February 2021 has been a historical month for Mars exploration. While humans have been exploring the red planet for well over 50 years, first landing on its surface in 1971 and then launching the first successful rover in 1997, this year has seen several firsts, namely the first time that three countries (China, United States, and the UAE) have launched three simultaneous probes.
Big: The Latest Architecture and News
In increasingly denser urban environments, there is a new-found interest in underused spaces as opportunities for further development. Representing up to 25% of cities' land area, rooftops are among the most exciting spatial resources. From sustainable infrastructure and urban farming to social spaces and cultural venues, the article looks into the potential of creating a multi-layered city through the activation of urban rooftops.
After MAD’s Wormhole Library, the city of Haikou revealed a pavilion by Sou Fujimoto Architects. Scheduled for the end of spring, the ribbon-like white pavilion with an accessible roof will be one of the first public waterfront interventions to be completed in the spring of 2021. Shaping the future of Haikou city and Hainan Free Trade Port, the master plan of 16 permanent destinations re-imagines the future of coastal living.
Seeking to give insights into the architectural creative centers of the world, Rainer Taepper created an architectural book that doesn’t feature buildings and plans. Looking behind the scenes, the architecture photographer highlighted both the working spaces of international design firms and the creative people, who contribute to the conception of a building.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is a disruptive moment for our world, and it’s poised to spur transformative shifts in design, from how we experience our homes and offices to the plans of our cities. The webcast series Design Disruption explores these shifts—and address issues like climate change, inequality, and the housing crisis— through chats with visionaries like architects, designers, planners and thinkers; putting forward creative solutions and reimagining the future of the built environment.
As we are entering 2021 after a year of anxiety and uncertainties, what are your expectation for our future? The UN75 survey reports that most people around the world hold greater optimism for the future: “Globally, many more respondents believe people will be better off in 2045 than today (49%) compared to those who believe people will be worse off (32%).”
Making history, Virgin Hyperloop’s Pegasus pod carried its first passengers in the Nevada desert. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design, Pegasus or XP-2 is a new vehicle typology for an autonomous transportation system to achieve hyperloop travel at the speed of over 1,000km/hour, the fastest form of land-based travel.
Johns Hopkins University has selected BIG to design its new Student Center, regenerating the heart of its campus and reviving the social experience, from a shortlisted list of 4 offices, after a months-long international competition. Entitled “The Village”, the proposal is an “open, modern, and welcoming facility envisioned as a social engagement hub for all members of the Hopkins community”.
Space has long captured our imaginations. Looking to the ocean above us, writers, scientists and designers alike have continuously dreamed up new visions for a future on distant planets. Mars is at the center of this discourse, the most habitable planet in our solar system after Earth. Proposals for the red planet explore how we can create new realms of humanity in outer space.
Denmark's Innovative Public Projects Captured by Hufton+Crow: Copenhill by BIG, Tingbjerg Library and Køge Nord Station by COBE
Hufton+Crow has unveiled its latest series of images, capturing Denmark's recent and inventive projects, completed between 2018 and 2019. The photographs showcase CopenHill Energy Plant and Urban Recreation Center by BIG, along with Tingbjerg Library and Culture House and Køge Nord Station, both designed by COBE.
BIG has partnered up with ICON, a developer of advanced construction technologies, and with SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) to imagine humanity’s home in another world. Working with NASA, the collaboration seeks to develop a “space-based construction system that could support future exploration of the Moon”.
BIG has unveiled its design for AI CITY, the future home for Terminus Group, a smart service provider. Imagined as the new center of innovation for China, the project will be dedicated to "artificial intelligence, robotics, networking, and big data”. Located in Chongqing, in southwest China, known as the “mountain city”, the project is set within the Chongqing Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.
The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) have named five finalists for the International Highrise Award (IHP) 2020. Selected from 31 nominated highrises in 14 countries, the projects include towers by Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, SOM, OMA and Heatherwick Studio. The IHA is considered the world's most important architecture award for high-rise buildings.
The results of the International Competition for the Architectural Landscape Design Concept for the Tuchkov Buyan Park were just revealed. The proposal by Studio 44 in consortium with WEST 8 won the first place, JV Vogt in consortium with Herzog & de Meuron won the second place while AB CHVOYA in consortium with KARAVAN landskapsarkitekter took the third position.
Created between 2016 and 2020, WEEK and Axel de Stampa have put together a series of architecture gifs, Architecture Animée or Animated Architecture, revealing a playful and fictional side of famous buildings such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Fondation Louis Vuitton by Gehry Partners, and 1111 Lincoln Road by Herzog & de Meuron.
Multidisciplinary Team Led by Pilot Projects Design Collective Wins the "Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge" Competition
Van Alen and the New York City Council have announced the winners for the “Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge” international competition. The winning design in the Professional category is Brooklyn Bridge Forest by a multidisciplinary team including Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw, and Silman; while the winning design in the Young Adult category is Do Look Down by Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim; Hong Kong, Bay Area, CA, and New York.