Search results for "soccer"

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Game Over

Herzog & de Meuron's Chelsea FC stadium permanently sidelined
The saga of Herzog & de Meuron’s Westminster Abbey-inspired replacement stadium for Chelsea FC has sputtered to a final conclusion after the delay- and lawsuit-plagued $1.3 billion project was put on indefinite hold during its pre-construction phases in May 2018 due to the “unfavorable investment climate.” As reported by Building Design, planning permission, first granted in 2017, expired on March 31. The club made no effort to proceed with redevelopment work within the past three years, which, in turn, has rendered the project nullified. The neo-gothic brick behemoth, ringed by 264 buttresses, would have replaced Chelsea FC’s current 41,0000-seat-capacity South West London home, the venerable Stamford Bridge stadium, as well as some of the surrounding buildings. If the highly distinctive new stadium, described by Herzog & de Meuron as a “cathedral of football,” were to have proceeded, it would have provided the club with a significant increase in capacity by 19,000 seats. The hulking complex would have also included retail, a museum, full-service restaurant, and other amenities. In addition to facing a sweep of legal challenges mounted by neighboring residents and businesses, the proposed stadium’s short, turbulent life was also hampered by visa-related drama involving Chelsea FC’s owner, the billionaire Russian-Israeli oligarch, Roman Abramovich. Despite local protest, the stadium did have a glowing fan in the form of London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, who referred to the proposed facility as “a jewel in London’s sporting crown.” Other peerless (completed) sporting venues designed by Herzog & de Meuron include Beijing National Stadium (aka the Bird’s Nest) with Ai Weiwei, Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Munich’s Allianz Arena, and St Jacob-Park in the Pritzker Prize-winning firm’s home base of Basel, Switzerland.
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COVID’s Creative Outpouring

Check out the speculative design concepts that have emerged from the coronavirus pandemic
While there are scant upsides to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, there has been a flurry of speculative solution-oriented design concepts that implore us to think a bit outside of the proverbial box and reconsider how we live, work, play, and interact with the built environment. When this is all behind us, things will likely never quite be the same. These speculative designs, as quixotic as some might seem, give us a glimpse into that altered future where public health and imaginative design are even more closely intertwined. Below are a few such design proposals to emerge in recent weeks from a range of international firms large and small. All of these concepts tackle unique topics and concerns: A more prudent use of public green space, contagion-safe produce shopping, the adaptive reuse of unorthodox spaces, and working where you live for the long-haul, to name a few. And while some might seem unconventional or outright implausible, these concepts all imagine a world where we are all safe, comfortable, healthy, productive, and able to get the help that we need.

Parc de la Distance, Studio Precht

Reminiscent of a particularly panic-inducing hedge maze, Parc de la Distance is more a pandemic-appropriate riff on a Japanese Zen garden, where park-goers would be able to enjoy a contemplative and orderly constitutional without worrying about hordes of fellow fresh air-seekers coming from every which way. Studio Precht, a small Austrian firm based in a secluded, mountainous area outside of Salzburg, elaborated on the concept, which is geared toward a vacant lot in Vienna but can be replicated on any unused patch of urban land:
“Although our ‘Park de la Distance’ encourages physical distance, the design is shaped by the human touch: a fingerprint. Like a fingerprint, parallel lanes guide visitors through the undulating landscape. Every lane has a gateway on the entrance and exit, which indicates if the path is occupied or free to stroll. The lanes are distanced 240cm [8 foot] from each other and have a 90cm [3 foot] wide hedge as a division. Along their path, people walk on reddish granite gravel. Although people are visually separated most of the time, they might hear footsteps on the pebbles from the neighbouring paths. Each individual journey is about 600m [1,968 foot] long. The height of the planters varies along this journey and gives different levels to the hedges throughout the park. Sometimes visitors are fully immersed by nature, other times they emerge over the hedge and can see across the garden. But at all times, they keep a safe physical distance to each other.”
Studio Precht envisions the concept as being a useful feature for green space-starved cities in the post-COVID era as it “offers something very unique for bustling urban areas: A brief time of solitude. A temporary seclusion from the public. A moment to think, to meditate or just to walk alone through nature.”

