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Local Economies Suffer as Foreign Investments Dominate London and NYC

An interesting phenomenon is taking place in London: the priciest tiers of its housing market are increasingly being driven by overseas investment, primarily from the Far East. The most interesting - and perhaps most concerning - aspect of these investments is that at least 37% those who buy property in the most expensive neighborhoods of central London do not intend to use that property as a primary residence. This results in upscale neighborhoods and residential properties that are largely abandoned and contribute almost nothing to the local economy of the city. Parts of Manhattan are experiencing similar behavior, leading us to ask the question "what is happening to our cities as they become more and more globalized and how will this trend affect city economies around the world?"

Read more after the break...

Maison A+C / atelier alassoeur

  • Architects: atelier alassoeur
  • Location: Saint Marcel, Indre, France
  • Architect in Charge: emmanuel alassoeur
  • Mechanical consultant : Combiosol / sébastien rogala
  • Area: 273.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Brice Desrez

© Brice Desrez © Brice Desrez © Brice Desrez © Brice Desrez

Ziggo Dome / Benthem Crouwel Architects

© Jannes Linders
© Jannes Linders
  • Architects: Benthem Crouwel Architects
  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Project Architect: Jan Benthem, Job Schoën
  • Area: 49000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Jannes Linders

© Jannes Linders © Jannes Linders © Jannes Linders © Jannes Linders

Morovian Church / 70F Architecture

© Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer

Juan Pablo Corvalan Hochberger, Supersudaca Lecture

Taking place tomorrow, April 11th, at 6:00pm, Woodbury University's School of Architecture will be hosting the Juan Pablo Corvalan Hochberger, Supersudaca lectureSupersudaca's main driving motto has been to connect the usually disconnected Latinamerica architectural arena with projects directly related to the public perception such as recreation spaces, public spaces, installations etc in various locations such as Caracas, Lima, Tokyo, Talca, Buenos Aires. They continuously use the workshop format with students from various universities worldwide to launch campaigns for such projects. For more information, please visit here.

Wirtschaftsblatt Newsroom / IDFL

© Iztok Lemajič
© Iztok Lemajič
  • Architects: IDFL
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Architect in Charge: IDFL d.o.o, Ljubljana, Slovenija
  • Design Team: Sandra Banfi Škrbec, Iztok Lemajič
  • Area: 1700.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Iztok Lemajič

© Iztok Lemajič © Iztok Lemajič © Iztok Lemajič © Iztok Lemajič

Documentary on 'Archiculture' to Premiere at Newport Beach Film Festival

After years of production, the documentary film Archiculture is set to premiere at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival, which will commence on April 25th. Highlighting a group of students amidst their final design projects, the film illustrates the strengths and perils of architectural education. Shigeru Ban, Thom Mayne, Ken Frampton and Phil Bernstein are some of the leading architects, educators and historians that will be featured in the film and offering insightful criticism about studio-based, design education as it exists today. 

Check out the trailer above and continue after the break for more information. 

SEEDoc: Nyanza Maternity Hospital / MASS Design Group

Since June, we've been reporting on the Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design)'s, SEEDocs, a series of mini-documentaries that highlight the stories of award-winning public interest design projects. As each mini-doc has been an excellent, inspiring exploration of the challenges and benefits of community-oriented design, we are pleased (and not a little sad!) to announce that the final seed-doc has just been released.This month's mini-doc, probably the series' best, focuses on the Nyanza Maternity Hospital, designed by MASS Design Group. MASS of course garnered much attention for their Butaro Hospital, also in Rwanda (for an interesting inside-look at the construction of Butaro, read this excellent article by MASS co-founder Marika Shiori-Clark). Should this hospital be funded and realized, it will no doubt make more headlines for the innovative public-interest design firm. Read more about MASS Design Group's lastest project in Rwanda, after the break...Part of what sets MASS Design Group apart is their receptive, "open slate" approach to projects. As Sierra Bainbridge, Director of Implementation at MASS, explains in the doc: "we don't come in with any ideas, at all, about what's going to happen - just a very very long list of questions. We can only build a very good building if we check in and understand, every step of the way, that we are understanding the clients the way that they intend for their needs to be understood."Of course, as Ms. Bainbridge points out in the doc, sometimes the clients themselves - the nurses, doctors, and patients who use the facility - don't even know how their needs could be better met, since they have gotten so used to their current, sub-par facility, a dilapidated structure built in 1931. This is where the experience of the architect comes in. With one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world, Rwanda loses over 40,000 infants, toddlers, and mothers each year; deaths that, in about 50% of cases, could have been prevented with improved hospital care. MASS Design has isolated one of the major factors in these preventable deaths: poor air circulation. When patients sit in crowded, stuffed hallways-come-waiting rooms, disease spreads rapidly. The very buildings that were designed to heal, actually kill. And so, the crowning features of MASS's design for the Nyanza Maternity hospital are solar chimneys – "a new ventilation concept that pulls fresh air up throughout the building, dramatically reducing the potential spread of disease." With the design completed, now the project only lacks donor funding to come to fruition. Please share the video, and the word, about this extraordinary project - we'll be waiting to publish it on ArchDaily once it's built. Did you miss the other SEEDocs? See them all: 

