Foster + Partners to Submit Thames Hub Airport Proposal to Airport Commission

Courtesy of Foster and Partners

have confirmed that they will submit their proposal for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary to the Airports Commission, an organisation investigating airport capacity in the UK, by mid-July. The submission will be an important step towards getting government approval of the plan. 

The airport, which will have four runways (the potential to expand to six) and capacity for 150 million passengers, is part of Foster + Partners’ Thames Hub proposal. The hub would be built on a platform on the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary and be connected to London via a spur linking directly to the existing high-speed rail line; in this way, Foster + Partners hope that it would eliminate the environmental, noise and security problems that come with the UK’s dependence on Heathrow Airport.

The self-funded Thames Hub vision was first made public in 2011. See our previous coverage: here. 

Story via Foster + Partners 

Landfill Reclamation: Fresh Kills Park Develops as a Natural Coastal Buffer and Parkland for Staten Island

Courtesy of Department of Parks and Recreation – Draft Master Plan

Every natural disaster has an “aftershock” in which we realize the fragility of our planet and the vulnerability of what we have built and created.  We realize the threat to our lifestyles and the flaws in our design choices.  The response to Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 was no different than the response to every other hurricane, earthquake, tornado , tsunami or monsoon that has wrought devastation in different parts of the world.  We recognize our impact on the climate and promise to address how our development has caused severe disruptions in the planet’s self-regulating processes.   We acknowledge how outdated our systems of design have become in light of these damaging weather patterns and promise to change the way we design cities, coastlines and parks.  We gradually learn from our mistakes and attempt to redress them with smarter choices for more sustainable and resilient design.  Most importantly, we realize that we must learn from how natural processes self-regulate and apply these conditions to the way in which we design and build our urban spaces.

Since Hurricane Sandy, early considerations of environmentalists, planners and designers have entered the colloquial vocabulary of politicians in addressing the issues of the United States’ North Atlantic Coast.  There are many issues that need to be tackled in regards to environmental development and urban design.  One of the most prominent forces of Hurricane Sandy was the storm surge that pushed an enormous amount of ocean salt water far inland, flooding whole neighborhoods in New Jersey, submerging most of Manhattan’s southern half, destroying coastal homes along Long Island and the Rockaways, and sweeping away parts of Staten Island.  Yet, despite the tremendous damage, there was a lot that we learned from the areas that resisted the hurricane’s forces and within those areas are the applications that we must address for the rehabilitation and future development of these vulnerable conditions. Ironically, one of the answers lies within Fresh Kills – Staten Island’s out-of-commission landfill, which was the largest landfill in the United States until it was shutdown in 2001.  Find out how after the break. (more…)

Video: Water / Cherry by Kengo Kuma Associates

The Water / Cherry House by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma Associates is located on a cliff along one of Japan’s many beautiful coastlines. The home is a series of separate enclosures connected by open-air walkways that run between water and rock landscapes, fusing interior and exterior spaces into one. Various screens in the house can be opened to further connect living spaces with the outdoors, exposing panoramic vistas onto the home’s lush, peaceful surroundings to create a structure that is truly in tune with its natural environment. Check out this video by JA+U for a tour!

A Candid Conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright

by JOHN AMARANTIDES, 1955. ”The Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)”

If you only know Frank Lloyd Wright for his classic works - Fallingwater and the Guggenheim among them – and not for his bristly personality, then you’re in for a treat.

WNYC has just released a candid they recorded with Wright in 1957, two years before his death, in his Plaza Hotel apartment (where he’d moved to oversee construction of the Guggenheim, which he’d been working on for 14 years). The conversation covers a wide range of topics – from Wright’s quirky personal views on American culture to the significance of architecture for mankind. Some gems from the interview include: 

On the Guggenheim and its critics:  “You’re going to be awakened to the beauty of that thing [a picture, a painting] from a new point of view. And it’s going to be so enlivening and refreshing, that it will make some of these painters quite ashamed of the protest that they issued against it.”

More quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright, after the break…

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro Designs Telescopic ‘Culture Shed’ for New York

Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and

The expandable multi-use cultural venue dubbed ‘Culture Shed’ is one of the most radical proposals to come out of New York’s Hudson Yards Development Project. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro - the New York-based interdisciplinary practice that played a major role in designing the High Line - in collaboration with the Rockwell Group, this 170,000 square foot cultural center will be located at the south end of the , with the main entrance located near the conclusion of the High Line at West 30th Street.

