All images © Thies Rätzke, Oliver Heissner and Johannes Arlt.
Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall has moved a step closer to completion after the application of its ‘white skin’ interiors. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de meuron, the venue is set to open on January 11, 2017. As part of the construction process, final work is still being carried out on the 6,000 square meter wall and ceiling cladding. This also involves the installation of the organ, which is currently underway.
After construction began in 2007, the project targeted an initial completion date of 2010. The scheme’s elevated 4,000 square meter plaza will open to the public in November 2016, with the concert hall to open two months later.
‘We are now well on schedule,’ commented Hamburg Senator for Culture Prof. Barbara Kisseler. ‘This has been the result of excellent collaboration between all stakeholders since the project was completely reorganised a good three years ago. While we will be able to enjoy the stunning sound in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in a little less than a year, it is clear even now that the Elbphilharmonie is establishing itself as an architectural jewel in Hamburg.’
Herzog & de meuron developed the specific surface structure of the walls and ceiling through extensive material research and numerous conceptual studies. The highly dense and extremely heavy engineered gypsum fiberboard panels reflect sound, which is then directed and scattered by the countless seashell-shaped milled depressions.
‘The dissemination of sound in a concert hall is decisive for the quality of acoustics,’ explains Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de meuron. ‘In order to achieve this, the geometry of the room, the materials used and the surface structure must be perfectly in tune. It is this particular structure and the seamless transition between the walls and the ceiling that lend the concert hall its somewhat natural characteristics.’
The architecture of the grand hall creates a spatial proximity between the audience and the artists, with a maximum distance of just 30 meters (98 feet). ‘The completion of the white skin once again confirms the uniqueness of the grand hall, which is the centerpiece of the Elbphilharmonie,’ adds general director Christoph Lieben-seutter. ‘The spatial impression is fantastic. The hall appears both intimate and generous, and its organic shape makes it an ideal place for great artistic performances.’
All images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group / Tishman Speyer
Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled plans for the Spiral, a 65-storey New York office tower that features a series of cascading terraces. These landscaped zones provide each floor with a double-height amenity space that can either be connected to adjacent floors, or serve as a meeting area dedicated to one specific level. Each storey offers sweeping vistas across Manhattan, with views of Midtown, Central Park, the Financial District, and the Hudson River.
‘Designed for the people that occupy it, the Spiral ensures that every floor of the tower opens up to the outdoors creating hanging gardens and cascading atria that connect the open floor plates from the ground floor to the summit into a single uninterrupted work space,’ explains Bjarke Ingels.
Developed by Tishman Speyer, the scheme will form part of New York’s Hudson Yards District with 2.85 million square feet of class A office space. The tower seeks to provide open, collaborative and connected workspaces. Large windows highlight impressive ceiling heights, while virtually column-free floorplates create open interior volumes. A range of amenity spaces also connect adjacent floors for dynamic, collaborative workflows.
Green areas begin their revolution at the base of the spiral and continue upwards. The building gently tapers to the sky, allowing light and air to reach the streets below, and providing lush outdoor space to tenants on each floor. Located on Hudson Boulevard, at the northern tip of the high line, the tower occupies an entire city block between 34th and 35th street. The growing neighborhood features a host of retail, cultural, and dining options, as well as the 550 acre Hudson River Park.
All images courtesy of AZPML
London-based practice AZPML has shared images of its latest competition entry, an integrated ecosystem designed to artificially emulate natural environments within two large greenhouses. Known as the ‘Danakil Klimazonenwelt’, the proposed scheme seeks to offer visitors a comprehensive climatic tour that will translate into a wide variety of memorable architectural experiences. The project recreates two settings — desert and jungle — that retain an important interdependence. It is hoped that those who visit these spaces will come to understand this complex interrelationship as they follow an itinerary which serves as a loop between contrasting conditions.
Desert and jungle environments can be explored separately, but they can also be experienced one after the other. As this tour has two levels, visitors will also have to ascend and descend: a steady slope in the desert, and a gentle floating ramp among the trees in the jungle. Conceptually, the jungle system represents density, while the desert is a hazy, endless horizontal plane where the boundary between earth and sky is blurred.
The tropical rainforest consists of clusters of palms that will eventually tower to the greenhouse ceiling. It also incorporates simple devices that will allow plants to grow at different heights. Vegetation will hang under the ramp, climb mesh-covered cylinders, and colonize one side of the space as a vertical garden. The building’s structure is both manifested and concealed behind the greenery, on the walls and roof.
In the desert, a translucent suspended ceiling will diffuse light to create the illusion of a bright sky, consequently hiding all structural elements and eliminating shadows. The outer edges of the greenhouse are concealed behind huge panels with reflective membranes that replicate the landscape, recreating its vastness and simulating a distant horizon. the entire floor ascends in a spiral near the center of the space. Visitors move along the perimeter, where the slope is barely perceptible, and see themselves reflected alongside rocks, outcrops and plants typical of arid ecosystems.
The result is an integrated installation, where the architecture is not just an envelope and the exhibition is not just its contents. The design intends to form a destination where the presence of scenography is limited to specific, obvious elements, making no attempt to camouflage architectural or technical components, and where plants and animals can have a modest presence in suitable conditions without the need to literally replicate their habitats.
All images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group
Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed plans for a New York police station to be constructed in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx. The 40th precinct station is intended to serve the various needs of the NYPD, while strengthening the district’s commitment to community policing. The structure appears as a stack of large bricks, a design which references the rusticated bases of early New York police stations. Each individual volume contains a specific element of the internal program, and is topped with a green roof.
Internally, the building includes amenities that encourage dialogue with the community, while providing dedicated space for police officers to both train and unwind. A first of its kind multipurpose space forms a community room with its own street level entrance, containing information kiosks and areas to host classes or events. All entrances and circulation routes are oriented towards a central atrium, which allows visual relationships to be maintained between floors. Clerestory windows at the upper level bring daylight into the building’s core. Perimeter walls are made from sandblasted precast concrete panels, while setback façades are composed of polished concrete and reflective surfaces.
All images courtesy of SUTD’s Advanced Architecture Laboratory
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Advanced Architecture Laboratory (AAL) was commissioned to design this large-scale structural building envelope for the ‘Future of us’ exhibition in late 2014. The visitors of the exposition experience a stunning play of light and shade cast by an intricate metal lattice, like a ‘walk in an imaginary forest’. The show itself at the Singapore Gardens by the bay is an immersive, multi-sensory experience that offers a glimpse into the possibilities of how locals can live, work, play, care and learn in the future.
The ‘Future of us’ exhibition explores a new dialogue between architecture and nature for the tropics through the use of advanced design and fabrication technology. The light-filtering effect of the project is based on about 11,000 triangular aluminium panels of differing perforations that produce intricate geometric patterns of varying porosities. The design employed state-of-the-art computational tools to analyse environmental data such as daylight factors and prevailing winds to provide a structural building skin that generates shading and visual effects reminiscent of a tropical forest. Through parametric computational tools, this analysis provided automatic construction drawings taking into account steel structure and assembly tolerances. The roof structure spans about 40m and rises to about 16m with a structural depth of no more than 20cm.
Spatially, the project connects the various programmes of the ‘Future of us’ exhibition. It directs the visitors’ path and allows for views of the adjacent city and gardens by the bay. The project reinvents the experience of a tropical space by providing a comfortable, unique, multi-sensorial and climatically appropriate experience to be enjoyed by everyone.
All images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects / One Thousand Museum
New images have been released showing the interior of Miami’s ‘One Thousand Museum’ in more detail. Designed by British architect Zaha Hadid, the residential project takes its name from its location opposite museum park, and offers views across Biscayne Bay towards Miami beach. The 62-storey, 83-unit condominium tower is envisioned as ‘a continuous piece of contemporary sculpture’, and boasts a wealth of luxury facilities such as: an aquatic centre, a private helipad, and even custom scenting — ‘inspired by Zaha Hadid’s architectural vision’. Prices for each unit start at $6 million USD for a 4,600 square foot residence. ‘One Thousand Museum’ is set to complete in 2018. See ARCHITECTURE FOR FUTURE’s previous coverage of the project here.
All images courtesy of Erik Giudice Architects
EGA – Erik Giudice Architects is a multidisciplinary office based in Paris and Stockholm, building international recognition through winning competition entries and built projects in a wide range of scales and programs. For a museum and cultural centre in Dakhla, Morocco, the aim was to invent a new type of space, that would not duplicate the existing models, by creating a hybrid that takes into account the realities of the cultural Moroccan context. To do so, the shape of the traditional nomadic tent was used as a starting point for the architectural concept.
The museum expresses its identity through this simple and straightforward architectural concept, implemented to provide an extremely rich, original, and unique spatial experience. A bold action for a remarkable project, the Dakhla Museum is a cultural and singular space that exerts a certain fascination and where imagination comes to life. Its design is revealed through a simple architecture, but also extremely elaborated volume. The project draws the idea of its framework from the concept of the tent and the desert, creating different sized outlines that make it unique and visible, wanting to draw in a large public.
The building is in visual harmony with the bay of Dakhla, with its folded shapes, that create an evolving dynamic structure. Its vertical materialisation allows for project’s functionality. The interiors are equally powerful as a wall system provides a diversity of spaces and exhibition conditions. The visitor moves freely, in the continuous volumes of the museum, guided by his own sense of space and sensitivity. There is no defined circulation, no corridors, just the freedom of taking a stroll through the Sahara.
All images © Snøhetta
International architecture studio Snøhetta has revealed plans for a sculptural, stone-clad library to be situated at the heart of Temple University’s Philadelphia Campus. Designed in collaboration with Stantec, the building will contain a variety of study areas, resource centers, public spaces, and an event hall, all housed under one roof. The project was approved in the fall of 2015 and will soon begin construction. A targeted completion date has been set for 2018.
The library references the historic academies of Greek antiquity, where a greater emphasis was placed on social spaces for exchanging ideas. ‘Our design challenges the traditional typology of the research library solely as a repository for books and archives, and instead provides a diversity of spaces that will spark chance encounters, enable collaboration, and encourage knowledge-sharing among its users,’ explains the design team. The new library uses an ‘automated book retrieval system’ (ASRS) to store the majority of the university’s more than two million volumes. The ASRS significantly reduces the amount of space needed to store books, and allows the building to provide more collaborative learning space and other student resources.
The landscape surrounding the library features terraced plazas that step up to its entrances, forming outdoor learning environments and opportunities for informal gatherings. The building itself comprises a solid base clad in vertical sections of rough stone. Ensuring a high degree of transparency, expanses of pleated frameless glass are supported on steel mullions. A series of arched wooden entrances are carved into the stone volume, welcoming students and guests. The arches continue inside, forming a three-storey domed atrium lobby with white terrazzo floors.
An oculus carved into the atrium opens up views to each corner of the library, serving as an important wayfinding device and orienting the individual within the building. ‘In addition to interactive and generative learning spaces, the library also provides moments for introspective study,’ continue the architects. At the top floor, the visitor reaches a sun-filled reading room with traditional browsing stacks. This area opens up to the library’s green-roof via a terrace with stepped seating, providing an outdoor space for students.
All images by Beauty And The Bit
Schmidt Hammer Lassen has won an international competition to design a vast cultural complex for the Chinese city of Shanghai. Known as the ‘West Shanghai Workers’ Cultural Palace’, the destination has been popular with the city’s labor union workers and local community since the 1950s. The proposal will provide multiple cultural facilities including a theater, a cinema, various art and exhibition spaces, as well as offices, sports facilities, commercial space, and a major transport hub — all set within a new eight hectare public park.
Built in 1959, the original complex served the local community for more than five decades. However, in recent years the palace could no longer cater for the growing urban population. The scheme expands the site’s existing park into an inviting 6 hectare public space organised around a centrally positioned lake. Four multi-functional towers are placed along the lakeside, sitting on an interlinked plinth of cultural functions.
Lower level programs include a performance theater, a training and education center, and art and exhibition spaces — all designed as open and transparent volumes. The general public will have access to these facilities from both the park and the adjacent street. The towers will provide room for multi-functional cultural activities and house commercial offices. The building is connected at basement levels, with transport links provided to two new subway stations. Outdoor sports functions are spread around the park, creating a diverse and active urban space for the local community.
‘This project is all about people,’ explains Chris Hardie, partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. ‘At the beginning of the project we spent a lot of time on the existing site observing how the community and public used the park spaces around the lake. It became obvious how loved this amenity within the heart of the city was. At the same time we realised there wasn’t another large scale park in the area – the nearest being 5 kilometers away. From this point onwards our focus became how to maximise the amount of open public park from 1 hectare to around 6 hectares on an overall 8 hectare site – while creating a new cultural destination of over 80,000 square meters. Our proposal deals with this while proposing a series of covered and open spaces at street and park level.'
The ‘West Shanghai Workers’ Cultural Palace’ is one of many projects currently being designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in China. Last year the studio revealed plans for a library to be built in the port city of Ningbo, while in 2014 the firm won a competition for another major cultural complex in the same city.
All images courtesy of OMA
It has been announced that international firm OMA will be charged with renovating the historic and famous Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe) department store in Berlin. Since its opening in 1907, KaDeWe has established itself as the biggest department store in continental europe- defined by its diverse retail opportunities and sophisticated crafts.
For its transformation, the Dutch firm – led by architect Rem Koolhass – proposes for the 90,000 sqm building to be divided into four ‘quadrants'; each representing a different architectural, commercial quality and targeted at different audiences. This specific strategy will result in four unique department stores housed under one single roof, ‘fragmenting the original mass into smaller, easily accessible and navigable components – similar to distinct urban sectors embedded into a unifying city fabric’. Each sector will be accessed by a different street entrance, while following a cross-shaped organisation.
Throughout the nine levels, the voids transform in size and extension, avoiding any repetition and making every floor unique. Currently the store is topped by a vaulted rooftop restaurant, the scheme will see a compact glass volume being integrated and extended organically from the façade with views across Berlin. The particular configuration of the new rooftop leaves an open air courtyard between the new architectural insert and the rest of the building.
All images courtesy of SOM
Brookfield ‘Manhattan West’ at Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street will be an environmentally sustainable addition to the midtown Manhattan skyline. Designed by SOM, the project comprises two 2-million square foot office towers, a residential tower with 844 units, 225,000 square feet of retail and dining services and two acres of public open space. ‘Manhattan West’ is a link between the Midtown Business District, Penn Station, the Hudson Yards District and the north end of Chelsea. Offices, hotels and residences are planned for surrounding blocks, including redevelopment of the adjacent farley post office as the New Moynihan Station.
The plan for these two full city blocks is arranged around a series of public open spaces. These will deliver areas for repose and contribute to a pedestrian streetscape connecting Moynihan Station to the far west side of Manhattan. Two inflected office towers will sand as landmarks on the west side of Manhattan. In addition, a residential tower on the southwest portion of the side will serve as a 24 hour cornerstone for the neighborhood. SOM collaborated with SLCE architects on the residential component of the project. Brookfield broke ground on the project in late 2012 and has commenced construction of the platform which will sit atop the rail yards at the site.
All images courtesy of Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners has announced the groundbreaking of ‘ICD Brookfield Place’, a 1.5 million-square-foot office and retail development located in the Dubai International Financial Centre District (DIFC). The mixed-use development includes a 53-storey tower that comprises over 900,000-square-feet of grade A lettable office space, adjacent to a 150,000-square-foot retail center with shopping, dining, fitness, and private club facilities. Three executive sky view suites at the top of the tower feature multiple terraces and an open garden with views of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The office tower and retail building will be connected by several pedestrian pathways and a 31 meter-high, 18,000-square-foot landscaped public realm that will showcase a range of arts and cultural events.
‘The beginning of construction at ICD Brookfield Place marks the next phase of one of Dubai’s most prestigious developments at the DIFC,’ said Grant Brooker, senior executive partner at Fosters + Partners. ‘We were honored to be chosen by ICD Brookfield to design a project that we believe will become a new social focus for Dubai, combining world class office space with a major civic plaza. Our aim is to enhance the urban character of the DIFC, putting public spaces at the very heart of the design. The new office tower – on target to achieve a LEED gold rating – is shaped to reflect the sunlight, and is surrounded by a rich mix of easily accessible terraced spaces, that create a vibrant and lively extension to the DIFC.’
With construction work now underway, the tower is expected to be complete by late 2018.
All images courtesy of Paolo Venturella & Cosimo Scotucci
The project aims to create a new space for the city of Varna where people can spend their free time and socialise.
One of the main characteristics is to put together all the different functions requested in the brief ("Read", "Storage" and "Leisure") in such a way to stimulate creativity and a real sense of community.
The new library mixes together people who want to spend their time on reading together with other people who are in the same place to enjoy events, exhibitions and for working.
The approach is to organise all the activities come out from the analysis of the place and the program.
In the main lobby, it requires different situations and kinds of spaces, and by mixing them on different levels to generate a new hybrid space.
The ground level is designed to be the continuation of exterior public plaza, people can walk around, enjoy main events or exhibitions.
First of all ideas is to maximise the volume according to the regulations. It automatically shapes itself in a series of back steps going upwards, so to create terraces and avoiding casting shadow on the exterior public space.
Once maximised the volume, everything is thought for the interior space.
Just from analysing the problem of having together places that require silent with places that make noise, comes out the idea of placing a big symbolic element in the middle, that works as a buffer to separate them and create the adapted space for both.
The two main spaces are distant in height but visually connected. Moreover, only the spaces for reading that require privacy and calmness, such as work, study and research, are placed upstairs, the other functions are placed below in order to mix with the event main lobby.
These areas don't really need perfect silent (semi silent) so are perfect to stay in the hall.
These spaces are for leisure and here is possible to read and socialise.
