Thea van den Heuvel

After four-plus years in the making, the world's first 3D printed steel bridge has been completed. Spanning one of the oldest canals in Amsterdam's red-light district, the 40-foot-long pedestrian bridge—developed by local 3D printing startup MX3D in collaboration with Autodesk and Imperial College London—took four robots and more than 6,000 kilograms (approximately 13,228 pounds) of stainless steel. An array of sensors embedded into the structure will allow ICL researchers to monitor the bridge's performance, the durability of 3D printed infrastructure, and the "long-term behavior of 3D-printed steel, as well as its use in real world settings and in future novel construction projects," according to a press release from the university. The sensors will transmit data, detailing the bridge's strain, rotation, vibrations, quality, and overall temperature, to a digital twin in real-time, aiming to ensure the project safety and performance.

Merlin Moritz

"Research into this new technology for the construction industry has huge potential for the future, in terms of aesthetics and highly optimized and efficient design, with reduced material usage," says ICL faculty member Craig Buchanan, in the same release. [Imperial College London]

courtesy SpaceFrom, UNStudio

Also hailing from Amsterdam, design firms UNStudio and Bjarke Ingels Group have announced investments in SpaceForm, a virtual architecture workspace developed by the London-based creative studio Squint/Opera. Begun as a 2018 prototype, the cloud-based platform aims to finesse remote collaboration on complex projects, according to an UNStudio press release. "SpaceForm ... has since been developed further with the help of the Epic MegaGrant and feedback from many architects and designers. The latest prototype is a 3D multiuser platform for presenting architectural designs and digital twin data in real-time." [ARCHITECT]

courtesy LEGO

LEGO has revealed a prototype LEGO brick made from recycled PET plastic bottles. The prototype, which took three years and more than 250 variations to develop, also uses strengthening additives, which help the bricks meet LEGO's safety, play, and clutch-power requirements. A 1-liter PET bottle provides enough raw material to make approximately 10 LEGO 2x4 bricks. The plastic is sourced from suppliers that use U.S. Food & Drug Administration– and European Food Safety Authority–approved processes to ensure quality. [LEGO]

Carbon removal continues to be the panacea for many nations and corporations, with the global oil and energy giant Shell as one of the latest to imagine a future where the world's climate ills are solved by large-scale carbon-capture systems. But the removal hype is a "dangerous distraction," writes James Temple in MIT Technology Review. "The noise, news, and hype are feeding a perception that carbon removal will be cheap, simple, scalable, and reliable—none of which we can count on." [MIT Technology Review]

Vertical western red cedar clads the three- to six-story building, designed by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects.
Jason Keen Vertical western red cedar clads the three- to six-story building, designed by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects.

When the Detroit developer Bedrock approached Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects to design four anchor buildings in the city's Brush Park neighborhood, LOHA saw an opportunity to "help spur change," writes ARCHITECT contributing editor Ted Cushman. Read more on the detailing behind the cedar-clad John R 2660, the first completed project by LOHA in the development. [ARCHITECT]

"Ruin porn has hit Mexico City," writes ARCHITECT columnist Aaron Betsky, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Read Betsky's take on the transformation of neglected buildings in the city's core. [ARCHITECT]

courtesy Will Bruder Architects

Completed in 1995 by Will Bruder Architects and DWL Architects + Planners, the Burton Barr Phoenix Central Library was named the winner of The American Institute of Architects' 2021 Twenty-Five Year Award. In ARCHITECT's extended coverage of the 2021 AIA awards, president and lead design architect Will Bruder, FAIA, sheds light on how the firm realized such an early example of environmentally conscious design. [ARCHITECT]

The National Institute of Building Sciences has released its 2020 "Moving Forward" report, providing recommendations for "indoor environmental quality, the importance of design in promoting health, and promoting knowledge transfer between building owners and public health officials." [ARCHITECT]

The Budapest, Hungary–based software developer Graphisoft has released Archicad 25, the latest version of its BIM program. [ARCHITECT]

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