New York Architecture Firm Proposes Floating Housing Complex

(Credit: DFA) 

Seawalls and flood insurance are all well and good, but a New York architecture firm has designed a more ambitious (but probably less practical) solution for housing people amid rising seas.

DFA’s proposal for a “floating” housing complex borrows from the often-mythologized floating cities concept that Next City has covered. But the complex would still technically be tied to the land — the latticed, cylindrical buildings would rise from New York’s dilapidated Pier 40 in the Hudson River.

(Credit: DFA) 

Dezeen reports:

By adapting the existing pier – which was built in 1962 and [has] fallen into disrepair – the architecture studio is offering several responses to current issues in New York City, including a lack of affordable housing and resiliency to flooding due to climate change.

“We see so many projects going up in New York that are quick, chart-driven responses to serious problems,” said DFA founding principle Laith Sayigh. “These short-term resolutions will not safeguard the city from rapid changes in the environment or protect future generations of people.”

The firm’s website describes “four tower typologies ranging between [96 and 455 feet] tall,” for a total of 450 units. DFA used an algorithm to find the best location for each tower cluster based on the pier’s structural base. An elevated pathway would wind around the towers, set over a number of landscaped pavilions — the idea being that the lower-level gathering spaces would remain open until 2050, when river water would cover them according to current climate projections. After 2050, residents would use the elevated pathways to get around.

(Credit: DFA) 

(Credit: DFA) 

For now, though, DFA’s proposal is purely an exercise in creativity. In real life, the pier houses a football field and parking facility that aren’t scheduled for demolition any time soon. In 2016, Hudson River Park Trust (the group that manages the pier) sold the structure’s air rights to a group of developers. The organization now plans to use the funds from that sale to rehabilitate its current facilities, Curbed reports.

Still, the design is yet another sign that floating architecture’s moment may have finally arrived. As Rachel Keeton wrote for Next City in 2014, images of “sparkling new cities lost at sea” tend to raise municipal eyebrows, but governments are slowly coming around to the idea of developing on water.

She wrote:

If cities like New York or Tokyo build two to three percent of their development on the water, they can sell this to developers, tax the owners and create a more flexible city. Win-win. Governments are interested in this because it presents a new market for them. While most land is privately owned or already built up, by changing policies to make floating structures available the government expands its real estate. It’s a business model that is attractive because it solves multiple problems. Floating structures can reinvigorate former industrial areas like old harbors or riversides, they can adapt to extreme weather conditions better than traditional structures and they create a profit from space that is currently unmarketable.

 

The exhibition that asks, “Are shoes from heaven or hell?”

Showcasing over 100 pairs of remarkable footwear, the new Heaven or Hell exhibition at the Cube design museum in Kerkrade, Holland, is set to prove that shoes have to be one the most sophisticated parts of fashion design.
 

georg kloeck’s nutcracker breaks nuts with a sledgehammer


klouck realized that he doesn't need to design the most efficient or cheapest nutcracker, but the one which is most fun and beautiful.

The post georg kloeck’s nutcracker breaks nuts with a sledgehammer appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

Greater Shreveport Fighting Predatory Lending by Tackling Banking Deserts

A map of the Shreveport area showing bank branches (black map markers), low-income areas (polka-dotted areas), and minority population (darker means higher percentage). (Credit: National Community Reinvestment Coalition)

Every now and then, driving around his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, Steven Jackson gets out of his car at a stop sign or red light, hops out to the median or the side of the road and removes a sign advertising for payday loans, income tax advance loans, or sometimes even “holiday loans.”

Technically, all signage without city approval on city streets is illegal in Shreveport, but the signs keep popping up anyway. Taking them down is all in a day’s work protecting his constituents from predatory lenders, as Jackson is a commissioner for Caddo Parish, which contains Shreveport.

More formally, Jackson recently won unanimous approval from the parish commission to form a task force to address the issue of banking deserts in and around Shreveport. The top priority for the task force: finding a willing partner, either a bank or credit union, who could take some of Caddo Parish’s deposits and open branches inside banking deserts. Jackson estimates the county has around $144 million currently in cash and investments, some of which could be deposited into participating financial institutions.

While banking deserts can have formal definitions, Jackson wants the task force to take a more locally responsive approach, like identifying neighborhoods where there may be a bank branch relatively nearby but also a large contingent of senior citizens or other households who do not have access to transportation.

It’s those same neighborhoods, in Jackson’s experience, that have also not coincidentally been targets for predatory lenders. “It creates a barrier for folks,” Jackson says. “If a person in the [predominantly black] MLK neighborhood had a new year’s resolution to open a savings account, they’d have to drive ten minutes to [a bank] branch, but you can easily find a payday lending place over there.”

Louisiana has more payday lender storefronts than McDonald’s locations. A scathing 2014 Louisiana state audit found that state regulators charged with regulating the payday lending industry were neglecting their jobs, instead uncovering an impressive range of tactics used to circumvent state regulations and maximize fees charged per customer.

There’s a long tradition of predatory lenders targeting the poor, and especially poor communities of color, in the U.S., a tradition that continues to this day. Caddo Parish is around 49 percent black, an estimated 22.4 percent of households live below the poverty line, and the median household income is around $40,000—below the U.S. median of around $55,000.

