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Renzo Piano to Lead Reconstruction Efforts Following Italian Earthquake

12:20 - 30 August, 2016
Renzo Piano to Lead Reconstruction Efforts Following Italian Earthquake, Red Cross Responders aid victims of the magnitude 6.2 earthquake to hit central Italy last week. Image © flickr user IFRC. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Red Cross Responders aid victims of the magnitude 6.2 earthquake to hit central Italy last week. Image © flickr user IFRC. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has asked architect Renzo Piano to lead in the reconstruction of the central Italian towns devastated by last week’s magnitude 6.2 earthquake that claimed the lives of at least 290 people. Renzi announced a national action plan for recovery and risk prevention on Monday after meeting with Piano to discuss strategies for housing the over 3,000 displaced survivors and rebuilding the historic towns in a manner that would mitigate damage caused by future seismic activity.

“We have to act quickly, with the utmost urgency,” said Piano in a telephone interview with The Guardian. “Anti-seismic requirements must be inserted in the laws of the country to make our homes safe, just as it’s compulsory for a car to have brakes that work.”

Experts Fear Massive Losses of Historic Italian Architecture Following Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake

14:10 - 25 August, 2016
Experts Fear Massive Losses of Historic Italian Architecture Following Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake

After yesterday’s devastating magnitude 6.2 earthquake in central Italy, art historians fear that numerous historic Italian buildings and their contents may be permanently lost. The affected region is dotted with hilltowns containing beautiful churches, monuments and museums, many of which have been rendered completely unrecognizable.

Places Journal Examines Post-Katrina Architecture in New Orleans

09:30 - 30 July, 2016
Places Journal Examines Post-Katrina Architecture in New Orleans, Musicians Village Rainbow Row, New Orleans. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/27217934@N04/2724324298'>Tanya Lukasik</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
Musicians Village Rainbow Row, New Orleans. Used under Creative Commons. Image © Tanya Lukasik licensed under CC BY 2.0

The damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 can never be forgotten, but 10 years after the rebuilding of New Orleans started in 2006, a new architecture has emerged with cutting-edge designs being widely celebrated in the media. The Make It Right foundation (founded after the disaster to help with structural recovery) commissioned first-class architects such as Morphosis, Shigeru Ban, and David Adjaye to design safe and sustainable houses for New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. But Richard Campanella and Cassidy Rosen worry that this vision is detached from reality.

Rising from the Ashes: Krakow University Student Creates Vision for the Volcanic Island of Fogo

10:30 - 30 June, 2016
Rising from the Ashes: Krakow University Student Creates Vision for the Volcanic Island of Fogo, © Adrian Kasperski
© Adrian Kasperski

The 2016 Venice Biennale has highlighted that dealing with natural disasters may become one of the main preoccupations of architecture in the future. But nature has its destructive ways, and volcanic eruptions are among the most extreme case in point. On the Island of Fogo (Cape Verde), the Natural Park Venue designed by OTO – and elected Best Building of the Year 2015 by Archdaily readers – was destroyed by molten lava flow only one year after its opening in 2013. The building, which combined a cultural center and administrative activities, helped to activate the economy in the island’s most remote area. Following the disaster, Adrian Kasperski, a student at Krakow University, devoted his master’s thesis to the redevelopment of this area, by proposing the expansion of the existing roads and hiking trails and designing facilities to improve alternative tourism offerings.

Abeer Seikaly’s Structural Fabric Shelters Weave Refugees’ Lives Back Together

09:30 - 19 December, 2015
Abeer Seikaly’s Structural Fabric Shelters Weave Refugees’ Lives Back Together, Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly
Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly

Whether from political unrest or natural disaster, refugee crises around the world seem to fill the headlines of late. These events inspired interdisciplinary designer Abeer Seikaly’s conceptual emergency shelter, entitled “Weaving A Home,” which received a Lexus Design Award in 2013. The collapsible structural fabric shelter can adapt to various climates, while also providing the comforts of contemporary life such as heat, running water, and electricity.

Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly Courtesy of Abeer Seikaly +14

Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute"

09:30 - 25 October, 2015
Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute", Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC
Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC

Disaster can strike a community at any minute. Following the most costly earthquake in their history in April, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese residents were rendered instantly homeless. To help these people reorganize and get back to a familiar way of life, Barberio Colella ARC has designed a temporary structure using local materials “to make a house that can be built quickly, lightweight and compactly, durably and economically.”

Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Deployment System. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Components. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC +8

Media Round-Up: Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years On

09:30 - 29 August, 2015
Media Round-Up: Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years On, © Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock
© Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock

Today marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, setting off what was among the most significant catastrophes to strike the United States in the 21st Century. New Orleans' flood defenses failed, causing the loss of over 1,400 lives and billions of dollars in property damage.

Naturally, such a disaster takes some time to recover from, for individuals but also for a city as a whole, and so for the past decade New Orleans has been a case study for cities to show them how to recover, rebuild and move on - at certain times serving as both an example of good practice and a warning of "what not to do." On the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, here's a round-up of stories about the rebuilding of a city from around the web.

The Architects Foundation Launches Reconstruction Program for Nepal

17:30 - 16 July, 2015
The Architects Foundation Launches Reconstruction Program for Nepal, Rubble-strewn streets of Chautara, Sindhupalchok. Image © IOM 2015
Rubble-strewn streets of Chautara, Sindhupalchok. Image © IOM 2015

Responding to the devastation caused by the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, the American Institute of Architects' Architects Foundation has launched a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action alongside the All Hands Volunteers to execute a replicable $3 million reconstruction plan for the Himalayan nation. Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA), Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA), Department of Small Works (an organization founded by Cameron Sinclair) and local architects will all partake in the program.

5 Architectural Secrets of the Badjao: 21st Century Sea People

09:30 - 2 June, 2015
5 Architectural Secrets of the Badjao: 21st Century Sea People, Badjao children practicing rowing. Image © Mohd Khairil Majid via Shutterstock
Badjao children practicing rowing. Image © Mohd Khairil Majid via Shutterstock

Thousands of years ago, a small civilization of hunter gatherers migrated to the coastal regions of Southeast Asia. These people progressed into a widespread tribe of travelling sea dwellers. To this day, they remain a stateless people with no nationality and no consistent infrastructure, sometimes living miles away from land. Yet these people are one of the few civilizations whose collective life practices have survived so long through human history. They are called the Badjao, and they have a surprising amount to teach us about architecture.

Badjao community off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Image © Dolly MJ via Shutterstock Badjao woman rowing boat. Image © Dolly MJ via Shutterstock Temporary construction in Southeast Asian ocean. Image © asnida via Shutterstock Badjao child rowing near coast. Image © idome via Shutterstock +9

RIBA Seeks Architects In The Wake Of The Himalayan Earthquake

05:00 - 30 April, 2015
RIBA Seeks Architects In The Wake Of The Himalayan Earthquake, © Navesh Chitrakar. Courtesy of Reuters
© Navesh Chitrakar. Courtesy of Reuters

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal this week, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have teamed up with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to "help to identify Nepalese nationals or others with local or regional experience to provide technical expertise." According to the RIBA, the IFRC "has already deployed approximately 100 people to support the Nepal Red Cross in search and rescue efforts, emergency health, water and sanitation, relief, shelter and inter-agency coordination as well as support services such as telecoms and logistics." They state that "given the operational constraints in the country, most agencies are wary of overloading country teams at this stage. However, the IFRC anticipates there will be a need for additional technical expertise in due course."

Nepal's Historic Architecture Destroyed By Earthquake

14:01 - 27 April, 2015
Nepal's Historic Architecture Destroyed By Earthquake, The Dharahara Tower, a defining feature of the Kathmandu skyline has been destroyed by the earthquake. Image © Flickr CC user Oliphant
The Dharahara Tower, a defining feature of the Kathmandu skyline has been destroyed by the earthquake. Image © Flickr CC user Oliphant

Just one of the many tragedies involved in the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday - which as of this morning is known to have claimed the lives of over 3,500 people - is its effect on the historic architecture of the region. Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the affected regions of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, news outlets from the BBC to The Washington Post are reporting extensive damage to some of the country's most significant monuments.

Archiculture Interviews: Shigeru Ban

00:00 - 30 December, 2014

“An earthquake doesn’t kill people, the collapse of a building kills people.” In Arbuckle Industrieslatest interview released following their world premiere of Archiculture, architect humanitarian Shigeru Ban clearly delineates “natural” disasters as a product of mankind, rather than nature. Hear the Pritzker laureate’s thoughts on designing for minorities, disasters, and the importance of travel in the video interview above. 

