 100,000 sq m Palais des Nations complex, much of which was built in the 1930s. Aecom will work with architects SOM and Burckhardt+Partner to renovate the power, cooling, security and IT systems.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Completed in 1938 as the League of Nations HQ, the expansive Palace of Nations building complex has been the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva since 1946 (Switzerland actually did not join the UN until 2002).</p> <p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Aecom</a>/<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">SOM</a> team is joined by Swiss firm <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Burckhardt+Partner</a>.<br></p> The housing crisis isn't sparing smaller cities in Middle America Alexander Walter 2018-08-08T18:31:00-04:00 >2018-08-08T18:31:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Ten years after the housing collapse during the Great Recession, a new and different housing crisis has emerged. Back then, people were losing their homes as home values crashed and homeowners went underwater. Today, home values have rebounded, but people who want to buy a new home are often priced out of the market. There are too few homes and too many potential buyers.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>NPR</em> takes a closer look at the impact of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">housing affordability crisis</a> in midsized, fast-growing cities, like&nbsp;Des Moines, IA, Durham, NC, and Boise, ID&mdash;far away from the usual, well documented housing hot spots of the big coastal cities.</p> Authorship dispute erupts over Europe's tallest skyscraper in St. Petersburg Hope Daley 2018-08-08T15:57:00-04:00 >2018-08-08T15:57:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A row has broken out between&nbsp;former RMJM international group design director Tony Kettle and a Russian architect over who designed Europe&rsquo;s new tallest building &ndash; an&nbsp;87-storey skyscraper near St Petersburg. Staff at Moscow-based firm Gorproject have accused Scottish practice The Kettle Collective of trying to claim &lsquo;authorship&rsquo; over energy giant Gazprom&rsquo;s mammoth tower, currently nearing completion on the Gulf of Finland.</p></em><br /><br /><p>As Europe's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tallest skyscraper nears completion</a>, a dispute has erupted over the&nbsp;authorship of the completed project. The Moscow-based firm Gorproject claims design authorship over the Lakhta Center, while Tony Kettle claims the delivered design is his concept while working at&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RMJM</a>. Letters on the issue were sent to&nbsp;the RIBA, the RIAS, and&nbsp;the Union of Architects of Russia. A statement from the client, Gazprom, asserts the design was RMJM&rsquo;s original 2011 concept with Tony Kettle as design director.</p> Seattle's Space Needle reopens after major renovation—now sporting a rotating glass floor Alexander Walter 2018-08-08T14:52:00-04:00 >2018-08-11T00:52:47-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Those who have a fear of heights might not want to look down next time you go up to the Space Needle. One of the centerpieces of the landmark&rsquo;s massive remodel, designed by Olson Kundig, is now complete: a rotating glass floor, allowing visitors to look down at the 500 feet between them and the ground.</p></em><br /><br /><p>After receiving a massive $100 million <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Olson Kundig</a>-designed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">makeover</a>, the&nbsp;55-year-old Seattle icon recently reopened to the public with an improved visitor experience, enhanced views (floor-to-ceiling glass&nbsp;panels further opened up the&nbsp;360-degree views of the Puget Sound), and, what it claims to be, the world's first and only revolving glass floor.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>"Oh look, there's our car!" Photo courtesy of John Lok and Space Needle LLC.</figcaption></figure><p>"Through the glass floor, guests are able to see the mechanics of the turntable, which consist of a series of 12 motors," explains the project description. "The power transmission relies on rolling peg gears to minimize friction and wear."</p> EPA regulation reform opens the door to new asbestos use in manufacturing, and architects are angry Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-08-08T14:44:00-04:00 >2018-08-08T15:06:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Issue:%202018-08-03%20Construction%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:16492%5D&amp;utm_term=Construction%20Dive" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">According</a>&nbsp;to&nbsp;<em>Fast Company</em>, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Environmental Protection Agency</a> is attempting to make the use of asbestos in manufacturing much easier. In June, under Scott Pruitt's leadership, the agency proposed the Significant New Use Rule (SNUR)&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">open for comment until August 10</a>&mdash;that would allow for new uses of asbestos-containing products on a case by case basis.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although banned in more than 55 countries, the United State has left use of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">dangerous carcinogen</a> open, choosing instead to heavily restrict and regulate the fibrous mineral. Despite efforts under the 1973 Clean Air Act and the 1989 Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule&mdash;the latter of which was overturned in 1991&mdash;asbestos, today, is still allowed in hundreds of consumer goods as long as it accounts for less than one percent of the product.