Japan, inventor of the world’s first bullet train, recently unveiled plans for an even faster and more radical train model: a floating train, powered by magnets, that will travel 100 mph faster than current bullet trains (about 300 mph). The maglev train, standing for “magnetic levitation,” will run between Tokyo and Osaka, an estimated distance of 315 miles, cost $64 billion, and be completed by 2045.
High-speed rail has already revolutionized national and international transportation in many parts of the world - for example, China has a maglev that already goes 270mph – and now high-speed is transitioning into hyper-speed. Last year, we reported that Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, shared with the public his desire to patent a new mode of transportation – the “Hyperloop” that would get passengers from San Francisco to LA in only 30 minutes.
So what might the future hold for train travel? And, more importantly, how will it affect our cities and the people who live in them?
For more on the maglev train and the future of rail, read on.
Beneath an elevated railway in the former red-light district of Kogane-cho, the city of Yokohama and NPO Koganecho Area Management Center commissioned five architects to transform a 100 to 150 square meter site into what is now a destination for local artists and residents. Each practice – Contemporaries, Studio 2A, Workstation, Koizumi Atelier, and Nishikura Architectural Design Office – was assigned a single project, providing the community with a gallery, cafe, studio, meeting hall for artists, and stepped outdoor plaza. Tour through each space with this video, provided by JA+U.
The pavilion, which has already gotten the “cloud” nickname because of its shape and lightness, is generated through a three-dimensional steel grid of about 40 centimetre modules which morphs on each side. The structure is broken to allow people access as well as to generate different uses around, below and upon it.
More pictures and the architect’s statement after the break.
Designed for the artwork of artist Rei Naito, the Teshima Art Museum is a seamless, earthen form of white concrete in which responds to the rolling landscape of an island located in the Inland Sea of Japan. Architect Ryue Nishizawa created the museum to be an open gallery, exposed to the elements, that is shaped by a 25cm thick concrete shell in which spans up to 60 meters.
Video courtesy of JA+U. More images after the break…
Toyo Ito (June 1, 1941) turns 72 today, only three days after receiving the Pritzker Prize in Boston. In his acceptance speech Wednesday night, Ito explained that for him, “the task of the architect is to release people from [conventional and] restrictive frameworks by creating spaces in which they feel at ease and in which they can attain some degree of freedom.”
Not only is Toyo Ito renowned for striving to make flexible spaces that appeal to the human senses, he also draws most of his inspiration from the organic forms of nature and prioritizes fluidity between the natural world and the built form in his designs. Yet despite having a specific perspective on what architects and architecture should aspire to be, Ito defies definition – each of his many works is extremely unique and he is famous for being able to “synthesize many architectural languages and functionalities in the expression of one personal ‘syntax’.”
We invite you to explore the work of this year’s most celebrated architect after the break.
A collaborative effort by Osamu Tsukihashi + Tsukihashi Laboratory, many professors and architecture students at all over Japan, “Projects Lost Homes” aims at lamenting lost towns and considering the disaster and the damaged areas brought about by Great East Japan Earthquake. Damaged areas were looked at dreadful circumstances, and the original sites were flowed away by Tsunamis, especially lots of areas on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Tohoku. Since 2011, their project has consisted of restoring damaged towns and villages, especially the coastal areas devastated by the following terrible tsunamis, by 1:500 scale models. More images and architects’ description after the break.