Architecture for Humanity Announces Completion of Haiti Initiatives

01:00 - 9 November, 2014
Architecture for Humanity Announces Completion of Haiti Initiatives, Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity
Collège Mixte Le Bon Berger. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity has announced the end of their program in Haiti, effective from January 2015. The charitable organization, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, set up offices in Port-au-Prince in March 2010 in order to better help the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Through almost five years in Haiti, they have completed nearly 50 projects, including homes, medical clinics, offices, and the 13 buildings in their Haiti School Initiative. Their work has positively affected the lives of over 1 million Haitians, with their schools initiative alone providing education spaces for over 18,000 students.

Read on after the break for more on the end of Architecture for Humanity's Haiti program, and images of their completed schools

École Elie Dubois. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity École La Dignité. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity St. Louis de Gonzague Chemisry & Physics Building. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity École Ceverine. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity +22

The Rockefeller Foundation Kicks Off its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

00:00 - 28 August, 2014
The Rockefeller Foundation Kicks Off its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, OMA’s proposed Hoboken Waterfront for the “Rebuild by Design” competition, which focused on resilience, sustainability and livability. Image © OMA
OMA’s proposed Hoboken Waterfront for the “Rebuild by Design” competition, which focused on resilience, sustainability and livability. Image © OMA

The Rockefeller Foundation has kicked off its 2014 100 Resilient Cities Challenge, which aims to help “build resilience to the social, economic, and physical challenges that cities face in an increasingly urbanized world.” Each of the 100 cities selected will receive funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer and assistance in developing and implementing a resilience strategy.

“We can't predict the next disruption or catastrophe. But we can control how we respond to these challenges. We can adapt to the shocks and stresses of our world and transform them into opportunities for growth,” the 100 Resilient Cities' site reads. While shocks include events like earthquakes, fires and floods, stresses include high unemployment, inefficient public transportation, endemic violence or chronic food and water shortages. The Challenge aims to help cities be better prepared for these adverse events and better able to deliver basic services in both good and bad times to all members of the population.  

 Learn more about the Challenge after the break…

OMA & BIG among 6 Winners in Rebuild By Design Competition

00:00 - 3 June, 2014
OMA & BIG among 6 Winners in Rebuild By Design Competition, The proposed Hoboken Waterfront. Image © OMA
The proposed Hoboken Waterfront. Image © OMA

Yesterday, US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced OMA, BIG and four other teams as the winner of "Rebuild by Design", a competition aimed at rebuilding areas affected by Hurricane Sandy focusing on resilience, sustainability and and livability.

In total, HUD have allocated $920 million to the six projects in New York, New Jersey and Long Island to enable the completion of this vision.

Read more about the winning schemes after the break

New Medowlands: Productive City + Regional Park, by MIT CAU, ZUS, Urbanisten. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org Living, Growing Breakwaters: Staten Island and Raritan Bay, by SCAPE / Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org Living with the Bay: Resiliency-Building Options for Nassau County’s South Shore by Interboro Team. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org The BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org +7

Is It Time To Abandon the Coastline?

08:00 - 18 February, 2014
Is It Time To Abandon the Coastline?, New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Image © Governor's Office / Tim Larsen
New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Image © Governor's Office / Tim Larsen

Between Hurricane Sandy in the USA and ongoing storms and floods damaging large areas of Britain, the issues of flood prevention and coastal defense are now a top priority for planners on both sides of the Atlantic. This article in the Guardian asks whether it might be time to give in to the sea and rethink our affinity for coastal living; and this one on Architecture Boston asks to what extent society should be expected to foot the bill for those in high-risk areas, and wonders how, legally, the state could encourage people to live elsewhere.

Rockefeller Foundation Selects 33 Cities for Resiliency Challenge

00:00 - 7 December, 2013
Rockefeller Foundation Selects 33 Cities for Resiliency Challenge, White Arkitekter’s winning proposal for New York’s “Resilient Rockaway” competition.
White Arkitekter’s winning proposal for New York’s “Resilient Rockaway” competition.

The Rockefeller Foundation has named the first group of cities selected in the “100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge.” Each city has been chosen for demonstrating “a commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.” More than 1,000 registrations and nearly 400 formal applications from cities around the world were submitted. After careful review of each city's challenges, these 33 where chosen: 

Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: OMA's Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken

01:00 - 19 November, 2013
Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: OMA's Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken. Image Courtesy of OMA
Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge: OMA's Comprehensive Strategy for Hoboken. Image Courtesy of OMA

OMA’s comprehensive strategy to rebuild the New Jersey city of Hoboken, after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, has been selected as one of ten initiatives moving forward in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition. The proposal, Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge, focuses on establishing resiliency through the integration of key infrastructural elements that not only protects coastal neighborhoods, but also the entire city of Hoboken.