</p> <p>In addition to SNUR, the EPA also announced&nbsp;it will no longer review exposures from abandoned uses of asbestos. During the Obama Administration, under an amendment&nbsp;to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Ac...</p> Esther Sperber argues that to end abuse in architecture, stop believing in the creative genius myth Justine Testado 2018-08-07T18:23:00-04:00 >2018-08-13T13:24:41-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>But gender bias is not the most dangerous consequence of the lone-wolf image: It is the unspoken permission to abuse that should worry us. For the privilege of working alongside this aggressive and uncompromising genius, we are asked to tolerate his erratic, harsh, and selfish behavior. [...] To fight sexual abuse and abusers, we must first let go of this simplistic and fictitious image of the lone wolf.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In this short opinion piece, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studio ST Architects</a> founder Esther Sperber argues that, in light of the ongoing <em>#MeToo</em> movement,&nbsp;rejecting the prevalent &ldquo;lone wolf&rdquo;/creative genius myth and emphasizing a collaborative culture instead&nbsp;are important steps to stopping abuse in architecture.&nbsp;</p> Predating all known ancient civilizations, Göbekli Tepe may be world's first architecture Alexander Walter 2018-08-06T15:13:00-04:00 >2018-08-08T16:50:40-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>At around 12,000 years old, G&ouml;bekli Tepe in south-east Turkey has been billed as the world&rsquo;s oldest temple. It is many millennia older than Stonehenge or Egypt&rsquo;s great pyramids, built in the pre-pottery Neolithic period before writing or the wheel. But should G&ouml;bekli Tepe, which became a Unesco World Heritage Site in July, also be regarded as the world&rsquo;s oldest piece of architecture?</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>T-shaped limestone pillars. Image: Wikipedia.</figcaption></figure><p>Archaeological research of the ancient&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">G&ouml;bekli Tepe</a> ruin site in present-day Turkey suggests that the impressive monolithic structures,&nbsp;believed to date back to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic era (10th&ndash;8th millennium BCE), might in fact be the first known example of architecture. "Rather than architecture being the product of organised societies, as has long been thought, there is new thinking that, in fact, it may have been the organisation needed to build on such a scale that helped usher in agriculture and settled society," <em>The Art Newspaper</em> writes.</p> NCARB announces a commitment to diversity in leadership Hope Daley 2018-08-02T14:58:00-04:00 >2018-08-07T13:18:41-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NCARB</a> Board of Directors recently announced a Policy for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Diversity</a> in which the organization states a commitment to greater diversity, with respect to&nbsp;gender, race, geography, age, perspective (architect vs. non-architect), and physical ability, when electing leadership positions. The NCARB has worked to diversify their volunteer pool, transformed key programs for inclusion, and promoted wider access to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">licensure</a>. Yet, President and Chair of the Board states more can be done: <br><br>"While diversity at the licensing board level is largely controlled by governors or other appointing authorities, more can be done to influence the appointment process [...] And internally, we will strive to more fully utilize existing licensing board members who bring the perspective of under-represented groups."</p> <p><em><strong>Policy for Diversity </strong><br><br>This Policy on Diversity is designed to encourage consideration of underrepresented groups when the NCARB Board of Directors or the Council membership selects individuals to p...</em></p> Philip Johnson + John Burgee's AT&T Building is now a designated landmark Justine Testado 2018-08-02T14:20:00-04:00 >2018-08-03T13:46:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The designation protects the exterior of the building, including the facades of the office tower, annex, and enclosed covered passageway, and notably preserving its rose Stony Creek granite cladding and the broken pediment at its crown. Going forward, any proposed alterations to the exterior will require approval and permitting by the [NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission].</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's official. The AT&amp;T Building is now a designated landmark. Late last year,&nbsp;Sn&oslash;hetta's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">plans to redesign</a> the historic building sparked months of heated debate among&nbsp;architects, preservationists, and critics.</p> The final frontier: wheelchair accessibility in science fiction Alexander Walter 2018-08-01T15:29:00-04:00 >2018-08-01T18:44:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Space remains a vast, untamed place, penned in only by the limits of our own imaginations. So why the hell are there so many staircases in space? [...] Once you start realizing how many stairs there are stopping you in real life, it becomes impossible not to notice them existing in the sci-fi you adore. Turns out they&rsquo;re everywhere [...] our sci-fi imitates a real-world reliance on steps and stairs in our architecture.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Staircases in Space: Why Are Places in Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?