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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hamilton Building, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Hamiltons Architects have submitted a planning application for a new £160 million landmark office development in the city centre.

The proposed 35-storey tower, on the corner of Colmore Row and Newhall Street, is designed by award winning architects Hamiltons and could generate around 2,500 jobs and help attract more global and international companies to the city.

The scheme encompasses 285,000 sq ft of the highest quality office space, ground floor retail accommodation and the possibility of a roof top restaurant.

Robert Samuel, Director of British Land, said: “We believe we have designed not only a landmark building but also one that will bring real and tangible benefits to Birmingham city centre and to its business community. The design will play a vital role in maintaining the vibrancy and reputation of the city’s business district and we are very excited about the scheme. The building will incorporate a range of sustainable measures, and will provide a 30 per cent overall reduction in energy use compared with current standards.

The site of the former National Westminster House presents a unique opportunity to continue the process of urban regeneration in the heart of the city’s commercial centre and to provide a new landmark building that is symbolic of modern Birmingham’s dynamic transformation. This opportunity needs to be balanced against an understanding of the historic address in which the development sits and respond positively to this context.

John Silver, Director at Hamiltons comments, “Our aim has been to design a building with distinct sense of occasion; a building that holds interest and engages with the city when viewed from the surrounding context. Its interpretation will be enriched by the revealing of functional and organisational layers, and will have an enduring quality through its detailing" Subject to planning, demolition could start this year, with completion in 2011.
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Arkon Building brings a unique housing comprehension to Istanbul

Arkon Building, which has been the statement of trust for years, is bringing a unique housing comprehension to Istanbul. Arkon Park Residence with its 538 apartments is the second largest housing project in Türkiye. Arkon Park Residence is comprised of two towers, at 29 and 34 floors, elegantly rising up through the clouds in Halkal; which is the new center of the circulation web of the city and allowing the 538 houses to open out into the sky. Arkon Park Residence which has clear views owing to both its location and its characteristic of being one of the highest housing structures, offers an incomparable vista opportunity to its owners with the biggest city park area on one side and magnificent lake section on the other. Various apartments in the Arkon Park Residence were designed bespoke for people in any character and size but the majority of apartments consist of 1+1houses. Arkon Park Residence project can provide a home for any family size and would appeal to anyone who is looking for a secure investment and wanting to live aloft.
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TOBY awards, New York, United States

SOM’s Centre wins New York round of Building of Year four years after completion

The Time Warner Centre at Columbus Circle, New York, has been hailed as the city’s 2008 Office Building of the Year by the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) four years after its completion. The 80-storey mixed-use shopping and office complex, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architects (SOM), is being hailed as New York’s latest legacy following the announcement.

The 2.8 million-square-foot centre won in the 1 million-square-feet-and-over category and can now go forward for the international BOMA awards. The Office Building of the Year awards (TOBY) were created in 1985 to salute excellence in the office building industry. Buildings are judged on more than 80 operational points in categories from energy to environmental management, emergency preparedness, tenant relations and community impact.

President of Related Management, Related Companies, Jeffrey I. Brodsky said: “Time Warner Center is proud to be the recipient of this esteemed award. This award is a tribute to our successful relationship with our corporate partner Time Warner Inc., as well as our outstanding management team whose hard work and dedication make Time Warner Center such a dynamic and thriving place to work while enjoying the best that New York has to offer.”
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St Leger Homes, Doncaster, United Kingdom

Crawford Partnership has won the RIBA competition to design an extension for approximately 3,000 bungalows.

Crawford Partnership's RIBA competition winning scheme to extend a stock of up 3,000 bungalows in the Doncaster area switches the front and rear access and attaches a partially prefabricated module to the new front. A light well articulates the connection to the bungalow which subsequently dictates a more coherent internal layout. This influence spreads to the rear where further works are undertaken to improve the external spaces. In order to facilitate a staggered implementation, the front, internal and rear works work independently of one another and can be adapted to suit slight variations in bungalow types.

