Architecture Billings Index in October enters Q4 with modest uptick

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cp/cpti0u6e9ztbph2c.PNG?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cp/cpti0u6e9ztbph2c.PNG?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cp/cpti0u6e9ztbph2c.PNG?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cp/cpti0u6e9ztbph2c.PNG?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em>After a stand-alone month of contracting demand for design services, there was a modest uptick in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for October. [...] October ABI score was 51.7, up from a score of 49.1 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms [...]. The new projects inquiry index was 60.2, up from a reading of 59.0 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased slightly from 52.9 to 52.8.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>&ldquo;As we enter the fourth quarter, there is enough design activity occurring that construction conditions should remain healthy moving through 2018,&rdquo; said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. &ldquo;Extended strength in inquiries and new design contracts, along with balanced growth across the major building sectors signals further gains throughout the construction industry.&rdquo;</em>
The AIA reports these key Continue reading "Architecture Billings Index in October enters Q4 with modest uptick"

After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 2 — Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1j/1j7qd2gpktu6kwet.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1j/1j7qd2gpktu6kwet.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1j/1j7qd2gpktu6kwet.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1j/1j7qd2gpktu6kwet.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" />For Archinect's <em><a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1041807/after-the-storm" rel="nofollow" >After the Storm</a></em> mini series, we had reached out to various architecture schools in Puerto Rico to get a better understanding how the recent Hurricanes <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1008449/hurricane-irma" rel="nofollow" >Irma</a> and <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1022210/hurricane-maria" rel="nofollow" >Maria</a> &mdash; and the devastation they left behind all over the region &mdash; had impacted school facilities, academic infrastructure, and student life.<br>
In Part 1, we interviewed Mayra Jiménez-Montano, Interim Architecture Dean at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan.
In this second installment, we're talking with Luis V. Badillo-Lozano, Dean of the School of Architecture at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, the island's second largest city.
Archinect: How have the recent hurricanes Maria and Irma impacted the school's daily operations and student life? Have school facilities and infrastructure been affected? Luis V. Badillo-Lozano: Neither Hurricane Irma nor Maria had a big impact on our School's facilities. Some water infiltration through the roof and a crack Continue reading "After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 2 — Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico"

Three-story segment of Robin Hood Gardens acquired by V&A Museum ahead of demolition

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/na/na657qvprzvwrhrd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/na/na657qvprzvwrhrd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/na/na657qvprzvwrhrd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/na/na657qvprzvwrhrd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>A three-storey chunk of an east London council estate that is venerated and despised in almost equal measures has been acquired by the V&amp;A.
The museum announced it had made one of the most unusual property deals in its history: rescuing an enormous chunk of the Robin Hood Gardens estate, complete with walkway and maisonette interiors.



Completed in 1972 and considered an icon of brutalist architecture — representing the good and the bad traits of the movement, depending on the perspective — the Tower Hamlets "Robin Hood Gardens" council estate is being demolished. By salvaging an intact piece of the building designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, the V&A seeks to preserve an significant moment in history.

LafargeHolcim & Heliatek present photovoltaic concrete cladding system

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cc/cc1rxwn73nbaj51m.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cc/cc1rxwn73nbaj51m.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cc/cc1rxwn73nbaj51m.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/cc/cc1rxwn73nbaj51m.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>Photovoltaic (PV) concrete cladding is set to outperform rooftop solar, according to LafargeHolcim, which has developed a fa&ccedil;ade system with partner Heliatek.
The team said that the photovoltaic energy-generating concrete facade has the capability to double the energy generation traditionally achieved by roof-based solar systems.



"A prototype of this new photovoltaic facade system will be presented at Batimat, the French construction fair in November, and a pilot project is planned in 2018," LafargeHolcim writes in a recent announcement.

