Architecture inherently appears to be at odds with our mobile world – while one is static, the other is in constant motion. That said, architecture has had, and continues to have, a significant role in facilitating the rapid growth and evolution of transportation: cars require bridges, ships require docks, and airplanes require airports.
In creating structures to support our transit infrastructure, architects and engineers have sought more than functionality alone. The architecture of motion creates monuments – to governmental power, human achievement, or the very spirit of movement itself. AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. Here we've assembled seven projects which stand as enduring symbols of a civilization perpetually on the move.
California is suffering through its 5th year of severe water shortage. Aquifers and rivers continue to dry out as the water provided by melting snowpacks is reduced, and even the heavy rain brought by El Niño this year could not relieve the drought. Authorities are wary of the long-term consequences for California and neighboring areas of the Colorado River, and Santa Monica is now seeing a growing number of initiatives to control the use of potable water and find sustainable solutions.
Most recently, a competition asked architects, artists and scientists to conceive sustainable infrastructure projects to improve Santa Monica’s water supply. Bart//Bratke and studioDE developed a raft structure named “Foram” that illustrates the future of floating platforms in sustainable development.
Felipe Correa’s latest book “Beyond the City: Resource Extraction Urbanism in South America” takes us to a region that architects and urban designers typically have neglected—the hinterland. The South American hinterland provides a unique subject of analysis as it has typically been urbanized for its natural resources, which are tethered back to the coastal cities where these resources are either consumed or distributed to global markets. Within this context, the hinterland is viewed as a frontier whose wilderness is to be tamed, put to work, and territorialized through infrastructure and urban design. Beyond the City provides an insightful look into these processes and the unique urban experiments that emerged in South America. Organized by five case studies, Beyond the City is tied together by what Correa has termed “resource extraction urbanism,” which he links to “new and experimental urban identities in the context of government-sponsored resource extraction frontiers.” Written as a lucid historical account that anchors the discussion within the political, economic, and social context, as well as within global design discourse, the book is also projective—setting the table for a series of questions on how design can act in these landscapes.
A few years ago, Chinese company Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment envisioned a unique solution to address congestion issues spurred by rapid population growth in many of China’s cities: a straddling bus that would bypass traffic by simply driving over top of it. The design captured the attention of people worldwide, though many were skeptical the idea could ever come to fruition. But now, that pipe dream has become a reality.
With the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics fast approaching, the city’s preparations have hit another setback. The main ramp at Marina da Gloria, which will serve as the Olympic sailing venue over the next few weeks, has partially collapsed. The structure was intended for temporary use as the main access point for boats to enter the water. No one was injured in the incident.
Norway’s Public Roads Administration have begun conducting feasibility studies on the installation of what would be the world’s first floating underwater tunnel system. Norway is famous for its fjords, whose incredible depths make traditional bridge building a costly headache. Instead, the most common way to traverse them is through the use of ferries, a system that is both slow and subject to harsh weather conditions. As a result, engineers began looking for a new solution.
Penda has designed a prestressed double-helix bridge spanning China’s Gui River that will become an integral part of the infrastructure system for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The San Shan Bridge, which translates to 3 Mountains Bridge, draws inspiration from the interlacing of five rings in the Olympic Symbol to create a form evocative of the area’s mountainous landscape.
Montreal-based Provencher_Roy have released images of their designs for the restoration of Alexandra Pier and the Iberville International Passenger Terminal, currently under construction in Montreal's Old Port. The new terminal will accommodate the operational needs of the modern cruise ship, offering tourists a new entrance into the historic heart of the city, and will provide residents with a new promenade and public space integrated smoothly into the existing urban fabric.
The current predicament has inspired architects Allies and Morrison to design an alternative option – one that could both save the taxpayers money and create a new greenway spanning the Thames. Many of the complaints directed toward the original design have been associated with the cost of building a new bridge that would serve limited transportation needs; Allies and Morrison eliminate this issue by simply placing a garden pathway onto an existing piece of infrastructure, the nearby Blackfriars Bridge.
