GM architecture aficionados,
Welcome back to the newsletter that knows what you go through:
But don’t get me wrong— we’re for the people, too.
Here’s what’s good:
→ Vegas Sphere’s Debut Light Show🔮
→ Small Cities Making Big Design Statements 😤
→ Asia’s Biggest Timber Building Just Dropped 🪵
→ Drop it Like it’s Hot: New Structure of the Week 🔥
→ Who Said What!? Hot Takes From Around the Scene 🗣️
Vegas Sphere Lights Up 🔮
Populous’s $2.3B sphere in Vegas made a massive July 4 debut— coming in just slightly $1B over budget (we’ve all been there, right?).
Not only is the Sphere set to display the biggest LED spectacles in the world (54000 meters), but it is also on track to be the largest spherical structure on the planet as well. With its official premiere as an entertainment venue arriving soon, September 29, the space is set to hold 23K people and 170K ultra-directional speakers.
BTW: The East London Sphere remains on hold.
Big News For Timber-Heads 🪵
We are in the midst of a timber revolution RN, and these two new gems are building on that hype.
Toyo Ito & Associates’ “Gaia” at Nanyang Technological University is the biggest timber building in Asia.
The Pritzker-winning architect completed this campus building with 12 lecture theatres, a ~200-seat auditorium, tons of labs, seminar spaces, offices, classrooms, and more.
Small Cities, Big Statements 😤
This is a really nice piece on some major gems in less-recognized cities. The article lays out 10, but I’ll pick 3 and leave you to follow the link for the rest.
By EDS International, The National Taitung University Library and Information Center in Taitung, Taiwan, is amazing.
You’ve probably heard the buzz on Porto, Portugal. Buildings like Edifício Fábrica das Devesas by Anarchlab capture the little city’s magic.
The quickly-growing Ghaziabad, India, is home to some marvelous structures, like The Cantilever House by ZED Lab.
Who Said What!? 🗣️🔥
“It is objectively embarrassing for the field of architecture to have tied itself to such a ridiculous fad that anyone with any common sense could see was both pointless and highly reviled by the public. But more importantly, the tech industry in its current iteration—which increasingly looks like a never-ending cycle of intangible hype bubbles at its best and financial scams at its worst—is no friend of architecture. It will not provide anything of lasting value or of considerable productiveness to society. The cycles of boom and bust are getting shorter and shorter and the wares being hawked more and more financialized and unstable.”
– Kate Wagner goes off on architecture’s massive metaverse L
“What we can most certainly learn is that the focus should be people driven, not business driven. Perhaps it is fair to say Paris is more concerned with the needs of its citizens than London. The British capital seems more dependent on the finance sector and interested in staying attractive to large corporate investors.”
– Daniel Pohner on what London and Paris can teach each other about tall buildings
“Basic math is helpful, sure, but I don’t think ‘good at math’ is one of the more important qualities for an architect. We all draw on the computer now, so I find half the time I’m using a distance command to find out the height of an 8-foot ceiling + 2-foot structure because my mind is more fixed on design than math at that point anyway.”
– this piece by Bob Borson explains why you don’t have to be particularly good at math to be an architect
Drop it Like it’s Hot: New Structure of the Week 🔥
S NINE, a co-working space in Pune India designed by PMA Madhushala? It’s sick.