The Intempo skyscraper in Benidorm, Spainâ€”standing proud in this imageâ€”was designed to be a striking symbol of hope and prosperity, to signal to the rest of the world that the city was escaping the financial crisis. Sadly, the builders forgot to include a working elevator.
In fairness, the entire construction process has been plagued with problems, reports Ecnonomia. Initially funded by a bank called Caixa Galicia, the finances were recently taken over by Sareb â€“ Spainâ€™s so-called “bad bank” â€“ when the mortgage was massively written down.
In part, that was a function of the greed surrounding the project. Initially designed to be a mere 20 storeys tall, the developers got over-excited and pushed the height way up: now it boasts 47 storeys, and will include 269 homes.
But that push for more accommodation came at a cost. The original design obviously included specifications for an elevator big enough for a 20-storey building. In the process of scaling things up, however, nobody thought to redesign the elevator systemâ€”and, naturally, a 47-storey building requires more space for its lifts and motor equipment. Sadly, that space doesn’t exist.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the architects working on the project have resigned, and it remains unclear exactly how the developers will solve the problem. Can we recommend the stairs?
FI asks if this is future of airline websites. Â As you can expect, WestJet designers look at AirCanada’s website who is looking at United’s who just looked at WestJets. Â Industry sites often become less about the user and more about copying neat features from other sites. Â The same happens with city and all sorts of other websites. Â The end result is that Saskatoon’s new website will look like Edmonton, Toronto, and Chicago’s website and we go, “We’ve done a great job” because we are as cool as everyone else. Â Instead we need to be doing a process like this. Â Of course we don’t because while the end result isn’t the same, it’s not the same as Chicago, Edmonton, or WestJets.
If Saskatoon ever gets a CFL team (and sells our financial future in the process), I hope it looks like this (with grass instead of sand). Â You would have cattle grazing on the roof which would work well until they got spooked and came down over the roof during the middle of a key third down conversion. Â Then again, it could liven things up a bit.
Is this Dr. Evil’s newest secret lair? Actually, the “Rock Stadium” is a real concept for a sporting venue at Jebel Hafeet, a prominent crag located about 14 miles south of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi city of Al Ain. It’s not as ridiculous an idea as it initially may seem. Jebel Hafeet is not a barren, menacing peak like K2, but a popular tourist spot with a luxury hotel and pools fed by a natural hot spring. A stadium might fit right in geographically and socially: After all, the Emirati people love soccer (fine, football) just as much as anyone, welcoming the FIFA Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010 and the organization’s under-17 players this fall.
The stadium was designed by MZ Architects, a Middle Eastern firm with offices in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Lebanon and elsewhere. The architects started out wanting to build a stadium in the Al Ain desert, but once they visited the area they were struck by the imposing and regal form of the mountain, which reminded them of a Greek amphitheatre. So they decided the best plan would be to hollow out the stone, using natural hills for seating and a grand entrance that sinks into the ground like one of the mountain’s many caves.
Indianapolis-based Heartland Design is working on the $22 million Stadium Lofts project, which broke ground a year ago this month. â€œWe preserved quite a bit of the stadium,â€ said James Cordell, principal at Heartland, noting his belief that the project is the first conversion of a stadium to housing. â€œItâ€™s just a very unusual thing to do.â€
Bush Stadiumâ€™s stone art deco entrance and flanking brick walls have been incorporated into the new building, and the stadiumâ€™s steel canopy forms the roof. The existing structure has been shored up and windows added to the brick walls. To create space for a wood-frame structure housing 134 residences on three stories, the team removed the stadiumâ€™s staggered concrete seating platforms and support girders.
Bush Stadiumâ€™s unique shape, it turns out, makes for varied apartment layouts. â€œThere are some very bizarre units in this building that we expect will appeal to young professionals and students,â€ said Cordell. A new glass-and-metal panel wall opens on to the former baseball diamond, with balconies overlooking the infield. Third-floor units will feature tall ceilings with exposed, original steel girders.
Fast Company has a feature on a great sustainable housing project in Houston.Â Row on 25th is a re-invention of the American Row house.
The Fordsâ€™ new company, Shade House Development, builds sustainable townhomes in downtown Houston. Shadeâ€™s flagship project, Row on 25th, was profiled in the February issue of Dwell. The row of townhomes in Houston Heights, a hip-ish downtown neighborhood, is a study in careful compromises–both economically and environmentally. “We feel there is a real desire for this kind of living,” Matthew told me recently over email. “We, as a firm, try to look beyond spread sheets and historical data to offer solutions for problems people may not even know they have.”
Back in 2011, the Fords (working with an investor friend, the airport developer Holden Shannon) bought a plot of land in the Heights and built a single town home on it. Shannon stayed in the unit whenever he was in town, making suggestions about the design that ultimately led to the final, revised layouts for the other eight homes they planned to build on the site. The two-story, 1,900-square foot homes are simple and light, with silhouettes inspired by Hugh Newell Jacobsen, a champion amongst vernacular American architecture fans. “The simplicity and privacy offered by Row is in direct response to the complexity and loss of privacy we are all experiencing due to being interconnected and ‘onâ€™ all the time,” Ford adds.
As I was walking home I noticed the south side of the Holiday Inn and I was stunned that whoever built the building was able to get away with how these panels look. Up close it looks like adhesive (you can see trowel marks on it) but it really looks horrible. I am biased against the building (I find it ugly and it kills street life) but it makes me wonder if the outside of the building looks this bad, what is the inside of the building going to look like.
Ugly architecture, no street life, and a flawed finish. It fits right in with a lot of other buildings in downtown Saskatoon.
The City is inviting Calgarian’s of all ages to use their imaginations and creativity to play with an iconic toy that will help turn stations into places.
