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Skyscrapers of 2018: Soaring Beyond the Archetypal Crystal Tower

07:00 - 14 December, 2018
© Viktor Sukharukov
© Viktor Sukharukov

Either as singular outcroppings or as part of a bustling center, skyscrapers are neck-craning icons across major city centers in the world. A modern trope of extreme success and wealth, the skyscraper has become an architectural symbol for vibrant urban hubs and commercial powerhouses dominating cities like New York, Dubai, and Singapore.

While skyscrapers are omnipresent, 2018 introduced new approaches, technologies, and locations to the high-rise typology. From variations in materiality to form, designs for towers have started to address aspects beyond simply efficiency and height, proposing new ways for the repetitive form to bring unique qualities to city skylines. Below, a few examples of proposals and trends from 2018 that showcase the innovative ideas at work: 

Courtesy of Plompmozes © Rafael de la-Hoz Arquitectos © Virgile Simon Bertrand Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 13

These Crafted Bookends are Inspired by the Alleyways of Tokyo

11:00 - 4 December, 2018
These Crafted Bookends are Inspired by the Alleyways of Tokyo, © <a href='https://twitter.com/monde55212068'>Twitter user mode</a>
© Twitter user mode

Tokyo-based designer monde has created a series of bookends inspired by the narrow back alleys of Tokyo. As described by My Modern Met, the bookends convey the “dizzying feeling of wandering the city’s back alleys” through a mixture of laser-cut wood and lighting.

The results of the two-year project were debuted at the Design Festa arts and crafts event, where they caught the eye of outlets across Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

Nishikicho-bunkaisan / SUGAWARADAISUKE Architects

19:00 - 2 October, 2018
Nishikicho-bunkaisan  / SUGAWARADAISUKE Architects, © Takumi Ota
© Takumi Ota

© Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota + 13

Todoroki House in Valley / Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects

21:00 - 27 September, 2018
Todoroki House in Valley / Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects, © Yuna Yagi
© Yuna Yagi

© Yuna Yagi © Yuna Yagi © Yuna Yagi © Yuna Yagi + 21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Lead Architects

    Naoki Hayasaka, Haruki Nakayama
  • Project team

    Mariko Abe, Matteo Lunanova, Ryosuke Baba, Nana Sugiura, Yosuke Tsukamoto, Kenji Hada
  • Area

    188.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

4 Buildings Shortlisted for the RIBA 2018 International Prize

06:30 - 12 September, 2018
4 Buildings Shortlisted for the RIBA 2018 International Prize, Il Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) / Boeri Studio. Image © Giovanni Nardi
Il Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) / Boeri Studio. Image © Giovanni Nardi

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist of four finalist projects in the running for the 2018 RIBA International Prize. A biennial award open to any qualified architect in the world, the International Prize seeks to name the world’s “most inspirational and significant” building. Criteria for consideration include the demonstration of “design excellence, architectural ambition, and [delivery of] meaningful social impact.”

The inaugural prize was awarded to Grafton Architects in 2016 for their UTEC university building in Lima, Peru, described as a “modern-day Machu Picchu.”

Dutch Gable Roof House / Hiroki Tominaga-Atelier

20:00 - 3 September, 2018
Dutch Gable Roof House / Hiroki Tominaga-Atelier, © Takumi Ota
© Takumi Ota

© Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota © Takumi Ota + 19

Mimosa Pudica / Horibe Associates

21:00 - 13 August, 2018
Mimosa Pudica / Horibe Associates, © Hiroyuki Hirai
© Hiroyuki Hirai

© Hiroyuki Hirai © Hiroyuki Hirai © Hiroyuki Hirai © Hiroyuki Hirai + 26

House N / YDS Architects

22:00 - 8 August, 2018
House N / YDS Architects, © Nobuki Taoka
© Nobuki Taoka

© Nobuki Taoka © Nobuki Taoka © Nobuki Taoka © Nobuki Taoka + 31

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Team

    Yoshitaka Uchino, Mana Muraki
  • Built Area

    49.47 m2
  • Total Floor Area

    97.50 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

These Are The 50 Smartest Cities in the World in 2018

06:00 - 26 July, 2018
These Are The 50 Smartest Cities in the World in 2018, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/22240293@N05'>Flickr user Francisco Diaz</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>. Image: New York City, ranked #1 on the Cities In Motion Index
© Flickr user Francisco Diaz licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image: New York City, ranked #1 on the Cities In Motion Index

The Center for Globalization and Strategy from Barcelona’s IESE Business School has unveiled its annual list of the world’s smartest cities. In its fifth year, the IESE Cities in Motion Index has calculated the performance scores for 165 cities across 80 countries based on an exhaustive rubric of economic and social indicators. Familiar global power centers have maintained their position at the top of the heap, while expanded categories of assessment have helped a few small cities advance their position drastically.

