Recovery efforts are underway in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore after a deadly, 1.3-mile-wide tornado carved a 20-mile-long swath of destruction through neighborhoods and schools on Monday afternoon. With winds up to 210 miles per hour and a death count that currently stands at 24, President Obama has declared this tornado to be “one of the most destructive in history,” ranking it at a Category 5.
In an effort to help, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have mobilized their teams to provide instant assistance and aid in long term reconstruction efforts. Although professional design and construction volunteers from both organizations are already on the ground, the community needs your help. Find out how you can help the residents of Moore after the break.
Ever since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis’s piece entitled “If you Rebuild it, They Might Not Come” - a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation – numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right’s efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. To date, 86 LEED Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects, including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million. Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis‘s article points out that amenities in the neighborhood are low and the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling. Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.
Read on for more on the Make It Right debate…
Since Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, leaving devastation in its wake, the Make It Right Foundation has been working to redevelop the Lower 9th Ward by recruiting world-renowned architects (from Frank Gehry to Shigeru Ban) to the cause. The foundation, the brain-child of actor Brad Pitt, aims to design houses that aren’t just temporary solutions, but rather parts of an on-going process of sustainable, community development.
Learn more about the Make It Right Foundation‘s goals and progress, and check out some of the starchitect-deisgned prototypes that will eventually make up a 150-house neighborhood, in our ArchDaily original infographic, after the break.
The City of New York has long awaited renovations to the East River Greenway. Squeezed between the FDR Drive to the west and the river to East, there are a few scattered public parks connected by a path that has been weathered and torn apart over the years. The proposed “Blueway” is a coordinated collaboration – between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Community Boards 3 and 6, State Assembly Member Brian Kavanaugh, and New York’s WXY architecture and urban design - that takes suggestions from the general public to develop a scheme that works within the framework of the existing Greenway and provides specific sites waterfront access, development of wetlands and greater connectivity to the city and its waterways.
The stretch along the Greenway, which is the focus of WXY’s scheme, runs from Midtown East at 38th street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Running along the FDR, this area expands towards the river and finds its way under the highway’s overpass. Unlike the Hudson River Parkway along the West Side Highway, the East River Greenway has meager waterfront access and few piers to facilitate its development. A study, executed by several city departments in 2011, determined ways to improve amenities along the Greenway and proposed incorporating elements such as ambient lighting and street furniture. Now the focus has shifted to the river itself to determine ways in which to increase its usability and accessibility After Hurricane Sandy revealed the vulnerability of the hard edge of the East River, these same design considerations are now being used to create a resistant and effective buffer against future storm surges.
See what’s happening at the East River Blueway Plan after the break.
After months of debate, the United States Congress has passed a bill that will allocate $51 billion to Hurricane Sandy relief helping the thousands who lost their homes and businesses to the devastating storm last October. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $400 million of the aid will be used to fund New York’s buyout program, an initiative to help address the damaged homes and coastline. The program is two-fold; in part it will help reimburse the property damage caused by the storm, but the initiative has a larger goal, which is to address the nature of coastal flooding and create a barrier that would mitigate the damage created to the coast by storm surges in the future. Since the storm, there have been many suggestions as to how to prepare for the type of damage brought on by Hurricane Sandy of 2012 and Hurricane Irene of 2011. These suggestions range from flood gates to barrier reefs. Cuomo’s buyout program, as reported by the Architect’s Newspaper Blog, hopes to encourage residents along vulnerable flood zones to sell their land to the city for the development of a natural coast that would absorb the impact of strong winds and storm surges.
More after the break…
In response an outrage that broke out amongst Democrats and Republicans, after House Speaker John Boehner failed to vote for Sandy relief before the end of the Congressional session two days ago, the House of Representatives have approved a $9.7 billion relief measure to aid flood victims of Hurricane Sandy. This is good news, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recently warned that it would soon run out of funding if no measures were taken. Senate approval is likely to come later in the day and a second congressional vote is scheduled to take place on January 15 for a larger $51 billion request.
Understanding the importance of issuing this federal support, AIA President Mickey Jacob has offer Congress three key objects for helping these communities recover.
