Courtesy Sidewalk Labs

Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs released new renderings of the firm's Toronto Quayside smart-city project by Norewgian architecture firm Snøhetta and London-based Heatherwick Studio. The designs depict mixed-use structures constructed largely using mass-timber which, according to a blog post by Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff, will be sourced from a tall-timber factory in Ontario built specifically to help complete the Quayside project. The development will include 2,500 housing units, 1,000 of which will be rented below market rates. See more images on ARCHITECT's Project Gallery. [Sidewalk Labs]

Menlo Park, Calif.–based technology and construction giant Katerra announced a new suite of building material and software products including cross-laminated timber panels, a bathroom kit designed to be assembled in one to two days, and an energy platform to replace electrical closets. [Katerra]

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) spinoff startup Insolight has developed residential solar panels that can achieve almost twice the energy yield of conventional panels and have been standardized for mass production, according to a university press release. The ultra-thin system features optical lenses layered with protective glass to focus sunlight on photovoltaic cells. [EPFL]

Seoul Robot Science Museum
Courtest Melike Altınışık Architects Seoul Robot Science Museum

Turkish firm Melike Altınışık Architects won a design competition for the Seoul Robot Science Museum in South Korea. Intended to raise public awareness about robotics, the museum will be assembled using robots. Construction is expected to begin next year and with the museum opening scheduled for late 2022. [Melike Altınışık Architects]

Researchers for the University of Sheffield in the U.K. have found that reinforcing concrete with fibers from recycled tires can improve the material's fire resistance. According to findings published in Fire Technology journal, the fibers reduce explosive spalling caused by extreme heat because the components melt, creating "a series of tiny channels are left behind that enable moisture trapped within the concrete to escape instead of eventually exploding," per an Engineering 360 article. [Engineering 360]

ARCHITECT's 13th Annual R+D Awards program is now open for entries. Register your submission online by the early bird deadline of April 19. Winners will be featured in our July print issue and online. [ARCHITECT]