After years of delays, the construction of the all-timber Ecopark Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects was approved in late December. The winning design of a 2016 competition, the 5,000-seat stadium for the Forest Green Rovers soccer team in Gloucestershire, England, is slated to be the first wood soccer stadium in the world. According to ZHA, the building will be constructed using low carbon construction methods with laminated timber and aims to be carbon neutral. [ZHA]


In a collaboration with 3D printing company Batch.works, London-based lighting manufacturer Plumen has launched a line of 3D-printed shades made of recycled water bottles and other plastic waste. The line currently includes two shade designs, available in black and white: Ribbon by Bold and Neo by Matthias Lauche. Plumen plans to expand the offerings in 2020. [Plumen]

Construction and 3D printing company Apis Cor recently completed what it alleges to be the world's largest 3D printed building. Totaling 6,900 square feet, the two-story administrative building constructed for the Dubai Municipality, United Arab Emirates, was extruded floor by floor using a custom cementious mixture. "The project gave us unique knowledge and invaluable experience that will help us improve our technology and develop a new version of our 3D printer," said Apis Cor CEO and founder Nikita Cheniuntai in a statement. "The improved version will be more reliable and time efficient (twice as fast). Moreover, during the project we tested and improved our own-developed 3D mixture. This project is a huge step forward in the concrete 3D printing industry." [Apis Cor]

The national real estate and urban design blog Curbed announced on Dec. 30 that it will be closing its Washington, D.C. site "at least for the time being." According to a letter to readers, the homepage will remain live with existing content available to readers. [Curbed]

In an attempt to improve access to safe and inclusive public spaces for women, children, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly, UN-Habitat, the United Nations' committee for human settlements and sustainable urban development, is hosting technology workshops to encourage participation in the design process. "Called Block by Block, the approach uses interactive workshops based on manipulating architectural models in Minecraft to allow participants, mostly in marginalized communities, to co-create their urban spaces," UN-Habitat describes in a blog post. "As with so many other fields, the voices of women and girls must be heard in urban planning and design. Not just for the sake of gender parity as a concept, but because the current effects of inequitable planning impact the lives of billions of women and girls and hinder sustainable development in cities and towns worldwide." [UN-Habitat]