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Earthquake

Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Architectus Design Earthquake-Resistant Library in Christchurch

15:30 - 16 October, 2018
Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Architectus Design Earthquake-Resistant Library in Christchurch, Tūranga Library, Christchurch. Image © Adam Mørk
Tūranga Library, Christchurch. Image © Adam Mørk

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Architectus have announced the opening of Tūranga, the new central library for Christchurch, New Zealand. Built to address the earthquakes that damaged Christchurch in 2010 and 2011, the library is one of the first public buildings to open downtown after the disasters. Working with Architectus and the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand’s South Island, the design was made to celebrate rebirth in Christchurch.

Tūranga Library, Christchurch. Image © Adam Mørk Tūranga Library, Christchurch. Image © Adam Mørk Tūranga Library, Christchurch. Image © Adam Mørk Tūranga Library, Christchurch. Image © Adam Mørk + 31

The Engineering Behind San Francisco's Safest Building

09:30 - 28 July, 2018
The Engineering Behind San Francisco's Safest Building, For 181 Fremont, Arup’s radical move was to do away with plans for a tuned mass damper or a sloshing damper on the skyscraper’s roof—common features in tall towers in the U.S. for reducing the natural sway of buildings. Neither damper style goes very far in protecting a building against seismic force, says Ibbi Almufti of Arup. Image Courtesy of Kevin Chu/KCJP
For 181 Fremont, Arup’s radical move was to do away with plans for a tuned mass damper or a sloshing damper on the skyscraper’s roof—common features in tall towers in the U.S. for reducing the natural sway of buildings. Neither damper style goes very far in protecting a building against seismic force, says Ibbi Almufti of Arup. Image Courtesy of Kevin Chu/KCJP

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Skyscraper's Innovative Structure is Changing the Game for Earthquake Design".

The most remarkable thing about 181 Fremont—San Francisco’s third-tallest tower, designed by Heller Manus Architects—is not the penthouse’s asking price ($42 million). Rather, it’s an innovative yet unglamorous structural detail: a viscous damper system that far exceeds California Code earthquake-performance objectives for buildings of 181 Fremont’s class, allowing immediate reoccupation after a seismic event.

The Failed Mexican Earthquake Memorial That Shows Protest Can Still Shape the Urban Environment

09:30 - 25 July, 2018
The proposed memorial to earthquake victims in Mexico City met with fierce resistance from residents who felt authorities had not done enough for the people left homeless by the tragedy. Image via Common Edge
The proposed memorial to earthquake victims in Mexico City met with fierce resistance from residents who felt authorities had not done enough for the people left homeless by the tragedy. Image via Common Edge

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Letter From Mexico City: An Insidious Memorial to a Still-Unfolding Tragedy."

You wouldn’t think it looking at Mexico City today—a densely populated metropolis, where empty space is hard to come by—but decades earlier, following a devastating earthquake on September 19, 1985, more than 400 buildings collapsed, leaving a collection of open wounds spread over the cityscape.

Exactly thirty-two years later, the anniversary of that disaster was ominously commemorated with an emergency evacuation drill. Then, in one of those odd occurrences in which reality proves to be stranger than fiction, a sudden jolt scarcely two hours after the drill led to what would be yet another of the deadliest earthquakes in the city’s history. Buildings once again collapsed, leaving a rising-by-the-hour death toll that eventually reached 361, as well as swarms of bewildered citizens wandering the streets, frantically attempting to reach their loved ones through the weakened cell phone reception. “We’d just evacuated for the drill,” people said, like a collective mantra. “How could this happen again?”

A “Christmas Tale of a Post-Quake Reconstruction”: Stefano Boeri Architetti’s Community Rebuilding in Amatrice

12:30 - 21 December, 2017

In August 2016, a powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, resulting in the loss of nearly 300 lives and the destruction of centuries-worth of historic architecture. At the center of the destruction was Amatrice, a beautiful hill town set in the Latium Apennines, which was reduced to mere rubble, leaving hundreds dead or injured and the survivors homeless.

But the community could not be held down. Shortly after the disaster, rebuilding efforts began, with the assistance of some of Italy’s top architects, including Renzo Piano and Stefano Boeri Architetti, who were able to construct a brand new canteen in just a few weeks time.

© Paolo Rosselli © Paolo Rosselli © Paolo Rosselli © Paolo Rosselli + 15

Jintai Village Reconstruction / Rural Urban Framework

03:00 - 2 November, 2017
Jintai Village Reconstruction / Rural Urban Framework, Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework
Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework

Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework Courtesy of Rural Urban Framework + 27

  • Architects

  • Location

    Nanjiang, Bazhong, Sichuan, China
  • Design

    John Lin, Joshua Bolchover
  • Landscape Design

    Dorothy Tang
  • Area

    4000.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2014

UBC Researchers Develop New Concrete That Resists Earthquakes

14:00 - 10 October, 2017

Researchers from the university of British Columbia have developed a new fiber-reinforced concrete treatment that can “dramatically [enhance] the earthquake resistance of seismically vulnerable [structures].”

