Summary of “‘Spectacular’ ancient public library discovered in Germany”

The remains of the oldest public library in Germany, a building erected almost two millennia ago that may have housed up to 20,000 scrolls, have been discovered in the middle of Cologne.
“They are very particular to libraries – you can see the same ones in the library at Ephesus.”
It is not clear how many scrolls the library would have held, but it would have been “Quite huge – maybe 20,000”, said Schmitz.
The building would have been slightly smaller than the famed library at Ephesus, which was built in 117 AD. He described the discovery as “Really incredible – a spectacular find”.
“It dates from the middle of the second century and is at a minimum the earliest library in Germany, and perhaps in the north-west Roman provinces,” he said.
“Perhaps there are a lot of Roman towns that have libraries, but they haven’t been excavated. If we had just found the foundations, we wouldn’t have known it was a library. It was because it had walls, with the niches, that we could tell.”
The building would have been used as a public library, Schmitz said.
The walls will be preserved, with the three niches to be viewable by the public in the cellar of the Protestant church community centre, which is currently being built.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An unsolved murder at Italy’s most notorious tower block”

It was only a field away from what is possibly the most fascinating and perplexing building in Italy: Hotel House, a semi-derelict tower block that has become synonymous, in the Italian imagination, with drug dealing, prostitution and clandestine migrants.
Hotel House has been compared to Scampia – the famous Naples estate featured in the film Gomorrah – and the former Olympic village in Turin: high-concept architectural projects that have, over time, become dystopian citadels for drug dealers and an Italian and immigrant underclass.
Italy’s various law enforcement agencies do attempt to police Hotel House, but with so many flats and people, plus multiple stairwells and underground garages, finding evidence of criminal activity is almost impossible.
One recent investigation discovered that about €450,000 was being transferred to Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan every month from a wire service on the ground floor of Hotel House.
The drug trade inside Hotel House is estimated to be worth between €5m and €10m a year – not huge figures, but in a building in which poverty and degradation are everywhere, still pretty astonishing.
Hotel House isn’t simply the key to understanding a murder.
Almost every week there’s a major incident at Hotel House.
Investigators always talk about speed and momentum, but a few years, in the chaotic life of Hotel House, is like a century.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Danish Architect Designing the Future”

In 2009, BIG released a manifesto titled Yes Is More, riffing on Mies van der Rohe’s signature aphorism “Less is more.” The book, presented as a graphic novel, documents the firm’s work, including multipeak mountainous complexes in Azerbaijan; the morphing, Hadid-like World Trade Center in Vilnius, Lithuania; and the torqued skyscraper Escher Tower for a Norwegian hotel developer, which weaves three monoliths into one.
In Big Time, a new documentary by the Danish director Kaspar Astrup Schröder, Ingels refers to it as a “Courtscraper,” since the center of the pyramid is left open for a planted courtyard that Ingels likens to a private Central Park.
Like a good start-up, BIG is scalable and self-replicating; the bigger it gets, the more it can grow and the more arenas it can enter.
The perfect merging of BIG’s concerns with those of Silicon Valley might be its designs for the Hyperloop-a hypothetical transportation method that involves carriages speeding through a low-pressure tube.
For Dubai, BIG designed a floating, airportlike Hyperloop station made of warm wood and glass that arcs out in two semicircles with small ports for each car-pod, which band together into cylindrical carriages.
In 2015, BIG’s design replaced Norman Foster’s for 2 World Trade Center, in part at the preference of James Murdoch, whose family’s companies 21st Century Fox and News Corp were going to be the anchor tenants.
These buildings benefit the BIG brand, even when they don’t get built-as long as the viral renderings attract more fans and followers.
You can live in a BIG tower, work in a BIG office, send your kids to a BIG school, tell the time by a BIG watch, sit in a BIG chair, ride a BIG bike, and stream a film about BIG on Netflix.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Instagram photos from inside Apple Park”