More information on the Culture Shed after the break…

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5 Robots Revolutionizing Architecture’s Future

Rob/Arch Rotterdam Workshop

Robots fascinate us. Their ability to move and act autonomously is visually and intellectually seductive. We write about them, put them in movies, and watch them elevate menial tasks like turning a doorknob into an act of technological genius. For years, they have been employed by industrial manufacturers, but until recently, never quite considered seriously by architects. Sure, some architects might have let their imaginations wander, like Archigram did for their “Walking City”, but not many thought to actually make architecture with robots. Now, in our age of digitalization, virtualization, and automation, the relationship between architects and robots seems to be blooming…check it out.

Keep reading to see five new robots making architecture.

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NBBJ Reveals Plans to Extend Samsung’s Silicon Valley Headquarters

Samsung Headquarters / NBBJ

NBBJ‘s design for the new Samsung Headquarters in Silicon Valley will become one of the new buildings to relieve the city of its dull, nondescript two-story office that dominates the landscape and introduce a new culture of office environments with a little push from the itself.  According to the LA Times by Chris O’Brien this architectural endeavor is just one move to establish ground in the rivalry between Samsung and Apple, whose highly anticipated spaceship-like, Foster + Partners-designed Cupertino Campus has made waves in the design community.  Technologically innovative and influential companies like Samsung, Apple, Google (also designed by NBBJ), Facebook, and Nvidia have engaged in a cultural shift of the work environment to create a hospitable and creative community for their employees.  The architecture of the campuses and offices introduced by each of these companies reflect the goals of an innovative business model that engages its employees in an innovative work environment that fosters collaboration and creativity.

See how the new Samsung Headquarters innovates office building design after the break.

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ULI Announces Finalist Teams for 2013 Student Urban Design Competition

“Connec+ Minneapolis” / Harvard University

The () has selected the finalist teams in the eleventh annual Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Graduate-level student teams representing Harvard University, Yale University, a joint team from Ball State University and Purdue University, as well as another join team from Kansas State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Kansas are all advancing to the final round of competition, scheduled to take place in March and April. This year’s finalists were charged with proposing a long-term development plan for downtown Minneapolis that creates value for property owners, city residents, and the greater Twin Cities region.

A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team; and each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $10,000. This year, applications were submitted from 158 teams representing 70 universities in the United States and Canada, with 790 students participating in total.

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Smithsonian Hires BIG to Rethink Historic D.C. Campus

Smithsonian Institution © Karissa Rosenfield / ArchDaily

The Smithsonian Institution has commissioned the innovative practice of Bjarke Ingels to reimagine the heart of its antiquated Washington D.C. campus. The Danish architect has agreed to an eight- to 12- month, $2.4 million contract to draft the first phase of a master plan that seeks to dissolve the notable impediments and discontinuous pathways that plague the area.

More on this news after the break…

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Architecture in Space: NASA Seeks Architects’ Opinions on Habitat Design for Astronauts

YouTube Preview Image

In the Interim Design Center parking lot of  State Polytechnic University, Pomona, students are constructing a 30 foot experimental structure that could house in space. Funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the year-long research and experimentation project challenges students to design a vertical habitat capable of housing four in space for a period of 60 days. Not only is this an extreme case of micro-living, but to design a living quarters with no orientation, where walls, floors and ceilings are non-existent, is unworldly.

More after the break…

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TED2013 Begins Today!

Courtesy of TED2013

The latest incarnation of TEDTalks has finally arrived with TED2013: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered. This year’s conference in Long Beach, California will host the largest number of speakers in TED history, more than 70, with more than half coming from TED’s global talent search (which found “some truly astounding youngsters”). Another interesting change for this year? Many will present shorter speeches (most hovering about12 minutes, rather than the traditional 18) .

This year’s conference features some speakers who are particularly interesting for the world. See which ones from the Line-Up we’re most excited to hear from, after the break…

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The Architecture Foundation and We Made That Launch “The Open Office”

Courtesy of We Made That

The Architecture Foundation has recently launched a month-long initiative named The Open Office. The scheme, which is described as “part ‘Citizens Urban Advice Bureau’, and part functioning practice” is the brainchild of London-based practice We Made That  and will take place in the offices of in Southwark, London until 22nd March. Operating on a walk-in basis, and displaying all work openly, The Open Office aims to engage and educate local communities on issues of architecture, and planning.

Read more about The Open Office scheme after the break.

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Google Collaborates with NBBJ to Expand California Headquarters

Courtesy of NBBJ

One thing Google has become known for is their spectacular work environments. From playful employee lounges to environmentally sensitive design, the multifaceted internet giant has successfully transformed hundreds of existing spaces from around the globe into casual work environments that spawn innovation, optimizes efficiency, and boasts employee satisfaction. Much like many other California-based corporations, Google has been toying with the idea of building their own office from scratch. Well, this dream will soon be realized, as the company has teamed up with Seattle-based NBBJ to expand their current, 65-building “Googleplex” in Mountain View, California. By 2015, Google plans to construct a 1.1-million-square-foot complex known as “Bay View” on a neighboring 42-acre site.

