To decrease the pollution in Taiwan and optimize the production of electricity, MEPM Lab proposes ‘Recrystallization’, an alternative way to build a power plant as part of Hsints Ecological Power Plant competition. While now 50% of energy in the state is generated by coal firing, the architects’ concept is to create a new balance by decomposing the system and its energy flows.
‘For us, our concept of recrystallization is keeping the local, natural, social and historical elements of the site,’ explains the team. ‘Letting the habitat develop naturally, purifying the environment, and changing the system to one where local communities get greater benefits from the operations of the plant.’
Heat left over from the turbine generators will go into the economic cycle to warm the local fish farms, or into the social cycle to be reused by the local community. There will be no CO2 or particles, such as PM2.5 or PM10 released from the plant — they will be captured on site. Even though it is impossible for the site to be carbon neutral, because the energy generated is transmitted and used off-site, our proposed plan utilises virtually the entire plant as a carbon sink to maximize carbon sequestration naturally. A next-generation power plant should play the role of ‘recrystallizing’ the original elements of its location, including habitat, nature, and social welfare.
The eco-friendly power plant is located on the least environmentally sensitive part of the site and is hidden by a natural skin. Three centralized air chimneys provide a green structure to serve both energy and ecological purposes. The plant forms a shape that follows the seasonal air current, which will lead the migrating birds down into the diverse wetland habitats.
From the roof level, it can be seen how the plant itself is, in fact, a carbon sink — solar panels on the top will be repositioned from the photovoltaic system currently located in the southwest of the site. Below the solar panels is a double skin green façade that connects to the centralized chimneys. The inner layer of the skin protects the power plant, and the outer layer will provide space for plants and maximize carbon sequestration. Airflow between the layers will reduce the building temperature, provide natural ventilation for wetlands, and change the local micro-climate to improve air quality.
From the ground level, diverse wetlands, open water, ponds, marshes, and mangroves will be restored based on natural wildlife habitats. The sociocultural life of local communities will be reconnected to the site through various activities. People will enjoy sports, swimming, walking, and bird watching in a natural setting without visual and noise disturbance from the plant.
MEPM lab’s design uses a topographical approach which forms a harmonious earth-scape that blends human activities safely into the site. The site will welcome visitors to get close to the natural environment, learn about local history, and understand the process of power generation. The architects believe this will help people to understand the value of electricity whenever they turn on the lights.
A new video of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Zaha Hadid Architects has been released. Filmed by German Photographer Hans Georg Esch, the 7-minute movie showcases the building from every angle, discovering its beauty and stateliness. Completed in 2017, the project has been shortlisted in the category of higher education and research completed buildings at the World Architecture Festival 2018 happening later this year in Amsterdam.
With a campus that spans over 70,000 square meters, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) is a modular structure that grows and multiplies like a living, organic cell. Comprised of five hexagonal prismatic honeycomb-shaped structures, the center is a non-profit institution for independent research into policies that contribute to the most effective use of global energy. It develops policies and economic frameworks that aim to reduce the environmental impact and overall costs of energy supply and enable practical technology-based solutions to use this more efficiently.
Currently under construction, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Centre. The masterplan aims to expand the Midtown Manhattan Business District westward towards the Hudson River with residential space, office towers, retail outlets, a collection of high-end restaurants, a new centre for artistic invention, and a luxury hotel with more than 200 rooms. Now, with an opening date for the site scheduled for March 2019, the neighborhood’s tallest tower has topped out.
30 Hudson Yards, designed Kohn Pedersen Fox, now stands at its total height of 1,296 feet (395 meters). In addition to providing commercial office space for some of the world’s leading businesses, the 2.6-million-square-foot skyscraper will also feature panoramic views from the highest outdoor observation deck in the western hemisphere.
Expected to open to the public in 2020, the platform is elevated more than 1,100 feet (335m) in the air and extends 65 feet (20m) from the building. Adjacent to the deck, on the tower’s 101st floor, British hospitality group Rhubarb will program a 10,000-square-foot (929 sqm) restaurant, bar, and event space.
‘The topping out of 30 Hudson Yards, and completion of its steel crown, represents another important milestone as we approach the neighbourhood’s March 2019 opening,’ says l. Jay Cross, President of Related Hudson Yards. ‘We want to thank the entire team of construction professionals for all of their hard work on one of the most challenging and exciting towers in all of New York City.’
‘Today’s topping out is another sign of the progress being made to deliver New York City’s newest neighborhood,’ adds Michael Turner, President of Oxford. ‘We are driven by our commitment to connect people with exceptional places and 30 Hudson Yards is a prime example. With less than nine months to opening, there is growing excitement around what will be an incredible destination for New Yorkers and visitors around the globe alike.’
New York-based architecture and technology company AI SpaceFactory presents Marsha (MARS HAbitat), a 3D-printed visionary verticle housing on Mars. The project marks a radical departure from previous habitat schemes typified by low-lying domes or buried structures. Where structures on earth are designed primarily for gravity and wind, unique conditions on Mars led to a structure optimised to handle internal atmospheric pressure and structural stresses: a vertical egg-like container with a minimal footprint. This innovation challenges the conventional image of ‘space age’ architecture by focusing on the creation of highly habitable spaces tuned to the demands of a Mars mission.
The project was awarded second prize within NASA’s competition and sponsored for future development.
To realise the challenges of building on Mars, AI spaceFactory’s solution relies on materials harvested from the Martian surface, a technology known as ISRU (in-situ resource utilization). The team is formulating an innovative mixture of basalt fiber extracted from Martian rock and renewable bioplastic (polylactic acid, or PLA) derived from plants grown on Mars – eliminating the dependency on rockets to transport materials from earth.
Marsha stands vertically on the surface of Mars — it is intended to advance the state of the art in autonomous 3D printing construction methods, materials technology, and architectural design. It pushes designers to develop human-centric habitats that can be constructed in-situ in preparation for the arrival of the first settlers on Mars. The result is a highly credible and evocative home with an alien yet familiar beauty.
At ground level, the ‘garage’ is the interface with external systems and exploration activities with a supporting ‘wet lab’. Just above is 34 square meters of joint dry lab and kitchen acting as the main hub. On the third level are the individual cabins, sanitation pod, and hydroponic garden. And at the top, the bright ‘skyroom’ is dedicated to informal recreational uses and exercise. Each level has at least one window, which together cover the full 360° panorama.
As in this alien environment, construction sequence and materials must be rethought entirely, the design team formulates a material specifically for 3D printing on Mars: basalt fiber-reinforced polylactic acid (bf-PLA). PLA is a strong thermoplastic that is not only mission-recyclable like other plastics but mission-renewable using bioreactors fueled by mission waste. Being mechanically comparable to high-performing petrochemical thermoplastics, PLA has countless applications as an expendable material through the full mission timeline. Being a bioplastic, it has the added benefit of dual modes of in-situ manufacture: via the fermentation of carbohydrates by bacteria or via chemo-catalysis. On earth, most PLA is derived from polysaccharides produced by plants. The same could be carried out on a future mars settlement, where inevitable plant and other biological waste provide an opportunity to close material/metabolic loops. PLA also has the lowest coefficients of thermal expansion among plastics – crucial to achieving composite action with chopped basalt fiber, which is added for tensile strength (pressure-bearing capacity). Basalt fiber, produced from local rock, is also among the most effective insulators known.
Construction of the new Mexico City International Airport, designed by Foster + Partners and FR-EE (Fernando Romero Enterprise) is set to continue despite reported threats from the country‘s president-elect of a possible cancellation. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, outlined concerns over the $13 billion airport due to possible corruption and wasteful spending during his election campaign.
A conglomerate comprising Foster + Partners, FR-EE (Fernando Romero Enterprise), and NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants) won the international architectural competition in 2014. The trio have designed what could become one of the world’s largest airports with up to six runways and a 560,000-square-meter terminal.
AMLO, who the election by a landslide on Sunday has since softened his tone, according to Abel Hibert, AMLO’s economic adviser. Hibert attended a planning meeting with the president-elect and about 100 aides from the transition team on Tuesday where three possible outcomes were laid out.
‘AMLO mentioned three possibilities on Tuesday‘, Bloomberg reports. ‘Auctioning the airport to the private sector, moving it to an alternative site (which would mean losses on construction that’s already happened), or going ahead with the current plan. The possibility of referendum on the project, which had caused concern among investors, didn’t come up at the meeting, Hibert said.’
It won’t be until after AMLO has been inaugurated on 1 December 2018 that the true fate of the airport will be sealed. If completed the scheme would be Mexico‘s largest-ever infrastructure project and would see the construction of a compact single terminal which would inherently use less materials and energy than a cluster of buildings. Various firm’s proposals for the sustainable new airport were unveiled in June 2014, including Teodoro González De León and TAX, led by Alberto Kalach, as well as a design by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos and Pascall+Watson.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has been selected to masterplan a 13.9-hectare area of Novorossiysk, Russia’s largest shipping port and the third busiest in europe by turnover. Located on the black sea coast, connecting Russia with the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean, and Suez Canal, the industrial city offers direct links to rail and highway networks. In winning the international content, the london-based firm held off competition from Miralles Tagliabue / EMBT and Rudy Riccotti who placed second and third respectively.
ZHA’s masterplan for Novorossiysk’s ‘Admiral Serebryakov Embankment’ integrates new public spaces and amenities for both the city’s residents and visitors. Facilities for international conferences, trade fairs, and business congresses, as well as professional and academic seminars are also included as part of the plan. Importantly, by restricting vehicular access, the design creates opportunities for outdoor leisure, sports, and recreation.
‘With its buildings orientated perpendicular to the sea front to maintain existing sea views from the city, the masterplan is interwoven with Novorossiysk’s urban fabric in a porous configuration that reconnects the city with its coast, inviting residents and visitors to traverse the site via public plazas, gardens and parks,’ says Zaha Hadid Architects. Meanwhile, a new fishing port, marina, and piers allow access to the seashore on which the city was founded.
In order to develop the form of the site’s nine principal buildings, the design team applied the concept of ‘instancing’ in which nine iterations of a single form evolve in a gradient across the site. ‘As with time-lapse photography capturing nine instances of its subject over a period of time, this evolution sequence becomes the masterplan itself,’ explains ZHA. ‘The digital computational model developed for this masterplan in Novorossiysk performs as an urban planning tool analyzing many different programmatic, environmental and socio-economic conditions to define the new buildings within the masterplan.’
All nine buildings are informed by this digital model that simultaneously considers multiple iterations including program, orientation, environment, height and volume,’ the architects continue. ‘This parametric model enables designers and stakeholders to accommodate the functional, economic and other time-related fluctuations that influence each new phase of development while also maintaining the overriding architectural vision.’
Construction of the masterplan’s first phase — which includes facilities for civic, cultural, and corporate events, as well as the hotel — is due to start in the second half of 2019.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ competition proposal to build the technopark for Russian Bank Sberbank, which beat out submissions by firms such as Foster+Partners and Fuksas, has now received planning permission. The vast facility will be located at the Skolkovo Innovation Center — Russia’s equivalent to Silicon Valley – in Moscow, and will be home to the laboratories and campuses of Russia’s growing IT, biomedical, energy, nuclear and space innovations. The proposal has received the ‘state expertise’ certification from the city’s planning authority for its innovative design, which includes large communal spaces, atria and cantilevered facades. Works have now begun on the Sberbank Technopark site, with shortlisted contractors soon to be invited to oversee the project’s construction.
The total area at 262,000 square meters will become the Russian Bank’s headquarters for developing IT and accommodate around 10,000-12,000 people working in the departments of information technology and marketing. ‘The necessity to innovate and collaborate is fundamental to Sberbank’s operations. Our research into interconnected, multi-function environments has driven the Sberbank Technopark design. It responds to the bank’s requirements for enhanced communication, interaction and diversification. The design reconfigures working relationships and adopts a holistic approach to creating an engaging environment that offers a diversified range of facilities both internally and externally,’ comments Christos Passas, project director at ZHA.
The large-scale development has been given the go-ahead with construction to begin in 18 months time and estimated to take two years to complete. ‘The incredible belief in the power of invention attracted Zaha Hadid to the Russian avant-garde. She realised how architecture can enrich creativity; how space itself can enhance dynamism, complexity, coherence and continuity. These principles are embedded within the Sberbank Technopark design,’ continues Passas.
Three holes punctuate the twisting geometric facade of the Morpheus hotel in Macau, China, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, which opens today, 15 June 2018.
According to ZHA, the building is the "world's first free-form high-rise exoskeleton", with its structural geometric grid negating the need for internal walls or columns that would clutter the hotel's interior. "Morpheus combines its optimal arrangement with structural integrity and sculptural form," said Viviana Muscettola, ZHA's project director. "The design is intriguing as it makes no reference to traditional architectural typologies." "Macau's buildings have previously referenced architecture styles from around the world," she continued. "Morpheus has evolved from its unique environment and site conditions as a new architecture, expressly of this city."
When ZHA was brought on to the project in 2012, the site already had existing foundations for an unbuilt tower. Using the existing foundations, the architects designed a 40-storey building formed of two circulation cores that connect at the base via a podium, separate, then merge again at rooftop level.
Voids carved into the rectangular block form windows that frame views of the city in a design that was, according to the architects, informed by traditional Chinese jade carving techniques that produce fluid forms from hard minerals. An atrium runs the height of the hotel between these two towers, and the hotel's restaurant lounges and bars are located on bridges running through this central void. Twelve glass elevators run through the Morpheus, giving guests panoramic views of the hotel's sculptural interiors and Macau spreading out below.
The rippling in the building's shape caused by the three holes in the glazing connecting the north and south facades also creates unique spaces within the building. Corner suites have views of both the internal atrium and the city beyond, with the design maximising the number of rooms with external views.
There are a total of 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas in the hotel, along with a rooftop spa and pool. High performance glazing minimises solar gain, and the ridging of the exoskeleton is provides shading. Rather than cool the whole atrium, only the zones used by staff and guests such as the lounges and restaurants have localised air conditioning.
The Morpheus is part of the City of Dreams in Macau, an "integrated entertainment" resort owned by developers Melco Resorts and Entertainment. Along with hotels, the resort features dining and shopping locations and a casino.
Macau's casinos and malls are preparing for an influx of visitors this summer when the long-awaited 55-kilometre Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects the resort city with Hong Kong and the mainland.
Exterior photographs are by Ivan Dupont. Interior photographs are by Virgile Simon Bertrand.
‘121 east 22nd street’ is OMA’s first residential tower in New York. The design, led by OMA Partner Shohei Shigematsu, seeks to provide an intuitive resolution to the challenge of creating a luxury residential high-rise in a bustling location. As of June 2018, the 18-story, 133 unit residence has topped out, while the façade is nearly complete.
The building’s external form and internal organisation are a deliberate reaction to its immediate context — defined by a ‘prismatic corner’ of glass that contrasts with the rest of the building’s more conventional window layout. This feature reflects a cubist collage of the multiple and diverse neighborhoods in which the scheme is located, at the intersection between Gramercy Park and Madison Square.
The design of the 133-unit residential block was driven by the duality of its context,’ explains Shohei Shigematsu, Partner at OMA.‘punched windows echoing the façade of its pre-war neighbours seamlessly transition to contemporary, floor-to-ceiling glazed windows towards the corner, forming a gradient from historic to modern.’ ‘121 east 22nd street’ has been commissioned by development firm Toll Brothers City Living.
Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma and Portuguese studio OODA have been selected to transform a former slaughterhouse in Porto. Known as the ‘matadouro’, the existing cluster of buildings is located in Campanhã, in close proximity to the home stadium of soccer club FC Porto. The project seeks to restore the historic building, allowing it to establish itself as a vibrant part of the community.
Designed to preserve the site’s tradition and the historical heritage, Kengo Kuma and OODA’s design seeks to respect its surroundings instead of dominating them. The site’s cultural programming will comprise exhibition and performance space, as well as a library. Office space, artist residences, and a gym will also be included. To the south, a large entrance plaza will welcome visitors and invite them to explore the venue.
The scheme involves creating a canopy that stretches across the site, uniting the complex. The roof, which is made from ceramic tiles and glass panels, allows light to enter, while ensuring that the spaces are protected from the elements throughout the year. Eelsewhere, a pedestrian bridge connects the matadouro to the stadium and metro station on the other side of the main road.
Language symphony is Lissoni Architettura‘s proposal for an iconic museum in London that will celebrate, curate and spread the languages of the world. Using multiple elements, technological instruments project thousands of commonly used symbols that create a new movement, an evolution, determining a collective system. The innovative building transforms universality into intimacy to re-establish language as a cognitive and conscious means of global communication.
‘By hand and by mouth, we produce a global babel that gives form and substance to thoughts, uniting everyone under one roof where we all share experiences that pass through language, images and technology,’ Lissoni Architettura (Piero Lissoni with Joao Silva and Gianluca Sorteni) mentions. Part of an international competition by Archasm, language symphony is a centre of a new global community where the deconstruction of language can be lived, a cultural heritage can be remembered and new forms of relationships can be fostered. Using various symbols that define an experiential process, the building interacts with its visitors, challenging them, delving into their memories to teach of a future and to take them far from a time in which virtual reality almost precludes any visual or sensorial experience of language. Hidden from the city, the project links to the symbols and defines an experience where sensorial islands welcome people speaking all the languages of the world, enabling them to establish a contact with their own history, their own future, the city, producing and actuating a new language.
The competition demanded a stimulating and exciting approach towards the design of an iconic museum in London that would celebrate, curate and spread the languages of the world and deconstruct the science of linguistics into various aspects of-speech, script and sense. The proposals were a beaming example of innovation and fulfilled the expectations from an ideas’ competition. All the participants showed a breathtaking level of creativity and extraordinary approaches in designing a new museum typology.
Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for a primary school in China's mountainous Jiangxi province, which will feature a series of barrel-vaulted classrooms built in part by robots.
Lushan Primary School will be situated 160 kilometres north-west of the province's capital, Nanchuang, and perched on a small peninsula. It will be able to accommodate up to 120 children, serving the 12 surrounding villages that have a total population of just 1,800.
Following a campus-style layout, the school will be split up into a series of individually housed classrooms, dormitories and utility buildings that will be orientated to receive optimal natural light.
Each of the arched structures will have an overhanging roof to shade large windows from the sun. The grounds – which will play host to a variety of outdoor teaching spaces and sports facilities – can also act as a water catchment area in the event of flooding. A long central courtyard will serve as the main play area. Externally the buildings will be finished with triangular ceramic tiles, intended as a visual nod to Jiangxi's past.
"The region's long history of producing the highest quality ceramics dates from the Ming Dynasty," Zaha Hadid Architects explained in a statement. "These traditions are continued in the school's ceramic external finishes laid in a gradient of tones that express the differing programmes within."
The school will be built completely in situ using local building materials and techniques to minimise the construction period, and reduce the number of elements needing to be delivered to the project's remote location. Foam moulds for the barrel vaults will also be crafted by on-site industrial robots employing a hot-wire cutting technique.
In 2006, Russian businessman Vladislav Doronin commissioned Zaha Hadid to design his private house on a remote plot of land outside of Moscow. Now, the ‘Capital Hill Residence’, which is the only private home that Hadid designed, is complete. Located on the north-facing hillside in Barvikha, where pine and birch trees grow to heights of up to 30 meters, the form of the building is defined by its natural topography with fluid geometries emerging from the landscape and remaining partially embedded within the hillside.
