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Walt Disney World Ride Suffers Construction Setback, Insiders Say

Although Disney keeps quiet about their construction projects—going so far as to own their own company to build in their resorts and theme parks—industry insiders suspect significant damage on the construction site of the upcoming Disney World "Guardians of the Galaxy" roller coaster.

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New Director to Oversee Construction of World's Most Powerful Observatory

The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Construction project named Dr. Željko Ivezić, a member of the International Scientific Council of the University of Rijeka in Croatia, to be its project director. Ivezić has been part of the program since 2018 when the institution named him Deputy Director in charge of data management, education, and public access.

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$500 Million "COVID-19 Conscious" Skyscraper Gets Funding in Miami

Developers plan to finish converting a Miami skyscraper intended for medical tourism into the first COVID-19 conscious residential, hotel, and medical center.

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Architects Are Finding a New Place to Ply Their Trade—and It Doesn’t Involve Builders

Science fiction literature historically draws on metaverse concepts. Recent innovations, such as Facebook’s name change to Meta and the announcement of their metaverse, have inspired architects to build new creations—virtually.

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Students Learn About Architecture Careers with Gingerbread Houses

Three organizations teamed up to present "Gingerbread Architecture: The Sweet Elements of Design," a class for students interested in architecture and engineering. The Stearns History Museum, Morrison County Historical Society, and Rethos: Places Reimagined held the class, all based in central Minnesota.

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Building-Integrated Photovoltaics Manufacturer Mitrex Trying to Go Mainstream

For years, construction technology companies have experimented with building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Mitrex Integrated Solar Technology says this new tech can go mainstream.

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Opposition Grows To “Prison-Like” Dorm Project

UC Santa Barbara students opposed construction of a building expected to house 4,500 students; some refer to it as a prison. The architect resigned in the cloud of a student petition that already contains over 12,000 signatures.

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West African Architects Are Choosing Mud Bricks Over Architecture

West African builders found promise in an ancient material after decades of neglect. Long gone builders used mud bricks in Burkina Faso and Morocco. Modernization replaced these bricks with concrete. Now, architects seek to return these cities to their roots.

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New York Begins Construction on $107 Million “Living Barriers” to Combat Rising Seas

On the southern tip of Staten Island, a new project aims to fight rising sea levels and install anti-flooding structures. In September of this year, the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery began work on what they’re calling “Living Barriers,” breakwaters made up of eight massive rock piles.

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Filipino Company Turns to Ancient Material for Safe and Sustainable Future

For architect Earl Forlales, living in a bamboo house is second nature. "Filipinos have been using bamboo (for housing) even before colonial times, for thousands of years," he says.

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Paris Skyline Will Be Changing with Controversial Pyramid

Decades ago, French citizens spat on architect I.M. Pei in the streets of Paris for building the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre. Likewise, some French citizens and activists contest constructing a new glass pyramid—but this one is 42 stories tall.

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Fodor’s Names Its Most Notorious Construction Projects

Foder’s, a famed international travel guide, cites notorious construction phenomena. Whether by poor site selection, lousy building materials, or oversights in architectural design, each of the guide’s featured buildings manifests spectacular problems.

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How the Great Chicago Fire Changed the City’s—and the World’s—Architecture

One hundred fifty years after the inferno that swept Chicago, architects and historians explore the city’s rapid rebuild. They want to understand the fire’s impact on both Chicago’s landscape and national construction trends.

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Chicago Biennial Creates Architectural Oases on Vacant Lots

The fourth Chicago Architect Biennial wants to connect contractors and architects to turn Chicago's run-down vacant lots into an "architectural oases." Plans include vegetable gardens, community pottery centers, and outdoor art exhibitions. Planners will use vacant land with high crime potential for all projects.

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China’s Contest to Name Ugliest Buildings Comes on Heels of Government Decree

China cites a contest, which began all in fun, as an argument to decree against “ugly” architecture.

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Modular Home Construction Has Gone High Class

Most think of modular home development as high production of low-cost structures. But a report in The Real Deal cites a movement toward high-end customers in this space. Modular construction entices luxury buyers with quick turnaround times.

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Famed Manhattan Skyscraper Developer Sued for $125 Million, Plus Damages

In a complaint filed last week, the condo board of 432 Park Avenue says that more than 1,500 construction errors, some deemed to be “life safety issues,” riddle their 96-story building. The building once stood as a media darling with celebrity tenants such as Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.

