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Annalise Zorn


How the Layout of Urban "Cells" Affects The Function and Success of Neighborhoods

As urban areas develop, each city forms a unique structural logic. With this structure usually conceived on an ad-hoc basis, political terms such as “metropolitan area” and “neighborhood” are not always useful when analyzing and comparing the performance of cities. In a quest for new analytical tools, Robin Renner has devised an anatomically-based classification system in his new book Urban Being: Anatomy & Identity of the City. Through a thoughtful investigation of existing urban areas from around the globe using satellite images and personal experiences, Urban Being offers an insight into how transportation networks and streetscapes can be best organized to promote a healthy metropolitan environment.

Renner’s analysis ranges from macro-regions that can even cross country borders to the defined spaces between arterial roads in cities, which he calls "urban cells." As the neighborhoods and units in which inhabitants reside, urban cells are important when examining the identity and efficiency of a city. They are defined by both their physical properties and the actions that take place inside of them. Below is a small sample of how Renner analyzes urban cells from the book.

Courtesy of Robin RennerCourtesy of Robin RennerCourtesy of Robin RennerCourtesy of Robin Renner+ 6

Patrick Vale Draws Stunning Panoramic View of San Francisco in New Mural

London-based artist, illustrator, and animator Patrick Vale, known for his panoramic drawings of cities, completed another complex mural at design company IDEO’s studio in San Francisco, California. Vale’s time-lapse videos such as “Empire State of Pen” and his drawing of Manhattan, show the process of creating his detailed illustrations that take from several hours to months to complete. Vale spent 13 days at the downtown San Francisco office to complete the drawing.

Riksbyggen and Sweco Architects Win Competition for Wooden Mixed-Use Development in Gothenburg

Riksbyggen and Sweco Architects were announced as the winners of a government-led competition to create a cross-laminated timber framed housing development for the Johanneberg district of Gothenburg, Sweden. The proposal, called “Slå rot” (Swedish for “put down roots”), was chosen for its response to its existing environment with nods to tradition, while still providing an innovative structural system and modern living to the neighborhood.

Courtesy of Sweco ArchitectsElevationElevationSite Plan+ 12

New Map Celebrates Boston’s Brutalist Architecture

In their ninth architectural city guide, London-based publisher Blue Crow Media highlights the city of Boston’s Brutalist buildings. The map was produced in collaboration with the principles of the firm over,under Chris Grimley and Mark Pasnik along with Michael Kubo, who together authored the book “Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston.” The map highlights more than forty examples of Brutalist architecture around the greater-Boston area.

Courtesy of Blue Crow MediaCourtesy of Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark PasnikCourtesy of Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark PasnikCourtesy of Blue Crow Media+ 8

Dmytro Aranchii Architects Constructs Interactive Park on Top of Shopping Center

Dmytro Aranchii Architects have started construction on a large interactive green roof in Kyiv, Ukraine. Called the Signature Garden, the 6000 square meter park sits on top of a shopping center and provides a space for visitors to dine, play, and enjoy both vegetation and water features.

Courtesy of Dmytro Aranchii ArchitectsCourtesy of Dmytro Aranchii ArchitectsCourtesy of Dmytro Aranchii ArchitectsCourtesy of Dmytro Aranchii Architects+ 24

LAVA Breaks Ground on Sculptural Energy Tower in Germany

Construction has started on the redesign of an energy storage tower by LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architects) for Stadtwerke Heidelberg (SWH) in Heidelberg, Germany. The updated facade of the 56-meter cylindrical tower and design of an adjacent park are part of an initiative to create a sculptural landmark and symbol of sustainable energy for the city.

LAVA introduces a multi-layered facade that features 11,000 diamond shaped stainless-steel plates attached to a steel cable network that can rotate 45 degrees in the wind. According to the architects, a number of plates correlate to the number of households that will be beneficiaries of the energy. The geometries of the facade are inspired by forms found in nature.

Courtesy of LAVACourtesy of LAVACourtesy of LAVAElevations+ 18

Orange Architects Wins Competition to Build Mixed-Use Development on Amsterdam Harbor

Orange Architects have been selected as winners of a competition to create a new mixed-use residential building situated at the port of IJburg in Amsterdam. The neighborhood of IJburg is comprised of a series of artificial islands developed to address the growing need for housing and lack of available land near Amsterdam's city center. Commissioned by Amvest, the 29,000 square meter development aims to provide a sustainable, inviting heart for the area.

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10 DESIGN Wins Competition to Build Start-Up Incubator in Chinese Aviation Hub

10 Design were announced as the winners of a competition to build an incubation center for start-up companies in the Jinwan Aviation District in Zhuhai, China. The Research & Development Center will accompany 10 Design’s other winning schemes for an International Commerce Center (twin tower with 127,000 square meters of office and hotel space) and Cultural Center (performance and exhibition space house in a 27,500 square meters building). The projects will be a part of Jinwan Aviation City, an ambitious development initiative to create a hub for major industry in Zhuhai, a city that is currently experiencing unprecedented growth.

Finalists Announced for Redesign of Norwegian Government Headquarters After 2011 Attacks

Two teams have been announced as the finalists of a competition to rebuild Norway’s government headquarters after it was bombed in 2011 during the country’s worst terrorist attack in modern history. The state building agency Statsbygg selected G8+, comprised of A-Lab and LPO Architects, and Team Urbis, which includes the firms Haptic and Nordic, out of a group of seven teams to create a safe, inviting hub of ministry buildings for central Oslo.