The house was designed for Vladislav Doronin, the founder, chairman, and CEO of OKO Group — an international real estate development firm. In explaining his vision to Zaha Hadid, Doronin said: ‘I want to wake up in the morning and just see blue sky’. Hadid replied, ‘you realize you have to be above the trees?’ Consequently, the dwelling is divided into two main components. The first merges with the sloping forested landscape, while a separate volume ‘floats’ 22 meters above the ground to benefit from the spectacular views of the forest over the trees.
Comprising entertainment spaces, an indoor swimming pool, fitness and massage areas, sauna and hammam, as well as guest rooms and exterior terraces, the residence reflects Vladislav Doronin’s health-centered lifestyle and his passion for both wellness and hospitality. A film where Doronin explains his ideas for project can be viewed at the top of this page. The movie also features Patrik Schumacher, the architect who has led Zaha Hadid Architects since Hadid’s passing in 2016.
MVRDV has unveiled its proposal for a major museum in Taiwan, a design which came third as part of an international competition. Located in close proximity to Taipei, the country’s capital, as well as the national airport, the city of Taoyuan has expanded in size in recent years. As a new cultural institution, the ‘Taoyuan Museum of Art’ seeks to give the region a sense of identity and character for its growing population.
MVRDV’s design for the 29,000 square meter museum, which was developed alongside JJP Architects & Planners and TOPOTEK1, is inspired by Taoyuan’s peach flower symbol. The masterplan for the vast complex includes a series of ‘rooms’, which contain different aspects of the overall program. the museum, which is found within the pink (or cherry) zone, comprises a series of human-scale buildings.
Pathways can go in between and over to open up the program,’ MVRDV explains. ‘By designing the programs in circular configurations, they avoid edges and one can easily go ‘around’ enlarging the accessibility. By overlaying these petal-like volumes they create connections and nice shadow providing overhangs and shading. These flower-like figures appear in the park and form a new identity for the park.’
Pinkish aluminum façades are employed throughout giving an unmistakable character to the site. Meanwhile, roof terraces with cherry trees expand upon the green qualities of the site and the surrounding park. ‘Taoyuan Museum of Art and its surrounding landscape becomes a true cultural destination with a park that turns the area into a kind of cherry room for the city,’ says MVRDV. The competition was eventually won by Joe Shih Architect, Riken Yamamoto, and Field Shop.
In Singapore, Büro Ole Scheeren has completed a pair of sculptural towers designed to ‘knit together a previously disparate part of the city’. Named ‘DUO’, the project comprises a diverse mix of functions articulated around a 24-hour public plaza. Carved to create a series of circular urban spaces — including open-air gardens, walkways, cafés, and restaurants — the towers’ curved façades feature a honeycomb shading system. ‘Instead of thinking about the building as just an object in its own right, we have defined the towers through examining urban space and reintegrating the area’s existing architecture into something new,’ says Ole Scheeren.
The development is joint venture between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore, under guidance of both prime ministers and through their respective state investment arms. ‘DUO is a joint venture between two countries, and the project has come to represent this important duality,’ Scheeren continues. ‘Our architecture articulates the dynamic relationship of two urban figures and generates symbiotic effects beyond the project itself with a positive impact on the larger context.’
Importantly, the project integrates living, working, and retail with public gardens, cultural installations, and a diverse urban context. The two towers contain the project’s main functional elements: one tower accommodates 660 residences, while the other contains corporate offices and a five-star hotel operated by Andaz. The structures dematerialise as they reach the ground, opening out into a public landscape where a sequence of gardens and walkways weave around vibrant commercial spaces.
The plaza, which is open 24 hours a day, comprises a series of gardens and landscaped leisure zones which are linked to the rest of the city through multiple connections above and below ground. Vehicles reach the towers by a series of dedicated ramps, allowing the plaza to serve as a fully pedestrianized space. Meanwhile, high above the city on the towers’ geometric offsets and projecting cantilevers, large elevated terraces and a public observation deck offer sweeping views across Singapore’s skyline.
‘The main gesture of DUO is to give something back to the city,’ explains Scheeren. ‘We didn’t want a gated community or a privatized space, so we created a 24-hour accessible public realm that connects to all of the different aspects of the surrounding city. The landscape is conceived as something highly organic and completely permeable — its liquid geometry allows you to flow through the site in almost any direction. It’s a celebration of public access and activity.’
The honeycomb comprises a series of hexagonal sunshades that help protect the towers from the heat and glare of the sun, without interrupting the views out over the gardens, oceans and skyline. ‘The honeycomb expresses the dynamic curvatures of the facade and simultaneously becomes an environmental tool,’ Scheeren says. ‘Our strategic deployment of passive environmental design strategies greatly enhances the sustainable nature of the development. DUO is a project about acting with responsibility towards the urban environment and the public domain – both environmentally and socially.’
Zaha Hadid Architects has been chosen to design the central hub at the Aljada development in Sharjah, a United Arab Emirates city on the Arabian Gulf. This is the firm’s first project in the UAE since Hadid’s death in 2016.
The proposal conceptualises the moment a water droplet strikes the earth’s surface. An array of elliptical buildings occupy the site, designed to channel cooling winds into civic spaces and courtyards during the summer months.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the central hub incorporates the use of treated wastewater for irrigation. Meanwhile the architecture is said to also incorporate active and passive measures to lower the demand for indoor cooling.
At the centre an observation tower is surrounded by vibrant squares with water features irrigated by recovered and recycled water. Tensile canopies sustain a microclimate at ground level for verdant gardens of species native to the region.
‘While all of the companies in this design competition offered outstanding designs, Zaha Hadid Architects’ integrated design approach matched our vision for Aljada’s central hub as an interconnected destination‘, HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said. ‘This approach is synonymous with Arada’s mission to develop rewarding and engaging communities, building the Sharjah of tomorrow’.
Chosen by lifestyle property developers ARADA, the central hub will comprise an entertainment and cultural zone within the $6.8 billion development. The development launched last year, with a land spread of 2.2 square kilometers in what is the last piece of undeveloped land in the heart of sharjah city. The project will be delivered in phases with its entire completion expected in 2025.
AS+R propose a 55-story-high hotel in Sharjah, UAE, overlooking Al Mamzar Lake, the Mamzar Park and the vast open view towards the Arabian Gulf. The project is sculpted to respond to site constraints. The luxury tower is positioned in the middle of the site, while tilted diagonally to face the main access road from one side, and to ensure the maximum number of rooms directed towards the open view.
Dubai based architects AS+R‘s tower descends down to meet the water edge, forming terraced suits overlooking the wide lake. Moreover, this stepping creates a dialogue between the skyscraper and the shore, linking the guests to the water. The building embraces two levels of terraced podium, which houses restaurants and hotel administration, in addition to a health club and other amenities. The development offers a huge swimming pool that stretches on multiple levels, as well as an open beach for sea lovers.
Entering the site, visitors are greeted by a stepping fountain as you ramp up to the entry plaza, leaving the ground floor free for services. The stepping fountain mirrors the building concept of connection to the sea. The tower welcomes visitors with a 14-story-high atrium, emphasising the luxurious atmosphere that the hotel provides. The atrium creates a spacious, well-lit environment while the reception area provides glimpses of the sea view.
The hotel is crowned with a sky restaurant that steps over three levels. Also directed towards the main view, the restaurant provides serene vistas for its customers 270 degrees towards the sea and the city. This area is protected from high winds by the tower’s skin, which wraps around it.
Currently under construction, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. The masterplan aims to expand the Midtown Manhattan Business District westward towards the Hudson River with residential space, office towers, retail outlets, a collection of high-end restaurants, a new center for artistic invention, and a luxury hotel with more than 200 rooms. The second phase of the urban development, west of 11th Avenue, will include additional residential buildings, further green space, and a public school.
With so much to keep track of, we take a look at the site’s ongoing progress and explore the projects by KPF, DS+R, Foster + Partners, and Heatherwick Studio that are reshaping Manhattan’s west side.
1 & 2. located at the northeast corner of 30th Street and 11th Avenue, 15 Hudson Yards will be the first residential building to open at Hudson Yards. Set to open in 2018, the 960,000-square-foot building is situated next to the High Line, also designed by DS+R. Developed in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the tower will stand more than 900 feet tall and offer 391 for-sale and rental residences.
15 Hudson Yards offers 40,000 square feet of amenities. The 50th floor is devoted to wellness pursuits, including an aquatics and fitness center designed by the Wright Fit, a children’s ‘imagination center’, and a beauty bar. The 51-story building features private dining suites, wine storage and tasting rooms, a club room with billiards tables, card tables, and a golf club lounge to practice your swing. At the top of the tower is the city’s highest residential outdoor space.
3 & 4. with the completion of its enormous steel frame, the Shed — a vast and versatile cultural complex — is racing towards realisation. Again designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the institution is currently under construction where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, and is scheduled to open in spring 2019. Intriguingly, the venue comprises a permanent base structure and a telescoping outer shell, which can be deployed over the adjoining plaza.
The movable shell, which will eventually weigh more than 4,000 tons, travels on a double-wheel track based on gantry crane technology commonly found in shipping ports. Using roughly the same amount of horsepower as a toyota prius, a rack-and-pinion drive moves the shell on four single-axle and two double-axle bogie wheels that each measure six feet in diameter. Moving at a speed of a quarter of a mile per hour, deployment takes just five minutes.
5. 10 hudson yards is located at the northwest corner of 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Designed by KPF, the tower was completed in May 2016 and stands at a total height of 895 feet (273 meters). The high-rise shares a direct connection to the High Line and bridges over the elevated park to create a dramatic 60-foot public passageway that extends through the structure. The building, which offers floor-to-ceiling windows and column-free interiors, is home to brands such as coach, l’oreal USA, and SAP.
6. the development’s tallest building will be 30 Hudson Yards, an office tower that, once complete, will reach a total height of 1,296 feet (395 meters). Located at the southwest corner of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, the skyscraper will be taller than the Empire State building and include the highest outdoor observation deck in the city. Designed by Bill Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the tower also features outdoor terraces, a dramatic triple-height lobby, direct access to premier restaurants and retailers and an underground connection to the nearby subway station.
7 & 8. designed by A. Eugene Kohn of KPF, 55 hudson yards is a 1.3-million-square-foot office building that anchors the southwestern corner of Hudson Park. The building will stand 780 feet-tall (238 meters) with its entrance located just across from the number 7 subway station. An outdoor terrace overlooking the park is found on the tower’s tenth floor.
The façade of 55 Hudson Yards pays homage to a number of New York landmarks, including the revitalized high line district, the manufactured cast iron façades of the buildings in soho, and early modernism. Externally, the matte metal and stepped articulation of the window frames present a strong and solid exterior appearance, while inside, floor-to-ceiling windows maximize interior light. The building is under construction and will be delivered to tenants in 2017 with full completion planned for mid-2018.
9. soaring to a total height of 985 feet (300 meters), 50 Hudson Yards spans an entire city block and will contain private sky lobbies, outdoor terraces, and executive valet parking and drop off in a private porte-cochère. The scheme stacks three distinct blocks of commercial space one atop the other. Outlined with white stone cladding, each block is separated by the dark banding of the floors behind fully glazed façades. Sited next to 30 Hudson Yards, the Foster + Partners-designed tower will complete in 2022.
‘50 Hudson Yards is a key part of a larger vision that integrates places to live and work within a dense, walkable urban neighborhood,’ said Norman Foster when the project was first unveiled. ‘Covering a full city block, the building is highly permeable at ground level, allowing it to engage fully with its urban location. Designed for a sustainable future, the building makes an important contribution to the regeneration of the far west side of manhattan.’
10 & 11. vessel is an interactive structure designed by Heatherwick Studio that is intended to be climbed, explored, and experienced. Comprising 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, the installation will offer a variety of ways to engage with the city’s urban landscape. In total, the design — with its almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings — will offer a mile’s worth of pathway above a sprawling public garden.
Vessel will form the centerpiece of a public square and gardens designed by landscape architects Nelson Byrd Woltz— in collaboration with Thomas Heatherwick’s firm. Informed by Manhattan’s rich ecological history, the site will feature more than five acres of plazas with groves of trees, woodlands plants, perennial gardens and a 200-foot-long fountain that mirrors the flow of a river.
12 & 13. One Hudson Yards, which is directly adjacent to the Hudson Yards site, is designed by Davis Brody Bond. With interiors by Andre Kikoski Architect, the 33-story building features a stone and glass façade. The tower contains 178 apartments ranging from one- to three-bedrooms, with one four-bedroom residence on the penthouse level. Residences include 10-foot ceilings, miele appliances, and views of the downtown skyline.
One Hudson Yards’ amenities suite is designed by Andre Kikoski and includes an 82-foot pool, a spa, fitness center, a bowling alley and game lounge, a half-court basketball court, a penthouse lounge, an entertaining room, a terrace and a children’s playroom. The rental property is located at 530 west 30th street, across the street from hudson yards’ first residential building, 15 hudson yards.
14 & 15. situated between 10 and 30 Hudson Yards, the shops & restaurants at Hudson Yards will offer premier locations for fashion and dining. The 1,000,000-square-foot retail center includes more than 100 shops including New York City’s first Neiman Marcus. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the building will also offer convenient access to the high line and the subway station.
Piero Lissoni, one of the world’s most celebrated designers, renowned for his furniture and interiors, has been commissioned to design his first New York luxury tower at 45 Park Place in Tribeca. The 50-residence features an exclusive collection of one- to four-bedroom contemporary homes with ultra-modern design and finishes. The amenities, also designed by Piero, include a spacious double-height lobby and serenity garden; a luxurious 50-foot indoor pool and spa; a residents’ club; fitness centre; yoga and barre studio; and a children’s playroom.
45 Park Place is being developed by leading New York-based real estate investor and developer, soho properties, under the creative direction of sharif el-gamal. Architect Jean Nouvel will design the building’s ‘serenity garden,’ along with the Muslim cultural centre that will eventually rise next to the skyscraper. While Lissoni is responsible for the interiors, Michael Abboud of SOMA Architects has designed the building’s sleek, stepped exterior.
‘Vessel’, the landmark Heatherwick Studio-designed structure that will form the centerpiece of New York’s Hudson Yards development, is nearing its full height. The project was unveiled in September 2016, with construction getting underway the following April. Comprising 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, the interactive structure is intended to be climbed, explored, and experienced. Once complete, the design — with its almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings — will offer a mile’s worth of pathway above a sprawling public garden.
Heatherwick Studio’s design comprises a geometric lattice of intersecting flights of stairs. The form of the painted steel frame rises from a 50 foot diameter base and widens at the top to 150 feet, with an underside clad with a polished copper-colored skin. ‘We saw this as a building made from staircases,’ Thomas Heatherwick spoke at the project’s unveiling. ‘There was nothing to commemorate here, and having something that creates a physical engagement creates a chemistry between us.’
‘Vessel’ will be the focal point of a public square and gardens designed by landscape architects Nelson Byrd Woltz in collaboration with Heatherwick Studio. Informed by Manhattan’s rich ecological history, the site will feature more than five acres of plazas with groves of trees, woodlands plants, perennial gardens and a 200-foot-long fountain that mirrors the flow of a river. The platform itself serves as a ventilating cover over the working rail yards below and is engineered to support large-scale plantings, while simultaneously acting as a reservoir for site storm-water management and reuse. Importantly, ‘vessel’ will also be wheelchair accessible, and is designed with a curving elevator that will ascend to the top of the structure.
Hudson Yards is being developed by related companies and Oxford Properties Group. Under construction on the far west side of Midtown Manhattan, the vast scheme is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Centre in 1939.
Zaha Hadid Architects has begun construction work in Mexico City at the site of the ‘Bora Residential Tower’, a high-rise building that will eventually comprise more than 50 floors. The project is located in Santa Fe, an important business district in the west of the city with a rapidly growing community that includes three universities and the regional offices of Microsoft, Apple, and Sony, among others. The site is a short walk from local schools, theaters, cafes and restaurants, as well as a new transit hub that will connect the district with the city’s metro network.
Commissioned in 2015 by Nemesis Capital, ZHA’s design will form the highest residential tower in Mexico City. Once complete, the tower will comprise over 220 apartments, with each storey accommodating a range of six differently-sized apartments — form one to three bedroom units. The dwellings — all of which have balconies — have been configured to maximize natural light, while ensuring privacy and views for residents. ‘A sense of dynamism is introduced by the geometric configuration of the balconies which follow a harmonic variation that is optimized to ensure the best use of these outdoor living areas,’ explains the design team.
The tower tapers inwards at its base, while areas for leisure, recreation and entertainment are contained beneath 10-storey canopies designed to transfer the surrounding streetscape vertically. The canopies also provide additional lateral stability. Meanwhile, civic spaces with restaurants and shops are found at street level. Sited next to La Mexicana Park, the largest new public space created in Mexico City for 50 years, the development is located in close proximity to 28 hectares of parklands, lakes, sports fields.
Copenhagen-based firm 3XN has won a competition to complete a waterfront condominium building in Canada. Located on Toronto’s formerly industrial east bayfront area, ‘the waves’ will be sited next to ‘Aquabella’, another residential project designed by 3XN. Anchoring the eastern edge of the development, the scheme has been named after its lakeside setting with a façade that references the undulating surface of lake Ontario.
Commissioned by development firms Tridel and Hines, the 3XN-designed building has just been through its second design review panel and is expected to start construction before the end of 2018. The complex is shaped as a landscape with two high peaks flanking a valley — a configuration designed to maximise waterfront views from each unit. As the building steps back on higher floors, a large percentage of the suites include outdoor terraces. The building’s shared amenities are found within the valley, which contains both indoor spaces such as community rooms, along with an expansive deck space and an outdoor pool.
A key aspect of the project was finding ways to activate the waterfront. ‘Toronto’s waterfront is undergoing tremendous change, and the bayside development is a central role in its revitalisation,’ explains 3XN. The building’s podium will feature a continuous double height façade facing the promenade, with a through-block connection as an extension of edgewater drive. The design team has suggested that the podium includes a range of public functions, such as restaurants, cafés, and even a rowing club.
‘Waves at bayside’ will be located on the edge of Alphabet’s newly announced smart community project named ‘Quayside’, driven by its subsidiary Sidewalk Labs. Once completed, the district will span the entire 3,200,000 square meter (800-acre) waterfront area. As part of the plans, Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto have imagined a neighborhood that seeks to incorporate high-tech systems to help solve issues such as a lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion and safety, and environmental impact. a completion date for the project has been slated for 2022.
All photographs by Daniel Azoulay. All drawings by ZHA.
Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, with ODP Architects working as the architect of record, One Thousand Museum will contain a total of 83 residences. The newly revealed drawings illustrate the initial steps of designing the property and the design process that the developers are now implementing on site. The new properties will be complemented with a wealth of luxury facilities, such as an aquatic center and a private helipad.
The project takes its name from its location opposite museum park, and offers views across Biscayne Bay towards Miami beach. Prices for each unit start at $6 million USD for a 4,600 square foot residence, while all homes feature multiple oversized balconies. Conceived as ‘a continuous piece of contemporary sculpture’, One Thousand Museum is set to top out later this year, before completing in late 2018. See our previous coverage of the project here.
New images of Zaha Hadid’s only residential building in New York illustrate the development’s amenity spaces as the project nears completion. Located directly on the High Line, ‘520 West 28th’ includes many of Hadid’s signature stylistic elements, with wrap around terraces, glass-enclosed pavilions, and sculptural internal features. The development comprises 39 residential units, all enclosed behind a hand-rubbed metal façade.
