Metropolis Year In Review 2017: Iceland’s Hospitality Design Scene, the Truth Behind Cabin Porn, and More

As 2017's end draws near, we've produced a few articles that reflect the year's most trenchant themes. 
Richard Rogers Wimbledon House

Rechristened the Wimbledon House after it was donated to the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) for use as a research center, 22 Parkside—as it was previously known—was the home of the architect Richard Rogers’s parents for many years. The house was renovated over a two-year period and hosted its first researchers this year. Courtesy Iwan Baan

Ecological concerns are top of mind for us as 2017 draws to a close. Destructive weather events have us questioning whether our current thinking about resiliency is adequate. Meanwhile, new sustainability ratings inspire some hope in their promotion of human wellness, as do the startups leveraging technology to tackle intractable problems in cities around the world. Against this backdrop, there are, happily, a few moments for enjoyment: Richard Rogers’ Wimbledon house gets a new lease on life while Iceland’s designers strive to create an authentic aesthetic for its burgeoning hospitality scene.


Cabin Architecture 2017

Courtesy Jorrit’t Hoen

The Sinister Truth Behind Cabin Porn
The quintessential woodsy getaway has become a cultural and architectural obsession of late—here’s why.

iceland hotel design

The dramatic surroundings of ION Adventure are integral to guests’ experiences. Both ION hotels were designed by the Los Angeles–based Icelandic architecture firm Minarc. Courtesy Design Hotels

How Iceland’s Designers Are Staying True to Their Roots Amidst a Booming Tourism Economy
Iceland’s booming hotel industry welcomed two million visitors in 2016 alone, though the country’s design community is working hard to retain its authenticity.

Frank Lloyd Wright suburban sprawl

Frank Lloyd Wright (center, in beret) overseeing the construction of the exhibition model for Broadacre City (1929–35) at Taliesin West. With Broadacre, Wright anticipated the phenomenon of sprawl and countered it with his vision of an agrarian urbanism. In this decentralized “city,” low-rise homes, workplaces, retail, and community buildings would be interspersed (at great distances) with farmland. Courtesy The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundations Archives | The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Frank Lloyd Wright Redesigned the Suburbs—Today’s Architects Should Do the Same
Architects may not like it, but sprawl isn’t going away. Frank Lloyd Wright not only understood that, he dared to reimagine it.

Richard Rogers Wimbledon House

Courtesy Iwan Baan

Richard Rogers’ Wimbledon House Gets a New Lease on Life
22 Parkside, the experimental London home architect Richard Rogers designed for his parents in the late 1960s, has been converted to a research and event space.

resiliency climate change cities

For architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa, adapting to sea level change is more important than resisting it. Its South Florida office developed an urban planning framework for dealing with the increasingly intense and frequent flooding of Fort Lauderdale’s coastline. Courtesy Brooks + Scarpa

“Resiliency” Has Lost Its Meaning: Why We Need a More Radical Approach
It’s easy to picture the aftermath of a crisis. But how do we visualize the calm before the storm—resilience in the face of more frequent 100-year floods and storm surges, and rising sea levels? Policies, regulations, and infrastructures that govern a city’s ability to bounce back from disaster are largely invisible—until they fail.

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