More on Bay View after the break…

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AD Recommends: Best of the Week

© Sergio Pirrone

Five great projects from last week that you may have missed! Check out the Hong Kong Institute of Design by CAAU, or the great Wisnu & Ndari House  designed by djuhara + djuhara. Don’t miss GGLLatelier’s Quinta dos Alcoutins in Lisbon, Portugal. Revisit the Xixi Wetland Art Village by chinese practice Wang Weijen . Finally, take a look at WFH House  by Arcgency, an interesting prefab house made out of containers.

MIT Collaborates with AIA to Research Solutions for Healthy Urban Futures

Courtesy of Flickr User Sandeep Menon Photography

American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) have announced a research collaboration to support  efforts through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Decade of Design, a measure focused on improving the health of urban communities.  As the global population continues to shift toward urban environments, urban conditions of the past century have become too outdated to address the increase in population and pollution.  In order to advance the state of city livability, professionals in the design and planning fields must reconsider how urban environments need to be designed to work optimally in regards to social, economic and health challenges.  MIT’s collaboration with the profession-based organization of the AIA allows the school’s research to reach the professional world for application and development.  

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3D Printing ProtoHouse 1.0 and ProtoHouse 2.0 / Softkill Design

AA DRL ProtoHouse 1.0 – SoftKill

3D printing has made immense leaps in the last few years as equipment and specialized programming has been refined to produced fully occupiable and usable spaces.  In previous articles, ArchDaily has discussed the numerous advances in 3D printing technology and their potential applications. 3D-printed dwellings on the moon made of sand via D-Shape, full-scale rooms via the KamerMaker and a personal printer for your kids called the MakerBot are just some speculative and experimental prototypes that have emerged from extensive research and development.  The designers of the next experiment in 3D printing is design group, Softkill Design, which includes Nicholette Chan, Gilles Retsin, Aaron Silver, and Sophia Tang within the Architectural Association School’s Design Research Lab at the ‘behavioral matter’ studio of Robert Stuart-Smith.  Last year Softkill Design completed ProtoHouse 1.0, a high-resolution prototype of a house printed at 1:33 scale.  Research prototypes were generously supported by Materialise. 

More details on the technology and images of ProtoHouse1.0 after the break.

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Seattle Leads the Way in Tracking Building Energy Use

Courtesy of designbuildsource.com.au

Enthusiasm for water and energy data collection for commercial and residential buildings has been growing strong across the U.S. in major cities such as Austin, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. It’s no surprise to learn that Earth-friendly is ahead of the game when it comes to tracking its buildings; reports show that the city is receiving data for a whopping 87% of its commercial and multi-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet, which totals to 1,160 individual properties covering over 200 million square feet of the city.

But that’s not all. New cities are hopping on the data collection bandwagon, most recently Minneapolis – the first city in the Midwest to adopt rules for energy benchmarking and disclosure. Other cities who already have a green reputation, such as , are upping their game to adopt this beneficial practice in an effort to create even healthier and more prosperous urban conditions. With the President himself expressing support for cutting energy use by constructing more energy efficient buildings at last week’s State of the Union address, water and energy data collection is finally receiving the attention and consideration it deserves.

More on tracking building energy use after the break… (more…)

Google Glass and Architecture

YouTube Preview Image

Last year, Google founder Sergey Brin demoed Google Glass a new from the big G that puts an augmented reality display in front of your eye. The device is scheduled for early release to developers and creatives (in order to get feedback before the $1,500 product finds its way to the general public) in just a few weeks, but it has already been highly acclaimed by the media (including Best Inventions of the Year 2012 by Time).

On this video released by Google you can understand what all the hype is about. The 0.5″ display supported by a thin aluminium frame is placed in front of your right eye and thanks to its camera it serves as a two way interface with the Internet. As you can see on the video, natural language instructions (“Glass, take photo”, “Glass, record video”, “Glass, How long is the Brooklyn bridge?”) let you easily control the device and not only check emails or send messages, but also to display maps, definitions, and to share photos and videos in real time. In this aspect, the device opens a big door for architecture.

In our field, the experience is very important, and it is a dimension that hasn’t been able to be reproduced in its entirety through traditional media (plans, 2D or even 3D photos). Attempts to make immersive panoramas or the efforts of architecture photographers to embrace videos have extended the representation, but not in a significative way. And this is why travel is an important thing for the architect.

Imagine a tour broadcasted by the architects of the project, with the possibility of instant reader feedback to discuss a particular moment inside the building. Imagine finally experiencing the approach to the Parthenon like Le Corbusier did almost a century ago.

In this aspect, will change the way we understand architecture media.