Urban regions are catalysts of change. They foster pragmatic politics that enables more progressive governance. “Progress,” however, has to contend with histories and structures that grew from exclusionary logic, uneven development, and the systematic exploitation of labor. Progress does not happen on its own; it emerges from the continued efforts of activists, engaged citizens, intellectuals, and professionals that strive for a more just city. It requires developing common platforms to facilitate the conflicts that inevitably come with differences. Spaces of Struggle is about creating spaces that harness differences and transforms them into momentum for progressive change.
Chicago-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) has unveiled plans for One Bangkok, a new 16Ha mixed-use development in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Working in collaboration with architects, engineers, sustainability experts and landscape architects, both local and international, SOM seeks to create the single largest private-sector development in Thailand to date - a vertical village providing homes and places of work for an estimated 60,000 people. Through One Bangkok, SOM challenged themselves to translate the vibrancy and energy of Bangkok's neighborhoods into a vertical environment, whilst promoting a 'sense of place' and district-level sustainability.
reSITE brings the 6th annual architecture and urbanism event, reSITE 2017: In/visible City, back to Prague at the Ricardo Bofill-designed Forum Karlin.
How does invisible infrastructure shape the visible aspects of a city?
40 international thought leaders will discuss the intersections of design and infrastructure and the presence of these vital systems in the architecture and landscape of cities.
In an presentation at Milan Design Week 2017, MAD Architects has revealed their proposal for the Scali Milano project, which invited five international firms (MAD, Stefano Boeri Architetti, Mecanoo, MIRALLES TAGLIABUE EMBT, and Cino Zucchi Architetti) to design a community-reactivation masterplan aimed at transforming a series of Milan's neglected railyards into "productive social landscapes that establish a harmony between Milan’s citizenry, the larger metropolitan region, and the natural environment."
Titled Historical Future: Milan Reborn, MAD's scheme proposes reorganizing the railyards into a series of interconnected micro-systems that follow five spatial concepts: “City of Connections,” “City of Green,” “City of Living,” “City of Culture,” and “City of Resources.”
Go to any medieval European city and you will see what streets looked like before the advent of the car: lovely, small narrow lanes, intimate, and undisputedly human-scale. We have very few cities in the US where you can find streets like this. For the most part what you see is streets that have been designed with the car in mind—at a large scale for a fast speed. In my native San Francisco, we are making the streets safer for walking and biking by widening sidewalks, turning car lanes into bike lanes, and slowing down the cars. We are working with the streets we have; a typical San Francisco street is anywhere from 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 meters) wide, as compared with a medieval, pre-car street which is more like 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) wide.
As an urban designer, I work on lots of projects where we take large parcels of land and subdivide them into blocks by introducing new streets. These new streets are a rare opportunity to take a fresh look at the kinds of car-oriented roads that we are used to, and instead try to design streets that prioritize the safety and comfort of pedestrians. These projects give us a chance to design streets that are just for people. Imagine that we made these people-only streets into narrow, medieval-style lanes that are intimate and human-scaled. But even as we try to design streets that might not ever see a single car, we find that the modern street design has become so much more than just places for walking or driving. There are therefore a number of things for socially-minded designers to consider, beyond the commonly talked about pedestrian-car dichotomy.
Chicago-based SOM’s plans for the redevelopment of the East Riverfront in Detroit, Michigan have been unveiled. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and City of Detroit Planning and Development Department will work together to deliver SOM’s plan to revitalize the former blighted industrial area. The framework plan involves improving community access to the riverfront, the design of a new riverfront parkland, and the conversion of a historic riverfront structure into a mixed-use development.
Benoy has released its latest designs for the China International Travel Service (CITS) Sanya Enot development scheme, which will be located on the reclaimed Hexin Island in Hainan, and is the second phase of a large-scale plan. Connected to the first phase of development by a pedestrian bridge, the project will be surrounded by the area’s luxury international hotels and natural attractions.
The 32,000-square-meter mixed-use, retail-led space features a “porous and multi-layered environment,” with clusters of small-scale buildings that will create a series of indoor and outdoor spaces for entertainment and retail programming. Buildings will be connected by a succession of elevated walkways and bridges.
Canadian architect, landscape architect and urban designer Roger du Toit has been posthumously awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2017 Gold Medal. The influential designer, who passed away in 2015, amassed a rich, diverse portfolio throughout his 45-year career, including Toronto’s CN Tower, Regina’s Wascana Centre, and 45 projects across 25 Canadian university campuses.
His RAIC Gold Medal, recognizing a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian Architecture, will be accepted by his widow Sheila du Toit and two sons at the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture in Ottawa in May.
