Picture Plan for Heatherwick Studio for Sidewalk Labs

In its most detailed package to date, Google-owned Sidewalk Labs released a 1,500-plus page development proposal for Toronto featuring extensive use of mass timber. The master plan currently outlines development for two distinct districts: the much-publicized Quayside neighborhood and the nearby 150-acre River District, which together are dubbed the Innovative Development and Economic Acceleration (IDEA) District. Overall, the company expects to build 40 percent of its housing units at below-market rates, creates some 93,000 jobs, and construct infrastructure that emits 89 percent less greenhouses gases than the city's current average. Sidewalk Labs has committed to spending $1.3 billion to promote $38 billion in additional private investment in the overall plans. The proposal now faces review by Waterfront Toronto’s board of directors, which has already voiced concerns about the size of the IDEA District and Sidewalk Labs' proposal to be the lead developer on the project. [Sidewalk Labs]

Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners revealed plans for a 1,600 square-foot timber boathouse that will be constructed in Sherman Creek Park on the Harlem River, in New York, for local nonprofit Row New York. The structure is shaded by a cantilevered folding timber canopy and is designed to withstand severe flooding. "I wanted to create a building that was both functional and accessible, but also one that responded to the Hudson River’s long history as a busy transportation hub," said Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, in a press release. "This timber boathouse will fit naturally into the landscape of the riverfront and will transform this stretch of the Harlem River into a lively gathering place for people from all communities.” [Foster + Partners]

Thorsen Photography

This summer, Virginia Tech University’s FutureHaus is on display in Alexandria, Va., its final destination in a global tour following its win in the 2018 Solar Decathlon Middle East. Constructed as a two-person living space, FutureHaus is a prefabricated building with elements such as a solar shade canopy that contributes to the house's achievement of net-zero energy. FutureHaus’ smart abilities also cater to the combination of technology and design that buyers are increasingly expecting in their homes. [ARCHITECT]

MIT Technology Review's annual "35 Innovators Under 35" list includes ETH Zurich Block Group researcher Mariana Popescu. Last fall, she led the KnitCandela project with Zaha Hadid Architects, a 13-foot-tall, thin-shell, double-curved concrete structure created using a 3D-knitted formwork technology. [MIT Technology Review]

After decades spent attempting to harness the power of computers to automatically generate building designs, a number of companies are finally cracking the alchemy of algorithmic space planning. ARCHITECT columnist and former WeWork research director Daniel Davis details a spate of startups that have suddenly proven it possible. [ARCHITECT]