In the modern era of design where advancements in technology and construction have enabled architects to build better, faster, and taller, the sky’s the limit. Every few months, another headline boasts the tallest residential tower or the newly constructed office building that breaks yet another record for its impressive height. But as time goes on and new projects are completed, trends show that the United States is falling out of the spotlight in terms of being able to claim the title of world’s tallest building, and the drawing boards show that no American city will be reclaiming this title any time soon.
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "These Architects Sought to Solve the Ultimate Human Design Flaw—Death."
Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins—visual artists, conceptual writers, self-taught architects—believed that, through a radical recalibration of the built environment, humans could solve the ultimate design flaw: death. (Your move, Norman Foster.)
Arakawa and Gins completed five projects in their lifetimes—three in Japan, two in America—and to call them unconventional is a gross understatement. There’s an acid trip of a park; an eye-poppingly colorful, plucked-from-Pixar apartment building; and doorless lofts with bumpy, uneven flooring. Rather than whimsy or quirkiness, their ethos—dubbed Reversible Destiny—aimed to seriously promote longevity by activating and stimulating the body and mind.
If the Great Pyramid were to be built today, it would cost between 1.1 and 1.3 billion US dollars, according to a cost estimate by the Turner Construction Company—not surprising, considering how that is roughly the same amount of money that it took to build the Trump Taj Mahal or the Petronas Twin Towers. Complicated structural requirements, delayed work timelines, complex building programs, the need for good earthquake or typhoon proofing, the use of advanced mechanical and electronic systems, and costly materials and finishes can all add up to the eventual cost. But sometimes—and especially in cases in which governments or powerful clients set out to beat existing records such as the “tallest building in the world”—money is spent for no real reason except for an unabashed display of wealth, power or strength.
Emporis, the renowned global provider for building data, has compiled a list of the top 200 money-guzzlers from recent years, and not surprisingly, a lot of high-rises have made the list. Read on to see the top 20.
Architect Jeehoon Park has filed a lawsuit against Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), claiming the design of New York City’s One World Trade Center was stolen from a project he developed as a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1999.
The lawsuit states that the 104-story One World Trade bears a “striking similarity” to his 122-story “Cityfront ‘99” tower, which also featured a glass facade of inverted triangular planes.
Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei Examine the Threat of Surveillance on Public Space in New Installation
The latest collaboration between architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and artist Ai Weiwei may be called Hansel & Gretel, but it brings to mind just as much another literary classic: George Orwell’s 1984.
The immersive, site-specific installation, located within the expansive Wade Thompson Drill Hall at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, places visitors in a darkness-cloaked environment, where your every move is tracked and monitored by motion sensors, image captures and a team of surveillance drones. The work is a not-so-subtle interpretation of the expanding role of surveillance in modern-day society and the changing dynamics between the public and private realms.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of its CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”
A variety of project designs, such as public elementary and high schools, charter schools, and higher education facilities, were submitted to the Committee, many of which incorporated “informal and flexible spaces for collaboration and social interaction adjacent to teaching spaces,” as well as staircases with amphitheater or forum designs.
Find out which projects received awards, after the break.
The Copper Development Association (CDA) has announced its selections for the 2015 North American Copper in Architecture Awards (NACIA), now in their eighth year. The awards celebrate stellar projects that incorporate copper in their designs. The 12 award-winning works span three categories and include educational, residential and healthcare buildings in addition to historic landmarks.
Winners were selected by a panel of industry professionals based on their overall design, incorporation and treatment of copper, and distinction in either innovation or historic restoration.
Ten projects have been named the top examples of sustainable and ecological design by the AIA and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) for the year 2015. Now in its 19th edition, the COTE Top Ten Awards program recognizes projects that adhere to the highest integration of natural systems and technology to produce spaces that positively impact their surroundings and minimize their environmental footprints.
Brooklyn based architectural photographer James Ewing has placed first in the American Photographic Artists’ APA Awards for architecture. The image, as Ewing describes, “was created to describe the verdant landscape that surrounds the Matrimandir and the community of Auroville.”
“The land was in an advanced state of desertification when the Auroville project was started in the 1960s. Heavy erosion had removed most of the topsoil and left a barren scorched earth. Through many years of careful engineering and land management Auroville has created a lush, wooded, garden city. I sought out an elevated vantage point that allowed me to present the building in context with its landscape. The building without the landscape would only be half of the story. The cyclists in the foreground show scale and provide a contrast between the familiar low-fi technology of the bicycles and the fantastic sci-fi form of the Matrimandir itself.”