On May 28th, a selection of participants of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, including Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster convened for the first of Alejandro Aravena's "Meetings on Architecture," a series of talks that will take place throughout the Biennale. Under the theme of INFRASTRUCTURE, each invited speaker was given the chance to explain stories behind their participating projects in the Biennale, and the floor was also opened up for questions from the audience.
However, as Aravena explains about the talks, “we have organized them around themes, but architecture by nature always integrates more than one dimension. These Meetings will thus be a way to get from the authors themselves the richness and complexity of the built environment, and what it takes to get things done.” While highlighting unique projects, topics at the first Meeting converged around the focus on shaping the urbanization of emerging economies and the socio-political process and effect of realizing each project. The rest of the speaking panel was comprised by Joan Clos, Andrew Makin and Grupo EPM.
Crossrail Limited has released new renderings of stations set to open on the Elizabeth Line in London. Notable features of the new stations include step-free access from train to street, and seamless integration into the existing Transport for London (TfL) network. Seating, signage and full-height platform screen doors emulate precedents within the system to promote ease and familiarity. The designs strive for simplicity and clarity with reduced visual clutter and clear sight lines along platforms. Additionally, there will be permanent artworks installed and fully-integrated in many of the central London stations. The stations depicted – Paddington, architect Weston Williamson, Bond Street, architect John McAslan + Partners, Tottenham Court Road, architect Hawkins\Brown, Farringdon, architect Aedas, Liverpool Street, architect Wilkinson Eyre, Whitechapel, architect BDP, and Woolwich, architect Weston Williamson – are scheduled to begin service in December of 2018.
For the United Parcel Service (UPS), space is valued insofar as it grounds the socio-technical assemblages that secure the company’s economy of speed. Holding one of the largest airline fleets in the United States, UPS’s services range from delivering cargo for the US Air Force and e-commerce packages to relocating endangered animal species and partaking in disaster relief. It operationalizes logistics in the space between military and civilian domains and from the scale of cargo for large corporations to small packages for individuals. UPS runs a global logistics network that crosses more than 200 countries and territories and delivers about 17 million packages every day through its planetary ring of Shanghai-Shenzhen-Anchorage-Louisville-Cologne-Dubai. It participates in the making of trans-border infrastructural systems and influences national politics towards the lifting of legal barriers to transnational trade. Yet what makes UPS significant is not its volume of shipment, infrastructural capacity, or magnitude of operational precision, but rather its resiliency and acute performance within the tides of uncertainty.
Atkins has been selected to design a transit-oriented development (TOD) master-plan along the new Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail (HSR) corridor, the first HSR project in Indonesia. Set for completion by 2019, the corridor will extend 142.3km, stimulating economic growth along the corridor while re-allocating traffic to de-congest the region.
The TOD masterplan will integrate smart planning, land value capture and development/station integration, with Atkins specifically covering "masterplanning, transit oriented development, architecture and urban design, landscape design and station integration for Halim and Manggarai areas."
In 2006 Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Argentinean President Néstor Kirchner proposed the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Venezuela to Brazil and Argentina, called the Gran Gasoduto del Sur. Although the project was never built, its path through the Amazon rainforest foregrounds the violent nature of resource extraction. At the same time, the project raised unique questions regarding the architecture of collective politics, particularly if understood in the context of the last fifteen years of political transformations throughout Latin America.
Home to vast geographic features like the Gobi Desert, Mongolia is not a country associated with its urban environment. But after economic reforms following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the discovery of vast reserves of coal, gold and copper, a large portion of Mongolia’s historically nomadic society has recently begun to settle down, particularly in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where nearly half of the country’s 3 million residents now live.
Unfortunately, the infrastructure of the city hasn’t yet had a chance to catch up to these rapid growth patterns, resulting in sprawling slum-like settlements consisting mainly of traditional felt tents - known as gers - encircling the city. Civic buildings throughout these neighborhoods are rare, and even travelling within the city is difficult due to the lack of official maps.
The Land Art Generator Initiative is delighted to announce that LAGI 2016 will be held in Southern California, with the City of Santa Monica as site partner. This free and open call ideas competition invites individuals or interdisciplinary teams to design a large-scale site-specific work of public art that also serves as clean energy and/or drinking water infrastructure for the City of Santa Monica.