Daily digest: BIG makes waves in Milan, the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist, and more


Daily digest: BIG makes waves in Milan, the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist, and more

The swooping CityWave will pull double duty as both a solar power collector and an entrance gateway to the new CityLife complex (Courtesy BIG)

Welcome back to another morning news roundup. As the days get longer and temperatures drop, the annual cycle of big project news is reliably beginning to ramp back up again.

Here’s what you need to know today

BIG breaks ground on a swooping wavelike building in Milan to unite an ambitious master plan

Last week, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) began work on its low-slung CityWave building in Milan, a massive U-shaped canopy structure that will unite three towers across the CityLife site. The roof of CityWave, supported by rows of super slender columns, will stretch more than 656 feet (200 meters) across the site and pull double duty as one long photovoltaic panel and an entrance gateway to the “neighborhood.” A 12- and 22-story building each bookend CityWave. The new building joins towers by Zaha Hadid Architects, Daniel Libeskind and Arata Isozaki at the site.

SUPERFLEX will project a 505-foot-tall video installation at the U.N. for climate week

a 500-foot-tall video projection of a jellyfish
Vertical Migration visualization by SUPERFLEX (Courtesy SUPERFLEX)

Climate week kicks off September 20 in New York, as does the 76th United Nations General Assembly; timed to coincide with both and raise awareness of the dire straits the planet is facing thanks to manmade climate change, arts collective SUPERFLEX will project a 505-foot-tall video installation on the north facade of the United Nations Secretariat building from September 21 through 24.

Vertical Migration will show a computer-generated siphonophore, which might at first glance appear to be a single animal but is actually composed of a colony of single-celled organisms, drifting across the building. Vertical Migration will run all four nights from 8 p.m. through 11 p.m. and will be accompanied by the Interspecies Assembly sculpture in Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell.

Here’s the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) unveiled the shortlist for its prestigious Stirling Prize today, one year after the institute announced that the 2020 edition would be canceled due to COVID travel restrictions (the jury must tour each project under consideration in person). Because of that, the six-item 2021 shortlist contains a number of slightly older projects. They include:

  • Windermere Jetty Museum, Cumbria, by Carmody Groarke
  • Kingston University London – Town House by Grafton Architects
  • 15 Clerkenwell Close, London, by Groupwork (Amin Taha’s limestone-faced home and office building that narrowly avoided demolition in August of 2019)
  • Cambridge Central Mosque by Marks Barfield Architects
  • Tintagel Castle Footbridge for English Heritage, Cornwall, by Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates
  • Key Worker Housing – Eddington, Cambridge, by Stanton Williams

The 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize winner will be announced next month on October 14.

H/t to The Architects’ Journal

Charting the history of the Phoenix Convention Center

In the early 1960s, Phoenix found itself as one of the few major American cities without a major performance venue, and when big acts came to town, they were forced to play high school auditoriums. A group of fed-up residents led the charge to build an official venue, and the $16 million Phoenix Convention Center broke ground in July of 1968 after a successful campaign, which you can read more about on azcentral, digital home of the Arizona Republic.

H/t to azcentral

With Burning Man canceled, drones recreated some of the festival’s most famous installations

With the 2021 edition of art and “free expression” festival Burning Man canceled due to the pandemic for the second year in a row, organizers have instead turned to virtual and smaller-scale informal events. To that end, the Amsterdam-based Studio Drift filled the void at the unofficial “Renegade Man” festival in Nevada, using hundreds of synchronized drones to recreate some of Burning Man’s greatest hits; that includes BIG’s silvery sphere, The ORB, from 2018.

H/t to Dezeen

L.A. County votes to halt new oil wells as extraction winds down

Los Angeles County is dotted with oil wells both hidden and well publicized, but extraction could soon begin to wind down. Yesterday, September 15, the county’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to prohibit new oil wells in unincorporated areas (which covers 65 percent of the county) and potentially shut down some of those already in operation. The California Independent Petroleum Association (quite obviously) lobbied hard against the proposal, to little avail; the board cited the myriad health and environmental problems plaguing communities around the wells, as well as the climate change implications, as more than enough evidence for their decision. If the measure is implemented, another 1,600 wells could have their drilling permits revoked as their usage for oil and gas extraction would be changed to “nonconforming.”

H/t to Gizmodo