Hyperlocal Markets for Shutdown Realities, Shift Architecture Urbanism

Described by Rotterdam-based studio Shift Architecture Urbanism as a “self-initiated research-by-design project,” the aim of this concept is twofold: To keep fresh, nutritious, and locally grown food flowing into local produce markets while reducing the risk of spreading the virus among shoppers at said markets, which are frequently prone to overcrowding but are also often lower cost than supermarkets in many areas.
“Shift’s proposal is to keep the vital function of the fresh produce markets fully intact, even strengthening it, while at the same time minimizing its potential role in spreading the virus. For this, the large markets have to continue in a different form, place and time. Its former model of concentration has to be replaced by a model of dispersion, both in space and time. This is done by breaking down the large markets into so-called micro markets that are spread over the city and opening them up for a longer time. Instead of you going to the market, the market is coming to your neighborhood. These hyper-local markets are open at least 5 days a week instead of twice a week to further reduce the concentration of people. “The micro market’s standard spatial setup consists of a 16 square grid, aligned with three market stalls, each selling a different kind of fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products or meat. The grid is taped on the pavement and fenced off with standard crush barriers. It has one entrance and 2 exits. In order to maintain social distancing each cell can only hold one person. In order to permit movement, the grid can only hold a maximum of 6 people. These rules are made clear at the entrance of the micro market, that has a waiting line taped on the pavement. The stalls will offer packages instead of separate products, to limit the time customers spend in the grid.”
Shift added that current restrictions on open-air produce markets vary wildly in the Netherlands from location-to-location and region-to-region.

Airport Superhospital, Opposite Office

Everything from convention centers to soccer stadiums have been transformed into temporary medical hubs during the coronavirus pandemic. Benedikt Hartl of the Munich-based Opposite Office, the same firm that pitched transforming Buckingham Palace into a co-living complex, envisioned this form of emergency adaptive reuse as also being extended to incomplete airport terminals. Under construction since 2006 with a potential completion date of 2021, Hartl sees promise in the delay-plagued Berlin Brandenburg Airport—or other underserved and non-operational airports, really—during the crisis (although said crisis in Germany has now largely passed). Hartl’s concept involves populating the uncompleted airport’s vast floor space with round modular steel cabins that serve as self-contained treatment units for patients.

“Flying was no longer in vogue even before the outbreak of COVID-19 and now the avenge of shame has given way to a deadly risk of infection. We agree that we will certainly not need this new airport in the near future,” read a press release from Opposite Office. “An advantage would be that infected people would be completely isolated at the airport area and would not come into contact with other patients. The main building alone, with an area of ​​220,000m2 [2.4 million square feet], offers plenty of space for medical (emergency) care. The existing airport offers untapped potential.”

Container Ship Hospitals, Weston Williamson + Partners

While converting seafaring vessels into floating hospitals is far from something new, a concept from London-headquartered architecture firm Weston Williamson+ Partners proposes the specific repurposing of container ships to serve a similar purpose. Well, kind of. Ideally, the containers would be unloaded at different ports in hard-hit regions and then used as makeshift intensive care units on land. “The idea came to us because we work around the world and wanted to try to encourage a global response,” firm co-founder Chris Williamson told AN in an email of the scheme, which is somewhat similar to an initiative underway in India with modified rail cars. “Many countries do not have an exhibition centre waiting to be fitted out as a hospital as we have done in Manchester and London.” “The speed at which Excel in London and GMex in Manchester have been repurposed suggest that the idea is possible and the container module is ideal for an intensive care bed and equipment for the benefit of emerging economies,” Willamson elaborated. “We have ascertained from the shipping companies that there is an available capacity of around 1,000 ships with around 3,500 containers per vessel.” Williams goes on to make clear that “patients would not stay on the ship except in circumstances where there is no place to deploy the containers” and that the container-based care units would have one of the steel doors removed and a transparent Perspex door installed in its place. The modules would also include built-in air conditioning units. “All we need is the political will to make this work and we are working with a few influential people to that aim,” Williamson said. It should be noted that, as with many shipping container-based projects, the feedback online hasn't been entirely positive.

