With Limited Land for Housing, Hong Kong Looks to Grow Underground

International, Urbanism
Thursday, October 31, 2013
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01-Hong-Kong-archpaper

HONG KONG SKYLINE (WENZDAY01 / COURTESY FLICKR)

The housing problem in Hong Kong is critical. Studies estimate that the city of seven million will have to house another 600,000 people over the course of the next 30 years. With rapidly increasing urbanization rates, leading Chinese metropolises are speculating on fast and intelligent ways to manage population growth by creating additional housing within their existing borders. While some cities are growing taller and others are mulling developing rare and cherished park space, Hong Kong is taking a different approach. Officials and engineers have thought about something else: developing an extensive underground city.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sound Artist Chris Watson Maps the Aural Landscape of Sheffield, England

City Terrain, International
Thursday, October 31, 2013
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Sheffield City Center (Courtesy Tim Webber / Flickr)

Sheffield City Center (Courtesy Tim Webber / Flickr)

Sound recordist Chris Watson has returned home for his most recent project: creating an aural map of the contemporary landscape of Sheffield, England. Two years ago, the Guardian reported, Museums Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery asked Watson to undertake the project, mapping the noises of a town he has not lived in for thirty years. Over the past 18 months, the audio artist made a series of ambisonic recordings of the natural and urban environments of the city. The result is a 36-minute sound journey, Inside the Circle of Fire: a Sheffield Sound Map, on current exhibition at the Gallery.

Hear the Sounds of Sheffield After the Jump

Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House is 40! Celebrate With These 12 Amazing Photos

International
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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Courtesy Matt Norris / Flickr

The Sydney Opera House, now a symbol of Australia and the Sydney Harbor, is 40 years old this year. (Courtesy Matt Norris / Flickr)

A big “Happy 40th Birthday” goes out to the Sydney Opera House this year, which is still looking good in its middle age. Completed by Danish architect and Pritzker Prize–winner, Jørn Utzon, in 1973, the iconic performing arts center is now an internationally renowned late modernist architectural marvel. Originally, when Utzon entered the 1956 New South Wales Government sponsored competition to envision two performance halls on the Sydney Harbor, his design was discarded. However, his “entry created great community interest” and the jury was persuaded to choose him as the sole architect in the ambitious project.

Utzon received the Pritzker Prize in 2003 and the building made the World Heritage List in 2007. The architect died one year later in Copenhagen but his vision lives on. Against a Sydney Harbor backdrop, the Sydney Opera House has become a graceful, yet dynamic symbol of Australia.

View the slideshow after the jump.

Finding Fun in Cities: PLAYscapes Competition Winners Announced

International
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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Cape Town Gardens Skatepark (Photo: Building Trust International)

Cape Town Gardens Skatepark. (Courtesy Building Trust International)

Earlier this year, Building Trust International put professional and student architects and designers to work with the hope of turning outmoded city spaces into exciting, imaginative places through its international design competition, PLAYscapes. Winning entries focused on transforming disused, forgotten parts of cities into playscapes have now been announced.

Continue reading after the jump.

Review> MAXXI Takes To the Highway: Exhibition Explores Energy & Architecture

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)

OBR Open Building Research, Right to Energy. (Courtesy OBR Open Building Research)

One of the most curious artifacts in the current exhibition, Energy: Oil and Post-Oil Architecture and Grids, currently running through November 10, is the one you run into just outside the entrance doors to Rome’s MAXXI museum. It’s one of those ubiquitous mini AGIP filling stations, of the kind you normally would find curbside in any one of Italy’s many town centers. The look is ultra modern, with a cantilevered steel structure sheltering a smartly-constructed metal-and-glass shed designed for the gas station attendant and his stock of replacement windshield wipers and engine oils. Next to one of the pumps is AGIP’s bright yellow icon featuring a black, six-legged, fire-breathing dog. The filling station wouldn’t seem so odd if it were not for where it sits: on the pavement just under one of Zaha Hadid’s flying concrete viaducts. The architecture of Hadid’s MAXXI suggests a series of highway overpasses crashing into one of the remaining buildings preserved on the former barracks site. The miniature service station with all its loaded petro-symbolism seems to fit perfectly under the shadows of this massive Ballardian road wreck.

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Jakob + MacFarlane Designs a Pair of Carafes for Ricard Pastis

International
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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Jakob + MacFarlane's Ridard Duo Carafe Set (Courtesy Pernod Ricard)

Jakob + MacFarlane’s Ridard Duo Carafe Set. (Courtesy Pernod Ricard)

Another week, another architect-designed liquor bottle. This time around, Paris-based architecture duo Jakob + MacFarlane—who made headlines over the summer with their tubular “Turbulances” project in France—have joined up with the manufacturer of their nation’s most popular pastis to create a pair chiseled, glass decanters.

