Good afternoon and welcome back to one of the last days of 2021. As the year wanes, here are some of the last news stories getting in under the wire:
Waymo unveils its newest fleet of self-driving electric taxis
The Alphabet-owned Waymo announced on December 28 that it has partnered with Chinese company Geely to produce its own proprietary electric, self-driving cars to beef up its forthcoming taxi service. The new cars, designed specifically for self-driving taxi trips, will be designed in Sweden (Geely owns Volvo). Although Waymo has been steadily expanding its testing areas and range of its for-hire vehicles, before the announcement the company had relied on grafting its technology to a range of existing car models, from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan to Jaguars.
H/t to The Verge
Extell reveals plans for another 5th Avenue supertall in Midtown Manhattan
Another week, another supertall tower planned to rise in Midtown Manhattan. As New York Yimby reports, developer Extell has filed permits for a tower at 46th Street and 5th Avenue that could rise to a height of 1,110 feet. The tower planned for 570 Fifth Avenue would be ridged with setbacks at the 197-foot, 699-foot, and 880-foot lines, and contain a mixture of residences, hotel rooms, and ground-floor retail. No architect has been revealed as of yet, but the project is expected to begin construction in 2023 and open in 2028.
H/t to New York YIMBY
Brooklyn’s Bushwick Inlet Park gets a $75 million boost
The de Blasio administration has announced that it will put $75 million toward the completion of Bushwick Inlet Park, a patch of waterfront green space that had been promised to Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents for 16 years as part of the area’s rezoning but ensnared by a tangle of existing properties. Although the CitiStorage building on the site burned down in 2015, progress on the park along the East River has been slow going.
That new funding, which combined with the $17 million previously allocated and another $1 million from the City Council for a total of $93 million, will go towards demolishing what remains of the warehouse, and the design and construction of the latest park parcel. The city has already purchased all of the parcels required for the park (the CitiStorage site was acquired for $165 million in 2017), and once complete, the entire park will span 25 acres, up from the 3.5 acres that currently makes up Bushwick Inlet Park. The next parcel to open, 50 Kent, will be completed in early 2022.
Gensler unveils a 49-story Toronto tower
Toronto’s newest tower could top out at 546 feet, or 49 stories, if developer Slate Asset Management’s Zoning By-law Amendment application for the corner of Yonge Street and St Clair Avenue West is successful. The company is looking for approval to build a mixed-use, Gensler-designed project which would balance a stark tower atop a 12-story podium adorned with pill-shaped windows and an open-air terrace that would run across the entire building. Two stories of underground parking are also planned. No estimated date of completion or when construction would begin have been made public yet.
H/t to Urban Toronto
The architectural rendering market is expected to grow by $1 billion over the next four years
The market for architectural renderings is expected to take off in a big way between now and 2025, or at least according to the new Global Architectural Rendering Software Market 2021-2025 report released on December 27. With urbanization and disposable income only expected to increase, the report estimates that the rendering market will grow by $971.89 million; the report also breaks down the positioning of the top players in the field and how they’re expected to fare.
H/t to Yahoo! Finance
Vice unveils an AR app for tracking the British Museum’s looted antiquities
Although the British Museum in London has been reluctant to repatriate its items of dubious holding (i.e. items that were looted from their homeland), visitors can now at least see which pieces of the collection were taken and from where. That’s thanks to the augmented reality “Unfiltered History Tour,” a combination of Instagram filters and podcast episodes that shed light on ten artifacts in the museum’s collection—and the moments they were removed from their original settings.
The project is a collaboration between Vice World News and Indian media company and creative agency Dentsu Webchutney. If you can’t make it to London (likely on account of the resurgent COVID cases currently wracking the globe), a full virtual tour of the ten objects is also available on the Unfiltered History Tour website.
H/t to Hyperallergic