Mobile PPS (Personal Protective Space), Plastique Fantastique

Plastique Fantastique, a Berlin-founded art collective known for eye-popping inflated installations, has created a PPS (personal protective space) for healthcare workers that can be swiftly deployed to a wide array of environments. As Plastique Fantastique explained, this “pneumatic space where doctors can treat patients in transparent protective space. It has constant overpressure, which means, the air flows only toward [the] outside of the space, not letting the virus coming inside. The clean air supply is guaranteed by a ventilator located outside or in an extra decontaminated space.” The bubbly blow-up Care Units, made from transparent polyurethane, can be attached to each to form larger contiguous spaces, and are accessed through special airlock chambers that maintain air pressure and provides medical workers with a space to prepare and disinfect before entering.

AD-APT, Woods Bagot 

With offices shuttered across the globe and workforces now operating in domestic trappings without any clear end in sight, global architecture firm Woods Bagot has envisioned a super-versatile living modular system dubbed AD-APT that “supports a range of activities throughout people’s days” while more easily accommodating “spaces for exercise, entertainment, digital collaboration, connection, and focus (without becoming isolated), alongside the traditional activities of eating, sleeping, and washing.” “While this trend has been on the rise over recent years the immediate, en masse shift to WFH exposes the benefits (and challenges) to a far wider range of the population than ever before,” explained the firm. “This will lead to significant change in people’s work habits and expectations. As more people become comfortable with working remotely, they will expect to be able to do so more often. This will change the way we design and use our workplaces, schools, and homes.” In response to this quickly changing dynamic, AD-APT enables WFH-ers to modify open-plan apartments to suit their needs whether they're in a so-called “split-shift” residence where working parents tag-team childcare responsibilities and job-related tasks or a “double desk” living environment where roommates rotate to different work-friendly spaces throughout the day. “Creating a spine of the fixed needs of a home (bathroom, entry, storage etc.) allows us to create an open and flexible apartment that can adapt to varying needs across modes, ” elaborated Woods Bagot. “The AD-APT includes a range of consistent elements which support the mode switching of the main spaces. AD-APT includes an entry porch which provides both an opportunity to meet and stay in touch with your neighbours and additional storage for bikes, coats and shoes. Beyond the entry porch the spine includes a bathroom and two flexi-booths. Around the entire apartment extensive storage is provided to allow for filing/appliance and other materials needed to blend living, working, and learning.”
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Magic Underway

Extensive renovation of South Los Angeles’s Magic Johnson Park moves forward
Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved funding that will bring the proposed master plan of Magic Johnson Park in Willowbrook, California, one step closer to reality. Though the first phase of the 120-acre redevelopment has been postponed several times since the project was first announced in 2018, the board’s allocation of $3.74 million in Measure A and Measure U funds brings the city much closer to its $11 million target for the park’s next phase. Named after basketball Hall of Famer and South Los Angeles investor Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the 104-acre Magic Johnson Park is among the largest parks in South Los Angeles, complete with amenities including fishing lakes, soccer fields, and meandering walking paths. The master plan unveiled in 2018, designed by Los Angeles-based landscape architecture firm AHBE|MIG, expands on the park’s contribution to the community by providing an additional 16 acres by including the vacated Ujima Village public housing complex into its overall vision. “The master plan reflects feedback from hundreds of residents and the result is visionary,” supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomason said his website. “From a state-of-the-art events center, new water features, upgraded walking paths and play areas, we are building amenities at Magic Johnson Park that everyone will enjoy.” Additionally, the park will divert and filter water from the nearby Compton Creek to irrigate 30-acres of wetlands and a man-made lake defining its center. The first and most expensive phase of the project, which most notably includes a 20,000-square-foot community events center, began construction last March and is slated for completion later this year with an estimated $70 million cost. The other phases of the project, which have a total estimated cost of $135 million, will take place over the course of 18 years to avoid withholding amenities to the public. Given the slow growth of the master plan, AHBE|MIG has proposed future additions that could include an aquatic center, a skate park, and a sculpture garden.
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Real, Real Madrid