With modernity, sustainability, and innovation in mind, the urban and landscape design will promote mobility along the length of the corniche (a coastal, cliffside road) and aims to reinforce the appeal of the coast.
Launched in December, the project will feature an urban park and corniche along the El Hank embankment that will include rest areas, walkways, outdoor sports, and more. As an extension of the Hassan II Mosque, the promenade is expected to become a new Moroccan landmark.
Woods Bagot’s Shenzhen Hazens Longgang Longteng Mixed-Use project has been rated by the Shenzhen Government as one of the city’s most important projects of 2016. Located in Shenzhen’s Longgang District, the 393,000 square meter site will feature 1,500,000 square meters of gross floor area subdivided into office space, retail space, a shopping mall, residential communities and facilities, and over 90,000 square meters of green and public space.
As a part of the design, the development will rejuvenate a river park area running through the existing site, with the northern bank becoming a commercial and leisure focal point, and the southern bank featuring a community of residential towers connected by retail podiums and green spaces.
The history of what is now the Republic of Belarus is a turbulent one. It has been part of the Russian Empire, occupied by the Germans during both World Wars, divided between Poland and the Soviet Union, and finally declared its independence in 1991. Although Belarus is now an independent nation, it is also an isolated dictatorship that has in some ways remained unchanged since the 1990s, and is largely seen both culturally and architecturally as a sort of time warp, Europe's most vivid window into life in the Soviet Union.
Photographer Stefano Perego recently documented the postwar Soviet legacy of Belarus' architecture from the 1960s-80s, and has shared the photos from his 2016 cross-country drive with ArchDaily.
The Glasgow City Council has selected a multidisciplinary team lead by MVRDV and Glasgow-based Austin-Smith:Lord to transform downtown Glasgow into a “more livable, attractive, competitive and sustainable center.” Titled (Y)our City Center, the strategy calls for a regeneration of the 400 hectare city center that would reorganize circulation and infrastructure while providing new residential options to support Scotland’s economic center.
Last week, it was reported that Foster + Partners had been selected to design the capitol complex of Amaravati, a new capital city for the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. The commission, however, has not come without controversy. As revealed by Indian news company The Wire, the project had earlier been awarded through invited competition to Japanese firm Maki and Associates, who were later removed from the project under uncertain circumstances.
In a letter sent a few weeks ago to India’s Council of Architecture, principal Fumihiko Maki has questioned the motivations of the Andhra Pradesh government committee, alleging unfair practice, lack of transparency and his firm’s ‘fraudulent’ removal from the project.
ADEPT Architects has won the commission to design a new masterplan for the Budapart neighborhood of Budapest, a project that will become the largest singular urban development in the city for nearly 30 years. Based on a distorted grid structure, the design will reference both historic and modern parts of the city, and will encompass 54 hectares of mixed-use space.
Located on the [‘Buda’] bank of the Danube River, the Budapart masterplan aims to create a green and human scaled neighborhood rather than just another new modern development. The fantastic location on the waterfront, the existing characteristic landscape qualities and the close vicinity to the central city are the main attractions that each generate huge potential to make the new neighborhood an epicenter of its own, described the architects in a recent press release.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures has released plans for the development of a radical eco-neighborhood at Tour & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium. Covering an area of 135,000 square meters, the proposal will see the redevelopment of the early twentieth-century Gare Maritime, and the construction of three residential “vertical forests” reaching 100 meters in height. The architect’s ultimate vision is a neighborhood which embraces technological progress, sustainable building principles, and renewal of the built heritage.
Situated northwest of Brussels city center, and constructed in 1907, the industrial park at Tour & Taxis originally operated as a shipping and customs complex. Whilst the lifting of European customs borders has rendered its original function obsolete, the Gare Maritime (Marine Terminal) still embodies the architecture of the industrial era.
Foster + Partners has been selected as the winners of an international competition to design a new £500 million capital for the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. The brief calls for a new 365 hectare masterplan that will serve as a new municipal capital for India’s eighth largest state, which lost its previous capital, Hyderabad, when state lines were redrawn two years ago.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced the names of the 144 finalists in the 2017 edition of the Knight Cities Challenge, a nationwide call for innovative ideas aimed at transforming the organizations’ 26 member communities into more vibrant places to live and work. Open to innovators and designers from any field, the challenge requested submissions that responded to a simple prompt: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?
The City of Tampere, Finland has announced the proposal by Schauman & Nordgren Architects and Mandaworks as the winner of an open international competition for Hiedanranta Bay's new master plan. The design, entitled "Hiedanranta Innovation Bay," responds to the rapid growth of Tampere's central region. Over the next 20 years, the Innovation Bay will see the transformation of the former industrial district into an innovation hub for sustainable economic development, creating 10,000 new jobs, and housing over 25,000 new residents.