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Climate Change

HASSELL + MVRDV's Proposal to Improve the Bay Area's Resilience in the Event of a Disaster

08:00 - 9 February, 2018
HASSELL + MVRDV's Proposal to Improve the Bay Area's Resilience in the Event of a Disaster, Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+
Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+

Following recent natural disasters including the Northern California wildfires, the HASSELL + team have been inspired to reimagine the San Francisco Bay Area as a vibrant community hub, equipped to provide temporary facilities in an emergency. As part of the competition Resilient by Design, the ten teams were asked to provide solutions for the waterfront through site-specific conceptual design and collaborative research projects.

Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+ Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+ Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+ Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+ + 13

Call for Papers: TAW 2018 International Scientific Conference

17:01 - 17 January, 2018
Call for Papers: TAW 2018 International Scientific Conference

An integral and substantial component of TAW 2018, the International Scientific Conference aims at exploring contemporary research activities and design tactics that deal with the topic of co-habitation from different perspectives and within different fields of interest, directly or indirectly related to architecture, city, and landscape. Through the observation of different tactics adopted by researchers and professionals, the hope is to identify new research and design trajectories.

Call for Papers: TAW 2018 International Scientific Conference | Co-habitation Tactics I Imagining future spaces in architecture, city and landscape

12:32 - 17 January, 2018
Call for Papers: TAW 2018 International Scientific Conference | Co-habitation Tactics I Imagining future spaces in architecture, city and landscape, POLIS University
POLIS University

The International Scientific Conference aims at exploring contemporary research activities and design tactics that deal with the topic of co-habitation from different perspectives and within different fields of interest, directly or indirectly related to architecture, city, and landscape.

How Some of New York City's Distinguished Architects Plan To Save The City

12:00 - 30 December, 2017
How Some of New York City's Distinguished Architects Plan To Save The City, Courtesy of Mark Foster Gage Associates
Courtesy of Mark Foster Gage Associates

New York Magazine asked some of New York City’s distinguished architects how they would improve the city and save it from climate change. NY Mag reported on their findings.

All-In-One Structure Solves Flooding, Parking and the Lack of Green Space in Cities

08:00 - 25 September, 2017
All-In-One Structure Solves Flooding, Parking and the Lack of Green Space in Cities, Courtesy of THIRD NATURE
Courtesy of THIRD NATURE

As Earth’s population continues to grow, so does car traffic and issues related to climate change. It has been estimated about 30% of urban roadway congestion are drivers searching for a place to park. Car culture puts the pressure on cities to build more parking garages, which usually win out over green parks. Meanwhile, climate change continues to challenge cities to handle a great deal of stormwater. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is proof of this - as of Monday, 13 named storms have formed in the Atlantic ocean, costing 210 lives and counting. 

THIRD NATURE, a Danish architecture firm, designed a solution for the modern-day urban issues of flooding, parking and lacking green spaces with their project, POP-UP. A stacked green space, car park, and water reservoir, from top to bottom respectively, POP-UP uses Archimedes’ principle to store water and create floating space to store cars.

Courtesy of THIRD NATURE Courtesy of THIRD NATURE Courtesy of THIRD NATURE Courtesy of THIRD NATURE + 14

Resilient by Design Announces Ten Winners Set to Re-Imagine The Bay Area

14:00 - 23 September, 2017
Resilient by Design Announces Ten Winners Set to Re-Imagine The Bay Area

From a pool of over fifty submissions, Resilient by Design have chosen ten winning teams to collaborate with engineers, climate change experts, designers, architects and community members to imagine a better future for The Bay Area in the face of potentially devastating climate change. The winning teams AECOM, BIG, Bionic, TLS, Field Operations, HASSELL, Mithun, Base Landscape, SCAPE and Gensler will spend the next year on a combination of collaborative research projects and site-specific conceptual design solutions.