Real Madrid reveals a new look at its stadium overhaul
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, the Spanish soccer club that calls its eponymous city home, has released a first look at the $622 million overhaul of its Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The reveal comes hot on the heels of OVG Manchester, a Populous-designed arena and the U.K.’s future largest indoor venue, also releasing renderings. Rather than building a new stadium from the ground up, Real Madrid has opted to instead rehabilitate its 73-year-old home field, originally designed by architects Manuel Muñoz Monasterio and Luis Alemany Soler. However, the latest renovation is just the latest in a long line of them, as the stadium’s capacity has fluctuated over the years as it was modernized (and a mechanical retracting roof was added in the ’90s). The project was started in 2018, and once complete, the 710,000-square-foot stadium will hold one less seat, bringing the capacity down to 81,043. In return, the venue’s height will be increased by 32 feet (10 meters), a new, shutter-like modern retractable roof will be added, and the facade, currently consisting of concrete colonnades, will be wrapped in 360 degrees of screens. The site will also gain a suite of new stores, a restaurant, and a new hotel. From the latest video released by the team on April 16, it appears that at least some of those amenity spaces will be located on the stadium’s upper floors, as diners can be seen lounging between supportive steel struts while enjoying views of Madrid’s skyline. Once complete, despite its “diminished” capacity, Santiago Bernabéu will remain Spain’s second-largest stadium. The area around the stadium itself is also being reconfigured and will become 65,000 square feet of gardens. Overall, the team hopes that the renovations will draw tourists year-round—similar experiments are going on not only in Europe but are gaining steam across America, as football and baseball stadiums shift to supplement their offerings with non-sports opportunities.
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Today's Hotel, Tomorrow's Hospital

From parking garages to parks, these are the pop-up medical facilities of the COVID-19 pandemic
As American cities brace for a steep influx of patients suffering from or suspected to be infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the sprint is on to make up for a woeful dearth of available hospital beds. Per American Hospital Association data, there are 924,000 staffed hospital beds in the country, and more than two-thirds of those are usually occupied. And while the total number of additional hospital required during this mounting pandemic varies day by day, place by place, the only conclusion is that an impossible amount of more beds is needed. To make up for the narrowing availability, temporary hospitals have been erected or are in the process of being erected in some unlikely places. These urgent acts of emergency-level adaptive reuse, many of them spearheaded by city agencies, intergovernmental organizations, healthcare providers, the National Guard, and the Army Corps of Engineers, have taken root on fairgrounds, in football stadiums, in motels, and in Central Park. Not all of these converted spaces, however, are being used to treat COVID-19 patients, although many will. Some will provide housing to nurses and doctors, some will act as quarantine units, some will house the homeless, and others will serve as fully functional overflow hospitals dedicated to providing care to patients suffering from ailments that aren’t the coronavirus. To offer assistance in these conversions, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has even formed a special task force which will release a comprehensive report in early April to help guide decision-making. “This is a race against time for healthcare facilities to meet bed surge capacity needs” said AIA Academy of Architecture for Health president Kirsten Waltz, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED, who is the director of facilities, planning, and design at Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts. “This task force will help inform best practices for quickly assessing building inventory and identifying locations that are most appropriate to be adapted for this crisis.” Below are some of the different buildings and facilities being adapted across the country to serve new purposes during the coronavirus outbreak.

Convention centers

Boasting boundless and easily adaptable floor space, robust loading docks for moving in and out a high volume of equipment and gear, high-powered ventilation systems, and more than a few ADA-compliant bathrooms, convention centers are natural places to establish temporary hospitals. Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Center, normally one of the busiest convention centers in the United States, was one of the first to undergo the transformation into a sprawling, nearly 3,000-bed capacity overflow hospital operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (The Army Corps of Engineers, the New York National Guard, and a team of civilian staffers can be credited for the rapid turnaround.) A large number of other convention centers across the country are either being eyed as potential makeshift medical hubs or are currently being converted into them including the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Detroit’s TCF Center, McCormick Place in Chicago, the Baltimore Convention Center, the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the Santa Clara Convention Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

Parking garages

While many hospital parking structures are now home to drive-though coronavirus testing sites, in at least one major medical facility, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center, beds are being moved into a parking garage to treat those potentially infected by the novel coronavirus at a safe distance from other patients.

