Design & Build Review: Issue 15 | October 2014

Perhaps the most striking illustration of China’s rapid economic and societal transformation is the changing face of the country’s swiftly expanding cities. Rapid urban growth has fuelled a construction boom, with large-scale mixed-use developments inspired by Western architecture shooting up from the ground in the country’s cities. We find out what this trend means for China’s urban heritage.

We also find out how architects are tackling the problem of urban air pollution with new ideas, such as Orproject’s Bubbles which envisions enclosed green spaces in the city, speak to the architect of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 about why people matter more than architectural gimmicks, and explore new projects combining sustainability with innovation to create remarkable wooden structures, from tree house to skyscraper.

Moreover, we learn about the engineering challenges involved in building the world’s first 1km high skyscraper, the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, and take a look at a new flying drone which promises to speed up building inspection and assessment for renovation projects.

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In this issue

Drones to Make Building Assessments a Breeze
From farming to security, drones are being developed for almost every application imaginable, and now, thanks to a team in Germany, building renovation is no different.
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Breathing in the Bubble
Levels of air pollution in the world’s biggest cities are increasing rapidly. Matt Burgess looks at a project that aims to create pollution-free safe spaces.
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Cities Within Cities
China’s rapidly urbanising population has created a construction boom, with no end in sight. Chris Lo explores how large-scale mixed-use developments are changing the face of China’s cities.
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Heathrow T2: The People’s Terminal
Luis Vidal’s Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport puts practicality and the passenger experience ahead of the visual and verbal rhetorics of iconicity. What some have called humble, the traveller may welcome as habitable, hospitable and humane.
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A Megatall Order
The $1.2bn Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to become the world’s first 1km high building. Julian Turner explores the challenges of taking tower construction to new heights.
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Up in the Trees
Architects and designers are combining sustainability with innovation to create remarkable wooden structures. Adam Leach takes a look at a range of recent projects taking wood to a new level.
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New In
The construction and design industry is forever producing new materials, fixtures and fittings. We profile some of the best new products that have come on the market over the past months.
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Next issue preview

Aquatecture – architecture built on water – is on the rise due to a shortage of land. We investigate the challenge that is designing water-based housing projects.

We also look at how MVRDV’s new Markthal project in Rotterdam has pioneered in food market design, and consider the lessons for other sites.

Moreover, we look at how effective urban design can affect criminal activity, consider the best approaches to incorporating solar panels on buildings and look at the engineering challenge associated with Singapore Sports Hub stadium’s 2,200t moveable roof.

The next issue will be out in January.

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