Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has broken ground on its first U.S. project, a mixed-use tower and associated masterplan in Detroit, Michigan. “Monroe Blocks” will stitch together the heart of one of America’s most storied cities with a mix of modern office space, residential units, restaurants, retail, and outdoor public areas.
The 12,500-square-meter site in Detroit’s Campus Martius Park, vacant for a generation, will be activated by 4,800 square meters of outdoor space, with the design team drawing on historical influences for the form and materiality of the new masterplan.
Italian activists RebelArchitette and VOW Architects, led by Louise Braverman, Caroline James, Arielle Assouline-Lichten and Francesca Perani, have launched a petition seeking equal recognition for Doriana Fuksas in the Lifetime Achievement Award recently given to her fellow partner and Director of Studio Fuksas, Massimiliano Fuksas.
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:
A series of concave concrete panels hoisted on slender plank-like columns sit amongst the vast rural plains of Sweden, silently redefining the typology of an otherwise utilitarian structure. White Arkitekter's recent proposal for a water tower in Varberg is a slim horizontal structure, deviating from the typical, vertical and round design. Titled VÅGA, it features two tanks for storing water within its unique shape that may actually be better suited to its purpose.
Perkins + Will have revealed a design for an open-air museum along the Crenshaw light-rail line in Los Angeles. Dubbed Destination Crenshaw, the project will run 1.1 miles and feature outdoor art and cultural spaces that celebrate black thinkers, activists, and performers of Los Angeles. Featuring works of public art as well as streetscape upgrades by Studio-MLA, the design was conceived as a response to Metro’s decision to put a section of the Crenshaw/LAX Line at ground level.