Posts tagged with "Coronavirus":

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Here are the major design events that have moved to 2021

When AN first compiled our list of events, fairs, and shows that had been postponed at the end of February due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the situation on the ground was very different than at the time of writing. With much of the world practicing social distancing or under orders not to leave the house, and the possibility of a protracted battle to contain the disease’s spread looming, some of the world’s largest design events have now rescheduled even further out and will take place next year. Below is just a selection of what’s been rescheduled to 2021; we’ll update this list as more information becomes available. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo Although much fanfare was made over the eight new venues, including Kengo Kuma’s timber Olympic Stadium, originally slated to host activities throughout the summer games, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will now take place in summer of 2021. The regular games will now be held from July 23, 2021, through August 8. Similarly, the Paralympics will now take place from August 24, 2021, through September 5. As it’s been noted, this leaves only six months between the end of the summer games and the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 4, 2022. The Tokyo Olympics have already radically changed the city, and the reorganization went far beyond the construction of new stadiums. As Atelier Bow Wow documented at Manhattan’s Japan Society last year in Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020, the capital flowing into the city primed it for a mass redevelopment, much as it did during the 1964 Summer Olympics. Everything from housing to transportation has been affected, but for international travelers, it may be quite some time before you can see that shift firsthand. Salone del Mobile.Milano Salone del Mobile in Milan—the world’s largest furniture trade show—was originally pushed from April 2020 to June, but last week news broke that the show will take place in April of 2021 instead. Citing “medium-term uncertainties” at a time when Milan is still under lockdown (although Italy’s weekly death toll is reportedly dropping due to the strict distancing measures imposed by the government), Salone’s organizers emphasized that a 2021 show would be extra special, given that it would be the 60th anniversary. The show will now overlap with several other trade festivals, and, in a press statement, organizers said that they hoped this confluence would jumpstart Milan’s economy:
“This single, great sector-wide trade fair will represent a fresh opportunity to pull together to revitalise our businesses, the entire supply chain that works in synergy with the Salone, and Milan.”
Expo 2020 Dubai While the much-hyped Expo 2020 Dubai, a worldwide showcase for innovative design, is still technically scheduled to open on October 20, 2020, that may soon change. Three days ago, the festival’s organizers gathered for a conference call and recommended that the expo be delayed for a year. “The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened. And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one-year postponement at today's Steering Committee meeting,” said Reem al-Hashimy, director general for Expo 2020 Dubai. According to Aljazeera, the United Arab Emirates has already spent upwards of $8 billion on infrastructure projects related to the expo, but with international travel currently locked down, it’s looking increasingly unlikely the event can proceed as planned. Elements of the show have already been partially installed, such as Asif Khan’s 70-foot-tall trio of entrance gateways. The final decision of whether to postpone or not will come in June, at the behest of Paris’s Bureau International des Expositions, who administers the international expo.
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LACMA continues demolition of original buildings amid quarantine

While construction sites around the world have been paused in their tracks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has decided to move ahead with its plans to demolish its structures on the site to prepare for the addition designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, now estimated to cost a total of $750 million. “Los Angeles is counting on us, more than ever, to keep our construction going,” Michael Govan, the director of LACMA, wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times. “Thousands of workers will be part of the project over the coming few years. LACMA will be an engine of job creation and economic recovery.” Construction barriers have been erected along the site over the last several months, while the four buildings in question—three designed by William Pereira as part of the original campus from 1965, and one designed by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates in 1986 to would represent the facade of the museum along Wilshire—have slowly been emptied of their contents and internal walls. Hoping to not lose momentum, the team hopes to finish the process and begin demolition this month to meet its completion deadline in 2024. LACMA representative Jessica Youn has expressed that the construction team on site is following the necessary protective measures in keeping with an official statement from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) released on March 31 that reads: “Construction industry employers shall develop a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control plan, which includes control measures such as social distancing; symptom checking; hygiene; decontamination procedures, and training. An exposure control plan and the following practices must be followed to prevent any onsite worker from contracting COVID-19, as many people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can potentially spread disease.” Temporary hand-washing stations have recently been installed throughout the site for the benefit of its construction workers. Meanwhile, Twitter has been alight with opposition to the plan to proceed as scheduled. Residents have generally expressed discomfort with the thought of living near an active construction site, while the local nonprofit SAVE LACMA has regarded the decision as a misuse of funds in uncertain times. On the same block, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which announced December 14 as an official opening date only two months ago, has paused all construction until further notice.
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Temporary eviction bans roll out across America, residents ask for more