</a></em>, Ace Ratcliff pens an excellent analysis of the pervasive presence of staircases in sci-fi that appear to foreshadow a future where universal accessibility for wheelchair-bound people like herself&mdash;and beyond that, the full inclusion in society&mdash;remain utterly unachieved.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Unfortunately, 50 years worth of Federation starship manifestations also means half a century of inaccessibility," writes Ratcliff. "The original USS Enterprise bridge has enough steps you could take the equivalent of an aerobics class just trying to get from the turbolift to the Captain&rsquo;s chair. The same level of inaccessibility goes for both the USS Voyager and USS Discovery, and if you&rsquo;re a wheelchair user, you better not try to grab an after-shift bottle of bloodwine at Quark&rsquo;s Bar unless you plan on dragging yourself up several steps to get there. In fact, the bridge from The Next Generation&rsquo;s Enterprise is the only one that...</p> Scrapped London Garden Bridge stirs up legal questions over $60m public funds spent Alexander Walter 2018-08-01T14:01:00-04:00 >2018-08-01T16:52:46-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The trustees of London&rsquo;s garden bridge, including actor Joanna Lumley and the former Labour minister Lord Davies, could have breached their legal duties over the failed project, that cost taxpayers more than &pound;40m, according to a leading lawyer. The legal opinion comes as pressure mounts for a formal investigation into how the charity behind the abandoned scheme spent so much money without construction work even beginning.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The decision to press on with the construction contract led to public losses, initially capped at &pound;16m, increasing to an estimated total of &pound;46m by the time the scheme was cancelled in 2017," <em>The Guardian</em> reports. "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The project</a>, championed by then London mayor, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Boris Johnson</a>, was intended to be majority-funded by private donations. However, the bulk of the money spent came from the &pound;60m in public funds handed to the project."<br></p> A floating university by Berlin firm Raumlabor explores the future of architecture schooling Hope Daley 2018-07-30T16:31:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T06:13:00-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Created by architects&nbsp;Raumlabor, the&nbsp;Floating University in Berlin invites students and experts from all over the world to explore solutions for future urban challenges. It&rsquo;s said that the things we learn at university today will be outdated by the time we graduate. So what does a learning environment look like where students research cities of the future?</p></em><br /><br /><p>Berlin-based firm <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Raumlabor</a> have created a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">floating</a> university running through the summer months to explore new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">learning environment</a> possibilities. Located in a rainwater basin in Berlin, the temporary structure is under constant development with students, professors, and experts implementing their ideas.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Floating University by Raumlabor, located in Berlin. Image: Raumlabor.</figcaption></figure><p>The floating university includes a library, workspaces, an auditorium with a pool, an experimental kitchen and bar, and a water-filtering system. Students are invited from the fields of architecture, design, arts, and sustainable technology to participate in this hands-on program. The University will be dismantled in September with all materials either rented and returned or used for upcoming projects.<br></p> New report assesses worrying impact of vacant properties in U.S. cities, and what local communities can do about it Justine Testado 2018-07-30T15:50:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T09:47:13-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Neighborhoods with high vacancy rates rarely recover, according to the study. Vacancy is &ldquo;first and foremost a symptom of other problems &mdash; concentrated poverty, economic decline, and market failure,&rdquo; the study notes. That means the solutions must go beyond just tearing abandoned buildings down. The study urges local governments to use tools like &ldquo;spot blight&rdquo; eminent domain, vacant property receivership, and land-banking to speed up the transition from owner to owner.</p></em><br /><br /><p>CityLab editor-at-large Richard Florida summarizes a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">new report</a> by&nbsp;Alan Mallach of the Center for Community Progress about the increase of vacant properties and hypervacancy in cities across the U.S. in recent decades &mdash; another worrying aspect of the American housing crisis. The report assesses how vacant properties are affecting certain cities, and it also outlines mitigation strategies for local governments and community groups.</p> As MCA San Diego plans to demolish much of Venturi Scott Brown’s 1996 extension, the architecture community petitions to save it Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-07-30T15:29:00-04:00 >2018-07-30T15:30:09-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Plans to expand the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego</a>, which involve demolishing part of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown</a>&rsquo;s 1996 addition, have come under fire as architects fight to save the beloved postmodern work. With over 70&nbsp;signatures, including those of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sir Terry Farrell</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Paul Goldberger</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sam Jacob</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Inga Saffron</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Robert A. M. Stern</a>, a petition recently sent to the MCA board is asking the museum to reconsider the plans in favor of an approach that is "sensitive and respectful to the village of La Jolla."