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

Massive Kings Cross heritage reinvention project unveiled

international architecture
Photography by Hufton + Crow

Heatherwick Studio’s Coal Drops Yard project has been unveiled in Kings Cross, London. The project involved the reinvention of two heritage rail buildings from the 1850s as a new shopping district, opening the site to the public for the first time. 

“Rather than making a box element colliding with the geometry of the existing roofs, the gabled roof of each building rises up and stretches towards the other, meeting to form a new upper storey that gives the project a central focus. This glazed space provides an unexpected elevated viewpoint over London, while the sheltered double-height space beneath creates a heart to the development that can also host concerts and performances.

“At the same time as creating the new elements to the project, the studio led a sensitive restoration of the Victorian structures and cobbled yard to preserve their historic character while adapting them to create an unusual mix of retail and café spaces. The outcome is a dynamic new public space for London.” – Heatherwick Studio 

$13 billion Mexico City airport to be abandoned mid-build

international architecture
Image: Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners’ new airport for Mexico City has been cancelled half-way through construction after a public referendum where 70 percent voted to scrap the project. 

Construction of the New Mexico City International Airport has been underway since 2015, however according to Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the project has seen overspending, corruption and environmental issues. Lopez Obrador has suggested that it would be cheaper and more feasible to expand the city’s existing 1970s airport by expanding onto an existing military base adjacent to the site. 

Foster + Partners’ design was planned as a tribute to Mexico, with its form referencing the “x” in the country’s name. Its vaulted form was also meant to be an homage to traditional Mexican architecture and symbolism. 

AI-created artwork sells for $432,000 in New York

international architecture
Image: Christie’s

Paris-based art collective Obvious has sold its AI-generated artwork for US$432,000 at an auction in New York. 

The artwork, titled Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, was created using the Generative Adversarial Network algorithm (GAN) and information from 15,000 portraits. The system (which includes a generator and discriminator) was given a dataset of portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries. The generator was able to create new images based on this dataset, which the discriminator reviewed and compared with pieces painted by humans until it could not tell the two apart. Once the final image had been generated it was then printed in ink on canvas. 

Obvious has referred to this process as an “experiment on the notion of creativity for a machine”.