The set of slender, carved-glass carafes, commissioned by Pernod Ricard, is color-coded and sculpted to represent the “authenticity” of the beloved aperitif. The pair—consisting of a clear, ice-like container for water and an opaque, yellow one for the liqueur—are packaged together in a punctured, swiss cheese–shaped box.

Bjarke Ingels Reinvents the Bridge as a Mountain of Landscaped Trails

City Terrain, International
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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(Courtesy BIG)

(Courtesy BIG)

The Swedish Transport Administration launched a conceptual design competition in 2011 for a new bridge in Skuru, Sweden. The competition received great national and international response, including one fanciful proposal by Danish firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The competition brief stated that the new bridge should adhere to high aesthetic standards and coincide with the existing bridge and the surrounding valuable cultural and natural landscape. Ingels deploys his characteristic hedonistic sustainability to bring nature onto the bridge itself.

Continue reading after the jump.

Testing Begins on Renzo Piano’s Dragonfly Wind Turbine Blade

International, Sustainability
Monday, October 28, 2013
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‘Dragonfly’ Wind Turbine (Photo: Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

‘Dragonfly’ Wind Turbine (Photo: Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

You might know Renzo Piano as the architect behind many of the world’s leading museums, but get ready to meet Renzo Piano, wind-turbine expert. Testing has commenced on Renzo Piano’s small-scale wind-turbine blade at the Molinetto Test Field near Pisa, Italy. Piano’s turbine blade resembles a dragonfly’s wing and incorporates elements from the insect that promote stability in flight in order to allow the turbine to tolerate gale-force winds.

Continue reading after the jump.

Power Couple: Gehry & Foster to Build at London’s Battersea Station

International
Monday, October 28, 2013
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Battersea Power Station (Flickr: Scott Wylie)

Battersea Power Station (Flickr: Scott Wylie)

Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners have been selected to design the third phase of the mixed-use Battersea Power Station development in London, which includes a retail pedestrian street that serves as the entryway to the complex. Gehry and Foster will collaborate on the High Street section, and each firm will design residential buildings on the east and west sides, respectively.

This will be Gehry’s first building in London. He will approach the project with the “goal to help create a neighborhood and a place for people to live that respects the iconic Battersea Power Station while connecting it into the broader fabric of the city.”

The iconic Battersea Power Station  has captured the imagination of everyone from furniture designers to rock stars. Take a look below at AN‘s roundup of 12 of the most amazing Battersea Power Station photos.

View the gallery after the jump.

Ultra-Sustainable Mushroom-Based Packaging Wins 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge

(Courtesy Ecovative)

(Courtesy Ecovative / Flickr)

Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, co-founders of Ecovative, want the world of material packaging to enter “The Mushroom Age” and they have the approval of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. Founded in 2009, the upstate New York company has developed biocompatible, strong, lightweight, and fireproof fungi-based packaging as a sustainable replacement for polystyrene foam, widely used but made of environmentally harmful plastics. In August, AN reported Ecovative’s Mushroom Packaging project as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge. This week, BFI awarded the entry first place in its $100,000 competition for socially responsive design.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York Post on Politically-Charged Public Space and Priestly Palaces

City Terrain, East, International
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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A pedestrian plaza in Manhattan. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

A pedestrian plaza in Manhattan. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

We don’t normally look to the New York Post for stories on architecture and planning. But while getting our shoes shined for tonights black tie Heritage Ball we had a chance to read the paper’s Late City Final. There in the middle of stories on JonBenet Ramsey, a lawyer “ripping a Jet Slugger,” and Lady Gaga’s thigh tattoo was a smattering of the latest in design spectacle.

Next to a story on Mitt Romney’s new 5,900 square foot “secret hideout” in Holiday, Utah (which will apparently feature a bookcase that swivels open and leads into hidden room), there is a long story on Midtown Manhattan street plazas that both Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota are apparently thinking of “yanking…out,” according to the paper.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> BIG Opens Underground Maritime Museum in Denmark

International, Newsletter, Pictorial
Thursday, October 24, 2013
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(Rasmus Hjortshõj / Courtesy BIG)

(Rasmus Hjortshõj / Courtesy BIG)

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has completed its latest cultural offering in its homeland: the Danish Maritime Museum in the city of Helsingør. Located a mere 1,600 feet from the historic Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the museum honors Denmark’s historic and contemporary role as a leading maritime nation. Faced with the challenge of establishing a fitting facade while preserving the views from the nearby castle, BIG principal Bjarke Ingels tucked the 65,000-square-foot museum 23 feet below grade by carving out space around an existing, decommissioned dry dock.

Continue reading after the jump.

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