Practice director, Alan Crawford, said: "We are looking forward to working with St Leger Homes. The essence of our proposal centres on providing a simple, flexible and economic solution to extend each home and is based on a collective of cost effective, sustainable ideas that the practice is currently exploring and implementing on other projects."
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Maggie's Cancer Centre, London, United Kingdom

Maggie’s Centre opened by Nigella Lawson and Sarah Brown
Richard Rogers’ plans for London’s first Maggie’s Centre came to fruition today as the completed building was opened by celebrity cook Nigella Lawson and the Prime Minister’s wife and patron of Maggie’s, Sarah Brown. Maggie’s Centres offer emotional and psychological support and practical information to people who are either personally affected by cancer or know someone who is and would like to be of more support.

Maggie’s London evolved from Richard Rogers’ personal response to the brief calling for an aesthetically uplifting environment where people affected by cancer could benefit from the unique Maggie’s programme and find support beyond the hospital environment. The London Centre is situated within a specifically designed garden and series of intimate internal courtyards by leading landscape designer Dan Pearson, extending the remit of the Centre and building on the passion for landscape architecture of Maggie’s founder, Maggie Keswick Jencks.

Rogers said: “I am delighted that Maggie’s London is opening. There is a long history linking well-designed buildings and space with healing, which was identified by my friend Maggie Keswick Jencks and has been built on by the work of Maggie’s Centres since 1996. Maggie’s Centres are a vital example of good design serving communities and those in need.”

The London centre is the sixth Maggie’s Centre to be built with five others existing in Scotland. Zaha Hadid’s first UK build was the Maggie’s centre in Fife, Scotland and other acclaimed architects, Richard Murphy, Page & Park and Frank Gehry have also created for Maggie’s.

The Centre is situated at Charing Cross Hospital in the Hammersmith area of London and marks the forthcoming of a network of centres throughout the UK. Seven more centres throughout the UK are planned to be built by 2012.

Nigella Lawson said: “I am delighted to open the first Maggie's Centre in London. Richard Rogers and his team have created both a stunning piece of architecture and, crucially, an intimate and supportive domestic centre which will have a positively helpful impact on people living with cancer”

(Maggie’s relies completely on voluntary donations and the London Centre has been supported by individuals, community groups, trusts, and statutory and corporate donations. Maggie’s would like to thank everyone who has supported the £3.5m fundraising campaign for this centre.)

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Club Tower, Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand architects Weirwalker could have first five-star Green Star NZ building rating in the South Island
Christchurch architects Weirwalker Architecture’s sustainable Club Tower design has been submitted by its commissioners, Latitude Group, to be the first South Island building to achieve five stars in the Green Star NZ building rating. The rating system was set up this time last year by the New Zealand Green Building Council as the first comprehensive green rating system in the country.

The Green Star NZ system looks at qualities such as management, energy, transport, materials, emissions and innovation to achieve an overall rating. Latitude Group believes that the Club Tower in Worcester Boulevard has the green credentials to achieve the landmark status with their director, Ken Wimsett telling press: “Club Tower will be the most technologically advanced office tower in Christchurch’s CBD. It will be an environmentally sustainable building that offers an exquisite workspace with enduring design. We are extremely confident that Club Tower will be the South Island’s first building to be awarded the five-star Green Star NZ rating due to its ecological excellence.”

Club Tower will have the ability to recycle on-site as one of its possible qualifications for the rating with the building’s design emphasising ‘cutting-edge efficiency and clean technologies’ according to the design website.

Club Tower is an addition to the Canterbury Club in Christchurch which has historical significance as the place where Captain Robert Scott ate his last meal before departing on his expedition to the South Pole. The construction of the tower will provide modern amenities as part of an overall re-vamp of the site which has been designed with the involvement of the local historian. The tower is set to take 15 months to construct.

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Icona, London, United Kingdom

Benchmark buildings for London's Olympic development
Icona, the first scheme overlooking the Olympic Park is nearing completion. Telford Homes’ residential-led, mixed-use development is one of the first schemes in the area to hand over. It will overlook the Olympic aquatic centre and is within 300m of the proposed stadium. Telford Homes acted as both developer and contractor and architects and urban designers, Stock Woolstencroft, designed and oversaw the construction of this high profile, landmark development.