With more than 160,000 known cases and 3,400 deaths in the United States estimated as of today, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has already resulted in the unexpected closure of countless museums, restaurants, bars, schools, and other establishments integral to the country’s economic growth. A record 3.3 million people have already filed for unemployment within the last few weeks with many more expected on the way, leaving the subject of housing as one of the most pressing issues among city and state officials. Within the last week, prior to the April 1 deadline at which most rent and mortgage checks are expected under normal conditions (aka today), state officials have independently announced eviction moratoriums with varying term dates. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo released an executive order on March 7 that includes a 90-day eviction moratorium, while California Governor Gavin Newsom, at the helm of the most populous state in the country with over 40 million residents, released a similar order that prevents residential evictions for two months to those who have been laid off due to the pandemic. “For tenants, there will be no eviction proceedings; there will be no enforcement as it relates to pay for COVID-19,” said Newsom, according to the Los Angeles Times. Renters in both states will, however, have to make up the rent they owe after their respective moratorium periods, and rent payments are expected of those who do not provide written testimony that they are unable to pay them (The Hill reports, meanwhile, that New York state lawmakers are working on a rent suspension bill that is currently in committee but will likely be held up by Governor Cuomo). While many might be relieved to learn they can stave off eviction until they find the necessary funds, affordable housing leaders feel the measures are minimal and shortsighted. “I think we’re deeply disappointed that it isn’t just a blanket moratorium on evictions,” said Francisco Dueñas of the California-based advocacy group Housing Now. Residents of major American cities have called upon government officials to institute rent freezes and other initiatives to stave off the financial hardships being felt across the country. Over 15,000 Chicagoans, for example, have signed an online petition spearheaded by a tenants union that includes a city-wide freeze on rent, utility payments, and mortgages, according to The Chicago Tribune. More than 82,000 residents of New York City have signed a similar petition seeking to ensure that “every New Yorker is safely housed.” At a time when housing security has never been more important to obtain, a unified message of dissatisfaction is likely to become amplified over the coming weeks as millions of renters make the difficult choice between pouring into their savings, writing pleas to their landlords, and participating in a burgeoning nation-wide strike (made visible through the growing #RentStrike hashtag on Twitter). The delayed governmental reaction to the pandemic felt among renters is shared among homeless Americans, some of whom have already taken the matter into their own hands. Homeless families in Los Angeles, for instance, have seized vacant homes owned by the city to protect themselves against the health crisis during the shelter in place order.
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In tribute to Michael McKinnell, the Heroic architect behind Boston City Hall

On Friday, March 27, British-American architect Noel Michael McKinnell died of pneumonia after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 84. McKinnell, who was born in Manchester, England, received his initial architecture training at the city university, first traveled to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship. He studied for his master’s in architecture at Columbia University, which he completed in 1960. At Columbia, he encountered the German architect Gerhard Kallmann, who would soon become a mentor figure. After hearing about a public competition to design a new city hall for Boston, the pair developed a design that drew on elements of the contemporaneous Brutalist movement. They were announced the winners and opened a Boston office in 1962. Their joint practice continues to this day, with a rich portfolio of largely institutional buildings. Yet the firm—and McKinnell—remains associated with Boston City Hall, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year. The following tribute reflects on McKinnell’s complex relationship to the building.  We first met Michael McKinnell and Gerhard Kallmann in 2007 at the outset of the Heroic project, our effort to document Boston’s late twentieth-century concrete buildings, which had become largely unloved. At the time, Boston City Hall was broadly vilified, dismissed as obsolete, and in danger of being demolished. Even in such a moment of threat, Michael was surprisingly open to the idea of his building changing. Far from upholding the original design as a masterwork fixed in time, he explained to us that he felt it needed “younger ideas” and that whatever modifications were in store for its future, they should be “bold and self-confident.” Younger ideas were part of his thinking from the very start. When he and Gerhard won the competition among 256 entries, Michael was only 26 years old—landing perhaps the most important public commission of the era. Later, as the world was exploding in the protests and civic unrest of the 1960s, this fearless young man explained the design for its enormous lobby to a reluctant City Council as an ideal setting for the democratic staging of dissent. Naive or not in his political idealism, to him it was always the “people’s building.” To us, Boston City Hall reflected the era’s aspirations to invest in the civic realm and the desire to represent a new political order for a New Boston. Michael and Gerhard sought to ingrain these ideals into the building’s DNA, embedding their faith in public life into the matter of its concrete. It would be a framework open to change, as they later wrote, a “robust armature” meant to “engage successive generations of the citizenry in [its] embellishment, decoration, and adornment.” Our relationship with Michael, which began with distant admiration, grew over a dozen years into friendship. We interviewed him multiple times, gaining a deeper understanding of his work and personality. Starting as an exhibition and later forming a book, we had originally conceived of the Heroic project as a way to recast the public conversation surrounding concrete architecture. In large part because of Michael, the center of these efforts soon shifted from documenting buildings to preserving the voices of those who designed them and the civic aspirations that shaped them—a legacy of ideals rather than a mere history of matter. Those same dozen years also allowed us to witness a transfiguration in Michael. While we came to know him late in his life, we most often talked about the beginning of his career, before he and Gerhard had fully formalized their shared practice which produced distinguished buildings across decades. He easily re-inhabited that youthful vision—in our eyes, he only got younger as we spoke candidly about his early principles and failures. Boston City Hall itself underwent a similar transformation. Endangered by one mayor in the early 2000s, we watched with admiration as the building was being feted by another on its fiftieth anniversary in 2019. The event echoed with Michael’s rousing words, delivered in that same enormous lobby, about his undiminished hopes for City Hall’s future. But it was Michael’s own humor that reminded us of the fragility of modernist voices like his, and of their need to be heard again. When the Getty Foundation selected Boston City Hall for a prestigious grant to prepare a conservation management plan (or CMP), Michael was quick to congratulate the team, and then quipped: “I am now in search of a CMP for myself.” Michael always seemed keenly aware of how the legacies of people, ideas, and buildings were interwoven in time. His final comment in the Heroic interview was on the aspirations of the era to make “something that would endure,” and of the hubris of imagining Boston City Hall as worthy of becoming a ruin in five hundred years. “The making of architecture is imbued with hubris,” he said, “because we challenge our own mortality.” In City Hall, we recognized, he had challenged his. If the building lasted—if the hopes cast into its concrete could be fully realized—so would he. Warm and gregarious, fascinating and funny, incisive and generous, Michael’s reminiscences were always imbued with meaning. One joyful highlight was a lunch he and his wife Stephanie Mallis invited us to in their Rockport home in 2018, accompanied by the architecture critic Robert Campbell. Sitting with a distant view of the ocean, we shared stories and toasted to lost colleagues over the course of four hours on a beautiful summer Tuesday. The camaraderie, too, seemed like it could go on forever. Noel Michael McKinnell was born on Christmas Day in 1935 and passed away last Friday afternoon at the age of 84. Through our friendship with him, what began as a fascination with a past era became a commitment to transmit a living set of ideas. We labeled them “heroic” for their civic aspiration, and as a way of acknowledging the hubris that characterized so many of those ambitions and the figures who advocated for them. But Michael’s lofty ideals were always tempered by his youthful energy and his mischievous sense of humor. If we ever got too serious, he liked to rib us a little. With a glint in his eye, he would delight in proclaiming: “They used to call me Brutalist. Now I say ‘I’m Heroic!’” Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Mark Pasnik are authors of Heroic: Concrete Architecture and the New Boston, published by The Monacelli Press in 2015. Grimley and Pasnik are principals at the architecture and design firm OverUnder. Kubo is an assistant professor at the University of Houston.
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Thieves snatch Van Gogh painting from Dutch museum shuttered during COVID-19 outbreak

