Monday, August 16, 2010

Design Success!, Design Fail!, iPhone Architecture Tours, High Speed Rail, and a Land of Giants

If you feel in a positive mood, you can check out this list of the top 20 urban planning successes of all time and see if you agree. Spoiler: Vancouver's Granville Island makes it to number 7.

Or if you feel in a negative mood, you can check out the 10 worst design fails of the past 25 years, instead. My personal favourite being the waterpark filled with colourful penises.

The Netherlands Architecture Institute launches Urban Augmented Reality, a smartphone app that will allow you to point your phone's camera at a building and instantly see information on that building, including past images and future projects. Definitely a handy tool for locals and tourists who want to know more about the city as they're walking around and don't want to take the time to do it the old fashioned way and look it up on Wikipedia.

On August 11th, the groundbreaking for the Transbay Transit Center -- a high-speed rail station that will link San Francisco with Los Angeles -- took place. The 2.25 billion project will see trains running at 354 km/h with a travel time between the two cities of about two and a half hours. Watch this beautiful 3D rendering of the future station and be consumed by jealousy (unless you live in SF).

Choi + Shine Architects re-design the boring electrical tower into a stunning Land of Giants, proving that infrastructure we long ago shrugged off as a necessary evil can be turned into imaginative and though-provoking architectural wizardries.

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