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San Francisco’s Millennium Tower Halts Construction as it Begins Sinking Again

The controversial 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco, CA, continues to sink. As of February 2020, the tower had sunk 17 inches since it first opened in 2009. Recent readings show that, despite construction efforts to reinforce the building, it has descended another inch.

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In Anticipation of 20th Anniversary, Construction Industry Historians Reflect on World Trade Center

As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, television stations and websites plan a flurry of retrospectives and oral histories. Many will feature the original workers, engineers, and owners who built the World Trade Center. History.com released an article about the 10-year-long construction effort; some of the highlights include:

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Apple and Google Preparing Massive Construction in San Jose Despite Pandemic Setbacks

Tech giant Apple intends to construct a new campus complex in San Jose that will cover 85 acres and include their north office. The building site contains a semi-permanent homeless encampment currently. Apple pledged to help the city deal with its homeless population.

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Biometric Architecture Uses Biological Processes to Enhance Modern Structures

While architecture has always been built to resemble the natural world, biometric architecture, an emerging field in the industry, is looking to the way living flora and fauna thrive as a way to enhance construction. The architects in this field look at everything from mollusks to fungus for better ways to build.

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Critics Say “Smart” Buildings Are Not as Eco-Friendly as They Appear

The commercial real estate industry focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability. For example, a recent report shows that the smart building automation software and systems industry reached $20.5 billion in North America. Still, the focus is on the operational phase of the building’s life cycle, not the construction phase.

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Architecture Billings Index Indicates More Construction In Pipeline

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) released its report for May 2021, showing that the demand for architectural services is at a record high. The ABI measures demand through tracking signed contracts. It hit 58.5 in May, up from 57.9 in April. (Anything above 50 indicates an increase over the previous month. Anything lower than 50 marks a decrease.)

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Architect Wins Pulitzer Prize for Uncovering Chinese Forced Labor Camps

Alison Killing, the first architect to win the Pulitzer prize, used her knowledge of construction and engineering to identify sites of forced labor camps in China. Killing, from England and now living in Rotterdam, studied architecture and engineering at Oxford. She took part in a community design program called 24 Hour Urban Action. The program studied architecture’s link to death camps throughout world history. In 2018 she met Megha Rajagoop, a journalist who had visited one of the camps; Killing decided to use her expertise to find more.

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More Information Rolls in About Construction Red Flags At Surfside Disaster

A 2018 report noted significant flaws in the South Champlain Tower in Surfside, Florida, which collapsed nearly ten days ago. NPR exposed a series of presentations given to the residents in both the North and South Champlain Towers in the fall and winter of 2020. The major takeaway was, "we have to do all this right now."

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Modular Construction Hits the Big Time But Has Historic Roots

Builders chatter about modular construction, particularly over the past few years. Even Warren Buffet entered the market with an ambitious venture into the technology. A new report projects modular construction to be worth $114 billion by 2028.

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Construction Begins on Vertical Solar Dam in the Alps

The Swiss discovered a new way to get energy out of their dams, not through hydroelectric power. Axpo, a Switzerland-based company, partnered with power provider IWB, to use the broad, curved wall of the dam as a vertical surface for solar panels. The project's complexity lies in installing the panels 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) above sea level in the Alps.

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Warren Buffet’s New Take on Modular Housing: Make it Like IKEA

Danny Forster Architecture, a New York firm, has partnered with MiTek Inc, a company owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, to create the Modular Activation Platform (MAP); they intend to solve some of the main problems with modular construction.

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Controversial New Legislation Seeks to Protect From Wildfires

Californians face the increasing severity of wildfires at the beginning of fire season. The Los Angeles City Council seeks to slow fires with a new proposal: City Building Code Fire District 1 Expansion. This initiative expands fire safety measures in dangerous neighborhoods, such as Silver Lake and Pacific Palisades. The proposal severely limits the use of wood framing in large buildings (over 150,000 square feet).

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Architectural Booms May Signal Economic Slowdowns

While great economic times foster magnificent architecture—society builds few massive edifices during food shortages—two rising theories posit that booms in architecture could indicate a coming economic bust. More than that, one such theory blames architecture itself for the downturn.

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"No Demand": Big Cities Can't Replace Offices with Apartments

With demand for office space in many big cities—from Melbourne to New York City to London—at significant lows, some housing advocates push to turn empty office space into residential apartments. Office vacancy rates in New York City reached 13.2% in March.

