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The Tragic Human Cost of Africa's New Megacities

07:00 - 24 May, 2017
The Tragic Human Cost of Africa's New Megacities, A rendering of Eko-Atlantic City, Lagos, Nigeria. Image <a href='http://www.ekoatlantic.com/media/image-gallery/'>via ekoatlantic.com</a>
A rendering of Eko-Atlantic City, Lagos, Nigeria. Image via ekoatlantic.com

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Tale of Two Cities: Unravelling the Brutal Backstory Behind Africa’s Emerging Megacities."

In the last two decades, the African narrative has changed phenomenally. The tired, age-old storyline—largely woven around the stereotypes of poverty, disease, and bloody civil wars—has been replaced with one celebrating the continent’s unprecedented economic growth and relative political stability. This new narrative is also about Africa’s gleaming skyscrapers, massive shopping malls, and ambitious “smart” cities being designed and built from scratch: Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius; Konza Technology City in Kenya; Safari City in TanzaniaLe Cite du Fleuve in DR Congo; Eko Atlantic in NigeriaAppolonia City in Ghana, and others.

There are currently at least twenty of these new cities under construction in Africa and about twice that number in the works. These developments have permanently altered the continent’s urban outlook, and have offered it something different from the bland pastiche of colonial architecture that it was once known for. As a designer, I was initially excited by the quality of some of the architecture. Though I must admit that these new cities are eerie mimicries of similar developments in China, Singapore and even the UAE, and that they’re largely bereft of any cultural connection to Africa.

Public Pools or Private Houses - How Should Stockholm Use its Cliffs?

06:00 - 24 May, 2017
Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox
Courtesy of UMA / Manofactory. Image Infinity Pool vs Nestinbox

One of architecture’s most delightful anomalies is the diversity of solutions generated by any given site. From hypothetical university projects by architecture students to professional international design competition entries, the differing perspectives, stances, and experiences brought to rest on one site by several design teams can wield a bounty of contrasting ideas. 

Recently, we reported on Nestinbox, a proposal by Swedish architecture firm Manofactory to attach a series of simple, functional houses to a cliff face in Stockholm, addressing the demands of increased populations and land prices in cities across the world. Now, the cliffs of Stockholm have been the subject of an entirely different, though just as evocative concept by Swedish firm UMA. Rather than private housing, UMA proposes the Stockholm Infinity Pool, a public pool 1km along the Sodermalm cliffs of Sweden’s capital.

Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA Courtesy of UMA +13

University Library / OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen

05:00 - 24 May, 2017
University Library  / OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen, Courtesy of Office KGDVS
Courtesy of Office KGDVS

Courtesy of Office KGDVS Courtesy of Office KGDVS Courtesy of Office KGDVS Courtesy of Office KGDVS +10

This Project Explores the Ottoman Miniature as a Form of Architectural Representation

04:00 - 24 May, 2017
This Project Explores the Ottoman Miniature as a Form of Architectural Representation, Fishmarket. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis
Fishmarket. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis

Over the following weeks we will be sharing a selection of unrealized student projects, alongside realized schemes by practices who explore representational techniques, in collaboration with KooZA/rchThe aim is "to explore the role of the architectural drawing as a tool for communication" and, in the process, provoke a conversation about the contemporary use, format, and role of drawing.

Greenhouse. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis Winery. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis Winery. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis Art Storage. Image © Deniz Basman, Louis Mounis +9

Beirut Terraces / Herzog & de Meuron

03:00 - 24 May, 2017
Beirut Terraces / Herzog & de Meuron, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan            © Iwan Baan            © Iwan Baan            © Iwan Baan            +9

  • Architects

  • Location

    Beirut, Lebanon
  • Design Consultants

    Herzog & de Meuron
  • Executive Architect

    Khatib & Alami
  • Project Year

    2009
  • Photographs

Reynard/Rossi-Udry House / Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes

02:00 - 24 May, 2017
Reynard/Rossi-Udry House / Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes, © Thomas Jantscher
© Thomas Jantscher

© Thomas Jantscher © Thomas Jantscher © Thomas Jantscher © Thomas Jantscher +20

JIKKA / Issei Suma

22:00 - 23 May, 2017
JIKKA  / Issei Suma, © Takumi Ota
© Takumi Ota

© Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota +19

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Issei Suma
  • Structural Engineer

    Nawaken-jm
  • Area

    100.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

J Pavilion in Xiaogan / Total Architecture

20:00 - 23 May, 2017
J Pavilion in Xiaogan / Total Architecture, © Rjing-Photo
© Rjing-Photo

© Rjing-Photo © Rjing-Photo © Rjing-Photo © Rjing-Photo +22

Call for entries: Concorso Bergamo Centro Piacentiniano

19:30 - 23 May, 2017
Call for entries: Concorso Bergamo Centro Piacentiniano, The area
The area

The European two phases Urban Design Competition promoted by the Municipality of Bergamo will transform the center of the Lower City asking Italian and international designers proposals to overhaul open areas, public squares and spaces and new functions for the discarded buildings. It asks for participants with multidisciplinary skills and aims at strengthening the role of the Piacentiniano system as the identity generator of the city centre, exploiting urban spaces, reviving commercial activities, re-using existing buildings, promoting social and cultural events and improving the accessibility of the area.