Resilient by Design Announces Ten Winners Set to Re-Imagine The Bay Area Resilient by Design Announces Ten Winners Set to Re-Imagine The Bay Area Resilient by Design Announces Ten Winners Set to Re-Imagine The Bay Area Resilient by Design Announces Ten Winners Set to Re-Imagine The Bay Area + 7

7 Annual Competitions Every Architecture Student Should Try at Least Once

09:30 - 7 August, 2017
7 Annual Competitions Every Architecture Student Should Try at Least Once, Fairy Tales 2017 Competition Winner: Last Day / Mykhailo Ponomarenko. Image Courtesy of Blank Space
Fairy Tales 2017 Competition Winner: Last Day / Mykhailo Ponomarenko. Image Courtesy of Blank Space

When you’re used to the grind of architecture school, breaks can hit you like rain on a warm day—cool at first, but terribly annoying soon enough. While the first few days breeze past as you catch-up on lost sleep and binge-watch Game of Thrones, you realize before long that you’re going insane with nothing to absorb all your new-found energy.

This is where architectural competitions come in handy. They provide a constructive outlet while being deeply engrossing, thus keeping you from hopelessly refreshing Youtube to see if Buzzfeed uploaded a new video. Also, the fact that you’re no longer constrained by the direction of your studio-leader or school program enables you to experiment creatively. With diverse international competitions running at any given time, you can take your pick, depending on your individual interests and the amount of time you want to devote. However, the sheer number of available competitions can be deeply confusing as well. Here we shortlist seven of the most prestigious annual architectural competitions open to students: 

Svalbard "Doomsday" Seed Vault to Receive Multi-Million Dollar Upgrade After Flooding

14:30 - 13 June, 2017
Svalbard "Doomsday" Seed Vault to Receive Multi-Million Dollar Upgrade After Flooding, © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/landbruks-_og_matdepartementet/4186766565/in/photolist-7nYgQr-7ojkQm-7nYgQa-9icKQV-7nYgQe-7ojm6W-7dzWhi-7o2mkY-7ofsjn-7nYgPZ-7o2mm5-pJjmLU-7ojncC-LH6rG8-7ofsdP-9m8eLQ-9ifSvj-7nYgQk-7ojkzU-rwY8QD-7dDQhj-9ifQML-7ofuTn-6VmKEm-9icSrk-UKfHh3-9icRWz-7ofuHt-7ofrYg-fBdM4e-9ifYYG-7ofutX-9icR9V-7u4rZ6-7u8mzu-7u8mvW-7dDPXY-7uErxU-9ifT2b-6VmKEE-9icMiV-9ifS4S-7ojmq9-9icKyt-9ifTp7-7oft6v-7ojmcC-c8Gnrf-9icPDk-LXUNiL'>Flickr user landbruks-_og_matdepartementet</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a>
© Flickr user landbruks-_og_matdepartementet licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The government of Norway has announced plans for a $4.4 million USD (37 million NOK) upgrade to the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, after record high temperatures caused the “failsafe” structure to flood earlier this year. While no samples were damaged in that event, the situation sparked concern that the facility would not be able to stand the test of time as originally intended.

Located 130 meters inside a mountain in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, the vault was constructed as part of a worldwide initiative to protect global biodiversity by preserving the seeds of the world’s important food crops. The structure, which cost $9 million USD to build, was intended to be buried deep into the permafrost to protect against both natural and manmade disasters, but this year’s incident uncovered several design flaws that allowed water to breach the vault’s access tunnel.

NYC Underwater: Video Imagines the Consequences of a Two-Degree Temperature Rise

09:30 - 9 June, 2017

James Hansen, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, former NASA scientist, and the planet’s preeminent climatologist, was among the first to sound the alarm on climate change during his 1988 testimony before Congress. Since then, he has continued to shine a light on the problem through lectures, interviews, TED talks, and his blog. He has warned that a mere 2-degree increase in temperature could result in a sea level rise of five to nine meters by the end of the century, flooding coastal cities and rendering them uninhabitable.

Inspired by Hansen, filmmakers Menilmonde have imagined Manhattan underwater. The French duo's previous videos experiment with subtle subversions of the world we experience, and their latest creation, 2°C New York City, is arguably their most powerful to date.

