Would you be willing to buy a home from a robot using only an app? As technology becomes more and more integrated into the design and real estate sector, that once an outlandish idea has become a reality. Only a decade ago, almost no one talked about technology and start-ups in the built environment. The real estate industry, which has historically lacked technological innovations compared to other sectors, is now taking a stance to reinvent itself as an industry that is more efficient, flexible, and automated- all resulting in one of the newest buzzwords that has taken the world by storm, proptech or Property technology.
Real Estate: The Latest Architecture and News
It didn’t take long for the coronavirus pandemic to inspire both cutting-edge architectural design solutions and broad speculation about future developments in the field. Many of the realized innovations have been contracted by or marketed to the real estate sector. But as firms compete to provide pandemic comforts to rich tenants, the COVID-19 technology that directly affects working-class communities is mostly limited to restrictive measures that fail to address already-urgent residential health hazards or administrative conveniences for developers that allow them to circumvent public scrutiny. These changes had been long-planned, but they have found a new license under the pretext of coronavirus precaution. In terms of “corona grifting,” this sort of thing takes the cake.
Florian Schaffner has had a passion for architecture ever since his childhood. After he finished his bachelor’s degree in business at IE University, he went straight on to pursue the Master in Real Estate Development. We spoke to Florian to find out more about his experience in the MRED and to learn about Triadic Labs, a real-estate startup project founded during the pandemic.
Can a collective agency, or mind, be traced across the urban condition? And how should we map its effects on the physical matter of our cities? A specific representation of a specific type of ‘home’ is employed as an exercise in defining the impact of a “logic of thinking that is both embodied and distributed, singular and collective.” Hélène Frichot’s proposal for “Noourbanographies” was written as a response to the call for papers of the “Eyes of the City,” well before our domestic interiors became the new public. Looking at the distance between hegemonic collectives and ecologies of subjectivities as space for action, the essay opens up to an articulate range of issues that involve matters of care, diagrammatic thinking and spaces of control.
For the 2019 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), titled "Urban Interactions," (21 December 2019-8 March 2020) ArchDaily is working with the curators of the "Eyes of the City" section to stimulate a discussion on how new technologies might impact architecture and urban life. The contribution below is part of a series of scientific essays selected through the “Eyes of the City” call for papers, launched in preparation of the exhibitions: international scholars were asked to send their reflection in reaction to the statement by the curators Carlo Ratti Associati, Politecnico di Torino and SCUT, which you can read here.
Access to housing, both in the case of purchasing or renting, with any type of financing, is usually one of the most important economic investments in people's lives. It is natural to ask oneself what considerations are necessary in order to have a knowledge base before acting.
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Great Ideas, Large Scale Projects and Disaster
Architecture Matters is an international conference on the future of architecture and cities, which brings together all relevant stake- holders from architecture, real estate and politics. A provocative platform for the curious and the courageous – exploring urban utopias and entrepreneurial visions. With lectures, discussion pan- els, workshops, speed dating and surprising extras. Held in Munich once a year. Inspiration, business, network.
The internationally recognized architecture firm Aedas has unveiled their design for the Zhenghong Property Air Harbour Office Project. The sprawling and interconnected 196 foot-tall three-tower complex is proposed for the city of Zhengzhou, the capital of the Henan Province in central China—one of the regions' largest transportation hubs. Occupying a relatively narrow site, the towers are woven together by a rhythmic glass facade inspired by the formal qualities of the winding Yellow River.
Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne has completed a three-semester–long study of Houston’s future, given its current sprawling urban conditions and rapid growth. The project, conducted alongside 21 University of Houston students and faculty members Matt Johnson, Peter Zweig, and Jason Logan, focused on ways of addressing the problems that arise from Houston’s historical lack of zoning in conjunction with the largely unregulated growth of industry and capitalism. These approaches include reinventing the current energy infrastructure, changing real estate and density, and leveraging the lack of zoning to generate new ideas.
One of modernism’s most iconic houses, Case Study House 21 (Bailey House) by Pierre Koenig, is now on sale. The two-bed/two-bath Hollywood Hills landmark has been touted as among the finest of Arts & Architecture Magazine’s Case Study Houses, and one of the program’s few truly experimental projects to explore groundbreaking design and materials.
Neoliberal post-fordism poses a dramatic challenge to urbanism as we have come to know it since the early 20th century. The public planning process has become more and more an embarrassment and obstacle to urban and economic flourishing. It’s a relic of a bygone era. The high point of urban planning was the post-war era of socialist planning and re-construction of the built environment. With respect to this period we can speak about physical or perhaps ‘positive planning’, in the sense of governments formulating concrete plans and designs about what to build. This era has long gone as society evolved beyond the simple fordist society of mechanical mass production to our current post-fordist networked society. When a few basic standards were functionally separate, optimized and endlessly repeated, central planning could still cope with the pace of societal progress. The world we live in today is far too multi-faceted, complex and dynamic to be entrusted to a central planning agency. The old model broke apart as it could not handle the level of complexity we live with and our cities should accommodate. The decentralized information processing mechanism of the market was indeed capable of managing such levels of complexity and, for this reason, has effectively taken over all positive decision-making processes.
Association Bureau A2M, Jaspers-Eyers Architects and Bureau d’Architecture Greish's (BAG) proposal for an “eco-neighborhood” in Liège, Belgium, has been unanimously selected by a jury in a competition to design a mixed-use real-estate project. Dubbed “Paradis Express,” the design incorporates offices, housing and local shops and will occupy a 35,000m2 site located along a future esplanade across from Guillemins station, and next to the new Finance Tower. The competition was held by Fedimmo, in consultation with the city of Liège and the Walloon Region.
What is the true value of architecture in today's society? According to this article by Anna Katz, rare pieces of architectural history have recently soared in value. Katz discusses the booming world of architecture at auction, featuring pieces by Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright among others. The article gracefully compares some of the most important architecture of our time against current real estate prices, exploring the catalyst of rising values in architecture of the recent past, while deliberating on the pitfalls of owning a delicate piece of architecture history. Read the story in full on Blouin Art Info.
London is the world’s most expensive city to build in, but the reasons may surprise you. The city is well known for its high cost of living despite being far less crowded than cities such as Tokyo and New York. In fact, commercial real estate in London’s West End costs nearly twice as much as similarly sized spaces on New York’s Madison Avenue.
New York City’s notoriously space-hungry real estate market is converting the cantilever – perhaps made most famous in Frank Lloyd Wright’s floating Fallingwater residence of 1935 – from a mere move of architectural acrobatics to a profit-generating design feature. Driven by a “more is more” mantra, developers and architects are using cantilevers to extend the reach of a building, creating unique vistas and extended floor space in a market in which both are priced at sky-high premiums.
The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.