Called EDCC (eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite), the material is engineered at the molecular level to react similarly to steel – with high strength, ductility and malleability. When sprayed onto the surface of traditionally poured interior concrete walls, it reinforces against seismic intensities as high as the magnitude 9.0-9.1 earthquake that hit Tohoku, Japan in 2011.

Many Feared Dead or Trapped After Earthquake Topples Buildings Throughout Mexico

09:15 - 20 September, 2017
Many Feared Dead or Trapped After Earthquake Topples Buildings Throughout Mexico, The destruction of a building in Mexico following the 2017 earthquake. Image via Infobae
The destruction of a building in Mexico following the 2017 earthquake. Image via Infobae

Following the devastating earthquake measuring 7.1 in magnitude that struck Mexico yesterday at 13:14 local time, many—over 200 people at the time of writing—are feared either dead or trapped in collapsed buildings or unsafe structures. While rescue efforts continue and information surrounding the scope of devastation is preliminary, schools are closed indefinitely and major companies and organizations have requested their employees not to work.

The death toll continues to rise while ArchDaily México, which is located in Mexico City, reports wide-reaching destruction of the built fabric of the capital. Footage captured by terrified residents show the final moments of buildings—many taller than four stories—that were reduced to dust and debris in seconds.

Learn About Seismic Design of Wooden Buildings With These Online Resources

06:00 - 21 June, 2017
Learn About Seismic Design of Wooden Buildings With These Online Resources, Two Rocking CLT Wall Configurations. Image Courtesy of reThink Wood
Two Rocking CLT Wall Configurations. Image Courtesy of reThink Wood

With the aim of raising awareness and expanding knowledge about the advantages of wood in the built environment, reThink Wood has created an online library that collects a series of articles, reports, studies and videos that can be freely accessed right now.

Here we have 5 outstanding resources related to seismic design and performance, which can help you solve this issue on your next project.

Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake Strikes Central Italy; Borromini's "La Sapienza" Among Structures Damaged in Rome

15:30 - 30 October, 2016
Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake Strikes Central Italy; Borromini's "La Sapienza" Among Structures Damaged in Rome , Inspections underway in Rome. Image via La Repubblica (Roma)
Inspections underway in Rome. Image via La Repubblica (Roma)

Following an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter Scale that struck central Italy this morning at 7:40 a.m. local time—the fourth to hit this part of the country in three months—a number of structures have collapsed entirely or been severely damaged. While no deaths have been reported at this time, the BBC suggests that twenty people have been injured.

This latest tragedy follows an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale which hit a nearby region in August of this year, killing 300 and causing widespread devastation to towns and villages. It is being suggested that the evacuation of buildings that were deemed vulnerable to the ongoing seismic activity in the region last week may have saved lives.

Earthquake Resistant Tower in San Francisco to Become Most Resilient Tall Building on West Coast

12:00 - 8 October, 2016

Soaring high above! #SanFrancisco #RealEstate #181Fremont #LEED #tech #office

181 Fremont—which will become the third tallest structure in San Francisco and the most resilient tall building on the West Coast of the U.S.—has been awarded the REDi™ Gold Rating, a new earthquake resilience rating. The building was designed by San Francisco-based Heller Manus Architects.

The 56-story mixed-use tower, built above five basement levels, is being constructed in compliance with a new set of holistic design and planning guidelines—the Resilience-based Earthquake Design Initiative (REDi Rating System)—that allow it to withstand the impact of a 475-year seismic event (roughly a M7.5-M8.0 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault) with minimal disruption.

Developed by Arup with contributions from external collaborators, the REDi™ system outlines design and planning criteria within a resilience-based framework, creating a system that not only considers occupant safety but also takes into account the future of the building after an earthquake.

Renzo Piano to Lead Reconstruction Efforts Following Italian Earthquake

12:20 - 30 August, 2016
Renzo Piano to Lead Reconstruction Efforts Following Italian Earthquake, Red Cross Responders aid victims of the magnitude 6.2 earthquake to hit central Italy last week. Image © flickr user IFRC. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Red Cross Responders aid victims of the magnitude 6.2 earthquake to hit central Italy last week. Image © flickr user IFRC. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has asked architect Renzo Piano to lead in the reconstruction of the central Italian towns devastated by last week’s magnitude 6.2 earthquake that claimed the lives of at least 290 people. Renzi announced a national action plan for recovery and risk prevention on Monday after meeting with Piano to discuss strategies for housing the over 3,000 displaced survivors and rebuilding the historic towns in a manner that would mitigate damage caused by future seismic activity.

“We have to act quickly, with the utmost urgency,” said Piano in a telephone interview with The Guardian. “Anti-seismic requirements must be inserted in the laws of the country to make our homes safe, just as it’s compulsory for a car to have brakes that work.”