The new images of 520 West 28th — revealed by development firm related — present the interior amenities of Zaha Hadid’s design for the first time, including a 75-foot sky lit pool, a sculptural wall in the lobby, and the only private IMAX theatre in New York city. ‘Zaha Hadid approaches the amenities areas as four different collections that are tied together with a clean and consistent palette of materials,’ says the development’s website. ‘These elements are then incorporated in slightly nuanced ways to create a progression in mood and atmosphere based on the level of intimacy of each space.’
Located on the wellness level, one of the building’s most eye-catching features is the 75-foot swimming pool. The same story also contains full gym amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness centre created by the Wright Fit. A spa suite with a hot tub, sauna, and steam rooms is also included. Above, the lobby — which features a 34-foot sculpted, stone wall — adjoins an entertainment lounge complete with a full kitchen and an outdoor terrace. The first residents are already moving into the building, ahead of its upcoming completion.
Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled its designs for a 64-metre apartment block in Melbourne, which will feature facades covered in angular balconies and a roof topped by a pair of swimming pools.
The 19-storey tower named The Mayfair will be located on St Kilda Road, which links the district of St Kilda with the central business district – where the firm is working on another tower featuring filigreed facades. Zaha Hadid Architects is collaborating with local architect Elenberg Fraser on the project, which is expected to cost AUD$330 million (£194 million) to complete.
The tower will house 158 residences as well a communal roof terrace with two swimming pools overlooking a nearby lake. At street level there will a cafe and restaurant. Glazed balconies will also allow residents to benefit from expansive views from their apartments, which will have between one and five bedrooms and range in scale from 70 square metres to 556 square metres.
Balconies are separated by diagonal struts that link with the floor plates below to create a continuous design around the facade. "Taking its cues from the fluidity within Australia's landscapes and seascapes, the facade's composition has evolved from a system of simple wave formations that is further developed to generate variables of the same design language," said the studio in a statement. "The fluid forms of the facade define large balconies for each apartment and spectacular views of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Port Phillip Bay, Albert Park and skyline of the Central Business District."
The curvilinear design of the balconies is typical of the practice's style, and it recently unveiled plans for another residential complex on Mexico's Riviera Maya featuring balconies with a similar design.
The parametric design allowed the firm to reduce the number of different facade panels needed for the tower, in turn lowering its cost. "Building on ZHA's expertise in delivering complex architectural geometries, computational parametric design allowed an optimising algorithm to identify shape similarities within the facade to a tolerable degree, minimising the number of different facade panels required," explained the firm.
"Using algorithms to determine these variables enables the facade to adapt to the wide variety of different apartment layouts and also adapt to the irregular site," it added. "This process enabled the creation of the building's sculpted facade that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive." These forms are continued through the interiors, as a graphic behind the reception desk and in the design of custom furniture.
Dutch firm UNStudio has completed a mixed-use development in the Chinese city of Hangzhou that accommodates a hotel, offices, apartments and shops, within a pair of sinuous towers connected by a podium and landscaped plaza.
Raffles City Hangzhou was designed by UNStudio for real estate company Capita Land. Described by the studio as "a sustainable urban hub for living, working and leisure", the huge complex is located in the city's Qianjiang New Town area. The development forms a prominent landmark in Hangzhou's new central business district, with a total area of almost 400,000 square metres spread across the two 250-metre towers, the podium building and the surrounding plaza.
The project is the largest single building completed by UNStudio, which is headed by architect Ben van Berkel. The studio even opened a new Shanghai office, in 2009, to oversee its design and construction. "Raffles City Hangzhou will be a point of confluence," claimed Van Berkel, "a hub for business conduct and a new destination for visitors and residents alike; an all-in-one destination for working, living and leisure in a highly sustainable environment."
The development in Hangzhou is informed by the firm's focus on a concept it calls Superliving, which involves mixing different programmes in efficient structures that enhance the urban experience for residents and visitors. The project team described the complex as "a lively vertical neighbourhood and transit hub" that accommodates all kinds of activities in a dense and considered arrangement of spaces. "Besides working and living at Raffles City, people can stay at the hotel, or pick up groceries, enjoy a meal, do exercise, watch a movie or even get married there, all-in-one interconnected environment," the firm added.
The two 60-storey high-rises contain apartments, offices, the Conrad Hotel and a rooftop helipad, all with views towards the Qiantang River and the city's historic West Lake district. The six-storey podium contains shop units, restaurants, leisure facilities, parking and a direct connection to the metro transportation system, with a main entrance on a corner facing the adjacent park and city centre.
The design of the project references the movement of the river in its fluid surfaces, which start out calmly at the base and then sweep dramatically across the exterior of the two towers. This dynamic aesthetic seeks to unite the diverse programmes contained within the complex.
The towers are arranged on an east-west axis that minimises overshadowing and allows daylight to reach the apartments and offices. The twisting forms, which are not identical but complement each other, promote a visual dialogue between the distinctly urban context in one direction and green, landscaped areas nearby. "Positioned on opposite corners, each tower consists of an 'urban facade' that frames the urban corner of the site, and a horizontally articulated 'landscape facade' that descends into the inner courtyards at podium level," UNStudio explained.
At street level, the podium building is covered in a skin of scale-like aluminium tiles that display pixellated reflections of the surroundings and the movement of passers by. A layer of vertical solar-shading fins applied to the glazed curtain walls of the towers emphasises the twisting forms and frames views from the interior. The plinth houses retail units arranged along a central spine, with a huge atrium at the centre providing the main visual and navigational focal point.
Overlapping levels that spiral around the atrium's perimeter are connected by escalators and stairs. A meandering bamboo-clad handrail complements the forms of the building's exterior and introduces a natural detail to the otherwise futuristic interior. As the main circulation hub for the retail area, the atrium provides extensive views across the building and through a pair of diagonal voids that extend seven storeys in either direction. A skylight that covers the atrium frames views of the towers from anywhere in this area, and ensures natural light penetrates deep into the building through the two voids.
Foster + Partners has officially begun construction on ‘The One’, a mixed-use skyscraper in Toronto that is set to become Canada’s tallest building. The development, which will be the country’s second tallest man-made structure after the CN tower, will climb to a total height of 306 metres, or 1,004 feet. Situated at the border of downtown and the city’s Yorkville Neighborhood, the 85-storey structure seeks to stand as a new landmark on the city’s constantly evolving skyline. ‘The one is the final piece of the jigsaw in the tower cluster at the yonge and bloor node — one of the most prominent intersections in the city,’ says Giles Robinson, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners.
Backed by Mizrahi Developments, ‘The One’ differentiates between the commercial units at its lower levels and the residential apartments above. ‘The structural frame is clearly expressed on the façade creating a distinctive series of vertical, horizontal and diagonal framing elements that are clad in a champagne bronze color,’ explains Foster + Partners. ‘The building is further articulated with the introduction of horizontal bands at regular intervals where mechanical floors are located.’
At the top of the tower, a series of duplex penthouses offer sweeping views. All residential floors are based on consistent 57 square-meter (620-square-foot) planning modules that allow for flexible internal configurations. Access to the residences is via a ‘sky lobby’ where amenities include spa and fitness facilities, a library, and formal entertaining rooms. meanwhile, a large south-facing terrace provides residents and their families with luxurious, intimate spaces for rest and relaxation. with construction work now underway, ‘The One’ is set to welcome its first residents in 2022.
Foster + Partners has designed the new headquarters for the MOL group, an international gas and oil company based in Budapest, Hungary. One of the main features of the design is an emphasis on environmental sustainability. After its completion, the building will stand as the tallest tower in Budapest — providing the company with the necessary space to consolidate its budapest operations into a single location.
The podium and 28-storey tower were designed as a single unit, enforced by the sweeping glass facade that covers the podium and sweeps up the sides of the tower. ‘As we see the nature of the workplace changing to a more collaborative vision, we have combined two buildings – a tower and a podium – into a singular form, bound by nature,’ states Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners. ‘As the tower and the podium start to become one element, there is a sense of connectivity throughout the office spaces, with garden spaces linking each of the floors together’
Greenery and vegetation are deeply integrated into the design beginning with the ground floor’s central atrium and culminating in a public, rooftop garden. Skygardens throughout the tower provide outdoor social or collaboratiave spaces and a quick escape from the daily stresses of the work environment. Sustainability standards for the large tower complex are achieved through the use of new technologies to control the internal light and temperature.
3XN has released new images of ‘Olympic House’, the new home of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne. Construction photographs highlight the building’s circular staircase — which echoes the form of the famous olympic rings — as well as the sinuous structure rising at the construction site. The headquarters — first unveiled in 2014 — have been conceived around three key objectives: movement, flexibility, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible, and has an eight-meter column free zone from the façade into the building.
A transparent double glass façade is the hallmark of 3XN’s design for the IOC’s new home. Comprising a straight inner layer and a curving, faceted outer layer, the result is a dynamic form that evokes the movement of an athlete. By optimising the ‘façade to floor plate’ ratio and creating a fully glazed façade from floor to ceiling, the design draws daylight deep into the building. The inner layer features an integrated sunscreen, which enables the outer later to maintain its fully glazed and transparent appearance. As there is a highway close to the building’s north side, the double façade also provides noise reduction for the interiors.
‘With its dynamic, undulating façade, the building will appear different from all angles and convey the energy of an athlete in motion,’ explains Jan Ammundsen, Senior Partner and Head of Design at 3XN. ‘Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible. This open and flexible environment is meant to adapt for multiple work styles now and in the future.’
Rafael de La-Hoz’s architectural concept for the ‘One Ninety Seven’ building originates inextricably from its location right in the heart of Parramatta, Australia. Drawing inspiration from the urban context, heritage, and the timeless new south wales landscape, the proposal meets the challenge of shaping the transformation of its context. The design is imbued with multiple layers of meaning and significance to generate a contemporary sensitivity and sophistication.
The site for Spanish practice Rafael de La-Hoz‘s ‘One Ninety Seven’ is at the end of a diagonal pedestrian axis that connects Parramatta’s train station to the city centre. Currently, this key pedestrian route at the heart of the city lacks an urban design marker of appropriate scale to direct people towards the city centre. The architects’ conceptual starting point is founded on the idea of elongating the pedestrian route into the site. The design team has created a new public space, establishing an empty podium that becomes the pivot for the axes. by opening up the space around the former post office building and creating the opportunity for pedestrians to circulate around it, the architects integrate the historical into the new to magnify the important historical legacy that Parramatta has to offer.
The plaza envelops the base of the tower, and all entries to the hotel and residential building address it. Retail uses at street level further activates the plaza. The ground floor in particular has been almost completely replaced with a glass facade of no heritage value. The design takes this opportunity to remove the ground floor facade to maximise the seamless continuity of the ground plane between the new plaza, centenary square and the existing streets. The retained upper level heritage facade afloat above the street to re-emphasise its character and introduce visual delight to the streetscape.
Rafael de La-Hoz’s aim has been to design a tower that could not be anywhere else in the world as it belongs to its location. A tower is defined by its verticality. The design team searched for inspiration within the new South Wales landscape for a characteristic Australian element that could help us express this verticality — an element that has to establish a link rooted within its placement in the heart of Parramatta. The architects found inspiration in the eucalyptus tree. The composition of the façade comprises carefully proportioned vertical openings that are inspired by the rich patterns on tree trunks that are drawn by the bark that is shed as the eucalyptus grows.
The wood contrasts with the smooth aluminum façade to simulate texture over a smooth grey trunk. The timber is a further reference to the eucalyptus while the vertical arrangement of the blades reinforces the tower form and introduces a fine granularity to the façade that breaks down the tower scale. The result is a slender, elegant landmark building, worthy of a transforming parramatta city center. An expression of local identity situated in the ideal location for the city, it fully realises its potential as a visual marker on the main pedestrian and commercial routes in the city centre.
On a busy intersection in Sydney, Australia, you’ll find the 580 George Street Lobby, enticing passersby with its captivating design. The lobby’s upgrade is inspiring, utilising the expertise of the geometry specialists at AR-MA in collaboration with architects fjmt (francis-jones morehen thorp) studio. The architects at fjmt explain, “We have sought to reinterpret the typical Sydney street awning to one that is dynamic and responsive to its urban context.”
In the lobby space of a commercial high rise, the HSBC centre features a fluid external canopy that makes its way through the interior of the lobby. Its fluidity was purposeful, wanting to blur the lines between where the street ends and the lobby begins.
The serpentine form is composed of Alucobond PLUS natural brushed composite material (ACM) fabricated in a series of diamond shapes.
Fjmt describes, “We selected Alucobond PLUS brushed aluminum, a rigid, yet flexible façade material for the diamond shaped panels, each unique in their form, for it’s reflective characteristics which respond to site conditions and complements the design concept of shadow and light.”
The brushed aluminum reflects both natural and artificial light, offering a unique experience throughout the day. The design, like viewing the underbelly of a reptile, towers above the building’s guests.
The architects describe, “It is an organic architecture assembled from a series of folded aluminum diamonds that wrap the existing building and the street into a new interlocking space. The distinctions between sculptural artwork and architectural elements of colonnade, awning and façade are blurred to create a new dynamic identity.”
Although the interior features a series of contemporary design elements from its geometric carpeting to its modern furniture upgrades, it is the wooden screening that offers the space its most contrasted element to the metal ceiling. Reflective white bulbous columns and curvaceous grey seating play equally important roles in creating this truly fascinating design.
The project, both viewed from the exterior through the interior, is a contemporary form that takes full advantage of natural light and space. Its voluptuous awning is meant to entice the area’s inhabitants and offers another example of the critical importance initiative design has on our lives.
It has been announced that MVRDV has won the competition for ‘The Sax’, a 51 floor mixed-use tower to be sited on Rotterdam’s renowned Wilhelminapier Port development. The building’s distinct shape consists of two interconnected towers (philadelphia & havana) with a total surface area of 82,000 sqm to provide 450 apartments, a hotel, wellness centre, parking, congress and various commercial facilities.
With already two residential buildings on the south side of Wilhelminapier developed by MVRDV, ‘The Ssax’ with its two interconnected towers will be united by a bridge which will house a 150 room hotel and roof terrace. Inside the building, all main rooms will be situated within the bay-windowed façade meaning that all apartments benefit from the maximum amount of daylight enhanced by 270-degree panoramic views of the Nieuwe Maas and city.
‘Rotterdam is more and more a city of towers and the Sax will add a new element to this collection,’ comments Jacob Van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV. ‘The façade features a contemporary reinterpretation of the bay window, providing views for each unit with the advantage of allowing individual and unique apartments in this large collective complex. This windowed effect adds an extra dimension in experiencing the view onto Rotterdam.’
During the London Festival of Architecture 2017, Zaha Hadid gallery opens its doors to showcase ‘ZHA Unbuilt’, a series of exhibitions featuring a selection of the practice’s unrealised designs. From never-before-seen tower renders to intricate Stadia models, the gallery illustrates Zaha Hadid Architect’s continuous design investigation, which is devoted to experimentation and evolution. Almost like a timeline of growth, the installation highlights the progression of their renowned design agenda of parametricism, as well as its adaption across differently scaled projects. This collective and comprehensive approach considers intuition, spatial sensibility, material finishes and myriad parameters as core drivers of their style.
With hundreds of unrealised and never-before-seen designs, the ‘ZHA Unbuilt’ exhibition is a rare insight into the continuous work of Zaha Hadid Architects. The gallery covers the practice’s entire portfolio, including masterplans, villas, ribbons, stadia, shells, bubbles, circle packing, layering / stacking, and erosion / carving. However, it is their timeline of tower and mega atrium projects that most significantly showcases their on-going design development and unceasing experimentation. Their constant questioning and re-invention of parametricism has led to new typologies within high-rises and thus their central voids. Using highly sophisticated tools to deliver versatile, flexible and unique towers, the designs greatly differ per urban context. As well, each envisions a mega atrium that breaks away from typical central core layouts, where the building’s heart becomes a layered hub of interactions.
All photographs courtesy of Laurian Ghinitoiu
In 2013, it was announced that British firms Heatherwick Studio and Foster + Partners would collaborate on the ‘Bund Finance Centre’ — a mixed-use destination in Shanghai. The 420,000 square meter development includes two 180-meter-high landmark towers, and combines premium ‘Grade A’ offices with a boutique hotel, and an arts and cultural centre. A wide variety of luxury retail spaces are also included, arranged around a generously landscaped public plaza. After four years of development, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has now shared images of the project in its realised state.
‘Sitting at the gateway to Shanghai’s old town, on the river bank where boats would arrive from the rest of the world, this is an extraordinary site which stood unoccupied for many years,’ said Thomas Heatherwick when the project was first announced. ‘In filling this last empty site on Shanghai’s famous bund, the concept is inspired by China’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world but to look instead for new ways to connect with China’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage.’
Occupying a prominent site on the bund, the buildings define the ‘end point’ of Shanghai’s most famous street. Heatherwick Studio and Foster + Partners’ masterplan for the ‘bund finance centre’ is highly permeable for pedestrians, with the design conceived as a point of connection between the old town, the bund, and the new financial district. Influenced by this urban context, the two landmark towers are placed at the south of the site, while the buildings facing the waterfront are staggered in height and relate in scale and rhythm to the neighbouring 19th century landmarks.
At the heart of the scheme is a flexible arts and cultural centre, which combines exhibition and event halls with a performance venue, inspired by the open stages of traditional Chinese theatres. The centre is conceived as a platform for international arts and cultural exchange, as well as a place for brand events, product launches and corporate functions. The building is encircled by a moving veil, which adapts to the changing use of the building and reveals the stage on the balcony as well as views towards Pudong.
With the completion of its enormous steel frame, ‘the shed’ — New York’s vast and versatile cultural complex — is racing towards realisation. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the institution is currently under construction where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, and is scheduled to open in spring 2019. The finalisation of the building’s steel installation coincides with the announcement of a $75 million USD gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, 12 years after former mayor Michael Bloomberg rezoned the entire area for new development.
Conceived as an ‘architecture of infrastructure’, the shed has been designed to physically change at will. The project’s architects, led by Liz Diller of DS+R and David Rockwell of Rockwell Group, have designed a 200,000 square-foot venue that comprises a permanent base structure and a telescoping outer shell, which can be deployed over the adjoining plaza. This enables the institution to create an adaptable 17,000 square-foot hall that is light, sound, and temperature controlled.
When deployed, the ceiling of the shed acts a theatrical deck, allowing for rigging across the entire volume of space above performers and audiences, as well as light and sound control. When the space is not needed, the shell can nest over the base building, freeing the plaza for outdoor use and programming. The base building contains: two expansive, column-free galleries totaling 25,000 square feet; a 500-seat black-box theater that can be subdivided into more intimate spaces; event and rehearsal areas; and a creative lab that will be provided free to early-career local artists.
The movable shell, which will eventually weigh more than 4,000 tons, travels on a double-wheel track based on gantry crane technology commonly found in shipping ports. Using roughly the same amount of horsepower as a toyota prius, a rack-and-pinion drive moves the shell on four single-axle and two double-axle bogie wheels that each measure six feet in diameter. Moving at a speed of a quarter of a mile per hour, deployment takes just five minutes.
With the exposed steel diagrid frame complete, attention now turns to its cladding — translucent pillows of ethylene tetrafluroethylene (ETFE), a durable and lightweight teflon-based polymer. The material offers the thermal properties of insulating glass at a fraction of the weight, and allows light to pass through, while minimising sound transfer. The ETFE panels are some of the largest ever produced, measuring almost 70 feet long in some areas.