Sports fields/stadiums

Originally and still largely used as a military term, field hospitals get their name from their strategic location on wide-open spaces in close proximity to sites of mass injuries and casualties such as, well, battlefields. Twenty-first-century field hospitals are now being erected on battlefields of a different kind that normally see a different sort of frenzied combat: football. CenturyLink Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks, is being converted into a large temporary treatment center by the Army and will be dedicated to treating patients with ailments not related to the coronavirus so that beds in overwhelmed Seattle area hospitals are freed up for those suffering from the deadly respiratory disease. Elsewhere in hard-hit Western Washington, another 200-bed field hospital will be erected on a turf soccer field in the Seattle suburb of Shoreline. Relatedly, football pitch-bound field makeshift hospitals are now somewhat de rigueur in countries like Brazil. A section of the famed Billie Jean King Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, Queens–in better times, home to the U.S. Open—will also be covered into a 350-bed auxiliary medical center by New York City Emergency Management.

Decommissioned hospitals

Shuttered hospitals, many of which have never been closed in the first place, are coming back to life due to the coronavirus pandemic. A wide number of bed-equipped, recently closed medical facilities—including the old Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Illinois, San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, and Laurel Regional Hospital in Maryland—have already or will potentially reopen to accommodate a surge of COVID-19 patients or patients in need of other types of urgent care in overburdened areas.

Dorms/college campuses

With students at an overwhelming number of colleges and universities dismissed from attending in-person classes for the rest of the academic year, an ample amount of available real estate has suddenly opened up. As COVID-19 first began to spread across New York City, New York University pledged to make available some of its now-vacated dormitories for COVID treatment-related purposes if needed. Student housing at New York’s expansive system SUNY and CUNY public colleges could also be potentially turned into emergency medical facilities, quarantine units, and/or temporary housing for healthcare workers. While dorm rooms can be easily retrofitted into treatment spaces, college and universities are also considering converting or already have converted other on-campus facilities into field hospitals. The McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia, are two examples of non-dorm collegiate spaces that will serve a new purpose during the pandemic.

Central Park

Plenty of strange, sometimes disturbing sights can be seen within Central Park. None, however, quite match the surreally sobering heights of witnessing volunteers erect a tent-based respiratory care center in the middle of New York City’s backyard. Said facility, which will have a capacity of 68 hospital beds and also include an on-site morgue, was established this past weekend in Central Park’s East Meadow by humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System to “provide care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19.”

Fairgrounds

Generally only used at a very high capacity for a few weeks of the year, fairgrounds over a vast amount of space with the needed infrastructure—electricity, water, various buildings, arenas, parking lots the size of a small town—already in place. The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California, for example, will take advantage of this advantageous arrangement and temporarily house members of the region’s sizable, highly vulnerable homeless population during the pandemic. Elsewhere in California, the Orange County Fairgrounds are being mulled as a potential site to accommodate overflow from established medical facilities in the area; it’s a similar story at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. Outside of California, the massive Washington State Fairgrounds are being considered as an emergency medical site about 30 miles south of Seattle in the city of Puyallup. In Florida, where the virus is on the verge of exploding in certain areas, a 250-bed facility is already under construction at the Miami-Dade Fairgrounds. In several states, fairgrounds and their parking lots are already being used to host drive-up coronavirus testing sites.

Hotels and motels

Hotels and motels are perhaps the most versatile and, due in part to low occupancy rates brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, the most readily available spaces to repurpose during a pandemic. Providing privacy, some level of comfort, and isolation, they can be used to treat non-critical patients recovering from the COVID-19-related illnesses, quarantine patients suspected to be infected, house exhausted, high-risk healthcare workers on the frontlines (in sometimes deluxe accommodations), and provide a temporary safe haven to vulnerable populations like the unsheltered. Officials in various cities including New York, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, and Oakland, California, have leased hundreds, even thousands, of hotel and motel rooms to be used in various capacities in the coming weeks, with the Army Corps of Engineers working to identify and then convert many of them into fully functional temporary medical facilities. Many, of course, have their own ideas as to which specific hotels should be used.
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Eco Park-Friendly

