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The Women of HKS: Architects and Researchers Designing Resilient Cities

Designing resilient cities combines practical solutions with innovative ideas. Interdisciplinary global firm HKS is working to bring these ambitions to life with researchers, urban designers, nurses, anthropologists, graphic designers and more. Viewing design as a process of discovery, three directors at HKS are leading how cities explore research, equity and integration to create more resilient futures.

TWU 20 Year Vision. Image Courtesy of HKSUCSD North Torrey Pines. Image © Kehaulani CrooksHKS Hospital Asuncion Paraguay. Image Courtesy of HKSHKS Nemours Children's Hospital. Image Courtesy of HKS+ 11

Rem Koolhaas Explores the Sensory Quality of Materials at the Prada FW21 Menswear Showspace

Responding to the challenge of designing a space for the launch of the Prada FW Menswear 2021 Collection by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, Rem Koolhaas and AMO have designed four connected geometric rooms that allow for the continuous circulation of the models showcasing their different garments. The general theme of the design centers sensory stimulation. Like the designs presented, the materials used and their distribution throughout the space speak of a more intimate connection with our surroundings, reminding us that fashion and architecture are more than just a functional container; they are an opportunity to actively excite and provoke our senses.

Sir Richard Rogers' First Residential Project in New York City Nears Completion

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have unveiled images of their latest venture, No. 33 Park Row in New York City. Located across the street from City Hall Park in Downtown Manhattan, the project, nearing completion and set to officially launch in the spring of 2021, is the city’s first residential project designed by Sir Richard Rogers and Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Courtesy of ir Richard Rogers and Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersCourtesy of ir Richard Rogers and Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersCourtesy of ir Richard Rogers and Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersCourtesy of ir Richard Rogers and Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners+ 6

Berlin's Tallest High-Rise Set to Break Ground

German design practice Barkow Leibinger has finally received a building permit for the Estrel Tower in Berlin, Germany. Set to become the city's tallest high-rise at 175 meters, the tower comes seven years after winning the initial competition. Construction is now set to start, and the project will be built on Sonnenallee in Neukölln. The design references the existing Estrel hotel und connects both into one unit.

Courtesy of Pascal BünningCourtesy of Pascal BünningCourtesy of Pascal BünningCourtesy of Pascal Bünning+ 11

OMA, MVRDV and Heatherwick Among Finalists to Transform Azca Financial District in Madrid

The RENAZCA international competition has released a shortlist for the design of the financial district of Azca in Madrid, Spain, according to El Pais. Directed by IE School of Architecture and Design Martha Thorne and Edgar González, the competition aims to transform the district into the most important economic and cultural node in the Spanish capital. The winning team will be chosen at the end of January 2021 and will have the task of transforming the sector into a "new, open, sustainable urban space connected to the city."

Architects Are Workers

Most of the practicing architecture is drudgery, and this is rather unfair. As students, architects are given thoughtful prompts about the built environment and its big questions, as well as sole creative reign to answer those questions. That is the only time in the architect’s life when this is the case, and in many ways, this does not adequately prepare the architecture student for the world of architecture, which is a world of drudgery. In reality, architects are not heroes.

Paris to Turn Champs-Élysées into Expansive Urban Garden

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has approved a comprehensive plan to transform Champs-Élysées, the city's most famous avenue. Though the €250m makeover will not happen before the French capital hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics, the proposal aims to turn a 1.2 mile stretch of central Paris into an expansive garden. The proposal includes reducing space for vehicles, turning roads into pedestrian green areas, and creating tunnels of trees to improve air quality.

Courtesy of PCA StreamCourtesy of PCA StreamCourtesy of PCA StreamCourtesy of PCA Stream+ 6

Saudi Arabia Unveils Plans for Hundred-Mile-Long Linear City

Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled plans for a 100-mile long linear city called The Line. Announcing the project in a new video, the city would include a series of walkable communities for a million people with no cars or streets. The project locates essential facilities within a five-minute walk of housing, connected "modules" linking the Red Sea coast with north-west Saudi Arabia as part of the NEOM city-state.

Architecture and Urban Planning Exhibitions: What Can They Tell Us About the Future of Cities?

Whether as a retrospective, a collection of contemporary works, or a compilation of prospects for the future - and all the other possibilities in between -, architecture and urban planning exhibitions have played an important role in shaping the future of cities over the decades. These events are often open to the public, reaching many people who don't necessarily have a background in the field, thus providing great environments to explore a collective view of the future of architecture and cities.

"Elements" Exhibition / Rem Koolhaas & AMO. Image © Nico SaiehModern Architecture: International Exhibition [MoMA Exh. #15, February 9-March 23, 1932] Photo: Modern Architecture, International Exhibition. 1932. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photographic Archive"Stadium" Exhibition at the 2018 Venice Biennale / Alejandra Celedón. Photo: © Laurian Ghinitoiu"Refugee Heritage" Exhibition at the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial / Ana María León and Andrew Herscher. Photo: © Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 6

Selected Projects of Pritzker Laureates’ in 2020

This year, architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize, has been granted to Grafton Architects, a Dublin-based architectural firm mainly ran by female partners Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. For the first time ever in its 42-year history, due to the constraints set by Covid-19 global pandemic, the organizers of the Pritzker Prize decided to use Livestream the award ceremony. Having reached the end of 2020, ArchDaily has summed up what current and previous Pritzker Prize winners have accomplished during this turbulent year.

