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Resilience: The Latest Architecture and News

Long-Term Plans: To Build for Resilience, We’ll Need to Design With—Not Against—Nature

Moving away from its early exclusive focus on natural disasters, resilient architecture and design tackles the much tougher challenge of helping ecosystems regenerate.

Thirty years ago, as a high school student at the Cranbrook boarding school in suburban Detroit, I wrote a research-based investigative report on the environmental crisis for the student newspaper. I had been encouraged to do so by a faculty adviser, David Watson, who lived a double life as a radical environmentalist writing under the pseudonym George Bradford for the anarchist tabloid Fifth Estate. His diatribe How Deep Is Deep Ecology? questioned a recurring bit of cant from the radical environmental movement: Leaders of groups like Earth First! frequently disparaged the value of human life in favor of protecting nature.

Call for Submissions // Disc*2020 Is Going Remote!

Disc*2020 (Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities) is a five week summer program for currently enrolled college students that explores an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar approach to design and analysis in the urban environment.

Now, more than ever, there is a need for Resilient Design and Planning in our cities in response to the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic, climate change, and social inequities. Disc* brings together interdisciplinary students and expert practitioners from around the world to reframe these challenges as opportunities for design innovation.

As we move to remote learning this summer, we will utilize immersive technology including virtual

White Arkitekter + ReGen Villages Create First Circular, Self-Sufficient Communities for Sweden

White Arkitekter, in collaboration with Silicon Valley-based ReGen Villages, have joined forces to create fully circular, self-sufficient and resilient communities in Sweden. Inspired by computer games, the project puts in place organic food production, locally produced and stored energy, comprehensive recycling, and climate positive buildings.

If Plan A is to Mitigate Climate Change, What’s Plan B?

This article was originally published on Washington Post, courtesy of Common Edge.

Hundred-year floods. Record-breaking Antarctic heat. Wildfires and drought. The stories appear with numbing regularity. And though the details differ, they all point to the same grim conclusion. We’re failing to address climate change. With carbon emissions continuing to rise, what were once dismissed as worst-case scenarios now look like the best we can hope for.

KPF Unveils High Performance and Resilient Tower in Boston

KPF and the Chiofaro Company have released images of their latest project The Pinnacle at Central Wharf, a high performance and resilient mixed-use development on the Boston Harbor waterfront. Aiming to reconnect Downtown Boston to the waterfront, the project also puts in place a new public space.

© KPF © KPF © KPF © KPF + 10

Sasaki Envisions a Sustainable, Equitable, and Resilient Kabul City

Imagined by Sasaki, the Kabul Urban Design Framework creates a vision of what the city can become. The project generates a set of guidelines that can transform the Afghan capital into a model of sustainable, equitable, and resilient development.

Courtesy of SASAKI Courtesy of SASAKI Courtesy of SASAKI Courtesy of SASAKI + 29

Kjellander Sjöberg Wins Competition to Climate Proof the Coastal Town of Faaborg in Denmark

Kjellander Sjöberg, one of the leading architectural practices in Scandinavia, in collaboration with GHB Landskabsarkitekter, Mogens A. Morgen, Realise and Tyréns, was selected to design a strategic development plan for Faaborg. The coastal town in southern Denmark is facing many challenges like a high risk of flooding and an important decrease in its population.

Courtesy of Kjellander Sjöberg Courtesy of Kjellander Sjöberg Courtesy of Kjellander Sjöberg Courtesy of Kjellander Sjöberg + 16

Assessing Resiliency and Risk: We Can’t Save It All

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Conversations around resiliency today seem to imply that planners and designers might be capable of—might even be expected to—save every building and public space at risk. The sad truth is, however, that we cannot, and perhaps we should not. Climate change and its attendant sea level rise will radically redraw urban edges, forcing us to make difficult decisions. Even if we had the vast sums of money required to protect the precarious status quo, that might not be enough to stave off the inevitable.