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The Link Between Architecture and Archaeology

Architecture thrives on a combination of multiple disciplines, such as structural engineering and quantity surveying. Many architects view archeology as a discipline of emerging importance to their craft. Designers use archaeology as a vehicle for sustainability and heritage.

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Improving Urban Design to Promote Public Health

While many solutions to the pandemic appear easy—washing hands, wearing masks, and social distancing—much in urban design and architecture complicates strict guidelines adherence. How do you stay six feet apart if a sidewalk or a corridor is only four feet wide? What about pressing the button to cross the street or ride the elevator while trying to avoid high-touch areas?

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Patents Shaped Early 20th Century Architecture

Can architects patent or trademark their designs? Many debate the question of architectural ownership. Some designers find contentment in public recognition of their buildings as landmark achievements; Others seek documented claims on their work. The 1852 English Patents Reform and the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty introduced pathways to protect architects' and designers' IPs.

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Ancient Architecture Just as Impressive as Modern

Architectural masterpieces such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chunnel to the Burj Khalifa, and the Shanghai Tower may give the impression that modern design and capabilities surpass our ancestors' achievements. However, ancient architecture, impressive in its sheer ambition and logic-defying construction, competes with modernity based on its intricate beauty.

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Green Home Renovation Trends

Last year’s Lockdown and quarantine translated into a spike in home renovations, both in DIY projects and professionally done remodels. Many homeowners integrated green-home concepts into their plans: between March 2020 and March 2021, Google searches for “green home renovations” increased 112%. ConstructionGlobal analyzed Google search volumes to scrutinize the most significant trends.

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COVID Money and Insights Coming to New School Construction

Two bills, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December, set aside $190.5 billion to help schools. This money could represent significant changes in the architecture of future schools.

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Teenager Becomes Unlikely Architecture Evangelist

One expects the most influential new voice in architecture to be a New Yorker columnist or a BBC critic. Not so. It seems a teenager with 2.8-million followers on her TikTok account tops the list.

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Pritzker Architecture Prize Goes to Public Housing Transformation

Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, usually reserved for more fanciful and exciting architectural projects, for their more humble, yet no less impressive, transformative work: Grand Parc towers in France’s suburbs. City planners had scheduled the towers for demotion along with most of the area’s 1960’s-era concrete slab housing—artifacts from the country’s communist past. Lacaton and Vassal disagreed with the decision to flatten the buildings. Their philosophy is: “Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform and reuse.”

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3D Printed Buildings Hit Big Milestones

Three recent projects show innovation in 3D printed building. The first comes from Austin, TX, where the public can purchase the first American 3D printed homes. A development project in the California desert comes in second, where builders have announced the first 3D printed housing community. A Tennessee credit union that features a 3D printed façade takes the third spot.

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California Construction Company Intends to Send Tourists to Space

With more companies and countries getting a toe-hold into space, it's only natural that a massive construction project intends to make big profits from future tourist space travel.

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Architecture Contributes to Better Food Supply

In her book, Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating (2019), Robyn Shotwell Metcalfe refers to the paradox of catching fish in New England, exported them to Japan, then shipping them back as sushi; this reveals a large and complex network, invisible to those who order Japanese takeout.

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London Architect Starts Architecture Travel Business Despite Pandemic

Having resigned from his job before the pandemic, architect Ross Logie had a lot of time on his hands during London’s lockdowns. He says the extra time gave him a chance to reevaluate his priorities.

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Drawing on Ancient Technology, Architecture Firms Self-Cool Urban Buildings

Around the world we have seen rising temperatures, growing to record numbers nearly every year of the last decade, and it’s got some entrepreneurs in India thinking: could we use ancient cooling techniques in modern structures?

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Three Interior Architecture Trends for 2021

Much has been written (even on this blog) about changes coming to architecture due to the pandemic. The 2021 building season indicates what consumers and designers desire for American homes in the future. The residential market reveals three immediate and significant architectural trends.

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ANIME ARCHITECTURE Shows Parallels Between Classic Anime Films and Future Architecture

A new book from Thames and Hudson, ANIME ARCHITECTURE, edited and curated by Stefan Riekeles, showcases the history of architecture present in classic anime films going back into the 1980s. The book frames the prescient nature of filmmakers’ views of the future and even poses an idea of forthcoming architecture.