‘The opportunity to design a ground-up building for the arts forced the question, ‘what will art look like in the next 10 years? 20 years, and beyond?’, said Liz Diller at the press briefing in New York. ‘The answer was that we simply could not know. All that we could be certain of was that there would always be a need for conditioned space of different heights and sizes, a need for structural loading capacity, and a need for electrical power. The solution was, an architecture of infrastructure.’
‘The reference was the ‘fun palace’, a 1960s unbuilt project by Cedric Price,’ continued Diller, whose firm also designed the adjacent High Line. ‘The telescoping outer shell is a giant fly loft that can be shared by audience and performers. It can be used for large-scale projects of all different types, and it’s indoor and outdoor space. There is no need to have it out all the time, so it doesn’t have to be heated and cooled — it’s a very efficient structure.’
‘We questioned how we could build in flexibility that is liberating and not constraining to the building’s function and would achieve the best possible conditions for the creation of New York,’ added David Rockwell. ‘We found a way to create a centre for the arts that is as useful for performing artists as it is for visual artists and popular artists.’
The organisation’s first visual art commission will be a large-scale, site-specific work by Lawrence Weiner. Fabricated with custom paving stones embedded in the building’s plaza, the 20,000 square-foot work is titled ‘in front of itself’ and will feature the phrase in 12 foot-high letters. The shed is scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2019.
All images courtesy of D.B.
Waterline Square — a residential complex located on Manhattan’s upper west side — has unveiled its resident amenities package, which is believed to be one of the most comprehensive in the entire city. The development features three condominium towers designed by Richard Meier, Rafael Viñoly, and KPF. Connecting the structures will be the recently revealed ‘Waterline Club’, which includes three levels of indoor amenities designed by Rockwell Group.
Open to all Waterline Square residents, the facilities feature more than 100,000 square feet of sports, leisure, and lifestyle offerings. Active amenities include an indoor tennis court, a squash court, a 30-foot rock climbing wall, a half-pipe skate park, a golf simulator, a full-size basketball court, an indoor soccer field, a fitness center, and pilates, boxing, and yoga/barre studios. a 25-meter, 3-lane lap pool will be joined by a separate children’s pool, a hot tub, steam rooms and saunas.
Planned leisure and social offerings include an enclosed catering kitchen, a party room, a bowling alley, a games lounge, a cards parlor, and a screening room. For more creative residents, an indoor gardening studio is provided, alongside studios that cater to art, music, recording, video, and photography. AV equipment and a green screen will also be on offer.
Children’s facilities include a 4,600 square foot indoor playroom designed by Roto Group, a party room, and a dedicated toddler’s play area. Pets aren’t left out either, with an indoor playroom, a washing station, and a training studio all available to residents. Waterline Square’s three towers are being developed and completed simultaneously and will eventually contain a total of 263 condominiums.
Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled its nature-immersed residential ‘Alai’ development, which will be realised along the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. The region’s growing number of tourists and residents have brought new opportunities and projects to the tropical location. Consequently, there is a profound need to protect and curtail architecture’s impact on the environment.
Located on a site prepared by a previous owner for an unrealised complex, the design seeks to integrate a new residential community, while minimizing the effect on local ecosystems. Zaha Hadid Architects will also landscape a woodland nature reserve, together with the replanting of coastal wetland to protect and enhance the lagoon’s mangroves. This will establish a network of suspended footpaths that enable residents to access the woodlands, coast, and lagoon without disturbing the ground.
The rich textures and surface complexity found within the region’s local Mayan masonry is reflected on Alai’s façade. This is evidenced in the differing texture and patterning of each building’s envelope, generated by assembling the balcony units and façade elements in varying sequences. These façade and balcony units simultaneously provide solar shading to the apartments within.
The residential buildings share an elevated platform with integrated perforations, allowing natural light to flood the ground below, and enabling tropical vegetation to grow upwards through the platform. The apartments are organised in four different floor typologies — in response to the client’s brief — and integrate generous living areas and bedrooms.
A wide range of amenities for sport, leisure and wellness are located on this raised platform nine meters above the ground to ensure local wildlife can cross the entire site on the woodland floor without barriers. Being just above the canopy of the surrounding vegetation, residents and guests have views over the treetops to the Caribbean coast and lagoon beyond from all shared amenities.
Brooklyn and Istanbul-based studio Eray Carbajo has recently revealed images and plans of a new housing typology slated for completion in 2019 in the heart of Istanbul, Turkey. Adding to Istanbul’s plans for an architectural overhaul of many of its cultural institutions, urban rural merges rural living into a dense urban environment through the use of a modular design implementing the latest technologies.
The structure will contain eight stories, seven of which include private residences over a ground story level of social and recreational program that fosters a healthy micro-community within the building. All components- structural, spatial, social, and landscaping- are integrated forming a strong aesthetic and functional union that subsequently promotes a new lifestyle. Like a beehive, the design is driven from the stacking of hexagonal modules that make up the individual units, maximising volume with the smallest amount of building material necessary.
The projecting modules each contain an outdoor terrace that forms a triangular cavity which not only serves as a plant bed that nurtures a vertical forest but also serves as a structural member transferring gravitational forces through the structure without the need for additional reinforcements. The scheme also promotes cycling and walking, offering all the personal services that residents may otherwise need to travel around the city to obtain. On the rooftop, a series of covered greenhouses generates a communal space where food can be grown by introducing urban gardening on a communal scale.
Each unit contains a bedroom and living area, garden terrace, shading louvers, grey-water collection system, and the potential for a solar roof that on an individual scale satisfies at least some of its own energy needs. By using local materials and a flexible modular design, the building proves to be a sustainable construction that possesses the adaptability to occupy almost any site.
Dwarfing the buildings that surround it, the ‘Lotte World Tower’ by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has opened to the public in Seoul after six years of construction. The 123-storey skyscraper is now the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest in the world.
KPF’s design sees a tapered structure rendered in silver glass and filigrees of white lacquered metal. The sleek character echoes the elegance of ceramics and calligraphy, while its location in the Jamsil district points to the historical Seoul and the Namsan Mountain. Internally, the tower will host a mix of office space, hotel, retail and a multiplicity of cultural and commercial programs.
Rising to a total height of 555 meters, and offering uninterrupted views of the Seoul skyline, the building is estimated to attract over 50 million visitors a year. The scheme also features the world’s fastest elevator, a lift that will take people up to the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck.
‘Leeza SOHO’ is the most recent of four project collaborations between Zaha Hadid Architects and SOHO China, totaling 1.4 million square meters of office and retail space. Anchoring the new financial district in the heart of Beijing, the tower is currently under construction where it is scheduled to reach its full 207 meter-height in September, and be completed by late 2018.
The proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects straddles a new subway tunnel that diagonally divides the site. A distinctive feature is the building’s central atrium — the world’s tallest — that extends 190 meters through the full height of the structure. This architectural feature, which will be a new public space for the city, allows natural light and views of the city to reach all floors.
Structurally, the envelope uses a double-insulated, unitized glass curtain. This wall system steps the glazing units on each floor at an angle, allowing ventilating registers to draw outside air through an operable cavity when required, creating efficient environmental control for each floor. The scheme hopes to reach LEED gold certification using techniques, including the self-shading atrium that will be insulated with low-e glazing to promote a comfortable indoor environment throughout Beijing’s changing seasons.
Among the big-name tech companies constructing dynamic campuses designed by big-named architecture firms is Google. New visualizations have emerged showing the headquarters in more detail in its location in Mountain View, California. The initial project was announced back in 2015, then Google decided that Bjarke Ingels/BIG and Heatherwick Studio would collaborate to design the home for its employees.
After running into difficulty with permission to complete the 316,000 square meter masterplan, news broke that Google and Linkedin had swapped sites, bringing each of their campuses closer to realisation. Google’s new location was revised in early 2016 and confirmed that it would be sited at Charleston East. The vast headquarters will be topped with an expansive tent-like roof canopy that will regulate indoor climate, air quality and sound. The square plan of the google campus will be surrounded by greenery and landscaping with a multitude of indoor and outdoor spaces.
Furthermore, the ground level will comprise of a series of pavilions wrapping around a public ‘green loop’ that cuts through the building. Cafés and shops will line the artery hoping to enliven the area and create a social and retail destination open to both Google employees and the public.
Architecture firm Morphosis has envisioned the expansive headquarters for the Kolon Group in Seoul’s Magok District in Seoul; an area attracting companies from the technology and information sectors. The four-acre site neighbors the district’s central park– a prominent location for what will be the Magok’s first major completed building.
Led by architect Thom Mayne, Morphosis‘ scheme involves the construction that faces towards the park, providing passive shading to the lower floors. The kolon group specialises in developing textiles, chemicals, and sustainable technologies for original clothing lines in the athletic and ready-to-wear fashion markets. The distinctive brise-soleil system on the western façade is both a performative and symbolic feature of the complex; the façade units have been parametrically shaped to balance shading and views, and are made from a GFRP formulation that uses one of Kolon’s own high-tech fabrics– aramid; a synthetic fiber increase the material’s tensile strength.
With goals of achieving LEED gold rating, the project focuses on the quality of the work environment through roof terraces, courtyards, and other features that will inherently increase natural light and air for employees. Furthermore, a bubble deck slab has been added into the material components that reduces the amount of concrete used by 30%. The building program itself features a transparent ground plane which extends the landscape into the interior, drawing light and movement towards an open pedestrian laneway and grand entry. Aat 30m tall and a length of 100m, the expansive multi-storey atrium serves as the building’s social centre.
Construction work is underway in China at the site of the Shanghai Planetarium, a new 38,000 square meter museum designed by Ennead Architects. When complete in 2020, the institution will become the astronomical branch for the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (SSTM) and will help provide the city’s Lingang District with a new identity.
Ennead’s competition-winning scheme references astronomical principles, evoking the experience of orbital motion. Each of the building’s three principal forms — the oculus, the inverted dome and the sphere — act as astronomical instruments, tracking the sun, moon, and stars. In turn, the building’s form, program, and circulation support the flow of visitors through its galleries — allowing them to fully experience these three central bodies.
In linking the new museum to both scientific purpose and to the celestial references of buildings throughout history, the exhibits and architecture will communicate more than scientific content: they will illuminate what it means to be human in a vast and largely unknown universe,’ states Thomas Wong, lead designer of the building and design partner at Ennead Architects.
The planetarium seeks to celebrate the continuum of time and space with a design that both mirrors the renowned history of Chinese astronomy, and the future ambitions of the country’s space exploration program.The project, which will be led by Thomas Wong and Ennead Management Partner Guy Maxwell, is scheduled to open its doors to the public in 2020.
Prior to its opening on January 11-12 of 2017, Herzog and de meuron’s Elbphilharmonie has released an interactive video captured by two drones — called ‘rock’ and ‘roll’ — that flew around the empty concert hall in Hamburg. Created by Jung Von Matt Agency in collaboration with Gestalt Communications, the technology gives viewers access to the stunning architecture of the landmark nicknamed ‘Elphi’.
Heading this article, you can see the different views of the two drones. The authors of the movie have then combined them to a single clip. Slow or fast, the final version allows users to set the pace of the moving image — by clicking the space bar to speed it up — and releasing the bar to see it again in its original mode.
Rock ‘n’ Roll gives surprising glimpses inside Hamburg’s new landmark. To watch and interact with the video follow this link .
Studio Gang has revealed plans for ‘One Hundred’, a 36-storey apartment tower in St. Louis, Missouri that forms the firm’s first project in the US city. Containing 305 residences, the building uses angled façades in order to enhance external views, and reduce energy consumption. Four storey tiers repeat as the tree-like building ascends, creating outdoor terraces for a quarter of the building’s units.
According to the St. Louis post-dispatch, the project is being developed by Mac Properties who intends to begin construction within a year, and complete the $130 million USD scheme by 2019. Climbing to a total height of 385 feet (117 meters), Studio Gang’s design experiments with geometry in order to create distinct living spaces where each apartment has a corner living room. The development also has a 355-vehicle parking garage, with one level underground. The building’s five-storey base will also offer 882 square feet of retail space and 6,756 square feet for other amenities.
‘In a climate with four distinct seasons, we wanted to make it possible for residents to enjoy the different views and natural changes in light over the course of the year,’ explains Jeanne Gang. ‘By experimenting with the geometry of the facade and refining the apartment layouts, we were able to make every apartment into a corner unit perched above the park and city.’
Foster + Partners has submitted plans for two waterfront skyscrapers in Miami’s Brickell Neighbourhood. Appropriately titled ‘The Towers’, the scheme makes improvements to currently approved plans for the site, while reducing the project’s overall density. The design includes two interconnected towers, which between them include 660 residences, a 16% reduction compared to previously submitted proposals.
‘The design of these high-rise towers frees up space on the ground to create a pedestrian plaza, with shops, restaurants and art galleries that will serve the local community as well as the new residents in the tower,’explains Norman Foster. ‘The base of the building continues the axis of SE 12th Terrace, drawing life back to the bay. It is a civic response to the city’s enlightened vision, and will make an important contribution to Miami’s public spaces.’
Foster + Partners’ scheme climbs to a total height of 1,049 feet (320 meters), the maximum allowed under revised height regulations. A significant portion of car parking has been moved underground, eliminating the need for an unsightly podium, and allowing the building to form a more elegant relationship with the street. The project also includes 56,800 square feet of publicly accessible open space, including a signature through-block arcade that intersects the towers — a gesture intended to open up views and increase pedestrian access to the waterfront. Additional improvements include new plazas and active retail outlets.
The development team behind the project is a partnership of Florida East Coast Realty, Corigin Real Estate Group, and Mccourt Global Properties.
All images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
For the stadium, Zaha Hadid Architects has conceived a pioneering design made almost entirely from wood. The scheme sits low on the terrain, intended to complement the existing meadow landscape. The venue’s roof is covered with a transparent membrane, which helps turf to grow naturally. Importantly, the arena has been designed to allow for future expansion — constructed initially for 5,000 spectators, the stadium could potentially double in size depending on the club’s success.
Half of the overall ‘eco park’ development will offer of state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including the stadium, while the remaining 50% will comprise a green technology business park with sustainably-built commercial offices and light industrial units. The site will also provide space for the continued expansion of energy company Ecotricity, whose founder, Dale Vince, is also the Chairman of Forest Green Rovers. The proposal also includes the development of a nature reserve and a potential public transport hub.
'As a building material, timber is highly durable, recyclable and beautiful,’ explains Jim Heverin, Director at ZHA.‘The proximity of the stadium’s structural elements to each other has also been determined to enable the seating terraces and floor slab to be made from timber. In most other stadiums, these elements are concrete or steel. With the team’s community and supporters at its core, fans will be as close as five meters from the pitch and the position of every seat has been calculated to provide excellent, unrestricted views of the entire field of play. The stadium’s continuous spectator bowl surrounding the pitch will maximize matchday atmosphere.'
'Zaha Hadid Architects has built some fantastic sports stadia and facilities around the world, including one at the olympic park in London, they’ve designed one of the stadiums for the 2022 world cup, and now they’ve designed one for Forest Green,’ says Dale Vince, Ecotricity Founder and Forest Green Rovers Chairman. ‘The really standout thing about this stadium is that it’s going to be almost entirely made of wood – the first time that will have been done anywhere in the world. The importance of wood is not only that it’s naturally occurring, it has very low embodied carbon – about as low as it gets for a building material.’
The seven month-long competition, initiated by Forest Green Rovers in March 2016, attracted more than 50 entries from around the world. Two months later, nine candidates were shortlisted, before the field was narrowed to leave just Zaha Hadid Architects and eventual runners-up Glenn Howells Architects in the running. ‘Glenn Howells also produced an exceptional design – and they impressed us as much as their design did actually,’ adds Vince. ‘As a result, we’re going to work with them on some future projects.’
All images courtesy of Iwan Baan.
The Elbphilharmonie Plaza — a viewing platform elevated 37 metres above ground — has opened in Germany two months ahead of the building’s official inauguration in January 2017. The plaza offers visitors panoramic views across Hamburg from the Herzog & De Meuron-designed structure. The opening coincides with the handover of the building, with local authorities taking delivery of the Elbphilharmonie. To mark the occasion, new images have been taken of the much-anticipated concert hall by acclaimed architectural photographer Iwan Baan.
MVRDV has won a competition to design a new residential complex in Rennes, France. The buildings feature multi-level curved façades that reference rock formations — playing with geometry, color, and material. The project intends to positively contribute to the transformation of the city, with the ambition of creating a socially cohesive riverside community.
Working alongside the architects at ALL and Giboire, MVRDV was selected to design ‘Ilot De l’octroi’ by the Mayor of Rennes, Nathalie Appéré. A recent shift in population moving from the city centre has resulted in more dense suburban developments, intended to prevent encroachment into the protected countryside. In turn, this has increased the demand for more sustainable and affordable housing communities.
The 8,200 square metre complex consists of 135 dwellings — a mix of private residences and social housing. All apartments have outdoor areas with balconies facing the waterfront, loggias, and terraces. These spaces are positioned on split levels so that no view is directly opposite another. The building’s distinct curved façades slope upwards from ground level, affording views of the city centre.
The project is intentionally very open. Open to the vilaine, open to the city and open towards nature,’ explains Nathalie De Vries, co-founder of MVRDV. ‘As part of the expansion of Rennes, we designed a dense urban area that offers more public access to nature, private greens and fantastic views. Densification only works when it comes with added qualities, and that is our ambition for these inhabitants.’
The design features an inviting roof top garden for residents, where a workshop and diverse botanical garden will also be located. The exterior façade comprises three different textures, with its gradations that resemble rock formations found in more natural landscapes. MVRDV sought to create a sense of cohesion with a defined volume, rather than smaller individual units. A public square extends along the riverbank, creating an area for dining and socializing.
Five proposals to overhaul New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal have been revealed as part of an international architecture competition. The contest seeks to bring to light ideas and design concepts for a new midtown public transportation hub that can be executed within a complex urban environment. The chosen scheme will be subject to a transportation alternatives analysis with opportunities for public involvement.
1. Arcadis of New York’s proposed design solution considers four themes for the bus terminal: purposeful design, certainty of results, encompassing vision, and regional connectivity. ‘Our design preserves all existing neighboring buildings,’ says the design team. ‘Land will be allocated for community-based uses, neighborhood retail, public space and streetscape improvements. The design calls for an elevated pedestrian plaza over Dyer Avenue, creating a car-free entrance to the new bus terminal.’
2. In its design proposal for a new midtown bus terminal, Archilier Architecture and its team have sought to create a new civic landmark that ‘urbanistically knits together historic hell’s kitchen and the emerging Hudson Yards District’. The proposed public facility forms part of long-term masterplan intended to radically improve an unsightly and undesirable destination.
3. The Hudson Terminal Centre (HTC) collaborative is a joint venture between STV and AECOM, in association with SOM and Mcmillen Jacobs Associates. ‘Our innovative concept places a new terminal directly below the PABT site — as an underground facility — with seamless, naturally lit connections to adjacent city streets and subways,’ explains the team. ‘This innovative scheme will provide the potential for private equity development on the PABT site, as well as on nearby PANYNJ parcels that are currently occupied by the terminal’s existing bus and private auto ramp infrastructure.’
4. As its proposal, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has conceived ‘Times Square West’, a new district at the southern edge of clinton that connects the emerging neighborhood of Hudson Yards with the iconic tourist destination of Times Square. ‘Designed around a new transit centre west of 9th Avenue, Times Square West marks the next phase in the area’s evolution from a maritime community to a vibrant residential, cultural and commercial one,’ says the design team. ‘By relocating and downsizing the bus terminal and repairing the urban fabric severed by its ramps and tunnel approaches, Times Square West reintroduces mobility and human scale to this midtown neighborhood after a half century without them.’
