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Questioning the Megalopolis in the Global South

As of today, over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and by 2050, this urban population will almost double in size, and 7 of 10 people in the world will live in cities. As cities have continued to grow and expand throughout history, a new vocabulary has also emerged, often to better communicate the scale of urban living in a relatively contemporary context. One such example is the term megalopolis – typically defined as a network of large cities that have been interconnected with surrounding metropolitan areas by infrastructure or transportation. In effect, it’s a region perceived as an encompassing urban area, within which there is a constant flow of commerce and migration.

A Digital Riverbank Park in China and a Mountain Retreat in Aspen, Unites States: 9 Unbuilt Projects from Established Firms

This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights projects submitted by established firms. From a museum dedicated to Jewish history to a high-speed railway hub and a university student center, the following selection showcases a variety of concepts, design approaches, and programs developed by global architecture offices.

MAD Architects Reveals Latest Details of the Floating Structure Aranya "Cloud Center" in China

Nearly to be completed and opened in 2023, MAD Architects reveals the construction details that made it possible for the Aranya "Cloud Center" to appear floating above the rolling landscape surrounding it. Located in Qinhuangdao, 160 miles away from the east of Beijing, China, the 2,500-square meters Center will be a public art space for the vibrant artistic seaside community that, from the outside, will mark the center of a sculptural landscape that MAD had conceptualized as a "white stone garden."

What is the Future of High Rise Buildings?

Almost a century ago, the world was introduced to a new architectural typology that changed the entire construction industry. Starting off with the Home Insurance Building in 1885, leading to the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings in Manhattan, skyscrapers became a symbol of power and financial abundance. Soon enough, they were being constructed in almost every city across the world with state-of-the-art designs that defy engineering norms. But with all the changes taking place in the architecture practice, what does the future hold for these heavily criticized yet constantly developed buildings?

MVRDV Wins Competition to Design Nature-Inspired Oasis Towers in Nanjing

MVRDV has won a competition to design a mixed-use residential and commercial complex on the edge of Jiangbei New Area’s Financial District in Nanjing, China. Dubbed "Oasis Towers", the two 150-metre-tall towers are surrounded by lush landscapes, and will provide residents a green haven within a dense and rapidly developing part of the city.

Why Bamboo is the Future of Asian Construction

The Filipinos believe that man and woman first emerged from the nodes of a bamboo stalk. The Chinese view the cane as a symbol of their culture and values, reciting “there is no place to live without bamboo”. The plant is a symbol of prosperity in Japan and friendship in India. Along with myths and stories, strong structures made of bamboo flourished in pre-modern Asia. Built forms varied across the changing landscapes of Eastern countries, all sharing one aspect in common - a respect for natural ecosystems.

Goettsch Partners Wins Design Competition for New Mixed-Use Shanghai Complex

Architecture firm Goettsch Partners have recently won the design competition for a new eight-building complex in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The 244,500 square meter site is one of the last underdeveloped parcels in the area. The Shanghai Lujiazui Roncheng Changyi Project features two office towers, five residential towers, and a cultural/office building. The development also includes retail spaces and various amenities. Construction is scheduled to start in December 2022 and completion is anticipated in December 2025.

SOM Unveils User-Controlled "Inside-Out" Headquarters for Alibaba’s Shanghai Campus

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has unveiled a dynamic, user-controlled headquarters for Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba's Xuhui District campus in Shanghai. Located in one of the city's premiere arts and innovation districts, the new workplace transforms the typical headquarters building “inside out”, highlighting the company’s "collaboration and creativity". The building's architecture is designed to resemble a cloud, symbolizing the company's digital presence in the Cloud, as well as the technology industry’s shifting skies of innovation.

Aedas Unveils the Design of the Hangzhou Yun He Wan International Tourism and Leisure Complex in China

Aedas has unveiled the design of the Hangzhou Yun He Wan International Tourism and Leisure Complex in Hangzhou, China. Located in the southern area of the Grand Canal New Town in the Gongshu District of Hangzhou, the site is the first phase of a larger project, starting off as a vibrant international tourism and leisure complex that highlights the waterfront of Yun He Wan and the historical remains of the nearby industrial pier.

On Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities: In Conversation with the Winners of the UIA 2030 Award

The first edition of the UIA 2030 Award celebrated projects that contribute to the delivery of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Located in Germany, Hong Kong, Argentina, Bangladesh, and China, the winning interventions were announced during the eleventh session of the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland. Organized by the International Union of Architects (UIA), together with the UN-HABITAT, the award program gathered 125 submissions in 40 countries.