Apple is building an amazing new campus with Norman Foster that is estimated to cost $5 billion–a billion dollars more than the new World Trade Center complex. That is due to an Apple-like attention to detail: 3.7 miles of curved glass will wrap around the building, concrete ceilings will be carefully cast then lifted into place, museum-grade stone-infused flooring will replace standard concrete, and most infamously, gaps between surfaces promise not to exceed 1/32 of an inch (vs. the U.S. build standard of 1/8 of an inch).
There are miles to go before ground is broken, but plans for the redevelopment of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site took a significant step forward Thursday when plans won the provisional approval of the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board.
The site, at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue NW, functioned as a water-filtration plant until the 1980s and has been eyed for redevelopment almost since the day it closed. The most recent effort has been underway since 2006, when a city commission selected a group of developers known as Vision McMillan Partners to begin exploring redevelopment options. Under its current arrangement with the city, VMP is now embarking on the process of preparing the land for development in exchange for the first right to purchase the land once that “entitlement” process is complete.
Arguably the biggest buzzword in urbanism right now is the ‘Smart City’. The idea, although certainly inclusive of eco-friendly practices, has even replaced “sustainability” as the major intent of cities planning for positive future development. Smart City thinking has been used successfully in countries as diverse as Brazil, the US, the UAE, South Korea, and Scotland (Glasgow just won a £24million grant to pioneer new schemes throughout the city).
But what exactly are Smart Cities? What benefit do they bring us? And, more importantly, how can we best implement them to secure our future?
The answer, in my opinion, lies in the hands of architects.
This appears to be an outstanding multi-modal project that has definitely set the bar high for major metropolitan cities planning similar projects for the future. Hopefully they will take their cue from some of the ideas and strategies employed in the design and development of this project.
We’ve looked at drawings of a lot of splashy futuristic structures, but here’s one that’s actually underway as a grand public space in an American city: San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center, a transit hub for eleven different public transit modes.
Aside from the undulating glossy facades, the most striking feature is the roof, a green public park with native-plant gardens, footpaths, cafes, an amphitheater, playgrounds, and a fountain running most of the structure’s 4-block length. That sits on top of four levels of transit access.
Empowerhouse, DC’s first passive house, celebrated its completion today and will be welcoming its first residents in January.
The home was originally constructed on The National Mall by a team of students from Parsons The New School for Design, The New School for Public Engagement, and Stevens Institute of Technology during the Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathalon. After the event ended, the home was moved to 4609 Gault Place NE (map) in Deanwood, where it was completed as a two-family home.
Hopefully we will hear more about other city agencies that will be engaged in the planning, programming and overall community development of this vastly important New Communities Initiative!
The D.C. Housing Authority has launched its search for a master planning and development team that will oversee the $400 million transformation of the Barry Farm neighborhood in Southeast.
Barry Farm, a New Communities project, includes 1.13 million square feet of developable area on 26 acres generally bounded by Firth Sterling Avenue, Suitland Parkway, Wade Road and the St. Elizabeths west campus. Within the boundaries currently are 432 units of low-income housing (in townhouses and apartments) all owned by DCHA, plus seven vacant lots owned by the District government.
Gensler Design 632m Shanghai Super Tower
Published on 18-08-2008 by Skyscrapernews.com
Gensler Architects has won an international competition to build what will be one of the tallest buildings in the world on Shanghai’s Pudong Peninsula, the main cluster of skyscrapers in the city.
Called the Shanghai Center, the dimensions of the building according to the planning documents are massive. The steel structure will rise to 632m wrapped around a 565.6 metre tall central concrete core. In total it will have 127 stories, a gross internal area of 558,806 square metres with interior space will be given over to offices, a luxury hotel and retail.
The scheme sits on a mere 30,370 square metres, plot Z32 which has long been expected to feature the tallest building in the entire cluster of buildings. Once finished, the Shanghai Centre will line up with the Jin Mao Building and Shanghai World Finance Centre to create a nascent row of supertall towers.
The design is tiered into 8 levels above ground with floor-plates, approximately the shape of triangles, creating the base of each tier that in front has an outer glass façade wrapped around it rather like a burito that gently tapers in and out creating a subtle zoomorphic appearance.
Recessed deeply from the external façade are the main floors, creating an area in between that containing huge atriums. These will have their space used to turn it into a bioclimatic tower, complete with trees as much as ten metres tall that can help naturally regulate the cooling of the building between its double skin.
The scheme is topped by a viewing platform and observation areas that will have a huge hollow space on the inside of it open to the elements paying homage to the void located near the top of the Shanghai World Finance Centre.
Work by the development consortium founded to build the scheme, the Shanghai Center Ltd , is to start to December 2008 with completion in 2014. Once finished it will be China’s tallest building.
I wasn’t too sure how in the world can a Governor stick his finger in the local municipalities review and approval of a project? Some of my co-workers tried to explain the political influence that often goes on with projects of this nature and size. I found it odd that the Governor would publicly “announce” hie intentions! O-Kaaaaayy!
While techies are anxiously awaiting the new iPhone 5, governor Jerry Brown announced that Apple’s massive new Cupertino campus in California is now approved for fast track. The new Foster + Partners-designed headquarters, which to many resembles a massive doughnut, spaceship or iPhone or iPad button, has therefore scored “streamlined treatment” as it undergoes the requisite environmental review processes.
Last night, Martine Combal from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning gave ANC 4B and interested residents an update on the plans for the massive Walter Reed redevelopment project, to be located on Georgia Avenue between Aspen Street and Fern Street NW map.A quick primer on what is in the works. The expansive plans on the boards feature 3.1 million square feet of development, including 90 townhomes, 1,864 multifamily units and more than 100 homes for homeless veterans. Retail is also planned, including perhaps a Wegman’s, and the site will have two bilingual charter schools one Spanish-English, one Chinese-English and a Howard University ambulatory care center. The new development would also have a number of energy-efficient elements: green roofs, solar panels, cisterns, and a goal of being net-zero by 2030. There could also be some park-like areas and planners are considering building a streetcar to connect the development to a nearby Metro station.