The big news on everyone’s lips this week is the annoucement that New York is moving to ban all future construction of glass and steel skyscrapers in de Blasio’s Green New Deal. Could such an architecturally prominent city go through with such a bold move? Or is this the start of a global stance to tackle global warming? HEKKTA investigates…


Last week, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said that New York City is introducing a legislation that would ban the construction of all glass and steel skyscrapers. Part of his wider Green New Deal, he emphasises that, “They have no place in our city or on our earth anymore.”

Could the world leader in skyscrapers really blanket ban such popular materials, materials which cover the New York sky?

The buildings of the city are the largest contributer to greenhouse gases, and his plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 will not be hit unless drastic action is taken. Landlords will also be required to introduce new energy effiency standards in their buildings or face extortionate fines.

But how will the architecture world react? Trump has already come out to call his plan ‘crazy’.

De Blasio explained how there will be no more firms “putting up monuments to themselves”, but everyone will need to fall in line with regulation.

Sustainable materials are becoming more common in the industry, but they are far from standard practice. Will a move as drastic as this promt architects to switch to more sustainable materials, or drag architects to other cities?


Several designs from some of architecture’s biggest names have been proposed for the new Notre Dame spire after it burned down last week. From the classic to the downright absurd, the French Prime Minister will certainly have a wide variety to choose from! Click here to see the designs.


Aiming to recapture the past Hollywood culture of making “monuments to the movie-making process”, Frank Genhry has designed a staggered-iceberg like HQ for Warner Bros in LA. The new Second Century Project will be directly opposite the existing HQ, aiming for completion by 2023.

Warner Bros HQ - HEKKTA - Green New Deal
Warner Bros HQ – HEKKTA – Green New Deal

The huge surge in Airbnb across the UK has led to many politicans expressing worry about the trend of tourists coming in during visits, leading to a “hollowing out” of communities. Calls for more Airbnb regulation are taking place.


The royal shambles of Crossrail has had a major boost, with project chiefs finally outlining a timetable and a completion date for the infrastructure project, which was supposed to have been completed last year. Despite warnings of remaining risk and unpredictability, they have named October 2020 as the earliest date of completion, with the whole line expected to be running by March 2021.


Construction output forecasts in 2020 and 2021 have been slightly downgraded due to continued Brexit uncertainty and concerns over major infrastructure projects’ delivery. Initial forecasts remained positive due to sharp increases in warehouses and ports activity and major infrastructure projects. However, there is still a trend of growth predicted for the future.

Inspired by the structure of DNA, Stephen Holl has imagined a new skyscraper for the skies of Shenzhen, which will become the new HQ for iCarbonX, a genome machine intelligence company.

Stephen Holl / iCarbonX - HEKKTA - NY Green New Deal
Stephen Holl / iCarbonX – HEKKTA – NY Green New Deal

Northern Ireland has hit the number one spot for the boomerang generation, returning to live at home with a third of 20-34 year olds still living with their parents. In England the figure sits at 26% and 23% in Wales.


Foster + Partners come up with their concept for the ‘House of Wisdom’ in Sharjah, UAE. The library and cultural centre will feature a twisting spire in the front gardens, and the building itself is set to be rammed full of technology, including a book printer that can print and bind books on demand!

House of Wisdom - HEKKTA - NY Green New Deal
House of Wisdom – HEKKTA – NY Green New Deal

There is much positivity amongst real estate investment trust managers and investors that once Brexit uncertainty is known, there will be a mass snapping up of commercial property in the UK.

Calum Bruce, manager of the Ediston Property Investment Company (EPIC), from both domestic and overseas buyers, spoke on the market, “Once there’s some clarity, there will be a period where people will just digest what’s happen, formulate a strategy and then look to implement that strategy,”.


Carlo Ratti has spoken out to say that, “China is one of the best places for experimenting” with urban technology, adding that architects and urban planners can learn a lot from working in China.


A housing crisis on the Isle of Arran has left hundreds of locals homeless, as increasing tourists and retirees surge up house prices, as average house prices become 10 times more than the average annual wage.

Renzo Piano envisions a floating seaside residence in Monaco’s new Portier Cove, a new eco-district extending from the Principality’s existing coastline from the Grimaldi Forum to the Formula One tunnel. The building sits on the sea, with a small harbour behind it. The wider development of the eco-district will feature a one hectare public park, a new port, underground public car park, offices and retail, as well as multi-tenant buildings and private waterfront villas.

Piano's Residence - HEKKTA - NY Green New Deal
Piano’s Residence – HEKKTA – NY Green New Deal

The Dunard Centre, the new £45m Edinburgh concert hall designed by David Chipperfield, has been given the green light, making it the city’s first purpose-built music and performance venue for over 100 years.

Dunard Centre, Edinburgh - HEKKTA - NY Green New Deal
Dunard Centre, Edinburgh – HEKKTA – NY Green New Deal