In the race to bring driverless cars from a futuristic fantasy to a present-day reality, developers have touted a plethora of advantages, from reduced traffic congestion on roads to improved safety thanks to the elimination of human error. But the potential widespread implementation of driverless cars could also have profound impacts on the form of our urban environments, fundamentally reshaping infrastructure and land use. As recently as a year ago, this new technology was seen as decades away; however, recently Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla, predicted that driverless cars will be capable of making cross-country treks within about two years, and a pilot program in the United Kingdom city of Milton Keynes plans to launch a fleet of driverless pod-taxis by 2018, matching Musk’s timeline.
The driverless car future could be just around the corner, and the normally slow-changing infrastructure of cities could be forced to apply quick fixes to adapt. At the same time, the full potential of driverless cars cannot be realized without implementing significant changes to the urban fabric. So how will driverless cars change how our cities work, and how will our cities adapt to accommodate them?
Alex Terzich, Jesse Zeien, Paula Storsteen, Jennifer McMaster, Rich Firkins, Tony Staeger, Mark Johnson, Scott Lichty, Julie Hagstrom, Ross Altheimer, Erica Christenson, Kenny Horns, Chrysanthi Stockwell, Zac Poynter, Joe Wetternach, Connor Frazier, Robert Johnson Miller
SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Partners have envisioned a new public gateway for the Mississippi River’s “one true waterfall” - St. Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis. Named after being the city’s original site for its 19th-century water supply and fire-fighting pumping stations, “Water Works” is designed to “weave” together heritage ruins, local ecology, and recreational systems into a “coherent civic space” on four-acres of Central Riverfront.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism has produced a new report examining urban health in eight of the USA’s largest cities, which has been translated into a collection of meaningful findings for architects, designers, and urban planners. With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas - a statistic which is projected to grow to 70% by 2050 - the report hinges around the theory that “massive urbanization can negatively affect human and environmental health in unique ways” and that, in many cases, these affects can be addressed by architects and designers by the way we create within and build upon our cities.
SCAPE and Rogers Marvelhave been unanimously selected from 27 international applicants to create a schematic design for one of the most visited destinations on the Mississippi River: Water Works in downtown Minneapolis. The SCAPE-Roger Marvel Team, which also includes New York-based James Lima Planning + Design and Minneapolis-based SRF Consulting, will be responsible for transforming the historically significant Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, within which the Water Works district exists, with a master plan based on a series of “visionary” parks and trails.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), the Minnesota Vikings and HKS Sports & Entertainment Group together unveiled the design of the state’s new $975 million multi-purpose stadium in Minneapolis.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has selected the finalist teams in the eleventh annual ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Graduate-level student teams representing Harvard University, Yale University, a joint team from Ball State University and Purdue University, as well as another join team from Kansas State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Kansas are all advancing to the final round of competition, scheduled to take place in March and April. This year’s finalists were charged with proposing a long-term development plan for downtown Minneapolis that creates value for property owners, city residents, and the greater Twin Cities region.
Enthusiasm for water and energy data collection for commercial and residential buildings has been growing strong across the U.S. in major cities such as Austin, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. It's no surprise to learn that Earth-friendly Seattle is ahead of the game when it comes to tracking its buildings; reports show that the city is receiving data for a whopping 87% of its commercial and multi-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet, which totals to 1,160 individual properties covering over 200 million square feet of the city.
Serving as the foremost resting place for Minnesota’s distinguished citizens, the Lakewood Garden Mausoleum, designed by HGA, is a treasured landmark and community asset in the city’s neighborhood. The video above captures its pastoral quality and embraces the landscape while offering a contemplative interior experience. It also highlights the design’s relationship between natural light and nature, which strengthens the connection between the spiritual and the earth-bound.
EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company, and Knutson Construction were recently selected by Hennepin County for their design for ‘The Interchange’ in Downtown Minneapolis. The design-build contract for the $79.3 million transportation hub, which is expected to be completed by 2014, will connect transit with culture. Led by architect Peter Cavaluzzi FAIA, the multidisciplinary team envisions a state-of-the-art transit station with complementary mixed-used development and year-round activated public space. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board of Directors (BOD) selected Minneapolis based firm VJAA for the 2012 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The internationally recognized design firm was noted for their “research into material innovations and digital practice tools.”
This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to the city stars fall on. With a few notable exceptions, one can hardly be called a starchitect if s/he hasn’t designed something in Minneapolis. Since 2005 the starchitects that have fallen on this “City of Lakes” include Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Mueron, César Pelli, Michael Graves, Steven Holl, and Frank Gehry. This is a surprising number for a city just north of 380,000 people. Few cities of this size could boast as much. What’s more our list of 12 is far from complete. There are many wonderful historic and contemporary buildings mixed in with the explosion of starchitecture. Please leave comments of buildings one should not miss when visiting Minneapolis.
Architecture City Guide: Minneapolis list and corresponding map after the break!