Many of us have already lived, are living, or will live in a shared student house - a good mix of cheap housing and intense socializing with friends and school mates. For a reasonable price, it is possible to have a single private room and share common spaces. In fact, not only university students are living this way nowadays. The concept of co-living is becoming more and more an attractive and effective solution.
Public Space: The Latest Architecture and News
Last week, we asked our social media followers, "What does public architecture mean to you?" These thoughts are intrinsic to the architectural debate and come into play in various types of projects, especially in those related to the planning of common-use spaces in cities.
This article was originally published by Project for Public Spaces as "What makes a successful place?", a brief guideline about how to develop great public spaces by following four qualities: Sociability, Uses & Activities, Access & Linkages, and Comfort & Image.
Great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, schools – where we interact with each other and government. When these spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives, but what makes some places succeed while others fail?
Studies show that public investment in integrated and safe cycling networks promotes urban transformation, providing more humanity, health and quality of life in urban spaces. While cities in the Netherlands and the Nordic countries have already incorporated bicycles into daily life, with a significant portion of the population using the means of transport for daily commutes, much of the world is still seeking a model to reduce congestion and increase its use. According to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), investing in non-motorized transport allows congestion reduction, improves air quality, physical and mental health of residents, and local trade and brand visibility, once that cyclists tend to pay more attention to local commerce and take up less space than cars.
But along the cycle lanes and cycle paths it is essential to provide suitable places so that bicycles can be parked at the end of the trails. While bike stands are enclosed spaces, usually with some kind of surveillance and additional infrastructure, paracycles are the structures that allow to securely support and lock the bike. They can integrate in the urban furniture of a city, next to benches, plates, lamps and informative totems.
Nikos Salingaros: 'Contemporary Public Spaces Are Designed For Lifeless Beings, Without Any Sex Or Sexual Desire'
Within the framework of Espacios Oscuros research project, focused on observing and analyzing the experience of sexual diversity in public spaces of Santiago de Chile, architects María González and José Tomás Franco spoke with Nikos Salingaros, a mathematician and thinker known for his alternative theoretical approach to architecture and urbanism. Salingaros promotes design focused on human needs and aspirations, combining rigorous scientific analysis with a deep intuitive experience.
Our cities are, for the most part, hostile to the sensibilities of their citizens. (...) Almost everything has been aligned, standardized, emptied. So, how to meet different people, and how to expect a mix between strangers?
In this interview, Salingaros not only questions the way in which architects are designing the private and public spaces of our cities, ignoring –perhaps unconsciously– the human being in its diversity, but also suggests the emergence of a series of private community spaces that would be supplying the needs of expression and appropriation of all the inhabitants of the city.
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The key to successfully designing or recovering public spaces is to achieve a series of ingredients that enhance their use as meeting places. Regardless of their scale, some important tips are designing for people's needs, the human scale, a mix of uses, multifunctionality and flexibility, comfort and safety, and integration to the urban fabric.
To give you some ideas on how to design urban furniture, bus stops, lookouts, bridges, playgrounds, squares, sports spaces, small parks and urban parks, check out these 100 notable public spaces.
When we think of energy from renewable sources, the first that probably come to mind are solar and wind. And decentralizing power generation is something that has inspired engineers and inventors from all over the world.
So what about turning the mechanical energy generated when people walk into electrical energy? It can be done thanks to technology developed by Laurence Kemball-Cook,founder of Pavegen. Using platforms inserted within sidewalks Pavegen converts steps into electric power (while also generating data and even rewards). But before you go out there feeling like Michael Jackson in Billie Jean, you should understand how this system works.
Open Call for Proposals
Artists, (environmental) Architects, Designers & Makers
In any successful architectural project, it is essential to provide users with a comfortable outdoor space. At any time of the year, modular shade structures can create spaces that protect from wind, dust, sun, rain, snow, and noise in a light, flexible and aesthetically pleasing way.
With this in mind, what should we look for when choosing shade structures for outdoor spaces? Below, we've provided you with Superior Recreational Products's top recommendations.