How a 1980s flood regulation protected many newer homes in Houston during Hurricane Harvey

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/a2/a2hj3nqhkmjsnf10.png?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/a2/a2hj3nqhkmjsnf10.png?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/a2/a2hj3nqhkmjsnf10.png?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/a2/a2hj3nqhkmjsnf10.png?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>No other major metropolitan area in the U.S. has grown faster than Houston over the last decade, with a significant portion of new construction occurring in areas that the federal government considers prone to flooding.
But much of that new real estate in those zones did just fine, a Times analysis has found.



The City of Houston, notorious for its relative lack of zoning codes, did in fact take future flooding into account and mandated that new homes were to be built at least 12 inches above flood levels predicted by the federal government. "The 1985 regulation and others that followed," the LA Times writes, "proved widely effective in their biggest test to date — the record-setting rains of Harvey."

After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 1 — University of Puerto Rico

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" />Several weeks have now passed since Hurricanes <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1008449/hurricane-irma" rel="nofollow" >Irma</a> and <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1022210/hurricane-maria" rel="nofollow" >Maria</a> consecutively ravaged through the Caribbean and southern states and territories of the U.S., leaving behind a trail of destruction and overwhelming infrastructural challenges. Puerto Rico was hit particularly hard &mdash; in terms of human loss, damage to homes, businesses, and life-sustaining networks like power grids, communication systems, water supply, wastewater treatment as well as the subsequent long-term health dangers and the ongoing exodus of professionals and their families.
We have reached out to Puerto Rico's architecture schools to get a reading on the current state of architectural education on the island in the wake of the storms and how faculty, staff, and students manage to cope with the new circumstances. Since most school websites were still down until recently and spotty power and internet supply made using the official .edu email systems near impossible, much of the communication Continue reading "After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 1 — University of Puerto Rico"

After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 1 — University of Puerto Rico

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" />Several weeks have now passed since Hurricanes <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1008449/hurricane-irma" rel="nofollow" >Irma</a> and <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1022210/hurricane-maria" rel="nofollow" >Maria</a> consecutively ravaged through the Caribbean and southern states and territories of the U.S., leaving behind a trail of destruction and overwhelming infrastructural challenges. Puerto Rico was hit particularly hard &mdash; in terms of human loss, damage to homes, businesses, and life-sustaining networks like power grids, communication systems, water supply, wastewater treatment as well as the subsequent long-term health dangers and the ongoing exodus of professionals and their families.
We have reached out to Puerto Rico's architecture schools to get a reading on the current state of architectural education on the island in the wake of the storms and how faculty, staff, and students manage to cope with the new circumstances. Since most school websites were still down until recently and spotty power and internet supply made using the official .edu email systems near impossible, much of the communication Continue reading "After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 1 — University of Puerto Rico"

After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 1 — University of Puerto Rico

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/l2/l2t0mh545b8lqg5q.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" />Several weeks have now passed since Hurricanes <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1008449/hurricane-irma" rel="nofollow" >Irma</a> and <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/1022210/hurricane-maria" rel="nofollow" >Maria</a> consecutively ravaged through the Caribbean and southern states and territories of the U.S., leaving behind a trail of destruction and overwhelming infrastructural challenges. Puerto Rico was hit particularly hard &mdash; in terms of human loss, damage to homes, businesses, and life-sustaining networks like power grids, communication systems, water supply, wastewater treatment as well as the subsequent long-term health dangers and the ongoing exodus of professionals and their families.
We have reached out to Puerto Rico's architecture schools to get a reading on the current state of architectural education on the island in the wake of the storms and how faculty, staff, and students manage to cope with the new circumstances. Since most school websites were still down until recently and spotty power and internet supply made using the official .edu email systems near impossible, much of the communication Continue reading "After the Storm: Puerto Rico’s Architecture Schools in the Wake of Hurricane Maria; Part 1 — University of Puerto Rico"

China tests driverless bus guided by sensor tracks in the road

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/tu/tu7vqqou1lihxvaf.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/tu/tu7vqqou1lihxvaf.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/tu/tu7vqqou1lihxvaf.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/tu/tu7vqqou1lihxvaf.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>The Hunan city of Zhuzhou is currently testing out an unmanned train that doesn't run on rails. You know, like a bus.
The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) is being dubbed by Chinese state media the "world's first smart rapid rail bus," whatever that means. The train/bus (trus?) was first shown off in June this year. It uses sensors to determine the dimensions of the road and make a virtual track for itself to ride along.