The element that divides these two functions is the "storage". Required by the brief to be so huge in size, it is used to separate "silent" zones from the "noisy" ones.
Moreover this element is the principal one, the most representative, it is the "storage", the volumes that contain all the books.
All the functions in the building are also organised according to the sun exposition.
The spaces that require light are placed on the South side (reading, café, lobby, exhibition) while on the North side there are the auditorium and others that require indirect illumination or even spaces visually separated.
The shape of the building is designed to integrate itself in the context of the city. The design is made by regular juxtaposed blocks who mimic the brutalist aspect of the City Hall. The difference from the context is made by the materials and by the façade louvers system.
All images by Mir
Following the success of the UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, Heatherwick Studio began working with a developer who had a 15 acre plot next to M50, Shanghai’s main art district. The existing site sat next to a public park and was split over two plots separated by a narrow strip of government land and incorporated several historic buildings. The brief from the client was to create a vast mixed-use development within a residential area, surrounded by concrete towers on three sides.
‘The typical mixed-use 300,000 square meter development would have podiums, towers, a school, workplaces, living spaces, some hotel space, retail outlets… but then there’s the art district. So it was about how we stitch this all together,’ said Thomas Heatherwick, speaking at the 2015 BODW conference in Hong Kong. ‘We got interested in the park, as it felt like it could be the glue that somehow connected those elements together. But if you use greenery, it is very heavy. So we got very interested in columns, and thinking if we were to use greenery, the best place to put it is directly on top of the columns — instead of on flat roofs.’
Heatherwick’s response was conceived not as a building but as a piece of urban topography, taking the form of two tree-covered mountains, populated by approximately one thousand structural columns. Instead of being hidden behind the façade, the columns are the defining feature of the design, emerging from the building to support plants and trees.
‘Normally, the large scale projects that we are quite used to seeing have big boxes, and the role of the designer is figuring out what pattern of architectural wrapping paper to put on these boxes,’ Heatherwick explained. ‘We wondered if there was a way to make better working spaces by also making access to outdoors. So the first thing was to place these 1,000 columns, and deliberately make them so that they come very low to meet the smaller surrounding M50 buildings.’
In total, the scheme contains 400 terraces encouraging outdoor meetings and recreation. The development has been under construction since 2014, with a targeted completion date set for 2018. The project is presented as part of Provocations: the architecture and design of Heatherwick Studio, an exhibition which runs until January 3rd, 2016 at New York’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects and Design
The first in a series of limited edition pre-crafted pavilions and homes launches at Design Miami/2015. Conceived by design and real estate developer Robbie Antonio, the Revolution project unites more than 30 of the world’s preeminent architects, artists, and designers to create a series of technologically advanced yet cost-efficient living spaces.
Named ‘Volu’, Zaha Hadid’s contribution to the collection is a contemporary dining pavilion. The structure presents a bold silhouette, forming a typical fusion of design, lightweight engineering, and precision fabrication. Containing bespoke furniture, the design continues a rational, geometric production by embedding the tectonics of manufacture within the form itself.
Defined by sophisticated digital processes, the pavilion has been developed in such a way that its components are, at most, singly curved. Such innovations were computer programmed to integrate fabrication constraints into the design, while enabling engineering feedback in an iterative delivery process. consequently, this allows for comprehensive design development of complex and expressive forms through the bending of flat sheet materials.
Comprised of a series of structural bands collecting at the spine and expanding overhead, the patterning of the pavilion is guided by the varied structural loading conditions. Through analysis of the geometry under load, the pavilion’s topology is digitally optimized to remove unnecessary material, resulting in the lightest possible design solution — an organic structural logic that recreates the many of the same principles found in nature.
All images © Santiago Calatrava LLC
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been commissioned to design three landmark bridges in the rapidly expanding Chinese city of Huashan. Located in the province of Hubei, the crossings will facilitate cars, pedestrians and cyclists across the city’s newly-constructed Yangtze River Canal. The trio of steel spans — called ‘xihu’, ‘xianbi’, and ‘lincong’ — are carefully integrated with the existing pedestrian and bicycle network through a series of stairs and ramps. These routes also provide key access points between the road and the promenade pathways at canal level.
The ‘xianbi bridge’, the central crossing, is 129 meters long with an arch soaring to a total height of 42.3 meters. The design incorporates two traffic lanes with a support structure in the center, creating a characteristic void. The westernmost ‘xihu bridge’ has been conceived with a single arch, and is connected via a platform of inclined corrugated cables. It is 102.7 meters long and the tied arch reaches 20.4 meters. Finally, the ‘lincong bridge’ has two arches inclining outwards, reaching 118 meters in length.
‘Architecture is one of the art forms best able to improve and revitalise cities both artistically and functionally,’commented Calatrava. ‘The Huashan project is a clear example of how an urban element, key to the successful growth of the city, can at the same time improve the quality of life for its citizens, thanks to an integration of all three bridges and the creation of boulevards on the banks of the canal.’
Construction work is expected to begin in late 2016.
All images by Stéphane Chalmeau
In the heart of Great Paris, architecture firm Tetrarc Architectes have been involved with a major renewal project spread over a site of 74 hectares and what use to be the location of former Renault car factories. The vast project has seen the construction of two social housing complexes based on the same plot and designed by the same firm. The set of dwellings are differentiated by their contrasting architecture styles seen in two separate structures.
Rising at seven-storeys, ‘Plot A’- the four white buildings is distinguished by their use of clean and sharp lines; referencing the large mansions built by Baron Haussmann seen in Paris’ city centre. On the roof, the interplay of different openings and a series of decorative towers interrupt the sharp aesthetic of the scheme. Protected by a metal, sculptural mesh, these towers contain the vertical passages for access to four apartments on each floor. Comprised of interwoven riveted aluminum this feature references ‘a number of allusions to the industrial history of the area without becoming mired in nostalgic reminiscence. The pure and simple joy of living here is revealed by the simplicity and quality of the building.’
Behind this frontage, where it joins the future secondary school for plot A, there are fifteen properties in an apartment block built over three storeys, plus lofts. Offering a more secluded, quieter urban environment, enlivened by external loggia-type extensions which are partially open and private, the spaces between them display intricate wooden cladding which mirrors the cycle of light and shade throughout the day.
These two projects in the block are separated by a zig-zag pathway, interspersed with a scattering of silver birch trees. The buildings are connected by a porch on the eastern side, a connection which leaves two levels open. The white-metal and wooden-clad schemes have delivered social housing with thoroughly planned internal and external spaces aimed for tenants on modest incomes. The buildings serve as a cultural and local landmark which in turn, provides continuity to the wider renewal project and a reflection on future social housing developments.
All images courtesy of Mark Foster Gage Architects
Architect Mark Foster Gage has revealed conceptual plans for a dramatically sculptural 102-storey residential building with sweeping views of Central Park and the New York city skyline. According to 6sqft, Gage was commissioned by a high-end developer to see what kind of ultra-luxury development might be possible on Manhattan’s 57th Street.
Each unit has its own unique figurally carved façade with balconies that frame particular features of the surrounding urban and natural landscapes. The building is clad with a series o limestone-tinted concrete panels with hydroformed sheet-bronze details, and brass-tinted alloy structural extrusion enclosures.
The 64th floor features a sky-lobby with exclusive retail stores, a 2-storey high ballroom for events, and a 4-star restaurant. All of which have access to four massive cantilevered balconies that offer an event and dining experience with spectacular views.
All images courtesy of Radan Hubicka Architectural Studio
Czech Republic-based Radan Hubicka Architectural Studio received first place in a competition to design and realise ‘the Line’, a multi-purpose building located at Vítězné Square in Prague. The structure, which will complete the block, is based on the original masterplan as created by professor Antonín Engel in the 1920s.
In the plan, two types of monumental buildings compose the area: square, bulk forms, and concave shapes. The latter has been built only a single time in the near century that has passed, which is situated directly across the grounds from ‘the Line’ proposal.
All images © Humberto Arreola
Flaunt Magazine approached California-based Clive Wilkinson Architects about doing a special concept for their ‘Califuk’ issue. Since the theme was an imaginary collision of the UK with California, the studio proposed an endless horizontal workspace to travel over the top of the city of London. The motivation of this project was to solve the two hours almost every Londoner wastes per day on commuting to offices in all sorts of odd corners of the metropolis.
Since technology has liberated people and business, and enabled genuine mobility, this proposition is not inconceivable, and solves time-related problems inherent in a massively densified city. This new workplace is a single layer of open office space that sits over all the buildings of the city. thanks to its shear horizontal extremity, it absorbs all the city workplace space requirements: access to light and views is achieved with deferential circular courtyards that look down at the sights of London and open to the sun above. With a pervasive mobile working paradigm, you are no longer stealing someone’s desk, but parking wherever feels good.
The ‘endless horizontal workspace’ would be a kind of co-working space perfect for both start-ups and established business, with a suite of varied work settings. Hence working anywhere means working just above your kettle and teabag collection, and a short hop from the couch into the future.
All images © Doublespace Photography
In Toronto, international firm Snøhetta has completed Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre (SLC) with a design that references the historical gathering spaces of ancient Greece. Conceived as ‘a library without books’, the design develops natural conditions for groups of people to interact, while offering areas for controlled and introspective study. The SLC offers students eight individually designed floors that include space to meet, study, and exchange ideas – encouraging students to interact with their physical environment.
Well-known for its engineering and business programs, Ryerson University is an urban commuter campus with 38,000 students. Previously, the school did not have a recognisable presence within the city, with most of the academic buildings housed within the existing urban fabric, or set back from major streets. The new complex provides a much-needed space for students to study and remain on campus between classes, creating a distinguishable identity for the university.
The design begins with a south-facing raised platform that opens the street corner for a broad range of pedestrian activity — from larger gatherings to individual seating areas. Part plaza, part porch, this elevated space creates a welcoming yet protected urban edge shared by students and the general public. Situated on the Yonge Street retail corridor, the building directs the flow of students over and up the entry stairs, ensuring that the flow of students in and out of the building remains uninterrupted by commercial activity.
‘The façades of the building are composed of a digitally-printed fritted glass that envelops the rugged armature and pared-down aesthetic of the exposed concrete structure,’ explains Snøhetta. ‘While the glass is understood to be transparent and light, it also evokes a juxtaposing sense of solidity and mass. The varying façade pattern controls heat gain into the building and frames views of the city grid and nearby buildings from the interior, acting as a traditional framed window without actual frame constructions.’
A visually striking campus gateway is shaped by a large canopy clad in iridescent, hand-folded metal panels stretching from the exterior façade into the lobby. This reception area is defined by a spacious atrium that houses informal seating areas, a café, and a welcome desk for visitors and prospective students. It also acts as a multi-purpose forum with integrated seating and performance technology for events ranging from fashion shows to music performances. A broad stairway leads from the lobby to a new bridge connecting the SLC to the existing university library. Hovering above the atrium is Ryerson’s launch zone, a digital media lab and business incubator for emerging tech start-ups.
Each storey of the building offers a different kind of space, each with a distinct atmosphere influenced by themes found in nature. The sixth floor, known as ‘the Beach’, is an open and informal study area that slopes down through a series of ramps and terraces, encouraging students to sit on the floor and move the casual furniture.
‘The Sky’ occupies the top floor of the building with an uplifting ceiling that offers broad overlooks and access to natural light. ‘The Forest’ and ‘the Garden’ also provide differing learning programs with student services, quiet study areas, and classrooms.
Construction work got underway in May 2012, with an official opening held earlier in 2015.
All images © Herzog & De Meuron
Herzog & De Meuron has submitted plans to build a new stadium for English football club Chelsea. The proposed 60,000-seat arena, which would be a completely new structure, is to be located on the site of the team’s current Stamford Bridge grounds in West London. The application comprises the demolition of the existing football stadium and other buildings on the site, and the construction of a new larger facility. Other features include ancillary stadium-related uses including a club shop and museum, plus separate restaurant and café use.
Following initial feasibility studies which began in October 2011, the project development team consulted with Herzog & De Meuron in 2013 before a formal appointment followed in 2014. The brief called for a design that drew influence from the site’s particular london context, and remained consistent with the existing urban fabric.
The design features 264 brick piers that support a steel ring above the pitch. These columns are separate structural elements that respond to local site constraints as they rise and fall or move into and away from the body of the building. The circular ring they support will provide a consistent geometry linking all of the piers together. Steel beams will extend inwards and downwards from the circular ring beam to pick up the rectilinear roof aperture that will frame the pitch below. Inside, a compact three tier bowl will offer spectators much improved lines of sight and access compared to those of the existing stadium.
‘The architecture of the new stadium will provide an enrichment to the townscape and an improvement in quality and amenity over the existing eclectic collection of buildings’, commented Herzog & De Meuron. ‘The uniform style of the redeveloped stadium will produce an instantly recognizable landmark, defining a clear identity for the football club on its historic home ground. The scheme has been designed to respond sensitively to context, incorporating many of the comments received during widely held consultations. Once built, the stadium will positively transform the quality of the neighborhood’.
Additional landscaping comprises the construction of new external concourse areas. This includes the formation of decking platforms over part of the District Line and part of the Southern mainline railway. Pedestrian access arrangements on match days would be provided from Fulham Broadway Station and Fulham Road, while vehicular access would be provided via Wansdown Place.
If plans are approved, Chelsea would be forced to play their home games elsewhere for up to three years — potentially at the Foster + Partners-designed Wembley Stadium. A targeted completion date has been scheduled to allow Chelsea to move into their new home in time for the 2020-2021 Premier League season.
All images © OMA / courtesy of the Factory Manchester
Rem Koolhaas’ renowned Dutch studio OMA has been selected ahead of a strong shortlist to complete a new arts complex in Manchester, England. Named ‘The Factory’, the scheme will be OMA’s first major public building in the United Kingdom. In winning the contest, Koolhaas saw off competition from a list of big names, including Zaha Hadid, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Rafael Viñoly. A total of 48 applications were originally received for the project.
The £110 million ($166 million USD) complex will be located at the former site of the Granada TV Studios, establishing a creative village within the city centre. The arena is set to host the Manchester International Festival (MIF), and will accommodate 2,200 seated observers or 5,000 standing guests. Manchester City Council explains the project as follows: ‘unique and wholly different to the range of arts venues currently in the city, the factory will be a major center for the north, able to commission original works, working in partnership with leading national and international organisations to deliver major events throughout the year – along with being a permanent home to the Manchester International Festival (MIF).’
Subject to planning approval, construction is planned to start in 2016, with a targeted opening date of summer 2019.
All images © SANAA / Liget Budapest
In April 2015, it was announced that Snøhetta and SANAA had tied for first place in a competition to design the new National Gallery of Hungary. It has now been revealed that the proposal from SANAA will be constructed in Budapest’s Vársoliget City Park, as part of a large cultural masterplan that involves the development of five new museum buildings. The museum will be joined by a design from fellow Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who will complete the site’s ‘House of Hungarian Music’.
The project is currently the largest on-going museum initiative in the world. The development and renovations will entirely renew the city park area of budapest, with the ‘new national gallery’ standing as the site’s cultural centerpiece.
‘The aim of the restricted competition, in which star architects were also invited to participate, was to provide a home for the budapest new national gallery in a modern, contemporary building of outstanding architectural value that meets 21st-century requirements and is worthy both for the city park and for one of the most important public collections of Hungary,’ said László Baán, the ministerial commissioner of the liget budapest project.
Comprised of both European and Hungarian arts and objects, the venue will be a leading location for the development of the country’s national identity, tourist economy, as well as a place to learn and appreciate world art. Renovations and developments started at the site last year, with SANAA’s ‘National Gallery of Hungary’ set to open in summer 2019.
All images courtesy of JDS Architects
The new housing developments that have sprouted up during Istanbul’s recent construction boom have created a skyline of solitary blocks without regard for their environment. In an attempt to offer a new typology for residential living, Julien De Smedt Architects has proposed plans for a vast community to be built between esenyurt and bahcesehir — an area currently experiencing rapid growth and ambitious planning.
Titled ‘Istanbul Summits’, the proposal for the four plots comprises three novel solutions to living, each integrating nature through a series of simple manipulations. The structures come together to create landmark living complexes, which offer a diversity of residential and shopping experiences. See more information on each of the designs below.
1. The form of the ‘Cappadocia Residences’ is derived from a series of practical manipulations. Setback geometry is the result of a subdivision strategy that balances residential square meter requirements with carefully positioned urban voids that grant privacy and allow for communal activities. In addition, a commercial program is integrated into the scheme’s lower levels. In form, the resultant volume is reminiscent of Cappadocia — Turkey’s famous rock formation.
2. Characterised by a continuous and accessible roof garden that unites different residential densities, ‘Infinity Park’ has been conceived as a ‘Winding Residential Wave’. The building’s sinuous shape mixes low-rise and mid-rise apartments in a way that ensures views and creates lush inner courtyards as amenity space.
3. Plots C and D are combined into one flowing volume with housing designed specifically for families. The units offer more enclosed and protective environments, while providing a giant accessible rooftop amenity. This development balances the requirements of family-oriented accommodation with open space through a large, ground level courtyard accessible to all residents.
All images courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
The city of Copenhagen has finally approved Steven Holl Architects’ plans to build two skyscrapers joined by a pedestrian bridge at the entrance to the city’s historic harbor. The design unanimously won an international competition in October 2008, but construction had been delayed for economic reasons. Work on the ‘Copenhagen Gate’ is now set to start in 2016.