Telford Homes’ brief was for the architects to transform a derelict and decaying Brownfield site and deliver a landmark building, to act as a key driver for long-term revitalisation of the area. Stock Woolstencroft suggested a scheme clad with a brightly coloured façade to cement its prominent status. Inspiration for the elevations came from studying the work of artist Donald Judd, particularly his use of bold, regular forms, strong colours and industrial materials to create art that emphasised purity of colour, form, space and materials.

Icona comprises 249 units of which 87 are affordable housing for East Homes. The affordable homes all use the same materials and style as the open market homes making it a tenure blind development. There are three buildings that make up the development, an 18-storey tower and two other buildings at seven and four storeys. Underground parking (with 70 spaces) is provided, as is over 920sq m of commercial space, which includes a residents’ gym.

Stock Woolstencroft partner, Derek Jay said: “It is unusual for a residential scheme to have pre-fabrication to this extent on the external façade, demonstrating how Icona pushes technical boundaries as well as architectural ones. The outcome is a high quality, benchmark development that local people and London can be proud of.” Icona has already collected a Silver Seal of Excellence at the NHBC Pride in the Job awards.

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Cumayasa complex, Cumayasa, Dominican Republic

Luxury Residential Estate in the Dominican Republic
The architecture and urban design firm A-cero, led by Joaquin Torres, has undertaken the project of a hotel and luxury residential complex covering an area of 1,400 hectares in the coastal district of Cumayasa in the Dominican Republic.

The project consists of more than 3,000 luxury villas, 3 hotels, 4 golf courses and a marina, providing a place to enjoy a variety of water sports, tennis and ecotourism, in addition to its unparalleled greens for golf lovers.

By the use of a contemporary design language, the project seeks innovation, making an architecture of details, tuning the constructive elements to develop multifunctional spaces and resistant structures, taking in to account the environment and context of the island where the complex is located.

The predominant building materials in the project were wood and natural stone combined with steel and glass, the latter used sparingly because of the weather and high temperatures. The rooms are naturally ventilated and their interior design allows an interesting play of light, shadow, colour and rhythm, created with selected top-quality materials.

The main idea was to create a settlement of high environmental quality and low density, which incorporates native vegetation. The landscape design follows a contemporary style that embraces the houses, scattered on a stair pattern, softening the impact of their presence and creating a dynamic appearance to the whole.

The complex has its "symbolic center" in the water which is very present throughout the project and its location.

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Cafeteria Kirschgarten, Basel, Switzerland

HHF create minimal temporary design for cafe at landmark Swiss School
Kirschgarten is the integration of a cafeteria into a existing open lobby of an important school building located in the city center of Basel. Ribbons made of wood are placed above the existing floor, wall and ceiling. Inbetween the concrete structure these ribbons reach out to the courtyard, creating a sunscreen and terrace where people can sit and eat. This gesture links the interior space to the outside and enables direct access from that courtyard.

On the interior the wooden facia traces the existing concrete structure. A glass facade which is almost invisible to the outside works as a thermal barrier. With that the outer appearance of the building with its slim columns is kept as before.

Being a landmarked building, designed by the famous swiss architect Hans Bernoulli, every intervention had to be reversible. The project reacts to that requirement - the construction of the interior wood facia has only a few connections to the existing structure.

The colour concept with its different shades of grey was created in collaboration with the swiss artist Gido Wiederkehr.
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Waterloo History Museum, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Design Unveiled for Waterloo History Museum In Kitchener, Canada
Toronto based architect Moriyama + Teshima Architects in association with the Walter Fedy Partnership of Kitchener have unveiled the design of the new Waterloo History Museum to be built in the Waterloo Region of Ontario Canada. The design takes its cue from the museum’s location at an important historical crossroads, the site of two transportation routes that were critical to the development of Canada and the Waterloo Region. Fragments of both these routes intersect on the site serving as a powerful metaphor for the museum where the past, present and future intersect. The new museum will house 20,000 square feet of temporary and permanent exhibition space, classrooms, a theatre and educational facilities.

