Tag Archives: Urban

Urban Architecture: ‘2 Murray Road’, Hong Kong “$3 Billion Mega-Project”

Zaha Hadid Architects has revealed its design for the 2 Murray Road project for $3 billion Henderson Land, in the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district. Creating new civic plazas enveloped by nature, the urban oasis is located in proximity other iconic Hong Kong skyscrapers.

Replacing a multi-story car park, the development is connected to adjacent public gardens and parks, through an elevated base sheltering courtyards cultivated with trees and plants. These outdoor areas seamlessly flow into the communal spaces of the interior. Inspired by the structural forms and layering of a Bauhinia bud about to blossom, known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, the design generates a very wide span of naturally lit, column-free, Grade A office space with a 5-meter floor-to-floor height giving maximum flexibility.

The façade, designed to withstand summer typhoons, includes 4-ply of double-laminated, double-curved insulated glass units, in order to insulate effectively the building and reduce its cooling load as well as build resilience. Moreover, “hybrid ventilation is controlled by the building’s automated management system and enables all office levels to be naturally ventilated”. In fact, smart systems learn to accurately predict daily occupancy trends to optimize energy demand, ensuring increased efficiencies with lower energy consumption.

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Design Books: ‘The Ideal City – Exploring Urban Futures’ (Gestalten)

Urban life is humankind’s biggest experiment to date, our cities are constantly evolving and adapting to climate and economy. The cities we have today are not necessarily the ones we need, but big and small innovation is rethinking visions of urbanization.

Together with pioneering research and design agency SPACE10, we present future-orientated design which enhances quality of life and makes our urban spaces more vibrant.

As technology and urban life edge ever closer, The Ideal City explores the ambitious actions and initiatives being brought to life across the globe to meet tomorrow’s demand in clever, forwarding-thinking ways. From pedestrian infrastructure to housing, the book uncovers what is being discussed at the forefront of urbanism through expert essays and profiles.

SPACE10 is a Copenhagen-based research and design agency that is on a mission to enable a better everyday life for people and the planet. They specialize in innovation and future-living, often presenting models both for urban spaces or food that could lead to me a more sustainable future.

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Urban Design: “The Future Of Cities” (WSJ Video)

The coronavirus pandemic could have a lasting impact on city life. WSJ’s Jaden Urbi explores how the ways we work, shop and play are changing as urban designers refocus on health, tech and open spaces.

Illustration: Zoë Soriano

Cities & Society: The Changing Urban Landscape (Podcast)

Monocle WeeklyIn the first of a new series of The Monocle Weekly, Andrew Mueller hosts a panel discussion with leading academics and analysts in urbanism and sociology, taking a deeper look at the changing make-up of our cities and social structures.

Transit Design: “Double-Decker Driverless Tram”

Italian Designer Andrea PontiIsland is a double-decker driverless tram designed for the city of Hong Kong in the post-Covid era. This highly innovative design concept incorporates industrial design, transportation design, public design, urban mobility and sustainability.

Andrea Ponti Driverless Tram interiorThe project includes exterior, interior and tram stop design. With the Coronavirus pandemic, people are shunning public transport and relying much more on private transport. 

The name Island references the innovative design of the interiors, where large circular benches facilitate social distancing and passengers sit facing outwards in a radial pattern. The exterior design is inspired by the Hong Kong urban landscape, which features vast surfaces of glass and rounded-corner buildings. Natural light floods the interiors during the day through the curved windows and a domed top, which also provide awe-inspiring views at night.

The driverless technology optimizes the interior space of the tram, making it easier to manage travel times and increase onboard safety. The tram has a retractable connector for rapid charging at tram stops. Large vertical LEDs enhance visibility in all weather conditions. The interior design contrasts with the exterior.

Andrea Ponti Driverless Tram interior seating
Large circular benches facilitate social distancing as passengers sit facing outwards in a radial pattern.