Apple employees are moving into the company’s new headquarters, Apple Park, and posting photos on Instagram.
The photos show a stunning-looking building, especially at dusk.
Apple employees are moving into their new $5 billion headquarters, Apple Park.
The building in Apple’s Cupertino, California hometown will eventually hold 12,000 employees in a giant ring-shaped building designed to blur the indoors and outdoors.
Apple received temporary occupancy permits in December for 5 out of 12 different sections of its campus, VentureBeat recently reported.
Occupancy permits for the rest of the other sections will be granted before the end of March, according to the report.
Only Apple employees or specifically invited guests can access “The ring,” but as the campus fills up, Apple employees are posting stunning shots to Instagram.
There are lots of photos of Apple Park, but most of them were taken from a drone or a professional photographer – these pictures bring you inside and show you what it’s like to work at Apple Park.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Floating House to Resist the Floods of Climate Change”

The timing of the conference was a fitting meteorological coincidence; in a world increasingly transformed by climate change, heavy rains and major floods are becoming more common, at least in some areas.
Unlike traditional buildings, amphibious structures are not static; they respond to floods like ships to a rising tide, floating on the water’s surface.
As one of English’s colleagues put it, “You can think of these buildings as little animals that have their feet wet and can then lift themselves up as needed.” Amphibiation may be an unconventional strategy, but it reflects a growing consensus that, at a time of climatic volatility, people can’t simply fight against water; they have to learn to live with it.
“With amphibious construction, water becomes your friend,” English told me.
The storm’s high-speed winds peeled roofs off of buildings and flung debris through windows, but it was the flooding that really shocked English.
Building a hollow foundation is a major construction project; English wanted to give New Orleanians an easy and inexpensive way to modify their existing homes.
In one of English’s academic papers, she mentions the story of a developer who built an amphibious house in New Orleans, then found himself unable to acquire an N.F.I.P. policy; the building remained unsold until he replaced the amphibious foundation with a traditional one.
English and other experts say that opinions about amphibious architecture are beginning to shift, especially as climate change makes innovative building solutions more urgent.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Hollywood Home of Social Media’s Stars.”

1600 Vine offers a peek into the booming ecosystem of these social media stars.
Gaining FollowersThe origins of 1600 Vine as a social media launching pad are rooted, appropriately enough, in the video platform Vine.Around 2014, the stars of Vine’s six-second videos started flocking to Los Angeles to turn a hobby into a career.
A few of the early stars moved into this contemporary, amenity-rich complex, above a Trader Joe’s and between Jimmy Durante and Clark Gable on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.Within a few months, the apartments – notable for their floor-to-ceiling windows, modern kitchens and living spaces, and common areas that include a pool and hot tub – became a recognizable backdrop to the most popular Vine videos.
Her goofy comedy sketches were a hit, and she moved into 1600 Vine to be closer to other Vine stars.
There is always the whisper that some other, nearby building is the new hot spot with more welcoming rules for social media stars, but 1600 Vine remains the most prominent and best known.
A star like Mr. Paul has his pick of sponsorship deals, but he took a liking to his new neighbors, so he concocted a bet – or, more accurately, a social media story line.
Reality ShowCalling 1600 Vine home is still no guarantee of influencer status.
Social media stars need daily content lest they be forgotten.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This cartographer’s deep dive into Google Maps is fascinating”

Most people who use Google Maps do so without much attention to detail.
So we should trust him when he explains – in depth – about what makes Google Maps so superior to any other mapping service.
“Google has gathered so much data, in so many areas, that it’s now crunching it together and creating features that Apple can’t make – surrounding Google Maps with a moat of time,” he writes.
O’Beirne starts out by marveling at the level of detail available in Google Maps for even extremely small towns, such as the one where he grew up in rural Illinois.
About a year ago, these “Main drags” began showing up in Google Maps as clusters of orange buildings.
What’s most interesting is that Google’s building and place data are themselves extracted from other Google Maps features.
As you’re driving through a city – or being driven, rather – Google Maps can use its accumulated data to pinpoint buildings where you have an upcoming appointment, for example.
With a powerful tool like Google Maps in its arsenal, it could have its leg up over its more established players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Wooden High-Rises Could Change the Urban Skyline”