Zaha Hadid's long-awaited plan for an all-timber stadium in England approved
Last week, Eco Park Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) was finally approved for construction in Gloucestershire, England, after years of delays. The new home of the Forest Green Rovers F.C. will bring carbon-neutral facilities to the local community while maintaining the natural qualities of the existing site. It is the first soccer stadium in the world to be built entirely out of wood.  Although ZHA won the competition to design the stadium in 2016, this was the firm’s second attempt in getting the design approved. In June, the same planning committee denied the proposal due to noise, traffic, and impact on the environment. Alterations to win approval included a revised landscape strategy and increased matchday transport.  The 5,000-seat stadium is the world’s first UN-certified, carbon-neutral football club and almost every element is made of sustainably sourced timber which, in the firm’s words, “is highly durable, safe, recyclable, and beautiful.” In a recent press release, ZHA even mentioned the aspiration of the stadium being carbon negative “with the provision of on-site renewable energy generation.”  The club itself will provide every seat with unrestricted sightlines and fans will be as close as 16 feet from the pitch. One of the recent modifications in the application was a swap for one grass pitch to an all-weather pitch that has access to local clubs. The design anticipates the club’s future growth.  The chair of the club and owner of green energy firm Ecotricity, Dale Vince, told The Architects' Journal: “When you bear in mind that around three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why that’s so important, and it’s why our new stadium will have the lowest carbon content of any stadium in the world.”
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Hey Child Stay Wild

The 2019 Best of Design Awards winners for Education
2019 Best of Design Award winner for Education: Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center Designer: Signal Architecture + Research Location: Wasco, Oregon “Who wouldn’t want to learn (or teach) there? Beautiful details give power to the overall restraint of the design, a nod to the surrounding landscape.” —Oana Stănescu As the heart of the Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute run by Eastern Oregon University and Oregon State Parks, the project was inspired by a place-based idea of hands-on, site-specific education. To accommodate educational projects dealing with solar engineering, species diversity, botany, writing, and more, Signal Architecture + Research was tasked to create a highly adaptive, multipurpose design. Indoor spaces were configured to be flexible, with expansive doors allowing the interior spaces to effectively double in size when opened to the exterior covered spaces. The center uses local juniper, metal siding, and durable concrete floors—materials that age well. Inspired by barns of the region, the nearly net-zero building emanates resilience and grit in a simple form. Project Manager and Owner: Oregon State Parks Landscape Architect: Walker Macy Structural Engineer: Lund Opsahl Solar Energy Consultant: Sunbridge Solar Construction: Tapani Honorable Mentions Project Name: Club de Niños y Niñas Designer: Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica Project Name: RISD Student Center Designer: WORKac Editors' Picks Project Name: Santa Monica College Center for Media and Design & KCRW Media Center Designer: Clive Wilkinson Architects Project Name: Student Services Building, Cal Poly Pomona Designer: CO Architects
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Olympics Overload

Kengo Kuma's National Stadium in Tokyo is complete
In one month, Japan will celebrate the opening of its new $1.4 billion National Stadium ahead of next summer’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Designed by Kengo Kuma and the Azusa Sekkei Corporation, construction on the 68,000-seat arena has officially been completed as of this week, according to the Japan Sport Council The project is located in Tokyo’s Meiji Jingu Gaien district and took almost exactly three years to build under the supervision of national construction giant Taisei Corporation. National Stadium is nearly twice the size of the venue it's replacing, an arena of the same name that was built 61 years ago for the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics—the last time the city hosted the event. It’s set in the same space as its predecessor near one of Tokyo’s largest parks and features an all-timber-and-steel framing system that will allow lush greenery to spill over the sides of the pagoda-inspired structure as it grows in the next decade. Kuma’s vision for National Stadium came quickly after nearly a decade of controversy surrounding its build-out. Zaha Hadid was originally supposed to design the project as the centerpiece of the Tokyo Olympics, but her proposal proved too costly to complete in time for the 2020 opening. Instead, Kuma’s stadium, with its open-air columns and half-covered roof, was both easier and cheaper to build. The design team sourced over 70,000 cubic feet of larch and cedarwood from all of Japan’s 47 prefectures, and while it was a smart sustainability move, the gesture also drew criticism over allegations of endangered tropical timber being used. The National Stadium is one of 42 venues slated for use during the international sporting event next summer. Eight of the total spaces are completely new and all were designed by local architects. As the largest stadium in the city, National Stadium will play host to the opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympic Games, as well as some soccer and track and field events.  The official opening celebration for the National Stadium is scheduled for December 21, after which the site will host its first event: the Emperor’s Cup soccer final on New Year’s Day.
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SPF:Required

