Time Magazine recently released its list of the top 25 inventions of 2013. While this list included everything from the Cronut to the Artificial Pancreas, ArchDaily points out the four architectural innovations that made the prestigious list.
+Pool (Plus Pool) is an Olympic-size pool designed to float in the less-than-crystal-clear East River; however, the +Pool kills two birds with one stone: it cleans the river water and gives New Yorkers a place to swim. Its unique filtration system scrubs the water as it floats through it, while its distinctive plus-sign shape isolates different wings for different activities. Designed by Dong-Ping Wong, Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin, the pool could make it possible for New Yorkers to dive into clean river water for the first time in 100 years. So far the $15 million project has been funded by Kickstarter, but the team is still raising money to get the pool up and floating by the summer of 2016.
Infinity Tower (“Invisible Skyscraper”)
The Tower Infinity in South Korea will be the world’s first skyscraper that, for a few hours a day, modestly provides an unobstructed view of the sky behind it. The design, from GDS Architects (picked in an international competition in 2008), will use a combination of LED technology and 18 weatherproof HD cameras affixed to the facade to give the appearance that the building is invisible from certain vantage points. The lead architect was quick to assure the public that the building will remain visible to birds and planes. The 450-m tower will house an entertainment complex, including the world’s third highest observation deck, and is due to be completed in three to four years.
Volvo Solar Pavillion
When Volvo challenged designers to create a showcase for its new V60 hybrid, the winning entry, by the firm Synthesis Design & Architecture, was a spectacular flexible solar panel that charges the car and folds up to fit in the trunk. It’s not for sale yet, but testing is ongoing.
This invention is not an architectural design, but rather an architectural tool. The 3Doodler is essentially a fusion of a 3D printer and a pen, allowing the user to draw 3D sketches in mid-air. The benefit of this ability is clear to architects and designers, but also presumably to many others: with 26,457 backers on their Kickstarter campaign, the 3Doodler blew its fundraising goal out of the water, aiming at $30,000 but raking in a massive $2,344,134.