First human passengers travel in BIG-designed hyperloop system

This week Virgin Hyperloop welcomed its first human passengers

This week on Dezeen, passengers travelled in Virgin's levitating Hyperloop capsules for the first time, as the company carried out a 15-second-long test trip in the Nevada desert.

Josh Giegel, CTO and co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop, and Sara Luchian, Virgin Hyperloop's director of passenger experience, were the first to experience a journey in the capsule, which travelled through an airless tunnel at 100 miles per hour.

The newly released two-seater XP-2 hyperloop vehicle was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Danish studio Kilo Design and tested at Virgin Hyperloop's DevLoop site 35 miles north of Las Vegas in Nevada.

Donald Trump graphic by Edel Rodriguez
Edel Rodriguez creates "You're fired" graphic after Donald Trump loses 2020 US presidential election

As Joe Biden emerged as the winner of the 2020 US presidential election, Cuban-American artist Edel Rodriguez created graphics that lampooned outgoing president Donald Trump.

The illustrations depicted Trump as a toppling statue and a fired employee. Rodriguez has been a critic of Trump since his election and drawn him for a number of Time magazine covers as well as in satirical designs for German magazine Der Spiegel.

YueCheng Courtyard Kindergarten in Beijing by MAD
MAD tops Beijing kindergarten with red rooftop playground

Also this week, Chinese studio MAD unveiled the design for its YueCheng Courtyard Kindergarten, a converted 18th-century courtyard building topped with an undulating roof that functions as a children's playspace.

"While preserving the cultural heritage of the site, it forms a multi-layered urban narrative, where old and new co-exist," said MAD.

Dezeen showed the site from more angles in a video from architectural photographer Hufton + Crow, paired with an interview with Allan Crow, one half of the photographic duo.

"The things that I'm impressed by is the boldness of them – the ambition – it's not safe and easy architecture," Crow said of MAD's approach to architecture. "It is trying to sort of push the boundaries a little bit."

Audrey Irmas Pavilion by OMA under construction
Photographs capture OMA's Jewish temple extension taking shape in LA

Architect Alessandra Cianchetta captured the exterior of OMA's Jewish temple extension, which is currently under construction in Los Angeles, California.

Called the Audrey Irmas Pavilion, the project will provide a series of multi-functional gathering spaces alongside the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which is home to one of the largest Jewish congregations in the city.

It is Dutch studio OMA's first cultural building in California.

The exterior of Tadao Ando's cylindrical He Art Museum in China
Photos reveal Tadao Ando's completed He Art Museum in China

In China, architect Tadao Ando's cylindrical He Art Museum reached completion. The building, which was shortlisted for cultural building of the year for Dezeen Awards 2020, was revealed in a series of photos.

Ando designed it as a landmark for the region, using a stack of staggered, concrete disks that wrap around a pair of sweeping helical staircases at the art museum's centre.

"I hope HEM will become a new cultural landmark in the Canton region, at the same time, a meeting point and a harmonious space for all," said Ando.

Elon Musk launches Tesla Tequila
Elon Musk launches $250 Teslaquila following April Fools' Day joke

Tesla founder Elon Musk revealed the company's "Teslaquila" this week, a $250 tequila that comes in a lightning-shaped bottle.

Musk originally suggested launching the tequila in 2018 as an April Fools' Day joke in a tweet.

The tequila, which is only available in select retailers in the US, has been aged for 15 months in French oak barrels and features a "dry fruit and light vanilla nose with a balanced cinnamon pepper finish".

Inefficient housing means hoem working could increase emissions warns RIBA
RIBA warns of housing emissions crisis from surge in home working

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) warned of a potential housing emissions crisis related to the increase in people working from home during the pandemic.

It called for the UK government to bring forward a National Retrofit Strategy – a long-term policy and investment programme that would help upgrade the energy efficiency of UK housing.

RIBA also announced that Hugh Pearman, longtime editor of its architecture magazine RIBA Journal, is stepping down from the role in December.

Plans for Belsize Fire Station converted into apartments by Tate Harmer, London
London's Belsize Fire Station converted into apartments by Tate Harmer

Popular projects on Dezeen this week include a London fire station converted into apartments, an art-filled penthouse with a custom-made bookshelf and a park in Taichung built on the site of an old airport.

This week on Dezeen is our regular roundup of the week's top news stories. Subscribe to our newsletters to be sure you don't miss anything.