The two highrises, named ‘Langelinie’ and ‘Marmormolen’, are connected with a pedestrian bridge elevated 150 meters above the water, thus allowing direct links from apartments and offices to the adjacent railway station. The ‘Langelinie’ tower features a prow-like deck, which serves as the public entrance to the bridge’s elevators. Meanwhile, on the other side of the harbor, the ‘Marmormolen’ tower connects back to the city with a terrace that thrusts out towards the horizon, shaped by a public auditorium below.
All images © Aplus CG
MVRDV, together with the Urbanists Collaborative and LLJ Architects, has won the competition for the transformation of the ‘T-axis’ in downtown Tainan, Taiwan. The scheme aims to reconnect the city with nature by creating a lagoon and a green public corridor along the city’s vibrant haian road. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2016, with a former underground parking lot forming the basis of the new public space.
Tainan’s natural lagoons and water network served as the city’s base for its marine and fishing industry up until the early 20th century. Land reclamation and a new urban plan devised under Japanese governance saw the city expand rapidly; construction of the new Tainan canal and Tainan ship moorage moved the shipping and fishing industry further inland which saw a lively neighborhood of auction and trade markets flourish around it. The China-town Mall was built next to the canal in 1983, but soon fell into decline.
The transformation of the site aims to re-establish the waterfront connection, and provide the neighborhood with a range of public spaces. Once dismantled, the exposed structure of the mall will form the base for the new amenities, including: a public square; a lush, green lagoon with dunes and playgrounds flanked by small commercial units; a tourism information point; a teahouse; and an art gallery.
The addition of new transport nodes will allow Haian Road to be relieved from its current flow of traffic, establishing the area as a lively public zone with improved spaces and activities. A reconfigured routing system aims to reduce traffic speed, while complete closure at nighttime allows pedestrians and small businesses to spill out onto the road, turning it into a lively hub for locals and tourists alike.
The current amalgamation of different pavements will be unified according to various functions to improve way finding. This approach is further applied to the scattered objects along the road: ventilation shafts, elevators, and entrances to the underground parking garage will be wrapped in a glass skin, and extended to create pavilions, kiosks and viewing towers. an array of ‘lanterns’ of various sizes will appear, activating the public space and creating a cohesive urban language. Additionally, local trees and shrubs will be planted to create a green corridor through to the new lagoon and the reconnected waterfront.
All images courtesy of Paolo Venturella
Presented for the WHO Headquarters in Geneva competition, Rome-based Paolo Venturella showcased a project that aimed to make a new assertion on how architecture should evolve. His proposal called ‘Plus is More’ shows a building that investigates how to overcome the simplicity of the standard square-extruded structures by creating instead a simple complexity generated by some processes that he calls ‘moves’ that include dividing, discretising, bending and creating partial subdivisions within the initial cube form.
The new approach based on ‘more moves’ shapes the building and creates a more complex interior and exterior space, while adding new aesthetics. The process starts by pushing the initial form upwards, then it’s divided in half to be later on discretised, providing architectonic shapes. The bending moves create the entrances and views, while further discretization generates the terraces.
The façade system is oriented in three different directions so the louvers are organized according to sun exposure, doubling their distances from south to west, to avoid direct lighting into office spaces. On the south side it is less dense since the sun is more vertical, while on the west side it is more dense since sun rays are lower.
All images courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
London studio Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has won a bid to design a new terminal for Taiwan's largest airport, seeing off competition from Foster + Partners and UN Studio.
Terminal 3 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will comprise a new terminal building, boarding gates, concourses and a multi-function building, along with transport infrastructure. The competition jury was impressed with the "innovative planning and design" submitted by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which is working as part of a team that includes local firm Fei & Cheng Associates and engineers Arup. Due for completion in 2020, the £1 billion 640,000-square-metre terminal is expected to be able to host 45 million passengers a year.
It will be located between Terminal 2 and the China Airlines Headquarters at the airport, which is located 40 kilometres west of the capital Taipei and is the eleventh busiest in the world.
Rogers Stirk Harbour has previously designed Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas Airport and Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow.
"We have designed two of the most recognisable airport terminal buildings in the world," says Richard Rogers in a movie showing the design. "What we have learned with almost 30 years of airport experience is that amongst all building typologies, the modern airport is most susceptible to change."
The design for Taoyuan Terminal 3 borrows elements from both of these previous projects. It combines the flexibility of Heathrow's single-span roof with the open interior spaces and undulating ceiling at Barajas. Thousands of lamps suspended from the roof will create areas with higher and lower ceiling heights, which can be easily altered to accommodate future requirements. The central building will be flanked by two long concourses housing passenger gates, connected by bridges spanning over roads that will run in between the structures.
"Our proposal is focussed on a passenger's experience with a deliberate strategy to absorb constant future change, whilst always retaining the integrity of its unique design," said Ivan Harbour in a statement. "The terminal will be designed to meet the highest sustainability criteria; holistic engineering and architecture."
Existing airport structures and additional new buildings on the approach to the terminal will eventually form an "aero city" around the transport hub.
Rogers' team won the second phase of the competition after the shortlist was announced in September 2015. They competed with Foster + Partners and a team led by Ben Van Berkel's UNStudio for the project, with each participant asked to submit a design before 26 October 2015.
Rogers Stirk Harbour is also currently working on a new terminal at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport in France. The firm is best known for designs including the high-tech Lloyd's Building, the Cheesegrater skyscraper and the O2 arena in London. It was founded by Rogers after he completed the Centre Pompidou in Paris with Renzo Piano.
All images courtesy of UNStudio
UNStudio has revealed their proposed design for Terminal 3 of Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport. The scheme was awarded 2nd prize among the shortlisted competitors, behind British firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. UNStudio’s concept seeks to challenge the accepted utilitarian approach to airport design in an effort to propose a new standard for efficient and sustainable mass infrastructure. Developed with a core team — comprising Bio-architecture Formosana from Taipei and April Yang Design Studio from Ohio — the project reexamines the airport typology through an analysis of the existing terminals at Taoyuan, while anticipating airport operational requirements and the spatial constraints of the site.
Using personal travel experience as a starting point, the team felt that in recent times airport architecture has become rigidly prescribed as a typology with an excessive and monotonous use of space. With ‘place making’ at the center of the design concept, the team strove to distinguish its design by creating an interior ecology distinct from the look and feel of comparable airports. The scheme is further characterized by its efficiency, with short walking distances and optimized airport functions following the principles of natural wayfinding. Additionally, a small footprint allows for a quick building assembly with a prefabrication strategy.
‘The building design provides a clear organization that offers passengers high efficiency, while satisfying the need for physical convenience and comforts,’ explains Ben Van Berkel, founder of UNStudio. ‘With the aim of the client to be among the top of the international airports in the region, it was necessary to develop a concept that conflates functionality, atmosphere and flexibility – an airport that is sustainable from the get go.’
Internally, sequential spaces seek to privilege comfort, ease of use and orientation. Conceived as micro climates, the different areas are defined by physical conditions related to daylight, humidity, temperature and air flow. By locating the main entrance of the terminal building at the south-west end of the site, the terminal’s main entrance has been designed to become the most visually prominent façade for the entire airport with an undulating roof guiding the public to the various entrances.
All images courtesy of ATLV, renderings by Polyhedron Studio
The ‘Tower Pier’ by Satoru Sugihara of ATLV was created for a Flaunt magazine feature that imagines a mixed city composed of bits of London and Los Angeles. The conceptual architecture element explores the ethos of the two cities, and embodies their cultural similarities and differences. The ‘Tower Pier’ is located on the river Thames, and blurs the distinctions between the London Tower Bridge and the Santa Monica Pier. Also emphasized in the design, is a mixture of London’s high-tech futurism, LA’s expressive dynamism, and Venice beach’s festive graffiti culture.
Like other designs by ATLV, ‘Tower Pier’ was developed using algorithms. A swarm technique was utilized to create expressive, futuristic formations of metal cable and a physical simulation to optimize formation in relation to compressive truss structures. Massive, colorful strips of fabric were added to the concept in order to provide shading, and give the entire project a feeling of joviality. The ‘Tower Pier’ extends onto the river bank, where a park, small amphitheater, and viewing platforms are located.
All images courtesy of 53W53
Just steps from New York’s elegant fifth avenue, construction work has finally begun on Jean Nouvel’s much-anticipated 53W53 skyscraper. Soaring above the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the primarily residential tower will climb to a total height of 1,050 feet (320 meters), comparable in terms of scale to the art-deco influenced chrysler building.
The building boasts a striking façade, with multiple tapered surfaces creating a distinctive silhouette as part of the rapidly changing new york skyline. The exposed structural system, referred to as the ‘diagrid’, offers the tower an angular rhythm that remains evident within each of the scheme’s 139 private apartments.
Interior spaces have been designed by architect Thierry Despont, who has previously completed a number of similarly high profile schemes. Each of the tower’s residences, which range from one-bedroom homes to duplex penthouses, incorporates integrated lighting designs and fully bespoke kitchens and bathrooms, as well as furniture-grade mahogany doors with custom designed bronze hardware. Individual units are available starting at $3 million USD.
Residents of 53W53 will receive title to a unique benefactor W53 membership at MoMA, as well as a host of other luxury amenities. 24 hour doormen and concierge services are provided, alongside the opportunity for formal dining in a lounge overlooking central park. A wellness centre includes saunas and steam rooms, while a vertical garden designed by Patrick Blanc overlooks a 65-foot lap pool. other amenities include: a children’s playroom, a wine tasting area, a golf simulator, a lobby library with fireplace, and a pet walking service.
All image courtesy of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah
In a Los Angeles Times article last December, “The future is in the past: Architecture trends in 2014,” acting critic Christopher Hawthorne sought to make sense of a year that included Koolhaas’s Venice Biennale, Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion, and periodicals like Log 31: New Ancients and San Rocco 8: What’s Wrong with the Primitive Hut? Through these examples and others, Hawthorne concluded that it was a year of overdue self-reflection, where in order to determine architecture’s future it was necessary to mine the past.
Building on these precedents, Hawthorne predicted that after years of baroque parametricism, in 2015 architects would use last year’s meditations on history as a practical foundation for new projects and proposals. An example of this can be found in the work of Michael Ryan Charters and Ranjit John Korah, a duo who recently shared the top-five prize for the CAF led ChiDesign Competition (part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial) for their project Unveiled. In a brief that called for “a new center for architecture, design and education,” and with lauded jurors including Stanley Tigerman, David Adjaye, Ned Cramer, Monica Ponce de Leon, and Billie Tsien, Charters and Korah proposed what could casually be summarized as a terracotta framework over a multi-story crystalline form of wooden vaults, but is actually something much more complex.
Spanning the history of twentieth century skyscrapers (those of Chicago in particular), Charters and Korah linked the formalism of mid century modern towers with the delicate materiality of the terracotta that clads the city’s earliest tall buildings. However, merging dichotomous conventions quickly leads to subversion. What emerges is a skyscraper-sized version of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s “veil and vault” concept, utilized at the Broad Museum, except here we have a terracotta and modern shell that conceals an “aggregate” of honey-colored wooden vaults.
During the day the building blends into its storied surroundings in the Chicago Loop, but lit up at night the exterior melts away and we are left with only the pierced geometry of the vaults. While the geode-like wooden form has unprecedented beauty, the contrast which makes sense for DS+R in Los Angeles seems less convincing for Charters and Korah in Chicago. The Broad’s “veil” was a necessity disguised in complexity, in order for the galleries to receive natural light, but none falls directly on the artworks. Material choices here do not have the same urgency. Charters and Korah summarized their decisions in the following way: "Unveiled proposes a new type of building for Chicago’s storied skyline; it celebrates novel building technologies that allow for inventive architectural opportunities, defining a place that serves not only the designers and students who use it each day, but the public as well by opening up generously to the city."
All image courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group
Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed plans for a new museum building to be constructed in the grounds of Norway’s Kistefos Sculpture Park. BIG’s design — developed in collaboration with AKT II, Max Fordham, Davis Langdon, and GCAM — measures a total of 1,400 square meters, with construction work set to start in 2016. The sculpture park, which is home to works by Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson and Elmgreen & Dragset, is located one hour north of Oslo, adjacent to Jevnaker’s river Randselva. Built around a historic paper mill, the site occupies both embankments of the waterway, with an old bridge serving as the only crossing.
The proposed design has been conceived as a simple beam that spans the river, forming a second bridge for the site. A twist in the building’s volume allows the structure to emerge from the lower forested area, towards the elevated hillside opposite. ‘This creates a series of interconnected spaces,’ explains BIG. ‘A vertical stack of galleries for media, paintings, and sculpture to the south, and a horizontal, open gallery, ideal for sculptures and large installations, to the north’.
Visitors enter the museum through a triple height space at the southern end of the building, containing the institution’s information centre and shop. From this entrance, guests have clear sightlines towards the other end of the museum, where a café offers views of the pulp mill and the surrounding landscape. A fanning stairway connects the various levels, doubling as an informal seating area and providing a space for video projections and performance art.
The sculptural façade is a combination of brushed stainless steel and insulated glazed panels, clad with a reflective UV film to protect the museum’s artwork. Electrical solar shading is integrated in the framing system, offering both translucent brightness and complete darkness.
‘We were instantly fascinated by the dramatic landscape of Kistefos — the winding river, forested riverbanks and the steep topography’, explains Bjarke Ingels. ‘our proposal for a new art museum acts like a second bridge in the sculpture park, forming a continuous loop across both riverbanks. With the inhabited bridge, we stumbled upon our first experiment with social infrastructure — a building that serves as a bridge — or a cultural institution that serves as a piece of infrastructure.’
All images courtesy of Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos / Renders by Cg Veron
Mexican practice Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos has envisioned a concept for the design of the PA-MX – a Mexican art pavilion – an idea introduced by renowned artist José Rivelino Moreno Valle, who wanted to promote the idea of his own traveling exhibition around Europe and within Mexico.
The scheme aims to foster a connection between the viewer and the art. Presented as a cultural space with its own architectural identity, it reflects the forward thinking aspects of current Mexican architecture. The core concept behind the project is ‘the infinity symbol’. Explored literally and architecturally, the structural form of the pavilion is based on the twisting nature of the symbol.
Constructed using pre-fabricated timber elements, the frames are linked by post-tensioned steel tubes. Meanwhile internally, the enclosure is visualized as part solid and part transparent, demonstrated by its dynamic twisting floor which blurs the transition between the floor and the wall. This dual nature of the materials permits versatile exhibitions hostedt: the solid walls function as a background to the works, while the transparent walls allow the entry of natural light and the projection of art installations.
All images©Rob Parrish and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
Burntwood School, a large comprehensive girls’ school in Wandsworth, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has won the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015 for the UK’s best new building. The award, now in its 20th year, is the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize.
The transformation of the school sees the introduction of six new structures within an existing educational campus. The design also reorganizes the site, with lawns, squares and a central pedestrian spine. four 4-storey teaching pavilions, a sports hall and a performing arts building, are placed among a number of retained buildings, including two by Sir Leslie Martin, to form a complete and coherent campus.
The judges explained their decision as follows: ‘Burntwood school is the clear winner of the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize. It is the most accomplished of the six shortlisted buildings because it demonstrates the full range of the skills that architects can offer to society. It encompasses great contemporary design and clever reuse of existing buildings as well as superb integration of artwork, landscaping and engineering. It is a genuine collaborative project. There was a wonderful working relationship between the head teacher and the architect: a true partnership of equals.’
‘Burntwood School shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children’s educational enjoyment and achievement,’ commented RIBA President Jane Duncan. ‘Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, experienced school architects, have created a stunning campus. They have produced delightful, resourceful and energy efficient buildings that will benefit the whole community in the long term. With the UK facing a huge shortage of school places, it is vital we learn lessons from Burntwood. I am delighted to present architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris with the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.’
Upon accepting the award, Paul Monaghan, director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris said: ‘schools can and should be more than just practical, functional buildings – they need to elevate the aspirations of children, teachers and the wider community. Good school design makes a difference to the way students value themselves and their education, and we hope that Burntwood winning the RIBA Stirling Prize shows that this is worth investing in.’
All images courtesy of RPBW / V-A-C Foundation
Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) has been commissioned by Russia’s V-A-C Foundation to create a dedicated contemporary art site in Moscow. The Italian architect’s studio is to redesign two hectares of the city, converting a historic power station, located on the banks of the Moskva river, into a new cultural venue. Built between 1904 and 1907, the main building to be revived as part of the development is the GES2 energy plant, situated in the city’s popular Red October district.
RPBW will also design the surrounding area, with plans to recuperate the original structure of the power station with a web-like building-scale device. The entire site will be reconfigured into a square measuring 150 by 150 meters, framing a forest of birch trees, the main building, and a public square in front of the southeast façade. the project also includes a library, a bookshop, and a restaurant, as well as an auditorium, and various art installations.
Internally, exhibition galleries are of varied and flexible dimensions, forming adaptable spaces that accommodate multiple media forms and installation designs. A central nave measure 23 meters in height, stretching to a total length of 100 meters. The renovated structure will be surrounded by a natural amphitheater created by a new topography raised on three sides of the site. This area will be used as a seating area for film screenings and events, especially during summer when the garden will transform into an open-air cinema.
An important part of the project is to ensure that the venue is as environmentally friendly as possible. The existing chimneys will not only remain part of the city’s skyline, but they will become sustainable devices for the site’s natural ventilation and reduced energy consumption. The overall sustainable strategy includes the use of solar cells and geothermal sources. Antonio belvedere, partner-director at RPBW, will be in charge of the project, which is expected to be complete by early 2019.
All images courtesy of Organisation in Design
Dutch designer Maarten Baas has collaborated with SDK Vastgoed to oversee a competition where two teams, each comprised of four Dutch and foreign architects from Van Aken Architecten to re-imagine a striking scheme to rejuventate ‘one of Netherlands’ ugliest places’.
