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Flooding: The Latest Architecture and News

New Technologies Might Save Venice’s Cultural Heritage from the Floods

Factum Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the use of digital technology for cultural heritage conservation, in collaboration with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Iconem have recorded the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, in Venice, Italy, in its entirety. For more than 10 days, the team using photogrammetry and LiDAR technologies scanned the 10-hectare island. The project entitled ARCHiVe, linked with EPFL's Venice Time Machine aims to “efficiently and effectively aid in the preservation of Venice's fragile cultural heritage”.

Point cloud of the Longhena staircase, extracted from photogrammetry data. Image Courtesy of Factum FoundationTonal map image of the entire island of San Giorgio, generated from a 6.000 million point cloud. Height and depth are represented using colours ranging from red to blue. . Image Courtesy of Factum FoundationMap showing a few of the 600 scanning spots across the island of San Giorgio . Image Courtesy of Factum FoundationThe altar of the basilica of San Giorgio, recorded with a LiDAR scanner. © Otto Lowe. Image Courtesy of Factum Foundation+ 29

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

WXY Proposes Climate Solution Center on Governors Island in New York

Focusing on research, education, and public engagement, the Trust for Governors Island unveiled plans to develop a climate solutions center, designed by WXY Architecture + Urban Design. Inspired by the unique environment of the island, the project will generate a public living laboratory, cementing NYC’s position as a leader in climate change action.

© WXY architecture + urban design/bloomimages© WXY architecture + urban design/bloomimages© WXY architecture + urban design/bloomimages© WXY architecture + urban design/bloomimages+ 6

How Can Architecture Combat Flooding? 9 Practical Solutions

Flooding is a significant problem for buildings all around the world, including architectural treasures like the Farnsworth House that have been plagued by the issue time and time again. In particular, one-third of the entire continental U.S. are at risk of flooding this spring, especially the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and Deep South. Last April, deadly floods decimated parts of Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Iran as well, resulting in a low estimate of 1,000 deaths while tens of thousands more were displaced. While architecture cannot solve or even fully protect from the most deadly floods, it is possible – and necessary – to take several protective measures that could mitigate damage and consequently save lives.

Flood in St Mark’s Square, Venice. Image © Mclein / Shutterstock"Fold&Float" is formed of a light, foldable steel structure specifically designed for emergency situations. Image © So?© Flickr user benjamin73frDomino Park / James Corner Field Operations. Image © Barrett Doherty+ 14

Floodwaters Threaten Once More The Farnsworth House

Built in a flood plain along the Fox River, the Farnsworth House, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is endangered again. Floodwaters are threatening the modernist house once more, as water levels are rising to reach the top of the house’s steel columns, covering its lower terrace.

KPF Unveils High Performance and Resilient Tower in Boston

KPF and the Chiofaro Company have released images of their latest project The Pinnacle at Central Wharf, a high performance and resilient mixed-use development on the Boston Harbor waterfront. Aiming to reconnect Downtown Boston to the waterfront, the project also puts in place a new public space.

© KPF© KPF© KPF© KPF+ 10

Major Cities Face High Risk of Flooding According to a Goldman Sachs Report

Goldman Sachs has released a report on the effects of climate change on cities across the world. The study explored the major changes that will transform the planet and highlighted several metropolises that will be at risk of flooding.

Kjellander Sjöberg Wins Competition to Climate Proof the Coastal Town of Faaborg in Denmark

Kjellander Sjöberg, one of the leading architectural practices in Scandinavia, in collaboration with GHB Landskabsarkitekter, Mogens A. Morgen, Realise and Tyréns, was selected to design a strategic development plan for Faaborg. The coastal town in southern Denmark is facing many challenges like a high risk of flooding and an important decrease in its population.

Courtesy of Kjellander SjöbergCourtesy of Kjellander SjöbergCourtesy of Kjellander SjöbergCourtesy of Kjellander Sjöberg+ 16

BIG + Field Operations Design Master Plan for River Street Waterfront

Two Trees Management Company, a New York-based real estate development firm, has presented a master plan for the Northern Brooklyn waterfront, a new approach to urban resiliency. Designed by BIG and Field Operations, the project puts in place a mixed-use development and a resilient park.

© James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management© James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management© James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management© James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management+ 12

SO? Unveils Prototype Floating Emergency Structure in Istanbul

Istanbul-based practice SO? have designed and built a prototype floating structure for post-earthquake relief. “Fold&Float” is formed of a light, foldable steel structure specifically designed for emergency situations.

Developed off the back of emergency assembly points being designated by the authorities in 2001, SO? questioned where people could be housed in the event of an earthquake. The question has gained added significance in the last 20 years, with Istanbul having privatized 70% of the land set aside for emergency assembly. The result was a floating structure that depends not on vacant, stable land, but on managing water. 

