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Why The Skycycle Would Never Work

01:00 - 23 January, 2014
Why The Skycycle Would Never Work, Is this the answer to London’s cycle safety woes?. Image © Foster + Partners
Is this the answer to London’s cycle safety woes?. Image © Foster + Partners

Writing for Future Cape Town, this article by Julia Thayne - originally titled The Skycycle: A Plan for the People? - explores the proposal by Foster + Partners to build an elevated cycle highway above London's, explaining why it is little more than an optimistic pipe-dream.

Headlines in London this November were grim. Six cyclist deaths in less than a fortnight. All but one cyclist killed in accidents involving trucks, buses, or coaches. People were understandably concerned. From 3,000 miles away, my mother sent me a fluorescent coat and another set of bike lights, and as a cyclist commuter, I avoided roundabouts that I had previously sailed through, noting that cars seemed to be driving more slowly and other cyclists thinking twice before flouting traffic laws.

In response to the deaths, the public and public sector alike launched a “cycling state of emergency.” Officers patrolled the streets to ticket both vehicles driving unsafely and cyclists disobeying road rules. A thousand citizens gathered for a candlelight vigil at the roundabout where three cyclists’ lives had been claimed. Another thousand staged a “die-in” outside of Transport for London’s headquarters, in which protesters lay down in the streets, using their bicycles to block traffic. Newspaper columns, magazine articles, and blog spots examined and re-examined the safety of cycling routes around London. Mayor Boris Johnson’s Cycle Superhighways (four blue-painted, supposedly safety-enhanced cycling routes around London) became a particularly contentious topic of discussion, as three of the six cyclist deaths during those two weeks (and of the 14 deaths thus far in 2013) had occurred on or near one of these routes.

From the conversation about cycling and safety, the Skycycle has emerged.

Read on for the problems with the Skycycle project

Giveaway: Andre Chiote Illustrations of Iconic Buildings

00:00 - 23 January, 2014
Giveaway: Andre Chiote Illustrations of Iconic Buildings, © André Chiote
© André Chiote

André Chiote, a Portuguese architect renowned for designing illustrations that represent some of architecture’s most iconic buildings, has agreed to give five lucky winners a copy of their favorite print. To participate, browse through Chiote’s collection on his online shop and tell us which illustration you like the best in the comment section below. 

You have until Wednesday, January 29th to submit your comments. Winners will be contacted the following day. Good luck! 

House in La Jolla Beach / Juan Carlos Doblado

01:00 - 23 January, 2014
House in La Jolla Beach / Juan Carlos Doblado, © Juan Solano
© Juan Solano

© Juan Solano © Juan Solano © Juan Solano © Juan Solano +13

Can Fogarada / Miel Arquitectos

01:00 - 23 January, 2014
Can Fogarada / Miel Arquitectos, Courtesy of Miel Arquitectos
Courtesy of Miel Arquitectos

Courtesy of Miel Arquitectos Courtesy of Miel Arquitectos Courtesy of Miel Arquitectos Courtesy of Miel Arquitectos +18

Ninety Nine Failures / The University of Tokyo Digital Fabrication Lab

01:00 - 23 January, 2014
Ninety Nine Failures / The University of Tokyo Digital Fabrication Lab, © Hayato Wakabayashi
© Hayato Wakabayashi
  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Teaching Staff

    Yusuke Obuchi, Toshikatsu Kiuchi, So Sugita, Hironori Yoshida, Christopher Sjorberg, Yeonsang Shin, Miguel Puig, Zhang Ye, Ana Luisa Soares, Ma Sushuang, Tong Shan, Andrea Trajkovska, Quangtuan Ta, Wei Wang, Anders Rod, Benjamin Berwick, Qiaomu Jin, Fawad Osman, Yanli Xiong, Andrea Bagniewski, Kevin Clement, Ornchuma Saraya, Minjie Xu
  • Obayashi Corporation

    Tomoo Yamamoto, Kenichi Misu, Gendai Ono, Yasuo Ichii, Keisuke Fujiwara, Shunsuke Niwa, Tatsuji Kimura, Masaru Emura, Taiki Byakuno, Takahide Okamoto
  • Structural Engineer

    Tsukasa Takenaka (AnS Studio)
  • Construction

    Multibuilder
  • Fabrication

    Yokohama Systems, TREX Corporation
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Hayato Wakabayashi, Courtesy of The University of Tokyo Digital Fabrication Lab

© Hayato Wakabayashi Courtesy of The University of Tokyo Digital Fabrication Lab © Hayato Wakabayashi Courtesy of The University of Tokyo Digital Fabrication Lab +32

Architecture Otherwhere - Durban 2014

00:00 - 23 January, 2014
Architecture Otherwhere - Durban 2014

On the twentieth anniversary of South Africa’s re-birth, the UIA Congress will celebrate the African profession as a meaningful contributor to world architecture and thought leadership in city development; as well as the continent’s contribution in the affairs and evolution of architecture globally.

Common Sense in Sustainable Architecture

00:00 - 23 January, 2014
Common Sense in Sustainable Architecture, Elemental ultimately developed a system in which half of each building would be constructed in a first phase – and the other half in a later second phase: allowing residents to incrementally invest in their own homes, made possible through public funding. Photo: Elemental.
Elemental ultimately developed a system in which half of each building would be constructed in a first phase – and the other half in a later second phase: allowing residents to incrementally invest in their own homes, made possible through public funding. Photo: Elemental.