Coinciding with Dutch Design Week 2015, both groups – simply named ‘Team A’ and ‘Team B’ – will unveil their design to allow the opportunity for the public to determine their favorite by casting a vote. Team A’s design features a cluster of vibrantly colored towers- each rising at different heights, meanwhile Team B has imagined the building as two structures with house-shaped windows protruding randomly across its façades. The contrasting proposals would be sited at the dilapidated ‘marconiplein’ in the Dutch city of Eindhoven.
‘What fascinates me about the people in this profession is how they emphasise the practicality of each aspect. Architects tackle things in a fairly rational and practical way, which is often diametrically opposed to my more intuitive approach.’ Comments Maarten Baas. ‘I rather like the idea of a battle. Two teams who compete with each other and who aren’t allowed to apply their usual methods to the task at hand. All of us, both the architects and myself, were working far outside our comfort zones, which generated a nice degree of tension. And this is reflected in the result.’
All images by A2 studio
Dutch architectural practice MVRDV and developers OVG Real Estate have been chosen to complete ‘Ravel Plaza’ — a towering multifunctional complex in Amsterdam. The two collaborating parties were selected by the Municipality of Amsterdam for the development of the P15 ravel plot in the city’s Zuidas Business District. Located on Beethoven Street, the project was created with the aim of realizing a structure that included a mixed program of offices, residences and amenities, covering a total floor area of between 50,000 and 75,000 square meters. A number of possible tenants for the offices and other commercial spaces have already been involved in the project.
‘The houses have bay windows with beautiful views and large balconies with lots of vegetation, turning the whole building into a kind of village green,’ says Winy Maas, architect and co-founder of MVRDV. ‘We combine the quality of living in a green environment with the central location and the excitement of an urban environment in this unique location.’
Klaas De Boer, Director of Zuidas, Amsterdam City Council: ‘lot P15 ravel is a unique place in Zuidas. OVG’s proposal, designed by MVRDV, has a bold and distinctive architectural appearance and marks a crucial turning point in the development of Zuidas into a mixed area with housing, employment and services. This plan effectively increases the attractiveness of Zuidas.’
Coen Van Oostrom, CEO of OVG Real Estate: ‘with this project we wanted to introduce an innovative building into what is becoming an increasingly popular district of Amsterdam. The building is, to a large degree, open to the public; the public space literally extends into, and over, the building. We are honoured to provide Zuidas with a uniquely designed building by MVRDV which carries international recognition and will contribute to a local sustainable and innovative living – and working – environment.’
All images courtesy of Kameha Grand Zürich
With the opening of their cutting-edge and artistic ‘Space Suite’, guests at the Kameha Grand Zürich Hotel can find themselves immersed in an out-of-world experience. German artist, adventurer and future astronaut Michael Najjar has completely transformed the room interior into a virtual space station. The walls, floor and ceiling are canvassed with universe motifs from the hubble space telescope, a rocket engine spot light illuminates the living room, and novels, films and audiobooks about space travel outfit the reading room.
Upon entering the space suite, an automated, erotic female voice welcomes ‘crew members’ in 8 different variations, confirming their login and reading instructions for operating the room. Once inside, an inverted universe carpet, based on several high-res files from hubble space telescope, spans throughout the length of the suite, abstracting space as white, and stars as black.
Within the ‘living module’, the window to the outside has been replaced by a reflective, mirrored surface — a physical simulation which interferes with reality. Spot lights inspired by rocket engines hang overhead and a space glove, where guests can place their phones or key cards, protrude from the wall. Four acrylic platforms hold mock ups of historic rockets and space ships — the famous V2, the Russian soyuz, the american space shuttle and the futuristic spaceship two by Virgin Galactic.
The bedroom is canvassed with a semi-transparent foil, which blocks visibility to the outside but allows light to enter. The black, rectangular bed protruding from the wall mimics the monolith from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, and has been conceived to look like it is floating without gravity. The ‘sleeping module’ also features a book shelf containing non-fiction and science fiction publications handpicked by najjar himself, each about space travel, technology and adventures.
Artwork by Najjar added to the suite interior includes ‘liquid gravity’, a piece that explores linkages between space, gravity, and the human body; portraits of the space crew of TMA-14M, which left earth in a Soyuz spaceship in September 2014 for ‘space voyagers'; and the video work ‘Orbital Cascade_57-46′, which visualizes the quantity of defunct objects in orbit around the earth from 1957 to 2046.
All images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group / Oscar Properties
Architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has revealed plans for a residential complex to be built in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. The project has been developed in collaboration with developers Oscar Properties, and will contain 140 apartment units, each offering sweeping views across the neighboring countryside. Titled 79 & Park, the scheme has been designed to harmonize with Stockholm’s most prominent green space — the royal national city park — opening up onto the city’s Gärdet and Djurgården districts.
The boundary between the park and the new building is both blurred and defined by foliage-covered rooftop terraces, which emerge from the building’s cubic form. The units are arranged around a central void, which provides each residence with necessary amounts of daylight and ventilation. In order to energize the site throughout the day, the ground floor houses commercial spaces open to the public, activating the edge of the plot.
All visuals courtesy of Erfan Farahmand
Mashhad, Iran — home to the shrine of the 8th Imam of Shiites — attracts more than 25 million religious visitors each year. The city’s infrastructure is increasingly incapable of dealing with the massive influx of pilgrims, and has lead to major moves in creating a master plan for the urban area. An initial strategy, which would isolate the shrine, was abandoned, and replaced with an intertwining network of boulevards surrounding the location. Each thoroughfare is to be lined with large scale buildings, which provide accommodation, shopping, and other crucial functions for the migratory populace.
An open competition was held, inviting architects and designers to propose programs for a site located at the merging point of two major boulevards, both leading towards the religious monument. The ‘Qibla Plaza’ — Qibla is the direction to Mecca — was entered by Erfan Farahmand, Elmira Jafari, Abbas Sarrami, and Meisam Amirsadat; with the help of a dedicated group of engineers and architecture consultants.
Conceived as a ‘multi-functional active surface’, the concept allows uninterrupted movement (a historical problem due to traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian), and extended views to the shrine. The plaza is mainly an in-between space where entry and exit, as well as overflow crowd, can be facilitated. In addition to above ground infrastructure, the team proposed another six levels of urban subterranean space. Each level would address a spatial issue, and thus contain: public transport stations, bathrooms and other facilities, access to the underground level of the religious complex, commercial and cultural points, parking, subway connections, and utility space to run it all.
A central, dome-shaped structure is the focal point of the design, and embraces the multi-functional plaza Sunken directly underneath. Two additional surfaces, located on either side, provide green space and an informal area for gathering purposes. Entryways direct population flow to and from the gateways and urban fabric, and ease access to a majority of facilities. The ‘Qibla Plaza’ was given first prize in the initial stage of competition, and won second place overall.
All images courtesy of Ozel Office
Ozel Office, in collaboration with UCLA Department of Engineering researchers, was awarded the ‘Runner Up’ (4th prize) at NASA’s 3D printed habitats competition. The competition called for designers to envision a 4 astronaut dwelling in Mars and 3D printed through the use of indigenous resources.
The ‘hybrid composites’ team is lead by Guvenc Ozel, an architect, faculty member and researcher at UCLA Department of Architecture and of the IDEAS platform both supported by expert consultants from UCLA department of engineering and material science, conducting research in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, material sciences, additive manufacturing, and robotics. Ozel’s current research at UCLA focuses on the application of robotics and sensors into architecture as well as a collaboration with UCLA engineering on exploring the use of composite materials in building scale 3D printing.
The premise of their entry lies in this research, where, instead of 3D printing concrete-like shells from local sand, the team proposes to 3D print high performance composite shells through the combination of locally harvested composite fibers soaked in fast curing polymer resins, a 3D printing version of how high-performance boats, planes, satellites, and spaceships are built. Primary structural systems will be built by extruding composite fibers woven into various profiles through robotically controlled mandrel systems, in conjunction with a novel resin/polymer catalyst that instantly cures.
The composite fibers are made by processing the local Martian basalt rocks, in order to create basalt finer. As a secondary material, they propose carbon fiber, harvested through an artificial photosynthesis chimney, which would suck up the CO2 in the Martian atmosphere, to split it into carbon and oxygen molecules. The carbon would be used for creating carbon fiber, and the oxygen would either be stored for later use or released back to the martian atmosphere for a gradual ‘terraforming.’
A robotically controlled 3D printing head would extrude a structural web-like lattice by weaving basalt and carbon fiber into sleeves, soaked in polymer. Composite shells for enclosing the structure would be made of strands woven into flat fabrics soaked in polymer, which are then positioned into the desired place through the help of robotic arms and unarmed air vehicles.
The overall structure of the habitat is raised off of the ground in order to reduce to amount of ground work and the foundation footprint. This configuration also allows for sheltering outside equipment such as rovers and robots underneath a canopy and better isolate the living quarters from contaminants.
Photography by Hufton + Crow
Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the ‘Dominion Office Building’ is among the first realised structures to be built for Moscow’s emerging Yuzhnoportovy district. Internally, the scheme is conceived as a series of vertically stacked floorplates arranged around a atrium, which rises through the building. Balconies at each level correspond to the displacement of the outer envelope, while a series of staircases interconnect through this central void.
Owing to the building’s programmatic layout — with a ground floor restaurant adjoining the outdoor terrace — the atrium becomes a shared space that encourages interaction between the employees of the building’s various companies. As many IT and creative industry start-ups regard this research culture as important for progress and development, this integration also serves to encourage collaboration between companies of different services and disciplines. Offices are arranged within a system of standard rectilinear bays that provide space for small, expanding or large companies.
All images courtesy of Aranda\Lasch
On the occasion of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, Aranda\Lasch has unveiled plans for a contemporary arts complex in Bali. Designed for Budi Tek, a Chinese-indonesian entrepreneur, ‘Budidesa Art Park’ comprises a series of art gardens, exhibition spaces and a residence surrounded by terraced rice paddies on a site located just north of Denpasar, the country’s capital city.
‘Budi is my name, Desa means village. My dream is to conceive a unique way to have my passion for contemporary art shared with visitors in Bali, in Indonesia, my home country.’ – Budi Tek.
A central path meanders its way through the complex’s gardens and exhibition spaces allowing visitors to experience art within a tropical environment. Marked by large-scale contemporary art pieces from renown artists such as Ai Weiwei, Anslem Keifer and Maurizio Cattelan, the project will create a significant art attraction that also makes a lasting contribution to Balinese culture.
Indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces are integrated with their surrounding context. This is perhaps most evident in the inhabitable roof, which allows visitors to walk through the rice paddies onto the museum’s rooftop sculpture park — experiencing the museum as a continuous landscape. At night, the site comes alive through outdoor video, projections, reflections and illumination across the art gardens. Natural elements like plants, rocks and water are transformed by contemporary artists, presenting the tropical flora and fauna in a new way.
Like the art collection, the residence combines two vernacular styles: Indonesian and Chinese. In the Balinese house compound each room is a separate small building arranged dynamically across the site. This is offset by the Chinese courtyard house, where rooms are adjacent and arranged symmetrically around a communal courtyard. The combination of layouts results in a system that adapts to both the local environment and Budi Tek’s cultural background.
RIBA has announced that globally renowned architect Zaha Hadid is to receive the prestigious 2016 Royal Gold Medal. Recognized for her innovative, fluid and dynamic projects, her consistent style has been applied across all fields of design; from footwear, furniture to cars and this marks Hadid as the first woman to be awarded this specific achievement. Already a recipient of the Stirling Prize twice and the Pritzker, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by her majesty the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture’.
RIBA President and Chair of the Selection Committee, Jane Duncan, says: ‘Zaha Hadid is a formidable and globally-influential force in architecture. Highly experimental, rigorous and exacting, her work from buildings to furniture, footwear and cars, is quite rightly revered and desired by brands and people all around the world. I am delighted Zaha will be awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 2016 and can’t wait to see what she and her practice will do next.’
Zaha Hadid comments: ‘I am very proud to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, in particular, to be the first woman to receive the honor in her own right. I would like to thank Peter Cook, Louisa Hutton and David Chipperfield for the nomination and Jane Duncan and the honors committee for their support. We now see more established female architects all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes the challenges are immense. There has been tremendous change over recent years and we will continue this progress… part of architecture’s job is to make people feel good in the spaces where we live, go to school or where we work – so we must be committed to raising standards. Housing, schools and other vital public buildings have always been based on the concept of minimal existence – that shouldn’t be the case today. Architects now have the skills and tools to address these critical issues.’
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects
After an in-depth presentation video was released last month, it has now been announced that Zaha Hadid and Nikken Sekkei are unable to enter the new Tokyo stadium competition. The competition requires capabilities in planning and design, construction and construction supervision, and asks design firms to form a consortium covering all these capabilities. Nikken Sekkei and Zaha Hadid Architects have not been able to secure a construction company in its consortium and therefore, they are unable to enter the competition.
Zaha Hadid Architects: ‘it is disappointing that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new national stadium for japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition.
‘Nikken Sekkei and ZHA are prepared and able to deliver a cost-effective stadium that meets the revised brief, is ready in good time for the 2020 games and provides a new home for sport in Japan for generations to come. While the current competition is closed to the existing design team we stand ready to use the wealth of detailed knowledge and expertise, built up through the thousands of hours dedicated to the project, to assist the national and Tokyo governments and Japanese people deliver a stadium fit to welcome the world in 2020 and go on to host national, international and community events for the next 50-100 years.’
All images courtesy of Brett Landry/Darkhorse
A new drone video released by creative agency Darkhorse has revealed the scale of what will be Bjarke Ingels’ first realised building in New York. Officially titled ‘Via 57 West’, the building stands at 450 feet (137 meters) and is scheduled to complete later this year. Located along Manhattan’s west side highway, the residential project has been dubbed the ‘Courtscraper’, based on its typological fusion of a European perimeter block and a traditional new york high rise.
All images courtesy of HAEAHN Architecture / H Architecture
In collaboration with New York-based H Architecture, Korean practice HAEAHN has been selected to design a new office complex adjacent to Seoul’s national assembly building. Located in Yeoido, a large island in the Han River, the scheme will house five distinctive programs: a press centre with a briefing room; a highly-equipped smart work centre, (which serves as a remote workplace for commuting officers and ministers from the government); supplementary office space; underground parking; and further facilities such as a restaurant, a banquet hall and various retail outlets accessible to both workers and the general public.
The physical attributes of the plot are likened to that of a public park. Therefore, the site serves as an intimate gathering and resting place, populated with an abundance of tall trees. The architecture preserves this park-like atmosphere by intentionally keeping the building’s height to a minimum. The squared roof correlates with the original masterplan, while the dramatic oscillation of the floor plates gradually transforms the building into a stepped-trapezoid.
The entrance of the building celebrates a communal area for public use that houses a 1,200-seat restaurant, a multi-purpose banquet hall, a gym, and a host of retail spaces. The program is stacked by function with each floor containing a different program. A courtyard at the centre of the building acts as a hub, connecting all of the site’s communal spaces including the entry hall, lounges, and rest areas. a landscaped garden provides intimate spaces to gather, offering opportunities for impromptu meetings and events.
All images courtesy of BCMF Arquitetos / MACH Arquitetos
BCMF Arquitetos and MACH Arquitetos together have collaborated on a masterplan of the science & technology park of Itajubá. The city in Brazil is known for its variety in industrial districts and having a prestigious university system in the country. With this context, the scheme proves propitious for the construction of the science and technology park – an enterprise in which the partnership between the three spheres of government, private companies and the Federal University of Itajubá (UNIFEI) will create an environment conducive to innovation and development, both locally and for the country.
The vast scheme has been developed with an emphasis on the providing an organized environmental and landscape quality. A large park for public use, will aim to stimulate tourist activity meanwhile, the overall landscaping will have a respect and consistent connection with the low density and integration of the built environment. The forestation of streets in the urban planning is thematic, meaning each street corresponds to particular native tree species. Perennial species that require less water for irrigation will be planted, besides being able to promote sustainable landscaping, it will save on maintenance costs.
The architecture itself comprises of three new buildings: the administrative building, the startup incubators centre, and the maintenance centre. Although proposed as three separate and distinct structures, they have a common characteristic of using industrialized building systems such as modular precast concrete. Furthermore, the use and control of natural ventilation, lighting, and large openings establish the continuity between architectural space and landscape.
All images courtesy of The Hills at Vallco
Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly has unveiled plans to build ‘the world’s largest green roof’ in Cupertino, California. Working alongside landscape architects OLIN, the mixed-use scheme — titled ‘The Hills at Vallco’ — will transform an existing shopping mall in a huge complex containing a host of amenities for the local community.
Located at the heart of Silicon Valley, and positioned adjacent to Apple’s ‘Campus 2’, the vast $3 billion USD development includes a new neighborhood with a vibrant mix of retail outlets, offices and recreational spaces. The enormous green roof boasts an integrated 30-acre park accessible for residents and visitors alike.
The large canopy incorporates a 3.8 mile trail for jogging and walking, and is populated with vineyards, orchards and organic gardens. A public amphitheater is included alongside children’s play areas and a refuge for native species of plants and birds. From an environmental perspective, the scheme ensures the protection of existing healthy trees, and will be responsible for the planting of native and drought-tolerant flora.
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects
Released earlier this week, a new video shows 9,000 cubic yards (6,881 cubic meters) of concrete being poured into the foundations at ‘One Thousand Museum’ in Miami. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the residential project takes its name from its location opposite museum park, and offers views across Biscayne Bay towards Miami beach. The 62-storey, 83-unit condominium tower is envisioned as ‘a continuous piece of contemporary sculpture’, and boasts a wealth of luxury facilities such as: an aquatic centre, a private helipad, and even custom scenting — ‘inspired by Zaha Hadid’s architectural vision’. ‘One Thousand Museum’ is set to complete in 2017.
