Let's take a look at some of the world's latest innovations in architecture and design. 

BIG crowdfunds for giant mirrored sphere at Burning Man

Image: BIG Group

BIG architects Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange have launched a crowdfunding campaign for The ORB, a giant inflatable mirrored sphere, to be constructed and installed at this year’s Burning Man festival.

“The ORB is a giant sphere, scaled to 1/500,000th of the earth’s surface, with a diameter of nearly 100 feet (30 metres). The ORB finds itself at the axis of art and utility, capturing the entire Black Rock City in an airborne temporal monument that mirrors the Burning Man experience to the burners as single beings in the midst of an intentional community. Visible from most of The Playa, it will help burners navigate the desert and find their way.

“At night, the ORB will blend entirely into its surroundings and become part of the desert. The ORB is a tribute to mother earth and human expression - designed to easily inflate and deflate, leaving no trace on the Playa.” – BIG Group

Álvaro Siza designs stunning off-grid Portuguese chapel

Photography by João Morgado

Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza has completed an off-grid chapel in Portugal’s Algarve region, planned to be part of a new off-grid holiday retreat in the area. 

The stunning structure is designed to function without electricity, heat or running water, instead designed to naturally heat and cool itself due to the use of perforated bricks, coated internally and externally in a limestone render. Siza has described the project as “pure architecture”.

He has drawn from the work of Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, who pioneered the use of natural ventilation systems. The Algarve region has a similar climate to North Africa.

Penda reveals plans for Tel Aviv skyscraper referencing Bauhaus heritage

Image: Penda

International architecture firm Penda has released the design for Tel Aviv’s newest residential skyscraper, designed to complement the city’s Bauhaus architecture. 

Over 100m high, Tel Aviv Arcades has alternating setbacks to give residents sunny garden terraces and secluded private balconies. The architects felt it was important to for the building to reference the city’s architectural heritage. Hand-laid brickwork will be used in reference to the masonry in Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s old town, while straight lines and curves will be used to reference the city’s widespread Bauhaus architecture. 

Penda hopes to create a tower that will not only fit with Tel Aviv’s aesthetic legacy, but also adapt well to the climate and encourage residents to interact with each another.