Kengo Kuma’s Airbnb Experience to Include Tour of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium

12:30 - 17 July, 2018
Kengo Kuma’s Airbnb Experience to Include Tour of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium, © Japan Sports Council / via Curbed
© Japan Sports Council / via Curbed

Five lucky architecture enthusiasts and Airbnb users have been offered the unique experience to accompany Kengo Kuma on a guided tour of the 2020 Olympic stadium in Tokyo. The renowned architect has collaborated with Airbnb to offer the exclusive experience, described as a “visit to Kengo’s under-construction Olympic stadium, along with a meet and greet at his studio and tea with the celebrated architect.”

The July 31st tour, sadly fully booked, offers an insightful example of architects collaborating with leaders of the “gig economy” to offer design experiences directly to the public.

This Genetic Algorithm Predicts the Rise of Skyscrapers in Urban Areas

16:30 - 26 June, 2018

The growth and expansion of metropolitan areas has been evident over the past decade. Buildings are getting taller, and urban areas are getting larger. What if there was a way to predict this growth and expansion?

A new study by Spanish researchers from the University of A Coruna has discovered that the increase of skyscrapers in a city reflects the pattern “of certain self-organized biological systems,” as reported by ScienceDaily. The study uses "genetic evolutionary algorithms" to predict urban growth, looking specifically at Tokyo's Minato Ward. Architect Ivan Pazos, the lead author of the new study, explained the science behind the algorithm: "We operate within evolutionary computation, a branch of artificial intelligence and machine learning that uses the basic rules of genetics and Darwin’s natural selection logic to make predictions."

Read on for more about the study and what it could mean for the possibility of estimating vertical urban development.

Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises?

06:00 - 19 June, 2018
Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises?

The downtown skyline of a city is perhaps its most symbolic feature. The iconic cityscapes that we know and love are typically formed by skyscrapers, but much of the surrounding context is made up of other high-rise buildings. Yes, there is a difference between a skyscraper and a high-rise. Research company Emporis defines a high-rise as a building at least 35 meters (115 feet) or 12 stories tall. These high-rise buildings play a major role in the more sprawled urban context of larger cities today.

Read on for Emporis' list of the 20 cities in the world with the most high-rises. You might be surprised by which cities made the cut.

Which Cities Have the Most High-Rises? © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sajeewashaluka'>Wikimedia user Sajeewashaluka </a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/22240293@N05'>Flickr user Francisco Diaz</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/people/88503995@N02'>Flickr user Younguk Kim</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> + 27

Flag & Pole / Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects & associates

19:00 - 26 April, 2018
Flag & Pole  / Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects & associates, © Kaori Ichikawa
© Kaori Ichikawa

© Kaori Ichikawa © Kaori Ichikawa © Kaori Ichikawa © Kaori Ichikawa + 13

House in Senzoku-Ike / Monolith / Kidosaki Architects Studio

20:00 - 17 April, 2018
© 45g Photography - Junji Kojima
© 45g Photography - Junji Kojima

© 45g Photography - Junji Kojima © 45g Photography - Junji Kojima © 45g Photography - Junji Kojima © 45g Photography - Junji Kojima + 25

A Draped Wall in Ikebukuro / Tailored design Lab

20:00 - 13 April, 2018
A Draped Wall in Ikebukuro  / Tailored design Lab, © Yuji Nishijima
© Yuji Nishijima

© Yuji Nishijima © Yuji Nishijima © Yuji Nishijima © Yuji Nishijima + 14

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge

    Tomohiko Iida + Norifumi Watanabe + Hidetoshi Sawa
  • Textile Designer

    Yuki Tsutsumi(Nuno Corporation)
  • Furniture

    Shinichi Shibayama(Shibayama Kaguseisaku)
  • Lighting Designer

    Light Atelier
  • Contractor

    Shirakawa Kensetsu
  • Area

    73.35 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

Syncopated, Revolving Door Condo / Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

19:00 - 5 March, 2018
Syncopated, Revolving Door Condo / Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects, Courtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects
Courtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects

Courtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects Courtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects Courtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects Courtesy of Tomokazu Hayakawa Architects + 13

OVULE / TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS

20:00 - 26 February, 2018
Courtesy of TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS
Courtesy of TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS

Courtesy of TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS Courtesy of TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS Courtesy of TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS Courtesy of TOMOKAZU HAYAKAWA ARCHITECTS + 18

Beam House / Hugo Kohno Architect Associates

19:00 - 20 February, 2018
© Seiichi Osawa
© Seiichi Osawa

© Seiichi Osawa © Seiichi Osawa © Seiichi Osawa © Seiichi Osawa + 18