Plant Prefab, a sustainable home construction company committed to prefabricated buildings, launched its patented Plant Building System, allowing for home construction that produces less waste and requires little to no land alteration.

Contributing to nearly 40% of the planet’s carbon greenhouse emissions, home-building generally involves the excessive use of resources, construction waste, and land alterations. As the world moves toward environmental consciousness, various industries are following suit.

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This vertical forest in China brings nature to the urban environment

Vertical garden meets residential accommodation in the new Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex in Huanggang, Hubei province, China. Stefano Boeri Architetti China is behind the design, which has just welcomed its first tenants. It continues the Italian architect and Salone del Mobile 2021 curator Boeri’s exploration of the Bosco Verticale (vertical forest) concept of sustainable architecture. His award-winning, first, Milanese iteration, named the world’s 2015 Best Tall Building, has already welcomed residents in apartments and penthouses.

Of the new Huanggang complex, Boeri says: ‘The design allows an excellent view of the tree-lined façades, enhancing the sensorial experience of the greenery and integrating the plant landscape with the architectural dimension. Thus, the inhabitants of the residential towers have the opportunity to experience the urban space from a different perspective while fully enjoying the comfort of being surrounded by nature.’

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Big National Fitness Chain Opens New Location In Prince George’s County

LA Fitness has picked up where 24 Hour Fitness left off at Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden. 

The gym opened earlier this month at the Prince George’s County shopping center, which is anchored by a Wegmans grocery store, a Costco and other large tenants.

The company, which operates five other gyms in the county, took over space at 9450 Ruby Lockhart Blvd. that was previously occupied by 24 Hour Fitness, which closed several D.C.-area locations in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and its ensuing bankruptcy reorganization. 

LA Fitness renovated the 42,154-square-foot space, according to Urban Edge Properties, which bought Woodmore Towne Centre at the end of 2021.

Designs of the Decade: The Best Religious Buildings From 2012 to Today

Though traditions established over the course of centuries, worship buildings have come to be associated with pointed arches, intricate carvings, gilded finishes, ornate domes and more. But as worship rituals adapt to current times, so has the architecture that accommodates them. Over the past decade, cutting-edge winners of the A+Awards have reimagined how religious symbolism can be successfully translated to abstract ideas and geometric forms that fit better with the architecture of culture today.

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10 Ways Cities Came Back in 2021

Year Two of the Covid-19 pandemic brought about innovations in architecture, technology, equality, climate and transportation in cities across the globe.Even as Covid-19 continues to disrupt urban life around the world, some cities this year still made transformative — and in some cases unprecedented — changes toward improving residents’ health, safety and overall livability. 

Leaders announced policies and initiatives to tackle issues from climate change to inequality, and they experimented with cutting-edge technology to bring cities into the future. In many cases, the social and economic fallout of the pandemic also forced cities to rethink the ways they’ve always done things, and implement solutions that challenge the status quo.

Here are 10 ways cities, and the people in them, not only continued to move forward in a hectic year, but also brought ingenuity and innovation to residents.

Architecture: Rethinking building ventilation

In March, Uber Technologies Inc. opened its new San Francisco headquarters, two buildings skinned in glass and connected by a transparent sky bridge. But the 180 glass panes that cover much of the facade are more than just for aesthetics. Designed by the technologically innovative SHoP Architects, they open and shut automatically throughout the day, allowing for natural air flow and temperature regulation. While plans were first unveiled back in 2015, the design addresses two of today’s most urgent crises: the pandemic and climate change. The spread of Covid-19 spotlighted the need for adequate ventilation in buildings, while cities are also rethinking their reliance on heat and air conditioning.


Villa Timmerman is a warm and clever prefab timber Swedish home

Askim is a popular residential suburb of Gothenburg, established, and elegantly mixing family homes with nature. It is here that Villa Timmerman stands tall, perched on a south-east slope overlooking the sea – a new, semi-detached house created by Andreas Lyckefors, of architecture studio Bornstein Lyckefors, and his wife, architect Josefine Wikholm. The prefab timber Swedish home was created and self-financed by the pair as their own family base. 

‘It was a challenge to create a semi-detached house with equal qualities at both ends, as they naturally face different directions. We had to study the local conditions carefully and take into account weather, views, sun, evening sun, contact with the street and neighbours. In the end, the house could be arranged so that both parts of the house get morning, noon and evening sun. There is always sun on one terrace or balcony during the bright part of the day,’ says Lyckefors. 