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$2.4 Billion Highway Tunnel Construction Unearths Amazing Finds Near Stonehenge

Visitors to England’s Stonehenge admire the magnificent and breathtaking vistas. Still, even spending a short time on site, it’s difficult not to notice the mass of traffic just a few hundred feet away. Although Stonehenge sits on a vacant land plot, a nearby road, built in the 19th century, acts as a major thoroughfare through the region. In 2020, the government conditionally approved the construction of a massive tunnel to silence highway noise.

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Amazon Makes the News Again This Week, This Time For Architecture

Aside from Amazon’s other major news, including Jeff Bezos’s decision to step down as CEO, the online behemoth made waves in the architecture community on Feb 2nd when it unveiled plans for an Arlington, Virginia office complex.

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New York City Faces One of Its Largest Facelifts in Modern History

Of the five boroughs of New York City, perhaps none is as infamous as Riker’s Island, a 413-acre island that houses one of the country’s largest prisons. The New York City Council has marked Riker’s Island as a target for tear down and renovation; most New Yorkers agree with this sentiment.

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Modular Construction Makes Industry Safer for Workers

In recent years, the construction industry has migrated toward modular construction. COVID-19 has escalated this shift. The data indicates an increase in worker safety for companies who use this type of construction.

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Construction of Ice Palace Begins in Saranac Lake, New York

An entirely different kind of construction project is just getting underway in the small town of Saranac Lake, NY. On January 28, 2021, volunteers began cutting more than 256 large blocks of ice from the lake in a ten-day-long project to build a Winter Carnival Ice Palace.

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Number of Skyscrapers Completed in 2020 Down 20%

2020 saw 106 new skyscrapers (buildings that stand over 200 meters in height) compared to 133 in 2019. This structural decline takes its place as the lowest since 2014.

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Architects Foresee Changes Coming to Hospitality Construction

Forbes recently interviewed several major architecture firms to discover what these men and women envision for the future of the post-COVID-19 hospitality industry. Answers to the question varied, but all had a few things in common: more social distance, less contact, and more overt cleanliness. While it might not seem shocking, the specifics of their visions are interesting.

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Architecture Digest Envisions Changes Coming to Residential Design

A new article from Architectural Digest envisions a post-COVID world influenced by what we have learned during long months of lockdown. The article poses four theories regarding the future of residential construction and design, inspired by lockdown conditions.

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Boston Zoning Change to Require Net-Zero Emissions from New Buildings

Following the Carbon Free Boston report in 2019, city officials are making carbon-neutral plans by 2050. Emissions from buildings account for more than 70% of the city’s emissions, Boston feels it’s time to clear the air.

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Massive Manhattan Construction Project Moves Madison Square Garden and Penn Station

A massive construction project in Midtown Manhattan has advanced one stage closer in the approval process. The project would not only build two “supertall” skyscrapers; it would move Madison Square Garden and convert the former Garden into a spacious Penn Station.

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Urbanization and Megacities: The New Future

As the year ends, futurists are making predictions about what is coming next for the world. One of the most significant speculation areas, and indeed one aspect that most futurists agree upon, is that population growth will drive more urbanization, and cities will have to deal with more and more people.

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Construction, Architecture Work Hand-in-Hand with Game Design

According to the Financial Times, the world of game design—referring specifically to video games—is taking a page from construction and architecture. It continues to expand and become more lifelike. It all comes down to how space is used, and then extrapolating from there into questions like: will the doors open in or out? Is there enough light? Where will people gather?

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How China Built Two Covid-19 Hospitals in Less Than Two Weeks

In early 2020, while the coronavirus was still restricted to China, the country moved at a lightning pace to quarantine Wuhan and combat the virus. The construction industry is now looking at how the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) managed to build two hospitals from the ground up in less than two weeks and what we can learn from their speed.

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Should Wooden Construction Be Considered Sustainable?

The publication Arch Daily recently published an op-ed questioning the long-held belief that using wood in construction is a more sustainable, more environmentally-friendly method. Wood is a renewable resource, which other materials, like steel and concrete, are not. It also contributes less of a carbon footprint during production: steel and concrete factories are notoriously bad for their emissions, while lumber milling is far less.

