Adam Nowek

Illuminating The Bay

The Bay Lights by Leo Villareal

Public art installations involving lights are always illuminating and celebratory. Whether it’s an interactive installation over English Bay as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver or a lit heart in the middle of Times Square, light has the power to change how we perceive space in a moving way. Artist Leo Villareal is taking the moving part pretty seriously with his proposed installation for San Francisco. The project, dubbed ‘The Bay Lights’, proposes to install 25,000 LED lights on the west span of the city’s Bay Bridge in time for its 75th anniversary.

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Reacting To Disaster: The Reaction Housing System

Reaction Housing System

Move over shipping containers: modular housing just got stackable! The Reaction Housing System was recently unveiled as a new solution for emergency architecture. The houses are small units referred to as Exos, and are designed to host up to four people each. The simple design manages to incorporate all of the necessary elements for a home: sewage, lighting, water, and climate control, all within a compact space.

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  • Recreating Space: Vancouver And The Viaducts

    Vancouver's Viaducts: A Bold New Concept

    Many cities, especially those in North America, continue to struggle with the legacy of massive freeway systems. While Vancouver was largely able to resist major freeway development during the 1960s and 1970s, a couple of intermittent elements of the freeway vision remain in the city, including the Granville Street Bridge (which Bjarke Ingels’s new tower proposal hopes to re-envision) and the Georgia + Dunsmuir Viaducts in False Creek. The viaducts have been a major topic of debate in the city for years considering the controversy surrounding their construction, but only now are serious proposals coming close to reality.

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    Temporary Dorms For Burmese Refugees

    Temporary dorms for Burmese refugees

    Continuous refugee flows from Burma have resulted in massive demographic changes in Southeast Asia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that around 140,000 Burmese refugees are currently living in neighbouring Thailand. As such, small Thai villages continue to swell in size as human rights continue to be ignored on the other side of the border.

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  • Sweet Dangle: Suspended Architecture In Liverpool

    Bridging Home

    Talk about an unsettled view. As part of Liverpool’s biennale, artist Do Ho Suh decided to suspend part of a house in between two existing structures. Even though a description of the materials used in the piece seems relatively mundane (“Steel structural frame with sub timber frame, Filcor 45 FRA EPS bounded to 19 mm marine plywood, painted finish”), the result is a jolt when we consider what an alley normally looks like.

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    Clone City: Austrian Village Erected In China

    Chinese clone of Halstatt, Austria

    This one is less about pop-up urbanism and more about something that recently just popped up in a pretty seemingly random place. Namely, Austria in China. There’s been a remarkable amount of media coverage about this development, from science and technology magazines and architecture blogs to mass media distributors and major state media corporations, reporting on an identical clone of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Austria’s Hallstätter See. Not a single detail was left out on the perfect simulacrum, including building details and major monuments. Simulacritecture at its absolute finest, one could say.

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    Making City: Catalogue Of The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

    IABR Catalogue

    Over the past couple of months, we’ve written a fair amount on the 5th International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (you can see our overview of the IABR here). There’s been a lot going on in the contemporary world’s architectural heart as part of the 5th version of the IABR, including a rooftop farm, a pop-up urban village for surfers, and an exhibition about art interventions in Douala. In addition to all the happenings across town, the curators of the IABR have put together a nice catalogue of the exhibits that we’re excited to be giving away three copies of the catalogue to our lucky readers!

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