5. Key features of Perkins Eastman’s plan include the transformation of the Javits Convention Centre, removing buses entirely from the local street network, and integrate the terminal with the new hudson yards subway station. ‘Our design for the new PABT brings together seemingly disparate elements through a bold proposal focused on coordination, concurrence and connectivity,’ says the team. ‘Situated on the lower level of the existing Jacob k. Javits Convention Centre, this location is uniquely suited to the ridership needs and requirements of the world’s busiest bus terminal while at the same time provides a forward-thinking plan for the future needs of the Javits Centre.’
Plans have officially been unveiled for a pair of ‘rotating’ towers in New York, conceived by Bjarke Ingels Group. Named ‘The Eleventh’, the development is situated between the High Line and Hudson River, with a design that seeks to ‘skew traditional skyscraper geometry’. The architecture pays homage to the city’s classic modernist structures and cultural institutions, yet features rotating forms that maximise external views from both structures.
BIG’s design includes stone and metal façades with punched window openings, a reference to the surrounding historic industrial buildings and the nearby meatpacking district. Climbing to a total height of 300 and 400 feet respectively (91 and 122 meters), the towers afford 360-degree views of the High Line, the Hudson River, and Downtown and Midtown Manhattan skylines.
Real estate development and investment company HFZ Capital Group, has also announced that Six Senses hotels resorts spas will open its flagship North American urban hotel as part of the scheme — which is currently under construction. As well as the five-star hotel and spa, located in the east tower, ‘The Eleventh’ will also offer private luxury homes above. Meanwhile, the west tower, the taller of the two, is entirely dedicated to condominium residences. Friends of the High Line is collaborating with HFZ on a public open-air pedestrian promenade that will run adjacent to the elevated park.
When we acquired the last major downtown development site in 2015 we had a blank slate to create a new neighborhood on one of the world’s most valuable and desired pieces of land,’ says HFZ Capital Group Chairman and Founder Ziel Feldman. ‘We immediately began seeking collaborators that would meet our vision and enhance it. It’s an urban location, yet our site is flanked by the greenery of the High Line and the calm of the Hudson River. Six Senses operates some of the most beautiful eco-conscious resorts in the world and we knew they were the right partner to explore that connection to nature and create something unique to New York city.’
New York’s 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, has unveiled a completed penthouse residence conceived by interior designer Robert Couturier. Located on the skyscraper’s 86th floor, the property naturally offers spectacular views, 1,132 feet (345 meters) above ground. Accessed via a private elevator foyer, the dwelling comprises three bedrooms, four full bathrooms, a library, and a windowed eat-in kitchen with marble breakfast bar.
Developed by CIM Group and Macklowe Properties, and designed by Uruguayan Architect Rafael Viñoly, 432 Park Avenue is one of New York’s tallest buildings. This first glimpse inside the 4,028 square foot (374 square meter) residence reveals Robert Couturier’s luxurious interiors. A range of different fabrics add a sense of softness to the scheme, while contemporary furniture pieces have been mixed with vintage 20th century designs.
‘432 Park Avenue is an incredible palette to work with, one that would be the envy of any designer, and it has been an excellent experience to be creative and imaginative within that palette,’ says Robert Couturier. ‘The brief, to create a cultured apartment, has been perfectly met through the use of inspired color choices and knockout furnishings from various eras, by designers including Vladimir Kagan and Gio Ponti, and some truly fun and wild pieces such as the welded bronze desk and credenza by Maarten Baas.’
Oversized 10-foot by 10-foot windows not only flood the residence with natural light, but also frame different views of New York’s skyline and surrounding rivers and bridges. Occupancy at 432 Park Avenue began earlier this year, with current availability of select remaining residences starting from $16,950,000 USD.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro has narrowly beaten Foster + Partners and Morphosis in a competition to masterplan an eco-island in the South China Sea. Other big names shortlisted for the contest included South Korean architecture practice IROJE and Dutch firm UNStudio. The artificial island is located about two kilometres northwest of HNA Beach and Spa Resort off the west coast of Haikou. A planned investment of around RMB 8.4 billion ($1.26 billion USD) has been allocated to build a cruise port and a yacht harbour, among a wide range of other amenities.
The final jury review for the competition was hosted by Haikou Municipal People’s Government, organised by HNA Infrastructure, and coordinated by HNA design and the China Building Centre. Vicente Guallart, former Chief Architect of Barcelona, served the project’s chief consultant — a role which included developing the competition’s brief and strategic plan, and selecting both the architects and jury members.
New York-based studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro was awarded first place in the competition, with the jury praising the proposal for its ‘singular and clear’ design (images 1&2). ‘It would create a beautiful, iconic form rising naturally out the landscape, recalling the volcanic caldera of the area, and shape the island into a continuous structure that would be an extremely efficient compaction of resort, retail, and housing,’ the jury said in a statement. The design leaves the remainder of the island as a place for cultural facilities, which include aquaculture, agriculture, and recreation.
The second prize was awarded to Foster + Partners, with the jury particularly impressed with the firm’s idea of a centrally positioned park, a major factor in attracting visitors (images 3&4). Innovative technologies were also proposed, allowing for intense agriculture and an efficient use of resources. The jury enjoyed the combination of learning, recreation, and living programs that the architects developed. The third prize was awarded to Morphosis, who shaped the island to create an undulating park (image 5). Meanwhile, housing is placed along the island’s edges. See images of each of the proposals below.
‘Spire London’, designed by global architecture firm HOK, is a residential tower that is set to soar to a height of 235 meters (771 feet) comprising a total of 67-storeys. Once complete, the high-rise will become the tallest residential skyscraper in both the UK, and in Western Europe. The tower will provide 861 apartments, with 765 set for private sale.
Located on Hertsmere Road, adjacent to Canary Wharf and West India Quay, Spire London has been designed by HOK Architects Larry Malcic and Christopher Colosimo, with Nicola Fontanella of Argent Design responsible for the tower’s interiors. The project is being led by Greenland Group, one of China’s largest residential developers.
Offering panoramic views across London, the design references the nautical history of the site, as well as the orchid, a flower cultivated in China for more than 3,000 years. Three petals form the spire, creating faceted glass façades with ‘prow’ and ‘bow’ contours. The angled roof of the tower allows for external terraces in the premier and penthouse apartments, while louvers allow for natural ventilation throughout the building.
Bronze-colored metal detailing on the lower floors has been specified to complement the existing tan brickwork of the adjacent historic buildings around the dock basin. Surrounding the tower, a new public realm features a paved plaza, entrance driveways, birch trees, sculptural benches, and to the northeast of the tower, a dancing fountain.
The tower’s lobby has been designed to recall the quality and appearance of a boutique hotel with a 6 meter (19.7ft) high ceiling, columns, feature lighting, lounge seating and concierge with an orchid petal-shaped reception desk. The lobby features an aquamarine, white and bronze color scheme, with terrazzo flooring and rugs which echo the shape of the thames. Nine passenger lifts transport residents to the private apartment floors, with the waiting time for an elevator just 30 to 35 seconds.
Private apartments are located on the eighth to 66th floors, with sizes ranging from 50 square metres (538 sqf), for a one-bedroom apartment, to 150 square metres (1,615 sqf) for a three-bedroom duplex. Apartments offer bright open interiors with 2.6 metre (8.5ft) high ceilings in the living spaces and bedrooms bordered by floor-to-ceiling windows. Premier and penthouse apartments are found on storeys 56 to 66, where the angled roof offers the opportunity to use external space as private roof terraces.
Spire london will also provide a range of lifestyle amenities, including a spa with a swimming pool, lounge areas and a jacuzzi. There is also a gymnasium and fitness studio with changing facilities. A club room has a central cocktail bar, lounge seating and feature wine displays, while the cinema provides the a venue for entertaining, and has automated blinds.
‘Spire London will create a new iconic landmark on the London skyline,’ says Yuliang Zhang, Chairman and President of Greenland Group. ‘This tower will be Western Europe’s tallest residential building and underlines London’s enduring status as a world-class city and destination. This is Greenland Group’s most important project in Europe, and will deliver exceptional new homes for Londoners.’
Construction of Spire London has already begun with above-ground demolition work already undertaken. Piling for the tower will begin in January 2017 with the tower scheduled to reach the halfway point in height during the summer of 2018. completion is slated for 2020.
Plans have been submitted for China’s tallest skyscraper, the 739 metre (2,425 feet) ‘H700 Shenzhen Tower’. Anchoring the gateway to Shenzhen’s Central Business District, the scheme also includes a public plaza that provides retail, civic, and institutional programs. China’s tallest building is currently ‘Shanghai Tower’, a megatall skyscraper designed by Gensler that stands at a height of 632 meters, or 2,073 feet.
Developed by Shenzhen Kingkey Group and designed by Chicago and Shanghai-based firm BKL Architecture, the project is located in the developing Luohu District, an area that forms a gateway to Shenzhen from Hong Kong. ‘The tower’s elegant form is composed of three transforming design components: the shape, the structure, and the sky gardens,’ explain the architects. ‘All three design components ground the tower in a continuous interaction between people and nature. The tower is bold, technical, and strong, while at the same time refined, natural, and elegant.’
According to CTBUH, ‘H700 Shenzhen Tower’ is one of a cluster of high-rises under development in Shenzhen’s Caiwuwei Financial and Commercial area. The developer proposed the skyscraper for the site of the existing Huanyu building, adjacent to another planned megatall structure expected to rise to 680 meters on the site of the Jindu hotel. A flyover across Shennan Road will connect the two buildings.
All photos courtesy of Iwan Baan.
VIA 57 West, the striking ‘courtscraper’ designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, has been documented in its final state by architectural photographer Iwan Baan. Conceived as a new typology for New York city, the 830,000 square foot highrise combines the density of the american skyscraper with the communal space of the European Courtyard, offering 709 residential units with a garden positioned at the heart of the building.
BIG was commissioned by the Durst Organization to design a building for the site in the spring of 2010, and construction got underway in 2011. Occupying nearly a full city block on the Hudson River, the 32-story building began welcoming residents earlier this year, with construction completing in Fall 2016. The building peaks at a height of 450 feet at its north-east corner, maximising the number of apartments and maximising river views. The building’s volume changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point: from the west, it is a warped pyramid, while from the east, its appears as a slender spire.
The shared green space has been designed as an ‘urban oasis’, derived from a typology popular in Copenhagen. The courtyard has the exact same proportions as New York’s Central Park, just 13,000 times smaller. Designed by landscape architecture firm Starr Whitehouse, the courtyard transforms from a shaded forest in the east, to a sunny meadow in the west, featuring newly planted trees, and 47 species of native plant material.
‘In recent decades, some of the most interesting urban developments have come in the form of nature and public space, reinserting themselves back into the postindustrial pockets, freeing up around the city; the pedestrianization of broadway & times square; the bicycle lanes, the high line and the industrial piers turning into parks,’ explains Bjarke Ingels. ‘Located at the northern tip of the Hudson River Park, VIA continues this process of greenification allowing open space to invade the urban fabric of the manhattan city grid. in an unlikely fusion of what seems to be two mutually exclusive typologies — the courtyard and the skyscraper, the courtscraper is the most recent addition to the Manhattan skyline.’
Upon entering the building, residents are greeted with a spacious lobby, where walls are lined with a jagged brick bond that echoes the configuration of the courtyard balconies. The lower level includes a host of on-site amenities, including a movie screening room, a swimming pool, and an indoor half-basketball court. Above, the scheme includes a range of studio, one, two, three, and four bedroom units, many with private terraces and balconies.
The building also features an eight-story sculpture by artist Stephen Glassman entitled ‘flows two ways’. The work is anchored on the façade of the adjacent Helena Tower. Once completed, the ground floor will host public amenities, including a restaurant and a movie theatre.
The dynamic form of the building carries through to the interiors, with materials and furnishings carefully considered for their resiliency and environmental impact. Each aspect of the design has been planned in order to save water, reduce energy dependence, and promote resident well-being. Floor-to-ceiling windows are comprised of high performance glass, while horizon oak wood flooring extends throughout the project’s interiors. High-spec kitchens are outfitted with pure white caesarstone countertops and backsplashes, and bathrooms are equipped with bespoke fixtures and fittings.
All images courtesy of REX.
Plans have been revealed for a new performing arts complex to be built at the World Trade Centre site in New York. designed by architecture studio REX, the Perelman Centre will produce and premiere theatre, dance, music, film, opera, and multidisciplinary works, while offering a wide range of amenities for both visitors and residents.
REX’s concept for the Perelman centre is inspired by the institution’s mission to ‘defy experiential expectations’. The centre’s primary aims are to: foster artistic risk, incubate original productions, provide unparalleled flexibility, and deliver the most technologically advanced and digitally connected spaces for creative performance.
The Perelman Centre is an immensely flexible canvas on which directors can script the patrons’ entire experience from their very entrance into the building,’ explains Joshua Prince-ramus, principal of REX. ‘It is a ‘mystery box,’ a constant source of surprise for theatergoers and the community. We are honored to be involved with such an important project on such an important site.’
Considered the final piece of the World Trade Centre masterplan, the performing arts centre will join other landmark structures, such as SOM’s Freedom Tower and Santiago Calatrava’s Transit Hub. The building, rotated to accommodate below-grade constraints, is wrapped in translucent, veined marble — sourced from the same vermont quarry as the U.S. supreme court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial — laminated within insulated glass.
By day, the volume appears as an elegant stone edifice, designed to acknowledge the solemnity of its context. However, after dark, silhouettes of human movement and theatrical configurations animate the glowing enclosure, revealing the creativity inside. The approximately 90,000 square-foot building contains three auditoria (499, 250, and 99 person), as well as a rehearsal room that can double as a fourth venue. The auditoria can combine to form seven additional performance spaces for a total of eleven arrangements — including the rehearsal room venue — which can all adopt manifold stage-audience configurations.
‘Today the World Trade Centre site stands as a monument to our nation’s ability to prevail in its darkest hour, ’Governor Cuomo said. ‘The Perelman Performing Arts Centre will highlight the values that make New York exceptional – the celebration of diverse cultures from every corner of the globe. This centre will help complete the renewal of Lower Manhattan and, on behalf of all New Yorkers, I welcome this institution and thank those who are working to make this vision a reality.’
Magnus Kaminiarz & Cie has revealed plans for the ‘Grand Tower’, Germany’s tallest residential skyscraper. Located in central Frankfurt, the high-rise climbs to a total height of 172 meters, comprising over 400 high-end residences. Previously referred to as ‘Tower 2′, the scheme’s architecture will also include space for two retail outlets at ground level as well as a lobby with concierge service for the building’s residents.
Comprising 44,000 square metres, Magnus Kaminiarz & Cie’s design seeks to create a new urban landmark for the city of Frankfurt, replacing the Colonia-haus in Cologne — built in 1973 — as germany’s tallest residential structure. The building’s façade, which offers privacy as well as wind and sun protection, lends the project a distinctive appearance. With a diamond-shaped floor plan, 401 condominiums will be spread across 48 storeys in Frankfurt’s europaviertel quarter.
Each unit is directly connected to external space by way of a loggia or spacious terrace, providing outdoor areas for all residences. Internally, bathrooms, shower rooms, guest toilets and utility rooms are oriented along the wall facing the central core. This layout ensures maximum daylight and ventilation for the primary living areas and bedrooms positioned along the perimeter.
On the 7th floor, the tower offers a common area for all residents with access to a communal green roof on top of the building’s car park. On the 43rd storey, a sun deck remains accessible for all occupants. Recessed balcony elements are arranged in front of the glazed outer shell in order to create passive sun protection for all apartments. A series of ‘tubes’ encircle the entire glazed façade, maintaining privacy and offering protection from the wind and sun. With construction already underway, completion of the ‘Grand Tower’ is planned for the middle of 2019.
All images © British Airways i360 / drone images by Visual Air
It has been announced that the anticipated 162 meter high observation pod – the ‘British Airways i360’ – is officially opening to the public early August 2016. Located on the grade-I listed west pier in Brighton, UK, the vertical pier was designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects, recognized as the practice that conceived the famous London Eye attraction.
Acknowledged as the world’s most slender tower, the aim of the scheme is to provide locals and visitors a new and highly elevated experience of Brighton and Hove. Taking 11 years to develop, Marks Barfield Architects designed the British Airways i360 to operate even in windy conditions. The perforated aluminum cladding around the tower diffuses and disrupts the wind flow to reduce wind-induced vibrations. In addition, dampers are installed inside the tower to prevent vibrations and state-of-the-art cable car technology drives the pod up and down, while energy is generated on its descent. The pod can carry up to 200 people per ride, where passengers can walk around freely around the space with uninterrupted views.
MAAT (the Museum of Art Architecture and Technology) is a new institution designed by Amanda Levete currently under construction on the banks of Lisbon’s Tagus River. With work in Portugal now reaching its climax, the building is set to open its doors this October. Led by Director Pedro Gadanho, MAAT will explore contemporary culture through visual arts, new media, architecture, technology, and science. ‘MAAT not only supports portuguese artists,’ explains Gadanho, ‘but also local curators who are important figures in the cultural development of a place, as producers of content and relationships.’
The building forms the focal point of a campus that hosts EDP, a prominent cultural foundation. Housed within two buildings — the new Kunsthall structure, designed by AL_A, Amanda Levete’s London-based architecture practice, and a newly renovated power station — MAAT will present a permanent science and electricity display, as well as a wide-ranging program of temporary exhibitions.
Steps that lead down into the river are covered with water at high tide, creating a constantly changing environment. Above, an overhanging façade covered in 3D tiles is a reference to Portugal’s rich tradition of ceramics. While the cantilevered structure provides welcome shade, it also reflects sunlight off the water and into the building, tracing the shifting patterns of the tidal changes. MAAT opens to the public on october 5, 2016 with a 12-hour program that features exhibition openings, educational events, performances and music performances.
The Vagelos Education Centre is a medical and graduate education building at New York’s Columbia University Medical Centre. The structure, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect, forms a 100,000-square-foot, 14-storey glass tower that incorporates a range of classrooms and collaboration spaces, as well as a modern simulation centre to reflect how medicine is taught and practiced in the 21st century.
An important part of DS+R’s design is the ‘study cascade’, a network of spaces distributed across oversized landings along an open 14-storey stair — a single, interconnected vertical space that extends from the lobby to the top of the building. These areas open onto south-facing outdoor spaces and terraces. Other aspects of the building include ‘academic neighborhoods’ — groups of classrooms that can be easily be reconfigured — and a 275-seat multi-purpose auditorium.
The building also integrates a range of sustainable features, including locally sourced materials, green roof technologies, and a mechanical system that minimizes energy and water use. Even the façade features ceramic ‘frit’ patterns, baked onto the exterior glazing to diffuse sunlight. The Vagelos Education Centre works toward the goal of minimising CUMC’s carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025.
‘Space matters for structured and informal learning,’ said Elizabeth Diller, Founding Partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro. ‘To support Columbia’s progressive medical education program, we designed a building that will nurture collaboration. Its defining feature is the study cascade — a 14-story network of vertically linked spaces in a variety of sizes, both focused and social, private and communal, indoors and out.’
The scheme will open to faculty and students on august 15, 2016 for the start of the fall term.
All images courtesy of SOM.
Global architecture firm SOM has revealed its masterplan for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Precinct, a vast scheme that seeks to develop a new urban centre. The plan establishes the framework for a landmark transportation hub that connects Philadelphia’s two downtown districts — centre city and university city. The historic railway station is a beaux arts building perched on the western bank of the Schuylkill River. Responding to studies that indicate a sizeable increase in transit activity, the plan includes the sweeping transformation of the existing station building as well as its surroundings.