Courtesy of Menilmonde via screenshot from video Courtesy of Menilmonde via screenshot from video Courtesy of Menilmonde via screenshot from video Courtesy of Menilmonde via screenshot from video + 4

Harvard HouseZero - A Retrofit Response to Climate Change

14:00 - 27 May, 2017
Harvard HouseZero - A Retrofit Response to Climate Change , ZeroHouse aims to set a new benchmark for sustainable retrofitting. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes
ZeroHouse aims to set a new benchmark for sustainable retrofitting. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes

As part of a global, interdisciplinary effort to tackle climate change, architects are devoting resources towards optimizing the energy efficiency of buildings old and new. This effort is more than justified, given that buildings account for almost 40% of UK and US emissions. Although sustainability is now a hallmark of many new architectural schemes, the energy inefficiency of structures from the 18th and 19th centuries still contribute to global carbon emissions on a vast scale.

In order to address the challenge of intelligently retrofitting existing buildings, the Harvard Center for Green Buildings (CGBC) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, in collaboration with Snøhetta and Skanska Technology, are retrofitting the CGBC’s headquarters in a pre-1940s timber-framed building, aiming to create one of the world’s most ambitious sustainable buildings. HouseZero is driven by uncompromising performance targets, such as 100% natural ventilation, 100% daylight autonomy, and almost zero energy required for heating and cooling. The result will be a prototype for ultra-efficiency, reducing reliance on energy-intensive technology whilst creating a comfortable indoor environment.

An array of features include PV cells, a heat pump, window shrouds and a solar vent. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta The existing 1940's timber-framed house will become the CGBC HQ. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta Despite its environmental provisions, ZeroHouse also places an emphasis on user-friendly design. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes ZeroHouse aims to become completely energy autonomous. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes + 5

Svalbard "Doomsday" Seed Vault Floods After Record Winter Temperatures

18:40 - 19 May, 2017
Svalbard "Doomsday" Seed Vault Floods After Record Winter Temperatures, © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Svalbard_seed_vault_IMG_8751.JPG'>Wikimedia user Bjoertvedt</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
© Wikimedia user Bjoertvedt licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Earlier this year, the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard was flooded after record high temperatures over the winter caused some of the permafrost surrounding the vault to melt, reports The Guardian. The building's entrance tunnel was flooded and then froze to create conditions "like a glacier" for those trying to enter. Fortunately, the vault itself was not breached, meaning no harm came to the building's precious contents. However, the incident has raised questions about whether the building will be able to fulfill its purpose in the long term.

reSITE 2017: In/visible City

21:55 - 12 April, 2017
reSITE 2017: In/visible City, reSITE 2017: Iv/isible City. Design © Studio Najbrt
reSITE 2017: Iv/isible City. Design © Studio Najbrt

reSITE brings the 6th annual architecture and urbanism event, reSITE 2017: In/visible City, back to Prague at the Ricardo Bofill-designed Forum Karlin.

How does invisible infrastructure shape the visible aspects of a city?

40 international thought leaders will discuss the intersections of design and infrastructure and the presence of these vital systems in the architecture and landscape of cities.

New Book Calls for an End to Our Fetish for Conditioned Skyscrapers

06:00 - 16 March, 2017
New Book Calls for an End to Our Fetish for Conditioned Skyscrapers, Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge has published a book advocating for the revival of 19th-century architectural ideas to address the crippling energy use of modern skyscrapers. The Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture proposes an end to the architectural fetish for glass, steel, and air conditioning, instead drawing inspiration from forgotten techniques in naturally ventilated buildings of the 1800s. The book is a culmination of 30 years’ research and design by Prof. Short and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 Professor Short argues that skyscraper design must depart from its current reliance on glass and steel, and begin to harness natural ventilation. Boeri Studio's Bosco Verticale. Image Courtesy of Paolo Rosselli Professor Alan Short calls for an overhaul of artificial ventilation in skyscrapers. Image Courtesy of University of Cambridge Energy demands from a recent skyscraper boom in China has led to energy controls on millions of inhabitants © Flickr user obscurepixels. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 + 5

Leonardo DiCaprio's "Before The Flood" Climate Change Documentary

05:00 - 3 November, 2016

Update: Unfortunately this free online viewing was only intended for a limited time and National Geographic has now removed the video. If you didn't catch the documentary in time, you can still watch it on DVD. In place of the full documentary, we have now included the trailer above.