  • Maria Auxiliadora School - On August 15th, 2007 a powerful earthquake hit the region of Ica, Perú, destroying the small Maria Auxiliadora School. The first responders left after a matter of months, but the damage remained. With help from Architecture for Humanity Design Fellow, Diego Collazo, the community decided to take the school’s – and their children’s – future into their own hands.  
  • Escuela Ecológica- In this school in Lima, Peru, students learn in small, dark rooms and play in the dirt. The community desperately wanted a park where the children could play and a school where they could comfortably learn. With the help of a local architect and a group of professors and students from the University of Washington, the community is making those dreams a reality. 
  • Bancroft School Revitilization - In Manheim Park, a low-income, neglected neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri,there was an abandoned, abestos-ridden school that no one used - until residents approached BNIM Architects with the idea of turning it into a revitalized community center. With the help of the Make It Right Foundation, BNIM collaborated with the neighborhood to design a multi-use center with affordable housing units, a health clinic, and public gathering space. 
  • The Grow Dat Youth Farm - A brilliant example of “Urban Agri-puncture” (a strategy that uses design & Urban Agriculture to target a city’s most deprived, unhealthy neighborhoods), changing the lives of New Orleans youth. Central to the farm’s development has been the creation of a campus, designed and constructed by students enrolled at the Tulane City Center, who turned an abandoned golf course to an energy-efficient, organic farm sensitive to regional climate.

46 Social Houses / Gabriel Verd

  • Architects: Gabriel Verd Arquitectos
  • Location: Avenida de las Civilizaciones, 3, 41927 Mairena del Aljarafe, Sevilla, Spain
  • Architect in Charge: Gabriel Verd
  • Design Team: Gabriel Verd, Simone Solinas
  • Area: 6738.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Roland Halbe

© Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe

Milan Design Week 2013: Energetic Energies for Panasonic / Akihisa Hirata

Envision a future where undulating “solar plants” transform the rectangular masses of our cities into a vibrant metropolis where technology aids in the coexistence of humans and nature. Represented in the conceptual installation “Energetic Energies” at the Milan Design Week 2013, this notion of redefining our relationship with the sky through photovoltaics is based on years of technological research and development by the Panasonic Corporation, who commissioned Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata to imagine the possibilities. 

The exhibition features a 30 meter-long makeshift city, whose “hills” of photovoltaics overtake clusters of white, translucent buildings while shadows of clouds move in and out of the space. 

A video interview with Akihisa Hirata and more images after the break...