A global pandemic, a scenario in which people are ordered to stay home and businesses and institutions are forced to temporarily close, presents itself as an opportunity for bad people to do bad things. And this very much includes the pilfering of invaluable art and artifacts at a time when millions upon millions of people are on lockdown. Singer Laren, a Dutch art museum and concert hall located in the affluent small town of Laren just outside of Amsterdam in North Holland, experienced this phenomenon firsthand when a thief or thieves pulled off a smash-and-grab job in the dead of the night, making off with a painting by Vincent van Gogh—and, even more shamelessly, on the post-impressionist’s 167th birthday. Like many other museums and cultural institutions, Singer Laren is temporarily closed due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Shuttered since March 12, the museum has tentative plans to reopen to guests on June 1. As noted by the Washington Post, the brazen burglary at Singer Laren has likely garnered the uneasy attention of museum directors elsewhere as “the lack of crowds and security potentially compromised by staffing issues during the virus outbreak may present an invitation to opportunistic thieves.” The stolen painting, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884), was not part of the permanent collection at Singer Laren, a museum established in the late 1950s by the window of Pittsburgh-born steel fortune heir-turned-artist William Henry Singer to house the couple’s vast art collection. Rather, the 1884 oil painting, completed by Van Gogh relatively early in his career while living with his parents outside of Eindhoven, was on loan from the larger Groninger Museum as part of an expansive exhibition of 19th-century Dutch paintings and watercolors at Singer Laren titled Mirror of the Soul. Housed in buildings designed by Philippe Starck, Alessandro Mendini, and Coop Himmelb(l)au, the Groninger Museum is located in the city of Groningen in the far north of the Netherlands. In a statement, the museum said it was “shocked by the news“ and added that the work is the only Van Gogh painting in its own collection. The 10-by-22-inch Van Gogh painting has been valueed at up to $6.6 million as reported by The Guardian. In a press conference, Singer Laren director Jan Rudolph de Lorm described himself as being “unbelievably pissed off” by the overnight art heist. “We are deeply shocked, angry and saddened,” reads a full statement by de Lorm, published on the museum website. “A magnificent and poignant painting by one of our greatest artists has been taken from the community. It is terrible for the Groninger Museum and for Singer Laren, but above all for every one of us. Art exists to be shared, to enjoy, to inspire and offer comfort, particularly in times such as these. Art is vital to our culture.” The thief/thieves gained entry to the museum at 3:15 a.m. on March 30 by smashing in the glass front doors. This immediately triggered a security alarm but the culprits—and the painting—had vanished into the night by the time police arrived on the scene. The statement released by Singer Laren goes on to note that the museum has launched a full investigation “involving experts from several fields, including forensic investigators, detectives and members of the national crime squad specialised in art theft.” As the Associated Press noted, this is not the first time that art has been purloined from Singer Laren. In 2007, thieves made off with several sculptures from the museum’s garden including a bronze cast of Rodin’s The Thinker. That sculpture was ultimately recovered albeit missing a leg.
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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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Los Angeles Metro system attempts to meet construction goals amid stay-at-home orders

