Massachusetts is destroying its toll plazas. By the end of this year, every single one on the Massachusetts Turnpike will have been demolished. Drivers will still pay to use the road—they will zoom through the metal arches of electronic tolling infrastructure—but the routine of slowing down, stopping to grab a ticket, and waiting for the barrier to rise will be gone.
Massachusetts is being more aggressive than most places about sweeping away its old tolling infrastructure, but all across the country, from New York to Florida, Texas to California, road authorities are switching to all-electronic tolling. While it’s too soon to declare the tollbooth dead, it’s easy to imagine a future in which roads are unencumbered by boxy plazas and simple gates.
The Inner Harbour Bridge was riddled with problems and was extremely delayed, as you can read here. Now, however, it's been open since July 2016. Let me be clear: I'm thrilled that we have a new, modern link over the harbor to accommodate bicycle traffic and pedestrians. I am over the moon that the number of cyclists crossing daily exceeds all projected numbers. The City estimated that between 3,000–7,000 cyclists would use the bridge but the latest numbers are 16,000. It's a massive success. But sometimes you can see the forest for the trees. I'm sorry, but Inderhavnsbro is a stupid, stupid bridge.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration has revealed visualizations of the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel that would link two fjords on either side of the Stad Peninsula in Norway, allowing ships to bypass the “most exposed, most dangerous” waters on the Norwegian coast. With the project now in the feasibility stage, architecture studio Snøhetta has produced a series of rendered design concepts to help the project gain traction within the Norwegian government.
BIG and Silvio D'ascia Architecture have released new images of their competition-winning design for the new Pont de Bondy metro station in Paris. One of a total of 68 new stations commissioned as part of Société du Grand París’ Grand Paris Express project, the Pont de Bondy station will “[continue] the Parisian tradition of utilizing bridges as social spaces and cultural landmarks.”
Amongst many things, Europe is known for some of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities, offering safe and convenient travel routes for its two-wheeled commuters. Berlin, however, does not sit high on this list, but in an effort to address this, a new plan for a system of bicycle “superhighways” is undergoing implementation, incentivising cycling as an efficient means of transport.
Studies commissioned by Berlin’s Senate Department for the Environment, Transport, and Climate Protection looked into 30 possible bike paths, covering stretches of at least 5km. Of these, 12 have been selected as future superhighways, intended to be completely separated from other vehicles on the road.
The New York Times has published an in-depth article entitled ‘How China Built iPhone City With Billions in Perks for Apple’s Partners’, revealing a treasure chest of public benefits for the world’s biggest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China. In a city of six million inhabitants in an impoverished region of China, the local government has contributed $1.5 billion to Foxconn, Apple’s supplier of iPhones. The money is used, in part, to improve local infrastructure, reduce Foxconn's export costs, and build housing for the factory’s 350,000-strong workforce (five times the number of people employed directly by Apple in the United States).
PLH Arkitekter has been announced as one of two winners in the international design competition for Rail Baltica, organized by The European Railroad Lines, Ltd. As a part of the European transport network, Rail Baltica will be a multi-modal public transport hub in the Latvian capital of Riga, with a railway bridge crossing the Daugava River.
The focal point of the project will be a train station building “that creates a strong visual identity in the cityscape, strengthening the sense of Riga as a metropolis.” Inspired by the archetypal form of the arch and the Art Nouveau period, the building will feature canopies that resemble arched fern leaves. On the north side of the building, the canopy shape allows for a unique view over the historic city, ideal for travelers entering or leaving the city to create a strong sense of place.
M CO Design has released its designs for “Dragon’s Link,” a new dragon-inspired, mixed-use infrastructure on the south side of Hong Kong Island “that will serve a large part of the community and will enhance a local historic monument,” the Tai Tam Dam, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this coming February.
Drawing inspiration from local traditions and the natural topography of Hong Kong, the project will create new connections within an existing network of roads and hiking trails in Tai Tam Country Park in “a juxtaposition of old and new,” in order to improve user experience and infrastructure.
The team of AZPML + DFN has won a competition for the design of the Passerella Ex-Torretta, a new bridge spanning the Ticino River in Bellinzona, Switzerland. The bridge will connect two existing medieval structures, the Torretta tower to the west of the river and medieval arcades on the eastern bank, and will provide a gradual 6% slope to allow for pedestrian and bicycle access.
Ben van Berkel and UNStudio have collaborated with a multidisciplinary team including Goudappel Coffeng (mobility consultants), GeoPhy (data specialists) and 2getthere (automated transit systems) to produce a study examining the future of infrastructure and city development for the area around Amsterdam’s A10 ring road and the Leylaan district.
Proposals resulting from the study comprise a new multimodal transportation hub located at the intersection of Cornelis Lelyaan and the A10, and new urban districts flanking the highway that will link to adjacent neighborhoods while provided a much needed new address in Amsterdam.
BIG and French studio Silvio d'Ascia have been selected to design the new Pont de Bondy metro station in Paris. The station is the latest design to be announced as part of the Société du Grand París’ Grand Paris Express project, which is seeking to modernize the existing transport network through the addition of nearly 200 kilometers of rail lines and a series of architect-designed stations throughout the city.
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Hyperloop One have unveiled joint designs for an autonomous transportation system and the world’s first Hyperloop pods and portals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The designs are being presented as Hyperloop One signs a deal with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), bringing the project one step closer to reality.
It’s a project out of every architect’s childhood fantasy: a 100 foot (31 meter) long suspension bridge, constructed completely out of LEGO.
Envisioned as part of the ongoing BridgeEngineering exhibition at London’s Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), the massive bridge utilized over 250,000 individual LEGO bricks in shattering the World Record for the longest LEGO suspension bridge. Stretching further than the length of three London City Buses end-to-end, the bridge weighs in at over 1,600 lbs (75 kg).
The Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) invites Registered Australian architects and urban designers to participate in a design competition for a renewed Frankston Railway Station.
The competition is seeking an exciting vision for the development of Frankston Station to revitalise the station precinct, improve the amenity for all who use the station, and create a new 'gateway' for Frankston.
Designing airports based on flight-inspired, aerodynamic forms is nothing new – in fact, that has been the concept behind some of history’s most beautiful airport terminals, such as Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Terminal in New York. But until now, no airport building has been quite so literal with its symbolism as the recently unveiled Ashgabat International Airport.
The new terminal building in Turkmenistan's capital takes the form of a soaring falcon, echoing the mascot of the national airline carrier. And at a cost of $2.3 billion USD, the structure has already drummed up some controversy – critics claim the building is much larger than needed to handle the country’s relative low traffic rates.
See some images of the bird-shaped building below.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal International Design + Deliverability Competition challenged architects to reimagine the current terminal building, built in 1950 and expanded in 1979, for the demands of modernday ridership. The terminal currently accommodates approximately 220,000 passenger trips and more than 7,000 bus movements on an average weekday, with demand projected to increase to 270,000 daily peak-hour passengers by 2020, and as many as 337,000 daily peak-hour passengers by 2040.
EFFEKT and collaborators karres+brands, WTM Engineers, ARUP and ALECTIA have won a competition to transform an industrial waste site into a new vibrant urban district and infrastructural hub in the historic center of the city of Roskilde, Denmark. Beating out seven other invited teams, the winning design will encompass 100,000 square meters of mixed-use development across existing railroad tracks, reuniting the city and “reinventing the station as an integral part of the city center.”