All images by Midi Libre, France
Photos courtesy of Philippe Starck
Known for his extensive portfolio in furniture, product and industrial design, Phillipe Stark has stepped into the field of architecture with his ‘Le Nuage’ fitness and wellness building in Montpellier, France. The notion of transparency was the theme in creating the distinctive façade. recognized as ‘the first inflatable building in France’ the exterior evokes a light, airy quality and experimented with innovative architectural methods to generate a ‘new generation’ environment. To create this unique façade, the air-filled bubble were formed using ETFE to produce the impression of aerial lightness but also gives a distorted view of the busy activities inside.
Five levels featuring an array of health and fitness facilities, a cafe, pool and children’s area have been fittingly distributed with Starck’s well-known furniture. The brief focused on promoting socialization and people’s physical and mental well-being- housed under one roof.
Roxim the developers comment: ‘we took our inspiration from the gymnasiums which developed into the baths during Greek and Roman times. These public buildings were originally intended as a place of training for young athletes. Bathing areas were subsequently included, not just for washing but also for relaxation after physical effort.’
‘When you look at a cloud, you hardly look at anything and yet it is nothing. Water, minerals, bacteria, pollen … all that is vital is there. Translucent, bright, seemingly lighter than air. The cloud, ours, that of montpellier, is the same water. At a minimum, a nothing, a human bubble, a little material, that energy, just the will and common action to keep life.’- Philippe Starck
All images courtesy of Jacques Rougerie Architecture
‘City of Meriens’ is a bionic concept which is shaped liked a real manta ray created by Jacques Rougerie Architecture. This international oceanographic university will be drifting in the major ocean currents and aim to host researchers, teachers and students all over the world during very long periods. ‘City of Meriens’ is designed to be a floating scientific city entirely dedicated to the observation and analysis of marine biodiversity, and is meant to follow the multidisciplinary programs developed by the seaorbiter’s network of sentinels in 2050. With a total length of 900 meters and a width of 500 meters, this mobile city can accommodate in its interior lagoon research vessels of different sizes (up to 90 meters long), as well as seaorbiters which would act as a hive that a number of marine and submarine vehicles and air navigation devices would use as a point of departure.
Fully autonomous through the use of renewable marine energy, and respecting the principles of sustainable development with its zero waste program, the ‘City of Meriens’ is designed to integrate aquaculture breeding farms on both sides of its interior lagoon’s access channel, and hydroponic greenhouses at the ends of its wings. At a height of 60 meters – but the lowest level at least 120 meters deep – it could accommodate up to 7000 people on several levels including lecture halls, classrooms, laboratories, living areas, cultural relaxation and sports zones.
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects
Last month, Japan’s Prime Minister announced that controversial plans for the country’s new national stadium in Tokyo had been dropped — a move welcomed by a number of Japanese architects including Toyo Ito. in response, Zaha Hadid’s studio (ZHA) issued a statement defending itself against reported cost increases, which they believed had been incorrectly attributed to them.
Now, ZHA has released a video presentation detailing their design for the new national stadium which has been in development for two years. The practice say that they welcome a new contractor bidding process for the stadium to ‘reduce costs and ensure value for money in terms of quality, durability and long-term sustainability’. ZHA also believe that their stadium design can still be completed in time for the the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
‘It was a very serious team of people who worked on this project for two or three years, so it is an enormous investment’, explains Zaha Hadid. ‘I think it is a very important project as it has a life beyond the olympics.’
‘Our stadium design has been two years in the making, and it is ready to start on site this year,’ state Zaha Hadid Architects. ‘It can be ready for the Rugby World Cup of 2019, and the test events before the summer Olympics of Tokyo 2020.
‘To start the design from scratch is an unnecessary risk, which we think the government should reconsider if its aim is to achieve a lower price than ¥250 billion. We believe the answer is to introduce more competition between the contractors, but to not lose the benefits of the design.
‘Further cost savings can be considered, such as omitting air conditioning for the seating or omitting the skybridge. But, the stadium design is compact and efficient, it cannot be approved upon unless the fundamental criteria of seating capacity is altered or a more competitive bidding situation is created to lower the price‘, continue ZHA.
All images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group / BIG
Bjarke Ingels Group has launched their first Kickstarter campaign as the studio seeks funding for the crowning glory of their amager power plant project — the Steam Ring Generator. Located in Copenhagen, the waste-to-energy facility will allow the public to ski down the building, raising awareness of carbon emissions.
Based on an original art proposal by the Berlin-based artists Realities:united, the aerospace organization Peter Madsen’s Rumlaboratorium, as well as the Danish Technical University, BIG are designing the chimney to utilize the plant’s excess steam. Each ring will signify the emission of a single ton of CO2. The funding will be used to fund and test a final prototype before BIG receive approval to build and install the real thing.
All images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
After an international competition, Zaha Hadid Architects has been chosen to construct the Danjiang Bridge — an entirely new crossing that will span the Tamsui River in Taiwan. Working alongside bridge specialists Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner, Hadid’s design is located at the mouth of one of Taiwan’s largest rivers, and will serve as a key part of the region’s upgraded infrastructure.
The project will not only increase connectivity between the city’s neighborhoods, but will also reduce through-traffic on local roads by linking two of the region’s main highways. The crossing will also alleviate traffic at the congested Guandu Bridge upriver, and enhance accessibility with the rapidly expanding Taipei Harbor, the region’s busiest shipping port.
The link will allow for the extension of the Danhai Light Rail Transportation (DHLRT) system over the Tamsui river in order to connect the town of Bali with Taipei’s public rail network. Flanked by the urban centers of Tamsui to the east and Bali to the west, the estuary is rapidly growing in popularity with both residents and tourists as a recreational area. Each day people gather to watch the sun setting over the Taiwan strait.
The cable-stayed design minimizes its visual impact on the natural surroundings by using a single concrete mast to support the 920 meter-long road, rail and pedestrian deck. It is believed that the crossing will form the world’s longest single-tower, asymmetric cable-stayed bridge.
Engineered to be as slender as possible, the mast is positioned so as not to obstruct the waterway, or obscure views of the impressive sunset. The single-mast system also ensures that the riverbed suffers a minimum of disturbance.
All images © San Vigilio – Associazione Turistica
Located the summit plateau of Plan De Corones in the Italian Alps, the sixth and final museum dedicated to the career of Reinhold Messner has been completed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Named ‘MMM Corones’, the institution, which is now open to the public, explores the discipline of mountain climbing through a unique collection of photographs and various items collected by Messner during his lifetime as an explorer. Messner is acclaimed for making the first ascent of mount everest without supplemental oxygen, (along with Austrian mountaineer Peter Habeler), and for being the first climber to complete all fourteen ‘Eight-thousanders’ (peaks at least 8,000 meters above sea level).
Taking nearly two years to complete, the concrete structure is buried within the mountain’s summit. A singular entrance leads guests inside underground gallery spaces, before three volumes protrude at the rear of the design, offering impressive views over the alpine landscape. Internally, Reinhold Messner was given free reign to design the museum spaces, explaining: ‘at the MMM Corones, I recount the history and development of modern mountain climbing, from the equipment and its transformation over the last 250 years, to the triumphs and tragedies of the world’s most famous mountains — the Matterhorn, Cerro Torre, K2. It is unbelievably exciting to tell stories from a stage of this magnitude.’
Systems of cascading staircases characterize the interiors and create dynamic volumes of circulation throughout three levels of temporary exhibition space, themed presentations, and a small auditorium. Glazed apertures are oriented so that interiors are predominantly sunlit while still welcoming the presence of the rocky and bucolic surroundings. In addition, the total immersion of the built form into the mountain allows the museum to maintain an almost constant internal temperature.
Australian firm Elenberg Fraser has won planning approval for a 226-metre-high Melbourne skyscraper that will feature a curvaceous form taken from a music video by Beyoncé.
The new Premiere Tower at 134 Spencer Street will boast a series of curves and bulges designed to make it as structurally efficient as possible, but that also reference one of Beyoncé's music videos.
The shape is an homage to the undulating fabric-wrapped bodies of dancers in the singer's music video for Ghost – a song from her self-titled 2013 album, which was originally published as one half of track called Haunted but released as a stand-alone music video.
"For those more on the art than science side, we will reveal that the form does pay homage to something more aesthetic – we're going to trust you've seen the music video for Beyoncé's Ghost," said the Melbourne-based studio.
The 68-storey structure, which was approved by planning officials in May, will be located at the west end of the city's central business district. It will contain 660 apartments, as well as a 160-room hotel.
Parametric modelling – a type of computer-aided design that allows complex shapes to be created in response to data constraints – was used to develop the unique form, which will swell in and out at various points around the facade.
According to Elenberg Fraser, the shape of the Premiere Tower also responds to climate, wind and the particular limitations of the site.
"This project is the culmination of our significant research," said the firm. "The complex form – a vertical cantilever – is actually the most effective way to redistribute the building's mass, giving the best results in terms of structural dispersion, frequency oscillation and wind requirements."
The project is backed by Fragrance Group, the property development arm of Singapore real estate tycoon Koh Wee Meng. Public house the Savoy Tavern, which reopened in 2014 after laying derelict for nearly 20 years, will now be demolished to make way for the tower.
The aim is to eventually replan the entire precinct, whilst also respecting its heritage buildings. "The whole precinct is designed with a more long-term view to urban design, creating a self-sustaining development," added the architects.
All images courtesy of Delugan Meissl Associated Architects
Delugan Meissl Associated Architects has been selected to extend and refurbish the ‘Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe‘ – one of Germany’s most successful opera and theater halls. Located in central Karlsruhe, the existing building is positioned directly at the intersection of the city’s two main thoroughfares.
The redesign incorporates the important parameters of the existing building, while simultaneously strengthening its qualities with regard to the interior as well as the exterior. The theater is extended along three development axes, creating a building that is well connected to its urban surroundings, openly presents its various functions, and establishes a clearly defined free space. The building reaches towards the far edges of the plot, solidifying the visual relationship between the city and the theater, and thus anchoring the new building more strongly within the urban fabric.
Internally, the foyer expands across multiple levels and functions as a public meeting point between the multifunctional theater space and the multitude of stages within the building. In doing so, the sculptural attributes of the structure are preserved and continued. The whole ensemble is held together by a prominent roof structure, which creates a strong visual appearance suitable for an institution of such importance.
Construction is set to begin on-site in 2017, with the redevelopment expected to take ten years to finalize.
All images courtesy of SOM / Guocoland Group
A video documenting Singapore’s tallest building has been revealed by developers Guocoland, exploring the 290 meter tower in more detail. Designed by global architecture firm SOM, the 160,000 square meter ‘Tanjong Pagar Centre’ will provide a mix of uses, comprising office, residential, retail and hospitality, all set within the city-state’s central business district. Positioned as a premier business and lifestyle hub, the development will be a significant contribution to the evolving skyline of Singapore, serving as a landmark gateway to the future waterfront city.
Located on the eastern half of the site, the mixed-use tower features grade-A office space with luxury residential units above. Once built, this building will be the tallest building in Singapore. Meanwhile, the free-standing 20-story mid-rise tower to the west accommodated the luxury business hotel and its amenities, including restaurants, a conference center, gym, and pool deck overlooking the Tanjong Pagar City Park. The scheme also features an underground pedestrian network that will connect to the existing MRT network. Tanjong Pagar Centre is set to be complete by 2016.
Renders by Amanda Levete Architects
For the second year of the MPavilion in Melbourne, British Architect Amanda Levete has been commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation to create the new temporary pavilion that will sit in the city’s Queen Victoria Gardens. Attracting visitors to meander underneath, the form of the installation will take shape as a series of translucent and lightweight ‘petals’ acting as a canopy against the sun while swaying gently against the wind. Subsequently, the pavilion will naturally become a catalyst for social gatherings, hosting workshops, events and evolve into a dynamic landmark within Melbourne.
All images courtesy of Populous
London-based football club Tottenham Hotspur has unveiled their updated plans for a new stadium to be built in the Borough of Haringey. Designed by Populous, the 61,000-seat arena boasts dedicated NFL facilities, with a fully retractable pitch revealing a second playing surface below. The vast development also includes a 180 bed hotel and 579 new homes, including affordable housing designed by Allies and Morrison.
The stadium will increase the club’s capacity by almost 25,000 seats, featuring the largest single tier stand in the UK. A new terrace will host ‘the Tottenham experience’ – a permanent visitors centre and arrivals hub, that includes an interactive museum documenting the club’s history. An enhanced public space includes a multi-use games area, with cafés, dedicated events and community programs managed by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. A ‘sky walk’ allows guests to step foot on top of the stadium, providing sweeping views across London.
Senior principal of Populous, Christopher Lee, spoke about the stadium as the design was launched: ‘the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium marks a new generation of stadia design: stadia that provide an unparalleled experience for all fans, that are civic in their nature and hold community at their heart but above all else create the most intense and atmospheric place to watch football.’
‘The seating bowl is designed to create an intimate relationship between player and spectator. Its 17,000 capacity single tier end stand, a tribute to traditional English football grounds, will be the largest in the UK and will be the engine that drives the intensity and atmosphere in the new spurs stadium,’ continued Lee.
The project will be submitted to local authorities for approval in the coming weeks.
All images courtesy of Tokyu Corporation
Toyko is set to add another structure to its distinctive skyline – a 230 meter skyscraper that will present 360 degree views across the Japanese capital. revealed by the Tokyu Corporation, the collaborative team of SANAA, Kengo Kuma and Nikken are responsible for the tower’s design, which is slated for completion by 2019.
Located in the Tokyo’s Shibuya District, the scheme’s crowning feature is a rooftop plaza measuring 3,000 square meters. From here, visitors are offered sweeping vistas towards some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Beneath the landscaped sky deck, the mixed-use tower will contain a range of programs, hosting a variety of retail outlets, offices and other cultural draws.
All images courtesy of Tour Traingle / Herzog & De Meuron
The first skyscraper in Paris for nearly 40 years is set to be built, after the city finally approved Herzog & De Meuron’s much-discussed ‘Triangle Tower’. Original plans for the project were unveiled in 2008, and had proved controversial with politicians and citizens alike. Coinciding with the announcement, further images of the scheme have been revealed – under its new name of ‘Triangle 2’.
Standing at a height of 180 meters, the tower will become the third tallest structure in the French capital, after Paris recently raised the height limit for new buildings. The scheme will house a 120 room hotel, a fine-dining restaurant, a bar and 70,000 square meters of office space. Modifications to the scheme also include 2,240 square meters of co-working space, a daycare facility for up to 60 children and other community facilities at the building’s lower levels.
The last skyscraper to be built in the French capital was the 59-storey Montparnasse Tower in 1973. The structure remains today an alien addition to the city’s relatively horizontal landscape. The unloved edifice has consequently made Parisians wary of the threat that such high-rises pose in permanently damaging the look and feel of the existing metropolis.
Plans for the Triangle Tower had initially been rejected by local authorities in november 2014, before Paris’ mayor Anne Hidalgo deemed that the vote was invalid.
All images courtesy of Studio Dror
New York-based creative design Studio Dror has unveiled three striking residential towers, each catered for specific districts, while exploring the architectural fabric of New York city. Presented in black and white, each design has been approached with a futuristic and innovative vision- reflecting the principles of the studio.
Orientated to follow the horizontal planes formed by the roofs of its neighboring buildings, the design of ‘350 Bowery’ was driven through the concept of developing a structure that enhances and respects its context. Revealing the stacking of two glass volumes, seemingly supported by a series of stilts while balancing on the ground section that would feature retail units.
‘An elegant dance of geometry, shadows and light’. With 25 floors separated into five-storey units, the structure explores the studio’s unique technique of ‘QuaDror’- a method where weight distribution of two interlocking members, creating a shape that stay together in a unique and supportive way. This is seen in the interconnecting, triangular exoskeleton where glass volumes would be inserted into the apertures formed by this frame.
281 Fifth Avenue
Standing at 1,000 feet on the corner of Fifth Avenue, the final conceptual tower is based on a pinwheel shaped frame. The unique arrangement responds to the thin concrete slabs which starts from the ground level and rises all the way up. Apartments are separated into four sections, protruding out while capturing different angles of the cityscape.
Photography by Frank Dinger and Michael Kneffel
All images courtesy of J. Mayer H. und Partner Architekten
To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Karlsruhe, J. Mayer H. has designed ‘KA300′- a temporary pavilion erected in the German city’s Schlossgarten. During the festival summer, various concerts, theater performances, readings, film screenings, and exhibitions will be held in the open structure before it is dismantled at the end of its three month tenure. The scheme includes a large auditorium with a stage, which forms the center of the jubilee activities with a meeting point and café.
The pavilion’s twisted pattern refers to the strictly geometric, radial layout of the baroque-planned city, with the palace identified as the focal point. On several layers, both in and on the structure, exhibition platforms, resting spaces, and viewing platforms emerge. Completed in collaboration with Rubner Holzbau, work on the timber construction started in February 2015. After the closing of the anniversary celebration, the temporary pavilion will be transported and reused in another location.
All images © Snøhetta
Set to open in 2018, a new flagship public market has been unveiled for the city of Portland, Oregon. Designed by Snøhetta, the scheme is named after James Beard, a famous chef, writer and Portland native who helped start the movement for fresh local food in the United States. After the city’s original market closed its doors in 1942, a non-profit venue was established to restore a daily, year-round, indoor-outdoor location at the heart of the city.
