The primary function of architecture, and possibly the most important and basic, is to protect against the weather. Whereas our ancestors would stack tree trunks and animal skins to create rudimentary shelters against the sun and rain, the emergence of architecture took on impressive proportions, creating temples and captivating spaces that fulfill many other functions. The purpose of sheltering people from the outdoors, however, remains an important one and can turn an outdoor area into a functional and engaging space. With all the innovations that currently exist, there are also numerous improvements emerging for their mechanisms and functions.
12 Black Architects Making History Today
Black History Month is a time to reflect upon the past and reckon with the long history of racism and inequality that has disenfranchised Black Americans to this day. It is also a time to acknowledge the contributions and celebrate the achievements of generations of Black communities across all areas of society. A history that should not be limited to a single month, we recognize the urgency of listening to and amplifying Black voices all year round.
The under-representation of Black architects and designers continues to mar the architectural profession. Today, Black people make up 14% of the United States’ population; yet, less than 2% of the approximately 113,000 architects licensed in our country are Black. In addition to increasing diversity within the profession, the industry must confront the need to design more equitable spaces and cities and incorporate communities of color into these design processes. As Kweku Addo-Atuah beautifully states, “It takes the collective populace to imagine and shape the built environment, and for it to be truly reflective and responsive to society, inclusiveness must be at the forefront of collaboration.”
Read more: https://www.noma.net/news/architizer-recognizes-noma-leaders-and-members-in-february-article/
The NFL always wins
America is obsessed with football — a love affair that has allowed the NFL to tighten its already-firm grip on our culture despite mounting scandals.
The big picture: From brain injuries to toxic workplaces to racism allegations, the NFL is no stranger to outrage. Then Sunday arrives, and all is seemingly forgiven.
That will be the case once again this week, as the same networks currently reporting on the Brian Flores lawsuit and Commanders harassment allegations will begin promoting the Super Bowl.NFL fans, much like those networks, have shown a willingness to separate the product from the business, which has made the league impervious to gaffes that would doom most organizations.
State of play: The NFL has arguably never been more entertaining than it was this season, delivering unrivaled parity, a record number of close games and thrilling playoff drama.
The league accounted for 41 of the 50 most-watched U.S. broadcasts in 2021, which explains why its media partners are willing to pay more than $100 billion over the next decade-plus to broadcast games.The Broncos’ sale price could exceed $4 billion, which would smash the record for richest sports team sale. Sunday’s Super Bowl will be played in the most expensive sports venue ever built (~$5.5 billion).
The other side: The NFL has reached these heights despite spending the past decade mired in controversy. A few demons that aren’t going away:
Brain injuries: In 2013, the NFL agreed to a $765 million settlement after retired players alleged the league concealed what it knew about concussions. A few years later, a neuropathologist examined the brains of 111 deceased NFL players, and all but one had CTE, a brain disease linked with repeated blows to the head.Racism concerns: Roughly 70% of NFL players are Black, but Mike Tomlin is the only active Black head coach. There’s also the “race norming” practice used in the concussion settlement, Jon Gruden’s emails and the Kaepernick saga and collusion lawsuit.Lack of accountability: The NFL’s investigation into misconduct allegations in Washington hasn’t been transparent, and owner Dan Snyder may have control over whether the results are made public — a reminder that Roger Goodell works for the owners, not with them.
By the numbers: NFL fans may be divided when it comes to issues like kneeling during the national anthem, but in general, most feel the same way about the league: They love it.
51% of Americans are professional football fans, according to a 2021 Axios-Ipsos poll. No other sport cracked 40%.That includes 51% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans and 55% of independents. The NFL is also equally favored by Black and white Americans.
The last word: “The NFL doesn’t care about your concerns, because the NFL doesn’t have to,” as NYT’s Kurt Streeter put it — not as long as viewership, revenue and franchise values continue to outpace every other sports league on Earth.
DC’s Biggest Disaster Struck 100 Years Ago At The Knickerbocker Theater
More than two feet of snow had fallen on the District of Columbia, as movie-goers settled into their seats in the warmth of the Knickerbocker Theater on January 28, 1922. The theatre in Adams Morgan was the largest in the city, with seating for more than 1,500, but on this cold, snowy night, just 300 perople showed up — mostly those who lived within walking distance and could trudge through the snow to the grand movie palace at the corner of 18th St. and Columbia Rd. NW.
“This was the titanic of theaters,” says Kevin Ambrose, who has written two books about the Knickerbocker, and writes about weather as a freelancer for the Washington Post.
Read more: https://dcist.com/story/22/01/28/dc-biggest-disaster-100-years-ago-knickerbocker-theater/
PLANT PREFAB’S PATENTED HOME BUILDING SYSTEM USES SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION METHODS TO DESIGN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
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.
Read more: https://www.yankodesign.com/2022/01/29/plant-prefabs-patented-home-building-system-uses-sustainable-construction-methods-to-design-affordable-housing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=plant-prefabs-patented-home-building-system-uses-sustainable-construction-methods-to-design-affordable-housing
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.’
Read more: https://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/vertical-forest-stefano-boeri-china
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.
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).