More than 500 years after it was built, Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, remains the largest masonry dome ever built. But the dome’s construction methods are still a secret, as no plans or sketches have been discovered. The only clue Brunelleschi left behind was a wooden and brick model. While the dome has been plagued by cracks for centuries, new breakthroughs in muon imaging may help preservationists uncover how to save the iconic structure and reveal new ideas on its construction.
The New York practice SHoP Architects has been selected to design the Upper Harbor Terminal Community Performing Arts Center (CPAC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sited on the Mississippi River waterfront, the center will be designed for First Avenue Productions as a year-round epicenter for live music and entertainment. SHoP’s design aims to engage the community and its context to embrace the musical and cultural legacy of North Minneapolis.
Open House London 2018 has officially released the list of over 800 buildings open to the public this September. Now in its 27th edition, the weekend-long festival offers free guided tours and open doors to buildings and architecture across the city. This year, a range of exciting architecture will be featured, including the new US Embassy by KieranTimberlake, Maggie’s Barts by Steven Holl Architects, and Bloomberg European Headquarters by Foster + Partners, the world’s most sustainable office building. Find out our list of the top 10 must-see buildings to discover at this year’s Open House.
Florian Marquet, an architect based in Shanghai, recently released a proposal to rethink urban life through autonomous mobile living spaces. Dubbed ‘the org’, his project aims to reconsider the housing market’s status quo and provide a more balanced model for urban living across ages. The modular system would respond to user needs with a range of programs, from green farming and kitchen units to flexible work areas and sleeping quarters. Made for easy fabrication, the units could be ordered instantly via an app.
The experimental design group Space Saloon has completed their first workshop, LANDING, to create exploratory projects and installations that rethink design-build and hands-on education. Curated by Danny Wills and Gian Maria Socci, the mobile educational camp investigates perceptions of place to develop projects that make territories and environments legible. Studying material, cultural, and energy-based phenomena, students from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the International Program in Design and Architecture at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok (INDA) came together in the high desert of Morongo Valley, California.
The Hungarian government is introducing a new skyscraper ban in the hopes of preserving the Budapest skyline. Gergely Gulyás, minister of the prime minister’s office, recently stated that the ban will affect all new buildings in Budapest over 90 meters tall. The ban will not limit projects already approved with planning permission, including Foster + Partners‘ MOL Campus Tower, a high-rise being built as part of the new headquarters for the MOL Group. The 120 meter tower will be exempt because it has already won planning permission.
Oregon has become the first state in the U.S. to allow timber buildings to rise higher than six stories without special consideration. The recent addendum to the state’s building code is the result of Oregon’s statewide alternate method (SAM), a program that allows for alternate building techniques to be used after an advisory council has approved the “technical and scientific facts of the proposed alternate method.” The decision stands as a precedent for future construction across the United States.
U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer has been named chair of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury by the Hyatt Foundation. As a member of the award jury since 2011, Breyer takes over from the current chair Glenn Murcutt, Hon. FAIA. Tom Pritzker, chairman and president of the prize’s sponsor, noted how Breyer’s devotion to “civic-minded architecture underscores the mission of the Prize and his unparalleled ability to guide a group deliberation is essential in creating a unified voice.” The international prize is regarded as architecture’s highest honor, and this year marks the 41st year of the award.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego recently released plans to begin demolition on a portion of its La Jolla building designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Aiming to expand and renovate, the museum is facing mounting criticism from a range of architects, critics and historians. The new plan calls for Venturi Scott Brown‘s exterior colonnade into Axline Court to be removed, and for the museum’s neon-accented entry atrium to be repurposed as a public gathering space. With a part of the colonnade already removed, critics have signed an open letter hoping to save VSB’s work.
Sidewalk Labs has unveiled a new proposal for Toronto’s eastern waterfront and a neighborhood development called Quayside. After announcing plans to create a model smart city in Toronto last fall, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were revealed during a roundtable discussion on August 14, 2018. As the subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, the team responded to an open call from Waterfront Toronto with a design that features heated pavements, large public spaces and mass timber buildings.