In an effort to design communities that require less time behind the wheel of a car, you’re invited to show us what you think Transit Oriented Development (TOD) could look like by building miniature communities using LEGO building blocks.
Transit oriented development (TOD) is a walkable, mixed-use form of community development located within a 600m radius of a Calgary Transit Station (LRT or BRT), creating convenient, accessible and vibrant neighbourhoods for residents and visitors.
Our first of several TOD events scheduled throughout the summer attracted hundreds of ‘builders’ and observers, and no two designs were alike.
In case you wonder how Switzerland has kept itself from being invaded over the years, here is how.
McPhee points to small moments of "fake stonework, concealing the artillery behind [them]," that dot Switzerland’s Alpine geology, little doors that will pop open to reveal internal cannons that will then blast the country’s roads to smithereens. Later, passing under a mountain bridge, McPhee notices "small steel doors in one pier" hinting that the bridge "was ready to blow. It had been superceded, however, by an even higher bridge, which leaped through the sky aboveâ€”a part of the new road to Simplon. In an extreme emergency, the midspan of the new bridge would no doubt drop on the old one."
It’s a strange kind of national infrastructure, one that is at its most rigorously functionalâ€”one that truly fulfills its promisesâ€”when in a state of cascading self-imposed collapse.
I could easily over-quote my way to the end of my internet service here, but it’s a story worth reading. There are, for instance, hidden bomb shelters everywhere in an extraordinary application of dual-use construction. "All over Switzerland," according to McPhee, "in relatively spacious and quiet towns, are sophisticated underground parking garages with automatic machines that offer tickets like tongues and imply a level of commerce that is somewhere else. In a nuclear emergency, huge doors would slide closed with the town’s population inside."
Describing titanic underground fortressesâ€”"networks of tunnels, caverns, bunkers, and surface installations, each spread through many tens of square miles"â€”McPhee briefly relates the story of a military reconnaissance mission on which he was able to tag along, involving a hydroelectric power station built inside a mountain, accessible by ladders and stairs; the battalion tasked with climbing down into it thus learns "that if a company of soldiers had to do it they could climb the mountain on the inside."
In any case, the book‘s vision of the Alps as a massively constructedâ€”or, at least, geotechnically augmented and militarily amplifiedâ€”terrain is quite heady, including the very idea that, in seeking to protect itself from outside invaders, Switzerland is prepared to dynamite, shell, bulldoze, and seal itself into a kind of self-protective oblivion, hiding out in artificially expanded rocky passes and concrete super-basements as all roads and bridges into and out of the country are instantly transformed into landslides and dust.
Luc Ferrandezâ€™s last bicycle was a Kona, a sturdy model with thick tires, ideal for hauling heavy loads. During his 2009 campaign as the Projet MontrÃ©al candidate for the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, he would hook it to a trailer piled with a laptop, a projector, a collapsible screen, and (this being Montreal) a couple of bottles of rosÃ©. After setting up his equipment next to a cafÃ© terrace, he would distribute paper cups and launch a PowerPoint slide show of streets and squares in Copenhagen, Paris, and Madrid, as well as historical photos of local boulevards, all unencumbered by traffic. He figures it was these partys de trottoir, or sidewalk partiesâ€”during which he made the case that Montreal could be as clean, green, and safe as any place in Europeâ€”that won him the mayoralty of the cityâ€™s most populous district. His mountain bike, alas, didnâ€™t survive the campaign.
â€œI was having a discussion with a citizen,â€ recalls Ferrandez. â€œI left my bike against a wall, unlocked. When I came back an hour later, it was gone.â€ These days, his main mode of transportation is an Opus, which has the upright handlebars and broad saddle of a bike you would expect to find leaning against a canal-side railing in Amsterdam.
I like his philosophy
â€œI accept that some people think Iâ€™m the devil!â€ Ferrandez shouted over his shoulder, making a right onto rue de BrÃ©beuf. â€œFor them, the Plateau doesnâ€™t exist. It is just a place to be driven through. I donâ€™t give a shit about these people. Theyâ€™ve abandoned the idea that humans can live together.â€
Ferrandezâ€™s vision of what the borough is, and could be, seems almost exalted. â€œThe Plateau is an Italian cathedral. Itâ€™s a forest. Itâ€™s something to protect, something sacred. I donâ€™t want it to become a place where people come to live in a condo with triple-glazed windows for a couple of years. This has to be a place where people can be comfortable walking to the bakery, walking to school, walking to the parkâ€”where they want to stay to raise a family.â€
The Atlantic Cities has a fantastic post about excellent design and homeless shelters.
Sometimes when Theresa Hwang is visiting a project site, maybe the 102-unit Michael Maltzan apartments rising from the corner of East 6th Street and Maple Avenue on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, pedestrians will stop and gawk and inquire about whatâ€™s coming.
"What are you building?" they invariably want to know.
"Can we move in?"
"Well," Hwang then responds, "are you formerly homeless?"
And this always throws people for a loop. Hwangâ€™s organization, the Skid Row Housing Trust, has been renovating and providing permanent supportive housing for the city’s homeless for more than 20 years. But more recently, dating back to a first collaboration with Maltzan about eight years ago, the Trust has been building its own developments that remarkably mimic market-rate condos. Really striking market-rate condos.
The strategy is built on the idea that high design matters for the homeless, too, because it changes the dynamic between these buildings and their residents â€“ and between both of them and the communities in which theyâ€™re located. Nothing can deflate the NIMBYism that inevitably accompanies social housing quite like a building that looks like this:
Compare this to how we build shelters in Saskatoon and the rest of Canada. Design makes a difference in mental health and these designs are spectacular.
I was on Pinterest for the first time today and I saw this fundraising idea by Hope Mission and it absolutely made my day. I want my own set.
They actually inspired me so much I went out and bought my own button maker.