Proyecto Roble / Équipe Voor Architectuur En Urbanisme

  • Architects: Équipe Voor Architectuur En Urbanisme
  • Location: Tilburg the Netherlands
  • Architect in Charge: Huib van Zeijl, Daniëlle Segers
  • Employees: Adam Murray
  • Area: 650.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: René de Wit I Équipe

© René de Wit I Équipe © René de Wit I Équipe © René de Wit I Équipe © René de Wit I Équipe

  • Interior Design: Équipe voor architectuur en urbanisme
  • Garden Design: Studio Van Helvoirt

Branksome Hall Asia Jeju Global Education City / Samoo Architects & Engineers

© Young Chae Park
© Young Chae Park
  • Architects: Samoo Architects & Engineers
  • Location: Gueok-ri, Daejeong-eup, Jeju-do, South Korea
  • Collaboration : MKPL Architects, Sun Architects & Engineers
  • Area: 69604.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Young Chae Park

© Young Chae Park © Young Chae Park © Young Chae Park © Young Chae Park

Rijksmuseum / Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute
  • Architects: Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos
  • Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Principals: Antonio Cruz, Antonio Ortiz
  • Project Architects: Muriel Huisman, Thomas Offermans
  • Project Team: Tirma Reventós, Oscar García de la Cámara, Marije Ter Steege, Alicia López, Juan Luis Mayén, Clara Hernández, Ana Vila, Victoria Bernícola, Jan Kolle, Sara Gutiérrez, Marta Pelegrín, Iko Mennenga, Joaquin Pérez, Lourdes Gutierrez, Carlos Arévalo
  • Area: 30000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2000
  • Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute, Myra May, Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Jannes Linders, Duccio Malagamba

© Myra May Courtesy of Rijksmuseum © Jannes Linders © Pedro Pegenaute

Why China's Copy-Cats Are Good For Architecture

When we see another Eiffel Tower, idyllic English village, or, most recently, a Zaha Hadid shopping mall, copied in China, our first reaction is to scoff. Heartily. To suggest that it is - once again - evidence of China’s knock-off culture, its disregard for uniqueness, its staggering lack of innovation. 

Even I, reporting on the Chinese copy of the Austrian town of Halstatt, fell into the rhetorical trap: “The Chinese are well-known for their penchant for knock-offs, be it brand-name handbags or high-tech gadgets, but this time, they’ve taken it to a whole other level.” Moreover, as Guy Horton has noted, we are keen to describe designers in the West as “emulating,” “imitating,” and “borrowing”; those in the East are almost always “pirating.”

However, when we allow ourselves, even unconsciously, to settle into the role of superior scoffer, we do not just the Chinese, but ourselves, a disservice: first, we fail to recognize the fascinating complexity that lies behind China’s built experimentation with Western ideals; and, what’s more, we fail to look in the mirror at ourselves, and trouble our own unquestioned values and supposed superiority.

In the next few paragraphs, I’d like to do both. 

Lumber Shaped-Box House / Atelier Riri

  • Architects: Atelier Riri
  • Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Architect in Charge: Riri Yakub
  • Design Team: Arga Putra Rachman, Anindita Taufani, Ricco Ananto
  • Landscape Architects: TSLA
  • Main Contractor: Aqila Contractor
  • Civil & Structural Engineer: Dhian Puspitasari
  • Area: 296.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Fietter Chalim

© Fietter Chalim © Fietter Chalim © Fietter Chalim © Fietter Chalim

'Panta Rhei' Exhibition / Mateo Arquitectura

On view until this Saturday, April 13th, at the Galerie d’Architecture in Paris, the 'Panta Rhei' exhibition by Josep Lluís Mateo of Mateo Arquitectura is a tour through time: the past, present and future of the practice’s work. Highlighting projects, materials and moments that tend to be concealed from view, their 'everything flows' themed exhibit forms part of the agency’s praxis. Mateo displays how the present leads us to the future, and projects that are already being transported to reality. Also, the present of that which is clearly finished, and a trace of the past that has brought us to this point. An exhibition allows us to salvage, for a moment, materials produced in different contexts, to support ideas, explain stories or understand a world. For more information, please visit here. More images of the exhibition can be viewed after the break.

Hangar Artistic Creation Centre / Yaiza Terré + Arantxa Manrique

© Adrià Goula
© Adrià Goula
  • Architects: Arantxa Manrique + Yaiza Terré
  • Location: Carrer d'Espronceda, 165, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
  • Collaborators: Static ingenieria s.a.p., Aia installacions arquitectòniques, Sergi Perez Cobos, Fpa ferran pelegrina i ass, I2a.
  • Area: 82884.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Adrià Goula

© Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula © Adrià Goula