Designed in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A advisors, SOM’s masterplan asserts 30th Street Station as not only a gateway to the northeast for the 30,000 passengers who board its trains each morning, but also as a destination in its own right — providing places to shop, meet, and eat. For the surrounding precinct, an improved environment for all users ensures cohesion and creates space for new and expanded buildings for Drexel University.
The scheme anchors a new district with up to 18 million square feet of development. A north concourse expands Amtrak and SEPTA access and opens the station up to the north, while connections through existing back-of-house spaces increase passenger circulation and amenities. Importantly, a new underground concourse, capped by a dramatic skylight, connects the subway to 30th Street Station. SOM’s design can also be experienced in Virtual Reality.
All images by VA © Zaha Hadid Architects
At the end of 2015, Zaha Hadid Architects presented their vision for ‘600 Collins Street’ — the firm’s first project in Melbourne — featuring a tapered mixed-use tower sited on the western boundary of the city’s central business district. It has now been announced that the architectural scheme has been given planning permission, taking it one step closer to realisation.
Zaha Hadid’s 54 storey tower comprises 420 apartments, offices, retail and public spaces, with the overall arrangement characterised by its elegant colonnades of ‘stacked vases’. A delicate filigree gently envelops the building, with each vase gently tapering inwards to create new civic spaces for the city — including a public plaza, terraces and new link for pedestrians to access southern cross railway station. ‘It’s pleasing to see a project of this quality proposed for Melbourne and see a strong architectural response within the framework of the interim controls,’ says Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Evolving from the city’s distinctive urban fabric, the organisation of the form is influenced by its mixed-use program. The building’s overall volume is converted into a series of smaller stacked ‘vases’. Central to the concept is the break-down of the vertical body by the design team to establish a coherent relationship between tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes. Furthermore, within the proposal, there is a significant proportion of the ground plane given over to public realm, with external area dedicated to a plaza accessible 24 hours a day.
Construction work is underway in Stockhlom at the site of the city’s new Slussen masterplan. developed by Foster + Partners, with C.F. Møller as local architects, the project forms one of the largest urban transformation projects in Sweden. Working in collaboration with city authorities, the SEK 12 billion ($1.4 billion USD) scheme seeks to create a dynamic urban quarter that responds to its historic context.
Constructed in 1642, ‘Slussen’ is the lock that separates the sea from the fresh water of Lake Mälaren. In 1935 the lock was covered by a concrete road structure that is now dangerously eroded. The new masterplan offers an opportunity to readdress balance between road vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists while enhancing the public realm.
Foster + Partners’ design attempts to preserve the city’s character, ensuring the protection of existing views and nightlines. A series of new public spaces — an accessible quayside, pedestrian, and cycle routes — enhance connectivity between Södermalm and the 18th century buildings of the old town — Gamla Stan. The plan establishes pedestrian connections between these two districts that have long been separated by roads and concrete passages. The scheme also expands the existing infrastructure to minimize the threat of flooding by expanding the lock’s capacity. A central feature of new Slussen is the ‘Water Plaza’, a pedestrianised public space animated with restaurants, cafés, and cultural amenities.
On the Södermalm side, the area around the existing city museum is extended out over the new below-ground transport interchange to create a series of additional communal zones. A range of mixed-use buildings are brought together, enhanced by a new street and pedestrian bridge. A dedicated cycle crossing is also planned as part of the site’s future development. The project currently has a targeted completion date of 2020.
‘The city of Stockholm has truly embraced a wonderful opportunity to re-establish and reinforce the vital link between Stockholm’s central islands of Södermalm and the heritage site of Gamla Stan, rehabilitating the historic fabric of the city while creating a lively new urban destination for all,’ says Spencer De Grey, head of design at Foster + Partners. ‘This is a once in a life time undertaking in a uniquely significant and spectacular setting. We are honoured and very proud to be a part of this incredible and visionary project.’
All images courtesy of Devi Group
A competition in New York has been launched with a brief to realise a transformation of a former women’s detention facility into a pioneering centre for the global girls’ and women’s rights movement, to be architecturally designed and built by females. The Novo Foundation commissioned the project to create a supportive space for women from underrepresented communities and a collaborative space for activists from around the world.
New York based Devi Group consisting of Architects Suchi Reddy and Damyanti Radheshwar of Readymade Design have been shortlisted for the women’s building international design competition launched by the Novo Foundation and Goren Group. With this task, Reddy and Radheshwar have conceived the tower as a beacon in the skyline that rises to announce its foremost mission: Collaboration. Symbolising the right of women to occupy their space in the world, the concept for the new building embraces the existing in ribbons of concrete and heat sensitive glass that flow together and emphasise notions of collaboration, transformation and power.
The women’s building envelops the existing with its envelope creating an enclosed auditorium and event space on the upper floors. The heart of the project is the collaborative not-for-profit atrium style space expanding through three floors of the existing building. This space is illuminated by a three-storey installation of surfaces that will bring light from the roof into the depths of the building and will be built and installed by girls and women from diverse backgrounds. In addition, the complex will also accommodate spaces for a health centre, child-care services, galleries and a restaurant while the new tower overlooking the river and the city, will house a rental office space for small companies or businesses in art and culture supporting the women’s building.
All images © OMA
International architecture studio OMA put forward their proposal for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum (LCAM) that would’ve been sited in Chicago, America. The museum would be dedicated to the art and design of storytelling through a combination of three collections: illustration and storytelling art; digital art and art in motion—complemented by educational and outreach programs.
‘It is a museum that aims to be porous and open. Spread across the site, the museum’s program would claim a vast swath of land at the waterfront, while simultaneously appearing as a supplicant to the enormity of soldier field. Tied to the ground, the building in this form is neither iconic nor civic; its generosity is thwarted by its breadth, its grandness swamped by the bombast of its neighbor.’
The ETFE membrane is fritted to accept projections both from within and from the outside. Inside the sky park, projections can be used as an integral part of larger displays and presentations. Meanwhile, at the ground level, projects can transform the museum park into an outdoor or drive in cinema. The museum’s theatre and lecture spaces are located at the base of the tower, allowing for separate ground level entry and expansion to the museum park at ground level. A series of escalators lead visitors up to the gallery levels and lifted sky park above. From these levels, elevators presenting views of the vertical gallery show visitors to the offices, event space and observation deck at the top of the tower. Lifted, the building offers eight times the public space it occupies. The park space that surrounds the building—a flexible surface that can accommodate both grasses and parking. The museum park can be used for a range of public events and activities, casting the building as the backdrop for new programs for local residents of the neighborhoods throughout chicago.
Led by Architect Shohei Shigematsu, OMA‘s proposal creates a vertical gallery on the site and an atrium tower that elevates the traditional, horizontal galleries that accommodate LCAM’s three collections. The tower suspends the galleries above the city, but also connects them to it. lifting the main galleries enables the site below to be preserved as a new urban park, while simultaneously providing maximum flexibility within the horizontal gallery plate itself. The scheme sees the horizontal plate and vertical tower enveloped within a dome-like membrane that expands the museum’s physical and emotional presence within the city. This membrane—a cloud of ETFE pillows—creates a sheltered, lifted public space for Chicago (Sky Park). Like a park, it is freely accessible like an urban plaza, it is a flexible territory that accommodates a range of activities and in turn, evolves into a social space that engages the public to share and create.
All images courtesy of Ingenhoven Architects
‘Marina One’ is a high-density, mixed-use complex located at the heart of Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial District. The building, which has been designed by German firm Ingenhoven Architects, has now topped out ahead of its anticipated completion at the beginning of 2017. Flanked by large parks, the development comprises two office towers, two residential towers, and a retail podium. While the outer face of the four towers follows the city grid, the inner core forms a three-dimensional void. This ‘green heart’ is the largest public plaza in Singapore’s central business district. Openings between the elevated towers, as well as the shape of the structure itself, improve the air flow and create a comfortable internal microclimate.
Through the design of ‘Marina One’, Ingenhoven Architects aims to ‘regreen the city’. Two 30-storey towers feature two sky gardens and two ‘high-density floors’ on levels 28 and 29 — the largest grade-A office floors in Singapore. Luxury residences are housed within two 34-storey structures with 1,042 units ranging in size from one to four bedroom apartments and penthouses. The building footprint is penetrated by air wells and slots to ensure natural ventilation.
The compact building features energy saving ventilation systems, an external sun-shading device, and high performance glazing to reduce direct solar radiation into the building. Centrally provided recycled water is used for toilet flushing, while a rainwater harvesting system reduces further consumption. In addition, carefully positioned photovoltaic cells make use of the sun’s energy.
Direct connections to four of the six Singaporean MRT lines and bus stations — as well as the provision of bicycle parking spaces and e-car loading lots — significantly reduces emissions caused by car traffic. Restaurants and cafés, a fitness club, a food court, a large supermarket and even event spaces are located on the different public terraces, creating a vibrant public destination.
All images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
As part of Lusail city’s masterplan to create a sustainable, integrated community in Qatar, Zaha Hadid Architects has envisioned two schemes for Al Alfia Holding. In 2013, company Chairman H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani commissioned the practice to conceive two projects for the area — the first of which is now in its initial stages of development.
In the city’s marina district, Zaha Hadid Architects plans a 38-storey, 70,000 square metre hotel with residential apartments, slated for completion in 2020. The formal composition of the building is informed by the organic structure of the desert hyacinth — a flowering plant native to the landscape of the Arabian Gulf. ‘We often look at nature’s systems when we work to create environments; at her unrivalled logic and coherence,’ Hadid previously explained. The nine-pointed form of the structure’s podium surrounds a central core defined by the fluid geometries of the hyacinth — a motif embedded within the region’s architectural heritage. A filigreed mashrabiya façade wraps around the building, reducing solar gain. Continuous calligraphic and geometric patterns are integrated in domes, ceilings, walls and floors, blurring the distinction between architectural elements.
Working alongside Arup Engineering and Atelier Ten, the architects’ vision for the project responds to the current and future environmental challenges, while providing comfortable living spaces for residents, guests, visitors and staff. ‘With truly inspirational public spaces and atrium, 120 unique residences and 200 hotel rooms of Zaha Hadid’s unmistakable signature, we celebrate her remarkable legacy and continue Lusail city’s commitment to creating the region’s most sustainable, interconnected community,‘ said H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairman of Al Alfia Holding.
The second of Hadid’s designs will be built within the on-going plan for the future development of the city.
All images courtesy of C.F. Møller
C.F. Møller has been chosen to design a residential quarter in Sweden made entirely out of wood. Held by the municipality of Orebro, together with the Swedish Association of Architects, the competition called for proposals that detailed plans for a new vibrant quarter of the city, with a clear idea of ‘how to enrich the city’s social networks by integrating nature into the urban landscape’. Named ‘Ornsro Trästad’ (meaning ‘Ornsro Timber Town’), the contest was won in collaboration with Slättö Förvaltning.
In C.F. Møller’s scheme residential buildings are set within an adjacent park that includes a variety of activities and plazas for social meetings and recreation. As timber is a renewable material, with low energy consumption and a limited carbon footprint, the scheme is beneficial from a sustainability perspective. Thus, solid timber framed structures contribute to the overall lifecycle of the project. The plan includes several apartment buildings of varying heights, while an pedestrian active route connects to the existing promenade.
‘We wish to create an including urban quarter in which the city’s urban and social qualities interact with the park’s organic structures. The proposal illustrates a vision with the objective to create an exciting place in Orebro, of unique value, with innovative architecture,’ says Ola Jonsson, project architect at C.F. Møller. ‘For us, it is an obvious choice to choose solid wood for structure as well as façades of wood. In addition to contributing positively to the environment, wood gives us new opportunities to create innovative and value-creating architecture.’
All images courtesy of Stewart Hollenstein
Australian practice Stewart Hollenstein has proposed a transformation scheme for Shanghai’s North Bund region in China. Presented at the China Australian Urban Forum, the design includes the creation of a new ‘people’s avenue’ through the heart of the North Bund, reclaiming a key street for pedestrian use. The scheme provides a framework for the development of the district and has been described as a catalyst for the transformation of the city at large. Hongkou District, together with Pudong and Huangpu form the three part CBD or ‘Golden Triangle’ of Shanghai.
With the project, Stewart Hollenstein investigates a series of sites within the North Bund or Lower Hongkou District Zone, revealing the potential for a new cultural spine. The creation of this new avenue, invites both locals and visitors to comfortably explore new Public spaces and cultural venues without the need of a car. The thoroughfare not only promotes a cleaner, healthier city, but also creates an atmosphere conducive to business.
The vision seeks to invert the city’s standard development paradigm where public spaces are often an afterthought. Instead, these areas are placed at the heart of the plan, and then framed by development. The architects claim that the proposal has the potential to impact Shanghai in the same way that the bund waterfront and Pudong Financial District did in the past. The plan identifies sites for the location of new cultural venues including a Shanghai food market hall, a contemporary city library and adjacent square, a public theatre with rooftop event space, a contemporary art gallery, and a children’s museum and play-space.
‘Shanghai has an incredible capacity for change, and has the ability to urgently transform itself into a healthy, connected city that makes space for its 25 million inhabitants,’ says Matthias Hollenstein, Director of Stewart Hollenstein. ‘The vision for the ‘people’s avenue’ is one that starts at the scale of the citizen and uses this viewpoint to transform the entire North Bund. The ‘people’s avenue’ forms the backbone to a public domain network designed to be generous, vibrant and integrated with the existing heritage fabric and future cultural and commercial developments.’
‘With the development of many sites in the study area already underway, our proposal presents a new strategy where development and a well-defined public realm support one another,’ adds Felicity Stewart, Director of Stewart Hollenstein. ‘This is not a pattern we are currently seeing in Hongkou district where development has little relationship with the street and is designed on a block by block basis rather than supporting street life.’
All images courtesy of Architectural Design Collaborative OPT
‘Synthetic Publics’ is a 35,000ft2 city hall concept developed by Architectural Design Collaborative OPT. Created with Turkish Bureaucracy in mind, the centre promotes citizen participation and political transparency through increased connectivity between civilian and governmental bodies.
The building is situated within the vicinity of a planned transportation hub in the Turkish city of Tekirdag, on the northern coast of the sea of marmara about 84 miles west of Istanbul. Though innately security intensive — for government use — OPT attempts to interject the general public into the scene.
Much of ‘Synthetic Publics’ is void space, with little function besides drawing visitors into the building. Confidential zones are pushed upwards into the faceted forms, separated into three streamlined groups that include more than 30 departments. Diagonal openings penetrate the form at every floor, which brings daylight into the interior and also bolsters views and circulation schemes.
All images courtesy of MVRDV.
A library designed by Dutch firm MVRDV is nearing completion in the Chinese city of Tianjin. The 34,200 square meter building forms part of the new Binhai cultural centre, a masterplan designed by German architects GMP. The structure joins four other buildings on the site via a series of ‘cultural corridors’. The library is articulated around a mirrored spherical auditorium, which — alongside the main atrium — offers views of both the interior space and the adjacent park in front of the building. The form of the terraced bookshelves echo the shape of the sphere throughout the atrium, creating an interior, topographical landscape.
Alongside the Tianjin urban planning and design institute (TUPDI), MVRDV has designed the library as part of a larger plan to provide the city with a new cultural district. The building acts not only as an educational facility, but also as a important connection between the park and the cultural district. ‘The eye is the centre of the library. It ‘hollows out’ the building and creates, out of bookshelves, an environment to sit, to read, to hang out, to climb and to access, to create an organic social space,’ explains MVRDV co-founder winy maas. ‘In its heart is the auditorium which mirrors the environment, giving a 360 degree panorama of the space inside; a truly reflective and pensive environment.’
The library sits within a sheltered gallery, topped with cathedral-like vaulted arches, which wind their way throughout the scheme. The building’s five levels contain an extensive program of educational facilities, while the subterranean level offers service spaces, book storage and a large archive. The ground floor provides easy access reading areas for children and the elderly. The first and second storeys consist primarily of reading rooms, books and lounge areas, with the top two floors housing meeting rooms, offices, and computer and audio rooms.
Tianjin Library is part of GMP’s 120,000 square meter masterplan which aims to ‘accentuate the characteristics of the surrounding districts’. Through its design, the complex seeks to become a meeting point for the CBD, old town, residential districts, commercial areas, and the city’s government quarter. The project has been designed for Tianjin Binhai district and is scheduled to open to the public in mid-2017.
All images courtesy of MMCD.
London-based creative agency MMCD. explores the creation of a major arts, events, and cultural landmark on the Mersey River at Birkenhead Woodside. Appropriately titled ‘Woodside’ the design is a single component of a larger, long-term effort to create a pedestrian link between the two banks of Liverpool, UK’s city centre.
Hoping to re-establish economic ties between the eastern and western sides, ‘Woodside’ offers, via architectural prowess, a reason to cross over. MMCD.’s concept aims to invigorate Birkenhead town centre once more, returning it to its former status as a global destination.
All images courtesy of Related / 520 West 28th
Development and real estate firm Related has announced that the five-bedroom triplex penthouse in Zaha Hadid‘s only residential building in New York will be available to buy for a sum of $50 million USD. Located directly on New York’s high line, 520 West 28th includes many of Hadid’s signature stylistic elements, with wrap around terraces, glass enclosed pavilions, and sculptural internal features. The development comprises 39 residential units, all enclosed within a hand-rubbed metal façade. The building loops its way skywards, creating a multi-level design that seeks to connect indoor and outdoor space in one sweeping motion.
The largest property for sale is ‘Penthouse 37′, a luxury five bedroom residence. The lower living level features an oversized, corner master suite complete with two large, windowed dressing rooms and two master baths. Three additional bedroom suites are also included, alongside a utility room and a wet bar.
The entertainment level above offers an expansive double-corner room measuring over 1,250 square feet with a fireplace and private balcony. A kitchen designed by Zaha Hadid in collaboration with Boffi boasts a sculptural marble-clad island with Gaggenau appliances. A library, a powder room for guests, a fifth bedroom suite and a second utility room complete this intermediate storey.
The roof includes a glass-enclosed pavilion — a 2,218 square foot wrap-around terrace with outdoor kitchen and garden. The home also features oversized motorized windows, 11’10” ceiling heights, an internal private elevator, and a three-storey sculptural staircase designed by Hadid herself.
A selection of on-site amenities is also provided. These include: a reservable lounge and entertainment suite, a fully equipped chef’s kitchen, a fitness centre, 75-foot swimming pool, a private IMAX theatre, and an automated valet. Prices range from $4,975,000 USD for a 2 bedroom residence, up to $25 million for a duplex 4 bedroom unit. An on-site interactive sales gallery is also open, showcasing the development and its architect.
More details on www.520w28.com.
Four firms, Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, HOK and Benoy have been chosen for their innovative visions to extend London Heathrow Airport. Each of the four proposals -all from UK-based firms- were given a brief to redefine the typology and typical programming of an airport. The resulting renders show a combination of sustainable ideas, innovative technologies and top passenger service – all the while embodying British design. Heathrow is Britain’s most-traveled airport and the proposed expansion will see a new international terminal with a satellite concourse, urban realm, control tower and extensive enhancements to the landscape on and around the campus.