Washington Football Team Said To Be Pushing For Domed Stadium In Northern Virginia

Officials with the Washington Football Team have been increasing their efforts to build a new stadium and mixed-use complex in Northern Virginia.

According to The Washington Post, the team is most interested in pursuing a domed stadium in Loudoun or Prince William counties. The Post cites five anonymous sources who said the franchise is looking for the Virginia General Assembly to pass a measure that would change the state’s baseball stadium authority into an agency that would oversee the financing and construction of a new NFL stadium.

Stadium authorities typically install special tax districts that create revenue to construct a stadium or surrounding infrastructure. The Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority was created in 1995 with an eye toward attracting a Major League team to the state (the Nationals did not come to Washington until 2005).


Hampton University Wins 1st Place in Disney On The Yard Innovation Challenge

HAMPTON, Va. (December 8, 2021) – Hampton University wins the Disney On The Yard Innovation Challenge, a design competition created and administered by The Walt Disney Company for the purpose of seeking out and nurturing the next generation of students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). 

The Hampton U. Team

“We enjoy seeing our students go above and beyond. Congratulations to these students on this outstanding accomplishment. Hampton University looks forward to seeing their continued success,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. 

The Disney On The Yard Innovation Challenge provides the opportunity for students at a participating HBCU to showcase their skills and talents to Disney by submitting team projects in response to the Disney project challenge. Provided with a project challenge, HBCU student teams work to deliver an original concept similar to a case. “The project design focused on an area being studied by the 3rd year design students and focused on sea level rise. The students created a Disney character, Zahara, an Egyptian princess whose mission was to inform the public about the challenges of rising seas. Their design was entitled Zahara’s Palace and served as a community gathering space,” said Chair, Department of Architecture and Competition Faculty Advisor, Robert L. Easter.

The first place winner!

Four Hampton University Students participated in the challenge, winning $4,000 in scholarship money, a Disney Plus subscription for themselves, and a $10,000 reward to be divided between the programs of each student.

  • Abdul Cokley – Sophomore, Marketing Major
  • Alexis Golston – Senior, Management Major
  • Trajan Baker – 3rd year, Architect Student, who served as the team lead
  • Yndeiah Kilby – 3rd year, Architect Student


College Park Opens New $47 Million City Hall

College Park’s new city hall recently opened, adding a major new landmark to the Route 1 corridor in the city’s downtown.

The $47 million project, split between the city and the University of Maryland, is designed to not just house city agencies but also provide office and retail space, an outdoor gathering space and a bold architectural statement.

Located at 7401 Baltimore Ave., city hall joins the Hotel at the University of Maryland, another multi-million dollar project backed by the university, as well as a new science building, student housing, apartments, shops and event spaces along Route 1 in College Park.

The city and the university are pushing the redevelopment in a bid to make College Park to one of the country’s top-20 college towns.


Media Scapes in China: How Culture and Politics is Shaping Connected Media Facades

Media Scapes in China: How Culture and Politics is Shaping Connected Media Facades, Light show with connected media facades for the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in Futian Central Business District in Shenzhen, China. Lighting control by Osram / Traxon e:cue.. Image © Traxon e:cue

Outside of China, media facades usually appear as proud individualists vying for attention at night. In China, however, you can find large groups of media facades with a common message in numerous metropolitan areas. These media facades visually merge multiple skyscrapers into a panoramic entity. But what are the reasons that this phenomenon is unique to China? And how did it start? The Media Architecture Biennale linked culture and politics to provide an answer to the emergence of media scapes in China.Save this picture!

Diagram of media facade choreography analyzing the storytelling with visual patterns, text, abstract and concrete elements, movements, topics, sound and colors with regard to a light show in Hangzhou, China, 2017. Image

With China’s growing desire to present itself as a major player in the international community, the government has looked for a representative stage to welcome guests for important national and international events. In this way, the panoramic light shows appear as the perfect platform to convey cultural identity and technological leadership and send this message to the worldwide media. The introduction of spectacular light shows, for instance, for the G20 summit in Hangzhou in 2016, the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in 2017 or the 40th Anniversary of Shenzhen in 2018, clearly underline the political ambition. In Shenzhen, the more than 40 connected buildings have created a colorful dynamic panorama scroll of the city’s glorious history in recent decades, landscape and technical innovations.