An artistic installation by the sculptor Lorenzo Quinn, titled ‘Support’, was presented on Friday 12 May in the Italian city, as part of the 57th International Art Exhibition ‘La Biennale di Venezia’. A pair of gigantic hands come out of the water to support the sides of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, in an effort to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the historic city. They indeed do a good job of grabbing attention, as they are between 8 and 9 meters high!
It is a common phenomenon for the traditional concrete to crack, requiring maintenance and reparations before reinforcement starts to corrode. Luckily, it seems that Delft University microbiology professor Henk Jonkers has found the solution to this problem. Inspired by nature, he developed ‘Bio-concrete’, a new type of material that brings together biology and civil engineering and could save billions in construction costs by improving the lifespan of buildings, bridges and roads. "It is combining nature with construction materials. Nature is supplying us a lot of functionality for free - in this case, limestone-producing bacteria’’, says the professor.
In 2013, architects Dayong Sun and Chris Precht founded Penda, with the aim to reconnect people with our natural environment through their designs. Since then, the Beijing and Vienna-based architecture firm has become internationally renowned. Perhaps their most inspiring design is the Rising Canes, a structure made exclusively from bamboo and rope which was proposed in Beijing Design Week in 2015.
As London’s population has doubled from 4 million in the 1860s to 8 million and counting by 2015, the old Victorian sewers, although in excellent condition, cannot handle the huge amount of waste anymore. As a result, even a few millimeters of rain are enough for the system to exceed its capacity and about 1.2 million tons of untreated sewage waste are dumped straight into the River Thames each year.
On Saturday, July 29th, the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened to the public in Switzerland. Having a length of 1621 feet, a width of just over two-feet and rising as high as 279 feet, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge crosses the valley between the towns of Grächen in the north and Zermatt in the south.
The South-to-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP), also called the South–North Water Transfer Project, is an ongoing Chinese effort to channel 45 billion m3 of water annually from the Yangtze River in southern China to the country's less fertile northern regions, through three canal systems. The SNWDP, which has up to now cost more than $79 billion, is the largest and longest water diversion project in the world, and benefits the greatest number of people and regions.