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Construction Footprint at Sea Up to 32,000 Square Kilometers

Whether we’re looking at undersea tunnels, or bridges, or communication cables on the seafloor, human-made structures are encroaching on the seas and oceans at an ever-increasing rate. A recent study from Nature Sustainability has estimated that humankind has now built over 32,000 square kilometers or 12,000 square miles.

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Ways the Pandemic is Reshaping Urban Design

Even though reports of promising vaccines have emerged in recent weeks and there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, many people look at the future through a very different lens than they did before Covid-19 hit in March. The ways that people want to live and work are changing in significant ways.

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Designing for a Flooded Future

Climate change poses a threat that governments and city planners are starting to take seriously: according to a 2019 study, the global sea level could rise anywhere from two to seven feet by 2100. At today's population levels, that would displace more than 190 million people, a number that will only go up. "If our findings stand, coastal communities worldwide must prepare themselves for much more difficult futures than may be currently anticipated," the study warned.

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Japanese Artist and Modelmakers Renew Interest in Castle Construction

Two pieces of art have emerged simultaneously, which have spurred Japanese national interest in reconstructing that nation’s largest wooden castle, which was destroyed in a fire 360 years ago. The Edo Castle tower, built-in 1457, burned down in the Great Fire of Meireki, which burned down 60% of the capital city Edo (now Tokyo) in 1657. While much of the large castle structure remains intact, the iconic tower was destroyed and never rebuilt.

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Russian Lakhta Center Named Skyscraper of the Year

Emporis has revealed the winner of its annual Skyscraper Award, which recognizes the best in design, construction and innovation in structures worldwide. This year, honoring skyscrapers completed in 2019, the company has named the Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, chosen from more than 700 buildings submitted to the competition.

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New Study Shows Majority of All Demographics Prefer Traditional Architecture

This year, a leaked memo from the white house titled “Make Federal Buildings Great Again” stirred up controversy. The memo decided that all federal buildings will use classical or neoclassical style in their building processes and that particular styles, like brutalism and modernism, were to be avoided.

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New Details Emerge About Massive Rail Project Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas

A new website has launched for a new public high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with details emerging about the line's construction, known as Brightline West.

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Deafness and Other Disabilities Shaping Our Architecture

Jeffrey Mansfield, a design director who was born Deaf, is keenly aware of how some architecture serves to set the disabled free and some stifles and traps them. Influencing work at the MASS Design Group put him on course to enter a multi-year course of research exploring how deafness has shaped space (or been shaped by it). For his work, he was recently awarded the Disability Futures Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.

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Annual Architecture-Themed Pumpkin Carving Competition

Celebrating New York’s Architecture and Design Month (referred to as “Archtober”), one of the activities (of 70 planned for this month) is the 10th annual Pumpkitecture Pumpkin Carving Competition. Because of the virtual forum this year, anyone and everyone is invited to participate.

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Did Mental Disorders Give Us Modern Architecture?

According to an article published in Common Edge titled “The Mental Disorders that Gave Us Modern Architecture,” the history of modernism was an idealistic impulse that arose from the “physical, moral and spiritual wreckage of the First World War.”

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Construction at Disney World Hasn’t Slowed Despite Pandemic

Two major construction projects at Disney World show signs of life despite the slow and unsteady construction in the non-residential sectors, and especially despite the desperately dire conditions of Disney profits due to the closure of the majority of their theme parks.

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Tiny House Architecture Competition Call for Entries

The Tiny House Movement has been going for more than a decade. Recent world events have motivated some architects, builders and homeowners to build small, and a new competition is inviting any and all designers to make their mark.

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Lessons to Learn from Chinese Architecture

Some cultures have architectural traditions that go back millennia (the first known architect in the world was Imhotep, who lived in Egypt in the 27th Century BC). It may be surprising to learn that China, which has a strong tradition of magnificent buildings, did not build with single architects or masterminds until the Ming Dynasty (roughly 1350-1650 AD). Before that, structures were created by a collective of builders and designers. This means that even the famed Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China were not overseen by a single master planner, but separated into small projects collaborated upon by teams of craftsmen.

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Autonomous Construction Grabs Attention Post-COVID

We’ve been writing about the labor shortage in construction for years. Still, when the coronavirus struck, and things were being locked down and socially distanced, new interest arose in what’s known as autonomous construction.

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Pandemic Will Shape the Future of Construction in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is facing tough economic times, and the construction and architecture communities are rallying to see how to address the future of the City of Angels. According to architect Karin Liljegren of Omgivning, an architecture, and design firm, Covid-19 has exposed many deep-rooted problems in Southern California. Among them, the health crisis, the climate crisis, and the racial crisis.

