A new report from The Trust for Public Land (TPL) makes a compelling case for transforming underperforming, paved public schoolyards into green oases for the entire community. While the benefits for schools and their educational communities are clear, TPL sees an opportunity to open up these facilities to surrounding neighborhoods after school hours, on weekends, and when school is out. If all 90,000 public schools in the country had a “community schoolyard,” more communities could tackle the persistent park equity issue — in which too few communities, particularly undeserved ones, enjoy access to nearby high-quality public green spaces. TPL argues that opening up all schoolyards, essentially turning them into part-time all-access community hubs, would “put a park within a 10-minute walk of nearly 20 million people — solving the problem of outdoor access for one-fifth of the nation’s 100 million people who don’t currently have a park close to home.”
Rehabilitation: The Latest Architecture and News
Last year, Archdaily inaugurated its first edition of Young Practices, an initiative meant to highlight emerging offices that pursue architectural innovation. Carl Gerges Architects is a Lebanese practice whose body of work is a careful consideration of culture, context, and heritage. Villa Nadia and Batroun Boutique Hotel are two of the studio’s unbuilt projects that showcase the assemblage of architectural tradition and contemporary design, informed by a poetic sensibility and a deep understating of the local social, environmental and historical landscape.
Adaptive reuse or the process of transforming an older building by reusing the structure and changing its original purpose, has gained relevance over the years especially because it allows a complete optimization of the performance of the existing built environment. In a piece, originally published on Metropolis, author Elissaveta Brandon explores how "architects and developers are transforming the staples of the South—located throughout a 120-mile region from Winston-Salem to Fayetteville—into infrastructure fit for today". Transforming historic mills into design hubs, and mixed-use complexes, the article highlights 3 examples from North Carolina.
In theory, parking spaces serve only one function: park a car safely until it is used again, and in terms of design, car garages are flexible and straightforward, requiring minimal design interventions. However, parking spaces nowadays are no longer considered one-function buildings. The emptier the space, the more potential it has to integrate additional functions. Architects and urban planners have redefined traditional parking lots, adding recreational and commercial facilities to the structure. Instead of a typical structured grid plan with yellow and white markings on the floor, we are now seeing inviting structures that incorporate green facades and rooftop playgrounds, car washes, cafeterias, and work/study zones.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP, Carlo Ratti, Arup and OUTCOMIST Win Competition to Regenerate the Porta Romana Railway Area in Milan
Led by OUTCOMIST, an international design team including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP Architecture, CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati, and Arup won the competition to revitalize the Porta Romana Railway Area, transforming the industrial site into a diverse green neighborhood in Milan. Rehabilitating a disused railway yard into a connective tissue that links the southeast area of the city to the center, the development will generate a rich biodiverse public space, including a large urban park.
Alvar Aalto’s Silo to be Transformed into Research Centre Promoting Architectural Preservation in Oulu, Finland
Skene Catling de la Peña and Factum Foundation are transforming Alvar Aalto’s iconic wood chip Silo into a research Centre promoting architectural preservation and re-use. The AALTOSIILO, a cathedral-like concrete structure “will become a point of focus for digitizing and communicating the importance of the industrial architecture of the north and – in turn - the impact industry has had on the environment”.
Construction Begins on MVRDV's Renovation Project of the Pyramid, a Brutalist Monument in Tirana, Albania
Construction has begun on MVRDV’s project for the Pyramid of Tirana in Albania, as of February 4th, 2021. Rehabilitating what was once a communist monument, the proposal transforms the brutalist structure into a new hub for Tirana's cultural life. Preserving the concrete shell, the intervention will open the atrium and the surroundings, while a small village of cafes, studios, workshops, and classrooms will permeate the site.
3XN and IttenBrechbühl Win International Competition to Design Wooden Tower in Lausanne, Switzerland
3XN and IttenBrechbühl have been selected to design Tilia Tower, an 85-meter-tall mixed-use wooden building that includes apartments, retail, and a hotel. Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, the project also encompasses the transformation and renovation of two existing buildings, as well as the implementation of new public spaces, bringing vitality to the neighborhood.
Snøhetta Introduces New Transformative Architectural and Landscape Features to Austin's Blanton Museum of Art
Transforming the typical artistic experience, Snøhetta proposed a design to renovate the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. The comprehensive grounds remodeling seeks to “unify and revitalize the museum campus, […] through architectural and landscape improvements”. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and conclude by late 2022.
Renovation works of Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin are in their final phase. Overseen by David Chipperfield Architects, the restoration was much needed after almost 40 years. Set to reopen in the summer of 2021, the concrete, steel, and glass landmark, dedicated to culture and the fine arts, is in fact Mies van der Rohe’s only work in Germany after World War II.
Kjellander Sjoberg to Transform Former Shipbuilding Industry into Vibrant Creative Hub in Malmö, Sweden
Kjellander Sjoberg has revealed plans to transform the historical building Gjuteriet into an innovative, open public meeting place. Located in the Varvstaden district, a new sustainable neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, the project will become a contemporary and versatile work environment. Fitting 300 workspaces across 4,600 sq. m., the building also includes meeting rooms, open lounges, conference rooms, a conservatory, studios, exhibition spaces, a test kitchen, and wellness facilities.
Snøhetta has revealed its first built project in Hong Kong, Airside, a 176,000 square meters mixed-use building. Located in the center of the former Kai Tak airport, the project commissioned by Nan Fung Group comprises a 200-meter tower merged seamlessly with its base.
Barozzi Veiga, in collaboration with Tab Architects and Barbara Van Der Wee Architects, has just won the competition for the renovation of the Jewish Museum of Belgium. Discrete yet present and integrated into the urban fabric, as the jury stated, the proposal was selected from five shortlisted established and young architectural practices.
Gensler has unveiled 545wyn, “the first Class-A office tower in Miami in over a decade”. In collaboration with office developer Sterling Bay and local development partner Joe Furst of Place Projects, the project introduces a new generation of office space, aiming to attract a new type of innovative, forward-focused tenants. In fact, Gensler Miami will be the building’s first tenant of the 10-story tower.
MVRDV has just unveiled the If Factory, a disused urban structure converted into a new 11.000 m2 creative building, containing a mixture of offices for the Urban Research Institute of China Vanke and offices for rent. Located in one of Shenzhen’s most historic districts, Nantou, the project is the largest proposed renovation in the city to date.