In a week of drama in the political world, it was a much quieter week in the world of property & architecture. HS2 dominated headlines as the true costs of the project have been estimated, and HSBC put an extra £35bn towards homebuying, making mortgages increasingly affordable.

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As the HS2 nightmare unfolds, designers and architects have been proposing several solutions to the project, which has been delayed five years as costs soar to a predicted £88bn. Now aiming for a completion date of 2013, new ideas for the route have been thought up, by connecting the city centres of Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester and Leeds via the East Midlands Hub station at Toton. Despite the worries concerning costs, HS2 continues to buy up billions of pounds worth of London property to make way for the tracks.

The benefits of HS2 have strongly supported by the government, with the economic benefits to the north being emphasised in particularly. If the project still goes through, it will shorten the London to Birmingham journey time by almost half, taking just 49 minutes.

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The historic Hammersmith Bridge, which has been closed after mechanics discovered major faults in it, is going to cost a whopping £120m to repair! Built during the Victorian times, the council are currently looking for funding options.

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HSBC has announced that it is to lend an extra £35bn to homebuyers, as mortgages are becoming a battlefield for super competitive deals. With the consumer fundamentally coming off the winner, the move which will increase HSBC’s market share from 7% to 11% is forcing other competitors out of the market, such as Tesco Bank.

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Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta are leading the way in sustainability in architecture, as they complete their Powerhouse Brattørkaia office in Trondheim, which produces double the energy that it consumes. Wrapped in solar panels, it provides green energy for itself, neighbouring buildings and city transport. The firm are aiming to change the traditional way of practising architecture, putting more emphasis on the function as opposed to the aesthetics.

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A huge 150,000-square-foot urban farm is set to open next year in Paris, aiming to grow more than 2,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables a day. Named Agripolis, it will run without the use of pesticides or soil and it is part of a larger project called Parisculteurs, which is attempting to localise the fresh produce consumed in the city.

“Our fresh produce will be used to feed the inhabitants across the southwest of the city—either directly, through veg box schemes, or via shops, hotels, and canteens—thereby helping reduce food miles,” says Pascal Hardy, founder of urban-farming company Agripolis.

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Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza has revealed renderings for his first project in the US. Situated on 611 West 56th Street in New York, the residential tower overlooks the Hudson River in a prime location.

Siza, who won the Pritzker Prize in 1992, is based in Matosinhos, a small coastal city near Porto, Portugal. He began his architecture career in 1954 and has designed buildings in several European and South American countries, along with Korea and China.

Siza - HEKKTA - HS2

Siza – HEKKTA – HS2

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House prices rose by 0.1% in June to August, compared to a fall in the previous three months, with the market remaining resilient despite Brexit uncertainty. However, buyers are approaching the market with caution considering the current political climate.

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Anagram Architects have created a bizarre, inwards facing house in Dehli with a huge split down the middle. Name the slightly questionable name The Cleft House, it has windows that look into each other with the idea of keeping privacy.

Cleft House - HEKKTA - HS2

Cleft House – HEKKTA – HS2

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San Francisco’s landmark brutalist skyscraper, the Transamerica Pyramid, has been listed for sale at $600m. Designed by American architect William Pereira, the unique structure was the tallest building in the city for almost 50 years.

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A global index on house prices has revealed the countries whose housing markets are prospering, and those that are struggling. Due to an uncertain climate because of Brexit, trade wars and weakening economic outlooks, there has been a slowdown in annual growth for six consecutive quarters.

In Australia prices have fallen by 7.4%, with markets in Finland, Morocco and Italy all struggling towards the bottom of the index.

However, life in China is booming with the country leading the index for the first time since 2010 with annual growth of 10.9%, followed by Malta up 10.8%, the Czech Republic up 9.4%, Luxemburg up 9.3%, then Mexico and Hungary both up 9.2%.

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SOM are working on their design for the new Kansas City Airport terminal, which will be the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history. The project will replace Kansas City’s existing facilities, which were built in 1972, with a 39-gate terminal designed with the flexibility to expand to 50 gates in the future. The project is expected to create 5,000 jobs in the area.

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Malaysian designers Warith Zaki and Amir Amzar have unveiled their vision of creating a small colony on Mars, creating a series of structures woven from bamboo by autonomous robots.

“After doing a lot of research on Mars colonisation, we realised that half of the ideas would go about deploying fully synthetic materials made on earth to build shelters, while the other half is about using the locally available regolith,” Zaki and Amzar told Dezeen.

“We tried to find something in between, a balance of natural material from earth and advanced technology.”

Are humans ready for a life on Mars?