Daily digest: HUD has been selling flood-prone homes without disclosing, new Expo 2020 Dubai photos, and more


Daily digest: HUD has been selling flood-prone homes without disclosing, new Expo 2020 Dubai photos, and more

Extensive flooding along the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. According to NPR, HUD has been reselling homes in flood-prone sections of coastal New Jersey and beyond without disclosing the risk. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region/Public Domain)

Welcome back to another Monday, and the start of another full workweek.

Here’s what you need to know today:

HUD has been selling flood-prone homes without disclosing the danger

A new report from NPR indicates that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) resold foreclosed homes across the country from 2017 through 2020 in dangerously flood-prone areas without disclosing the risk to homebuyers. Of the 100,000 homes sold in that period, a disproportionate number were located in federally designated flood zones and the department failed to inform buyers until their offer had been submitted or a nonrefundable deposit had been paid. Aside from putting homeowners in the path of potentially catastrophic flooding, expensive flood insurance is required and often not factored into the lower-than-market-rate price of the houses sold by HUD.

H/t to NPR

Preview Expo 2020 Dubai in these new photos before it opens next month

After being delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai is on track to open on October 1. Ahead of the mega-sized architecture festival, which will remain on display through March 31, 2022, and require strict COVID protocols for visitors, organizers have released a comprehensive drone flythrough of the entire fairgrounds, including the Asif Khan-designed central observation tower and carbon fiber gateways. If you can’t (or aren’t willing to) travel to Dubai, this could be the next best way to experience the national pavilions.

H/t to ArchDaily

Eighty-four percent of the world’s tallest towers have been built since 9/11

A new report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) reveals that 84 percent of the world’s towers taller than 656 feet (200 meters) were completed after September 11th, rebuking the idea at the time that the attacks would slow down tall building construction. The Global Impact of 9/11 on Tall Buildings report breaks down both the acceleration and diversification of the tall building trend post-9/11 and shows where the Twin Towers would rank today globally. Eighty-six of the world’s tallest 100 towers were built after September 11, 2001, and the CTBUH tracks how supertall construction has gained ground in Asia and the Middle East.

Kinetic sculptures from George Rickey drop onto the High Line and Park Avenue

Several public installations from the late sculptor George Rickey have opened in Manhattan at two different exhibition sites: the Kasmin Sculpture Garden in Chelsea and Park Avenue from 52nd to 56th Streets. The installations at both sites are now open to the public and will remain on view through November.

Three kinetic pieces are on display at the Kasmin gallery’s rooftop sculpture garden, which is viewable from the High Line near 27th Street, including Rickey’s striking Two Red Lines. Joining the High Line-adjacent works are nine sculptures installed along the Park Avenue meridian, including the breaking and reassembling Breaking Column II (1989), which stands in stark contrast to the strong, rigid towers that create a valley around the avenue.

A full breakdown of the installations, and video of each, can be found on the George Rickey Foundation website.

A floating fire station will open on the San Francisco waterfront

A novel floating fire station will open in San Francisco this fall at Pier 22½. The two-story, 15,000-square-foot facility will serve both as a fire station with emergency response capabilities, but also as the launch point for three fire boats and marine rescue vehicles. The combined facility, which cost about $39.9 million, is replacing an individual fire station and boat launching facility—and is expected to be more resilient to flooding and seismic events than either of the previous buildings.

H/t to Engineering News-Record

Gensler reveals an updated look for its Downtown Los Angeles staircase tower

Gensler has revealed an updated version of its forthcoming full-block tower at 8th Street and Hope Avenue in Downtown L.A., this time adding more residential units to address the city’s dire lack of housing (according to developer Mitsui Fudosan America (MFA)). The proposed 44-story tower would rise to a height of 592 feet with three dramatic setbacks, creating a staircase-like massing with every floor ringed with balconies. The new scheme will feature 580 apartments atop a podium containing retail space and parking for nearly 600 cars.

H/t to Urbanize Los Angeles