The James Beard Public Market commissioned Snøhetta, in collaboration with local partners, Mayer/reed, SERA architects, Studio Jeffreys and Interface Engineering to transform a neglected and underutilized site in downtown Portland into a bustling center of community and commerce. Connecting the city to the river, the hub will provide for both residents and visitors, featuring more than 60 permanent vendors, 30 day tables, full-service restaurants, a teaching kitchen and event space.
Located on the Willamette River, the site straddles a distinctive drawbridge and sits adjacent to a waterfront park. Currently, the Morrison Street Bridge and automobile ramps divide the site into two symmetrical halves, consequently barring pedestrian access from three sides. The scheme will introduce a pedestrian through-road along the western edge of the market in order to increase the overall buildable site area, while ensuring that the site remains accessible and safe for pedestrians from all four access points.
The building will rise up in a wing-like form that acts as a gateway to downtown Portland and creates a point of reference at the center of the city. Large doors open up along the entire façade to a widened sidewalk, allowing guest seating to spill out during good weather. Individual stalls are arranged along a pathway that connects the main entrances to the outdoor market and pedestrian street.
Internally, soaring ceilings clad in natural wood are supported by exposed structural steel columns and trusses, reminiscent of the neighboring bridges. A generous pedestrian street runs north and south, swelling at the sunniest portion of the site to create an outdoor room for vendor stalls, seating, and green areas for native vegetation.
On top of the structure, an inhabitable green roof splits and folds, forming large clerestories which naturally illuminate the volume below. From this upper level, visitors can access the large rooftop terraces with views of the Waterfront Park, Willamette River, and Mt. hood in the distance. A hydroponic garden is located on a sunny, terraced portion of the green roof, adjacent to the demonstration kitchen and event space.
All images courtesy of Moreau Kusunoki Architectes / Guggenheim Helsinki
The winner of the much anticipated Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has been revealed, with ‘art in the city’- a dynamic scheme by emerging French practice Moreau Kusunoki Architectes‘ – selected over the five other finalists. Created with a sensitivity to finnish heritage and to the city itself, the proposal encourages people to flow within a new cultural core that is linked to the rest of the urban fabric. The practice’s concept outlines a scheme that connects art with society and embraces the evolving urban, museum and technological requirements.
Composed as a series of connected pavilions, each orientated to respect the city grid, the scheme is anchored by a 45m high lookout tower which hosts a variety of programs and a restaurant on the top floor. The combination of exhibition spaces and outdoor display areas will inherently provide visitors with seamless exposure to the art being showcased. The galleries have been designed to appear as individual entities grouped in a village, while the ceilings are constructed to maximize light penetration while diffusing light subtly.
The volumes will pay homage to the great tradition of timber construction in Finland, where locally sourced materials will be used to limit the transport distances. Clad with charred timber, the material choice echoes the process of regeneration when forests burn and then grow back stronger.
‘We are delighted and honored to have been selected from among 1,715 entries. We are happy to share this victory with all the people we work with: our staff, our partners, and our clients. This great adventure brought us energy, joy, and dreams. The adventure now continues with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the people of Helsinki, and lovers of architecture and art.’ — Nicolas Moreau and Hiroko Kusunoki of Moreau Kusonoki Architectes.
All images © 4M Architecture
4m Architecture has designed a new large scale housing project in the south-eastern region of Arbil, Iraq in collaboration with RGGA and BC Prestige, the building will include luxury residences, social and recreative areas bringing dynamism on the inside and outside. There is already a fast growing number of retail centers which has been affecting the formal and sociological development of the city. The key factors of this urban transformation is the integration of the new with the old meanwhile encouraging the public and inhabitants to mix and use the space together. This will be achieved by the mixed-use element to the project, where the ground floor levels will be specifically allocated for retail and recreational spaces.
The architectural strategy is for the apartments to have the best views of Arbil Castle and the Martyr Sami Abdul-Rahman Park. The contrasting heights of the construction will inevitably become a distinct symbol of the city. With a total of 2,500 apartments, the complex includes the joint office tower and from the exterior, it is naturally integrated with the rest. In order to create a diverse but consistent space, green areas, terraces and floor gardens will be dotted throughout the entire building, this increases the perceptibility from the outside whilst giving people a place to relax and breathe. Natural landscaping and green spaces has become rarity in the city due to its fast development, therefore this will inevitably create a visual harmony for the building overall.
All images © Sergio Pirrone
Austrian architectural studio Coop Himmelb(l)au has released further images of the Musée Des Confluences, a project they completed at the turn of the year. The new photographs, taken by Sergio Pirrone, detail the scheme’s vast interior as well as its distinctively sculpted façade.
Standing at the centerpiece of Lyon’s ongoing regeneration project, the themes of contrast and divergence are characterized in the museum’s architecture, fusing together separate entities to form a new dynamic structure. The vast scheme, which integrates the fields of technology, biology and ethics, serves as both a museum and an urban leisure space, forming an active and lively place of public congregation.
The design features three primary components, ‘the plinth’, ‘the crystal’ and ‘the cloud’. Situated beneath the main entrance of the museum, ‘the plinth’ houses auditoriums, meeting rooms and technical areas. Above, the fully glazed ‘crystal’ is oriented towards the town, welcoming visitors and serving as an inviting public space. Within this area, large panes of glass are mounted within steel frames, flooding internal space with daylight. Contrasting the precise contours of ‘the crystal’, ‘the cloud’ has been constructed to resemble a spaceship stationed above the building.
Programmed across three levels, three permanent and seven temporary exhibition galleries are connected with a fluid circulation route. The configuration of the exhibition halls further establishes the themes of variance and complexity, with enclosed black boxes alternating with open gallery areas. Externally, ramps and pathways link the structure with an adjacent park, forming an integrated public square.
All images courtesy of MAD Architects
MAD Architects has revealed ‘8600 Wilshire’, a project located in Beverly Hills that forms the studio’s first project in the United States. The scheme seeks to demonstrate founder Ma Yansong’s core design philosophy, which is to bring together a sense of nature and community within high-density cities.
By introducing some of the wildlife found on the adjacent foothills of Los Angeles , the design mimics a small sinuous white hill boasting an 18-unit residential village positioned above a commercial space. Clustered white glass villas and trees ascend upward to contour the region’s skyline, while providing a distinctive streetscape along the boulevard.
Conceived as a ‘hillside village’, the development offers a variety of housing types for city residents, including three townhouses, five villas, two studios and eight condominiums. The massing of the scheme ensures that the incandescent structures appear opaque from the street, yet reveal a transparent façade facing the private garden, townhouse and condominium units.
The village is wrapped in a water-efficient living wall of native, drought-tolerant succulents and vines. Undulating around perforated windows on the façade, this vertical garden extends interior space to external balconies, and provides a natural green-screen for condominium residents. Along Wilshire Boulevard, the lifted living wall reveals glass storefronts at ground level resembling a floating plinth.
Hidden away from the street is an elevated courtyard accented by a canopy of trees and native plantings. At the center of this secret garden is a water feature flowing gently to a secondary reflecting pool in the lobby below, providing residents with a haven of tranquility.
In high-density cities, modernist and post-modernist housing typically prioritized functions and formats over human relationships with the environment. In response to this, the project considers the possibility of a new model for west coast vernacular amid the sprawling density of Los Angeles. ‘8600 Wilshire’ is expected to break ground in October 2015.
All images courtesy of Nicolas Amiard
Paris-based graphic designer Nicolas Amiard imagines the convergence of fantasy and reality by bringing together contemporary cityscapes and the Star Wars series. Amiard’s collection of digitally-enhanced images envision surreal yet strangely lifelike scenarios where battleships crash land in the middle of today’s most densely-populated urban landscapes. Examples of the scenes include a lucrehulk-class droid control ship meeting a mountainous panorama as it falls into the coast surrounding Rio De Janeiro; an enormous star destroyer ship haphazardly lands just in front of Paris’ seemingly minuscule Eiffel Tower; a millennium falcon spaceship unexpectedly collides into the water surrounding lower Manhattan.
All images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group / BIG
Danish firm Bjarke Ingels’ Architecture Office BIG has revealed their innovative proposal for the Västerås Travel Centre in one of Sweden’s largest cities. The aim of the project is to replace the existing station with a scheme that establishes a seamless connection between the city’s transportation system. Connecting the old with the new, the surrounding landscape will be redesigned to enable an urban flow from the center to the newer areas by Lake Mälaren.
Collaborating with Tyrens, and Kragh & Berglund, BIG’s 12,000 sqm design sees the entire city’s infrastructure sheltered and placed together- under one floating roof. Appearing like a thin sheet, the canopy will house facilities such as bike parking, restaurants, retail, arranged alongside the railway and transportation facilities. Draped from the four corners to protect the scenery and define the urban space, visitors and travelers are beckoned in through each edge where it has been purposely designed to lift up and welcome people in. Sensitively shaped by the flow of people and public life, the new Västerås Travel Centre will inherently become an important social and economic node that will redefine the city’s infrastructure and landscape.
All images courtesy of Statsbygg
A range of internationally acclaimed architects have unveiled six different proposals for a new government district in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The design groups, which include Snøhetta, MVRDV and BIG, were selected from 24 original entries and will determine potential solutions regarding urban policies and public engagement. The project will be developed alongside organizers Statsbygg, the Norwegian government’s key adviser in construction and property affairs.
Bjarke Ingels Group
The proposed tower from Danish firm BIG proposes a topographic urban park to create a new setting for the site’s existing historic buildings. The scheme includes three towers, the tallest of which climbs to a total height of 105 meters.
Dutch firm MVRDV proposes framing the government quarter with a ring of office structures positioned along the site’s boundary. On top of this configuration, a separate rooftop garden for the city’s population is established, providing sweeping views across Oslo.
Local studio Snøhetta has designed three towers that seek clarify the government’s position in Oslo, while ensuring that urban space at ground level remains opens to the public. The scheme involves reorganizing the existing site with a new entrance, and better connected circulation routes.
Norwegian office Asplan Viak has presented plans for a series of refined towers, designed not to overpower the surrounding urban fabric. The proposal also seeks to transform the area in front of the highrises into an integrated city garden.
LPO proposes the introduction of a major government park, with space for a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 2011 Norway attacks. In addition, the scheme suggests several office towers of differing heights to accommodate the various ministries as well as the prime minister’s office.
White’s proposed scheme involves opening up the complex with a mix of activities that cater to employees, visitors and the general public.
All images courtesy of ‘S-hertogenbosch local council
In the Netherlands, residents of ‘S-hertogenbosch are set to choose between two proposed designs for a new city center theatre. from the original competition, two different schemes by UNStudio and Ector Hoogstad Architecten have been selected by judges, and will now be voted on by local residents who will determine 50% of the final result. Voting for local residents over the age of 12 is open until june 7th, 2015. Construction is set to begin in 2017, with a public opening scheduled for 2020.
Ector Hoogstad Architecten (TOP 10 IMAGES)
Ector Hoogstad Architecten has put forward plans for inviting brick theatre with a color and texture similar to that of the neighboring cathedral. Offering a ‘festive sparkle’, golden glazed bricks are interspersed within the design, while areas of semi-translucent glass are also employed across the façade.
Through the main entrance visitors enter a foyer that can be assigned as desired for both large and small events. Furthermore, a theatrical staircase to the first floor can also be used as an additional stage for small performances, or lectures prior to the main function. Throughout the design, the oak floors are robust and low maintenance, while oak-paneled walls and ceilings provide a colorful atmosphere and identity. Large windows offer natural light and views, while on the first floor guests can sit outside and enjoy the view of the parade from a large balcony.
Consideration was also given to the artists and employees of the theatre. Artists have a foyer on the third floor with a rooftop terrace surrounded by greenery. In the changing rooms and offices are small loggias and roof terraces for even more light, with all the backstage areas clearly and logically arranged. A number of facility rooms are housed in the basement, where delivery trucks can be unloaded without hindering the general public.
UNStudio (BOTTOM 10 IMAGES)
UNStudio’s proposal is based on the relationships between the theatre, the surrounding buildings and the adjacent public square. Consequently, the building’s massing is visualized as four shifting cubes protruding above the treetops. In order to cause as little hindrance as possible to immediate neighbors, the two auditoriums are designed as enclosed volumes clad in natural stone, while the façades of the public spaces are constructed from glass, so that the theatre building and the public square merge, allowing visitors to become part of the show.
The main stairway with glass balustrades forms the heart of the vertical foyer, which extends over four levels and totals 19 meters in height. The volume housing the larger of the two auditoriums is partially sunken below ground, ensuring that the building remains low and that sightlines to the St. John’s cathedral are maintained. A terrace on the third floor offers visitors further views across the city.
The floor of the foyer runs level to the parade, enabling the theatre to form a natural extension of the square. The floor of the main auditorium provides a natural buffer to noise hindrance for the immediate surroundings, while the smaller venue houses a flexible stage with retractable seating. During public events on the adjacent square, such as the traditional annual carnival, the doors to the café can be opened and the internal sliding wall moved, connecting the small auditorium with the public space and leading guests directly into the heart of the theater.
Offices are located on the second and third floors, while the third storey also houses the VIP foyer, which enjoys views towards the cathedral. The logistics for the theatre are carried out entirely underground by means of an innovative system that results in no inconvenience or interruption to the parade square. Trucks load and unload in the cellar, while goods are transported internally via elevators. Changing rooms and hospitality service spaces are also located in the basement.
All images courtesy of Park Associati
In milan, a temporary structure has been installed on the rooftop of Palazzo Beltrami in Piazza Della Scala. Designed by Park Associati, the ‘priceless’ pop-up restaurant can be readily relocated, potentially existing in a variety of striking locations. The scheme can also host events where leading chefs are invited to showcase their skills at special cooking functions. The pavilion is open to the general public for bookings, and can accommodate up to 24 seated guests around one single table, or 66 standing people for special events.
The building, which can be assembled in just two days, is made out of a modular structure consisting of eight individual blocks measuring 3.3×2.2×4.6-5.9 meters. This relatively small scale means that units can be transported by road and installed by crane. The pavilion is covered with a perforated anodized aluminum skin in shades of bronze and gold, with the envelope held in place with hidden supports.
Internally, the restaurant is divided into two areas. While the kitchen is geared to the demands of professional catering, the dining area is arranged around one single table and surrounded by foor-to-ceiling glazing. If necessary, the two volumes can be separated with sliding wall panels, while the central table can be lifted to completely free up the space.
All images courtesy of SHoP Architects and Studio O+A.
Architecture studio SHoP and interior design firm Studio O+A have unveiled plans for a glassy new mini-campus for the firm behind the controversial Uber taxi app.
The two studios were selected by Uber to design its new home in the Mission Bay neighbourhood of San Francisco – the city that has become the unofficial capital of America's tech industry.
The 423,000-square-foot project (39,300 square metres) includes an 11-storey tower, connected to an adjoining six-storey building with an almost fully transparent facade. Both will occupy currently empty plots on Third Street, divided by a smaller side road.
"At a time when many tech companies are creating campuses far from city centres, Uber has made a commitment in its new home to support the continued vitality of the urban environment and to help complete a thriving mixed‐use neighbourhood," said a statement from New York-based SHoP Architects.
A network of circulation and gathering spaces – dubbed "The Commons" by the architects – will serve a wide variety of functions and is designed to help connect the buildings to the street.
"The multi‐storey Commons will front both buildings on Third Street, creating a kinetic experience that SHoP principal Chris Sharples and O+A principal Denise Cherry liken to the experience of San Francisco itself," said the architects.
The two structures are connected by three double-level bridges that span over the road that divides the site, called Pierpoint Lane.
"The Commons continues to form the essential circulation of the 11‐storey structure, crossing above Pierpoint Lane as three angling glass and steel bridges — an homage to the neighbourhood's history as a centre for shipping and commerce," explained the architects.
"This new workplace also marks a departure from the growing trend of an entirely open-plan office," they added. "Instead, work stations are arranged in a series of smaller neighbourhoods, each with access to shared support and collaborative work zones."
Both buildings will also have shops integrated at ground level, and a nearby park will also be overhauled to include a daycare centre.
Although a number of large technology companies have made San Francisco their home, few have established purpose-built headquarters within the city, preferring to either overhaul existing structures – with examples including the offices of Yelp, Eventbrite and Airbnb – or build large campuses further out.
The Foster-designed Apple Campus is currently underway in Cupertino, 60 kilometres to the south of San Francisco, and the Google HQ by Thomas Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingels is currently planned for a site in nearby Mountain View.
All images © SHoP Architects
On an a four-block area in Miami’s park west neighborhood, the team of SHoP architects, West 8, and developer michael simkins, is proposing a new special-use district that will provide the infrastructure for the future growth of the city’s creative technology industries. Named the ‘Miami Innovation District’, the proposal illustrates a dense, walkable neighborhood that incorporates a range of technology-oriented urban facilities.
The entire district is conceived as an urban campus, an integrated complex of mutually-supportive programs including public amenities, targeted retail opportunities, indoor and outdoor spaces for community and campus gathering, performance and exhibition zones, a range of office environments, and a variety of bespoke residences. At the center of the plan, the Miami innovation tower will form a distinctive presence on the skyline. Importantly, the development is forecast to bring about significant benefits in terms of financial contributions, employment, and sustainable economic growth. The ‘Miami Innovation District’ is expected to receive full city approval later in 2015.
All images © Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Presented as part of a larger masterplan, this project by Vincent Callebaut Architectures has been designed to combat potentially damaging migration patterns in China. As more of the county’s vast population moves from rural areas to larger cities, urban resources have been stretched, resulting in incidences of overcrowding, pollution and substandard living.
