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Infrastructure

The 2,940-m long Taizhou Bridge has won the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence at this year's Structural Awards. The event gives the nod to a variety of structures across numerous categories, but it was the three-tower, long-span suspension bridge, the first of its kind, which received the overall "Supreme" gong. Read more about the project and the individual category winners after the cut. Read More
Of all the questions one might like to ask Manuel Domínguez about his architecture thesis project, why he called it Very Large Structure is probably low on the list. Domínguez' concept depicts compactly planned cities atop vast mobile structures, capable of crawling to new locations as the needs or desires of the populace dictate. The idea clearly recalls Ron Herron's Walking City essay for Archigram in 1964, and though Domínguez cites that as an inspiration, he says it's just one among many. Real-world technology seems to have been the main influence. Read More
The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space. Read More

If all goes according to plan, in two years The Netherlands will have the world’s largest nationwide network of EV fast-charging stations. It was announced this week that by 2015, there should be over 200 such stations along Dutch highways, leaving no resident farther than 50 km (31 miles) from a charge-up at any time. Read More

Architectural Association School of Architecture student John Naylor has envisioned a new and sustainable future for suburbs of Haiti's capital Port au Prince, following the earthquake which devastated the country three years ago. Dubbed "Bamboo Lakou," Naylor's proposal calls for sustainably-sourced bamboo to be used to jump-start the creation of a new infrastructure which is wholly Haitian in character. Read More

Swappable batteries might seem like a good idea to overcome the range limitations of electric vehicles, but the benefits of such an approach weren’t enough to save Better Place, the company responsible for the first commercial implementation of a battery-switching service. Read More

Plans are afoot to build a high tech mini-city outside the city of Paris, France. Like all good grandstanding architectural schemes, the task of designing a 0.8-sq km (0.3-sq mile) retail, leisure and culture park was put to a competition. This was won by a team including Bjarke Ingels Group (aka BIG) which has outlined its vision for a mixed use, green-roofed development dubbed EuropaCity, which looks something akin to a crashed, overgrown UFO. Read More
Thanks to advances in technology, we now pretty much take it for granted that if we wanted to, we could start up our own digital publication, produce and distribute our own documentary, or fabricate our own small plastic items. One area that has yet to really become democratized, however, is traffic counting. Perhaps that’s not way up there on your personal list of things that you wish you could do for yourself ... but then again, you’re probably not part of the target market for TrafficCOM. Read More
Engineering firm ARUP has asked us to imagine the building of the future in its latest Foresight publication. In the article entitled “It’s Alive,” the design team envision a city building in the year 2050 that includes flexible modular pods, urban agriculture, climate-conscious facades and intelligent building systems. ARUP hopes the proposal will ultimately answer the question, "As city living takes center stage, what will we come to expect from the design and function of urban structures and buildings?". Read More

Nissan is looking to make it easier for U.S. owners of its LEAF and other electric vehicles to charge their batteries when out and about. Over the next 18 months the automaker plans to add at least 500 quick-charging stations across the country, with the roll out to include the first fast-charge network for the greater Washington D.C. area. Read More

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