Last building on Playa Vista's Water’s Edge campus will be complete next year
The third and final building defining Water’s Edge, a 6.5-acre office campus in Playa Vista, California, is nearly complete. Designed by Los Angeles-based firm SPF:architects, the four-story structure, named WE3, will provide a striking new building with over 183,000 square feet of creative workspace and two floors of underground parking to an area gradually being referred to as “Silicon Beach,” given its recent influx of top-level tech companies, including Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, BuzzFeed, Facebook, and AOL. Multinational corporation Nike has already agreed to rent two floors of the building. According to SPF, the main challenge of developing the design language for WE3 was creating “a plan fully integrated with existing conditions that both maximized the lot’s buildable area and maintained a compelling architectural standard.” To achieve this, the design team went beyond the client brief by creating a new public courtyard, planning for highly flexible office space, and relocating the preexisting soccer pitch, which will now be more central to the office campus to visually connect the site’s main amenities. To meet their goal of LEED Gold certification, the architects incorporated locally sourced and recycled concrete and metal in the construction process, while the large, insulated windows defining the exterior are designed to reduce energy use. The “floating” perforated aluminum skin wrapping the facade is not only the project’s most distinguishing feature, but it also functions as a solar shading device in conjunction with the building’s many deep-set balconies. And, because the building’s top floor was not legally allowed to exceed 20,000 square feet due to zoning restrictions, a “sky garden” was added to the middle of the building featuring drought-tolerant landscaping within a wind-shielded terrace. WE3 broke ground in April 2018, topped out this month, and is scheduled to be completed by May 2020.
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Futbol Fantasy

Plans for David Beckham's Freedom Park come to life in new renderings
New visuals have surfaced for David Beckham’s $966 million soccer campus in Miami ahead of a crucial vote next week to decide the fate of the site it would be built on. The last update on the design of Miami Freedom Park was unveiled last September by local firm Arquitectonica. While the most recent vision for the 131-acre site largely mirrors that master plan, the look of the 26,000-seat stadium, and its surrounding landscape, has been altered slightly. Details now show a new undulating cover for the crown jewel soccer stadium, complete with an exposed area featuring a rooftop bar and palm trees. The proposed 1-million-square feet of commercial and office space, as well as the numerous sports fields, hotel, and 58-acre public park, are still included in the plans, but a new video released by Inter Miami FC, Beckam’s budding MLS team, brings the entire site to life.  The crux of the problem facing Beckham’s project is figuring out whether it's ready for lease approval. The goal is to establish a 99-year contract on the site, atop the 59-year-old Melreese public golf course, with Beckham's venture-partner Jorgé Mas as the only leaseholder. Last year, 60 percent of Miami locals voted to get rid of competitive bidding for the property, effectively allowing the potential single-entity leaseholder to exist. The Miami Herald noted that without completed land appraisals, as well as a proper environmental remediation plan, it’d be difficult to determine a fair market rate rent next week. Some have said the upgraded visuals are a last-ditch attempt by Beckham and his venture partners to persuade the city that the stadium complex will be beneficial to the community. On Tuesday, the Miami City Commission will discuss the unfinished lease and whether to end negotiations for the project. One commissioner even wants to open a competitive bid instead to build a luxury golf resort on Freedom Park’s proposed location.  Despite this, Inter Miami FC is still expected to begin its first season in 2020 and will play home matches at a temporary site atop the former Miami Fusion stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Freedom Park is slated to be completed in 2022.
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Obligatory Akira Reference