Positioned between Mount Lu (a UNESCO world heritage site) and Poyang Lake, the development seeks to promote a balanced lifestyle in provincial areas with a vibrant mix of both private and public uses that encourage eco-responsible living and working. Within this framework, ‘wooden orchids’ offers local residents a vast retail complex that also includes a public library, a sports center, organic food courts and a farmers market.
From an environmental perspective, a number of technologies have been integrated within the design. Vehicular movement is rationalized to improve and prioritize the pedestrian environment, while a ‘pro-active landscape’ provides open spaces and an informal network of pedestrian links. Streets, plazas and parking areas contribute to capturing water through a series of ‘rain gardens’. Surface water is then filtered through biofiltration means before being released into the wider drainage network.
A passive geothermal cooling and heating system is also employed, while a south-facing orientation strategy incorporates large photovoltaic canopies. At roof level, a large sky garden integrates children’s playgrounds, food gardens, and sports facilities. The project recently received an honorary mention as part of an international competition backed by the UIA.
All images © designboom
Responding to the event’s overall theme of ‘Feeding the planet, energy for life’, Slovenia has presented their national pavilion at Milan’s Expo 2015. Designed by Sono architects, the temporary building is composed of five prismatic structures, whose shape is reminiscent of a cultivated Slovenian landscape.
Constructed using natural materials, such as timber and glass, the pavilion contains a wide range of exhibition spaces that seek to demonstrate the country’s varied foods grown in its 24 gastronomical regions. Reflecting the plentiful lush forests that define the Slovenian landscape, the wooden structure features large internal green walls that create an absorbing environment for visitors to explore.
All images courtesy of Foster + Partners
Following the delivery of phase 1 of its masterplan, Dubai Design District (D3) has revealed development plans for a dedicated creative community which will cover around 1,000,000 square feet within D3. The development will sit alongside the newly developed ‘core buildings’ and act as a thriving cultural epicenter at D3, encouraging emerging designers and artists, and attracting visitors to the area.
Designed by Foster + Partners, phase 2 of the project is expected to officially open its doors in 2017, serving as an incubator for emerging local designers and artists, as well as bespoke environment for art galleries and studios wanting to showcase their pieces. The creative community is designed to evolve organically, adapting to a variety of purposes and regular changes in its occupancy. The concept behind the developments is the result of an ongoing dialogue between D3’s management team and the region’s existing pool of creative talent, which included focus groups, workshops, and a series of one-to-one sessions.
During an official visit earlier this year to view the D3 master development, her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, formally endorsed plans to develop the creative community. The final design was chosen following a competitive process involving a number of highly regarded architecture firms. The winning design, produced by Foster + Partners includes flexible offices; communal coworking facilities; outdoor display venues; pedestrianized spaces; climate solutions; an emphasis on creating vibrant and attractive landscaping; and a contemporary approach to architecture. This will all be actively fused together with year-round place management and event activations.
Gerard Evenden, studio head at Foster + Partners, said: ‘this is an exciting initiative, which supports young creatives, and allows Dubai’s design scene to flourish from within. Approaching the brief, our first step was to explore the balance of activities in a successful, youthful, creative hub, and to understand the aspirations of the different users. We analyzed the way that spaces were being used, and then brought a variety of functions together to encourage collaboration between disciplines. This, combined with the highly flexible modules, will help to create a thriving, self-sustaining community. We are honored to be given this opportunity to work on such a rewarding project and we look forward to collaborating closely with the D3 team to deliver a concept that helps support the growth of the emirate’s creative industries.’
All images courtesy of Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition
The six final contestants of the Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition have refined their original designs, ahead of the announcement of the winning proposal in June 2015.
From the 1,715 anonymous submissions received for stage one of the competition, the jury selected six finalists. These teams received additional briefing following their selection and further developed their concept designs during stage two of the competition. the nominated practices as follows: AGPS architecture, Asif Khan, Fake Industriesarchitectural Agonism, Haas Cook Zemmrich STUDIO2050, Moreau Kusunoki Architectes and SMAR Architecture Studio. Entries from the selected practices are still known by their entry code, and will remain anonymous until the jury’s final decision has been made.
The proposal is composed of two spaces – one for exhibitions, the other a public forum – that come together, gradually engaging in multiple movements. Importantly, one space of the museum is at the dock level of the port facility, acknowledging the site’s industrial past. The lower level is conceived as a social commons within the city – part gathering place, part community center, and part incubator for innovation. Hovering in the air, the museum’s other section offers a place for contemplation, with large open galleries complementing the space below.
Through the port promenade and the pedestrian footbridge to the observatory park, this proposal encourages people to flow within a new cultural core that is linked to the rest of the city. This means of access not only welcomes visitors, but also serves as a key cultural destination for the entire community. The museum skyline is composed by independent volumes, highlighted by a landmark tower. These fragmented art exhibition spaces allow strong integration with outdoor display and events, while the lighthouse offers a new perspective over the city.
This submitted scheme takes the form of a helsinki city block rotated to face the harborfront. Seven timber-clad galleries are stacked over a basement and three levels flanked by administration and open-format halls. Public spaces are formed between these and an intelligent textured glass skin wrapping the entirety to precisely diffuse light, translucent below, and transparent above. The lower galleries join as needed, while the third floor is one super-space. The variety enables a wide range of curatorial approaches. The museum’s three entrances are arrived at by new cobble and gravel walking routes. centrally, a wide staircase helps visitors wayfind intuitively, while a sculpture garden is enclosed to the south.
GH-5631681770 sought to use the future museum as a link between the city and waterfront as well as an interface between industrial and cultural activities. The scheme is arranged around a central street running through the building’s interior. The strategy activates and opens up the museum by allowing for clear access and inclusion of unpredictable public program.
Identifying that – owing to its extreme climatic conditions – Helsinki is a city of interiors, this proposal for Guggenheim Helsinki contains 47 rooms. The 47 rooms contains nine rooms of 20x20m, twenty-seven of 6.5×6.5m six of 10x10m, two of 120x4m and one of 32x120m and three outdoor rooms. a multiplicity of chambers and climatic conditions will allow various museums to live together in the same building. Consequently, the museum is ready to welcome individual visitors, families and the local art scene.
The final proposed scheme includes five timber towers huddled together at the edge of the baltic sea, forming a shimmering beacon on the shoreline. Multiple forms produce an interplay of light and shadow that create an enticing atmosphere, while glimpses of in-between spaces beckon visitors from near and far. The warmth and familiarity of the wood shingle façade creates a sense of belonging with the landscape, while an ethereal quality is expressed through its subtle oscillation.
All images courtesy of Penoyre & Prasad.
Penoyre & Prasad has reskinned the Constructivist-influenced Guy's Tower in London, giving it back its crown as the tallest hospital in the world. Architect Sunand Prasad explains how his team updated an "ugly building designed with a great deal of love".
Located on the South Bank of the River Thames in central London, the structure – which is actually made up of two towers joined by a bridge – is one of the 19 buildings that form the Guy's Hospital campus, a major medical teaching facility that includes the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and King's College London.
The building was completed by Watkins Grey Architects in the early 1970s. Less than 40 years later, it was suffering from decay. Sizeable cracks had formed in the walls and the concrete had begun to deteriorate.
"It was completely clapped out," explained Prasad, who served as RIBA president between 2007 and 2009. "The concrete surface was flaking off to the point where abseilers had to go up the tower and carefully break off pieces before they could fall away. And also it was leaking energy like a sieve."
Working in close partnership with engineering firm Arup, Penoyre & Prasad carried out a full analysis of the building. They developed a series of strategies for its repair that could be implemented without closing the busy hospital.
The taller of the two structures – the 143-metre-high Communications Tower – was also the most damaged so it required an entirely new facade. Anodised aluminium was chosen, intended to give the building a solid hewn finish, and the old windows were swapped for double glazing.
"The vertical Communications Tower has been clad in a special geometric, folded origami-like aluminium skin that we devised and tested – it's super insulated," Prasad told.
For the accompanying User Tower, all the glazing had to be replaced and the concrete required a thorough restoration, revealing its original white-cement aggregate.
"The User Tower has also been completely reclad, but working entirely from the balconies so that the workers didn't have to go inside to reclad the building," explained the architect. "Eventually, from inside, the old walls will be removed and the building will get slightly larger."
Guy's first opened in 1974, at the same time that the Barbican Estate was rising on the other side of the city. Its raw concrete exterior led to it being connected to the Brutalist style – and all the negative associations that later came with that.
But Prasad describes the design as Constructivist – the engineering-led style that flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and early 1930s. He believes this is most clearly present by the jaw-like lecture theatre that cantilevers from the top of the taller tower.
"It is an ugly building, but it's an ugly building that was designed with a great deal of love," he said. "Maybe a sad or interesting fact about the 1960s is that a lot of the buildings that people think of as pretty ugly and Brutalist were actually done with enormous care and finesse."
"I didn't think we could make it into a beautiful building – and that wasn't the aim," he continued. "The aim was actually to, if anything, emphasise what I think is its Constructivist character."
As part of the renovation, a 14-metre-high light-relecting installation by German artist Carsten Nicolai was added on the roof, increasing the overall height of the building to 148.65 metres.
Because of this, Guy's can now once again call itself the tallest hospital building in the world – a title it held for 16 years before being overtaken by the 145-metre-high O'Quinn Medical Tower in Houston and the 148.5-metre-high Hong Kong Sanitorium & Hospital.
"It has a new presence in what is a very exciting quarter that is emerging because of The Shard," added Prasad, referencing Renzo Piano's 300-metre tower that now sits nearby.
"The whole London Bridge area is undergoing complete change, and Guy's Tower stands as a refreshed, new part of the collection of interesting buildings on the South Bank."
All images courtesy of HOFOR
Three Danish practices have been chosen to advance to the second stage of a competition to determine who will design a combined heat and power plant adjacent to Bjarke Ingels’ Amagerforbraending. The three chosen firms are as follows: 3XN, Gottlieb Paludan Architects and KHR architects, with Bjarke Ingels Group / BIG and Henning Larsen Architects missing out.
The assignment included the design of a new energy unit that would use biomass as a sustainable fuel. Named ‘BIO4′, the program also includes administrative, laboratory, workshop and welfare facilities. As part of the competition’s second phase, the three teams are invited to a negotiated tender, with a final winner to be announced at the start of may. see below for more on each of the shortlisted entries.
For their proposed design, KHR architects has outlined plans for a huge 70 meter-tall waterfall to cascade down from the power plant’s highest point. Designed with landscaping by Kristine Jensen Architects, the scheme features a vast area of public space positioned adjacent to the structure.
3XN’s proposal expresses the need for people to be part of a sustainable dialogue with nature, and emphasizes the the requirement of synergy between production efficiency and nature’s raw power. The Peninsula where the power plant is located is planted with trees that encircle the plant. Consequently, this woodland symbolizes the story of sustainable energy production – from trees, to fuel, to energy.
Gottlieb Paludan Architects
Designed to reflect the shift from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources, the proposed scheme by Gottlieb Paludan Architects is located behind a expressive cladding of vertical tree trunks. An observation deck is positioned at the top of the renovated structure, affording guests sweeping views of the project’s surroundings. The submission has been developed in collaboration with Miller & Grønborg as landscape architects, and Speirs & Major as lighting advisers.
All images by Peter Clarke / Courtesy of KUD Architects
The entirety of the ‘2 Girls Building’ is a work of art: corridor walls are lined with selected imagery from contemporary photographic artists, while the primary circulation space doubles as a gallery dividing the offices, warehouse spaces and apartments. ‘Architecture becomes photography, photography becomes architecture and the building becomes a hybrid urban artefact within the built environment.’ KUD Architects’ team describe. Everton elaborates, ‘the ability to marry an image so well into a real building, interacting with its features and the people who will live there really brings it to life. Every artist ultimately creates their artwork for people to enjoy and this is a wonderful opportunity to share my work with a whole new audience’.
All images courtesy of Graft Architects
The final design for the new Apassionata Park in Munich has been released where the full construction is estimated to take 12 months to complete. The project has been undertaken by German firm Graft Architects, who won the competition to develop the unique grounds featuring a show palace and 12 themed pavilions. Apassionata is a highly successful entertainment show with horses, based in Germany, the architecture is hoping to reflect the magical and exciting nature of the performances whilst creating a symbiotic relationship between the landscape and the world of entertainment. With the capacity to seat 1,700 people, the show palace will be the highlight and centerpiece of the 5 hectare park where the undulating envelope of the façade which lifts at the entrance mimic the dynamic and strength of the running horses. Meanwhile, the pavilions around the main stage will be open all year round entertaining visitors with a horse museum, petting zoo and an interactive 360 degrees cinema. Planned to open in 2016, the unique horse-themed adventure park will bring a new visitor attraction to Munich whilst establishing a firm connection between nature, the animals and architecture.
All images © Patkau Architects
Located on a Northwest slope overlooking British Columbia’s Whistler Valley, this country house in Canada has been designed to shed snow from its roof into storage areas within the site. Completed by Patkau Architects, the external form of ‘Hadaway House’ is also a direct response to the allowable building footprint and height limitations.
Internally, the main level is essentially one one large space with living, dining and kitchen areas with an outdoor deck that opens up to the valley view below. A vertical crevice of space runs under the highest roof ridge, bisecting the warped volume and bringing light to the deepest part of the section and plan. Stairs rise within this rift and a bridge connects the master bedroom suite and the adjacent study. At the lowermost level more intimate spaces house guest bedrooms and a second living area, as well as a large service area where skiers can store necessary equipment.
The slabs and walls which enclose the lower floor are concrete construction, while the uppermost storeys are a composite steel and heavy timber structure with woodframe infill. The entire structure is sheathed with a monolithic screen of open-spaced 2 x 6 cedar boards over conventional roof and wall assemblies. The thermal mass of the lower concrete structure dampens temperature swings during summer and winter. In warmer months the interior is naturally cooled and ventilated by drawing air from the lower level on the north side of the house to vent at the top of the central rift.
Step 1: planning for the future
The cities we know and love today are the result of decades or even centuries of history and evolution and usually very closely tied with certain geographical features- very rarely are there cases where entirely new cities are being built from scratch in current times. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, however, founded the King Abdullah Economic City in 2006 (KAEC) that is projected to become one of the world’s largest and most economically thriving cities. It’s an interesting concept to start anew to take all the shortcomings and successes of urban planning from all over the world throughout time, integrate it with the prominent digital culture that governs our lives, throw in this era’s business models, and what do you get? KAEC is one shining example of the many potential outcomes. Many speculate as to why the city was started in the first place. It is no surprise that oil money is an important catalyst in its birth, as explained by current CEO Al Rasheed in an Arab news publication stressing the importance of government and oil (not mutually exclusive) funding in the initial stages of the construction. Some speculate that the city, and in fact the several other cities that have sprung up in other areas, have been created as an anticipation for an impending petroleum drought and will provide much of Saudi Arabia’s income in the years to come. Others simply call it diversification. What is for certain is that these cities, KAEC being the most successful to date, are not bashful about selling their flourishing business environments, accessible lifestyles, and scenic landscapes.
Step 2: investments
Apart from the government itself who will surely benefit from the success of its cities, what KAEC has executed so successfully is to attract international investment from corporate giants. To date, KAEC has accumulated over 17 billion dollars from over 60 of the largest companies in the world (estimates from Info Saudi Arabia project that the city will require about $100 billion to fully complete the master plan as developed from the beginning).
Al Rasheed explains the broad concept very simply, ‘once you attract the anchor tenants, all their peers in the industry have to be present…the idea is very basic: you get the private sector, which is able to be much more nimble, fulfilling the requirements of the market, and you provide them with the right framework and the right support, and let them carry both the benefit and burden of building a city from scratch.’
The economic cities authority, or ECA, is the sole economic regulator of KAEC. They have established a very enticing system to attract private investors from multinational organizations to private residents. The system allows 100% foreign ownership for these individuals and organizations, easy access to permits and licenses related to commerce, real estate, and every day life in general, lower taxes, fast-track employment, and, naturally, cheap energy costs. For a large business with lots of overhead, this is a financial haven in the desert that brings with it positions that need to be filled, and eventually a citizen base will grow as a result of economic prosperity. In essence, investors are given a favorable framework in which to conduct business, and the possibility to make profit off the success of this framework which they are directly paying into. KAEC is, to some degree, a profit-share model.
Step 3: infrastructure
Once the necessary funding is available, how do you begin to physically build the city? The model used in many new Chinese cities is to build thousands of residential and commercial units to house the thousands of residents that will rush over to a new life of promise and wealth. Unfortunately many of these cities remain as they were built- empty. KAEC’s commerce-driven model instead emphasizes the infrastructure necessary for the investing parties. The first major project undertaken in the city, apart from the business and residential towers in the commercial downtown district, was the construction of a sea port. Located in a moderately opportune area of the red sea, the state-of-the-art nature of the sea port has made import/export so efficient and accommodating that it has already become one of the most widely used ports in Saudi Arabia and arguably one of the best ports in the world. Business is able to flourish, which brings more economic wealth to the city and in turn attracts more investors and inhabitants.
In conjunction with the sea port, the new Al Haramain high-speed railway station designed by Foster and Partners will serve as the central station that will conveniently connect the various centers that make up the city. With these two major works completed, future development will essentially build itself as long as the infrastructure facilitates the quick and easy transportation of people and goods.
