🌊🚲Amsterdam’s Very Amsterdam Underwater Infrastructure

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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GM architecture aficionados ☕️☕️☕️

Summer is coming for the top half of the world while the bottom half takes its last gasps of the season, which only means one thing:

It’s time to be brave enough to visualize waterslides where there “aren’t any.”

Here’s what’s worth knowing this week in architecture and design:

→ OPEN Architecture Wins Big on Yichang Grand Theater Bid 🎭

→ MVRDV to Design AI Hub Visible From Space 🚀

→ Amsterdam’s Very Amsterdam Underwater Infrastructure 🌊🚲

→ Boston’s City Hall Glow-up 🏛️

→ Who Said What!? Hot Takes From Around the World of A & D 🗣️

→ Drop it Like it’s Hot: New Structure of the Week 🔥

→ Amsterdam’s Very Amsterdam Underwater Infrastructure 🌊🚲

It’s not often we feature garages in the newsletter. But Wurck out of the Netherlands just dropped an underwater bike garage a stone’s throw from Amsterdam’s central station that is extremely functional, culturally trendy, and super stylish.

Built to fit 7K bikes, and directly connected to both metro and railway systems in the city, this is a novel innovation and one we’d expect to see more of around Europe.

OPEN Architecture Wins Big on Yichang Grand Theater Bid 🎭

International icons OPEN Architecture have won their bid to design the Yichang Grand Theater. There is a serious river theme here, as the theater is located where the Yangtze and Huangbai converge.

The Yichang clocks in at 70K sq.m, complete with a 1.6K-seat main theater / 12K-seat concert hall / 400-seat black box as well as all the community and commercial amenities you’d expect in a modern cultural hub.

→ Boston’s City Hall Glow-up 🏛️✨

If you need faith that places can fundamentally change, check the story of Boston’s city hall facelift. Once called a “vast wasteland,” it’s now being called a “friendly, accessible landscape.” Originally, somehow, inspired by Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy, the late 60s Brutalist hulk had not aged so well.

Really struggling to see the resemblance… Brutalism was crazy 😭

12-15K people can now comfortably fit in the beautiful plaza out front, which is resplendent with 250 fresh trees, over 3K ft of seating space, and a playground.

MVRDV to Design AI Hub Visible From Space🚀

Speaking of Dutch firms and international icons, MVRDV is back at it. Their Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence hub is not only going to be the gem of Heilbronn, Germany, but it is also going to be visible from space.

Everything from start-up centers to laboratories to restaurants to kindergartens will be on site.

More on this as it develops.

Who Said What!? 🗣️

“Today, prominent, centrally located urban land is quickly sold off to private developers… So the social housing we manage to do often ends up being a bit under-the-radar. It requires almost guerrilla tactics to pull off: We’re working with snippets of land next to railway lines, or bits and scraps that have been used for storage or garage space.”

→ this is a great interview with Peter Barber about his “Guerilla Urbanism” in London UK

“For most buildings, tall timber does not make sense… Timber’s natural home is low-rise construction.”

→ this newsletter features many voices from the unambiguously pro-timber crowd, so only fair to shed some light on the movement’s (moderate) opposition

“There have always been architects. They, we, are a necessary, even vital, component to human society. Architects may not always have been called architects but for most of history there have been someones who “designed” shelter and guided its construction… after 3,000 years of well-meant adaptation and evolution, architecture is a hollowed-out profession with architects seemingly less vital than ever.”

→ This Eleanor Jolliffe opinion piece pulls no punches

Drop it Like it’s Hot: New Structure of the Week 🔥

“Reading Between the Lines” is an architectural installation in Borgloon, Belgium by Belgian duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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