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Construction Planned for “Space Station of the Sea”

Calling to mind images from The Abyss or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, undersea adventurer Fabien Cousteau (son of legendary Jacques Cousteau) is planning the Proteus, the first undersea research station to be built in 34 years. Jacques Cousteau, who once lived in an undersea research station as an “oceanaut” for 30 days, dreamed of a day when living and studying under the waves would become commonplace. And new plans may be taking us one step closer to that dream.

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COVID Meets Climate Change as Architecture Turns to Medieval Solutions

Though air conditioners have long been the primary method of keeping cool, Covid-19 has taught us two things: we need more fresh air than we’ve been getting, and recirculated air means recirculated germs. And when we push our air conditioners harder and harder to keep buildings cooler, we’re producing a bigger carbon footprint.

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3-D Printing Pioneer Has Sights on Texas Neighborhood

Icon, a startup based in Austin, Texas, made news (and an appearance in this blog) last year when it became the first company in the world to 3-D print an entire neighborhood. The project took place in Mexico, creating small two-room homes as part of an affordable housing effort to help the homeless. The $35 million experiment was such a success that the company has raised a further $44 million in funding to bring their work to America.

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New 3D Printing Technology Prepares for Construction—on Mars

In an effort to produce a more carbon-friendly concrete material, Texas A&M University has developed a 3D printing technology that not only has implications for construction here and now, but is thought to be one of the most viable ways to implement construction on Mars.

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European Architect Group Urges Renovation, Not Demolition

In a campaign organized by the European Architect’s Journal and backed by 14 Sterling Prize winners, a new push is being made to get businesses to renovate existing buildings rather than tear them down and rebuild—to fight climate change.

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Architecture, Bellwether of Future, is in Flux

The architecture industry, which has long been looked at as a predictor of what the future holds, not just for construction but for the economy at large, is making some exciting moves as it recovers from Covid-19.

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New Startup Claims to Automate 80% of Construction Work

A new company, Mighty Buildings, has quietly been gaining $30 million in funding from a combination of investors, including Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, SV Angel, CoreVC and more. The company has made the eyebrow-raising claim that it can automate as much as 80% of the construction process.

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Massive Bombing in Beirut Leaves Architecture and Construction Industries Worried

For a country with such a chaotic past, including several recent violent rocket engagements with Israel, Lebanon has had a surprising amount of highly-developed architecture. Add to that the historic nature of the city and its many ancient buildings, and you’ve got a wonderland of architectural design. That could all be gone permanently, however, following this week’s devastating explosion.

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Architecture Firm's Vision of a Manhattan Without Cars

As densely packed as Manhattan is, it might surprise you to learn that 30% of the city's square footage is dedicated to roadways. But according to studies, less than half of New York residents make use of that space, as they don't drive and don't take taxis.

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The Architecture Drawing Prize Entries Open

The World Architecture Festival announced on July 22nd the new Architecture Drawing Prize call for submissions. The prize, which was new in 2017, celebrates the skill and innovation of architectural drawing, both by hand, by computer, and hybrid drawing. The point of the award is to honor the way that architectural drawings—not necessarily blueprints, but all forms of architectural drawing, including elevations, artists’ renderings, re-imaginings, cutaways, perspective views, and anything related—influence the world of architecture, construction and art.

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How Diseases Shaped Architecture in the Past

An in-depth article in The New Yorker last month described the history of modern architecture and came to the conclusion that much of what we view as “modern sensibilities” can be traced back to the tuberculosis epidemic of the early 20th century. Specifically, a groundbreaker was the 1933 Paimio Sanitorium, a hospice for tuberculosis patients in Finland, designed by Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto, was a big shift away from the 1920s and 1910s. What had been the norm: dark buildings lit with lamps and fires, covered with fabrics and draperies, was all gone. The new sanitorium was “rigidly geometric, with long walls of expansive windows wrapping its façade, light-colored rooms, and a wide roof terrace with railings like the ones on cruise ships—all the hallmarks of what we now know as modernist architecture.” In fact, this rigid geometric shape and long expansive windows can describe just about every skyscraper being built for the last seventy years, in true Bauhaus tradition.

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Is Architecture the Canary in the Coal Mine?

