This edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, travels to Indonesia’s third city Bandung, where former architect and current Mayor Ridwan Kamil "is transforming public space." The show also takes a tour of three early 20th-century apartment buildings in Montreal, and hears from Neri & Hu Design and Research Office in Shanghai.
Ten finalist have been shortlisted as part of an open, two-stage competition set to redesign the Kaban lake system embankments in Kazan. Held under the authority of the Republic of Tatarstan Government, the competition will now ask the remaining teams to work on other town-planning projects in the Republic of Tatarstan held within the three context of the Water-Conservation Zones Year - in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk and other cities. Visiting sessions with the President of the Republic will be organized to introduce the context of the competition to the finalists.
The Winner will receive one million Rubles and a contract for the design project development of the future embankment.
The 10 remaining finalists are...
Adventure seekers have yet another reason to visit the Peruvian Andes; Peru-based tour company Natura Vive is now offering a luxurious night's stay 400-feet above the Inca Empire in these glass sky pods. Visitors can access the "Skylodge" by scrabbling up the mountainside. After staying the night, and indulging in some fine dining on top their 192-square-feet room, visitors return Peru's famed Sacred Valley via a series of (terrifying) zip lines.
The Royal Academy of Arts in London have launched a new international ideas competition which aims "to refocus attention to the huge potential of the brownfield sites that still exist across London." 'Brownfield' sites, or those earmarked for potential building development that have had previous development on them, are plentiful in the UK capital. This competition seeks "speculative ideas [which] make the most of these missing pieces in London’s urban jigsaw."
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Architectural Record has named the "Top 300 Architecture Firms" in the United States, ranking the nation's most successful practices based on their architectural revenue from 2014. Gensler, whose annual revenue surpassed one billion USD, maintained the lead for the fourth consecutive year. The firm's recent commissions, such as Los Angeles' Metropolis, help them set new records for revenue. AECOM, who came in second, also recorded significant growth - both internationally and domestically.
The top 25 firms are...
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has awarded Frank Gehry's controversial Eisenhower Memorial final approval during a meeting held on July 9. This means all agencies overseeing the project has (finally) agreed on the design, which has taken 15 years and many design revisions to achieve. The project, now a joint venture between Gehry and AECOM, was initially granted preliminary approval last October.
"The resulting Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial design satisfies the goals of the seven design principles established for this site in 2006 by the NCPC to preserve and enhance the unique character of this site and establish a new green space within the context of L’Enfant’s plan for Washington D.C.," said the NCPC in their final report. You can read the report in full, here.
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Designer and architect Neri Oxman, working with the Mediated Matter group, has unveiled “Mushtari”: a 3D-printed wearable that can convert sunlight into usable products. Joining the “Wanderer” collection, Mushtari was designed as a relationship between the most primitive and most sophisticated life forms. The wearable contains 58 meters of internal fluid channels and functions as a microbial factory, using synthetic biology to convert sunlight into items for the wearer.
Pioneering radical Buckminster Fuller, (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) an inventor, architect and the second president of Mensa, had a massive impact on the architecture and popular culture of the latter 20th century. Most famous for popularizing the geodesic dome, Fuller is also known as the father of sustainability, and was driven by his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.”
Chicago based architecture studio Design With Company, in collaboration with Arup, have constructed their winning proposal for the Ragdale Ring design competition, which asked entrants to redesign Howard Van Doren Shaw’s 1912 performance venue for a Chicago artists’ community. Their design lightheartedly references features of Shaw’s architecture, while creating a venue for acoustically unamplified performances.
Building a city has never been so easy. With Duncan Shotton Design Studio's Sticky Page Markers you can create your own urban landscape, while marking the pages of your books, catalogues, or notes.
Images have been released of Melbourne's second annual MPavilion. Designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, the temporary structure will use the latest technology in nautical engineering to stimulate a forest-like canopy within the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens. A series of three- and five-meter wide petals made from ultra-thin translucent composite and carbon fiber will "sway" on top slender columns, mimicking the tree line to the site's east.
Tokyu Corporation has unveiled a new skyscraper planned will rise adjacent to Tokyo's Shibuya Station. A collaborative design by Japanese firms Kengo Kuma, SANAA and Nikken, the 230-meter mixed use tower will feature an unprecedented, 3,000-square-meter public sky deck that promises "views of Mt. Fuji" (on a clear day).
Seven years after waking up without sight, San Francisco-based architect Chris Downey is helping to revolutionize the built environment with interactive technologies optimized for the blind. One of the world's leading blind architects, Downey intrinsically understands the issues facing blind and visually impaired people worldwide. As a consultant to a variety of organizations serving to advance universal access, Downey has played an integral role in the development and integration of new, non-invasive technologies designed to assist the blind.
In a recent article in Dwell, Downey illustrates the various technologies currently being tested and implemented in San Francisco - a city notorious for its topographical challenges to differently abled residents. See four takeaways from Dwell's interview with Downey on how technology can help bridge the gap between architecture and universal access after the break.
Designed by Odile Decq and Benoit Cornette, the BPO Building in Montgermont, France is now being threatened by a demolition permit. Inaugurated in 1990 and having won no less than 12 awards in its lifetime - including a Golden Lion at the 1996 Venice Biennale - the building has been widely lauded for its technical innovations, including a double-glazed suspended façade and panoramic elevators. It has appeared as the focus of theses internationally, and is featured at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine and Palais de Chaillot, illustrating its pivotal role in architectural growth. It was one of the first buildings in the 90s to demonstrate an acute response to the quality of workplaces, and stands as an example of conscious, thoughtful design.
In the latest edition of The Urbanist, Monocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team tackle the illegal city and look at how our cities are dealing with those who are bending the rules. From Portugal to Albania to Brazil, Andrew Tuck and his correspondents explore how crime and illegality have become ubiquitous in our urban environment, from informal settlements and illegal housing, street art and rough sleeping, to the more sinister impact of inner-city organised crime.
The St. Petersburg City Council has approved Rogers Partners, Ken Smith and ASD's "Pier Park" redesign, allocating funds towards demolition of the current pier and pre-construction work. The design, selected through a city-sponsored competition, will replace "an aging icon" - a 1970s inverted pyramid structure that occupies the pier's head - and focus on integrating flexible, community-oriented program throughout the site and surrounding area.
“Each of the pier’s past incarnations had its own set of programs and uses, some more ambitious than others,” commented John Curran, studio leader at ASD and lead project manager for the new pier. “The ones that succeeded appealed to both visitors and residents, and were active day and night, throughout the year. This flexibility was essential to our approach to the new design.”