Design

The Empty Spaces That Elevate London’s Brutalist Masterpiece

A new plan aims to fill in some of the Barbican Estate’s loftier spaces and alter the original footprint. Will the integrity of the historic complex be at risk?

A man directs children crossing a railroad track on tricycles in a miniature safety village.

In Safety Towns and Traffic Gardens, Kids Rule the Streets

These miniature towns and roads that dot America aren’t just cute—they’ve helped teach children pedestrian and bike safety since the 1930s.

A photo of a enforcement official at a municipal building that was the scene of a mass shooting on May 31 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The Hard Questions About Staying Safe in City Hall

After the Virginia Beach shooting, cities struggle with providing security for municipal employees while still welcoming the public they serve.

The Secrets to NYC Parks’ New Signs

Over the last five years, NYC Parks has very gradually introduced a new brand identity, including streamlined signs visible at most parks today.

How to Game the Zoning Codes to Build Supertall Skyscrapers

Three supertall New York City skyscrapers reveal just how creative lawyers can be in gaming the city’s zoning codes.

Meet Mexico City’s Sign Painters

Seemingly replaced by vinyl-printed ads since the early 2000s, artists who can paint advertisements by hand are making a comeback.

How Ian McHarg Taught Generations to ‘Design With Nature’

Fifty years ago, a Scottish landscape architect revolutionized how designers and planners think about ecology. His legacy matters now more than ever.

A Designer’s Airport for the Jet Age

As this 1958 Charles and Ray Eames film shows, Dulles was truly designed for modern air travel.

A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.

The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

What’s Next For Ontario Place, a Treasured Toronto Amusement Park

Premier Doug Ford wants to see Ontario Place redeveloped. A preservation battle over the vital piece of Canada’s postwar architectural history is looming.

Black-and-white photo of an architect's legs sticking out of his large tabletop model of an airport.

Escaping Reality Through the TWA Hotel

It’s now a fantasy-steeped hotel honoring the airport design of a bygone era, but the TWA Flight Center at New York’s JFK Airport was never quite real.

A photo of the facade of Chicago’s Thompson Center

The 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in America (This Year)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2019 list of imperiled buildings, neighborhoods, and districts reveals the threats that older places face.

A woman walks down a city street across from a new apartment and condominium building.

How Housing Supply Became the Most Controversial Issue in Urbanism

New research has kicked off a war of words among urban scholars over the push for upzoning to increase cities’ housing supply.

Bringing New Life to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Lost Designs

“I would love to model all of Wright's work, but it is immense,” says architect David Romero. “I do not know if during all my life I will have time.”

Paris Will Create the City’s Largest Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower

The most famous space in the city is set to get a pedestrian-friendly redesign that will create the city’s largest garden by 2024.

What I. M. Pei Had Planned for Oklahoma City

The late architect and planner had some very big ideas for Oklahoma City in the 1960s. But the final result wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.

Boston is an I. M. Pei City

Boston was where I. M. Pei produced work that would come to define the city and cement his own reputation as one of the world’s most evocative architects.

How I. M. Pei Shaped the Modern City

The architect, who died yesterday at the age of 102, designed iconic modern buildings on prominent sites around the world. Here are some that delight and confound CityLab.

Still from 'Game of Thrones' showing three characters trudging through a burning city.

King’s Landing Was Always a Miserable Dump

Game of Thrones’ destruction of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms revealed a city of mean living conditions and rampant inequality.

The Surprising History of Politics and Design in Playgrounds

There are more than 2,000 playgrounds spread across New York City. Ariel Aberg-Riger explores the creative and political history of concrete jungle’s jungle gyms.

Photograph of a high, sculptural atrium with white walls and curving stairs.

The Glamour of the Jet Age Lives on at the TWA Hotel

A swinging hotel just opened inside the defunct 1960s-era terminal designed by Eero Saarinen at New York’s JFK Airport.