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The Future of Train Travel: Life in Hyper-Speed

Japan, inventor of the world's first bullet train, recently unveiled plans for an even faster and more radical train model: a floating train, powered by magnets, that will travel 100 mph faster than current bullet trains (about 300 mph). The maglev train, standing for "magnetic levitation," will run between Tokyo and Osaka, an estimated distance of 315 miles, cost $64 billion, and be completed by 2045.  

High-speed rail has already revolutionized national and international transportation in many parts of the world - for example, China has a maglev that already goes 270mph - and now high-speed is transitioning into hyper-speed. Last year, we reported that Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, shared with the public his desire to patent a new mode of transportation - the “Hyperloop” that would get passengers from San Francisco to LA in only 30 minutes.

So what might the future hold for train travel? And, more importantly, how will it affect our cities and the people who live in them?

For more on the maglev train and the future of rail, read on.

House M / Keiko Maita Architect

© Yoshiharu Matsumura
© Yoshiharu Matsumura
  • Architects: Keiko Maita Architect
  • Location: Shunan, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Keiko Maita
  • Area: 107.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Yoshiharu Matsumura

© Yoshiharu Matsumura © Yoshiharu Matsumura © Yoshiharu Matsumura © Yoshiharu Matsumura

Serpentine Pavilion / Sou Fujimoto

This Thursday, the official opening of the Serpentine Pavilion, by Sou Fujimoto, took place in Hyde Park, London. It was the first time the public could interact with the structure.

The pavilion, which has already gotten its "cloud" nickname because of its shape and lightness, is generated through a three-dimensional steel grid of about 40 centimetre modules which morphs on each side. The structure is broken to allow people access as well as to generate different uses around, below and upon it. 

More pictures and the architect's statement after the break.

© Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla

Video: Studio Beneath the Railway + Step Plaza

Beneath an elevated railway in the former red-light district of Kogane-cho, the city of Yokohama and NPO Koganecho Area Management Center commissioned five architects to transform a 100 to 150 square meter site into what is now a destination for local artists and residents. Each practice - Contemporaries, Studio 2A, Workstation, Koizumi Atelier, and Nishikura Architectural Design Office - was assigned a single project, providing the community with a gallery, cafe, studio, meeting hall for artists, and stepped outdoor plaza. Tour through each space with this video, provided by JA+U

Park House / another APARTMENT

© Koichi Torimura
© Koichi Torimura
  • Architects: another APARTMENT
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Tsuyoshi Kobayashi
  • Area: 27.6 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Koichi Torimura

© Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura © Koichi Torimura

Seascape House / Tomoyuki Sakakida Architect and Associates

© Shigeo Ogawa
© Shigeo Ogawa

© Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa © Shigeo Ogawa

Video: Teshima Art Museum / Office of Ryue Nishizawa

Designed for the artwork of artist Rei Naito, the Teshima Art Museum is a seamless, earthen form of white concrete in which responds to the rolling landscape of an island located in the Inland Sea of Japan. Architect Ryue Nishizawa created the museum to be an open gallery, exposed to the elements, that is shaped by a 25cm thick concrete shell in which spans up to 60 meters.

Video courtesy of JA+U. More images after the break...

Project Lost Homes / Tsukihashi Laboratory (Kobe University)

A collaborative effort by Osamu Tsukihashi + Tsukihashi Laboratory, many professors and architecture students at all over Japan, "Projects Lost Homes" aims at lamenting lost towns and considering the disaster and the damaged areas brought about by Great East Japan Earthquake. Damaged areas were looked at dreadful circumstances, and the original sites were flowed away by Tsunamis, especially lots of areas on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Tohoku. Since 2011, their project has consisted of restoring damaged towns and villages, especially the coastal areas devastated by the following terrible tsunamis, by 1:500 scale models. More images and architects' description after the break.

Folm arts / Tsubasa Iwahashi Architects

© Yoshiro Masuda © Yoshiro Masuda © Yoshiro Masuda © Yoshiro Masuda

Aisho House / ALTS Design Office

  • Architects: ALTS Design Office
  • Location: Shiga, Japan
  • Architects Member: Sumiou Mizumoto / Yoshitaka Kuga
  • Area: 169.76 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of ALTS Design Office

Courtesy of ALTS Design Office Courtesy of ALTS Design Office Courtesy of ALTS Design Office Courtesy of ALTS Design Office

Armadillo / Yuji Tanabe Architects

© Yuji Tanabe
© Yuji Tanabe
  • Architects: Yuji Tanabe Architects
  • Location: Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
  • Structural Engineer: Jun Sato
  • Builder: Kawaguchi Kenchiku
  • Area: 52.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Yuji Tanabe

© Yuji Tanabe © Yuji Tanabe © Yuji Tanabe © Yuji Tanabe

Nakagawa Office Extension / Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura
Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura

Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura Courtesy of Yasutaka Yoshimura

Small Core House in Ochiaigawa / UNIT-O

  • Architects: UNIT-O
  • Location: Higashikurume-shi, Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Ryutaro Saito , Masahiro Yoneda
  • Area: 66.94 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Yasuhiro Nakayama, Courtesy of UNIT-O

© Yasuhiro Nakayama Courtesy of UNIT-O Courtesy of UNIT-O © Yasuhiro Nakayama