Read AIA President Jacob’s letter to congress and his three objectives after the break…
In 1945, the United States dropped 2 nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While the act devastated and destroyed these two Japanese towns, it also created an entirely new political climate, one based on apocalyptic fears. As tensions with Soviet Russia heightened, and the United States entered an age of potential nuclear destruction, the landscape itself adapted in response – becoming littered with bunkers and fallout shelters, the “concrete responses to the political social and existential anxieties of the atomic age.”
Fast-forward nearly seventy years, and we’re currently faced with a new apocalyptic scenario of our own. Assuming you’re reading this, we have all survived the Mayan Apocalypse. Congratulations. However, that’s not to say that out apocalyptic fears, and its resultant architecture, have come and gone. Our apocalypse is more based on the fear of natural disaster – hurricane, tornado, viral disease, even infected-zombie-people – than nuclear attack, and our apocalyptic architecture is less of the bunker variety, and more of the vertical farm/fortress kind. Let’s call it ESD: Extremely Sustainable Design.
More on apocalyptic architecture of the 21st century, after the break…
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as communities band together to clean up the devastation and utility companies work tirelessly to restore the infrastructure that keeps New York City running, planners and policy makers are debating the next steps to making the city as resilient to natural disaster as we once thought it was. We have at our hands a range of options to debate and design and the political leverage to make some of these solutions a reality. The question now is, which option or combination of options is most suitable for protecting New York City and its boroughs? Follow us after the break for more.
Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, but the destruction she left in her path remains a stark reminder of her strength.
Photographer Amanda Kirkpatrick has shared with us her images of The Rockaways in Queens, an upper-class beach neighborhood that was one of the areas hit hardest by the storm. Kirkpatrick’s objective eye documents the twisted boardwalks and unrecognizably distorted homes in an almost “clinical” way, honestly portraying the damage from the perspective of the broken structures themselves.
In light of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, as politicians quabble over the existence of climate change, we cannot escape the reality that our cities are vulnerable to natural disasters. Coastal cities face the threat of flooding as sea levels rise and storms, as we’ve seem over the past few years, have had more severe impacts on our cities. The duty of architects, planners, and leaders is to build resilient cities with infrastructure that can stand up to the forces of natural disasters.
Join us after the break for a list of some of the largest port cities vulnerable to coastal flooding…
As highly destructive storms are becoming increasingly likely – take note from the recent Hurricane Sandy that ravaged the Atlantic Coast – [Y/N] Studio proposes a look at our response to disaster and its potential to increase community cohesion and urban regeneration. Sustainable design has rightfully become an essential consideration of design, but natural disasters remind us that resistant design, sometimes at odds with our sustainable goals, also have a place in the discussion. Disaster Ready housing offers an architectural scenario of precautionary measures offering protection for many types of threats.
“As whenever disaster strikes, it will be many days before the full impact of the storm is brought to light, and which communities will be in largest need of design support as the broader reconstruction effort proceeds. However we are not waiting for water to recede before preparing a reconstruction campaign.” – Cameron Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity co-founder
Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York and New Jersey last week, Architecture for Humanity volunteers have been in action – not just aiding in the recovery efforts, but also analyzing how/where long-term reconstruction efforts will need to be focused. Indeed, Architecture for Humanity’s co-founder, Cameron Sinclair, has already published the organization’s 5-point strategy for long-term reconstruction in the areas most severely impacted by Sandy.
Architecture For Humanity’s strategy for reconstruction (and more information on how you can get involved), after the break….
Following Hurricane Sandy’s devastating path through the Caribbean, up the Atlantic and into the East Coast of the United States, hundreds of communities are in need of immediate relief and facing the daunting challenge of rebuilding. In effort to help, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) are mobilizing their teams to provide instant assistance and plan for the long term reconstruction efforts. Professional design and construction volunteers from both organizations will be working together to help households, schools, heath facilities, small businesses and local government rebuild in the coming days and weeks. However, relief and reconstruction cannot happen without your support. Learn how you can help after the break.