Shortly after Los Angeles was announced as the official host of the 2028 Olympics, the local metro system’s Board of Directors dreamt up a bright future for the area’s public transportation infrastructure, which is currently far less developed than those of other major American cities. In January, several projects that originally had differing completion dates, including a public transit system through the Sepulveda Pass by 2033, a nine-mile extension of the Gold Line to Whittier by 2035, and a 19-mile rail line from Union Station to Artesia by 2041, received approval to be fast-tracked for completion dates prior to 2028 in a unanimous vote from the Board of Directors, according to Curbed LA. The vote brought the "Twenty-eight by ’28” initiative led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti closer to reality and was backed by funding from voter-approved ballot measures Measure R and Measure M. While California residents and businesses continue to interpret the limits of Governor Gavin Newsom’s order for all individuals living in the state to stay home in an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, more strategies for meeting the 2028 deadline have been put on the table.  According to Streetsblog LA, the Beverly Hills City Council will vote on a proposal tomorrow to expedite construction on two subway stops that are part of the extension to the Purple Line Subway, one of the 28 initiatives set to be complete before 2028, during the city-wide lockdown. The Metro website expresses that “a full closure of Wilshire Blvd. between Crescent Dr. and Beverly Dr. was identified as a potential option to help work progress during the statewide pandemic health restrictions.” The news may be surprising to locals, many of whom remember that the city of Beverly Hills formally opposed the construction of the very same subway extension in 2010. “The City remains very concerned about tunneling under residential properties and especially under the Beverly Hills High School,” the letter written by Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad expresses to Donald R. Knabe, a former member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Concerns will likely be raised regarding the safety of keeping a construction site open during the state-wide lockdown. CBS Los Angeles reported that two contractors working for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority, one of whom was a documented worker for Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors, the firm building the Crenshaw/LAX Line light rail project, have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, funding may be more difficult to come by in the near future as the city reports an 80 percent drop in ridership, according to LAist. Announcements have not yet been made regarding the revised construction timelines of other Metro projects.
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New York puts freeze on all nonessential construction

Following in the cautious footsteps of cities like Boston and San Francisco, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has put the kibosh on all “nonessential” construction projects—and not just in booming New York City but also across the entire state during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “We’re closing down nonessential construction sites,” said Cuomo during one of his oddly therapeutic daily press briefings held last Friday. “Some construction is essential to keep the place running, but nonessential construction is going to stop.” Similar to citywide construction pauses, New York’s temporary statewide ban includes several exemptions that allow for work to continue or commence on affordable housing projects, hospitals and healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, emergency repairs, transit, and public infrastructure including roads and bridges. Additionally, underway projects of any kind that could be considered unsafe if abandoned will also be allowed to proceed for now. Reads updated guidance issued by the state agency Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC):
At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
Under his initial PAUSE shutdown directive, Cuomo had classified all types of construction sites as being “essential” along with banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, and the like. This, in turn, meant it was largely business as usual at building sites across the state although workers were instructed to follow difficult-to-enforce social distancing practices while on the job. Cuomo, however, faced considerable pushback from construction workers and their families along with city leaders, notably City Council members Carlos Menchaca and Brad Lander along with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. “Anything that is not directly part of the essential work of fighting coronavirus and the essential work of keeping the city running and the state running, and any construction that is not about the public good, is going to en,” New York City Mayor de Blasio clarified on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show following Cuomo’s announcement. “So, luxury condos will not be built until this is over, you know, office buildings are not going to be built so that work's going to end immediately. We need to protect people.” The day before Cuomo ordered work to be halted on all nonessential construction projects, the New York Times published an article detailing how laborers in the city were being exposed to conditions that, although likely to raise very few eyebrows during ordinary circumstances, seemed downright perilous as a deadly, highly contagious rages through New York and beyond:
“Construction sites, even during normal times, are notoriously dirty. Workers often share a single portable toilet, which rarely has soap or hand sanitizer. Running water is not common. None of the recent safety protocols recommended by public health officials are practical at a job site, workers said. They share tools, and procedures require that they closely watch over one another. There is no social distancing. Some workers wear protective masks, which are in short supply.”
Cuomo’s directive also came after work on two infrastructure projects considered essential by the ESDC, the overhauls of LaGuardia Airport and at Moynihan Station, came grinding to a temporary halt when workers at both sites tested positive for COVID-19. Although initially not wholly supportive of a Boston-style moratorium on construction due to the so-called “devastating” economic impact, Carlo Scissura, president of trade group New York Building Congress and former president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, has since thrown his support behind Cuomo’s updated directive. “The health and safety of building industry workers and every New Yorker remain the highest priority as we continue to respond to this pandemic,” said Scissura in a statement obtained by the New York Post. “Just as the governor has outlined, we must carry on with New York’s most critical projects, from infrastructure and public works to healthcare and affordable housing. These projects are essential to our region’s future and will benefit our most vulnerable populations.” Some have pointed out a not-so-tiny loophole, however, in the ESCD’s new guidelines, specifically with regard to the construction of affordable housing. The exemption that allows for work on affordable housing projects to continue doesn't just apply to project that are strictly affordable; rather, work on residential developments with at least 20 percent affordable housing can proceed. This, in turn, means that a lion’s share of residential constructions projects in New York are essentially off the hook.
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New York’s Javits Center completes transformation into 1,200 bed emergency hospital