“It’s a space people immediately respond to on an emotional level,” says Thomas Robinson , Lever’s founder and the building’s architect.
Robinson is a pioneer in designing tall buildings that use wood, not concrete or steel, to bear their weight.
Wooden structures similar to those in Portland have recently been built in Sweden, Finland, and the U.K., and a 24-story wooden building is under way in Vienna.
Architects are even dreaming up wooden skyscrapers, such as a 35-story tower proposed for Paris by Michael Green Architecture, a Canadian firm that designed an eight-story timber office building in British Columbia and a seven-story one in Minneapolis.
There are reasons we originally moved away from building tall with wood, of course, among them fires like the one that devastated Chicago in 1871.
Another common fear about tall wooden buildings is that in an earthquake, they’d tumble like Jenga blocks.
According to a study in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, substituting wood for other materials used in buildings and bridges could prevent 14 to 31 percent of global carbon emissions.
The Northwest has a long history of wooden buildings, stretching back to American Indian plank houses, and Robinson considers Framework a part of this tradition.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jony Ive on Apple Park and his unique, minimalist W* cover”

This was the first up-close mass sighting of the most talked-about new building in the world, a $5bn, or so it’s said, Foster + Partners-designed loop of glass, aluminium, limestone and concrete and Apple’s new HQ. Guests worked their way up an artificial hill, part of 175 acres of undulating new landscape where once was dead-flat parking facility and dull corporate sheds, most of it owned by Hewlett-Packard.
This engineered topography, a fantasy of California, gentle and abundant, was borne of the earth removed to make way for the new building’s earthquake-proof foundations, and has been planted with 9,000 trees, including cherry, apricot, apple, persimmon and pear.
All those trees, as was the intention, mean that the 2.8 million sq ft new building never fully reveals itself.
The keynote is taking place in the new Steve Jobs Theater, itself a small marvel of engineering, ingenuity and attention to detail.
‘If the overall project is a small town, then this is the town hall, and jewel,’ says Stefan Behling, a Foster + Partners partner and one of the lead architects on Apple Park.
‘In the beginning there was just this idea: “Let’s have a hovering roof”, just this sliver of roof floating in the landscape,’ says Behling.
‘It’s the biggest carbon-fibre roof of its kind in the world.
That does mean doing something that has never been done before.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Russia’s House of Shadows”

A few years ago, after looking at half a dozen apartments all over Moscow, I visited a rental in a vast building across the river from the Kremlin, known as the House on the Embankment.
In the nineteen-thirties, during Stalin’s purges, the House of Government earned the ghoulish reputation of having the highest per-capita number of arrests and executions of any apartment building in Moscow.
His book, “The House of Government,” is a twelve-hundred-page epic that recounts the multigenerational story of the famed building and its inhabitants-and, at least as interesting, the rise and fall of Bolshevist faith.
Construction on the House of Government began in 1928, with a design, by Boris Iofan, of the “Transitional type”-that is, a building with communal services but which, for the moment, allowed residents to live in traditional family apartments.
Residents of the House of Government trickled back, but the early spirit of the building was gone.
The cult of Stalin and, by extension, the myth of Soviet virtue and exceptionalism-the “Bond that had held the scattered survivors of the House of Government together,” Slezkine writes-began to be dismantled in 1956, when Khrushchev, once a resident of the building, now the Soviet First Secretary, delivered a secret speech on Stalin’s crimes to the twentieth Party Congress.
Perhaps the defining event in the building’s postwar life came in 1976, when Yuri Trifonov, a former resident, published his novella “The House on the Embankment,” a loosely fictionalized account of his boyhood there.
Trifonov wrote “The House on the Embankment” when he was fifty-one years old, and the book’s characters are children of his generation, but he alludes to the trauma of the purges only through supporting characters who suddenly vanish, and the narrator’s passing remark that “People who leave the house cease to exist.”

The orginal article.