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Coastal Design: The Latest Architecture and News

What Does the Future Hold for Coastal Cities Following the Aftermaths of Climate Change?

Coastal cities have always been a point of attraction for residents, tourists, and businesses. Alongside the aesthetic features, their proximity to the sea has made these cities a focal point for maritime transportation with the construction of ports, as well as hotspots for recreational and aquacultural activities. However, the past decades saw these particular regions threatened with a shortened lifespan; rising water levels, floods, and recurring cyclones, along with other natural disasters, have endangered coastal communities, putting their population, ecosystem, and built environment at risk. 

Aarhus Harbor Bath / BIG. Image © Rasmus Hjortshøj - COASTUNESCO Removes Liverpool’s World Heritage Status. Image Courtesy of Broadway Malyan, © webbaviation.co.ukUrban Requalification of the Colina Sagrada do Senhor do Bonfim / Sotero Arquitetos. Image © Leonardo FinottiChina's Sponge Cities. Image © Turenscape via Euronews+ 8

Climate Change is Teaching Designers to Expand Their Horizons—or at Least It Should

A lot can happen in the space between a book’s title and subtitle, as A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation: Uniting Design, Economics, and Policy (Island Press, 2021) demonstrates. Here, in a reversal from the norm, the subtitle assumes the more evocative bent by elevating design to the same status as economics and policy. To some, this might seem a spurious move, but the volume lives its creed: Its editors include two design academics and a business school professor, to say nothing about the myriad backgrounds of its contributors.

Blueprint goes deep into the policy decisions that have shaped the brittle condition of coastal infrastructure. It coalesces into a convincing picture of the wider context in which design operates, with the aim of making the built environment more equitable for those caught on the front lines of certain climate change cataclysm.

Images of Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s Coastal TAG Art Museum Reflecting the Colors of Sunset

ACF has released a new series of images demonstrating the recently completed TAG Art Museum, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, as part of the Artists’ Garden project collaborated with Shandong International Coastal Cultural Industry. The museum is located in the West Sea Bay in Qingdao, China. Strung along a covered promenade that weaves through planted gardens and woodland, running along the coastline towards a new marina, the structures consist of 12 interconnected exhibition halls.

Public Waterfront Pools : 10 Aquatics Facilities Bordering Rivers and Oceans

Piscinas en Leça de Palmeira / Alvaro Siza. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Piscinas en Leça de Palmeira / Alvaro Siza. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

At first glance, building a pool right beside another body of water seems a little redundant. After all, why would someone choose to swim in a pool when they have a river or ocean to enjoy? However, for people with limited mobility and younger more inexperienced swimmers, natural bodies of water can prove both daunting and dangerous. Pools not only provide a controlled, secure space for them to enjoy aquatic activities, they also provide a connection with the surrounding landscape.

Heatherwick Proposes New and Improved Waterfront Experience for San Francisco

Heatherwick Studio has designed the Cove, a new waterfront experience for San Francisco. Seeking to activate and improve the beachfront, “while future-proofing the historic district and the City against the risks of earthquakes and climate change”, the Cove will put in place a next-generation, high-performance waterfront community that uniquely identifies with San Francisco.

Courtesy of Heatherwick StudioCourtesy of Wire CollectiveCourtesy of Heatherwick StudioCourtesy of Heatherwick Studio+ 6

Snøhetta Unveils Designs for Europe's First Underwater Restaurant

Snøhetta have revealed designs for Europe's first underwater restaurant in the coastal village of Båly, in Norway. The structure, which also houses a marine life research center, teeters over the edge of a rocky outcrop, semi-submerged in the ocean. Built from concrete, the monolithic structure will come to rest on the sea bed five meters below the water's surface; here, it will "fuse" with the ecosystem of the concealed shoreline. Below the waterline, the restaurant’s enormous acrylic windows will frame a view of the seabed.

When Architecture and Tourism Meet: La Grande Motte's Pyramids by the Seaside

Given a chance to realize the architect’s dream of creating his own utopian city from a blank slate, French architect Jean Balladur was inspired by lost civilizations of the past. His designs recall the architecture of grand Mayan ruins with some added flair from the 1960s, all in the form of a seaside resort village in southern France, La Grande Motte. Balladur devoted nearly 30 years to his life’s work, which today welcomes over 2 million tourists annually.

"La Grande Pyramide". Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grande_motte_02.jpg'>Wikimedia user Alain Caraco</a> licensed under <a href='http://https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>"Le Temple du Soleil". Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Temple_du_soleil_Grande-Motte_059.jpg'>Wikimedia user Dinkley</a> licensed under <a href='http://https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexbaranov/5231503058/'>Flickr user alexbaranov</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>Public domain image <a href='https://pixabay.com/en/modern-architecture-france-beach-620035/'>via Pixabay user Jackmac34</a>+ 16

Casa Brutale is Getting Built, and Here’s Why (Hint: The Internet)

When ArchDaily published “Live on the Edge with OPA’s Casa Brutale” in July of last year, we expected it to be popular on our site, but few anticipated exactly how much attention the project would receive—enough to secure a position in the top 10 most read articles on the site in 2015. But what happened next was perhaps more astounding. By the end of the week, the project had been picked up by the gamut of non-architecture news outlets ranging from Slate to Yahoo to CNET to CNBC. For a few short days, it became difficult to traverse the wild expanses of the internet without a sighting of the project’s lead image, typically accompanied by a hyperbolic headline along the lines of “This Beautiful, Terrifying House is Literally Inside a Cliff.”

But despite the enormous traction, with seemingly impossible features like a clifftop, glass-bottomed swimming pool, the project still seemed to be destined for "paper architecture" status. Yet fast forward to today and the house has (incredibly) found a willing client, and is about to break ground on construction. How did this happen, and what takes architecture from viral sensation to real-life construction project?

Courtesy of OPACourtesy of OPACourtesy of OPACourtesy of OPA+ 23

Live on the Edge with OPA's Casa Brutale

In our article for this cliff-hanging project by Modscape published last year, we said that all it really needed was James Bond and an invisible Aston Martin in the garage. Well, the images presented by OPA (Open Platform for Architecture) for their new project offer us James Bond and a (sadly visible) Ferrari. Perhaps it's not quite what we expected, but either way it's a big step forward for the super-villains lair market: Casa Brutale gives us wall-to-wall water and concrete set into cliffs above the Aegean Sea in what OPA promises will be a literally ground-breaking development.

© OPA Works© OPA Works© OPA Works© OPA Works+ 22

Jump Off A Cliff and Land in Bed in this Edgy Australian Home

Picture yourself waking up daily to a 180-degree view of the ocean without leaving the comfort of your living room. The owners of the as-yet-unbuilt Cliff House have teamed up with Modscape of Australia to design their compact dream home, delicately perched above open water, hanging off the cliff's edge. Cliff House redefines "living dangerously" with its vast floor to ceiling windows and slender steel supports acting as the only separation between watching Jaws and actually being in Jaws.

Dive into Cliff House with images, plans and more info after the break.

Juice Architects Propose Offshore Visitor Centre for Swansea Bay

London based practice Juice Architects has unveiled designs for an offshore visitor centre as part of the proposed tidal lagoon for Swansea Bay, Wales. A series of overlapping shells are sculpted to form a bowl like structure, providing shelter from the wind and waves of the Welsh coast. Sat on a manmade island platform at the end of a collection of land piers, the building will act as a cultural and educational base housing public galleries, a café, a lecture theatre and exhibition space with working turbine propellors visible through the the ground floor gallery. As an entirely self sufficient building all energy will be captured from renewable sources.