Jackson cut his teeth on the banking issue back when we was part of former Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover’s administration, which established a Bank On Shreveport campaign that eventually grew into Bank On Northwest Louisiana. The initiative has provided financial counseling to help move thousands of people out of predatory debt traps, the kind that new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were supposed to curb. The Trump administration now plans to “revisit” those rules, which were to go into effect later this year.

Even if the new payday lending rules did go into effect, Jackson would still point to significant barriers because of the geographic distribution of branches. “We started noticing if Bank On is doing this work to get folks to get legitimate bank accounts, we still needed banks that were committed to them and convenient for them,” says Jackson.

Branches, while their role is certainly changing, still matter in Jackson’s view. “It’s the older population that you have to be sensitive to, especially when you’re talking about banking,” he says. “Also the working poor, individuals living paycheck to paycheck.”

Like many cities, the poorer or more minority an area is in Shreveport, the less likely there is a bank branch nearby. And even branches may not necessarily offer all the services most people would expect. One time, Jackson says he went to two different major national bank branches around the edges of Shreveport’s MLK neighborhood to make a cash payment on a credit card bill, and in both instances the branch staff told him they could not accept cash payments for credit card bills at their location.

The presence of trusted financial institutions in Shreveport also took a dramatic hit in April 2017 when federal regulators seized the historically black Shreveport Federal Credit Union, transferring its accounts and assets to the highest bidder—Red River Credit Union, based across the state line in Texas.

“Shreveport Federal Credit Union was literally built off the hard work, blood, sweat and sacrifice of city workers,” Jackson says. “Most were garbage workers, water and sewage workers who couldn’t get traditional loans for a car or house.”

The county hopes to use the state’s banking development districts program, which allows local governments to incentivize financial institutions to serve banking deserts by putting municipal deposits into new branches located in those areas. Banking development districts must be identified by the local government and approved by the state.

Other states have similar programs, like New York, where the state last summer created a new banking development district in the notoriously poor South Bronx. The state subsequently deposited $10 million into Spring Bank, headquartered in the South Bronx. Jackson says he took some inspiration from that program—although New York state law currently prohibits credit unions from taking municipal deposits, unlike in Louisiana.

The banking task force will also look comprehensively at other potential tools.

“We want to look at how banking has changed, maybe look at a mobile banking branch, just to see how can we provide access or how can access be created for traditional financing and banking,” Jackson says. “And there’s always an opportunity to rein in some of the payday lending through policies.”

 

digital installation transforms selfies into gravel


each pixel is given physical form offering a commentary on the culture of selfies and self-preservation in a digital era.

The post digital installation transforms selfies into gravel appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

tokyo plans world’s tallest wooden skyscraper by 2041


the 1,148-foot timber tower hopes to help 'transform the city into a forest'.

The post tokyo plans world’s tallest wooden skyscraper by 2041 appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

WowHaus
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

Not just striking outside, this 1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex has a rather wonderful interior too.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

So it should. This place was built in 1980s by the noted architect as his family home. Effectively, this was his calling card back in the day and it is now on the market for the very first time.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

A lot of 1980s domestic property does sometimes have an issue of dating (and not particularly well), but that’s not the case here. This one still looks cutting edge almost 40 years on. Perhaps that’s why the hour has a rare Grade II* listing by Historic England, which described it as ‘a particularly finely-executed example of post-war architecture’.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

It was also a ‘personal labour of love’ for the architect ‘on a site he knew well’, forming part of the garden of the architect’s previous home. Historic England also talk about it as ‘the finest work of an architect of considerable talent… the ultimate expression of his love of timber, creative approach to spatial planning and his meticulous skill for detail’.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

That timber is the real star here, used both inside and out, the latter (recently replaced) working well with the nature around it, which covers around three acres. But there’s also the bold design, the subtle use of curves (again inside and out), the open living spaces, bespoke furnishings and the glazing, which frames some lovely garden views. Check put that office space too, I dream of somewhere like that.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

Lots of living space too. The ground floor is made up of the living room, a dining area and kitchen leading through to a large utility room, plus two bedrooms, a bedroom / study, further utility room, bathroom and WC. Also on the ground floor is an integral double garage / workshop with an additional cloakroom and a bedroom over.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

On the first floor you will find two further bedrooms, one of which is described as a ‘particularly impressive master’, looking out over the surrounding land. A family bathroom finishes things off.

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

More images on the listing, all of which are worthy of your time. If you want to move in, you will need around £1,395,000. Note that there is a viewing day coming up too. Details of the that on the listing.

Images and details courtesy of The Modern House. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.

Thanks also to Nick for the tip off!

1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex
1980s Walter Greaves modernist property in Runcton, West Sussex

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bibi design’s HMS watch for nava literally shows hours, minutes, and seconds


the watch's black hands represent the first letters of words 'hours', 'minutes', and 'seconds'on a simple minimalistic white background. 

The post bibi design’s HMS watch for nava literally shows hours, minutes, and seconds appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

morpholio’s tracepro app assists architects throughout construction administration phase


morpholio's tracepro for iPhone intends to transform site visits by importing key components of the design process into the construction administration phase.

The post morpholio’s tracepro app assists architects throughout construction administration phase appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

Last call for entries to A’Design Awards & Competition

A’ Design Competition is one of the world's most renowned international competitions for design, and is calling for entries before the deadline of February 28th!
 



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