At first glance, Zhuzhou's Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit system that's currently being tested promises to enjoy a brighter future (and less ridicule) than the Traffic Elevated "car-eating" Bus that the City of Qinhuangdao announced to much fanfare last summer — only to find it stalled and eventually discontinued just a few months later.

Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi opens

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gc/gcrutwya87hzeebh.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gc/gcrutwya87hzeebh.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gc/gcrutwya87hzeebh.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gc/gcrutwya87hzeebh.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em>The Louvre Abu Dhabi has finally opened its doors a decade after the agreement between the French and Emirati governments was signed to establish the mega-museum on Saadiyat Island. [...]
An underwhelming entrance via a nondescript car park might be improved in years to come by an adjoining garden. “It should appear in a few years,” Nouvel said, adding that this was dependent on funding.



The museum's Instagram video shows the installation of Giuseppe Penone’s sculpture ‘Leaves of Light’ and the beautiful movement of the spots of light coming through the structure's massive dome.
© Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photography: Mohamed Somji
Also watch Jean Nouvel describe his design for the "first universal museum in the Arab world" in a brief video interview here.

Heating your home with…bitcoin mining?

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gw/gwcdauwwv7pc54nv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gw/gwcdauwwv7pc54nv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gw/gwcdauwwv7pc54nv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/gw/gwcdauwwv7pc54nv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>Two entrepreneurs have figured out how to heat their homes for free: bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin transactions require a lot of processing power, which creates a lot of heat. So Ilya Frolov and Dmitry Tolmachyov built a wooden cottage in the Russian Siberian town of Irkutsk, and they’re heating it with two bitcoin mines. The men pocket about $430 a month from bitcoin transactions, while keeping the 20 square meter space warm.



ArtCenter College of Design presents 15-year master plan designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture & Tina Chee Landscape Studio

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/kj/kjy57jf6al9mq348.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/kj/kjy57jf6al9mq348.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/kj/kjy57jf6al9mq348.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/kj/kjy57jf6al9mq348.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em>The ArtCenter College of Design continues to move forward with a 15-year master plan for its two Pasadena campuses, with the release of a draft environmental impact report for the project.&nbsp; At completion, the Michael Maltzan- and Tina Chee Landscape Studio-designed expansion would increase the school's total enrollment from 2,000 full-time students to 2,500 full-time students, and its total staffing from 753 faculty to 994 faculty.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The City of Pasadena informs on <a href="https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/planning/art-center-college-of-design-master-plan/" rel="nofollow" >its web page</a> dedicated to the master plan project: "The ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter) proposes a 15-year Master Plan (the Project) that focuses growth on its South Campus, while providing for infrastructure improvements and building renovations on its Hillside Campus. The Project would be implemented in two phases, with Phase I occurring in the first five years of the Master Plan and Phase II occurring in the final ten years."
Image: Michael Maltzan Architecture, via Continue reading "ArtCenter College of Design presents 15-year master plan designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture & Tina Chee Landscape Studio"

PHOTOS: Gaudí’s first house, the exuberant Casa Vicens, is opening to the public for the first time