Step 4: develop
Now that a base has been established, complete with the essential ingredients for business (and its employees) to flourish, the statistics will sell themselves. 10 years after its conception, we find ourselves at this stage. As Al Rasheed states, ‘the first five years are very slow. But in the second five years, they do not grow by 5% every year; they grow by 50% or 100% every year, because the initial population is so low. ‘The city has proven itself to be the most economically successful of those built in the same generation, complete with a constantly growing list of businesses and subsequent population. It is a city built on modern commerce and with the principles of modern commerce. Is it a replacement to petroleum income? Is the city essentially treated as a large corporation in itself? Perhaps points can be argued for many points, but one point stands true- KAEC is an example of how we might construct a city from scratch under the social, political, geographical and economical implications we know today.
All images courtesy of James Whitaker
These renders by London architect James Whitaker depict a proposal for a low-cost studio space in Germany comprising a cluster of shipping containers, which are arranged to direct sunlight into the interior at different times of day.
Whitaker developed the concept in 2010 while working as a photographer, after he was approached by an advertising agency interested in building a workspace in the Black Forest near the town of Hechingen. The agency closed before the project could be realised but Whitaker recently created some detailed renderings to promote his studio's move into digital imagery production. The client had originally requested a design using shipping containers to reduce its cost, which formed the basis for the architect's suggestion to cluster the metal boxes in a radial composition.
"The inspiration for the design came from crystal growths in a science laboratory and the eleventh-century castle that overlooks Hechingen," Whitaker told.
Hohenzollern Castle, which was reconstructed in the 19th century by King Frederick William IV of Prussia, is positioned on top of a hill near the town and features an ornate arrangement of towers in the Gothic Revival style. The verticality of the castle's turrets is evoked in the steeply sloping forms of the containers, which would be directed to track the path of the sun as it travels across the sky.
Before the project was halted, Whitaker had sourced a supplier for the containers in Rotterdam and a metal fabricator in Hamburg that would adapt the structures so they could be bolted together on site. The bases of the cantilevered boxes would be fixed to the tops of the lower containers to anchor them and prevent them tipping forward.
Daylight would be funnelled through the complex roof design into a central meeting area, surrounded by workspaces accommodated within the spoked single-storey interior. The structure would be raised above the ground on concrete pillars.
The proposal was created for a rural site outside the town but Whitaker believes the design could be located anywhere. He added that he would like to work with a new client on developing the project further for a different site.
Whitaker also explained that his move into the world of computer-generated imagery has been informed by his experiences as a photographer and his understanding of how light, shadows and reflections alter the appearance of a building.
"In many ways visualisations and photography are very similar," he said. "A good photograph should seduce the viewer and intrigue them to find out more; it should draw them in and trigger an emotion. Visualisations are just the same, and as such I approach them in the same way that I approach photographs."
"With visualisations you can approach the image as you would a photo shoot in a studio," the architect added, "manipulating the light and the materials to achieve exactly the moment you are seeking. The key then becomes bringing in that element of serendipity – making the image feel human and triggering an emotion."
All image © Takuji Shimmura
In 2011, local authorities in Paris revised the urban regulations for the Masséna-Bruneseau sector in the city’s southeasterly 13th arrondissement. This amendment allows for the construction of residential towers measuring 50 meters tall, and of office blocks measuring up to a total height of 180 meters. Earlier this year, French practices Hamonic + Masson and Comte Vollenweider completed the first housing project of 50 meters to be built in Paris since the 1970s.
Functioning as one single building and offering social housing and home ownership opportunities, the project connects the strict rigidity of the neighboring avenue de france, the entrance to the adjacent ivry suburb and ultimately, the transition from a linear city to a vertical one. Looking at the project from the street, terraces spiral upwards, catching the light at every angle. The 200 individual apartments are stacked on top of one another, while maintaining a sense of individuality through the incorporation of various external terraces and balconies.
All images courtesy of AZPML & Share Architects
AZPML–Alejandro Zaera-Polo, and Maider Liaguno Architecture–is an international architecture firm based in London and Princeton. Their most recent project–along with Share Architects–is an office tower proposal at schnichgasse 11 in Vienna, Austria. The concept aims to strike a distinctive mark between corporate identity and efficiency; both within terms of flexibility and environmental performance.
The tower volume was determined by a provided floorplate–unobstructed 7m bay surrounding a central core–and the application of shading regulations present in the city. Derived from the floorplate and restrictions, a rhomboidal shape was chosen. The tower is 115 meters tall, enclosing 31 levels above ground–city maximum–and a four level area housing parking, storage, and mechanical services below.
Its diamond form works as an airfoil, minimizing the impact of wind on the structure and reducing downdraft. The structure is oriented NW-SE accommodating prevailing wind directions, and further accentuating the shape’s efficiency. Rounded corners are simultaneously reinforced by a series of tilted mullions to destabilize the façade as an extrusion. The effect on the skyline is akin to a tapering wing, simple and elegant while still creating a dynamic, unique landscape.
The building is designed to optimize environmental performance. A triple glazed envelope covers the exterior, with an interior layer of standard double glazed aluminum frame units. Mullions run vertically on a 1,40m grid which allows maximum flexibility to install interior partitions, with a second layer that runs parallel to the first–creating sliced edges on the form. Both systems together produce an acute dia-grid, establishing a visual moire veil that further de-stabilizes the structures gravitational affect.
Natural ventilation will be used through all spaces. An external mullion system regulates the ingress of air into a decentralized ventilation chamber, where it is rerouted to functioning rooms. Air is preheated or cooled as it is fed into the building, eliminating need for air ducts and maximizing floor heights. Exhaust air collects around the central core and is extracted to the roof through several vertical ducts.
The public realm of the tower is conceived in two main external areas. In the south, an airplane sculpture distinguishes a courtyard. Here, multiple seating opportunities can be found, organized around three shade-producing and wind-blocking trees. On top of a small socle structure–adjoined to main tower–is a terrace paved in a mid-grey granite with spots of grass and vegetation. The relaxing area is a good place to take a break and look out over Vienna’s Prater Park.
All images courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Morphosis Architects have revealed the design of a new luxury hotel to be built in Vals, Switzerland. The unveiling of the scheme follows an international competition in which eight of the world’s leading architectural practices contended for the opportunity to complete the project. The concept is defined by three primary forms: a podium linking the building with neighboring structures; a cantilever containing a restaurant, café, spa, and bar – public amenities shared with the town; and a 381 meter-tall tower containing a sky bar, restaurant, and 107 guest rooms with sweeping panoramic views.
With the completion of the hotel, the 7132 Resort will feature buildings by three Pritzker Prize winners, including the internationally renowned Therme Vals Spa designed by Peter Zumthor and the Valser Path by Japanese Architect Tadao Ando, which is slated for completion in 2017.
‘The transparent and slim ‘7132 Tower’ designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis will create a completely new world of hospitality in Vals,’ commented Ando. ‘I believe it will harmonize in the beautiful landscape and will attract and impress various guests and visitors from all over the world.’
Commenting on the opportunity, Thom Mayne says: ‘specificity is really the central driver in our practice. Each design starts from unique conditions in site, program, performance… the architectural solution generated is correspondingly unique to each project. For the 7132 hotel and arrival, the incredible setting demands reducing materiality and presence in the design so that, as in all our work, the connection to site becomes paramount. As much as possible, the hotel is a minimalist act that re-iterates the site and offers to the viewer a mirrored, refracted perspective of the landscape.’
The resort’s ongoing development is born out of the collaboration between the complex’s long-time executive director Pius Truffer and 7132 Ltd Founder Remo Stoffel, both local residents who were born in Vals. The group has owned and operated the Therme Vals since 2012, when 7132 purchased the resort from the municipality. The hotel is is scheduled for completion by 2019.
All images © Libeskind.
lnfluenced by traditional Chinese landscape paintings, construction for Studio Libeskind‘s Vanke Pavilion is underway. Due to debut at Milan Expo 2015, the 1,000-square meter pavilion features a sinuous geometrical pattern that flows between inside and outside. Incorporating technology into the exhibition, screens showing glimpses of the importance of the shitang in the everyday life of ordinary Chinese citizens whilst the roof will feature a bamboo garden and panoramic views of the other pavilions and landscape. The distinctive scale skin of the building is cladded in an innovative red, shimmering metal tile which Libeskind and Casalgrande Padana collaborated to create.
Libeskind has also been commissioned to design ‘the wings’ for the upcoming event. Standing at 10 meters each, the four contemporary tree-like sculptures will anchor at each corner of the central square and use innovative LED technology to display pulsating patterns and imagery. The dynamic forms fabricated of brushed aluminum will invigorate the public space with light and color with graphics relating to the four themes: health, sustainability, energy and technology.
All images courtesy of NBBJ.
A concept for "shadowless" skyscrapers that redirect sunlight to public spaces could work for tall buildings anywhere in the world, say the London designers behind the proposal.
Architecture firm NBBJ developed proposals for two twisting towers on a side in North Greenwich, London, that bounce light between them down to a public space that would otherwise be in their shadow. Led by design director Christian Coop, NBBJ's head of computational design David Kosdruy, and architectural assistant James Pinkerton, the team created the design as part of a research project to see if they could make "shadowless" skyscrapers.
"We like to push the boundaries of what is achievable with design computation by developing new applications like the No Shadow Tower," the designers told. "The algorithm design for the tower is based on the law of reflection. Our facade has varying angles of panels that distribute light over a certain area at multiple times during the day."
The reflective panels on the twin skyscrapers could reduce the amount of shadow they cast by up to 50 per cent, according to the team. Light would be reflected from the individual panels that form the skin of the building, down into a public space at the base of the towers.
"One of NBBJ's principle concerns is public space and the ways the public use and interact with theses spaces," said the designers. "The No Shadow Tower places public space at the heart of the project, along with human interaction and the impact of skyscrapers at street level."
The team said that the proposal could be replicable for almost any site in the world. "The research that we have undertaken could be applied in many locations in the world, each time creating a different form that would relate to its specific context and solar conditions," they said.
The design for the towers was generated by developing a bespoke algorithm to record the angle of sunlight on the site every day for a year. This data allowed the team to predict the behaviour of light at different times of the day, and calculate how it would bounce off the two structures. This information was then fed back into a parametric computer model to generate the envelope for the buildings.
Using individual panels to create the facade would allow sunlight to be reflected pane-by-pane, resulting in pools of light on the ground instead of a large, concentrated area to prevent heat or glare.
"The construction of the tower would not be the most complicated task in creating this project, the building operates within the same parameters as other tall buildings and the curve in the facade would not pose a significant challenge above what's been achieved for towers that already exist," the project team told. "The real task is in the approach, the research that determines the sun's location and angles to create the optimum structure for a particular location."
"We see this concept developing and eventually incorporated into towers around the world," they added. "It will add to the possibilities that tall buildings can provide for improved urban environments globally.
All courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects and MIR.
Zaha Hadid Architects has revealed a new movie showing the studio's proposal for a sand-dune-inspired building that will be the new headquarters for Middle Eastern environmental company Bee'ah.
First revealed in December, the firm's 7,000-square-metre building will occupy a space adjacent to Bee'ah's vast waste management centre in the United Arab Emirates.
The movie shows a curved structure shimmering in the heat of the desert. Cladding materials for the project have been selected for their ability to reflect the sun's rays, and help control the temperature inside the building. The curves of the building are modelled on the shape of sand dunes, designed to help the structure withstand the extreme weather conditions experienced on the site.
"The formal composition of the new Bee'ah Headquarters building has been informed by its desert context as a series of intersecting dunes orientated to optimise the prevailing Shamal winds, and designed to provide its interiors with high-quality daylight and views whilst limiting the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun," said a statement from Zaha Hadid.
The two largest "dunes" intersect at a central courtyard inside the building that helps channel natural light into the structure. One of these shapes houses the public and management functions of the building, including the entrance lobby, an auditorium, education centre, gallery and management offices, while the other is occupied by departmental offices and a staff cafe. A number of features have been integrated into the design to minimise the energy needed to cool the building. Developed in conjunction with engineers Atelier Ten, these include adjustable openings in the facade for natural ventilation when the weather is cool enough. Waste heat produced from air conditioning is used to help provide hot water.
The architects said the building would be part of an "entirely new approach" to recycling and waste management in the region.
"The building's structure has been developed in conjunction with Buro Happold to minimise material consumption through architectural and structural integration," said the studio. "Individual elements of the building's structure and skin are of standard orthogonal dimensions, enabling significant portions to be constructed from materials recovered from the local construction and demolition waste streams managed by Bee'ah, minimising demand for new materials."
"Bee'ah, as an organisation, is converting waste from being something that is a consumptive by- product of society to something that can be core to society's future," it added.
The building will be partially powered by energy generated at the waste management facility, as well as photovoltaic panels that are integrated into the landscape design. The rest of the site encompasses a series of rubbish processing facilities including a recycling centre for construction waste.
Other facilities include the world's third largest material recovery plant for retrieving reusable substances from rubbish, a compost plant for turning organic waste into fertiliser, and lagoons for processing liquid industrial waste and contaminated water.
All images courtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates
Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma has unveiled plans for the ‘Saint-Denis Pleyel Railway Station’ in Paris – the main hub of the city’s new rapid transit line. The competition-winning scheme forms the first part of the region’s redevelopment, enabling the city to significantly increase its metropolitan scale. The project involves using the station to link the two sides of the city in order to increase connectivity within the district.
At each level, the station becomes an extension of the public space, allowing the station to function as a fully integrated complex. To emphasize the context of the structure, steel frames that evoke rail tracks are used in the building’s curtain walls as well as many other parts of the structure.
Through a multi-sensory sequence of spaces, daily metropolitan movements will be transformed into an open and interactive experience. Once completed, the station will form a new center of the city, with a complementary program that seeks to bring about a dynamic social and cultural dimension to the district of Pleyel.
All images courtesy of Airbnb
Continuing their contest-driven excursions for participants across the globe, Airbnb has invited two prize winners to stay in one of Norway’s most iconic sites: Holmenkollen, an arena designed by JDS Architects that has hosted ski jumping daredevils for both the World Championships and Winter Olympics. The San Francisco-based company has fully furnished the upper-most level as a cozy, yet expansive alpine retreat, with the apartment’s floor to ceiling windows allowing guests one of the best views imaginable of snow capped Oslo.
Features include the world’s first ski museum located on the first floor, 250 steps below the apartment, where guests are invited to ‘discover more than 4,000 years of ski history and learn about the adventures of polar explorers, including Roald Amundsen’ Airbnb describes on the listing page. ‘Grab a pair of cross country skis and enjoy 1,500 kilometres of fresh tracks right on your doorstep. Feel the need for speed? No problem. you’ll find Oslo Vinterpark Ski Resort and Norway’s most intense toboggan run, ‘the Corkscrew’, just around the corner.’
All images courtesy of SOM
Architecture firm SOM has released its masterplan for a new privately funded capital city for Egypt – a 700-square-kilometre development that will boast one of the world's largest urban parks and over 100 new residential neighbourhoods.
The Capital Cairo project envisions a new administrative and financial capital that would extend Cairo eastwards to the coast of the Red Sea, creating a new urbanised zone for seven million residents.
Unveiled last week at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, the project is set to include a central business district and a government administrative district, as well as cultural attractions and a centre for innovation.
Over 100 residential neighbourhoods will be designed to fit among the natural wadi topography, made up of ravines that fill with water during occasional heavy rainfall. These are set to becomes areas of planting that direct natural breezes through the city.
SOM believes this approach will provide a sustainable new city that is suitable for the local environment, but that also supports a burgeoning economy.
"While we are at the earliest stages of design, the new city will be built on core principles that include places of education, economic opportunity, and quality of life for Egypt's youthful population," said SOM partner Philip Enquist, leader of the firm's urban planning department. "The new city will be designed and built in harmony with nature as a showcase of environmentally sensitive development," he added.
The project was unveiled by Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt's housing minister. It will be developed by Capital City Partners, the private real estate firm led by Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, and will be funded by private investment.
Government buildings and foreign embassies will be relocated from central Cairo to the new development, helping to relieve congestion in the existing capital. The city is currently home to an estimated 18 million people, but that figure is expected to double by 2050.
The new city is envisioned to be compact in urban form, but will repeat some of Cairo's existing development patterns. Each neighbourhood will be centred around a public space that SOM plans to surround with local shops, schools, religious buildings and civic amenities.
"The future city will strengthen and diversify Egypt's economic potential by creating attractive new places to live, work, and welcome the world," he stated.
First details of the project emerged the day before the conference, during an interview with Egypt's investment minister Ashraf Salman. He told Emirati newspaper The National: "A signature will take place by the conference, and after that the construction will begin."
"The Capital Cairo complements the national vision for an Egyptian renaissance," said SOM architect and urban designer Daniel Ringelstein. "This is a rare opportunity for the people of this vibrant nation to express and build their aspirations of a better life for all."
All images provided by Izaskun Chinchilla
Flower structures are able to thrive in even the most adverse conditions, always finding a way to grow and morph to remain in a constant balance with the natural world. Architecture must adopt a similar responsiveness, an ability to adapt to uncertain budgets, social change, and ecological demands; and in the same organic, intuitive ways as flowers.
In 2010, New York non-profit FIGMENT–with the Emerging New York Architects Committee, and Structural Engineers Association of New York–hosted a multi-year competition to design and build the ‘City of Dreams’ pavilion on governors island, NY. The project focuses on the future of cities and people, and looks critically at humans’ relationship with sustainability and the natural environment.
The competition was won by Spanish architecture firm, Izaskun Chinchilla. Their proposal is for a sheltered gathering place for 50 or more people to meet, learn, and engage in various performances and lectures. The design is influenced by flower structures such as those found in hydrangeas. The form is entirely made of salvaged and recycled materials, which are engineered into large tree-shaped supports and domed roofs. The pavilion is distributed in two rings: a large central dome provides visitors with a place to rest, dance and talk, which is supported by a various-sized outer ring of small domes.