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Monocle 24 Visits Some of the World's 'Second Cities'

For this week's edition of The Urbanist, Monocle's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team explore why being 'number two' is not always a bad thing in an episode about second cities and the ways in which they step out of their capital's shadow. From Milan to Melbourne, the team examine how and why some cities are carving their own niche in the international business and tourism markets. They also interview the Mayor of Aarhus about the challenges – and advantages – of governing Denmark’s second city.

University Centre "des Quais" / Auer Weber

  • Architects: Auer Weber
  • Location: 69007 Lyon, France
  • Project Manager: Philipp Auer; Yvonne Meschederu and Eric Frisch
  • Project Team: Christina Hahn, Peter Hofmann, Daniela Hohenhorst, Martin Klemp, Anne Krins, Christian Richardt, Bertram Wruck
  • Area: 23485.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Aldo Amoretti

© Aldo Amoretti © Aldo Amoretti © Aldo Amoretti © Aldo Amoretti

Victoria Park, E9 / Scenario

© Matt Clayton © Matt Clayton © Matt Clayton © Matt Clayton

H 1115-7 / A.E.A

  • Architects: A.E.A _ Atelier Espa:ce Architectes
  • Location: 1115-7 Hyangchon-dong, Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
  • Structure: RC
  • Area: 295.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Kim Yong Kwan

© Kim Yong Kwan © Kim Yong Kwan © Kim Yong Kwan © Kim Yong Kwan

China in Flux: Mapping the Middle Zone

Students and faculty from the USC School of Architecture, in partnership with USC’s American Academy in China (AAC), have been engaged in a summer‐long program examining how the “middle zone,” or more rural, outlying areas in between cities, are growing. The program travelled to Beijing, Lushan, and Xian, and is currently in Shenzhen where it is staging the exhibition China in Flux: Mapping the Middle Zone.

Darlinghurst Apartment / Brad Swartz Architect

© Katherine Lu © Katherine Lu © Katherine Lu © Katherine Lu

Basaltica House / grupoarquitectura

Courtesy of grupoarquitectura Courtesy of grupoarquitectura Courtesy of grupoarquitectura Courtesy of grupoarquitectura

Fire Consumes Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzo del Lavoro

Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzo del Lavoro (Palace of Labour) in Turin has been devastated by fire. The unoccupied exhibition hall, originally built for Italia'61, had been undergoing renovations. As La Stampa Turin reports, the fire started on the second floor and is most likely the result of arson. A similar incident happened a few months ago, but was quickly extinguished. 

The glass encased Palace of Labour is internally divided by 16 structurally independent steel roofed compartments, each supported by radial branches stemming from 65-foot-tall concrete columns.

Bioclimatic Prototype of a Host and Nectar Garden Building / HUSOS

  • Architects: HUSOS
  • Location: Cali, Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
  • Authors: Camilo García, Diego Barajas (Architects), Francisco Amaro (Biologist), Building community of inhabitants.
  • Area: 510.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Manuel Salinas, Javier García, Taller Croquis, Courtesy of Husos

© Manuel Salinas © Javier García © Manuel Salinas © Taller Croquis

EM2N to Build Basel's New Museum of Natural History and State Archives

EM2N has won first prize in an international competition to design the new Museum of Natural History Basel and the State Archives Basel-City. Selected over 22 other proposals, the winning scheme "Zasamane" will unite both institutions within a single "storehouse" that will "combine knowledge about nature and culture" of the Swiss city. The elongated building will take shape with a subtle stagger that responds to the neighboring railway line and increases in density as it approaches Vogesenplatz. A slender tower will anchor the building, offering an "urban symbol" for both institutions.

View from Vogesenplatz. Image © EM2N; Render by Ponnie Images View from Vogesenplatz. Image © EM2N; Render by Ponnie Images Shared entrance hall. Image © EM2N; Render by Luxigon Staircase hall Museum of Natural History Basel. Image © EM2N; Render by Luxigon

Jacinto Chiclana Building / Estudio CaMet

© Federico Kulekdjian © Federico Kulekdjian © Federico Kulekdjian © Federico Kulekdjian

Call for Submissions: AIA Upjohn Research Initiative

You have until September 1 to apply for the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) Upjohn Research Initiative. The Upjohn program funds up to six research grants of $15,000-$30,000 per recipient annually for projects completed in a six to 18 month period. Proposals should address the value of design, practice issues, or novel materials and methods of construction. The research should relate to architectural knowledge that can readily be applied/transferred within the discipline. Read on for 2015's preferred themes. 

Launch of Google Sunroof Brings Valuable Solar Power Data to the Mainstream

Google is in the unique position to truly understand what people want. As millions key in their questions, the search giant is actively working to provide better answers. When it comes to questions about solar energy, Google wondered, “If people are lost trying to get answers about solar, why don’t we give them a map?” And so, the tech company announced the beta launch of Project Sunroof: a tool “to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone.”

In a post on Google’s Green Blog, engineer Carl Elkin addressed common misconceptions about the viability of solar energy for the average owner by saying “many of them are missing out on a chance to save money and be green.” Sunroof hopes to be the answer that gives people clear, easy to understand answers.

Fabrizio Barozzi on Finding the Specific and Avoiding the Generic in Architecture

Established in 2004, Spanish studio Barozzi/Veiga have become known for their intellectual approach to design and their precise solutions which draw on both local conditions and a sense of uniqueness - an approach which recently won them the Mies van der Rohe Award for their Philharmonic Hall SzczecinIn this interview, originally published in the August issue of Indian Architect & Builder under the title "Script of Simplicity," Fabrizio Barozzi speaks about the award-winning Philharmonic Hall Szczecin, the connection Barozzi/Veiga keeps between research and design, and how they avoid the generic in their architecture.

Ministry of Social Development Headqarters / Undurraga Devés Arquitectos

© Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo © Felipe Díaz Contardo

ISAD Students Revitalize Broken Water Source in Mexico with Urban SPA

After several years spent broken and unusable, the local water source at Parque Urueta in the center of Chihuahua, Mexico, has been revitalized by the Instituto Superior de Arquitectura de Chihuahua’s (ISAD) Taller del Desierto student workshop. This year’s version of the annual workshop—called Urban SPA—has teamed up with PKMN architectures and Memela, as well as civil association Impulsados Capacidades and materials sponsor A+bien.

In an effort to create “a collective imaginary for the future,” the workshop began with initial ideas, like shaded areas for parents to drop off children for school, steps to link resting and sports areas, and bench maintenance actions. However, after neighbors voiced concerns about the park’s broken public water source, the workshop’s focus shifted towards the Urban SPA concept.

Courtesy of PKMN Architectures Courtesy of PKMN Architectures Courtesy of PKMN Architectures Courtesy of PKMN Architectures