Jeff Speck, the city planner and architectural designer best known for advocating smart and sustainable growth, was recently interviewed by MSNBC to discuss the key to success for future cities: walkability. It is no secret that both millennials and the aging population have expressed an overwhelming desire to live in a walkable, urban hub. Though many major cities across the U.S. have embraced this philosophy, some are lagging behind. It is becoming increasingly apparent that a city’s walkability will have a major influence on the city’s competitiveness in the near future.
Watch the interview above to find out the four keys to having a great walkable city.
Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has commissioned Herzog & de Meuron to design their new Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters. Planned for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus on the southern outskirts of the city, the new £330m project will be home to one of the company’s three global strategic research and development centres as well as its corporate headquarters.
Filmed at TEDxToronto in September 2013, this talk by architect, educator and theorist Rodolphe el‐Khoury is based on the inevitable “internet of things.” As TEDxToronto described, “More than ever before, the line between the digital and real worlds is increasingly blurred. Historically, computers and devices have functioned as a separate layer within our lives… In this world, our homes, workplaces, and the objects within them will all be digitally connected, intelligent, and responsive.” It is only a matter of time.
A team consisting of Mecanoo, Michael van Gessel, Delva Landscape Architects and Jojko Nawrocki Architekci has won a competition to design the Royal Lazienki Museum in Poland’s capital. The 1,800 square meter museum will be buried beneath a triangular, 2.5 hectare “Garden of the 21st Century” in Lazienki Park, one of Warsaw’s most popular cultural destinations. Michael van Gessel and Delva Landscape Architects will focus on the garden, while Mecanoo leads the museum’s design.
UNStudio has been announced as winner of a competition to design a 60-meter residential and office tower in Munich. Planned to be the “focal point” of the Baumkirchen Mitte development, the project will feature 13,000 square meters of “neutral” office space that promotes “flexibility” and “creativity” as well as 5,500 square meters of contemporary apartment units that each share a strong, private connection with the surrounding landscape.
Read on for the architect’s description…
Sou Fujimoto Architects has released details on a conceptual master plan for a commercial complex in a prominent, yet anonymous Middle Eastern city. Situated between an education and financial center, the modular complex reinterprets the “vibrant atmosphere and lively qualities of the traditional market” as well as the “inherent beauty of vernacular Islamic architecture” to create a “timeless” landmark for a currently underused portion of the city.
Five architect and landscape architect-led teams have been shortlisted to redesign and re-imagine the grounds of London’s world famous Natural History Museum. The major project will aim to “create an innovative exterior setting that matches the architectural excellence of the iconic 19th Century site, whilst ensuring that the Museum grounds are easily accessible to all visitors.”
Without further ado, the leaders of the five teams are:
After three consecutive months of growth, the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reveal a slight decrease in the demand for design services. Keeping in mind that any score above 50 indicates an increase in billing, the ABI score fell from 54.3 in September to 51.6 this past October. In contrast, the new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from the reading of 58.6 the previous month.
Besting a shortlist of four, Ann Beha Architects has been selected by the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) to rehabilitate the U.S. Embassy in Athens’ chancery facility and campus. The mid-century facility, a protected architectural landmark, was originally designed by the famed Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius with the consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios.
BIG has been announced as the winner of an international design competition for the new Cité du Corps Humain (Museum of the Human Body) in Montpellier. Rooted in the city’s long medical history and world renowned medical school, which dates back to the 10th century, the 7,800 sqm museum will “explore the human body from an artistic, scientific and societal approach through cultural activities, interactive exhibitions, performances and workshops.”
Its design, orchestrated by eight undulating forms which “weave together” to create an underlying continuous space, will serve as a mediator between nature and city – Charpak Park and the Montpellier city hall. Stunning views, access to daylight and critical internal connections will all be revealed by the Museum’s shifting form.
Read on for more from the architect…
OMA’s comprehensive strategy to rebuild the New Jersey city of Hoboken, after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, has been selected as one of ten initiatives moving forward in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition. The proposal, Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge, focuses on establishing resiliency through the integration of key infrastructural elements that not only protects coastal neighborhoods, but also the entire city of Hoboken.
Shortly after the jury demanded further work to be done on the shortlisted proposals, The London School of Economics (LSE) has selected Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) to design the new Global Centre for the Social Sciences. Besting proposals from OMA, Hopkins, Heneghan Peng and Grafton, RSHP’s winning design was also voted the public’s favorite by an overwhelming margin.
To represent a “speculative proposal for the radical reuse and re-colonization of the bridge infrastructure,” California-based Future Cities Lab has developed the “Hydraspan Bridge Colony installation: a 40-foot long, quarter-scale model that foresees a dense and agriculturally rich community suspended below the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.
Friends of the High Line, along side James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, have unveiled what could possibly be the gateway into the third and final stretch of New York’s most prized parkway. Planned to mark the northeast terminus of the High Line at Rail Yards on 10th Avenue at West 30th Street, the “immersive bowl-shaped structure,” known as “The Spur,” hopes to bring a pocket of New York’s lush woodlands to the heart of the city.
BIG’s Blåvand Bunker Museum has secured the necessary funds to move forward. Set to transform a former German WWII bunker carved into the banks of Blåvand, Denmark, the 2,500 square meter museum will include four independent institutions: a bunker museum, an amber museum, a history museum and a special exhibitions gallery.
“Contrary to the existing closed concrete lump, the new museum will, in its architecture, function as an open heart integrated into the landscape,” Bjarke Ingels described. “The museum is in every way the opposite of the militant history with its more closed, dark and heavy features.”
With completion aimed for 2018, the Nobel Center plans to become on of Stockholm’s most attractive destinations. Not only will the Center’s large auditorium host the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, but it will offer key amenities to serve its surrounding public; In addition to a library, restaurant and retail shop, the Center will include spaces for exhibitions, school programs, events, and interdisciplinary meetings.
The proposals, listed in no particular order, are:
After three months of in-depth analysis and public outreach, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has shortlisted 10 design “opportunities” for the third and final round of Rebuild by Design. The design competition, focused on making New York’s Sandy-effected regions more resilient, sustainable, and livable, will now have the final project teams collaborate with local and regional stakeholders in developing their projects over the next five months. The goal is to arrive at projects that are implementable and fundable, leveraging the variety of federal recovery investments being made in the region.
OMA, BIG and WXY are just a few practices involved in the final round. Read on to review a glimpse of each shortlisted proposal.