We’ve heard conflicting reports over the past several months—sometimes the forecast is dire and other times it’s positive. But one area where there is definite suffering is in the architecture sector, which many consultants believe is the proverbial canary in the coalmine of construction: after all, if architects have nothing to design, then what is there to build?

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World’s Tallest Mass Timber Building to be Built in Australia

Australian software company Atlassian is putting its new headquarters in a mass timber and steel 40-story building, which will be the world’s tallest “hybrid tower.”

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3 Architecture Firms Proposing New COVID Testing Units

Despite all the re-openings of the economy and the lifted restrictions, COVID is still with us, and testing continues to speed up, not slow down. But testing is in so much demand, especially in hard hit states like Arizona and Texas, where lines for drive-thru testing can be hours long, that many are looking for alternative testing sites.

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12 Architecture Reforms to Recreate Innovative, Smart Construction

In a new book about architecture education, Draw in Order to See: A cognitive history of architectural design, author Mark Hewitt takes the stance that architecture education is in need of reform, resulting in structures that are inefficient, unimaginative, and don’t properly suit form or function. In the book he lays out twelve reforms that he says architecture schools should implement—some of which are being taught here and there, but none of which are mandated by national National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) standards. These twelve reforms are:

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Good Construction vs. Good Social Media: Building in the Era of Instagram

ArchDaily recently tackled a topic that may seem odd at first, but which they make a solid case for, providing a surprising amount of evidence to deal with: architecture and construction are being driven not just by form or function but by photographability, to accommodate the culture of Instagram and Pinterest.

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What You Need To Know About Becoming an Architect

Architecture is an exciting field—behind every building there is a whole team of architects working on each and every detail. If you’ve ever looked at blueprints and thought “I could do that” or looked at a building and said “Why not me?” then this article is for you.

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Bamboo Still has a Central Role to Play in Construction

A material that has been used for millennia in construction doesn’t show any signs of stopping being useful in the modern era. Used for everything from scaffolding to bridges to waterways to entire buildings, bamboo has been used in Asia and South America for thousands of years. It has many benefits, not the least of which are that it’s very strong, very flexible, and grows extremely quickly.

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Architecture for Emergencies: Is Pre-Fab Better, or On-Site?

While damage control and preparation is becoming an increasingly important factor in planning our cities, certain extraordinary circumstances are something we can’t plan for but which require quick architectural responses that offer aid to those affected—and often the difference is life and death.

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China Bans “Copycat Architecture” and Supertall Skyscrapers

A new policy, put forward by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, has decreed that so-called “copycat architecture” or architecture plagiarism is strictly prohibited. It also severely limits the height of skyscrapers.

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Evolo Magazine Names Healthcare Emergency Skyscraper First Place

In the annual Evolo design competition, this year focused on skyscrapers, the magazine made a timely decision to name the Epidemic Babel the 2020 winner. The skyscraper, which is designed by Chinese architects in response to the COVID-19 crisis, is designed to be built at a moment’s notice at the site of an outbreak—a kind of pop-up hospital that can take mass casualties.

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8 Ways COVID-19 is Changing the Jobsite

The construction magazine Construction Dive took an in-depth look at what is coming down the pipeline for jobsites in a post-coronavirus world. It listed eight things that it said will changing in coming months and years—some of which will be temporary but some of which will be permanent.

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Construction Begins on World’s Largest Soccer Stadium

Even as America is reeling from COVID-19 and wonder about the future of sports—both in the short and long term—as we come to struggle with the future where social distancing, masks, and large gatherings are all questions on the tips of our tongues, a $1.7 billion soccer stadium is being constructed in China. When completed—estimated to be in 2022—it will be the largest soccer stadium in the world, including 100,000 seats and 162 boxes.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Homes Opened for Virtual Tours

Frank Lloyd Wright is undeniably the grandfather of architecture in America, considered by many to be America’s best and most influential ever. Architects, builders, and even just art lovers travel to see his buildings like a pilgrimage, and many of even his lesser-known works have been turned into small museums dedicated to him and his Prairie Style.

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Using Architecture to Fight a Pandemic

In 2006, in Tugela Ferry, South Africa, an extremely virulent, drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis raged through a hospital—and the building was partially to blame. The hospital was not designed for infection control. The transmission of the disease was through particles suspended in the air, inhaled by patients in a poorly ventilated building with overcrowded waiting areas.

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