WeWork Tower 535 / NCDA

19:00 - 23 May, 2017
WeWork Tower 535 / NCDA, © Dennis Lo Designs
© Dennis Lo Designs

© Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs © Dennis Lo Designs +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
  • Architect in Charge

    Nelson Chow
  • Area

    60000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

OMA and Mia Lehrer Associates' FAB Park Redesigned for More Green Space

17:05 - 23 May, 2017
OMA and Mia Lehrer Associates' FAB Park Redesigned for More Green Space, via Curbed
via Curbed

The design of OMA and Mia Lehrer+Associates’ park at First and Broadway (FAB) in Los Angeles has received a green update, reports LA Downtown News, following a community feedback session in which residents voiced their desire to add additional plantings to the scheme.

International House / TZANNES

17:00 - 23 May, 2017
© Ben Guthrie
© Ben Guthrie

© John Gollings © Ben Guthrie © Ben Guthrie © Ben Guthrie +27

  • Architects

  • Location

    Barangaroo NSW 2000, Australia
  • Architects in Charge

    Alec Tzannes, Jonathan Evans
  • Area

    7920.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

Watch Adriaan Geuze of West 8 Explain the Design Behind New York's Largest Private Outdoor Gardens

15:05 - 23 May, 2017

In this video, West 8 co-founder Adriaan Geuze discusses the design process behind New York City’s largest private outdoor gardens, which will be located at One Manhattan Square in the Lower East Side. Currently under construction, the 800-foot-tall glass residential tower will feature more than an acre of exterior garden space designed by West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture.

© wordsearch © West 8 © wordsearch © West 8 +24

High Kitchen / A-Zero Architects

15:00 - 23 May, 2017
High Kitchen / A-Zero Architects, © Adam Scott
© Adam Scott

© Adam Scott © Adam Scott © Adam Scott © Adam Scott +9

Skyline House / Terry & Terry Architecture

13:00 - 23 May, 2017
Skyline House  / Terry & Terry Architecture, © Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

© Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte +15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Oakland, CA, United States
  • Lead Architects

    Ivan Terry, Naomi Hansen
  • Structural Engineers

    Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
  • Area

    2700.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

RIBA Announces 2017 London Regional Award Winners

12:00 - 23 May, 2017
RIBA Announces 2017 London Regional Award Winners, © Luc Boegly + Sergio Grazia. ImageThe Design Museum and Holland Green / Allies and Morrison with OMA and John Pawson.
© Luc Boegly + Sergio Grazia. ImageThe Design Museum and Holland Green / Allies and Morrison with OMA and John Pawson.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named 50 projects as winners of 2017 RIBA London Regional Awards, including the London Building of the Year, “Photography Studio for Juergen Teller” by 6a architects.

“The year has demonstrated once again the breadth of the capital’s architectural output at the very high level that the RIBA programme requires, and the juries took enormous pleasure in selecting a most exemplary set of schemes,” said Jury chair Matthew Lloyd.

Selected from a 85-strong shortlist, these 50 projects will now go on to compete in RIBA's National Awards program, the winners of which will create the shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize – the highest award for architecture in the UK.

© Iwan Baan. ImageTate Modern Switch House / Herzog & de Meuron © Jack Hobhouse. ImageThe Bartlett School of Architecture / Hawkins\Brown © Luke Hayes. ImageMathematics – The Winton Gallery / Zaha Hadid Architects © Lawrence Carlos. ImageHome Studio, Kilburn Lane / Studio McLeod +51

Alcântara Flat / M2.senos

11:00 - 23 May, 2017
Alcântara Flat / M2.senos, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Alcântara, 1300, Portugal
  • Architects in Charge

    Ricardo Senos, Sofia Senos
  • Area

    140.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

Spotlight: Robert A.M. Stern

10:30 - 23 May, 2017
Spotlight: Robert A.M. Stern, George W. Bush Presidential Center. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_W._Bush_Presidential_Center_July_2016_2.jpg'>Wikimedia user Michael Barera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
George W. Bush Presidential Center. Image © Wikimedia user Michael Barera licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

As founder of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and former Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern is a self-proclaimed modern traditionalist – and no, in his eyes, that is not an oxymoron. When asked about the seeming contradiction in a PBS documentary, he replies by musing, "Can one speak the local languages of architecture in a fresh way?"