A 1,200-bed field hospital, established in response to the dire need for additional hospital beds as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) overwhelms New York City’s existing medical infrastructure, opened today at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The Army Corps of Engineers, along with civilian staff and members of the New York National Guard, executed the dramatic transformation of the Javits Center from a normally bustling venue for trade shows and conventions to a fully equipped overflow medical facility in just one week. If needed, the makeshift hospital at the Javits Center can be expanded to accommodate 2,910 beds. This would make it one of the largest hospitals in America, regardless of ephemerality, according to ABC News. By comparison, New York-Presbyterian, the city’s largest hospital, has a 2,600-bed capacity. First floated as a potential field hospital earlier this month, the Javits Center, a vast green-roofed, glass-encased complex on Manhattan's far West Side designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, is the first of several Army Corps-identified facilities across the five boroughs to be adapted into a temporary medical hub. Late last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Army Corps, pending approval from the White House, will also convert four other facilities with considerable square footage into field hospitals: The Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the New York Expo Center in Bronx, CUNY Staten Island, and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. These four facilities will have the capacity for a combined 4,000 additional hospital beds as even more sites, including the Brooklyn Center Nursing Home and a Marriott hotel in downtown Brooklyn, are considered by state health officials as having overflow-need potential according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Cuomo has also stressed the need for temporary hospitals in New York City-adjacent counties including Westchester, Suffolk, Nassau, and Rockland. As of this writing, 59,742 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in New York, the most of any state. Nearly 800 people have perished from the virus in New York City alone. Over the weekend, a non-Army Corps-initiated field hospital also began to take shape in Central Park’s East Meadow. Designed specifically as a respiratory care unit, the 68-bed Central Park tent hospital is being constructed by volunteers enlisted by the faith-based humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System. Unlike the field hospital at the Javits Center, which will only provide care to those suffering from a range of health issues that aren’t coronavirus in order to take the mounting burden off of established hospitals grappling with New Yorkers stricken with the highly contagious viral disease, the Central Park facility is dedicated to treating “patients seriously ill with COVID-19,” per a statement released by Mount Sinai Hospital to BuzzFeed News. Back at the Javits Center, the transformation of the 1.8-million-square foot building’s cavernous exhibition halls into a Federal Emergency Management Agency-operated medical facility has been met with a positive response. And for those skeptical that the United States was capable of speedy, China-style turnaround in creating makeshift hospitals, the swift transformation of the Javits Center has proven that the Army Corps, when called upon, can get things done and get them done in an expeditious manner. (New York’s urgent need for ventilators and other supplies, however, is a whole other story.) All things considered, the temporary hospital at the Javits Center appears clean and comfortable. Individual beds contained within semi-enclosed “rooms” are shielded by three temporary walls and a curtained entrance made from seemingly the same materials formerly used to host booths in the space, while floor lamps, folding chairs, medical supplies, and side tables topped with (faux) potted plants complement the spaces. While the transformation doesn't appear to allow for individual treatment areas to include private plumbed fixtures, some online commentators have pointed out that a deficit of toilets at the Javits Center shouldn’t be a problem. “The Javits Center is an amazing facility,” ABC News reported Gen. Todd Semonite, head of the Army Corps of Engineers, as telling reporters at a press conference held last week. “Every 10 feet there's a great big steel door in the floor, you open it up in there is all the electrical; there's cold water, there's hot water and there's a place for sewers, so you can actually do things like sinks, right in the middle of a convention center to be able to make that happen.” Outside of New York City, the Los Angeles Convention Center, which was due to host the AIA Conference on Architecture 2020 in May, is in the process of being converted by the National Guard into a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-run field hospital as demand for hospital beds in the greater L.A. area begin to surge. Hard-hit Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay area, is also turning a large convention center into a temporary treatment center for COVID-19 patients presenting on-life threatening symptoms. Similar efforts are also planned or already underway at convention centers in Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, and elsewhere. To help with this unprecedented effort, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has launched a special task force to inform and offer guidance to public officials, architects, and healthcare facility operators as they convert existing buildings into temporary medical hubs at a pace never experienced before. The task force, according to a press statement, will develop a COVID-19 Rapid Response Safety Space Assessment for AIA members that includes “considerations for the suitability of buildings, spaces, and other sites for patient care. The assessment will be developed by architects with a wide range of expertise, including healthcare facility design, urban design, public health and disaster assistance.” “On a daily basis, I am hearing from our architects who feel a deep sense of moral duty to support our healthcare providers on the frontlines of this pandemic,” said AIA 2020 president Jane Frederick, FAIA. “As our communities assess buildings to address growing surge capacity, we hope this task force will be a resource to ensure buildings are appropriately and safely adapted for our doctors and nurses.”
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Takeaways from the AIA New York’s COVID-19 town hall