The Japan Society bridges Olympic games past and future at Made in Tokyo
Fifty years of change can totally transform any city and nowhere is that more evident than Tokyo, a mega-metropolis that’s constantly redefining itself. Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020 at the Japan Society in Manhattan makes the comparison between where Tokyo has been and where it’s going stark, easy to understand, and perhaps, hopeful. With the 2020 Summer Olympics fast approaching, Made in Tokyo—curated by Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow with Japan Society gallery director Yukie Kamiya—presents the Tokyo of 1964 and 2020 side-by-side to examine how the city has evolved and where it could go in the future. Historical changes in Tokyo’s architecture are inextricably linked with its political, economic, and social fortunes and the exhibition uses the 1964-through-2020 timeline to tease out the way these factors have shaped the city. Tokyo is rife for densification and because of that, new typologies make the most use of vertical space. At an October 11th talk at the Japan Society, Kaijima and Tsukamoto pointed to a driving school on top of a grocery store as just one way the city fosters the combination of disparate ideas. Made in Tokyo spotlights the city’s versatility and how the past and forthcoming Olympic games have and will affect six public and private architectural categories: stadium, station, retail, capsule, office, and home. The Japan Society and Atelier Bow-Wow have assembled an impressive collection of materials drawn from public and private archives, as well as from over 30 architectural studios. That includes two central, stadium-shaped enclosures featuring materials from the 1964 and 2020 games assembled around each for easy wayfinding; a life-sized segment from a capsule hotel, helpful for providing scale to those who have never been to one; archival drawings; photographs and architectural models by Kenzo Tange and Kengo Kuma; video fly-throughs; and a virtual tour of exemplary Tokyo projects lead by Atelier Bow-Wow. “In the 1960s—15 years after the end of World War II, Japan grew with great productivity and enthusiasm,” said Atelier Bow-Wow in a press release, “various urban institutions were created and young architects were allowed to creatively contribute to diverse architectural designs. Now, in contrast to those times, there is an incentive for large capital and organization towards mass-redevelopment. Through this tremendous turnover of city spaces and transitions of urban institutions we will showcase the evolution of life in the city of Tokyo.” Made in Tokyo will run through January 26, 2020, and will be accompanied by a host of lectures, film screenings, discussions, and art performances.
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Going Down (Maybe)

A Russian World Cup stadium could sink into a swamp
Russia spent over $14 billion to host the FIFA World Cup last July and August, with the Kaliningrad Arena itself costing about $300 million. However, only a year after hosting the games, the building has faced numerous issues due to the fact that the stadium was built on previously unused wetlands in a flood plain, with soil not equipped to handle such a large structure.  Despite being the most expensive soccer competition in history, the building has faced charges of corruption and shoddy work. According to RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, Aleksei Moisa, the director of the municipal firm in charge of stadium maintenance, Gidrotekhnik, expressed concern for the sewage and draining systems at a city hall meeting on September 10, and that others have noted that heavy rains will cause flooding that could possibly cause the stadium to sink into the swamp.  While neglect after their intended purpose is fulfilled is nothing new to stadiums hosting large sporting events (the site of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is already abandoned), the Kaliningrad Arena faced controversy from the start. Designed specifically for the World Cup, the building was completed in March 2018, just months before the start of the games. The company in charge of the stadium’s design soon after declared bankruptcy.  According to Aras Agalarov, chief of Crocus Group, the general contractor for the stadium, the foundation was supposed to be bolstered up with sand; however, only half of what was required (and a lower quality product) was used. This news was followed by the arrests of the former regional minister for construction, Amir Kushkhov, and Sergei Trubinskiy, a regional deputy director in charge of construction control, and Khachim Eristov, a senior manager at GlobalElektroService, a subsidiary of the company Summa, who had been contracted to do the construction for the foundation.  Later in March 2018, Ziyavudin Magomedov, a co-owner of Summa, was detained and charged in a case involving a theft of 2.5 billion rubles (39 million dollars) linked to the stadium project. Solomon Ginsburg, a member of the Public Chamber of the Kaliningrad Oblast, said that what he called the “ingenious thievery” surrounding the project was solely rooted in the poor choice of location.