The New York City Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) Logo Design Competition is being held to solicit a design for a new POPS logo that may be featured on signage at over 550 POPS located across the city. A new POPS logo would be seen by millions of residents, workers, and visitors on any given day and encourage the public to take full advantage of these valuable, but sometimes unknown, public spaces.
Architecture is powerful, and like nuclear energy, it all depends on how it is used. While it can create uninhabitable municipalities, it can also create safer cities that improve quality of life.
In various examples, urban design has provided a response to deteriorated or abandoned public spaces. It has shown that distribution and lighting are essential, but that it is also necessary to consider who will be using the space and how to make it an environment that generates community.
Zaha Hadid Architects has won an international competition for the design of the new Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall in Yekaterinburg, Russia. A melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, talents, and industries, the strategic Ural city hosts a Philharmonic Orchestra which has performed in more than 20 countries, while based in the existing 1936 Sverdlovsk Philharmonic building.
For the design of the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra’s new home, Zaha Hadid Architects “echoed the physical aspects of sound waves” to create an inspirational venue meeting the orchestra’s growing program, and to create a new public plaza for all citizens.
Artist Janet Echelman has unveiled her latest site-specific work of public art, with the activation of the first phase of “Pulse” in Philadelphia’s Dilworth Park. Pulse seeks to reshape urban space “with a monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water, and sunlight.
Inspired by the square’s history as a water and transportation hub, Echelman’s work traces the paths and trolley lines of the subway beneath, with four-foot-tall curtains of colorful atomized mist traveling across the park’s fountain surface in response to passing trains underneath.
Hello Wood has revived its highly-successful POP-UP Park, bringing a touch of vibrancy to an underused square in downtown Budapest. Having built the structures in the summer of 2017, the park has returned one year later to provide “a democratic space for all social groups embedded within the everyday movement of the city.”
Open 24 hours per day, the park acts as a free-to-use space for people from all walks of life. Supported by the Municipality of Budapest, the scheme is situated in a frequented though empty spot beside the Budapest City Hall.
Apple’s Piazza Liberty Store, designed by Foster + Partners, has opened to the public in Milan, Italy. The scheme is located under an existing piazza close to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Milan.
The store is defined by a dramatic waterfall which surrounds the entrance while forming the backdrop to a large outdoor amphitheater. Piazza Liberty is the first Apple Store to be constructed in Italy following their retail design collaboration with Foster + Partners.
LOLA Landscape Architects, Taller Architects, and L+CC have released images of their competition-winning design for a 600-hectare forest and sports park in Guang Ming, Shenzhen, China. Commissioned in response to the exploding technology industry in the Shenzhen metropolitan area, the park will place an emphasis on health, sports, and nature to offer an ecological counterpoint to dense urban surroundings.
The winning collaboration saw off competition from JCFO, SWA, and TCL, with the competition jury praising the scheme for its “fresh approach and [for] being highly attentive to local ecology [while] meanwhile incorporating romantic techniques and realistic urban visions.”
OOPEAA (Office for Peripheral Architecture) has won an invited competition for the design of the Allas Sea Pool Family in Helsinki, Finland. Constructed on floating platforms, and designed as a modular, flexible, adjustable system, the Allas Sea Pool Family is intended to be a new global typology for coastal sites, where building on land is not feasible.
The invited competition asked entrants to submit proposals which responded to varying environmental and seasonal conditions, with OOPEAA ultimately chosen for their “strong concept that places the floating spa in a central location in the city.”
Eduardo Souto de Moura, in collaboration with META architectuurbureau, has released images of a proposed urban renewal project in the Belgian city of Bruges. The Beursplein & Congresgebouw consists of a new exhibition hall and covered public square on the site of a recently demolished trade fair complex.
The $46million (€40million) scheme seeks to act as a catalyst for urban renewal at the center of Bruges, with a dual role of exhibition hall and conference center capable of receiving business delegates on weekdays, and tourists on weekends.