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Europe Tower, Sofia, Bulgaria

Tallest tower in Bulgaria will be built by 2010
Construction will shortly begin on Bulgaria's tallest office tower in the capital city, Sofia. Europe Tower, a 180m fully-glazed office tower designed by German architects HPP, was unveiled in October last year at the Expo Real Estate Fair in Munich, Germany. Europe Tower was commissioned by German investors ECE Projektmanagement as part of their Europe Park retail development in Sofia and will offer 40,000 sq m of leasable office space across 40 floors.

ECE, in partnership with Advance Properties, are transforming a former industrial site in the capital into a new city quarter with Europe Park at the centre as Bulgaria's largest retail development with 70,000 sq m of shopping potential. The new quarter will hold 25,000 car parking spaces and be accessible to over 1.1 million people in Sofia.

ECE are currently handling a further 26 office developments and 27 retail developments worldwide. While Europe Tower is 47m short of ranking in the 100 tallest buildings in the world, according to their website ECE hope that Europe Tower can act as Bulgaria's 'landmark seen from afar'. Construction is due to be complete in 2010.

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Peace Bridge, Buffalo,US/Fort Erie, Canada, United States

Christian Menn's design for a secondary bridge uniting America and Canada is scrapped to save threatened birds
Christian Menn's two-tower cable-stayed Peace Bridge design, chosen as the favoured design to unite America and Canada, has been scrapped following fears that the 567 ft high structure would cause problems for the local common tern and other migratory birds crossing the Niagara River corridor.

The renowned Swiss bridge architect won the design competition two years ago when a bi-national jury chose his design. But plans have been scrapped by the Federal Highway Administration, the lead federal agency involved in the project, following a review under the National Environment Policy Act(NEPA) which ruled the bridge would cause unacceptable danger to the birds. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada also expressed concerns over Menn's design.

Instead, Peace Bridge officials have over-ridden the decision by the design committee in favour of a 226 ft three-arch span designed by Figg Engineering Group.

Despite the turn-around on the original decision, Menn is understanding. He told local press: “I am not too disappointed about the requirements of the Federal Highway Administration. I am sure that a good solution with a three-span arch will be possible.”

Linda Figg of Figg Engineering Group has confirmed that she and Menn will collaborate on the design which was also submitted to the original committee. The new Peace Bridge will work with the existing Peace Bridge to extend the crossing capacity and reduce traffic congestion between America's Buffalo and Canada's Fort Erie.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

New images of Manned Cloud by Jean-Marie Massaud

More airships: French designer Jean-Marie Massaud has sent us a couple of new images showing the interior of his flying hotel proposal, Manned Cloud.
The two two-deck cabin will include a restaurant, a library, a fitness suite and a spa. Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the bedroom interior (above) features the new task light Massaud has designed for Swedish brand Wästberg, which we wrote about earlier this week.

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Suspended Figure by Ayako Murata at Diesel Denim Gallery Aoyama

Architect Ayako Murata has created an installation at the Diesel Denim Gallery in Aoyama, Tokyo.
The installation, consisting of cables and lamps used on construction sites, creates a series of arches and columns suggestive of classical architecture, but suspended from the ceiling.
Ayako Murata previously worked for Japanese architect Jun Aoki and set up Office Ayako Murata in 2006.

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Blue Frog Lounge by Serie Architects

Angle-Indian architects Serie have completed the Blue Frog acoustic lounge and studios in Mumbai, India.
The lounge will be used as a music venue within a complex of sound recording studios in a converted warehouse and incorporates a restaurant, bar and live music stage.
The different sized cylindrical booths seat between 4 and 10 people and are arranged at various heights to stagger the eye levels of seated diners and standing customers, intended to afford uninterrupted views of the stage.
The empty central area can be used as additional space for standing visitors or as an extension to the stage.
Bumpy, textured walls help to absorb sound.
The undulating booth structure is made from block board finished with mahogany and topped with back-lit 8mm acrylic sheets.
The following information is from Serie Architects:

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