When thinking of marble, we often associate the material with ancient Greek sculptures, Classical architecture, or the Italian Renaissance. Monumental landmarks such as the St. Peter’s Basilica or the Taj Mahal, have positioned marble as an elite and timeless material that stands the test of time. And in today's conversations about the future of construction materials, amid sustainability, feasibility, and affordability, the natural stone remains high-caliber. In this interior focus, we’re taking a look at marble between the past, present, and future.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) has announced that by 2025, all city-owned buildings and facilities in the city will be fully operated with clean, renewable energy. At the moment, Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States to reduce the city’s carbon footprint at such a scale, and has already began the process of transitioning its transportation busses and cars to all-electric vehicles by 2035. The agreement demonstrates the city's plans to "drive high-impact climate action, build the clean energy workforce of the future, and equitably distribute meaningful benefits to foster the local clean energy economy for all.”
Spain pushes to promote cleaner transportation by offering free seasonal tickets for suburban and regional trains, which translates into roughly 48 million journeys per month. The initiative hopes to help citizens reduce fuel consumption and reduce the cost of living during the economic uncertainties and the rising energy prices. Earlier this summer, a 30% discount for municipal public transport has been announced, with local governments in places like Catalonia topping up to 60% discount. The program will run between the 1st of September and the 31st of December.
Over the years, interior design has evolved according to the needs that arise, but above all according to the experiences it seeks to evoke in the user. In the last two years we have witnessed a radical change and a special interest in this subject because the pandemic forced us to pay specific attention to the configuration of the places we inhabit. This brought about much more holistic designs that seek to address the wellbeing of the user, combining colours, sensory experiences, technology and natural elements that promote health.
Everything’s On The Table : Reframing The Dining Table as A “Counter - architecture” to Superfood Phenomena
From supermarkets to superfoods, contemporary cultures of food production to consumption are based on the illusion that the crowning designation of “super” status represents a reliable global economic boom of food commodities in-play rather than a signal of an expanding cyclical agricultural crisis. Across diverse spaces that facilitate the extraction, transformation and distribution of food in this cycle—farms, warehouses, factories, grocery stores, restaurants—it is the domestic dining table, typically confined to food consumption, that is framed as a site for reinvention in the installation “Everything’s on theTable”.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Of the four types of recovery facing American cities and towns—disaster, sprawl, disinvestment, and the recovery of community for those fleeing climate change—the recovery of places from serious disinvestment arguably gets the least amount of press today. But with reasonable effort, it’s the recovery type most likely to bear fruit. This is true for several reasons, beginning with the likelihood that many of the bones of sustainable placemaking are still in place. Newly built places, even if skillfully designed, often face the criticism of “lack of authenticity,” whereas places recovering from disinvestment abound with authentic scars from decades of distress. And places with humble origins were usually built in smaller increments than once-wealthy places, so the tighter rhythms of such places are inherently more interesting than those of grander scale early in recovery.
“Counting sheep” is a well-known mental exercise that people use when trying to fall asleep. It is thought to have been popularized by Miguel de Cervantes in Don Quixote, who is said to have been inspired by a twelfth-century Spanish tale. Whatever its origin, it is curious to think that falling asleep has been a problem for so long, even long before the invention of electric light or social networks on smartphones. In the early 2000s, the University of Oxford developed a study to prove the effectiveness of this sheep-related method. The conclusion: this tactic does not work.
Something that is scientifically proven, however, is the relationship between the body's production of melatonin and the feeling of sleepiness at the end of the day, which can in turn lead to a restorative night of sleep. This is directly related to the circadian rhythm, our daily biological clock. This inner "clock" synchronizes our body's functioning and is highly influenced by the wavelengths and intensities of natural and electric light we are exposed to during the day. As we continue to spend more and more time indoors, typically with inadequate visual stimuli from electric lighting during the day, and too much stimulation from electronic devices and overhead lighting after dark - it is essential to focus on the study of lighting in architecture and how it affects people and their well-being.