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ez/ezo65awurcpn0lcl.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ez/ezo65awurcpn0lcl.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ez/ezo65awurcpn0lcl.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/ez/ezo65awurcpn0lcl.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em>Brand Barcelona&rsquo;s comeback begins with a contribution from its heaviest hitter: Antoni Gaud&iacute;. Almost a century after his death, the architect of La Sagrada Familia is still synonymous with the city. On 16 November, Gaud&iacute;&rsquo;s first house, Casa Vicens, begun in 1883, will open permanently to the public for the first time.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With tourism considerably down due to mass demonstrations and political unrest, Catalonia's capital <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/12026/barcelona" rel="nofollow" >Barcelona</a> is hoping to lure more visitors back when a stunning architectural gem in the Gr&agrave;cia district opens to the public on November 16: Casa Vicens, a summer house for wealthy industrialist Manel Vicens i Montaner, was the first important commission that the young, and then-unknown, architect <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/4579/gaudi" rel="nofollow" >Antoni Gaud&iacute;</a> received in 1883 &mdash; and it would shape the trajectory of all his architectural work to come. <br>
Learn more about Casa Vicens, and the meticulous restoration that took place over the past months, on its official
Continue reading "PHOTOS: Gaudí’s first house, the exuberant Casa Vicens, is opening to the public for the first time"

Royal College of Art submits Herzog & de Meuron’s designs for its new Battersea South Campus to London city council

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/sb/sbe21trqpw76o3m7.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/sb/sbe21trqpw76o3m7.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/sb/sbe21trqpw76o3m7.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/sb/sbe21trqpw76o3m7.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em>The Royal College of Art (RCA) has submitted proposals to Wandsworth Council for a &pound;108 million state-of-the art building for postgraduate students and entrepreneurs, which will secure the RCA&rsquo;s future in Battersea and deliver new studios, workshops and incubator units required to support its future growth.&nbsp;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Exactly one year ago,&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/firms/cover/577/herzog-de-meuron" rel="nofollow" >Herzog &amp; de Meuron</a> was announced as the <a href="https://archinect.com/news/article/149978078/herzog-de-meuron-will-design-royal-college-of-art-s-battersea-campus" rel="nofollow" >competition-winning architects</a> for the <a href="https://archinect.com/schools/cover/34763280/royal-college-of-art" rel="nofollow" >Royal College of Art</a>'s new &pound;108 million Battersea South campus. The project, sitting adjacent to RCA's&nbsp;existing Dyson, Woo and Sackler Buildings, reached another milestone this week with the College submitting the proposed designs to Wandsworth Council.
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

Books! Books everywhere! MVRDV completes Tianjin Binhai Public Library

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/28/28x84nf9zhaygttv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/28/28x84nf9zhaygttv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/28/28x84nf9zhaygttv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/28/28x84nf9zhaygttv.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><a href="https://archinect.com/firms/cover/327/mvrdv" rel="nofollow" >MVRDV</a>, in collaboration with local architects Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, has completed the much anticipated <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/768198/tianjin-library" rel="nofollow" >Binhai Public Library in Tianjin</a>, China, and first photos reveal a mountainous topography of curved bookshelves creating an amorphous atrium that holds a spherical auditorium inside its center like a precious pearl within the rugged oyster shell. <br>
While renderings from last summer still depict "The Eye" as a volume with a polished, mirrored surface — with the intent of creating a 360 degree panorama that also pulls the image of the park in front of the building into the interior of the atrium — the photos now show the auditorium skin as luminous, almost paper-like translucent. Read on for more images and a project description from the architects.
© Ossip van Duivenbode
Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in a record-breaking time
of only three years due to a tight schedule imposed Continue reading "Books! Books everywhere! MVRDV completes Tianjin Binhai Public Library"

Seoul’s first architecture biennale: "A kind of experimental laboratory of urban governance"

