For decades, companies have relied on disposable plastic packaging to bag and contain products worldwide. Today, the staggering detrimental effects of this plastic dependence are well-known: since the 1950’s, over 9 billion tons of plastic have been produced, only 9% of which was recycled; around the world, one million plastic bottles are bought every minute and two million plastic bags are used every minute; and per the Plastic Pollution Coalition, by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight. Moreover, plastic is a petroleum product, and its production only further contributes to the devastating climate effects of mass fossil fuel use.
Housing: The Latest Architecture and News
Although there is much conflict surrounding the term Brutalist, there are certain constants and patterns within the movement that offer a concrete idea of the movement and its place in contemporary architecture.
The buildings that adhere to Brutalism—an off-shoot of the Modern Movement that erupted between 1950 and 1970— stand out in part to their constructional sincerity- that is, keeping no secrets about the materials that went into their creation, their bold geometry, and the asperity of their textures and surfaces. Reinforced concrete is the predominant material in Brutalist works thanks to its prominent and dramatic texture, which is put on full display.
Croatia has long been a crossroads of culture. Located along the Adriatic Sea, it borders five countries and has some of the richest biodiversity in Europe. The built environment reflects influences from Central Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as both the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Today, a series of new housing projects are reinterpreting the country's past as architects and designers look to reimagine what the future holds.
When it comes to attics, we often imagine underused spaces in homes and buildings, such as warehouses or rooms that are exclusively used to shelter infrastructure systems. However, reflecting on the reuse of traditional attics in 19th-century Parisian buildings as housing, which is happening nowadays, one realizes that these spaces can be reinvented and, with a little creativity, they can provide impressive living spaces.
ODA-Designed Hunter’s Point South, the newest development by TF Cornerstone, and the largest affordable housing project in NYC has launched its housing lottery. The master-planned, mixed-use and mixed-income community, park, school, and playground, situated along the East River in Long Island City, Queens, the first of its kind to hit the market since COVID-19, brings 1,194 rental units and a new park to Long Island City waterfront.
In order to assist the city of London and encourage constructions after Covid-19, the Mayor of London, with tech-led design practice Bryden Wood and leading residential consultancy Cast, have launched a new version of the housing design app PRiSM. Using the latest digital technology and data to help design and build manufactured homes, the freely available application will allow users to share expertise and use technology to transform the design process and get the city building the homes Londoners need.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is recognizing seven new residential designs with 2020 Housing Awards. The projects are awarded across single family, production, multifamily and specialized housing. Presented by the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community, the awards emphasize the importance of good housing as a "necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource."
According to the United Nation’s “The World’s Cities in 2018”, it is estimated that, “by 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 percent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants.” Also, between 2018 and 2030, it is estimated that the number of cities with 500,000 inhabitants or more is expected to grow by 23 percent in Asia. China, as the largest economy in Asia, with a GDP (PPP) of $25.27 trillion, is expanding rapidly, both economically and demographically.
With more and more migrant workers coming into the bigger cities in China, it has become increasingly difficult for workers to find an affordable place to live. Some people decide to move away from urban centers and bear with the lengthy commute time, while others are seeking creative design solutions to transform their home into a tiny, functional space to meet their daily needs.
In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.
Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture received the green light to move forward with its latest “socially focused mixed-use scheme” that includes council homes, an adult education center, and affordable workspaces. Entitled Morland Gardens, the new project located in the London Borough of Brent, one of the district’s most deprived areas, is scheduled to start in the fall of 2020.
The Seoul Compact City has held 3 different international design competitions, in 3 different neighborhoods in Seoul, South Korea, hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and organized by Seoul Housing Corporation (SH Corporation). Aiming to create complex urban spaces in each of the interventions of the three-dimensional project, the contest selected visionary winning teams for each thematic, focusing on the introduction of public housing units and the enhancement of the infrastructure.
Perkins and Will have selected the winning projects for this year’s edition of the Phil Freelon Design Competition. Entitled “Arroyo” the 2020 laureate is “a self-sustaining community that embraces the diversity of New Yorkers”, designed by Vangel Kukov and Hala El Khorazaty. Imagining co-living strategies to combat the housing crises in America, the annual event gathered entries from Perkins and Will studios around the world.
Created by Japanese architectural historian Norihito Nakatani, the film "A City of Columns" explores the distinctive dwelling culture of nagaya, a housing typology that flourished in the Japanese early modern period. The video depicts one of the few remaining nagaya neighbourhoods in Osaka, revealing the standardization embedded in all aspects of this form of housing and documenting how architectural elements transition between different spatial configurations.
MASS Design Group has published a COVID-19 design guide for Senior Housing. Made by the firm's Design Response team, it includes strategies and best practices for retrofitting and upgrading existing buildings. The guide aims to help senior housing developers and operators as they work to manage infection control while balancing social and cultural needs with emerging research on the coronavirus.
This article is part of "Eastern Bloc Architecture: 50 Buildings that Defined an Era", a collaborative series by The Calvert Journal and ArchDaily highlighting iconic architecture that had shaped the Eastern world. Every week both publications will be releasing a listing rounding up five Eastern Bloc projects of certain typology. Read on for your weekly dose: Monolithic Housing Blocks.