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Brooklyn's Prospect Park Gets Covered in Thousands of Pinwheels for its 150th Anniversary

To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, AREA4 and Suchi Reddy of Readymade Architecture and Design collaborated with the Prospect Park Alliance to create a public art exhibition that features more than 7,000 pinwheels. Called The Connective Project, the installation covers the Rose Garden in the northeast corner of the park with yellow pinwheels that include art and written work submitted by the public. Influenced by the vision of the park’s 1867 designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Reddy's aspiration for the project was to create a playful urban retreat that sparks a conversation about the value of public spaces.

Courtesy of Reddymade Architecture + Design© Amanda Gentile/ADG Photography© Amanda Gentile/ADG PhotographyCourtesy of Reddymade Architecture + Design+ 7

Ten Fold Designs Revolutionary Structure that Self-Deploys in Minutes

Eight minutes. That is the length of time UK-based company Ten Fold Engineering’s self-deploying structures can transform itself from a portable rectangular container into a fully habitable space that can be used for either the residential or service sector. Transported by truck, the company offers a shelter that is energy efficient, eliminates labor costs, and is highly customizable in an effort to revolutionize the possibilities of prefabrication and construction.

Atelier FCJZ and CAAU Teamed Up to Win Fondation de Chine Competition

Atelier FCJZ and Coldefy & Associates Architects Urban Planners (CAAU) were announced last month as the winners of the Fondation de Chine Competition that will add another residential facility to the historic Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP). The project is part of #Cite2020, an initiative by the Cite Internationale to develop 1,800 new housing units by 2020. Adding to the existing 40 residential buildings, the Fondation de Chine will introduce a contemporary interpretation of student housing to the campus.

Courtesy of Atelier FCJZPavilion Suisse by Le Corbusier. Image Courtesy of Atelier FCJZCourtesy of Atelier FCJZCIUP Campus. Image Courtesy of Atelier FCJZ+ 6

Where Are the Hipsters in Your City? These Crowdsourced Maps Will Show You

Released this month, the website Hoodmaps offers a crowd-sourced mapping platform that gives users the ability to walk through a city like a local. By “painting” parts of the city using a palette of six colors that represent “uni”, “hipsters”, “tourists”, “rich”, “suits”, and “normies”, Hoodmaps aims to provide a quick visual representation of a city.

The website features a thousand of the largest cities from around the world and is constantly being edited with new user content that flags Google Maps with information about touristed zones of cities among other information. Creator Pieter Levels noted the need for such a service when traveling and being frustrated by the difficulty in finding culture-rich zones of a city as opposed to its commercialized ones.

Helen & Hard Win Competition to Built Waterfront Cultural Museum in Norway

Situated at the intersection of a forest-scape and harbor, Helen & Hard’s winning museum competition entry, Navet, offers the Norwegian island of Odderøya a place to reflect on the area’s heritage and naval history. Located in the city of Kristiansand, Navet will join a group of institutions in the region called the Vest Agder Museums that celebrate Norway’s past. Developed through careful consideration of its surrounding landscape, the form of the building situates itself to activate both the water and existing mountain front.

Courtesy of Helen & HardCourtesy of Helen & HardCourtesy of Helen & HardElevation+ 12

Diagrams of the Rietveld Schroder House Reveal its Graphic and Geometric Brilliance

As one of the most prominent examples of the De Stijl movement, the 1925 Rietveld Schroder House represents a radical moment in modern architecture. Categorized by refining components to their geometric forms and primary paint hues, characteristics of the movement are evident in the architect Gerrit Rietveld's approach to residential design. Located in Utrecht, the house experiments with modular elements such as collapsible walls that provide a transformable way of living that still influences design to this day.

Because of its significance, the Schroder House has been the subject of study for many architects, artists, and historians. Inspired by its revolutionary design, aspiring architect and visual artist Yun Frank Zhang created a series of analytical diagrams and an accompanying video in order to understand the functionality, dimensions, and programmatic elements of the house. Below is a sample of Zhang’s exploration.

Courtesy of Yun Frank ZhangCourtesy of Yun Frank ZhangCourtesy of Yun Frank ZhangCourtesy of Yun Frank Zhang+ 5

Ilimelgo Reimagines Future of Urban Agriculture in Romainville

In their winning competition entry, French architecture firm Ilimelgo reimagines the future of urban agriculture with a vertical farming complex in the Parisian suburb of Romainville. The project integrates production of produce into the city through a 1000 square meter greenhouse that maximizes sunlight and natural ventilation. Recognizing the developing world’s diminishing agricultural space, the project aims to meet the growing demands for crop cultivation in urban environments.

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LEVS Architecten Brings New Type of Mixed-Used Development to Russia

In LEVS Architecten’s newest development Forum City, the firm reinterprets Russian urban life in the center of its fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg. The nine-building complex, developed by the Forum Group, curates its own metropolitan microcosm inside the larger urban area by combining residential, leisure facilities, and retail inside an archetypal city block.

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FaulknerBrowns Unveils Plan to Re-develop Bangor Waterfront

FaulknerBrowns Architects have released plans for a revitalization of Queens Parade, a waterfront site in Bangor, Northern Ireland that has long been left underutilized. Situated next to the Bangor Marina, the mixed-used development will include residential, entertainment, and retail buildings in an effort to secure the site as a destination for both locals and tourists to connect with the water.

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