© SO?© SO?© SO?© SO?+ 28

RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon's Monumental "Deltewerk //" is a Tribute to the Majesty of Dutch Flood Defenses

Amsterdam-based RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon have completed an imposing Dutch monument paying tribute to the country’s centuries-old flood defense systems. “Deltawerk //” appropriates the enormous decaying test models in the Waterloopbos national monument, a former Dutch Hydrodynamics laboratory.

Deltawerk //, which opened September 27th, is envisioned as a “tribute to the majesty and seemingly indestructible power of the Dutch delta works,” shedding new light on the “practice of preserving cultural heritage.”

© Jan Kempenaers© Jan Kempenaers© Jan Kempenaers© Jan Kempenaers+ 14

Behind India's Ambitious Plan to Create the World's Longest River

Against the backdrop of an ever-increasing number of its farmers committing suicides, and its cities crumbling under intensifying pressure on their water resources—owing to their rapidly growing populations—India has revived its incredibly ambitious Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) project which aims to create a nation-wide water-grid twice the length of the Nile. The $168 billion project, first envisioned almost four decades ago, entails the linkage of thirty-seven of the country’s rivers through the construction of thirty canals and three-thousand water reservoirs. The chief objective is to address India’s regional inequity in water availability: 174 billion cubic meters of water is proposed to be transported across river basins, from potentially water-surplus to water-deficit areas.

The project is presented by the Indian government as the only realistic means to increase the country’s irrigation potential and per-capita water storage capacity. However, it raises ecological concerns of gargantuan proportions: 104,000 hectares of forest land will be affected, leading to the desecration of natural ecosystems. Experts in hydrology also question the scientific basis of treating rivers as “mere conduits of water.” Furthermore, the fear of large-scale involuntary human displacement—an estimated 1.5 million people—likely to be caused by the formation of water reservoirs is starting to materialize into a popular uprising.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Damaged from Flooding

© <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/pablosanchez/3145407730/'>Flickr user pablosanchez</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Flickr user pablosanchez licensed under CC BY 2.0

Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous house, Fallingwater, was the recipient of minor damage after heavy rainfall caused the creek that gives the house its name, Bear Run, to flood last weekend.

According to Fallingwater director Lynda Waggoner, a fallen log picked up by the overflow rammed into the stone wall of the lower plunge pool, breaking off the wall’s capstone and dislodging one of the home’s signature sculpture pieces, the Jacques Lipchitz’s “Mother and Child.” The cast bronze sculpture was selected for Fallingwater by Wright, and installed soon after its completion in 1939.

International Dialogues: Kunlé Adeyemi

Kunlé Adeyemi’s recent work, the 'Makoko Floating School', is an innovative, prototype floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. This acclaimed project is part of an extensive research project - 'African Water Cities' - being developed by NLÉ, an architecture, design, and urbanism practice founded by Adeyemi in 2010 with a focus on developing cities and communities.

Architect Develops the World's First Hoverboard

Architects can do far more than design buildings. In fact, some of history’s most acclaimed innovators were not only architects, but also inventors. Leonardo da Vinci himself, the epitome of the Renaissance man, sketched buildings alongside ideas for flying machines. Buckminster Fuller was the ultimate futurist and invented the geodesic dome in addition to his Dymaxion Car, an automobile that was far ahead of its time. Now, an architect has developed “the world’s first hoverboard,” and the technology has far-reaching implications for not only transportation, but also buildings themselves. Read on after to break to learn more about what this technology could mean for the future.

OMA & BIG among 6 Winners in Rebuild By Design Competition

Yesterday, US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced OMA, BIG and four other teams as the winner of "Rebuild by Design", a competition aimed at rebuilding areas affected by Hurricane Sandy focusing on resilience, sustainability and and livability.

In total, HUD have allocated $920 million to the six projects in New York, New Jersey and Long Island to enable the completion of this vision.

Read more about the winning schemes after the break

New Medowlands: Productive City + Regional Park, by MIT CAU, ZUS, Urbanisten. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.orgLiving, Growing Breakwaters: Staten Island and Raritan Bay, by SCAPE / Landscape Architecture. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.orgLiving with the Bay: Resiliency-Building Options for Nassau County’s South Shore by Interboro Team. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.orgThe BIG U, by BIG. Image Courtesy of rebuildbydesign.org+ 7

For Flood Prevention, We Need to Raise Our Game (And Flatten Our Roofs)

Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

This article by Jonathan Ward, originally published on Arup Thoughts as "A Top-Down Approach to Flood Prevention" discusses a cheap, simple, but effective method of easing the load on drainage after a storm: temporary storage of water on flat roofs, which can not only help to prevent floods, but also provide unexpected benefits as well.

Gravity offers a simple and cheap way to attenuate stormwater flows – by storing water temporarily on a flat roof. All sorts of causes are being blamed for the current flooding in the UK; lack of dredging, poor management of catchment areas, construction on flood plains and paving over front gardens are all being mentioned in the press.

One thing is for sure – we will be paying a lot more attention to the topic given the current experience, and the fact that wetter winters are predicted in our changing climate, with a certainty of more extreme events.

Read on for an explanation of why this counter-intuitive measure actually makes perfect sense