This afternoon, the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) hosted a webinar designed to explain what’s going on in New York City during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, how resources are being shared with the national chapter, and what architects can do to contribute. In Town Hall: Coping with COVID-19 Together, Barry Bergdoll, president of New York’s Center for Architecture joined Ben Prosky (executive director of AIANY), Jessica Sheridan, (AIA director at-large), and Kim Yao (AIANY 2020 president) to discuss how the chapter is navigating these difficult times (moderated by Kavitha Mathew, AIANY leadership and engagement coordinator). Most of the concerns raised and addressed by participants were practical ones. To start, AIANY staff is now working from home, like many of its members. Because of that, the Center for Architecture is closed for the time being and is working to move lectures and other events online for those who are self-isolating. Their K-12 education programming will also ramp up as well while schools are closed. On the business side, Yao mentioned that they had reached out to 770 firm principals in the last few days—so far AIANY has spoken with over 300 of them and left messages for the rest. Their aim was to see how offices were moving to remote work, how principals and their staff were handling things, and software was being used. As one could probably guess, having to juggle nine-plus hours of Zoom meetings with familial duties, or being stuck home with no human interaction, is wearing thin on morale and many architects are growing increasingly stressed. Compounding that stress is the payment issue; how are architects transitioning to digital checks and wire transfers, while avoiding the fees? Clients have also been slow to send their payments in many of the instances raised by town hall attendees, and the chapter is working to put together resources for getting paid digitally, and may hold a future webinar to help firms apply for local and federal loans in the meantime. Kermit Baker, the national AIA’s chief economist, is also working to put together an economic outlook for early next week to gauge the impact of coronavirus. One elephant in the room, especially for the New York-minded attendees, was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement this morning shutting down all “non-essential construction” across the state. That means job sites across New York State, except for affordable and homeless housing, hospitals, infrastructure projects, transportation, and power generation, have been shuttered for the time being. If construction sites are closed, will architects working on those projects still get paid? Prosky spoke on how they’re in conversation with the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to make sure firms are paid, but continuing work was an ongoing discussion. While the city was willing to contribute money to public projects during the 2008 recession, this time, it seems, they’re drawing a hard line and may soon start implementing severe cost-cutting measures citywide; the coronavirus crisis has already blown a $15 billion hole in the state’s budget and could cost the city over $6 billion. Still, the chapter noted they would continue to advocate for their members, though many ongoing projects could be scrapped. On a more uplifting note, many of the attendees wanted to know how they could contribute to combatting the spread of coronavirus, and mentioned that Pelli Clarke Pelli and a number of schools had begun 3D printing face shields for medical personnel. The AIA is currently working to coordinate between interested firms to help them more efficiently pool and distribute resources to those who most need them. Managing construction administration and figuring out site visits, students looking for potential internships, and the ramping up of virtual continuing education programs were all touched upon as well, but the meeting was more for members to voice their concerns and let the AIA know where they should focus their attention. The AIANY is coordinating with its neighbors and the national chapter to figure out the best path forward, and in the meantime has put together a resource page for those looking for more support and updates at aiany.org/resources/covid-19-resources/.
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Here are AN’s picks for architecture-themed movies and shows to enjoy while housebound

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life, and that certainly applies to readily available entertainment—movies, documentaries, television shows, and more—to watch while social distancing/self-quarantining/expanding one’s cinematic horizons during a global pandemic. Below, the AN editorial team has compiled a pointedly eclectic list of screen-based diversions to settle down with. The overarching emphasis here is obviously on architecture, design, and urbanism. However, we’ve applied that focus broadly and opted to include everything from French New Wave classics to sordid 1980s thrillers to dystopian neo-noir epics to trashy (but oh-so-enjoyable) reality TV and more. And for good measure, we’ve thrown in a few serious architecture documentaries, too. All are currently available to stream on various platforms. Sit back, relax, stay safe, and enjoy.

Alphaville (1965)

“Alphaville is easily my favorite Jean-Luc Godard film. Filmed on the streets of Paris in 1964, the story begins when a secret agent Lemmy Caution traverses the distant corners of the galaxy on a secret mission to a futuristic dystopian city, Alphaville. There, he seeks out an omnipresent scientist named Von Braun, the maker of Alpha 60, a mind-controlling computer that rules over citizens.”Gabrielle Golenda, products editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime and others. 

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

“If you can stomach languishing in a futuristic dystopia somehow worse than our own, Denis Villeneuve's 2017 sequel to the cult classic Blade Runner is certainly worth escaping into for three hours. The libertarian future of 2049 is populated by towering brutalist forms, mega-monoliths to greed, space-age pyramids, and a main villain's lair inspired by Spanish architects Barozzi / Veiga looks so good you'll forget that the world is dying outside of it. Consider it the anti-Wakanda.”Jonathan Hilburg, web editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and others.

