urban design


The UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo: The Seed Cathedral

Theme - Better City, Better Life

“The UK pavilion at Expo 2010, colloquially known as the Seed Cathedral, was a sculpture structure built by a nine member conglomeration of British business and government resources directed by designer Thomas Heatherwick. It referenced the race to save seeds from round the world in banks, and housed 250,000 plant seeds at the end of 60,000 acrylic rods, held in place by geometrically-cut holes with the rods inserted therein.”


“The Seed Cathedral is 20 metres in height, formed from 60,000 slender transparent rods, each 7.5 metres long and each encasing one or more seeds at its tip. During the day, they act as optic fibres and draw daylight inwards to illuminate the interior. At night, light sources inside each rod allow the whole structure to glow. As the wind moves past, the building and its optic "hairs” gently move to create a dynamic effect.“

- Despoke.com

Images: Heatherwick Studio; REUTERS/Aly Song

#seed banks #art

The Urban Condition

In London, SOM’s City Design Practice recently completed a two-year collaboration with students from the Architectural Association. The endeavor, which originally focused on the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, expanded to a territory spanning north and south of the Thames River. Learn more about the project and its corresponding exhibition.


Fundamentals - Postcards from the Future | Gabriele Boretti
Istanbul 2014-2064 | gabrieleborettiarchitettura.tumblr.com

- What kind of face will the city have in fifty years? The chaotic urban expansion spreads an energy able to make us imagine it totally different, with new and controversial internal dynamics. This story told in pictures lets the imagination of the city itself, Istanbul, runs wild: thanks to the innate variety of lanscapes and situations, it is projected in a future extremely extraneous to reality.

1. New Eden   2. Urban Raft    3. Shelter   4. A New Level    5. Energy   6. Doors
7. Connections    8. Expansion    9. Reconstruction   10. Density    11. New Symbols 
12. After    13. Protection    14. Rediscovery   15. New Skyline    16. Cut   
17. Public Terraces    18. Inversion    19. Underwater    20. New Power


The internet is freaking out over this “submerged” Central Park design

First-place winners of the 2016 eVolo skyscraper design competition have imagined a skyscraper complex that would run along the entire perimeter of the famed Central Park. The concept aims to bring the Manhattan park to more people. The contest entry suggests digging 100 feet below the earth in order to erect a 1,000-foot tall structure.

The design doesn’t just suggest wrapping Central Park with buildings. Rather, the proposal reimagines the park entirely.

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