Daily digest: A monumental lab building is complete in Harlem, Airbnb will house Ukrainian refugees, and more

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Daily digest: A monumental lab building is complete in Harlem, Airbnb will house Ukrainian refugees, and more

A rendering of the Taystee Lab Building, so named after the bread factory that used to sit on the same Harlem site. (Courtesy Janus Property Group)

Good afternoon and welcome back to yet another roundup of what’s going on in the world of art, architecture, and urbanism. With war raging for a seventh day, artists and architects are standing up both in Ukraine and Russia against further violence; AN will publish a comprehensive list of the events and projects canceled or on hold, and other anti-war protests from the design world this Friday.

Airbnb offers free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

As Russia continues to indiscriminately shell Ukrainian cities and residential areas, over 600,000 refugees are fleeing the country to avoid the fighting and that number could rise to 4 million by the summer. Now Airbnb has announced that, the home sharing company’s nonprofit arm, is paying up to 100,000 homeowners across the neighboring countries of Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Germany, and more to host refugees for an unspecified amount of time.

H/t to The Real Deal

A $700 million lab building in West Harlem is now complete

A sprawling 350,000-square-foot lab building is now complete in West Harlem, bringing space for scientific, academic, and creative industries to the neighborhood. Developed by the Janus Property Company and designed by Manhattan’s LEVENBETTS with SLCE acting as executive architect, the hulking 11-story steel-and-glass Taystee Lab Building will feature 20,000 square feet of space for retail and restaurants at its base. It is also the largest building that will rise as part of the Manhattanville Factory District, a mixed-use development that spans West 125th Street to West 128th Street.

H/t 6sqft

The National Transportation Safety Board begins an in-depth investigation of the Pittsburgh bridge collapse

After the shocking January 28 Fern Hollow Bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, the same day President Biden was touring the city to tout his administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, there is still no official answer for what caused the  447-foot-long bridge to buckle and break. Now, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched its comprehensive forensic review of the site. It will reportedly take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for the NTSB to issue a final recommendation. The agency will review archival footage of the bridge prior to the incident, as well as examine each individual component of the span. While no one was seriously hurt, 10 people treated for injuries resulting from the January collapse.

H/t to Engineering New-Record

NASA hands out another round of grants to research building on the moon

NASA has handed out $6 million in grants to three universities to further the development of technology that will one day help lunar colonists develop self-supporting settlements, with an eye towards eventually leapfrogging to Mars. The schools were each selected to research a different building block and will receive up to $2 million each over two years to pursue the following:

  • The Colorado School of Mines will research autonomous robot construction, allowing for construction on the moon’s surface (a prominent topic of study for the space agency in recent years);
  • Auburn University will research how to keep electronics functioning in extremely cold temperatures, for use on the dark side of the moon that receives no sunlight;
  • And the Missouri University of Science & Technology will work on improving techniques to separate aluminum and calcium from lunar regolith.

H/t to Construction Dive

L.A.’s City Planning Commission approves the $1 billion-plus convention center expansion

The $1 billion expansion at the Los Angeles Convention Center and J.W. Marriott hotel complex has been approved by Los Angeles’s City Planning Commission, moving the massive mixed-use project one step closer to reality. If built as proposed, a 37-story Gensler tower would combine the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels to create the second-largest hotel in the state. A flowing 700,000-square-foot addition to the convention center, designed by Populous, and a sweeping upgrade of the existing facilities and surrounding landscape are also on the table.

H/t to Urbanize Los Angeles

Russia bombs the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial

Five people were killed and another five injured after Russia bombed Babyn Yar in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, the site of one of the worst massacres of World War II when the city’s entire Jewish population was executed by Nazis over a two-day span in 1941. While Russia claims the target was the city’s main TV and radio tower at the site, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the bombing had damaged the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial site, where work is (or was) underway on a controversial $100 million memorial that will include several sites of worship, two museums, and a memorial to honor the 33,000 dead there.

H/t to Artnet News