From welcoming Concorde to the landmark Terminals 2 and 5, Heathrow has always been at the heart of showcasing the best of British innovation and design. The visionary concepts are just the start of a dialogue which will fundamentally redefine what an airport is, how it looks and feels, how it interacts with its environment and an increasingly demanding generation of new passengers and importantly enhancing how it connects with the communities around it. Our ambition for expansion is to transform Heathrow once again – building Britain a value for money global gateway at the forefront of sustainable development and innovative design.’ – Barry Weekes, Heathrow’s Head of Design
Each of the four proposals exercise a different style and approach in hopes to bring a dynamic expansion and define a new benchmark for airport design. The winning proposal will be announced in July.
All images by Luxigon
New York-based architecture studio REX has revealed plans for a premium office complex to be constructed in Washington, DC. The scheme, located in the city’s ‘Golden Triangle’ business district, will host CBS’s Washington Bureau among other tenants. Set amid a context of heavy masonry and concrete buildings, ‘2050 M street’ employs a glazed curtain wall that offers abundant external views with minimal disruptions.
The façade’s approximately 900 identical, insulated-glass panels are subtly curved through a heat roller tempering process. The curve yields structural efficiency, which meets the wind load requirements and enables a thinner monolithic outer lite than normal — providing greater transparency. ‘Because of the curve’s inherent rigidity in compression, only the top and bottom edges of the panels are supported from the floor slabs, while the ‘mullion-less’ vertical edges are flush-glazed for a minimalist aesthetic that improves sightlines, while gaining useable floor area,’ explain the architects.
A high performance, low-E coating is applied to the glass within the insulating cavity to meet thermal performance requirements. Paired with the curving panels, it creates an unusual kaleidoscopic effect of repetitive transparency and reflection that simultaneously animates and dematerialises the façade. To emphasise the ethereal lightness of the skin, all perimeter columns are pulled in from the façade, while the ceiling is tapered to the depth of the structural slab as it approaches the exterior.
At ground floor level, the lobby has been conceived as a ‘warm oasis’ of cowhide wall panels that serve as a visual counterpoint to the crystalline façade. Wooden floors and ceilings extend throughout the reception area. The vestibule has also been enlarged to accommodate a site-specific piece of art commissioned specially for the building.
All images courtesy of Foster + Partners
The new Oceanwide Centre in San Francisco, designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Heller Manus Architects, has received approval from local authorities. Located in South of Market (SOMA), the project forms part of the Transbay Development Plan, which intends to provide increased urban density. The 2.3 million square foot development comprises two mixed-use towers— the 605-foot mission street tower accommodating a hotel and residences, and an 850-foot office and residential tower. Importantly, the project also includes the addition of new public spaces with pedestrian connections, as well as the restoration of two of the site’s historic buildings.
At ground level, both structures appear open, accessible and transparent. The towers have been elevated to a height of almost five storeys to provide room for a public square that forms an extension of the surrounding streets and alleyways. This 22,000 square feet space is to be landscaped by Kathryn Gustafson, and will have a wide ranging program of art installations. The project’s groundbreaking has been scheduled for November 2016.
‘We are delighted that our plans for the new Oceanwide Centre have received planning permission,’ commented Stefan Behling, Senior Executive Partner, Foster + Partners. ‘This development will be the new exemplar of urban living with exciting places to live and work right alongside the central transport hub. The new ‘urban room’ at ground level with pedestrian routes cutting across the site will catalyse the public realm in the neighborhood, with shops, cafes and green spaces for residents and employees to enjoy. We look forward to the next stages of the project with great anticipation.’
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects
At the end of last year, Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled their tower proposal for the city of Melbourne in Australia. The ‘582-606 Collins Street’ Tower – ZHA’s first project in Melbourne- is one step closer to receiving the go-ahead with construction as it has been announced that the scheme has been referred to Victoria’s Planning Minister for approval without consideration by the city of Melbourne’s Future Committee. Working with local-practice Plus Architecture and developed by Landream, the design of the 54-storey mixed-used tower features a façade composed of elegant colonnades of sculptural, curved columns. A delicate filigree gently envelops the building, with the scheme designed to use 50% less energy than a conventional mixed-use tower, this filigreed façade contributes to a reduction in the direct solar gain of the building and emissions.
Evolving from the city’s distinctive urban fabric, the organization of the form is influenced by its mixed-use program, converting the building’s overall volume into a series of smaller stacked ‘vases’. Central to the concept is the break-down of the vertical volume by the design team to establish a coherent relationship between tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes. Additionally, each ‘vase’ gently tapers inwards to offer additional open space at its base. Within the proposal there is a significant proportion of the ground plane given over to public realm, with external area dedicated to a plaza accessible 24 hours a day.
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects
Aiming to reinstate the central business district of Prague and integrate the city’s bus and train systems, Zaha Hadid Architects has proposed a dynamic scheme adjacent to the Masaryk Railway Station. The existing brownfield site will be regenerated with a series of buildings that vary in scale and composition to be compatible with the city’s existing urban fabric. The resulting mixed-use development stitches together Prague’s districts 1, 3 and 8, minimising the impact of the elevated Wilsonova highway which separates them. The unifying composition creates a sequence of buildings and interconnecting public spaces with the addition of a new public plaza created adjacent to the railway station.
‘In collaboration with our partners and the city, we have developed an urbanism for the site which draws inspiration from our analysis of the city and the site’s dynamic circulation networks, creating an architectural response that is sensitive to context, unifying in aspiration and contributes to the urban fabric of Prague.’ – Craig Kiner, Project Associate, ZHA.
Displaying a layered façade, the vast design responds to the old town’s urbanism known as ‘the City of 100 Spires’; establishing a dialogue with the city and anchoring the new public plaza at the station by dynamically transforming the project’s horizontal composition parallel with the railway lines to the vertical on the west façade facing the old town.
All images courtesy of Arch Out Loud
On an underutilised waterfront site that borders the East River and the Eleventh Street basin in New York city, Arch Out Loud invited students and professional designers to redefine the aquarium typology, examining its relationship to the urban context and the public domain. The competition proposed the integration of a waterfront park, testing the typically ‘introverted’ entity of an aquarium as well as the nature of the New York city riverfront property that has been largely seized by high-end private residential buildings. With 556 participants and 178 proposals representing 40 countries and six continents , the designers of the NYC aquarium & public waterfront challenged physical boundaries, waterfront flooding issues and the very distinct makeup of what aquariums have been and might become.
The jury stated that the selections are focused on projects that challenge the relationship between city and waterfront, using the aquarium program as an opportunity to bring the city and its people close to the water in a new way compared to traditional parks and aquariums. Another critical element is that most of these proposals have a certain simplicity and that their design communicates their intent rather clearly-but not bluntly, a critical trait for a project geared towards public use. These proposals go beyond the iconic to start constructing a story, or a fairytale that gets embedded in the life of the city. They emphasise the building of the atmosphere and the experience and in that they are more in tune with our times and the way people try to live life – a life they broadcast, a life in which experiences are more valuable than possessions, a life where we start to understand the consequences that human evolution and pollution have had in the world and try to redefine our relationship with our planet.
The winning proposal was designed by Lissoni Architettura, with Piero Lissoni as team leader, alongside Miguel Casal Ribeiro, Mattia Susani, and Joao Silva. The scheme creates a dynamic system that interacts with its surroundings, offering multiple ways to experience the water world represented by eight triple-height transparent biomes: four oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern) and four seas (Caribbean, Mediterranean, Tasman and Red Sea), while the North and South Poles are expressed by a readily visible iceberg in the center of the atrium.
The main idea is to generate an environment whereby visitors feel that they themselves are entering the water to discover the beauty of the marine life on display; a living shell that opens to the sky during the day to reveal the sea worlds and which closes as darkness falls to take on a ‘second life’ as a planetarium, protecting the arena and the biome domes within, like a shell protects the pearl.
Having the water level define the starting point of the project, the site is excavated to become a spacious and innovative water basin, with the aquarium and marine center forming a submerged two-level island accessed via a perimetral ramp that starts from the lobby entrance and leads visitors along the biome pathway. A sloped beachfront encloses the parking area to form a panoramic public space, while a boardwalk surrounds the basin to become a floating ring connecting the two waterfronts and encompassing the aquarium and its sliding roof.
Other considerations included asking if a city with 520 miles of waterfront need a traditional aquarium to engage and educate the public? Also, on this specific site in queens where a person can view one of the world’s most celebrated skylines, what experience involving a building or a landscape can hold its own and establish place?
The jury recognised projects that reinvent the notion of the aquarium, reinforce the ecology of the NY waterfront, use water as a main material in their design, organisation, and function, that create simple, legible buildings that are relatively well resolved. The ones that explore greater complexity, creating more unique expression and that take a more landscape based, ‘nonbuilding’ approach. Those that develop a poetic response and establish truly engaging human experiences, that think ‘outside the tank’, to consider the edutainment value of the experience and that recognise the connection to the water as it heightens visitors’ experiences & expectations.
All images courtesy of Bloomimages
ODA challenges the archetypal towers of New York city with ‘416-420 Kent’, an expansive three-building project on the east river waterfront. Once the epicenter of the city’s industry, the area — just south of the Williamsburg Bridge — has massive potential that for years has gone unrealised. That is, until the site came into the possession of Spitzer Enterprises, who commissioned ODA to design 800,000 feet of residential space.
Three, 22-story structures comprised of 857 apartment units were developed — with 20% of the total reserved as affordable housing. Using two standard floor plans, and mirroring them about a central axis, the towers manage to side-step one of NYC’s most common issues: lack of corner units. Traditionally, four coveted spaces had to be sparred for floor by floor. Due to its re-imagined architectural language, ‘416-420 Kent’ provides three-sided views in more than 80% of the apartments.
Besides allowing for mid-floor corner residences, cantilevered structural shifts are used to create private garden terraces — another ODA trademark and equally coveted rarity in the city. Adding a third dimension to the envelope enables intimate moments of interaction to occur both inside and out, and boasts sight lines onto the Williamsburg Bridge, East River, and Eastern Manhattan. Kent’s promenade will add to the communal boardwalk stretching from greenpoint to dumbo, and approximately 77,000ft2 of outdoor space will be available to residents.
All images courtesy of Masdar / Santiago Calatrava
Selected from 11 proposals submitted by nine acclaimed firms around the world, Spanish Architect Santiago Calatrava‘s dynamic winged pavilion will be realised to represent the UAE at Expo 2020 in Dubai. Under the theme of ‘connecting minds, creating the future’, the ‘falcon-inspired’ design will sit facing the Al Wasl Plaza, which is the heart of the 200-hectare exhibition zone.
This will be Calatrava’s second announced Dubai project in addition to the observation tower in the city’s creek harbour. The pavilion is expected to measure up to 15,000 square meters and will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges. Additionally, it will utilise and embrace sustainable building principles.
‘I am deeply honored that our practice has been chosen to design the national pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020, a project of national and global significance.’ Comments Architect Santiago Calatrava, ‘I am confident that the final design will be a symbol of the bold and daring spirit of the UAE, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history.’
Referencing a falcon in flight and reflecting the past and future spirit the UAE aims to portray. Master (Abu-Dhabi-based renewable energy company) CEO Mohamed Al Ramahi adds, ‘we will capitalise on our experience developing Masdar city, which is on a journey to being the most sustainable urban development in the world, to ensure the delivery of an innovative, high-performance pavilion and community space that embraces the Expo’s themes of mobility, opportunity and sustainability.’
All images courtesy of Pier 55 inc. and Heatherwick Studio.
Announced back in 2014, Heatherwick Studio and Landscape Architect Mathews Nielsen unveiled their collaborative ‘Pier55’ project; an elevated public park and performance space located on New York’s Hudson River. Two years on, the construction of the floating island has now been given the full go-ahead to develop its 2.7-acre platform which will be supported with 300 pylons.
The new pier will become a place of discovery, where visitors can wander and meet up to lounge, eat, socialise and enjoy the park’s undulating and lush topography. The project will cater to a diverse range of events in dance, music, theatre and public art. Ultimately, the varying topographies and intimately crafted environments will create physical, visual and cultural experiences for each of the park’s users.
All images courtesy of Emaar Properties
Earlier this year, Santiago Calatrava announced that he had been chosen to build a landmark observation tower in Dubai Creek Harbor. Now, more details of the scheme have been revealed, including the fact that the structure will rise ‘a notch’ above the Burj Khalifa — currently the world’s tallest building. Referred to simply as ‘The Tower’, the ambitious project seeks to establish Dubai Creek Harbour as one of the city’s most desired residential and leisure destinations.
Developed by Emaar Properties, the building will offer a panoramic vista across the city from ‘the Pinnacle Room’, a space that opens to sweeping sky views. Observation garden decks attempt to recreate the splendor of the ‘hanging gardens of babylon’ — one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Fully glazed balconies extend outward from the tower’s core, rotating outside the skin of the structure. In addition, the tower will have a luxury boutique hotel for visitors.
With a design influenced by the natural contours of a lily flower, the scheme evokes the image of a minaret — a common feature and distinctive aspect of islamic culture. The elongated oval-shaped bud houses the observation decks, while the slender stem is engineered to its most efficient diameter. The structure is linked to the ground with cables, which, along with the structural core, will be gently illuminated by night.
‘From the beginning, my team and I have tried to put the best of ourselves into this project, since it is very special and is a great honor to participate,’ said Santiago Calatrava. ‘The collaboration with such a prestigious firm as Emaar Properties makes it even more exciting and demanding. The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. In my whole career, I have perceived technology as a vehicle to beauty and to art. This project envisages an artistic achievement in itself, inspired by the idea of welcoming people, not only from Dubai and the UAE, but from the entire world. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress.’
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, added: ‘the tower in Dubai Creek Harbour is our tribute to the positivity, energy and optimism that Dubai and the UAE celebrate, led by a leadership committed to all-round progress. A shining beacon of hope for the world, celebrating diversity and human achievements, this new iconic landmark further highlights the country’s ambition and futuristic vision and enhance our nation’s pride. It will be the destination for the world to visit, enjoy and celebrate life, as Dubai prepares to host the Expo 2020.’
The scheme will form part of Dubai Creek Harbour, a 6 square kilometer development that is two times the size of downtown Dubai and located 10 minutes from the city’s international airport. The waterfront development is centered off the Dubai Creek, and in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention and home to over 67 species of water birds.
All images courtesy of Boysplaynice
In a forested area near Dolni Morava, Czech Republic, local studio Franek Architects has erected a 50 meter tall observation tower appropriately titled ‘Sky Walk’. The towering structure features an ADA accessible ramp that meanders its way frenetically towards the sky offering constantly-changing 360-degree views of the landscape. A series of space-frame columns form structural nodes at the extents of the site. At the top, netting spans across a loop made by the walkway that suspends a hammock the full 50 meters high. For the return back to the ground, visitors have the choice of the same walkway they took to the top, or a 101-meter long stainless steel slide with windows that weaves its way down one of the columns. As challenging as the engineering was for the project, the actual construction posed a true challenge as well. As local safety and construction laws limit the use of machinery that can be used on site, the structure was built mostly by hand, with workers having to climb the structure as it grew taller.
As architect Zdeněk Fránek explains, ‘we have to say that constructing the Sky Walk was a unique experience and that it literally meant a path of courage and self-knowledge to us. So far, we have worked on various challenges and we thought that this one would be like the others, but we soon found out that the Sky Walk was the real thing. We found ourselves in a completely different situation, having to build at a height of 1,185 metres above sea level in a difficult terrain to where all of the materials and equipment had to be transported…another obstacle we had to face was changeable weather. Down in the valley the sun shone so intensely that you could walk about in just your t-shirt, but up there it was cold with strong gusts of wind that made construction work even more difficult.’
‘It is rare to use timber on a construction of this magnitude. It also creates a new kind of experience where people better realise how small they are in the bosom of nature. I don’t know of any other timber construction with steel elements of a similar size and purpose. There are constructions of a similar size but ours takes on an abstract form that suggests the flight of a nocturnal butterfly whose path is seemingly chaotic.
It offers an endless amount of views, situations and moments where an indiscernible human being enters the depth and emerges on the outskirts of this natural structure…‘ – Zdeněk Fránek, Architect.
All images © Zaha Hadid Architects
It has been revealed that Zaha Hadid Architect’s competition proposal to build the technopark for Russian Bank Sberbank has beat out schemes submitted by firms such as Foster+Partners and Fuksas. To be located at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre – Russia’s equivalent to Silicon Valley – in Moscow, the vast facility will be home to the laboratories and campuses of Russia’s growing IT, biomedical, energy, nuclear and space innovations.
The total area at 131,000 square meters will become the Russian Bank’s headquarters for developing IT and accommodate around 10,000-12,000 people working in the departments of information technology and marketing.
‘The necessity to innovate and collaborate is fundamental to Sberbank’s operations. Our research into interconnected, multi-function environments has driven the Sberbank Technopark design. It responds to the bank’s requirements for enhanced communication, interaction and diversification. The design reconfigures working relationships and adopts a holistic approach to creating an engaging environment that offers a diversified range of facilities both internally and externally.‘ Comments Christos Passas, Project Director at ZHA.
The large-scale development has been given the go-ahead with construction to begin in 18 months time and estimated to take two years to complete. ‘The incredible belief in the power of invention attracted Zaha Hadid to the Russian avant-garde. She realised how architecture can enrich creativity; how space itself can enhance dynamism, complexity, coherence and continuity. these principles are embedded within the sberbank technopark design,’continues passas.
All images courtesy of RYRA Studio
Realised by RYRA Studio, this distinctive bone-like structure is the Barin Ski Resort in Shemshak, the second largest ski village in Iran. Originally the decision was for the scheme to be conceived as a cube; in the end, the sculptural form was manifested due to the architect’s decision of wanting the building to relate to the surrounding steep mountains.
Serving as a sanctuary after a long day of skiing; the architecture embraces its snow-covered landscape by visualizing as an iced-rock formation that appears to be windswept onto the mountainside. ‘The Barin Ski Resort picks up on the philosophy of designing buildings so that the form emulates the immediate environment in a fluid way.’ Comments Farinaz Nikoo of RYRA Studio.
The scheme rises at ten-storeys and contains 67 private rooms, all unique in size, from 45 square meter studio flats to a 270 square meter penthouse. The cave-like design of the accommodation is influenced by the exterior to form curving dome-shaped rooms, in result, enhances the feeling of warmth and a ‘cave’ setting to relax after skiing. The continuation of this design approach is continued in the communal spaces and corridors, which also have organically formed. Furthermore, the pebble shaped windows offer unobstructed views of the surrounding mountain range, and making the ski resort a holistic building that complements its context.
All images © Helene Binet
After winning the competition back in 2000, Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the new Salerno Maritime Terminal in Italy has recently been completed. Located on the public quay that extends into Salerno’s working harbor and marina, the new maritime terminal continues the city’s relationship with the sea and establishes new links that connect with its historic urban fabric and the nature surrounding.
The architecture of the building is described like an ‘oyster’ and its robust, asymmetric shell protecting the softer interiors within and sheltering passengers from the intense mediterranean sun during the summer months. Internally, the terminal is composed of three primary interlocking components: administration offices for national border controls and shipping lines; the terminal for international ferries and cruise ships from around the world; and the terminal for the local and regional ferries.
The terminal is the first completed project of Zaha Hadid since the news of her passing; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi inaugurated the building, while paying tribute to architect: ‘this extraordinary work adds to everything Salerno is doing to transform itself and I think it is marvellous,’ Renzi continues ‘it is also a way of remembering the great architect that Zaha Hadid was.’
The quayside gently rises as passengers approach the terminal from the city, indicating the gradually sloping path of ramps within the building which raise passengers to the embarking level of large ships and ferries. The terminal’s interior arrangement orientates and leads passengers through a sequence of interior spaces that flow into each other and are organized around focal points such as the restaurant and the waiting lounge.