Global real estate developer Hines has announced the launch of 600 Collins, a new premium-grade office tower in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district. The tower will be designed by international architecture practice WilkinsonEyre and Australian architecture and design firm Architectus, with a strong focus on wellness, workplace, and optimized tenant experience, while integrating best practices in all facets of environmental, social, and corporate governance.
The former Berlin-Tegel Airport is set to be redeveloped. The master plan includes the Schumacher Quartier, a new residential district with 200 hectares of landscaped area, and a research and industrial park for urban technologies, Berlin TXL – the Urban Tech Republic. Besides creating a space for industry, business, and science, the innovation park aims to research and test urban technologies. The park will focus on major themes in the development of cities: the efficient use of energy, sustainable construction, eco-friendly mobility, recycling, networked control of systems, clean water, and the application of new materials.
In architecture, one of the challenges faced by professionals is the design with sloping terrain. The steep slopes make it possible to think of an architecture that faces this context, being an opportunity to work in contact with the place, the spatiality, the visuals and the different heights.
Peru in the western and central part of South America, with its multiple geographical conditions in its three large regions -coast, andean and jungle-, has an architecture that is particularly committed to its landscape. The range of varied solutions has a unique and contextual architecture. The following list shows 10 residential projects in Peru, which reveal diverse architectural approaches.
The Lisbon Architecture Triennale has released the list of finalists for the Millennium bcp Début Award. This year, ten offices from four continents reach the final stage of this award, which celebrates and encourages the creative, intellectual and professional growth of emerging talents at a crucial and transformative stage in their careers.
The list of finalists includes Atelier Tiago Antero – ATA (Portugal), Atelier Tropical – Valerie Mavoungou (Congo), Ben-Avid (Argentina), messina | rivas (Brazil), Nana Zaalishvili (Georgia), Rohan Chavan (India), Savinova Valeria (Russia), Spatial Anatomy (Singapore), vão (Brazil) and Vertebral (Mexico). The winner of the current edition will join a select list of winners that includes Bonell+Dòriga, from Spain (2019), Umwelt, from Chile (2016) and the American Jimenez Lai, from Bureau Spectacular (2013).
Eucalyptus forests in Australia are known to burn periodically. It is the trees' way of ensuring propagation, as its fruits – known as gumnuts – have an insulating layer breaks down with the heat of the fire. Once they open, the burnt soil is covered with seeds, initiating a process of forest renewal. Glenn Murcutt, an Australian architect, has created a body of work rooted in the country's landscape. His innovative houses embrace the possibility of frequent fires, including elements that allow for fire control with the least possible loss. In short, the houses are built with very non-flammable materials, always have huge water reservoirs, and a “flood system” that allows the building and its immediate surroundings to be spared in the case of a forest fire.
Since the beginning of the war on Ukraine, over 7.1 million people have been internally displaced within the country, with over 139 sites affected by the ongoing hostilities, including 62 religious sites, 12 museums, 26 historic buildings, 17 buildings dedicated to cultural activities, 15 museums, and seven libraries. Two new programs; Support by Design and Hireukrainiandesigners.org have joined forces to help provide remote jobs for designers in the war-torn country.
On June 23, 2022, the Prequalification Review Meeting of「Beyond YUE｜Jianhu Revival」Shaoxing Jianhu Planning and Design Competition was held at the Jianhui Hall of Mirror Lake Hotel, Keqiao District, Shaoxing City. After 6 hours of careful review, discussion and selection, 6 participating units stood out and were shortlisted for the conceptual planning & urban design and competition review stage of the competition from 46 valid application documents submitted by 89 international top planning and design units and firms, as well as 11 individuals.
