nARCHITECTS reveals Café Pavilion for Cleveland’s revamped Public Square

Rendering of a new cafe pavilion for Cleveland's Public Square. (nARCHITECTS via James Corner Field Operations)

Rendering of a new cafe pavilion for Cleveland’s Public Square. (nARCHITECTS via James Corner Field Operations)

New renderings for one of the largest public space projects in the Midwest have been revealed, showing a new 2,500-square-foot “Café Pavilion” in Cleveland’s Public Square. Read More

This urban intervention in Chicago would let citizens control colorful lights under the “El” with their smartphones

City Terrain, Lighting, Midwest, Urbanism
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
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Wabash Lights, a site-specific installation under Chicago's L. (Courtesy Wabash Lights)

Wabash Lights, a site-specific installation under Chicago’s L. (Courtesy Wabash Lights)

Chicago is best known for Wrigley Field and the Sears Tower (yes, the Sears Tower), but one of its most prominent urban features is the elevated train tracks that form the “Loop,” or the downtown area bound by this snaking steel goliath. However poetic the idea of the “El” might be, it brute steel structure could, like most raised infrastructures, use some improvements.

More after the jump.

NYC DOT’s “Great Streets” vision for Atlantic Avenue lacks any bicycle infrastructure

New medians proposed for Atlantic Avenue. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

New medians proposed for Atlantic Avenue. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

As part of Mayor de Blasio’s mission to eliminate traffic deaths in New York City, his administration has committed $250 million toward its “Great Streets” initiative to redesign four of the city’s most dangerous arterial roadways: 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Queens, Queens Boulevard, and  Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

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Rotterdam considers piloting environmentally-friendly roads made from recycled plastic bottles

(Courtesy VolkerWessels)

(Courtesy VolkerWessels)

Always an early adopter of innovative sustainability methods, the city of Rotterdam is considering piloting roads fabricated from recycled plastic. The creators of PlasticRoad wooed the city council with their proposal of an all-plastic road that is quicker to lay and requires less maintenance than asphalt.

Continue reading after the jump.

Here’s how Amsterdam built an archipelago to solve its housing crunch

(Courtesy Amsterdam)

The islands of Ijburg, with Center Island jutting out to the right (Courtesy Amsterdam)

Amsterdam’s overflow population will soon have a roof over its head—and artificial sand bars beneath its feet. Europe’s boldest engineering and housing program yet proposes a series of artificial islands built over Ijmeer Lake, with shoreline houses occupying sand bars made using a so-called “pancake method.”

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British architect Amanda Levete reveals weather-responsive “forest canopy” design for Melbourne’s MPavilion 2015

(Courtesy AL_A)

(Courtesy AL_A)

Seeking to recreate the audiovisual experience of a rainforest within urban environs, London-based architect Amanda Levete has unveiled a weather-responsive forest canopy for Melbourne’s 2015 MPavilion. The second-edition annual pavilion, set to open in October at the Queen Victoria Gardens, is Australia’s answer to London’s emblematic Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

Read More

Gensler opens parKIT, Washington, D.C.’s first-ever seasonal parklet

(Flickr/ aueagle2006)

(Flickr/ aueagle2006)

A new parklet has popped up in Washington D.C., and unlike the short-lived public spaces that appear in parking spaces for PARK(ing) Day, this one is sticking around until mid-October. The seasonal space, dubbed parKIT, opened on July 14 and takes over two parking spots.

More after the jump.

St. Petersburg City Council approves pier plan by ASD, Rogers Partners, and Ken Smith

ASD/ROGERS PARTNERS/KEN SMITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT)

ASD/ROGERS PARTNERS/KEN SMITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT)

The redevelopment of St. Petersburg, Florida’s iconic pier, with its very 1970s-esque inverted pyramid, is finally ready to move forward. The local city council has approved $5.2 million for the the structure’s replacement which was designed by ASD, Rogers Partners, and Ken Smith. The money will go toward finalized designs, demolition of the existing pier, and initial contract services. This has been a long time coming.

Continue reading after the jump.

Traffic-plagued Dublin institutes a ban on cars in downtown area to reduce city-center congestion

(Courtesy Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority)

(Courtesy Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority)

In another radical pushback on the congestion-creating, carbon-emitting automobile, the Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority have proposed to ban private cars from entire sections of the city’s downtown core. The capital city of Ireland and prime economic hub ranks tenth globally in terms of traffic congestion, according to a study led by GPS maker TomTom.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bike path in pieces: Skeptics dismiss Dutch solar bike path SolaRoad as inefficient “cash grab”

(Courtesy SolaRoad)

(Courtesy SolaRoad)

Naysayers have rained criticism on Dutch Solaroad solar bike path system. In the first six months of operation, it reportedly overshot energy production expectations to the collective glee of engineers. However, self-described “scientists” are taking it down with numerical rhetoric, namely the cost and inferior production capacity relative to rooftop solar panels. Last year’s pilot test ate up $3.2 million in investor funding for a 230-foot stretch of concrete, and SolaRoad remains tightlipped on the cost per square foot.

Read More

New robot technology by Dutch designer can 3D-print a steel bridge in mid-air over a canal

(Courtesy MX3D)

(Courtesy MX3D)

New to the list of job functions up for replacement by technology: bridge construction. Dutch designer Joris Laarman has founded MX3D, a research and development company currently tinkering with a never-before-seen 3D printer that can weld steel objects in mid-air.

Continue reading after the jump.

Real-life SimCity in New Mexico to become testing ground for new technologies that will power smart cities

(Courtesy SimCity)

(Courtesy SimCity)

A simulation video game can become a powerful innovation lab for new urban technologies, where researchers can test-drive every outlandish “what-if?” in a controlled environment. The Center for Innovation, Technology and Evaluation is launching a full-scale SimCity—a small, fully functioning ghost town equipped with the technology touted by futurists as the next generation of smart cities. Resembling a modest American town with a population of 35,000 spread over 15 miles, the virtual metropolis is sited on a desolate stretch of land in southern New Mexico.

More after the jump.

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