The new terminal operates – both functionally and visually – as a smooth transition between land and sea; a coastal land formation that mediates between solid and liquid. With its completion, the scheme will improve the accessibility and experience for visitors to the region’s renowned cultural attractions, coastline and countryside. Additionally, it will enable the port of Salerno to increase arrivals of ferry and cruise ships by 500,000 additional passengers each year, and create up to 2,000 new jobs in the city’s hospitality, services and retail sectors.
FC Barcelona has officially presented plans for its new Camp Nou Stadium, showing more details of the major renovation. In March 2016, Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei and local architects Pascual-ausió were selected to complete the project, converting the existing structure into an arena capable of hosting modern day sporting activity. Plans involve adding a larger roof canopy to the existing stadium, first built by Francesc Mitjans in 1957, and expanding the venue’s capacity to a total of 105,000 spectators — cementing its status as the biggest club stadium in the world. Construction work is expected to begin in 2017, with completion scheduled for 2021.
The competition-winning scheme features an open façade that comprises three open concourses protected by pitched eaves. Integrated within the stadium campus, the venue maintains a connection with the street on all sides, while 12 vertical circulation cores provide access to the second and third tiers. The design also includes a spacious ‘sky deck’ overlooking the seating bowl and the city beyond. From an environmental perspective, the venue harvests both rainwater and energy from the sun.
The new 47,000 square meter roof ensures that all 105,000 spectators are protected from rain and direct sunlight. This gesture also boosts interior acoustics and reduces noise heard outside of the arena. Constructed with steel cables, and clad with ETFE, PTFE and polycarbonate, the roof collects rain as well as energy from the sun. These natural resources are used to water the pitch and power the turf’s grow lights. The structure also includes large scoreboards, pitch lighting, speakers and wifi access points.
The new Camp Nou offers improved visibility from all seating areas. The first level will be completely rebuilt, while the second storey maintains its current appearance, offering increased visibility, comfort, and accessibility. The third tier will encircle the whole ground above the main stand. A 360 degree walkway, known as the ‘sky deck’, will encompass the entire arena, offering sweeping panoramic views. The entire remodeling process will go ahead without interrupting the club’s fixture schedule. Construction will happen in stages, to be concluded in the 2020/21 campaign, although the definitive schedule is still pending approval.
All images courtesy of AADRL-AA School and Osteobotics.
A team called Osteobotics from AADRL is proposing a flexible automated robotic arm fabrication system, which exploits phase changing material and utilises robotic arms intelligence by executing accurate repetitive actions. The system, enclosed in a mobile cell, allows the fabrication of a continuous lattice structure that can be melted and reused again or just be left to biodegrade. The dynamism and reusability of the system result in variant temporary architectural applications, where the manufactured lattice is manually assembled on site using heat only.
The studio focuses on the production of architecture via an understanding of the critical physical processes of formation and adaptation in nature, their control and execution by highly efficient code that results in finding form and life-cycle adaptations through a computer-aided, interactive search of large solution spaces. We are in the era of speed, and with more demands on the line, the urge of temporary disposable products have never been higher. Currently, 1,418 pops ups exist in London and the numbers keep rising by the day, and so are waste and cost. Architecture and construction contribute to seventy percent of the overall waste production in London. Seventy percent of this waste ends up in landfills. By the year 2020, London’s municipality is aiming to reduce landfill usage to twenty percent and to increase recycling by fourteen percent.
This demands a system that rethinks the problem with a holistic approach from material to fabrication. Thus, Osteobotics is proposing a flexible automated robotic arm fabrication system that is based on programming a reusable and biodegradable material with the parameters of robotic automation. The purpose behind this research was to design a fabrication system that is able to produce a reusable, biodegradable, and temporary architecture. Therefore, it was focused on designing a flexible system that is characterised by being joint-less, mono-material, and self-supported as well as form-work less. The fabrication system is enclosed in a mobile cell, which shifts the paradigm of the factory versus prefabricated component methodology to phase changing material versus industrial robotic arms intelligence. In addition, the benefits of having an on-site industrial fabrication system with minimum manual assembly greatly decrease the execution times and the use of scaffolding. As a result, the overall flexibility of the proposed system enables the opportunity of creating variant architecture applications.
Taking into consideration the accuracy and constraints of industrial robotic arms within the physical and digital material studies, structural beams were computed to be extruded in between mono-material nodes by simple repetitive actions. The customisation of the industrial robotic arm by the end-effector was crucial to generate an interface between its accuracy and the material malleability end-effectors were created, one for pulling the tetrahedron nodes and the other for pulling plates. Although freezing was manual at this stage, it was integrated to both end-effectors at a later stage of the project.
This is the full statement released earlier today by Zaha Hadid Architects.
It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning. She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital.
Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London.
By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).
Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.
Zaha Hadid’s first major built commission, one that affirmed her international recognition, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space. Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.
In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation; and the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.
Zaha Hadid’s other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.
She held various academic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. Hadid also taught studios at Columbia University, Yale University and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Zaha Hadid was recently awarded the RIBA’s 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right. Sir Peter Cook wrote the following citation:
"In our current culture of ticking every box, surely Zaha Hadid succeeds, since (to quote the Royal Gold Medal criteria) she is someone "who has made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of architecture…. for a substantial body of work rather than for work which is currently fashionable." Indeed her work, though full of form, style and unstoppable mannerism, possesses a quality that some of us might refer to as an impeccable ‘eye’: which we would claim is a fundamental in the consideration of special architecture and is rarely satisfied by mere ‘fashion’.
And surely her work is special. For three decades now, she has ventured where few would dare: if Paul Klee took a line for a walk, then Zaha took the surfaces that were driven by that line out for a virtual dance and then deftly folded them over and then took them out for a journey into space. In her earlier, ‘spiky’ period there was already a sense of vigour that she shared with her admired Russian Suprematists and Constructivists – attempting with them to capture that elusive dynamic of movement at the end of the machine age.
Necessarily having to disperse effort through a studio production, rather than being a lone artist, she cottoned–on to the potential of the computer to turn space upon itself. Indeed there is an Urban Myth that suggests that the very early Apple Mac ‘boxes’ were still crude enough to plot the mathematically unlikely – and so Zaha with her mathematics background seized upon this and made those flying machine projections of the Hong Kong Peak project and the like. Meanwhile, with paintings and special small drawings Zaha continued to lead from the front. She has also been smart enough to pull in some formidable computational talent without being phased by its ways.
Thus the evolution of the ‘flowing’ rather than spikey architecture crept up upon us in stages, as did the scale of her commissions, but in most cases, they remained clear in identity and control. When you entered the Fire Station at Vitra, you were conscious of being inside one of those early drawings and yes, it could be done. Yet at perhaps its highest, those of us lucky enough to see the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku in the flesh, can surely never have been in such a dream-like space, with its totality, its enormous internal ramp and dart-like lights seeming to have come from a vocabulary that lies so far beyond the normal architecture that we assess or rationalize.
So we are presenting her with this Medal as a British Institution: and as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire: thus she might seem to be a member of our British Establishment. Yet in reality, many of our chattering classes and not a few fellow architects have treated her with characteristic faint praise, and when she heroically won the Cardiff Opera House competition, blocking the scheme. Or when we awarded her the RIBA Stirling Prize for the school in South London – her second win in a row - we, the jury, were loudly derided by a number of distinguished architects. Of course, in our culture of circumspection and modesty her work is certainly not modest, and she herself is the opposite of modest. Indeed her vociferous criticism of poor work or stupidity recalls the line-side comments of the tennis player John McEnroe. Yet this is surely characteristic of the seriousness with which she takes the whole business: sloppiness and waywardness pain her and she cannot play the comfy Continued British game of platitudinous waffle that is the preferred cushion adopted by many people of achievement or power. Her methods and perhaps much of her psychology remain Mesopotamian and not a little scary: but certainly clear.
As a result, it is perhaps a little lonely there up at the top, surrounded now by some very considerable talent in the office, but feared somewhat and distanced from the young. Yet in private Zaha is gossipy and amusing, genuinely interested in the work of talented colleagues who do very different architecture such as Steven Holl, and she was the first to bring to London talent such as Lebbeus Woods or Stanley Saiotowitz. She is exceptionally loyal to her old friends: many of whom came from the Alvin Boyarsky period of the Architectural Association: which seems to remain as her comfort zone and golden period of friendship. Encouraged and promoted at an early age by Boyarsky, she has rewarded the AA with an unremitting loyalty and fondness for it.
The history of the Gold Medal must surely include many major figures who commanded a big ship and one ponders upon the operation involved that gets such strong concepts as the MAXXI in Rome – in which the power of organization is so clear - or the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck where dynamic is at last captured – or the Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics where the lines diving boards were as fluid as the motion of the divers - made into reality. And she has done it time and time again in Vienna, Marseilles, Beijing and Guangzhou. Never has she been so prolific, so consistent. We realize that Kenzo Tange and Frank Lloyd Wright could not have drawn every line or checked every joint, yet Zaha shares with them the precious role of towering, distinctive and relentless influence upon all around her that sets the results apart from the norm. Such self-confidence is easily accepted in film-makers and football managers, but causes some architects to feel uncomfortable, maybe they’re secretly jealous of her unquestionable talent. Let’s face it, we might have awarded the medal to a worthy, comfortable character. We didn’t, we awarded it to Zaha: larger than life, bold as brass and certainly on the case.
How lucky we are to have her in London."
All images © D-box / Foster + Partners
Scheduled to open by 2017, international practice Foster + Partners‘ ‘100 E 53rd Street’ luxury residential tower will rise at 61-storeys on the corner of Lexington and 53rd street in midtown Manhattan. Developed in partnership with Chinese developer Vanke and Aby Rosen of RFR, the slender building explores the dynamic between its urban context and its skyline. Formally, it responds to the precedent set by two neighboring twentieth-century modernist icons – SOM’s 21-storey Lever House of 1952 and Mies Van Der Rohe’s 38-storey Seagram Building of 1958.
Exploring the ethos of modernist architect Mies Van Der Rohe’s of philosophy of rationality, simplicity and clarity, the tower’s minimalist geometric form is a result to blend with its distinguished neighbours. Access is marked by a recess beneath a canopy that sits harmoniously alongside the entrance and pavilion of the seagram building. A smaller structure will host a bar and restaurant, a spa and swimming pool. ‘From the floor of the atrium, the tower rises up like a soaring vertical blade, the view up creating a sense of drama and reinforcing the connection between the summit and the ground.’
An innovative glazed skin wraps around the building, concealing the structural elements which are further masked beneath integrated shadow boxes. To preserve the smooth appearance of the facade, opening vents in the glazing fold discreetly inwards. The pricing of the units 94 spacious units; starting at $3,350,000, with the larger apartments occupying the entire floor area of the higher levels. Complementing its sleek exterior, the space utilises luxury materials, finishes with large glazing in all directions framing a constant view of the vibrant city scape.
All images © Studio Gang Architects
Aiming to pinpoint Chicago as a destination for high-rise and luxury living, Studio Gang has designed the ‘vista tower’ — a 95-storey residential tower based in the city’s lakeshore east neighbourhood. Rising at nearly 1,200 feet, the first 11 floors we be composed of a five-star hotel, while levels 13-93 will be dedicated to residential units.
The scheme is developed by The Magellan Group and The Wanda Group, and upon its completion, the tower will become Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper — making a mark on the city’s growing skyline. Studio Gang’s design of the vista tower explores the geometric properties of the ‘frustum’ — a shape often found in crystals and gemstones — to capture and highlight the building’s sweeping views of the skyline, river and lake.
More than 20 penthouses will occupy the top levels with the remaining units comprised of one to four bedroom apartments. Floor-to-ceiling windows present unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park. The luxurious interiors reflect the recurring theme of crystals, minerals and gems. This is seen as unique to natural stone finishes and colour palettes.
Since the residential program is joined onto the hotel, residents will be able to utilise the five-star amenities and, at the same time, have their own dedicated space named ‘club vista’. This private area will feature a private dining room, demonstration kitchen, wine storage, lounges, an outdoor terrace and fitness facilities.
All images © Hollwich Kushner
With an aging population that has been steadily moving back into the urban environment, New York-based studio Hollwich Kushner have conceived a an architectural solution to a sociological problem. ‘Skyler’ is a sculptural tower aimed at supported a vertically layered community throughout an entire lifetime- a structure which caters to different age groups and accompanying needs, so that inhabitants can be constantly cared for and stimulated no matter what stage in life they are in. The tower, with its asymmetrically faceted elevations provides unique views and the same diversity in experience as the people it intends to house. Its holistic approach to offers a wide variety of tailored services- day cares for the young ones, a business continuation center for senior citizens who are interested in staying professionally engaged, an infirmary, grocery shopping and school drop-off services, and a health center catered to all age groups.
‘Skyler takes the challenges of aging and turns them into opportunities, imagine how the experience of living would be different if you were supported for your whole life. How would it change the way you engage with the people around you? Wouldn’t that be a smarter way to live? A better way to live? This is why we created Skyler, a building designed to enable users to constantly grow and shape their own future.’ – Architect Matthias Hollwich.
The program includes 600 units that offer a variety of micro housing typologies and ‘urban designs’ that allow users to pick between clustered social units, private isolated units, and more traditional apartment-style layouts that provide the backdrops for all stages of life. Within this vertical community, inhabitants are cared for, looked after, and given the opportunity to learn and grow with one another throughout their entire lifetimes. the structure allows one to change and adapts to those changing needs by offering the range of spaces that cultivate changing needs.
All images courtesy of Périphériques Architectes, a/LTA architectes, Hamonic&Masson.
The Féval city-block is a significant part of the renovation program performed around the Rennes rail-station. The urban project is developed by FGP and Territores. The project suggests to develop a new territory to connect the two sides of the city involving changes in landscape and topography. The railway road passes through urban structures like a river would pass through giant tectonic monuments in a form of large crystals.
The project consists of three buildings made y 3 different architects, the whole project is structured around a landscape rift. The “crystals” are carved in a way to make the inner territory be reachable by sunlight.
We defined a section of the office by calibrating floors to 3.40m slab to slab. Savings in the height of each floor added up to one additional floor for the 28m building. Thus this solution created a large area which gives us the flexibility to “cut” large volumes to produce fancy crystal-like shapes making all composition more spectacular. This ability to resize volumes allows us to create a valley where the three buildings meet on the Féval Street and allow daylight to enter into the center of the block.
Success of the Féval city-block depends heavily on the quality of the infrastructure on the ground floors of the three buildings. We paid particular attention to increasing accessibility to the inner spaces from the outside.
All images courtesy of Aedas
International firm Aedas has recently won a competition to design the Zhuhai Hengqin International Hi-tech Innovation Park located at Hengqin – one of the newly announced free trade zones in China. The project aims to become a nurturing ground for the hi-tech industry – creating an urban setting for startup and business entrepreneurs. Set on a vast plot of land, the scheme will consist of office spaces for business incubators, enterprise accelerators, research and development.
Additionally, headquarters supported by a one-stop service centrespublic technology platforms, conference and training centers, exhibition space along with retail and serviced apartments will also be incorporated to facilitate a simultaneous working, living community. Aedas’ proposal drew influence from the surrounding scenic beauty of Hengqin’s mountains and sea. the series of office towers reflect the outline of the mountains and seashore with curving and fluid edges. The layout is carefully planned to include a central park with a sunken plaza and water features.
All images © Luxigon / OMA
OMA has released ‘PXP: The Shared City’, a proposal to create an urban space dedicated for sharing and innovation. Presented as part of the Réinventer Paris plan that aims to develop innovative urban projects within the French capital; OMA’s scheme would function as a mixed-use structure combining trading, leisure and catering activities, while integrating existing bus station.
Sited within the business district of La Défense, the building itself will bring together four traditional types of courtyards to create a multiplicity of floor plans. The transparent facade allows a reading of the programmatic diversity, and its inflections unveil alternately more intimate spaces and generous openings to the city. The internal courtyards form public squares, the scale of which echoes the Parisian urban fabric.
Landscape will constantly weave through the scheme to emphasise biodiversity. The three main features: planted courtyards, green facades and urban agriculture will be used to encourage local residents to have shared green space. The roof of the building, entirely dedicated to urban agriculture renewable energy, places the building and its users in a system of shared economy and responsible proximity. The productivity of the 5,800 square meters of urban farming is estimated at eight tons per year of fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.
The project will facilitate the development of sharing economies and accommodates changing lifestyles. Throughout the building there will be shared spaces to bring a diversity of functions from working, entertaining and exchanging.
The core of PXP consists of spaces designed to host traditional programs including offices, housing, hotel, retail and parking functions. Revolving around them is the series of shared spaces, which takes up a fifth of the site. The sharing concept is applied in each component of the program, from the gardens to the parking spaces, as well as the offices and shops.
‘PXP acts as a bridge, both metaphorically and functionally. It is based on a bold structural principle: a suspension of urban space which supports the infrastructure that crosses it… with the multitude of networking and exchange opportunities PXP enables, it offers a new site for the public and private spheres to meet and a new type of uses to emerge. The permeability of the programs will allow users to interact around shared facilities.’ – OMA
All images © NOW Architects
Grimshaw Architects have won the international competition hosted by the Korea Racing Authority, with their proposal to conceive the ‘Letsrun Park Yeongcheon Facility’ in South Korea. Working with NOW Architects, their collaborative master plan explores a 148 hectare park that combines a comprehensive new racecourse with a family park featuring a diverse range of equine-themed sports, activities and outdoor attractions.
The vast scheme will blend naturally and flow between landscape and the built environment with activities between the various parts of the project. The structure shows a curved, sinuous body of water to link the race-goer facilities to the infield horse park. Meanwhile, a hotel and state-of-the-art grandstand will be integrated into the curved form of the racetrack. The completion of the project will naturally become a vital catalyst for tourism in the region, while promoting horse racing as a family activity.
All images courtesy of Baharash Architecture
Baharash Architecture has been tasked by Dubai-based eco resort group to design their flagship eco resort in Liwa, the southern region of UAE. At the very early stages of the project, it was revealed that groundwater could be extracted using a deep well. This gave the design team an opportunity to create a story around a spring, which was of critical importance to bedouins for trade and transportation routes. The spring will be used for crop irrigation, fish farming, and recreational activities, as well as providing a natural habitat for various wildlife.
The accommodations and functional areas are distributed around the spring, which will be the heart of the resort. In total, there are 84 interconnecting suites of various types, all of which provide amazing views and an outdoor terrace. Relaxing sights can be enjoyed from all key spaces, including the fitness centre which is furnished with smart equipment.
The reception and back of house are located adjacent to drop-off. A restaurant and bar, provide guests with organic ingredients grown on site. Equipped with a business and research facility with state of the art technologies the program provides everything their guests might need. The resort also has health and therapeutic spa facilities, which use organic ingredients. The therapeutic spa will supply a wide selection of wellness and beauty therapies. All spaces are equipped with smart glass windows, which offer instant privacy at a flick of a switch.
Some of the environmental benefits include recycling wastewater on site for irrigation, on-site waste management, the enforcement of a zero-emission zone and 157,000 square feet of solar panels. The ribbon-like roof is designed to maximise the area for solar panels, which are planned for optimum efficiency. The resort will also employ wildlife biologists and conservation staff.
Ultimately, the ‘Oasis Eco Resort’ will provide more than environmental benefits, such as economic and socio-cultural benefits. The eco resort will create job opportunities for locals, creating a more diversified economy. It will also help preserve the regions heritage and provide greater interaction with native people.