Reaffirming the Essential Role of Drawing in Design

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In 2012, the Yale School of Architecture held a conference on the topic of drawing. It posed a couple of provocative questions: Was the study and practice of architecture already beyond it? Was it is even necessary to draw in order to be an architect? Mark Alan Hewitt’s new book, Draw in Order to See (ORO Editions), is a resounding affirmation that not only must architects draw, they cannot help but do so—it’s like breathing. The connection between the hand and the eye, between a soft pencil and a toothy sheaf of paper, is how architects, in fact, “see.”

Foster + Partners Unveils Lusail Towers in Qatar, a Landmark Project for a New Central Business District in the City

Foster + Partners has revealed its latest project for Qatar, a 1.1 million-square-meter landmark development consisting of four high-rise buildings. Part of a larger masterplan also designed by the architects, to be completed ahead of the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar, Lusail Towers is envisioned as a “catalyst for a new central business district in the city”.

Snøhetta Introduces New Transformative Architectural and Landscape Features to Austin's Blanton Museum of Art

Transforming the typical artistic experience, Snøhetta proposed a design to renovate the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. The comprehensive grounds remodeling seeks to “unify and revitalize the museum campus, […] through architectural and landscape improvements”. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and conclude by late 2022.

Courtesy of the Blanton Museum of ArtCourtesy of the Blanton Museum of ArtCourtesy of the Blanton Museum of ArtCourtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art+ 6

'Cyberpunk 2077' Is an Architecture Critique With Nothing to Say

I know what you are wondering and the answer is medium and circumcised. These are just a couple of characteristics that play a part in determining the outcome of Cyberpunk 2077, the most anticipated video game release of 2020 (and possibly ever) by CD Projekt RED. As a player, you experience the main storyline through a genderfluid avatar named V. The game’s namesake stems from a science fiction genre that at its core presents a dystopian hyper-capitalist society intended as a reflective critique of contemporary life—think Philip K. Dick’s work or Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One novel. There are plenty of well-documented issues pertaining to the game, from its perpetuation of techno-orientalism in science fiction to a buggy release resulting in too much attention on the phallic options described above. The game’s criticism of contemporary culture mostly falls flat but inadvertently it has some scathing things to say about architecture.

How Does Spot Work? The Robot That Compares Design to Reality at the Construction Site

In November of 2020, Foster + Partners announced a collaboration with the robotics design company Boston Dynamics. Together, the two have been testing Boston Dynamics’ robot dog, Spot, to help capture and monitor progress on construction sites. The robot boasts the dexterity to climb stairs, avoid obstacles, and traverse rough terrain, allowing it to monitor building sites and collect data quickly and easily. In this way, designers and contractors can remedy errors rapidly and at minimal cost, ensuring that projects progress according to their set timeframes and budgets. With manual data collection, errors might be noticed at a much slower rate and communication between contractors may suffer as well. Thus, Spot optimizes construction monitoring and on-site collaboration.

Why Landscapes Designed to Flood Are Environmentally Sound

A “floodscape” could be seen as a contradiction in terms: Flood spreads wherever gravity leads it, covering the familiar topography with a dark, gray, and uniform blanket. In that regard, flood is amorphous, as it can distort and temporarily erase forms and features from the visible landscape—nothing that could be described as a “scape” in the sense of articulated and meaningful scenery.

But when the boundaries of a flood are not just defined by the quantity or the velocity of water but also by landforms and structures carefully designed and placed to influence and shape the “disaster,” the result can be considered as a landscape, physically and culturally defined by flood.

NORD Architects and BBP Arkitekter Win Competition to Design Copenhagen's New "Food Culture" Public School

NORD Architects and BBP Arkitekter recently won the competition to design and build a new public school in one of Copenhagen's most dense urban districts. The challenge of the design was to create a structure that properly fits in the already complex context, complementing the district's "high urban density, postindustrial heritage, and vital infrastructure".

GRAFT Designs Modular Ultra-Charging Stations for E.ON Drive

GRAFT and Brandlab have created a prototype for an ultra-fast charging station for E.ON Drive in Europe. The extendable system of modules was made to adapt to different sites and parking conditions. Reimagining the stopover for the future, the project focuses on user experience and integrated design as filling stations evolve over time. The design features a steel skeleton roof structure that can be customized with diverse panel materials, photovoltaics and responsive lighting.

Courtesy of GRAFTCourtesy of GRAFTCourtesy of GRAFTCourtesy of GRAFT+ 6

From Ancient Rome to Contemporary Singapore: The Evolution of Conservatories

According to Pliny, Roman Emperor Tiberius’s doctors instructed their charge to consume a fruit of the Cucurbits family each day. To grow these melon and cucumber fruits year-round on his home island of Capri, Tiberius directed construction of specularia: “[He] had raised beds made in frames upon wheels, by means of which the Cucumis were moved and exposed to the full heat of the sun; while, in winter, they were withdrawn, and placed under the protection of frames glazed with mirror-stone.”

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