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/pm/pmb0zim520gdwuen.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/pm/pmb0zim520gdwuen.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/pm/pmb0zim520gdwuen.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/pm/pmb0zim520gdwuen.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>From Zaha Hadid&rsquo;s bulbous plaza to a &lsquo;library&rsquo; of flora planted across a skygarden, the South Korean capital is using its architecture festival to look to the future &ndash; and atone for the costly sins of the past</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Guardian</em> architecture critic Oliver Wainwright is in South Korea's capital reporting from the inaugural <a href="https://archinect.com/news/tag/11458/seoul" rel="nofollow" >Seoul</a> Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. "There are over 200 biennales already, so we had to do something different," he quotes the event's curator&nbsp;Hyungmin Pai. "We see it as a kind of experimental laboratory of urban governance, not just for Seoul, but for cities around the world."<br></p>            

Renderings released for 300 Biscayne, Miami’s future tallest tower

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/fv/fvj93mtcpli1s9wp.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/fv/fvj93mtcpli1s9wp.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/fv/fvj93mtcpli1s9wp.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/fv/fvj93mtcpli1s9wp.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em>300 Biscayne, one of several planned towers that would be Miami&rsquo;s tallest at 1,041 feet above ground, has launched its website and unveiled a batch of exterior renderings, notes The Next Miami. [...]
Another large residential project comprised of nearly 700 “smart apartments” is planned to rise next door at 400 Biscayne by the same development team, Greybrook Realty Partners and Property Markets Group.



Downtown Miami may soon gets its very own supertall stacked-boxes tower; and at a height of 1,041 feet, 300 Biscayne can — according to its website — claim the title of "tallest residential tower south of New York."
Rendering: ArX Solutions
Rendering: ArX Solutions
Rendering: ArX Solutions
All images via the project's website.

New York Wheel faces enormous challenges to become viable

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/op/opc5cg2djo79aay1.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/op/opc5cg2djo79aay1.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/op/opc5cg2djo79aay1.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/op/opc5cg2djo79aay1.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>Work has ground to a halt at the New York Wheel, a massive attraction that developers say will help turn the St. George Ferry Terminal into a bustling tourist destination. The latest projections put the wheel&rsquo;s price tag at $590 million, more than twice initial estimates. The developers concede there have been setbacks, but they say they are still on firm financial footing and expect the project to succeed.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Building an audience from scratch for a new, expensive attraction on Staten Island's North Shore where visitors are also willing to spend $35 per ride to recover the half-billion-plus-dollar investment will be a steep challenge, <em>Crain's</em> reports: "To break even, the wheel likely needs to attract closer to 3 million visitors annually at $35 per head, judging from the developers' previous comments and information from Hunden Stratetgic Partners."</p>            

French architects are increasingly ditching concrete and embracing timber

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/jb/jbtrpc1ch99998xq.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/jb/jbtrpc1ch99998xq.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/jb/jbtrpc1ch99998xq.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/jb/jbtrpc1ch99998xq.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>Spurred by concerns over climate change and the negative impacts of concrete manufacturing, architects and developers in France are increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes.
Concrete was praised through much of the 20th century for its flexibility, functionality, and relative affordability. [...] Today, however, wood is lauded for its smaller environmental footprint and the speed with which buildings can be assembled.



Muslim-built Taj Mahal in the crosshairs of Hindu nationalists

            <img srcset="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/y4/y4912owi75rkg3gd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650 1x,https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/y4/y4912owi75rkg3gd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=2 2x, https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/y4/y4912owi75rkg3gd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650&dpr=3 3x" src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/y4/y4912owi75rkg3gd.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=650" border="0" title="" alt="" width="650" height="" /><em><p>Times are tough for India&rsquo;s monument to love. Air pollution is turning its marble surface yellow. Restoration work is obscuring its famous minarets. Tens of millions of tourists still flock to Agra each year, but numbers are reportedly waning.
Critics of the Taj Mahal are also growing increasingly bold. In past months, religious nationalists in the Hindu-majority country have stepped up a campaign to push the four-century-old Mughal monument to the margins of Indian history.



"Resentment at the fact the country’s most recognisable monument was built by a Muslim emperor has always existed on the fringes of the Hindu right," The Guardian writes. "But those fringes have never been so powerful."