Body Double (1984)

“There's nothing like a sleazy, ultra-stylish erotic thriller from Brian De Palma to take one's mind off the troubles of the world. Highly controversial on its release, Body Double, now a cult favorite, serves as both an homage to Alfred Hitchcock and a tribute to the architectural weirdness of Los Angeles. While numerous L.A. landmarks serve as backdrops including Tail O' the Pup, the Farmers Market, and the Hollywood Tower Apartments, the real star of the film is John Lautner's Chemosphere House (1960), a space-ship-y octagonal lair mounted on a concrete pedestal high in the Hollywood Hills. Reached only by funicular, the home, declared a Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monument in 2004, is currently owned by publisher Benedikt Taschen.”Matt Hickman, associate editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more.

Columbus (2017)

“Korean-born, Nashville-based supercut maestro Kogonada's feature directorial debut is a melancholy, but never despairing, romantic drama about love, loss, obligation, and modernist architecture. Filmed on location in the small Indiana city known as "the Athens of the Prairie," this tender, haunting film stars John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson alongside works by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern, Deborah Berke, and others. (Sorry Venturi fans but Fire Station Number 4 doesn't make a cameo appearance.) Added non-architectural bonus: Parker Posey in a small but memorable supporting role.”Matt Hickman, associate editor. ”Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. 

Grand Designs

“Grand Designs is a long-running British TV series. Each episode tracks the progress of some of the U.K.’s most ambitious and experimental self-built home projects. Host Kevin McCloud, a noted architectural journalist and architect in his own right, offers a succinct narration as he checks into each project at different stages. His advice and helping hand is often followed by bitting albeit constructive criticism.”–Adrian Madlener, interiors editor. Seasons 10 and 15 available on Netflix.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) (2013)

“La Grande Bellezza is an Academy Award-winning film by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino. While the movie follows a one hit wonder author and affluent playboy as he goes through the pangs of a late life crisis, its art direction casts Rome in a rhapsodic mise en scene. The capital city’s ancient and contemporary architecture is presented in an almost nostalgic way, devoid of its regular tourist hordes. The protagonist's self-reflection is emulated in this dramatic backdrop.”Adrian Madlener, interiors editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more.

Love Island UK, Season 6:

“The sixth season of British dating reality television show Love Island UK wrapped filming just as coronavirus was roaring onto the global stage, but watching it will transport you to a simpler world where a bevy of single twenty-somethings loll their days away while looking for love without leaving the confines of a South African villa. The house the contestants are kept in is a typical reality TV monstrosity (vapid slogans scrawled on the walls, 360-degree lighting, a riot of wall colors), but maybe this is where design is heading now that so many peoples’ houses have become backdrops for screen-mediated interactions. Or maybe the show is just a nice escape from the relentless news cycle. Either way, it’s worth a watch.”–Jack Morley Balderrama, managing editor. Available on Hulu.

Playtime (1967)

“This French comedy follows director Jacques Tati’s character as he bumbles his way through the modern spaces of 1960’s Paris. It’s almost more of a dance than drama performance, with the spaces playing a significant role in each scene.”Ian Thomas, art director. Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Poltergeist III (1988)

“The third and final installment of the Poltergeist franchise moves the action from an evil spirit-infested tract house in the Southern California ’burbs—“The house looks just like the one next to it … and the one next to that … and the one next to that”—to an ultra-modern Chicago high-rise. (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s John Hancock Center plays the role of sinister supertall well). Taking place almost entirely within the confines of said high-rise, this distinctly urban horror film, despite being critically lambasted, managed to render subterranean parking garages, mirrored hallways, elevators, window-cleaning platforms, and skyscrapers in general completely terrifying to an entire generation of children.”–Matt Hickman, associate editor. Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more

Other selections include:

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio (Sam Wainwright Douglas, 2010). Available on Amazon Prime. Eames: The Architect and the Painter (2011, Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey). Available on Google Play, iTunes, and more. Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (Peter Rosen, 2016). Available on YouTube. Helevetica (Gary Hustwit, 2007). Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Director Hustwit is streaming all of his documentary films, which also include Urbanized, Objectified, and Rams, for free during the COVID-19 crisis. Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story (Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Kathy McCampbell Vance, 2020). Available streaming on PBS. How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? (Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado, 2010). Available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and more. I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino, 2009). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. The Pruit-Igoe Myth (Chad Freidrichs, 2011). Available on iTunes. A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009). Available on Netflix. Sketches of Frank Gehry (Sydney, Pollack, 2005). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more. Unfinished Spaces (Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray, 2011). Available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and more.
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What does the coronavirus pandemic mean for architects?