Request for Proposal: Design Competition for the Marine, Business, Research and Innovation Center (MBRIC) in Ceiba, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s Local Redevelopment Authority for Roosevelt Roads (LRA) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP #2022-004) through a Design Competition. The objective for this RFP is to obtain proposals from qualified architectural and engineering firms able to provide a full range of services – including studies, design, sustainability design, permits procurement and other services – for the development and construction of the Marine Business, Research and Innovation Center (MBRIC). Located in the eastern region of the island - specifically in the former Coast Guard Pier in Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba, municipality - the project will be developed in conjunction with Bluetide Puerto Rico, Inc., which collaborated with the LRA in the development of the program, as well as in establishing the needs and requirements necessary for the development of MBRIC. Bluetide will be responsible for overseeing the operation and maintenance of the facilities.
In line with the United Nations agenda of climate neutrality by 2050, the Rome City Council has announced the establishment of a Laboratory titled “Laboratorio Roma050 – il Futuro della Metropoli Mondo", a project proposed and led by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, which aims to draw up an ecological vision for Rome in 2050. The urban regeneration project consists of 12 young architects and urban planners under the age of 35, along with 4 renowned architects as mentors, who collectively have specific experience in terms of studies and research regarding the Italian capital.
“Sick Architecture” opened on May 5th at CIVA in Brussels. Co-curated by Beatriz Colomina, the exhibition investigates the intrinsic relation between architecture and sickness. The architectural discourse always weaves itself through theories of body and brain, constructing the architect as a kind of doctor and the client as the patient. Architecture has been portrayed as a form of prevention and cure for thousands of years. Yet architecture is also often the cause of illness, from the institution of hospitals to toxic building materials and sick building syndrome. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted this topic.
What is the story that your city's public space tells? Who are the people honored in monuments scattered throughout it? Issues like these have led to a series of insurgencies in recent years in several cities. The notions of memory and representation have expanded the reflection on which narrative we build in our spaces, a fact that has triggered an urban question for the future: after all, what do we want to remember (or forget) through the symbols that we rise (or destroy) in cities?
Architect, researcher and teacher Marina Tabassum was elected winner of the Lisbon Triennale Millennium bcp Lifetime Achievement Award. Marina is the first person from the global south to receive the honor, joining Denise Scott-Brown from the USA (2019 winner), the French duo Lacaton & Vassal (2016), Kenneth Frampton from the UK (2013), Álvaro Siz from Portugal (2010) and Vittorio Gregotti from Italy (2007).
UN-Habitat has just released its annual World Cities Report during the eleventh session of the World Urban Forum, which took place in Katowice, Poland from June 27 until June 30, 2022. Titled “Envisaging the Future of Cities”, the 2022 release highlights insights on the future of the urban realm, based on “existing trends, challenges, and opportunities, as well as disruptive conditions, including the valuable lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic”. In fact, it seeks to present cities with ways to be prepared for future challenges and address current issues.
As the global population living in urban areas is set to rise from 56 percent in 2021 to 68 percent in 2050, mainly in Africa and the Middle East, transforming our cities in order to achieve a better future should be a global interest. Urgently needing “innovative solutions for urban areas to respond to this triple C crisis of COVID, climate and conflict” as stated by UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the 2022 World Cities Report calls for greater commitment by national, regional and local governments, and encourages the further adoption of innovative technologies and urban living concepts.
Legal Battle between Marlon Blackwell Architects and HBG Design Ignites the Debate of Architectural Intellectual Property
Following two years of legal disputes, 2020 AIA Gold Medalist Marlon Blackwell and HBG Design have reached a settlement to their infamous Saracen Casino case. The award-winning firm claimed that it was responsible for the design of the Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, however, HBG Design, a Memphis design firm who Blackwell brought into the project as architect-of-record was taking credit for it instead. After performing extensive design work from 2017 to March 2019 then being abruptly fired from the project, MBA sued HBG for "copyright infringement, attribution, tortious interference, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment".
Although the case was settled, the battle is yet another incident in the ongoing debate of intellectual property in architecture, and the legal implications between design architects and architects of record.