Minimalist design, charcoal black walls, soft circular seating, wooden floors and trims with natural finish all create a neutral and friendly environment. This chromatic diversity, in addition to the dark color palette, frames and accentuates the beauty of the Hong Kong urban landscape.

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CITIES OF THE FUTURE: “The Link – A Conscious City-Forest For 200,000 People” (Luca Curci Architects)

The first smart city “conscious oriented”, that will prevent urban sprawl, produce and storage energy, improve air quality, increase urban biodiversity, and create a healthier lifestyle”. Arch. Luca Curci

With its 300 floors THE LINK will reach the maximum height of 1200 meters. The project combines sustainability with population density, and it aims to build up a zero-energy city-building. The city-forest is made of 4 main towers, connected one each other, equipped with green areas on each level, natural light and ventilation. 100% green transport systems. The vertical city allows its residents to get into a healthier lifestyle, in connection with natural elements, re-thinking the traditional concept of community and society.

The Link Luca Curci Architects 2020

Luca Curci Architects logoArchitecture firm Luca Curci Architects presents THE LINK, a vertical city for 200,000 people. The project aims to rise above the challenge of population density by successfully combining vertical expansion with economic innovation. A self-sustainable city-forest, that will absorb CO2, produce oxygen for cleaner air and increase urban biodiversity. With interconnected communities’ programs. No suburbs. Less poverty oriented.

Using an urban operating system with an AI (Artificial Intelligence), the vertical city will be able to manage the global city temperature, levels of CO2 and humidity, will control the global lighting system, and will storage extra energy produced by solar panels and other renewable energy resources.

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Interviews: 83-Year Old Danish Urban Designer Jan Gehl (Monocle 24)

The Urbanist PodcastAndrew Tuck brings you a special interview with Jan Gehl, perhaps the world’s best-known urban designer. Now 83, he’s waiting this pandemic out while isolating at home, enjoying spring from his garden.

Jan Gehl Hon. FAIA is a Danish architect and urban design consultant based in Copenhagen whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist. He is a founding partner of Gehl

Future Of Urban Housing: Stackable “OPod Tube Houses”, Hong Kong 2020 (Cybertecture Architects)

OPod Housing No.1 James Law Cybertecture Hong Kong 2020 Urban HousingComprised of 21 units of OPod Tube Houses, stack on 2 levels, the project is deployed on an unused urban plot in To Kwa Wan District of Hong Kong. Being a modular and flexible architecture, OPod Housing No.1 is able to be set up in less than 3 months, providing accommodation to 20 sets of residents with shared common kitchen and a co-living courtyard.

OPod Housing No.1 is social housing project providing accommodation to citizens of Hong Kong struggling to afford housing.

OPod Housing No.1 James Law Cybertecture Hong Kong 2020 Urban Housing

Each OPod Tube House is 140 sq.ft in size with private toilet and shower, food preparation area and living room with sofa bed. To facilitate a modern sustainable  lifestyle, the OPod Tube Houses are equiped with wifi and home automation for better management of resources. The project is scheduled to complete construction and open in 2020.

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Top Urban Architecture: Ancerl Studio In Toronto – Two Homes “Appear” As One On A Very Tight Lot

From a Dezeen.com online article (March 28, 2020):

Ancerl Studio Toronto Sorauren 116 - 118 Interior“The detached homes have been conceptualised to visually appear as one single volume defined by its traditional triangular architecture,” said the studio. “Only from up close will the observer notice a crisp breakpoint between the properties.”

Canadian firm Ancerl Studio has designed a pair of houses in Toronto to make them look like a single building.

Both properties include three bedrooms. In Sorauren 116, the master suite occupies the entire top floor of the house. A balcony opens from the bedroom towards the backyard, and the bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a spacious walk-through closet.

The two houses are located on very tight lots on Sorauren Street in the city’s Parkdale neighbourhood, as is typical in Toronto’s residential neighbourhoods.

Ancerl Studio Website

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