Biomimicry guides the design of Shanghai’s new nautilus-shaped museum of natural history

Shanghai Natural History Museum (©Steinkamp Photography)

Shanghai Natural History Museum. (Steinkamp Photography)

This weekend a Shanghai museum got a new home, and its design takes a major cue from nature. The Shanghai Natural History Museum wraps 479,180 square feet of exhibition space with facades inspired by the elements, natural phenomena, and the biological structure of cells.

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Orphaned segment of Minneapolis skyway destined for art installation, modernist lakeside home

(Dream the Combine)

(Dream the Combine)

In February, a Twin Cities design firm advertised an unusual yard sale of sorts. CityDeskStudio offered to pay $5,000 to whomever could haul away and repurpose an 84-foot long section of Minneapolis‘ famous skyway system that once spanned South 5th Street. The skyway segment is now headed to a private residence in Brainerd, Minnesota—but not before playing host to a contemplative art installation that examines the philosophical dimensions of this defunct piece of pedestrian infrastructure.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Jeanne Gang, Wanda Group unveil new renderings for supertall Wanda Vista tower in Chicago

(Studio Gang Architects)

(Studio Gang Architects)

Studio Gang’s Wanda Tower may climb even higher than originally planned. New renderings revealed Monday night show the tower topping out at 93 stories instead of the previous 88. At 1,144 feet, the tower, whose development is being bankrolled by Beijing-based Wanda Group, would be the third-tallest tower in Chicago (provided it fits the standards of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, who arbitrate such matters.)

Continue reading after the jump.

Here are the 60 designers exhibiting at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Chicago, photographed by Iwan Baan for the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

More than 60 design firms across four continents will contribute to a new festival of design that aims to become the largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America, co-artistic directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda announced Tuesday.

Continue reading after the jump.

Populous unveils a swooping new arena, downtown entertainment district for the Milwaukee Bucks

Conceptual renderings of the Milwaukee Bucks new arena, and the surrounding entertainment district, were release April 8. (Populous, HNTB, Eppstein Uhen, Milwaukee Bucks)

Conceptual renderings of the Milwaukee Bucks new arena, and the surrounding entertainment district, were release April 8. (Populous, HNTB, Eppstein Uhen, Milwaukee Bucks)

Fans of Milwaukee‘s premier basketball franchise got a glimpse Wednesday of ambitious plans to develop up to 30 acres of land around a “futuristic” new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Continue reading after the jump.

Detroit breaks ground on Motor City’s first protected bike lanes

(Jefferson East Inc.)

(Jefferson East Inc.)

Work is underway on Detroit‘s first protected bike lanes, which will shelter cyclists with buffer zones and bollards along Jefferson Avenue in the historic Jefferson-Chalmers business district.

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This purr-worthy, $7 million cat shelter in Chicago includes a “catfé”

Architecture, Midwest, News
Monday, April 6, 2015
.
Tree House Humane Society's new no-kill cat shelter. (Dobbins Group, Tree House Humane Society)

Tree House Humane Society’s new no-kill cat shelter. (Dobbins Group, Tree House Humane Society)

Chicago-area cats unlucky enough to see the inside of an animal shelter can rest a little easier starting next year, when Tree House Humane Society‘s $7 million rescue and care facility is expected to open, “catfé” and all.

COntinue reading after the jump.

On View> Architecture students to fill Museum of Contemporary Art St. Louis with plastic bubble clouds

Art, Dean's List, Midwest, On View
Friday, April 3, 2015
.
(Washington University)

(Courtesy Washington University)

Graduate students at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts of Washington University in St. Louis are bringing to life a cloud of plastic bubbles in a show they’re designing, building, and calling ACCUMULUS—a portmanteau of the words ‘Accumulation, Cummulus, and Us.’

Continue reading after the jump.

Chicago’s Harrington College of Design to close its doors, merge with Columbia College

Art, Dean's List, Design, Midwest, News
Thursday, April 2, 2015
.
(Harrington College of Design)

(Harrington College of Design)

Chicago’s Harrington College of Design on Wednesday abruptly announced it will merge with Columbia College.

Jim McCoy, Harrington’s vice president of operations, told AN the school will no longer accept new students, but won’t shut the door on its existing student body.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sustainable development plan for Northeast Ohio takes top honors in 2015 National Planning Awards

Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium

Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium

A plan to steer northeast Ohio toward sustainable growth won a top planning award this week, joining schemes and firms from Austin to Los Angeles on a list of the year’s best urban planning work.

More after the jump.

Urban culture ‘consulates’, Miami ‘science barge’ among winners of first Knight cities challenge

The Knight Foundation awarded, among many others, an idea for a network of new “consulates” initially located in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans that will offer an entrée into local culture. (Claire Nelson)

The Knight Foundation awarded, among many others, an idea for a network of new “consulates” initially located in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans that will offer an entrée into local culture. (Claire Nelson)

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced Tuesday the winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge, awarding a total of $5 million to 32 projects that include “consulates” for local culture in Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, and “a social kitchen” in downtown Gary, Indiana.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Columbus, Ohio redevelops site of dead downtown mall

(NBBJ)

(Courtesy NBBJ)

The future came into focus last week for the site of a defunct mall in downtown Columbus, Ohio. By the time City Center mall closed in 2009, only its parking structure remained a popular destination. Columbus Downtown Development Corporation replaced the dead mall with Columbus Commons, a nine-acre park slated for mixed-use development over the coming years.

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