Touring The World Of Architecture: Week 44

by | 01. Nov 2013

Article | News

By Jakob Harry Hybel

Once again, we have kept an ear to the ground for what has happened in the architectural world this week. First off, a few of many exciting proposals for creating a hurricane resilient New York. Then, another spectacular skyscraper from BIG gets approval, Banksy lashes out at OWTC, architects playing with LEGOs and finally, a short but informative video about the history of the highrise.

Have a great weekend from all here at arcspace.

And as always, please feel free to tip us on any news you feel is worthy of a mention or let us know about future events at:


Top Story

Rebuild by Design. Image by OMA

After the Storm

The one-year anniversary of hurricane Sandy that caught New York City and the rest of the US North-East region completely off guard, is a fitting occasion to reflect on what might be done to prevent such a degree of unpreparedness in the future.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of initiatives. Last week, we reported that White Architects won the FAR ROC competition, but the list keeps growing.

On the small scale, Operation Resilient Long Island has just announced winners of their Comprehensive Coastal Communities idea competition and on a larger scale, the first phase of a regional design competition Rebuild by Design – with proposals from prominent names such as BIG and OMA amongst many others – have just been concluded. All of these aim to turn New York into a resilient megalopolis.

See a select few of the inspiring and creative proposals below.

Rebuild by Design. The Big “U” by BIG

Rebuild by Design. Infrastructure Catalyst by OMA

Rebuild by Design. Living with the Bay: Options for Southern Nassau County by Interboro Partners

Comprehensive Coastal Communities. Adaptive Urban Habitats by Mixed Paper. Winning proposal.


This Week’s Win

week-44-big-s-beach-howe-tower-wins-approval-in-vancouver.jpgBeach + Howe Tower. Image © BIG

BIG Continues Winning Streak

These days it seems that every week means another huge win for BIG. Another one of their twisting skyscrapers has just been green-lighted, this time in Canada. The 52-story Beach + Howe Tower in Vancouver features over 400 residential units on top of ten stories of commercial space.

BIG has always had a weakness for all things tall and twisting, as evidenced most recently by their design for The Grove at Grand Bay, not to mention all things iconic – and after having designed landmark buildings all over the States, the Great White North now wants a piece of the action.

See the project at BIG’s website.


Another Story

week-44-One-World-Trade-Center.jpgPhoto by Joe Mabel (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons

Banksy Takes on One World Trade Center

The SOM-designed skyscraper nearing completion at the Ground Zero site in New York has been no stranger to controversy, but the latest bashing comes from an unlikely critic, namely the prolific street artist, Banksy.

Banksy, who recently has taken temporary artistic residency in New York City, mourns what he calls a New York’s biggest eyesore and “shy skyscraper”, with no sense of purpose.  Banksy is known for his witty remarks and commentaries, but usually he prefers painting on walls. The fact that he chose to utter his dismay in the form of an op-ed this time, could suggest that the yet unfinished building is something of a thorn in the side of the elusive Brit.

Read the entire Banksy op-ed here.


Friday Fun

week-44-SHoP-architects- LEGO.jpgFuturistic cityscape by Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects. Photo by Gregory Reid

It might be the only children’s toy, which you are allowed to play with as an adult and not have people looking at you funny. Everyone, young and old, welcomes the chance to play around with LEGOs – and architects, especially so! Over at WIRED, they decided to send a set of building blocks to three known architects and asked them to go nuts.

Here, you can see what happens, when architects are truly allowed to play.



This Week’s Video


A Short History of the Highrise

Watch an interactive documentary about 2,500 years of vertical living. Created with footage from the New York Times archives, the short documentary is narrated by Canadian musician Feist. Enlightening and wonderfully quirky.

via /nytimes