The search for outdoor spaces in dense city dwellings has become for some a necessity and for others a requirement to be fulfilled. In short, it is one of the most sought-after commissions that architects around the world receive on a daily basis. Beyond the fact that this phenomenon has been accentuated during the Covid-19 pandemic, since their origins, these expansion spaces have been conceived not only to increase the use of natural lighting and ventilation but also to promote the indoor-outdoor relationship, giving the possibility to accommodate various uses and functions even when square meters are scarce or when the connection with nature is glimpsed far over the horizon.
Residential: The Latest Architecture and News
If ancient Hellenic sources are to be believed, hanging gardens have existed at least since antiquity when the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon were described by writers such as Herodotus and Philo of Byzantium. Today, vertical gardens have proliferated alongside the interest in indoor plants and gardens, especially in suitable climates. This trend in architecture reflects a simultaneous uptick in interest toward sustainability and a more pastoral, back-to-nature lifestyle. In the projects listed below, several of the architects mention moving forward from an industrial past—with its concomitant environmental effects—toward a better future, or at least a secluded, fresh, and natural outpost amidst the chaos of modern city life. Indoor gardens, and the visual allure of hanging plants and climbing vines, provide the setting for such a life. These vertical designs simultaneously conserve space and embed the plants within the atmosphere of the house, ensuring the space feels as much like a garden as it does a comfortable home.
International architecture office KPF has unveiled the design for Parkside Seoul, a new mixed-use neighborhood planned for the South Korean capital designed to complement the surrounding natural elements and pay homage to Yongsan Park. The 482,600 square meter development is composed of a layered exterior envelope that encompasses various programs and public amenities with the purpose of enhancing the residents’ experience of space. Besides the residential units, the complex includes office and retail spaces, and hospitality facilities along with public and green spaces.
As part of a new concept that offers a proposal of tourism and rest, in an art deco building, Campos Polanco opened its doors in September of this year. Located in front of the Garden of the Republic of Lebanon on one side of the Chapultepec Forest in Mexico City, the project puts in place 12 suites created for executives and digital nomads looking to get away from chain hotels to immerse themselves in the local culture in one of the most exclusive areas of the city.
‘One House Per Day no.001-365’ collects the first 365 drawings from Andrew Bruno’s project One House Per Day, along with a foreword by Keith Krumwiede and essay contributions by Malcolm Rio, Alessandro Orsini & Nick Roseboro, and Clark Thenhaus. The drawings are high quality 1:1 reproductions of the originals, and the 7.5” trim size matches the size of the sketchbooks that the originals were drawn in. The drawings are each given a full page, with a subsequent section including a brief description of each drawing. While the drawings themselves are mute, and their descriptions relatively deadpan, the essays contemplate the place of the detached house in American culture from social, political, and economic perspectives. The book is 392 pages long and is softbound in gray recycled paper. The front cover features 365 debossed circles to represent the 365 houses; these give the book a unique tactile quality.
Shigeru Ban has just launched the office’s most recent project in Nieuw Zuid in Antwerp, Belgium. Named Ban, after its creator, and in collaboration with Bureau Bouwtechniek, the complex puts in place a 25-story residential tower and a separate building, creating a total of 295 residential units. During the breaking ground ceremony, the architect also inaugurated an exhibition of images highlighting his humanitarian work in conflict and disaster areas, in near proximity to the construction site.
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
The U.S. housing shortage is most severe on the more affordable side of the market. At a time when costs are escalating broadly and homes that were recently attainable by many have moved out of reach of most, this is no surprise. The problem is most acute in the heated markets, of course, where affordability mandates and rent controls seek to retain rental affordability for some, as owning a home in such markets is a dream accessible only to the wealthiest. (No measures in this post have any impact on these markets.)
Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, CapitaSpring Tower Opens in Singapore
Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, CapitaSpring is Singapore’s latest addition to its skyline. Recently completed after four years of construction, the 280-meter-tall high-rise oasis, considered among the city’s tallest structures, is a mixed-use high-rise with abundant sky gardens and rooftop park, office space, a serviced residence, a hawker center, restaurants, and public spaces.
The biophilic skyscraper, aligned with “the city’s pioneering vertical urbanism” and Singapore’s reputation as a garden city, is located at the heart of the financial district on the site of a former public car park and a hawker center. Comprising 80,000 plants, translating to a total landscaped area of more than 140% of its site area, the tower puts in place a “new green breathing space in the high-density CBD for the neighboring tenants and passersby”.
“In recent years, we have been confined to our homes more and more,” says health mentor and entrepreneur, Enitor Joiner. “This has made us more aware of the (dis)comforts of our immediate living environment. For example, sitting still for long periods while working at home leads to physical complaints such as RSI. A poor living environment can also cause stress and and mental challenges. Loneliness is a growing problem in society, and a general lack of knowledge of healthy living patterns has led to an increase in disease. With this in mind, Marc Koehler Architects and I got to work by asking ourselves: how can we create a pleasant living environment that automatically contributes to a healthy lifestyle?”
The former Berlin-Tegel Airport is set to be redeveloped. The master plan includes the Schumacher Quartier, a new residential district with 200 hectares of landscaped area, and a research and industrial park for urban technologies, Berlin TXL – the Urban Tech Republic. Besides creating a space for industry, business, and science, the innovation park aims to research and test urban technologies. The park will focus on major themes in the development of cities: the efficient use of energy, sustainable construction, eco-friendly mobility, recycling, networked control of systems, clean water, and the application of new materials.
Architecture firm Goettsch Partners have recently won the design competition for a new eight-building complex in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The 244,500 square meter site is one of the last underdeveloped parcels in the area. The Shanghai Lujiazui Roncheng Changyi Project features two office towers, five residential towers, and a cultural/office building. The development also includes retail spaces and various amenities. Construction is scheduled to start in December 2022 and completion is anticipated in December 2025.
Japan-based architectural office Kengo Kuma and Associates has unveiled the design for what will become the studio’s first residential tower in the United States. Located on the oceanfront of Miami Beach, the 18-story structure will accommodate private condominiums for hospitality brand Aman. The project is adjacent to the Versailles building, a 1940s Art Deco hotel currently under restoration by architect Jean-Michel Gathy. The Art Deco architecture of Miami’s Faena district has a unique rhythm, which, according to the architect, was translated into the geometry of the new building through its vertical and horizontal lines.
MVRDV has revealed the design for its first project in South America. The Hills is a residential project located on the Guayas riverfront in Guayaquil, Ecuador, comprised of six residential towers displayed atop a mixed-use plinth, creating the image of a valley. The towers range in height from 92 to 143 meters, raising taller the further away they are from the riverfront. The whole composition is inspired by the local landscape that merges the natural and the urban environment.
In recent years, the construction industry has faced unprecedented challenges. A lack of skilled workers is driving up costs of labor, there is a global housing shortage, and the effects of climate change around the world are clearer than ever. Therefore, questioning traditional construction methods and pushing the limits of innovation has become a top priority, forcing the industry to implement new technologies as they get on board the digital transformation era. There is one innovation, however, that looks particularly promising: 3D construction printing. Although relatively recent, the technology has already been successfully tested in numerous structures, houses and apartment buildings, reshaping residential construction as we know it. Hence, 3D printing could very well be a viable alternative for more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective mass housing solutions in the near future, positively impacting people’s lives and contributing to greener, healthier cities.