Dezeen Magazine

This week, architects embraced "the timber age" and heralded the rise of "broken-plan" living

This week on Dezeen: the trend for open-plan living may be coming to an end, according to architects we interviewed this week, while other industry insiders told us that wood is taking over from concrete and steel as the architectural wonder material of the 21st century.

Rooms are loosely divided up inside Flint House by Skene Catling de la Peña
Smartphones and tablets could spell the end for open-plan living, according to UK architects who heralded the rise of "broken-plan" living

Open-plan properties have been favoured by homeowners for decades, but the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has prompted residents to seek out more secluded spaces in their homes. London-based architect Mary Duggan described the new trend as "broken-plan" living.

Murray Grove by Waugh Thistleton
Architects embraced "the beginning of the timber age", with advances in techniques making wooden skyscrapers a real possibility

This week we investigated the possibility of building skyscrapers from wood. Once structurally impossible, timber high-rises are now a real prospect thanks to new techniques and stronger types of engineered wood. "This is the beginning of the timber age," explained UK architect Andrew Waugh.

Dubai skyscrapers
Dubai revealed plans to fight fires in the world's tallest skyscrapers using jetpacks

In other news, Dubai announced its intention to fight fires in the city's tallest skyscrapers using jetpacks and American rapper Snoop Dogg launched his own edible marijuana brand.

Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub
Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub sprang a leak due to work on a nearby skyscraper

New York's long-delayed World Trade Center Transportation Hub, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, sprang a leak, while plans were revealed for Brooklyn’s first super-tall tower.

New York skyline
A wave of super-tall towers in Manhattan sparked protests over shadows

The recent spate of tall skyscraper designs for New York sparked protests, as aggrieved residents took to the streets to voice their concerns about shadows cast over Central Park.

DUMBO townhouses by Alloy in Brooklyn
Alloy completed its DUMBO townhouses, a row of skinny homes in Brooklyn

A row of skinny townhouses in Brooklyn’s most expensive neighbourhood were also completed this week, and British designer Tom Dixon opened his first showroom in Manhattan.

Kai Uwe Bergmann
Kai Uwe Bergmann told Dezeen that robots would revolutionise the construction industry

In an exclusive interview with Dezeen, BIG’s Kai-Uwe Bergmann said robots will transform the building industry in 50 years.

Aarhus museum extension by James Turrell and Schmidt Hammer Lassen
James Turrell and Schmidt Hammer Lassen unveiled plans for an extension to the Aarhus museum

Popular projects this week on Dezeen included plans for a domed extension to one of Denmark's most-visited museums, a Ferrari-like tractor and a Swedish sauna raised above the waters in Gothenburg's port.

Gothenburg sauna by Raumlabor
The Gothenburg sauna by Raumlabor was among the most popular projects on Dezeen