As a group, architects are without question among the most enthusiastic supporters of sustainable initiatives around. It should therefore be welcome news to many architects that National Geographic has released its latest documentary on climate change, Before the Flood, for free on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter—pretty much everywhere.

Presented by Hollywood superstar and recently-appointed UN Climate Ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio, the documentary is perhaps the most ambitious film about climate change since Al Gore's 2006 An Inconvenient Truth. Throughout the course of the 90-minute film, DiCaprio travels the globe to see the damage wrought by the early signs of irreversible climate change, from melting glaciers, to dying coral reefs, to flooding cities. Speaking to world leaders including Barack Obama and The Pope, as well as a whole host of climate scientists, DiCaprio's aim is not so much to convince viewers of the existence of climate change, as with An Inconvenient Truth, but instead to investigate just how far down the wrong path we've traveled, and whether there is any hope for humanity to save itself.

Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary

03:00 - 26 September, 2016
Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary, Courtesy of Unknown
Courtesy of Unknown

This book is a collection of essays at the intersection of architecture and climate change. Neither a collective lament nor an inventory of architectural responses, the essays consider cultural values ascribed to climate and ask how climate reflects our conception of what architecture is and does.

Which materials and conceptual infrastructures render climate legible, knowable, and actionable, and what are their spatial implications? How do these interrelated questions offer new vantage points on the architectural ramifications of climate change at the interface of resiliency, sustainability, and eco-technology?

Miami’s Porsche Design Tower: A Bland Monument of Hubris in the Face of Climate Catastrophe

10:40 - 10 August, 2016

Florida is a state in denial. Miami is in the midst of one of the largest building booms in the region's history. Dense crane canopies pepper the city's skyline as they soar over forthcoming white, gold, and aqua clad "high end" residential and hotel towers. This massive stream of investment dollars is downright paradoxical considering the impending calamity that surrounds Southern Florida: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the sea level could likely increase almost 35 inches (0.89 meters) by mid-century. If current trends continue, that number is anticipated to rise to up to 80 inches (2.0 meters) by the year 2100, threatening the habitability of the entire metro area.

Given that harrowing scenario, Miami is either refusing to acknowledge the inevitable, or desperately trying to become relevant enough to be saved—not that saving the city is actually feasible. The region sits on extremely porous limestone which pretty much rules out the option of a Netherlands style sea wall. If the Atlantic couldn’t make any horizontal inroads, the rising tide would simply bubble up from below. Miami’s pancake topography doesn’t stand a chance.

James Corner Field Operations' ICEBERGS Brings the Chill to the National Building Museum

12:20 - 11 July, 2016
James Corner Field Operations' ICEBERGS Brings the Chill to the National Building Museum, © ICEBERGS at the National Building Museum, by James Corner Field Operations. Photo by Timothy Schenck.
© ICEBERGS at the National Building Museum, by James Corner Field Operations. Photo by Timothy Schenck.

This year’s installment of the National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party Series, James Corner Field Operations’ ICEBERGS, is now open to the public. On display until September 5th, ICEBERGS takes the form of a shimmering, underwater world of glacial ice fields located in the museum’s expansive Great Hall to provide the public with an escape from the hot Washington, D.C. summer.

© ICEBERGS at the National Building Museum, by James Corner Field Operations. Photo by Timothy Schenck. © ICEBERGS at the National Building Museum, by James Corner Field Operations. Photo by Timothy Schenck. © ICEBERGS at the National Building Museum, by James Corner Field Operations. Photo by Timothy Schenck. © ICEBERGS at the National Building Museum, by James Corner Field Operations. Photo by Timothy Schenck. + 14

Footnotes on Climate

16:30 - 17 May, 2016
Footnotes on Climate

An installation of nearly 100 books in the James Stirling-designed Book Pavilion at the Venice Biennale serves as a collection of documents that asks us to consider how climate intersects with architectural ideas.