A week of IRL, timber developments and waterslides

This week has been BIG. My first big networking event/awards of the last two years and boy did it feel good to be back. The atmosphere. The celebration. The IRL connections and also meeting people I’ve met virtually over the last two years – wonder how many thought wow he’s shorter than I imagined. Celebrating the success of the residential community is always a good affair. To raise so much for an amazing charity in Variety is even better. Long may this continue – a mixture of IRL and Virtual/Remote. 

Recently I’ve been reading a number of articles and listening to other mediums around how new materials and technology are coming into construction. This article by The B1M explores the designs for a new campus for African Institute in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The design focuses on large overhangs to reduce solar heat gains and an exterior made from low carbon-concrete. The building tells me that you can design something visually appealing while also having purpose in its surroundings. 

And from new materials to some good old fun and preservation with A bold idea to save a Chicago icon: turn it into a waterpark. Landmark building, James R. Thompson Center could be transformed into a waterpark. The building has a challenge in terms of what to do next with it. Like many cities, it’s an outdated building trying to compete in a modern world of Smart Offices. One suggestion is a waterpark – draping the interior with plants and waterslides leading to a massive swimming pool in the lobby. How cool (or cooling?!?). There is a huge focus (rightly) on climate change and the impact of construction so rather than demolition repurposing provides a potential solution. 

Is Hudson Yards Good For New York? Playing catch up still I have watched this video from The B1M. Always good material and this doesn’t disappoint. Linked to the recent anniversary of 9/11 – has it really been 10 years! The development of Hudson Yards is BIG, BOLD and very ambitious. At a cost of $25 billion it certainly has a scale. Naturally at such a scale there are cracks and issues starting to appear – it’s expected but with the pandemic and a greater focus on equality, how the remaining development pans out will be interesting to see. 

And lastly a look at Chile. This former factory will be transformed into the largest timber development in Chile. The project includes adaptive reuse of the existing building while also introducing timber as a primary new building material. The site is really bringing the industrial heritage with a sustainable model.

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