As urban areas develop, each city forms a unique structural logic. With this structure usually conceived on an ad-hoc basis, political terms such as “metropolitan area” and “neighborhood” are not always useful when analyzing and comparing the performance of cities. In a quest for new analytical tools, Robin Renner has devised an anatomically-based classification system in his new book Urban Being: Anatomy & Identity of the City. Through a thoughtful investigation of existing urban areas from around the globe using satellite images and personal experiences, Urban Being offers an insight into how transportation networks and streetscapes can be best organized to promote a healthy metropolitan environment.
London-based artist, illustrator, and animator Patrick Vale, known for his panoramic drawings of cities, completed another complex mural at design company IDEO’s studio in San Francisco, California. Vale’s time-lapse videos such as “Empire State of Pen” and his drawing of Manhattan, show the process of creating his detailed illustrations that take from several hours to months to complete. Vale spent 13 days at the downtown San Francisco office to complete the drawing.
Riksbyggen and Sweco Architects were announced as the winners of a government-led competition to create a cross-laminated timber framed housing development for the Johanneberg district of Gothenburg, Sweden. The proposal, called “Slå rot” (Swedish for “put down roots”), was chosen for its response to its existing environment with nods to tradition, while still providing an innovative structural system and modern living to the neighborhood.
In their ninth architectural city guide, London-based publisher Blue Crow Media highlights the city of Boston’s Brutalist buildings. The map was produced in collaboration with the principles of the firm over,under Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik along with Michael Kubo, who together authored the book “Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston.” The map highlights more than forty examples of Brutalist architecture around the greater-Boston area.
Construction has started on the redesign of an energy storage tower by LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architects) for Stadtwerke Heidelberg (SWH) in Heidelberg, Germany. The updated facade of the 56-meter cylindrical tower and design of an adjacent park are part of an initiative to create a sculptural landmark and symbol of sustainable energy for the city.
Orange Architects have been selected as winners of a competition to create a new mixed-use residential building situated at the port of IJburg in Amsterdam. The neighborhood of IJburg is comprised of a series of artificial islands developed to address the growing need for housing and lack of available land near Amsterdam’s city center. Commissioned by Amvest, the 29,000 square meter development aims to provide a sustainable, inviting heart for the area.
10 Design were announced as the winners of a competition to build an incubation center for start-up companies in the Jinwan Aviation District in Zhuhai, China. The Research & Development Center will accompany 10 Design’s other winning schemes for an International Commerce Center (twin tower with 127,000 square meters of office and hotel space) and Cultural Center (performance and exhibition space house in a 27,500 square meters building). The projects will be a part of Jinwan Aviation City, an ambitious development initiative to create a hub for major industry in Zhuhai, a city that is currently experiencing unprecedented growth.
Two teams have been announced as the finalists of a competition to rebuild Norway’s government headquarters after it was bombed in 2011 during the country’s worst terrorist attack in modern history. The state building agency Statsbygg selected Team Ubris, comprised of A-Lab and LPO Architects, and G8+, which includes the firms Haptic and Nordic, out of a group of seven teams to create a safe, inviting hub of ministry buildings for central Oslo.
To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, AREA4 and Suchi Reddy of Readymade Architecture and Design collaborated with the Prospect Park Alliance to create a public art exhibition that features more than 7,000 pinwheels. Called The Connective Project, the installation covers the Rose Garden in the northeast corner of the park with yellow pinwheels that include art and written work submitted by the public. Influenced by the vision of the park’s 1867 designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Reddy’s aspiration for the project was to create a playful urban retreat that sparks a conversation about the value of public spaces.
Eight minutes. That is the length of time UK-based company Ten Fold Engineering’s self-deploying structures can transform itself from a portable rectangular container into a fully habitable space that can be used for either the residential or service sector. Transported by truck, the company offers a shelter that is energy efficient, eliminates labor costs, and is highly customizable in an effort to revolutionize the possibilities of prefabrication and construction.
Paris (CIUP). The project is part of #Cite2020, an initiative by the Cite Internationale to develop 1,800 new housing units by 2020. Adding to the existing 40 residential buildings, the Fondation de Chine will introduce a contemporary interpretation of student housing to the campus.
Released this month, the website Hoodmaps offers a crowd-sourced mapping platform that gives users the ability to walk through a city like a local. By “painting” parts of the city using a palette of six colors that represent “uni”, “hipsters”, “tourists”, “rich”, “suits”, and “normies”, Hoodmaps aims to provide a quick visual representation of a city.
Situated at the intersection of a forest-scape and harbor, Helen & Hard’s winning museum competition entry, Navet, offers the Norwegian island of Odderøya a place to reflect on the area’s heritage and naval history. Located in the city of Kristiansand, Navet will join a group of institutions in the region called the Vest Agder Museums that celebrate Norway’s past. Developed through careful consideration of its surrounding landscape, the form of the building situates itself to activate both the water and existing mountain front.
As one of the most prominent examples of the De Stijl movement, the 1925 Rietveld Schroder House represents a radical moment in modern architecture. Categorized by refining components to their geometric forms and primary paint hues, characteristics of the movement are evident in the architect Gerrit Rietveld’s approach to residential design. Located in Utrecht, the house experiments with modular elements such as collapsible walls that provide a transformable way of living that still influences design to this day.
In their winning competition entry, French architecture firm Ilimelgo reimagines the future of urban agriculture with a vertical farming complex in the Parisian suburb of Romainville. The project integrates production of produce into the city through a 1000 square meter greenhouse that maximizes sunlight and natural ventilation. Recognizing the developing world’s diminishing agricultural space, the project aims to meet the growing demands for crop cultivation in urban environments.
In LEVS Architecten’s newest development Forum City, the firm reinterprets Russian urban life in the center of its fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg. The nine-building complex, developed by the Forum Group, curates its own metropolitan microcosm inside the larger urban area by combining residential, leisure facilities, and retail inside an archetypal city block.
FaulknerBrowns Architects have released plans for a revitalization of Queens Parade, a waterfront site in Bangor, Northern Ireland that has long been left underutilized. Situated next to the Bangor Marina, the mixed-used development will include residential, entertainment, and retail buildings in an effort to secure the site as a destination for both locals and tourists to connect with the water.
This week a groundbreaking ceremony was held for Tainan Axis, a project by MVRDV, and local architects The Urbanist Collaborative and LLJ Architects that is set to offer the Taiwanese city a revitalized plaza and green corridor. William Lai, the Mayor of Tainan, joined the Urban Development Bureau of Tainan City and the local architects to mark the beginning of construction.
Lendager Group have released drawings and renderings of Stedsans in the Woods, a farming development currently in progress in the deep Swedish wilderness. A collaboration with restaurant owners Mette Helbæk and Flemming Hansen, the project will feature a permaculture farm, restaurant, and lodging. A focus on sustainability and living off the landscape drives both the architecture and the Stedsans brand, who stress the idea of ‘giving more than we take.’ Located in Bohult, Sweden, the development offers visitors an escape from the city with opportunities for fresh dining and connecting with nature.