</p> <p>In 1996, the museum hired the celebrated Philadelphia architectural firm to create a much-needed overhaul.&nbsp;The result was a&nbsp;$9 million expansion, that provided an additional 10,000 square feet of space, and a renovation, that&nbsp;restored the original front facade of&nbsp;the Mission-style building originally designed in 1916 by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Irving J. Gill</a>. Situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the museum in La Jolla&mdash;described at the time by Goldberger as "an exquisite proj...</p> Record heatwave is revealing hidden historic sites across Britain Alexander Walter 2018-07-30T15:15:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T09:49:21-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Southern England has been particularly parched, enjoying the driest June on record, but the hot weather has lead to an array of unlikely discoveries across the British Isles. Outlines of ancient and historic sites are being revealed &ndash; some of which haven&rsquo;t been seen in living memory.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"As the grass and crops dry out in the fields, the remains of wood and stone features are being spotted. The effect is caused by soil building up above the foreign material left in the ground over centuries in a way that makes the live material react to the conditions at a different rate to that found within regular soil," <em>The Telegraph</em> explains the phenomenon of 'ghost gardens' which have been appearing across Britain during the country's most extreme heatwave in decades.&nbsp;</p> <p>The increased prevalence of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">drone and aerial photography</a> has made it much easier to spot them than during previous heatwaves.</p> India proposes to fight pollution after Supreme Court considers demolition of deteriorating Taj Mahal Alexander Walter 2018-07-30T14:17:00-04:00 >2018-07-30T14:17:11-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>India has proposed a ban on plastics, polluting factories and construction around its 17th-century monument to love, the Taj Mahal, a government document showed, in a bid to stave off pollution that is turning the structure yellow and green. In a draft document submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, authorities in Uttar Pradesh said they would ban all plastics, switch to electric and hydrogen vehicles, and boost the green cover within the precincts of the Taj, to fight pollution.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The document was submitted after the justices, in a fit of anger during a hearing <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">two weeks ago</a>, demanded that authorities either restore the structure or tear it down," <em>Reuters</em> reports. "One of the seven wonders of the world, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Taj Mahal</a> is flanked by a garbage-strewn river and is often enveloped by dust and smog from belching smokestacks and vehicles."</p> Johnston Marklee, Live from the LA Design Festival Paul Petrunia 2018-07-27T12:58:00-04:00 >2018-07-28T17:57:19-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Earlier this summer I sat down with Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee to discuss their practice, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Johnston Marklee</a>, in front of a live audience at this year's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LA Design Festival</a>. We discuss the origin of their practice, their relationship to LA, the eclectic group of collaborators they have worked with over the years, and their unique approach to telling the story of their work in their recently published <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">monograph</a>.</p> <p>Listen to&nbsp;episode 126 of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect Sessions</a>, &ldquo;Johnston Marklee, Live from the LA Design Festival&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> </p><p></p> Herzog & de Meuron, Beyer Blinder Belle selected to transform Harvard GSD's Gund Hall Alexander Walter 2018-07-26T14:04:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T10:02:49-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harvard GSD</a>'s iconic Gund Hall will undergo a significant transformation and expansion, the school announced this morning. Selected for the task are <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Herzog &amp; de Meuron</a> as design consultant and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB)</a> as architect of record. <br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo courtesy of Harvard Graduate School of Design.</figcaption></figure><p>Designed by Australian architect John Andrews (himself a GSD graduate), the brutalist Gund Hall has served as the school's primary campus building since 1972. With the expansion, the administration hopes to add new space for growth and more cross-disciplinary engagement with other academic fields and programs at Harvard, primarily with the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo courtesy of Harvard Graduate School of Design.