For the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, AN will use this column to keep our readers up to date on how the pandemic is affecting architecture and related industries. This weekly article is meant to digest the latest major developments in the crisis and synthesize broader patterns and what they could mean for architecture in the United States. It’s now been over one week since the first state in the U.S., California, enforced a shelter in place order, disrupting the working lives of millions of Americans. The pandemic’s impact on architecture still isn’t totally clear; some construction sites are closed, financial markets are fluctuating, and designers are working from home, but whether or not the country is headed toward a long-term recession or whether it will bounce back once the acute period of the crisis passes is an open question. I spoke with Jonathan Moody, CEO of Ohio-based Moody Nolan, about how the pandemic is affecting his business and the industry more broadly. “We’re hoping for the best but planning for the worst,” Moody said. Lessons from 2008’s Great Recession are coming in handy, he said, particularly lessons about the value of diversifying project types and being aware that different sectors of the industry will fare differently. Education projects may be hampered by schools suddenly without students (the pandemic has spurred the San Francisco Art Institute to close permanently), while multifamily housing may see boosts from slashed interest rates. He also suggested that because construction timelines on large institutional projects are so long, a few weeks of interruption would pass relatively quickly and wouldn’t require firms to cut staffing.  The past few weeks have brought a jarring amount of change. Multiple architecture events have been postponed or canceled. The AIA has indefinitely postponed its annual conference, originally scheduled for mid-May in Los Angeles; Milan’s Salone del Mobile moved from April to June, before being canceled and moved to 2021; New York Design Week events have been pushed to October from May; and the Venice Architecture Biennale, also originally planned for May, will now open in August. Cultural institutions have started to feel the squeeze as they close or attendance plummets. Of course, there is also the human toll of the pandemic, visible in the death of Italian architect, planner, editor, and curator Vittorio Gregotti, who died of complications related to COVID-19 infection at the age of 92, and the death of theorist and the director emeritus of Graduate Urban Design Program of the City College of New York, Michael Sorkin. The profession’s day-to-day operations, for the most part, continue to go on, albeit in modified forms. Shelter in place orders mean that in architecture offices in hubs like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, employees are working from home and teleconferencing their way through the day (although WeWork refuses to close), but those same restrictions haven’t affected construction sites in the same way. Tradespeople continue to show up to sites across most of the country, even in places where office workers are staying home, although that is slowly changing. Construction Dive published an interactive map to keep track of construction-site closures across the country, which began in Boston and have slowly spread elsewhere. Some manufacturers have had to temporarily close factories because of shelter in place rules—Michigan’s many furniture producers had to pause work after that state’s social distancing order took effect on Tuesday—and some products from China and Italy are now less readily available Moody said that, so far, material and product supply chain delays had caused only a few minor hiccups to schedule, but had encouraged the company to think more about the necessity of items coming from halfway around the world. “Some of these products look really nice, but are they essential?” he said. Given that occupancy permits may be delayed because of a missing lightbulb from China, shipments of which may be delayed because of the pandemic, “we have to be a little more thoughtful about where [products] are coming from.” Memories of these supply chain disruptions may drive designers to source products and materials more locally even after the pandemic recedes. The crisis may also spur changes in how the broader public thinks about land use. Outdoor spaces are getting new attention. Inga Saffron wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer about how parks have become overcrowded refuges for cooped-up urbanites, and New York City is starting to close a couple of major streets in all of its boroughs to open up more space for exercise and recreation as vehicle traffic plummets. Shelter in place orders are also shining a light on the fact that many city dwellers don’t have a safe shelter to go to, and protesters in Southern California have occupied vacant homes to find housing that the government has not been able to provide. The explosion of cases is forcing cities to get nimble: New York is scrambling to convert spaces like the Javits Center to temporary treatment centers as the city runs out of hospital beds. Curbed wrote about how, like in past pandemics that have shaped the design of cities like New York, COVID-19 may be an inflection point in how urbanists plan our metropolises. The crisis could also spur changes to construction technology, encouraging contractors to adopt tools that could decrease the number of people on-site, like site-monitoring drones or robotic delivery. Moody said that his firm’s move toward state-of-the-art teleconferencing techniques a few months ago now seems prescient and is helping the company weather the crisis. Similar forward-thinking about construction sites might be what gets the industry through this or coming crises. While it’s easy to feel bogged down by the daily onslaught of news, Moody stressed the importance of looking ahead.We do know that this won’t last forever,” he said, “and the things that we’ve been working on will need to continue when ready.” In the meantime, he is seeing some upsides to the interruptions to normal work routines. “[The disruptions are] forcing us to really question what is essential and teaching us what is important. We’ve seen our staff and clients be more decisive and thoughtful about how to best leverage expertise, maximize value, and treat people the right way. We’re seeing our humanity on display, and we’re not ashamed to show that we care for one another.” And while you are stuck inside, there are some virtual ways to get out of the house and explore. Google has compiled over 500 virtual tours of museums from around the world; staff at the Museum of Modern Art have put together a list of movies and video art to stream; filmmaker Gary Hustwit’s design movies, like Helvetica and Urbanized, are available for free streaming; and schools including the University of Southern California are streaming their spring events online. I also recommend this history of the N95 mask if you’re looking for a good long read. Finally, if you’re able to help and are looking for opportunities, check out Invisible Hands, an organization pairing people who can’t leave their homes with others who can deliver their groceries or run errands.  Be well!