Daily digest: New York City legalizes mass timber construction, the world’s first 3D-printed parkour park, and more

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Daily digest: New York City legalizes mass timber construction, the world’s first 3D-printed parkour park, and more

New York City has made changes to the building code to both legalize cross-laminated timber construction and ease basement apartment regulations (the blowup/Unsplash)

Good morning and welcome back to another top-of-the-week roundup. Whether you have the day off for Indigenous Peoples’ Day or are in the office, there’s still plenty to catch up on.

Here’s what’s going on today:

New York City approves mass timber building, basement apartment changes

On Thursday, October 7, the New York City Council approved changes to the building code that will allow cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction across all five boroughs (up to 85 feet). This change might not seem like much in a city of supertall skyscrapers, but prior to the change such projects were required to pass a lengthy individual approvals process.

Also on the council’s docket was a change that could mean big things for the legalization of basement apartments, a popular housing typology often at the fringes of code compliance. After Hurricane Ida brought extreme flooding to the region last month and killed eight residents in such units, the City Council has lowered the ceiling height requirement for basement apartments to just seven feet. This could help building owners bring those units into compliance easier and build out the necessary emergency egresses.

H/t to The Real Deal

The world’s first 3D-printed parkour park is now open in Prague

Athletes in Prague, Czech Republic, can now sprint and leap across the world’s first 3D-printed parkour park (and for everyone else, it doubles as an outdoor gym). Designed by Daniel Samek, an architect and vice chairman of the Czech Parkour Association, the 45-foot-wide park was printed using concrete over steel scaffolding, creating a mix of hurdles and bulbous organic forms to leap on and over.

H/t to Archinect

Barely any of New York’s supertalls have received a final certificate of occupancy

None of the skyscrapers on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, the stretch of 57th Street now heavy with supertall towers filled with high-end residences, have received final certificates of occupancy, according to a new New York Times report. All of the city’s supertall towers have secured temporary certificates of occupancy but only three of New York’s 25 tallest buildings have received certificates from the Department of Buildings denoting their full completion. Elevator checks, fire inspections, plumbing certifications and more are all missing at towers that reach over 1,000 feet tall—and in the case of 432 Park Avenue, which lacks a full certificate of occupancy, residents are suing over the building’s engineering and design deficiencies.

H/t to the New York Times

Ennead unveils a bulbous performance center for Shenzhen

rendering of a bulbous golden concert hall
(Courtesy Ennead Architects/Rendering by In Place)

Ennead Architects has been crowned the winner of an international design competition for the International Performance Center in Shenzhen, China, a combination concert hall, performing arts center, and host to public amenities like a restaurant and gallery. The team’s winning design features a large, flat multistory atrium enclosed in glass to allow sweeping views of the surrounding neighborhood (and views inside), topped by two gold shells extruding from the roof; one will contain the Dream Theater and the other holds the Star Concert Hall.

The Downtown L.A. Civic Center will get even more housing

The City of Los Angeles is refining a master plan for the Downtown L.A. Civic Center to allow for more affordable housing. The Civic Center Master Development Plan, launched in 2017, called for 3.1 million square feet of redevelopment at the site to encompass a mixture of government offices and residential units by 2035. Now, to help hit the city’s 2025 housing goals, the mix has been tweaked to bring tentatively bring 3.5 million square feet of housing to the site (up from 2.4 million), and to build out 1.5 million square feet of office space in the surrounding neighborhood.

H/t to Urbanize Los Angeles

The Vancouver Biennale is hunting for a wealthy buyer to keep headless sculptures in the city

Are you a deep-pocketed art aficionado willing to put $2 million towards Vancouver’s art scene? Vancouver Biennale president Barrie Mowatt is searching for a benefactor to purchase the five headless cast iron statues currently installed at the City Hall subway station and donate them to the city. The Headless Walking Figures, created by late Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, were originally commissioned for the 2005 to 2007 Biennale and were intended to be sold off to help fund the arts festival—only five of the 20 made remain in Vancouver.

H/t to The Art Newspaper