zaha-hadid-grace-on-coronation-brisbane-australiaImage via Brisbane Development

The passing of Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Hadid yesterday at the age of 65 saddened much of the design world. Ms. Hadid was the first female architect to win the Pritzker prize, and was considered one of the most influential trendsetters in design. Known for her organic curves and fluid lines, Hadid not only influenced our built environment, but many aspects of life, such as shoes, accessories and utensils.

Of her completed projects, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati was her first United States project, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany her first realized work, and the Maxii Art Museum in Rome showcased what she would be capable of. The Guangzhou Opera House, London Aquatics Center for the 2012 Olympics, and the in-progress Al Wakri Stadium in Qatar thrust her onto the starchitects stage in recent years. The residential building at 520 W 28th Street along the High Line, opening later this year, will be her first New York City work.

But like many great architects throughout history, some of her projects were never realized. Here are 10 designs by Zaha Hadid that could have changed the way our world looks. (more…)

Holdout Bungalow House-Seattle-Edith MacefieldImage by Ian C. Bates for The New York Times 

This week, the famous holdout bungalow in Seattle, likened to the home in the film Up, returned to the news, with The New York Times reporting that the 600 square foot house, now surrounded by commercial buildings, was in default. Holdout houses are nothing new, but they form an emphatic visual reminder of this age-old development battle. Here, we’ve rounded up five of what we believe are some of the most impressive holdouts around the world.


Coffee Ramen-Food-Ohanajaya-Tokyo-Untapped Cities-Jonathan DeLise (3)

Here at Untapped Cities, we love coffee…and we love ramen. But have you ever thought to combine coffee and ramen into one dish? Well, a Tokyo café known as Aroma (亞呂摩) has done it. 

Ohanajaya is not exactly in the part of town where any tourist or local for that matter is apt to go. We learned of Aroma from a thread at a travel forum, and figured that coffee ramen needed to happen.


Local Roots NYC Winkler Partners 1

Walking out onto the roof of Winkler Partners Law Firm, arugula and strawberry plants frame the silhouette of buildings and mountain tops that make up the Taipei skyline. “Here’s my business card. That side is how I make money, the other is how I spend money,” says Robin Winkler, an American expat and our host for the day. The card states Winkler Partners Law Firm and the flip side reads Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association. His hobby, Wild at Heart, is the first environmental legal defense fund in Taipei, but his day job isn’t too bad either. The Winkler Partners office houses one of the first rooftop gardens in Taipei.  (more…)



Here’s a roundup of what the Untapped Staff has been enjoying this week for great city reads!

wish-jorge-rodriguez-gerada-belfastJorge Rodriguez-Gerada’s piece, “WISH,” is the largest land art in the United Kingdom. Photo via Arrested Motion.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

How many masterpieces have been painted using 4,000 metric tons of soil and sand and 30,000 wooden stakes? “WISH,” an installation by Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, spans 11 acres through a field in a Northern waterfront sector of Belfast. According to The Atlantic, the shy smile depicted on those 11 acres belongs to a six-year-old Belfast resident, and Rodriguez-Garada hopes that her face will inspire a “genuine hope for a brighter future for all of us who share this land.” The installation should last until December 2013––or at least, until it’s plowed over by a forgetful farmer. (more…)