There are very few sceptics who would question the importance of increasing sustainability in architecture. The enhanced social value through better living conditions, physical value in a healthier and less-polluted environment, long-term monetary value via reduced operating and maintenance costs, and ethical value through fairness to future generations are self-evident.

But despite this agreement, the inertia of decision makers in finance and politics who are preoccupied with short-term cycles has slowed the pace of change, and distracts architects and engineers from focussing upon ways to integrate greater sustainable performance into their designs and projects.

Deusjevoo / a2o-architecten

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
Courtesy of a2o-architecten
Courtesy of a2o-architecten

Courtesy of a2o-architecten Courtesy of a2o-architecten Courtesy of a2o-architecten Courtesy of a2o-architecten +16

Herzog & de Meuron Unveils Pedestrian-Centric City Center for Lyon Confluence

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
Block A3: west public transit. Image Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron
Block A3: west public transit. Image Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

The Mayor of Lyon, France, has unveiled plans for a dense, mixed-use district planned for the Lyon Confluence. Masterplanned by Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with landscapist Michel Desvigne, the 35-hectare scheme will be the first plot developed in the second phase of a larger regeneration initiative that aims to “double the city-center” by reclaiming a massive, post-industrial site on the city’s central peninsula. Once complete, the second phase, known as “Ilot A3”, will provide more than 2,000 homes in a lush residential park and vibrant “market quarter.” 

The Architectural League Spring Events

00:00 - 22 January, 2014
The Architectural League Spring Events

The Architectural League announced their Spring 2014 calendar of events. 'First Friday' events are held at the offices of the hosting firms. It started January 10 with Toshiko Mori and future participants include COOKFOX Architects, SHoP Architects, and GLUCK+

December ABI Dips Again

00:00 - 22 January, 2014
December ABI Dips Again, December 2013 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
December 2013 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Following consistently increasing demand for design services throughout most of 2013, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has posted its first consecutive months of contraction since May and June of 2012. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 48.5, down from a mark of 49.8 in November.  This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 59.2, up from the reading of 57.8 the previous month.

More highlights from the December ABI, after the break…

House in Cacela Velha / Victor Neves

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
House in Cacela Velha / Victor Neves, © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG +21

La Planta / Agraz Architects SC

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
La Planta / Agraz Architects SC, © Mito Covarrubias
© Mito Covarrubias
  • Architects

  • Location

    Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, JAL, Mexico
  • Architect in Charge

    Ricardo Agraz
  • Collaborators

    Erick Martínez, Miguel Sánchez, Juan Antonio Jaime, Brenda Barron, Blanca Moreno, Gabriela Villarreal, Javier Gutiérrez, Gabriel Gómez, Humberto Dueñas, Marc Fernández, Fernanda Palma, Israel Picos, Javier H. Aguirre, Leticia Macias
  • Construction

    Hugo Luna Vázquez, David Miguel Zamora Bueno, Francisco Javier Peregrina Barajas
  • Art Direction

    Francisco Morales Dufour, Adrián Guerrero
  • Area

    1375.0 m2
  • Year

    2013
  • Photography

    Mito Covarrubias

© Mito Covarrubias © Mito Covarrubias © Mito Covarrubias © Mito Covarrubias +26

Souldern Road / DOS Architects

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
Souldern Road / DOS Architects, Courtesy of DOS Architects
Courtesy of DOS Architects
  • Architects

  • Location

    2 Souldern Road, London W14 0JE, United Kingdom
  • Contractor

    Pn Homes
  • Structural Engineer

    Whitby Bird
  • Lighting

    Ps Lab
  • Area

    425.0 sqm
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of DOS Architects

Courtesy of DOS Architects Courtesy of DOS Architects Courtesy of DOS Architects Courtesy of DOS Architects +20

Architecture for Humanity NY Community Design Competition

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
Architecture for Humanity NY Community Design Competition

Architecture for Humanity New York (AfHny) is accepting submissions for construction, interior design, landscape, and other design-related projects for the AfHny Community Design Competition 2014. AfHny will select one winning project that will be judged based on its alignment with AfHny’s mission, its perceived impact on the New York community, the submitting organization’s ability to fund the project, and proof of the organization’s ability to impact New York City’s neighborhoods based on past results. The winning project will receive a design competition hosted by AfHny that will result in several schematic design solutions developed by our membership base, which represents some of the top talent in the New York City design community. At the end of the design competition process, the winning organization will select their favored schematic design. 

Fairview Townhouse / Bucchieri Architects

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
© Scott Pease
© Scott Pease
  • Architects

  • Location

    Cleveland, OH, United States
  • Designer

    Stephen Bucchieri
  • Area

    3000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Scott Pease © Scott Pease © Scott Pease © Scott Pease +18

TEX-FAB Skin: Digital Assemblies

00:00 - 22 January, 2014
TEX-FAB Skin: Digital Assemblies

TEX-FAB extends its reach to Austin, this year adding the University of Texas School of Architecture as a member organization. In doing so, the UT SOA is supporting the largest and most complete event to date with Michel Rojkind as our Keynote lecture with 6 speakers and 4 moderators. Moderators will delve into techniques to highlight the differences between working methods, while within the workshops, session leaders will further develop those topics as functional methods for the production of design solutions. 

Vista House / Alexander Brenner Architects

01:00 - 22 January, 2014
Vista House / Alexander Brenner Architects, © Zooey Braun
© Zooey Braun

© Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun © Zooey Braun +21