So, then: What are our priorities? How do we choose what to save? How do we responsibly chart this uncertain future? I believe the answers to these and similar questions should begin with an honest assessment of three essential considerations:

BIG + Field Operations Design Master Plan for River Street Waterfront

Two Trees Management Company, a New York-based real estate development firm, has presented a master plan for the Northern Brooklyn waterfront, a new approach to urban resiliency. Designed by BIG and Field Operations, the project puts in place a mixed-use development and a resilient park.

© James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management © James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management © James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management © James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management + 12

Are Architects and Developers Finally Addressing the Same Global Concerns?

Architects and developers have always been on opposite ends of the construction world. While the first wanted to create dreamy spaces, the latter just wanted to cater to the basic needs. In these past few years, the world has witnessed significant changes, with the aggravation of climate-related issues, the evolution of technological solutions, and the newly acquired awareness and growth of the population.

While everything is transforming, building trends also evolved, mainly due to an alteration in people’s perceptions and priorities. However, one question remains unanswered: Could all these changes mean that the never-ending conflict between architects and developers reached some sort of common grounds? And could they finally be seeking one same goal, of a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future?

Alliance Tbilisi. Image Courtesy of Khmaladze Architects - Alliance Group Lisi Green Tower. Image Courtesy of UN studio Alliance Batumi. Image Courtesy of Alliance Group 1000 Museum. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 24

Sasaki to Design Ho Chi Minh City Innovation District in Vietnam

Sasaki has been selected by the government of Ho Chi Minh City to conceive the innovation district in the eastern part of the city, in collaboration with enCity, an international planning practice based in Singapore and Vietnam.

Courtesy of Sasaki Courtesy of Sasaki Courtesy of Sasaki Courtesy of Sasaki + 31

The Temperature Rise of 520 Cities by 2050 (is Grim)

The climate in Madrid in 2050 will look more like the climate in Marrakesh, Morocco today. Stockholm will feel more like Budapest, London like Barcelona, Moscow like Sofia, Seattle like San Francisco, and Tokyo like Changsa in China. 

The research "Understanding Climate Change Starting with an Analysis of Similar Cities" published in the scientific magazine PLOS ONE by The Crowther Lab of ETH Zurich, paints a grim picture of the future for the world's urban centers.

The Great Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo: from Historic Islamic Monument to War Battlefield

via AFP / Getty Images
via AFP / Getty Images

Islam, other than describing a religious belief, is a word that identifies a unique type of architecture that dates back thousands of years. It has been formed by a civilization that transformed the qualities of this belief into visible and tangible material, building structures with a striking focus on details and experiences within enclosed spaces. 

Islamic architecture is an architecture that does not change its form easily. In fact, its principles have been more or less the same since thousands of years ago, with minor changes based on functional adaptations. To this day, hundreds of buildings still stand as a representation of the history of Islamic architecture and are still used just as they have been in the past.

War, however, has no religion or cultural nostalgia, and even the holiest, most historically-significant sites are threatened with complete destruction. The Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, originally built by the first imperial Islamic dynasty and currently situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stood yet again as a battlefield during the recent Syrian War, but this time, lost its most significant and resilient element, an 11th-century Seljuk Minaret.

© George Ourfalian / AFP Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of SSNP Media Wars Courtesy of SSNP Media Wars + 34

GVL Gossamer Merge Resilience and Urbanism in Xi'an, China

GVL Gossamer has released images of their design for a 19 kilometer stretch of waterfront along the Jing River in Xi’an, China. The proposal, a finalist in an international design competition, celebrates the site’s history at the origin of the Silk Road through strategies that tap into ancient and enduring histories of traditional architecture, merchant trade, and agricultural innovation. These enduring histories are woven with contemporary influences such as responses to major climatic and environmental challenges.

© GVL Gossamer © GVL Gossamer © GVL Gossamer © GVL Gossamer + 14