Mars Habitat
Foster + Partners Mars Habitat

At this year's forthcoming GoodWood Festival of Speed, on July 12–15 at the Goodwood House in West Sussex, U.K., Foster + Partners will present a range of models, robotics, and design concepts developed as part of its futuristic vision for NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. Visitors will be able to step into one of the team's proposed habitation pods through virtual reality technology. Foster + Partners will present its work as part of the festival's Future Lab, which focuses on "space exploration, autonomous transport, robotics, and personal flight," according to the team. The firm's 3D-printing arm will also be on display. [Foster + Partners]

Nic Lehoux
Nic Lehoux

On July 3, the Gateway Arch (formerly known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial) museum and visitor center officially reopened after a renovation as a national park in St. Louis. Designed by Cooper Robertson and James Carpenter Design Associates with Trivers Associates, the memorial's visitor center features a curved glass entrance cut into the ground underneath the museum. Its roof comprises 74 three-ply laminated panes up to 6.5 feet wide by 18 feet long that are supported by 38 stainless steel cantilever beams weighing approximately 187,000 pounds. The glass curtainwall façade features 24 panes, each weighing approximately 1,015 pounds, in sizes of up to 4.5 feet wide by 18 feet long, according to Seele, a German façade contractor that was appointed to build the entrance to the Gateway Arch museum. [Seele]

Constructed from 10,000 pounds of plastic waste pulled from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Skyscraper, also known as the Bruges Whale, is a temporary public installation designed by Brooklyn, N.Y.–based architecture firm StudioKCA for the 2018 Bruges Triennial in Belgium. Measuring 38 feet high by 38 feet wide wide (fin to fin), and 12 feet in diameter, the giant sculpture appears to be leaping from one of the city's main canals and arching over the historic Jan Van Eyck Square in the city center. [ARCHITECT]

MIT Mass Timber Design | Longhouse from Parallel Project on Vimeo.

Designed by MIT's Mass Timber Design workshop, the Longhouse is a mass timber building prototype designed for multiple programs, including an event venue, a co-working space, and an exhibition hall. The interior comprises a series of timber laminated veneer lumber arches that span the structure's width, according to the design team. Each arch features a thin-walled triangular profile to minimize structural deformation and to increase the building's rigidity. The building also integrates a number of sustainability strategies, including a low window-to-wall ratio and a highly insulated envelope. [ARCHITECT]

Courtesy WeWork

As of June 25, WeWork has added "retailer" to its accomplishments with the launch of WeMrkt, a "modern retail space" that will sell select products such as snacks, branded apparel, and office wares made by WeWork members, according to the company. Situated in WeWork's 205 Hudson Street location in New York City, WeMrkt currently features 10 products—including those by food waste–eliminating companies Barnana and Misfit Juicery. WeWork members can pitch new products for the commercial market quarterly, with WeWork prioritizing offerings that "are innovative, have eye-catching packaging, and are backed by a solid business plan," according to the same release. [ARCHITECT]

Retouch by: Wetouch Imagework
Louis Poulsen Retouch by: Wetouch Imagework

The London-based private equity firm Investindustrial announced last week that it has acquired Copenhagen-based lighting brand Louis Poulsen, the manufacturer of such iconic luminaires as the classic PH Artichoke and the recently revamped PH 5. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is scheduled to close during the third quarter of this year. The financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed. [ARCHITECT]

Repellency of different liquids on polyester fabric coated with H1F7Ma-co-DVB: soy sauce (black drop), coffee (brown drop), HCl acid (top left transparent drop), NaOH (bottom right transparent drop), and water (remaining transparent drops).
Courtesy Varanasi and Gleason research groups Repellency of different liquids on polyester fabric coated with H1F7Ma-co-DVB: soy sauce (black drop), coffee (brown drop), HCl acid (top left transparent drop), NaOH (bottom right transparent drop), and water (remaining transparent drops).

A group of MIT researchers has developed a new waterproofing process that could offer a nontoxic alternative to chemicals commonly used in water-repellent coatings. This coating, according to the MIT, "not only adds water-repellency to natural fabrics such as cotton and silk, but is also more effective than the existing coatings." The team says that the long-chain polymers currently used as water-repellent solutions accumulate in the environment and in the human body. These chemicals typically include perfluorinated side-chains. MIT's coating uses shorter chain polymers that don't persist in the environment and, according to the team, "confer some hydrophobic properties." The team has enhanced these properties and used a coating process called "initiated chemical vapor deposition." Existing waterproofing coatings are typically liquid-based, meaning that the fabric needs to be immersed in the liquid and then dried out. This clogs fabric pores and adds an extra step in the manufacturing process. MIT's technique instead "produces a very thin, uniform coating that follows the contours of the fibers and does not lead to any clogging of the pores, thus eliminating the need for the second processing stage to reopen the pores." According to the team, the new coating remains water resistant after repeated washing and has passed a standard rain test and several abrasion tests. The tests have shown that the coating can repel a variety of liquids, including coffee, ketchup, soy sauce, various acids, and sodium hydroxide, or lye. [ARCHITECT]

Courtesy Chao-Yang Wang/PennState

Engineers at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) have a potential solution for charging electric vehicles in climates below 50 F: a self-heating battery that can be rapidly charged regardless of temperature. The battery cell heats itself before switching to charging and can withstand up to 4,500 cycles of 15-minute charging at 32 F, according to the team. At this temperature, the battery loses only 20 percent of its capacity, meaning that it can last for 12.5 years and 280,000 miles. "A conventional battery tested under the same conditions lost 20 percent capacity in 50 charging cycles," the team said in a press release. This technology will enable automobile manufacturers to use smaller batteries. [PSU]

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