This past Tuesday, Kengo Kuma of Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tokyo, lectured at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). His discussion centered around the epochal challenge architecture must respond to following the great disaster of March 11, 2011. The tsunami, which flattened the Tohoku coastline in a matter of seconds, and catastrophic nuclear accident that followed proved our infrastructure to be insufficient in the age of technology. With this realization, Kuma understands that we must learn from what happened and “start again from scratch”.
3-D Printing technology is developing at quickening pace as both engineers and architects experiment with its technological and social potential. Consider Enrico Dini’s D-Shape printer that prints large scale stone structures out of sand and an inorganic binder or Neri Oxman’s research at MIT which involves a 3-D printing arm and nozzles that can print with a variety of different materials, from concrete to recycled plastic.
Dutch firm DUS Architects, in collaboration with Ultimaker Ltd, Fablab Protospace, and Open Coop, have added another 3-D printing machine to the list known as KamerMaker, the room builder. KamerMaker is the world’s first mobile 3d printer and has the ability to print “rooms” that are up to 11 feet high and 7 feet wide. The machine was unveiled at OFF PICNIC, a precursor to Amsterdam’s annual PICNIC technology festival.
Join us after the break for more.
“Erupting Stability: Tornado Proof Suburb” is a project being developed by Ted Givens, AIA, of 10 Design in Hong Kong. He and his team are researching ways to apply kinetic design to architecture in order to provide safe options for shelter in climatically unsafe environments. The goal is to break free from static ways of building and create a method of using technology that learns from and responds to the environment in a dynamic way. ”Erupting Stability” assesses the forces of tornadoes and high velocity winds, specifically, by the way that he and his team are thinking about architecture opens up a range of possibilities for applications in any disaster scenario.
Join us after the break for more on the project and a video that demonstrates how it works.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity have announced the five recipients of the 2012 Disaster Response Plan Grant. Awards totaling $10,000 will help each group implement their locally driven preparedness project in the second half of the year.
The Disaster Grant Program is part of the Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Program, which coordinates the organizations’ advocacy, education and training to help architects make effective contributions to communities preparing for, responding to and rebuilding after disaster.
The 2012 grant recipients are:
With the realization that disasters are an unavoidable reality, Architecture for Humanity and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have launched ArchitectsRebuild.org in an effort to eliminate “that first awkward and uncoordinated period when people, eager to put their talents into response and recovery, can’t find the means.”
As we announced last month, the two organizations formed a strategic partnership to better coordinate advocacy, education and training that will allow architects to become more involved in helping communities prepare, respond and rebuild after a disaster, known as the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Program. As promised, they have now completed the first task on their agenda, establishing a Disaster Plan Grant Program. Continue reading to learn more.
According to the national weather service, 30 tornadoes struck 6 Midwest states hit by a string a tornadoes. In many places there was a severe weather warning but no tornado alert. Harrisburg, a town in southern Illinois of 9000, was hit the hardest with 300 homes, 25 businesses and 6 lives lost. Illinois and Missouri declared state emergencies and are being assisted by relief organizations.
2011 was the worst tornado season since 1936 and the events of this week mark an early start to the Midwest’s storm season. More tornadoes touched down in Alabama Friday morning, destroying several homes and damaging a prison. More continue to touch down as this message is going out. Harrisburg was spared further damage this week, but storm season has just begun.
Currently, community members and the Red Cross are teaming to repair roofs, clear debris and provide emergency relief services in Harrisburg. Branson, MO, launched a similar cleanup. As lightly-damaged homes and households recover, attention will turn to long-term recovery. That’s where we [the architects] come in.
Yesterday brought an impressive appeal for volunteer and fundraisings support, and Architecture for Humanity has launched the Midwest Tornadoes Recovery campaign with a fundraiser goal of $100,000.
Architecture for Humanity is calling all architects for help! If you are in the area, please consider volunteering. If you are not in the area but would like to help, just go to this link at Architecture for Humanity to donate and support architects volunteering in the Midwest.
Hong Kong based architect Ted Givens of 10 Design has recently unveiled designs for tornado proof and hurricane proof housing. With the recent earthquake and hurricane events that have hit the eastern seaboard of the United States, it seems a fitting proposal for urban clustering on a residential scale.