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Sidewalk Labs: The Latest Architecture and News

Sidewalk Labs Releases Prototype Mass Timber High-Rise Design

Sidewalk Labs have released their latest study, called Proto-Model X (PMX), investigating how tall timber buildings could work in cities. As a digital proof-of-concept for how to design and manufacture a tall timber building, the study follows the team’s announcement last June to design the world’s first all-timber high-rise neighborhood on Toronto’s eastern waterfront.

Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs, Michael Green Architecture, Gensler Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs, Michael Green Architecture, Gensler Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs, Michael Green Architecture, Gensler Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs, Michael Green Architecture, Gensler + 7

City of the Future Elaborates on Responsive Architecture

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the final episode of season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the past, present, and future of responsive architecture with Sidewalk Labs’ director of public realm Jesse Shapins, engineer and microclimate expert Goncalo Pedro, Bubbletecture author Sharon Francis, and renowned architect Liz Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

City of the Future Examines the Future of Electrification

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the fourth episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of electrification with Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, and Sidewalk Labs’ director of sustainability Charlotte Matthews.

Toronto’s Quayside Smart City Development to be Scaled Back

The new Quayside smart city development by Sidewalk Labs will be scaled back after a vote last week in Toronto. As the subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs aimed to "unlock the potential" of the city’s Eastern Waterfront. The government agency responsible for development of the area, Waterfront Toronto, voted unanimously to limit the team’s original 190-acre plan to 12 acres.

Courtesy of Picture Plane Courtesy of Picture Plane Courtesy of Picture Plane Courtesy of Picture Plane + 9

City of the Future Explores the Future of Mobility in Cities

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the third episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of mobility in cities and share ideas that would make it way easier to get around without owning a car. In the podcast, author Horace Dediu talks about micro-mobility; TriMet's Bibiana McHugh tells the story behind GTFS and the OpenTrip Planner; MaaS Global CEO Sampo Hietanen explains the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS); and Sidewalk Labs' Corinna Li explains what Mobility on Demand could be like in the city of the future.

City of the Future Shares Thoughts on Retail and Vibrant Streets

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In the second episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of retail with author Mark Pilkington, social entrepreneur Sarah Filley, Sidewalk Labs’ Director of Development Carrie Jackson, and others.

City of the Future Discusses Affordability by Design

City of the Future is a bi-weekly podcast from Sidewalk Labs that explores ideas and innovations that will transform cities.

In this episode, the first from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of housing with Ori CEO Hasier Larrea, architect Eric Bunge, Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky, Sidewalk Labs housing expert Annie Koo, and others.

Sidewalk Labs Unveils Full Quayside Master Plan for Toronto

Sidewalk Labs has released the full 1,500 page development proposal for its Quayside neighborhood in Toronto. After announcing plans to create a model smart city, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were first revealed last summer as an interconnected smart neighborhood for the city. The Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) proposes a comprehensive planning and partnership model to set a new standard for urban development in the 21st century.

© Picture Plane © Picture Plane © Picture Plane © Picture Plane + 8

Sidewalk Labs Tests a 'Raincoat' for Buildings in Toronto

Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs is testing a "raincoat" for buildings, a prototype tensile structure that's made to make extreme weather more comfortable. Created as part of the Quayside smart city project in Toronto, the raincoat structure aims to help protect from wind and rain while lowering energy demands on buildings. Designed by Toronto-based RWDI and Partisans, the prototype debuted at Sidewalk's 307 office. Made from a thin plastic membrane, the raincoat will remain up for one year as teams test its performance.

Building Raincoat Prototype. Image © David Pike Building Raincoat Prototype. Image © David Pike Building Raincoat Prototype. Image © David Pike Building Raincoat Prototype. Image © David Pike + 19

Snøhetta and Heatherwick Design a Timber City for Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs has released new renderings from Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio of the Quayside neighborhood development in Toronto. After announcing plans to create a model smart city, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were first revealed last summer, designed to be interconnected smart neighborhood for the city. The latest renderings were released with further documents outlining how the company plans to pay for the ground-up development.

Quayside. Image Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio Quayside. Image Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio Quayside. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta Quayside. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta + 7

Can Future Cities be Timber Cities? Google’s Sidewalk Labs Asks the Experts

Steel and concrete facades have dominated contemporary cityscapes for generations, but as pressures from climate change pose new challenges for design and construction industries, some firms are turning to mass timber as the construction material of the future. But could it be used for structures as complex as skyscrapers? 

Sidewalk Labs Unveils Future City Design for Toronto's Quayside Neighborhood

Sidewalk Labs has unveiled a new proposal for Toronto's eastern waterfront and a neighborhood development called Quayside. After announcing plans to create a model smart city in Toronto last fall, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were revealed during a roundtable discussion on August 14, 2018. As the subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, the team responded to an open call from Waterfront Toronto with a design that features heated pavements, large public spaces and mass timber buildings.

Quayside. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Quayside. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Quayside. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Quayside. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs + 11

3XN Reveals Waving Mixed-Use Building Located Adjacent to Sidewalk Labs' Future Smart City

Danish firm 3XN has been selected as the winner of a competition to design a new mixed-use waterfront building in Toronto’s East Bayfront district that will be located on the edge of Google/Sidewalk Labs’ new smart community, Quayside.

Inspired by the reflection of the waves of Lake Ontario, ‘The Waves at Bayside’ will feature a undulating facade of metal balconies with views out to the water and a podium filled with public program including a rowing club and assortment of restaurants and cafes.

Looking northeast to The Waves at Bayside. Image © 3XN An aerial view of the project. Image © 3XN Looking down across the multi-tired decks onto the amenity terrace. Image © 3XN Angled balconies and terraces give all suites lake views. Image © 3XN + 10

Sidewalk Labs Announces Plans to Create Model Smart City on Toronto's Waterfront

Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto have revealed plans for a brand new community on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront that will bring together “forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centred neighbourhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.”

Public Realm Vision. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Sustainability Vision. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Digital Infrastructure Vision. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Housing Vision. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs + 12

SHoP's Vishaan Chakrabarti Launches New Practice Dedicated to Cities

Former SHoP partner, scholar, author and urbanist Vishaan Chakrabarti has announced the creation of Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), a new practice focused on the "advancement of cities through cosmopolitan architecture and strategically innovative urban planning." As founder and CEO, Chakrabarti will lead the New York City-based firm with a mission "to create an ecological network of empowered citizens, generous buildings, discursive public space, strong infrastructure and a thriving urban environment."

PAU's first client will be Sidewalk Labs, a new urban innovation company funded by Google that seeks to solve urban issues through the application of technology.

Google (Alphabet) "Sidewalk Labs" Seeks to Improve City Life

Google has announced a major overhaul - the launch of their new parent company, Alphabet Inc. The new structure makes Google Inc. a holding company in an effort to provide more transparency to its investors and flexibility for its research endeavors. Thus, "G" will now stand for Google. The rest of the Alphabet will be a collection of companies that has yet to be entirely unveiled.

Calico, Fiber, Nest Labs, Wings, and Google X will all be part of the Alphabet, as well as a new urban innovation company known as Sidewalk Labs.