Experts Fear Massive Losses of Historic Italian Architecture Following Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake

14:10 - 25 August, 2016
Experts Fear Massive Losses of Historic Italian Architecture Following Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake

After yesterday’s devastating magnitude 6.2 earthquake in central Italy, art historians fear that numerous historic Italian buildings and their contents may be permanently lost. The affected region is dotted with hilltowns containing beautiful churches, monuments and museums, many of which have been rendered completely unrecognizable.

Shigeru Ban to Help With Disaster Relief Following Ecuador Earthquake

08:00 - 26 April, 2016
Shigeru Ban to Help With Disaster Relief Following Ecuador Earthquake, Shigeru Ban levantando una estructura de cartón en Haití. Image via Flickr. Autor: Forgemind ArchiMedia. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Shigeru Ban levantando una estructura de cartón en Haití. Image via Flickr. Autor: Forgemind ArchiMedia. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Japanese architect and 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban will visit Ecuador on April 30 to help with disaster relief following the recent earthquake, according to a press release from the College of Ecuadorian Architects – Pichincha Province (CAE Pichincha). Known for bringing innovative and high quality design to the people that need it the most, Ban has developed successful responses to disasters in Asia, Africa, Europe and Central America.

Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute"

09:30 - 25 October, 2015
Barberio Colella ARC Designs Pop-Up Home to Rebuild Nepalese Lives in "Just a Minute", Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC
Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC

Disaster can strike a community at any minute. Following the most costly earthquake in their history in April, hundreds of thousands of Nepalese residents were rendered instantly homeless. To help these people reorganize and get back to a familiar way of life, Barberio Colella ARC has designed a temporary structure using local materials “to make a house that can be built quickly, lightweight and compactly, durably and economically.”

Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Deployment System. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC Components. Image Courtesy of Barberio Colella ARC + 8

[ME]morial Thesis Honors 2011 Japan Earthquake Victims

09:30 - 22 August, 2015
[ME]morial Thesis Honors 2011 Japan Earthquake Victims, [ME]morial #1: Air. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee
[ME]morial #1: Air. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the coast of Japan at Sendai, damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and taking over 10,000 lives. Over the past three years, only temporary memorial observances have been utilized to honor these victims in Sendai. To address this deficiency, MIT graduate student Beomki Lee has created a concept design for an innovative new memorial space called [ME]morial.

[ME]morial #2: Earth. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee [ME]morial #3: Water. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee [ME]morial #3: Water. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee [ME]morial #1: Air. Image Courtesy of Beomki Lee + 14

Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?

09:30 - 28 June, 2015
Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?, Proposals such as Vincent Callebaut's "Hydrogenase" have always been science fiction as much as they are architecture - but with Arx Pax's MFA technology, is it time to think more carefully about how to design levitating buildings?. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Proposals such as Vincent Callebaut's "Hydrogenase" have always been science fiction as much as they are architecture - but with Arx Pax's MFA technology, is it time to think more carefully about how to design levitating buildings?. Image Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Could Hovering Buildings be the Future of Sustainability?

If Arx Pax, a cutting-edge technology firm led by Greg and Jill Henderson, has its way, levitating objects could become a common sight. The team is developing what they call Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA), a technology which controls electromagnetic energy to make objects hover, and at the several months ago, they used it to produce Hendo Hover, a hoverboard capable of carrying a person. While the fact that Arx Pax was able to produce a hoverboard is fascinating, the technology could have much more serious applications: as an architect, Greg Henderson envisions that one day MFA technology could be used in buildings to produce sustainable structures which can better survive earthquakes and other natural disasters. Is this goal realistic?

Open Call: GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction Competition

06:00 - 10 June, 2015
Open Call: GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction Competition, Courtesy of GCRS Global-Building Love Disaster-aid Material Trade Center
Courtesy of GCRS Global-Building Love Disaster-aid Material Trade Center

In response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal this past April, GCRS Global-Building Love Disaster-aid Material Trade Center is calling on architects around the world to design reconstruction projects as a part of their GARS-NEPAL.TIBET Earthquake Emergency competition.

Nepal's Historic Architecture Destroyed By Earthquake

14:01 - 27 April, 2015
Nepal's Historic Architecture Destroyed By Earthquake, The Dharahara Tower, a defining feature of the Kathmandu skyline has been destroyed by the earthquake. Image © Flickr CC user Oliphant
The Dharahara Tower, a defining feature of the Kathmandu skyline has been destroyed by the earthquake. Image © Flickr CC user Oliphant

Just one of the many tragedies involved in the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday - which as of this morning is known to have claimed the lives of over 3,500 people - is its effect on the historic architecture of the region. Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the affected regions of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, news outlets from the BBC to The Washington Post are reporting extensive damage to some of the country's most significant monuments.