</figcaption></figure><p>"The proposed new space will encourage new forms of cross-disciplinary collaboration by creating an anchored point of intersection among the School&rsquo;s current studio workspace (known as 'the trays'), facult...</p> A look at school design leading students towards prison Hope Daley 2018-07-25T16:13:00-04:00 >2018-08-09T16:16:51-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In the past &mdash; or in schools with higher proportions of white students &mdash; a student acting out might garner an intervention by their principal, or a concerned teacher&rsquo;s phone call to parents. But today, throughout the US, discipline in many schools has become a matter of law enforcement, rather than education. In New York, the majority of school guards &mdash; 5,000 School Safety Agents patrolling 2,300 public and private schools &mdash; are civilians employed by the School Safety Division of the NYPD.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Out of fearful reaction to school shootings and other <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">safety</a> concerns, many <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">school environments</a> look and feel like prison to the students attending. Through an extensive background on how <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">school design</a> has gotten to this point, "Where School Meets Prison" examines the impact prison-like design has on students and argues damaging results of higher student arrest rates and discrimination.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>With a strong police presence and physical security infrastructure, student Andrea Colon shares how school design can become a pipeline to prison.&nbsp;</p> After Seattle's “Amazon Tax” failed, California cities pick up on their own big-business tax initiatives for affordable housing Justine Testado 2018-07-25T15:37:00-04:00 >2018-07-25T17:58:07-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Last week, a coalition of homelessness advocates, non-profits, and tenant groups in San Francisco secured an initiative for November&rsquo;s ballot that, if passed, would almost double the city&rsquo;s spending on homeless shelters using an increased gross receipts tax. [...] This news comes just weeks after Seattle&mdash;home to companies like Amazon and Starbucks, along with the third-largest homeless population in the country&mdash;capitulated on a similar plan.</p></em><br /><br /><p>After the swift defeat of Seattle's &ldquo;Amazon Tax&rdquo;,&nbsp;big tech cities in California like San Francisco and Mountain View&nbsp;are working on similar initiatives that charge higher taxes on large companies to raise more money for affordable housing. Despite some skepticism, these initiatives might have a better chance of passing in California.</p> Researchers develop method to 3D-print inexpensive houses from peat Alexander Walter 2018-07-25T15:07:00-04:00 >2018-07-31T07:01:35-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Cut peat blocks were already being used for building houses thousands of years ago. Now, scientists at the University of Tartu have developed a material which could make it possible to print energy-efficient houses out of milled peat and oil shale ash using a 3D printer.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"As peat and oil shale ash are not very expensive, house builders would be especially happy about the price of the material. According to Liiv, scientists calculated that the cost for the construction of a house shell printed from this material with a floor surface of 100&ndash;150 square meters could be about &euro;5,000 (compared to the construction of the shell of a framed building of equivalent size, which would cost about ten times more). Thus, peat material could be used to build a very cheap house with an energy class A."</p> <p>H/T <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Global Construction Review</a></p> Facebook to double its London presence with new King's Cross buildings by AHMM and Bennetts Alexander Walter 2018-07-25T13:57:00-04:00 >2018-07-25T13:58:19-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Facebook is doubling its presence in London by acquiring office space across two buildings in King's Cross. The 600,000 square feet (56,000 square meters) of office space will be enough for more than 6,000 workstations. [...] The expansion follows the 2017 opening of its site at Rathbone Place, which added 800 jobs and opened its first in-house incubator program for startup businesses. It also has a location on Brock Street.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Considerably ramping up its workplace capacity by 611,000 sq ft in soon-to-be post-Brexit <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a>, Facebook will be moving into new buildings at King's Cross: 11 and 21 Canal Reach, designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bennetts Associates</a>, the ten and twelve-story-buildings already have detailed planning permission, as well as the nine-story-structure P2 by 2015 Stirling-Prize winning <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)</a> with a pending reserved matters planning application.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>11 and 21 Canal Reach by Bennetts Associates. Image: King's Cross.</figcaption></figure><p>"The deal comes just weeks after Samsung Electronics announced an agreement to open &lsquo;Samsung KX LDN&rsquo;, a 20,000 sq ft showcase space at Coal Drops Yard, the new Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping and lifestyle district in King&rsquo;s Cross, in October," reads a King's Cross <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">statement</a>.<br></p> <p>The new offices are expected to open in 2021.<br></p>