Everyday, in the city of London, 30 million meals are served. That’s millions of trucks arriving to millions of stores and restaurants in a complex, tightly scheduled orchestration of production, transportation, and distribution.
We take it for granted that this system will never fail. But what would happen if these trucks were stopped? As unrealistic as it sounds, it’s happened – and not so long ago.
In 1989, over 57% of Cuba’s caloric intake was imported from the Soviet Union. When it collapsed, Cuba became, virtually overnight, solely responsible for feeding its population – including the 2.2 million in the city of Havana.  What happened next is an incredible story of resilience and innovation.
As our world becomes increasingly urbanized, our farms increasingly endangered, and our reliance upon fossil fuels increasingly undesirable, the question of how we will feed billions of future city dwellers is no mere thought experiment – it’s an urgent reality.
The story of Cuba offers us an interesting question: What would our cities look like if we began to place food production/distribution as the primary focus of urban design? And what will it take to make this vision a reality?
More on how Food can shape our cities, after the break…
Architects: UNStudio, Ben van Berkel with Arjan Dingsté and Marc Hoppermann, Marc Herschel, Derrick Diporedjo, Kristin Sandner, Rein Werkhoven
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Client: ProRail, utrecht
Contractor: DAM-Dura Vermeer
Gross Roof Area: approximately 8700 m2
Dimensions: 4 platform roofs of approximately 210 metres long, with varying widths from 9-14 metre
Structure and materials: steel, aluminum and cold formed glass roofs
Start of construction: 2009
Planned completion date: 2011
In terms of scale, we typically feature massive projects by UNStudio – such as their Kutaisi Airport, planning scheme for Union Station, and grand performance venues – which all bring the contemporary aesthetic of Ben van Berkel to meet the projects’ respective programmatic and contextual demands. Recently, van Berkel’s team has crafted a covering for the Netherlands’ central rail line, bringing their elegant touch to a structure blanketing four train platforms measuring 210 meters in length.
More about the platform coverings after the break.
Location: Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Design Team: Edgar Velasco Casillas, Alejandro Zarate de la Torre, Pablo Serrano (Serrano Monjaraz), Gilberto Muñoz Rodriguez + Jesus Gonzalez Mendez, Isaac Guzman Ramirez
Interior Design: Isabel Maldonado
Structure: Giron Megaproyectos S.A. de C.V. Ing. Humberto Giron
Engineering: Integra S.A. de C.V.
Administration and Construction: Acunsa Arquitectos, Jorge Torrentera
Area: 943 sqm
Photographs: Jaime Navarro
The ‘Fiction’ collection, by photographer Antoine Mercusot, features miniature worlds and figures to create spaces made of wood, cardboard, plastic, and paper. Inspired by his work as an architectural photographer, he then stages imaginary parts, inspired by real life characters and crossings without markings, arranged in his imagination. As Mercusot states, “These worlds refer to contemporary architecture, where simplicity of lines, righteousness of the form, the work of matter are the source of this discipline. Only the light is able to reveal and highlight these volumes. The environments appear to be empty spaces, sanitized, where time stopped, leaving room for attitudes and the psychological dimension of silhouettes that are emerging.” More photographs of his collection can be viewed after the break.
Creating a gateway entry to south China’s new planned commercial hub, the winning competition proposal by 10 Design + Buro Happold for their Infinity Loop Bridge marks the connection of the Shizimen Canal to the Pearl River Delta. The 10 and Buro Happold team set out to create a simple and elegant structural solution for a bridge that would be a visual focal point both within the Shizimen District itself and along the Pearl River Delta coastline. More images and architects’ description after the break.
A nationally recognized leader in modern, sustainable, regionally appropriate architecture, Frank Harmon…, FAIA, principal of the multi-award-winning architecture firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, will present a talk entitled “How Architects and Landscape Architects Can Work Together”
Best know as a musician, Moby is quickly gaining lots of attention for his “weird architecture blog” that is centered around his fascination with Los Angeles architecture. In this video published by 1883 Magazine, Moby discusses his thoughts on some his personal favorites, starting with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, which Moby depicts as an Incan spaceship from 100,000 years ago.
Architects: Churtichaga & Quadra Salcedo Architects
Location: Matadero de Legazpi, Madrid, Spain
Client: Madrid City Council
Team: Principal Designer: Josemaria de Churtichaga, Project Design Team: Mauro Doncel Marchán, Natanael López Pérez, Building Design Team: Leticia López de Santiago
Area: 2,688 sqm
Cost: 4.104.843 €
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra
A jury of internationally recognized design professionals and Seattle civic leaders has declared a winner among three semi-finalists in Urban Intervention: The Howard S. Wright Design Ideas Competition for Public Space. The winner is ABF, of Paris, France, for its design, In-Closure, which envisions an interactive wall around a forested landscape that is both flexible and dynamic, embracing social life in the city at multiple scales.
The ABF team consists of Etienne Feher, architect; Paul Azzopardi, urban engineer; and Noé Basch, climate engineer. Continue reading after the break for more details.
Architects: Pedro Domingos Arquitectos
Location: Santa Barbara-de-Nexe, Faro, Portugal
Project Team: Celia Faria, Humberto Dias, Sonia Carvalheiro
Engineering: Luis Santos Palma, JAC, João Teixeira da Silva
Built Área: 200 sqm (house) + 900 sqm (landscape)
Cost: 250,000 Euros
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra
Earlier this month, Roche held a foundation stone-laying ceremony for their new office building that is currently being constructed in Basel, Switzerland. Designed by the Basel-based architecture practice of Herzog & de Meuron, the 178-meter-tall tapering structure will be formed by superimposed floor slabs that narrow as the high rise ascends. Its simple shape and predominantly white color scheme will anchor itself within the urban setting of Basel and become one of the few high rises scattered throughout the city’s skyline.
Continue after the break for more images and information.