With the ever-expanding global population, cities around the world today are caught in the midst of mass urbanization; the resultant problems are the topic of much of the current architectural discourse. From these trends stems the challenges of providing adequate amounts of both housing and urban green space, and by extension, providing adequate food production. In order to address this divide, Toronto will soon be home to The Plant – a mixed-use community revolving around sustainable residential urban farming and social responsibility in the Queen Street West neighborhood.
“It might seem extreme, but we orientated this entire project around our connection to food,” says Curated Properties partner Gary Eisen, one of the developers involved in the project. “It’s our guiding principle and the result is a building that lives and breathes and offers a better quality of life to the people who will live and work here. The Plant is a community that fits with the foodie culture that has come to define Queen West.”
Russian designer Konstantin Kolesov has created a collection of finely-crafted souvenirs celebrating iconic architectural landmarks from around the globe. The Jsouv Collection consists of 15 pieces, depicting landmarks from New York, London, Tokyo, Dubai and more. Crafted from solid aluminum, the souvenirs are accompanied by a natural walnut base engraved with a 2D emblem of the city in question. With the souvenirs currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo, Jsouv is also offering a t-shirt collection with unique prints of each city and landmark.
The architectural legacy of the Rockefeller family in Manhattan is well-known, most obviously demonstrated in the slab-like Art Deco towers of the Rockefeller Center and the ever-expanding campus of the MoMA. But in a city that is filled with landmarks and historic buildings, it's easy for even the most remarkable projects to go unrecognized. Philip Johnson's Rockefeller Guest House in Manhattan was completed in 1950, just one year after the construction of his better known Glass House in New Canaan. The Glass House is an obvious cousin to the later guest house: both feature largely empty glass and steel boxlike forms, where structural work is exposed and celebrated.
Under the acronym B.R.E.A.K., or "Bandirma Regeneration As Knowledge," the project’s focal point is the Design Institute – “an operation that will attract a large number of academic gatherings from the Turkish region for hosting exhibitions and research conferences” from its vantage point overlooking the city and harbor.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced via Twitter that his company’s fully-integrated solar roof system is nearly ready to be released to the public, and will begin taking orders on the shingles starting next month.
The solar roof project was announced this past October after acquiring energy services provider SolarCity for $2.1 billion. Offered in four different styles – smooth glass, textured glass, French slate and Tuscan glass – the shingles would allow homeowners to make the switch to solar without having to change their aesthetic tastes. Though exact costs have yet to be released, Musk believes the system could be more affordable than a traditional roof.
Adrenaline junkies rejoice: the Willis Tower has announced plans for $20 million dollars of improvements to their popular glass-bottom SkyDeck observation attractions. Among the additions will be a series of new all-glass protrusions from the building, as well as a chance to rappel down a glass shaft suspended from the building’s 103rd floor.
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The City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority have announced the selection of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Perkins + Will and John Ronan Architects to lead in the design of three new “co-located” affordable housing and library developments in the Chicago neighborhoods of Little Italy, West Ridge, and Irving Park.
Selected from a shortlist of nine firms, the three Chicago-based teams were chosen for their “innovative ideas that will ensure that each community will have a design that best reflects its needs.” The practices will work intimately with their respective communities to develop their designs.