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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

56 Leonard Street, New York, United States

The Swiss architects take their expertise to new heights with their first residential tower
Standing precariously like a giant glass and steel Jenga tower, Herzog & de Meuron’s ambitious first skyscraper design will offer unique living spaces strictly for the super-rich. Having designed buildings in many forms from schools and houses to the Beijing National Stadium, the Swiss architects have embraced the new challenge of creating a luxury residential tower in the heart of Manhattan’s busy Tribeca District – 56 Leonard Street.

Construction commenced this week and within two years, residents paying anywhere from $3.5 - $33 million are expected to occupy each of the 145 residences. With custom-sculpted white enamel fireplaces, private outdoor spaces for every apartment and integrated technology, the design aims to account for the hefty price-tag. Each apartment has an individual floorplan, the building’s shape lending itself to this almost bespoke choice of living quarters.

The cantilevered form will offer a jagged silhouette which, at 57 floors, will be visible for miles around even amidst the many high-rises in Manhattan’s Tribeca District. At street level passers-by will be struck by the cornerstone of the development, a monumental stainless-steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor which is fully integrated into the base of the design – the first of London-based Kapoor’s sculptures to become a permanent fixture in New York.

Included in the design are 1,850 sq ft of retail, a 9,700 ft fitness centre, a screening room and Tribeca Tot room designed by Architots among other features. With a footprint of 12,500 sq ft and a gross floor area of 425,000 sq ft, the design is set to make a lasting and unavoidable impression in the Manhattan district.

Niki May Young
News Editor
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Garland 77, Sydney, Australia

Garland 77 in Sydney, Australia is an eight storey building with a dramatic foyer designed by Alex Popov associates
Designed by highly acclaimed architect Alex Popov, Garland Row comprises twenty four, 3 & 4 bedroom grand terraces offering uncompromising design standards. The entrance to Garland 77 is a dramatic foyer which incorporates naturally ventilated glass and marble paving.

Each contemporary terrace house features dramatic double-height living spaces, internal living areas open to private courtyards and terraces and designs that maximise sunlight, space and cross flow ventilation, while natural light streams in through cleverly designed sky lights. Spaces range in size between 190-200 sq m internally, all terraces offer generous living areas. All terraces are Torrens Title and enjoy street frontage. Alex Popov architects have designed all lofts to be spacious containing double storey spaces, solid timber floors and timber deck with gas outlet for the barbeques.

Garland Row is located in the inner East's most desirable new address and has Sydney’s best amenities only minutes away.
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Folded House, Sydney, Australia

Designed by DJE architects, Folded House in Sydney grows into it’s surroundings
Australian architects Dale Jones-Evan’s Folded House displays the way that architecture can mould into its varying surroundings over time. Since its opening in 2004 the building has integrated with its surroundings becoming one.

It’s form attaches itself to the back of a Victorian Italianate villa on a large site in coastal Bronte. The copper form is weighted over the south side - glazed strip framing a terrace and coastal views. The form refolds itself as an eyelid to the north tempering the Australian light, while the final fold takes place outside the envelope touching the ground to the west to shield low level west sun and heat.
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Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, United States

Rising from its base in Downtown Oakland SOM's Cathedral of Christ the light forms an admirable curved silhouette contrasting to the square blocks surrounding it
Appearing as a sanctuary in its context as a holy building as well as for architecture, the wooden frame of the inner structure of the Cathedral stands like an upturned ark while the layered structure offers a contemporary sense of solace.

The 19th century St Francis de Sales Cathedral was damaged irreparably by the 1989 Lorna Prieta earthquake, but the new Cathedral building presides where this stood updating but retaining the religious message by stripping away the traditional iconography. The approachable result remains open to the region’s ever-changing multi-cultural makeup and to the future.

As its name suggests, the Cathedral draws on the tradition of light as a sacred phenomenon. Through its poetic introduction, indirect daylight ennobles modest materials—primarily wood, glass and concrete. With the exception of evening activities, the Cathedral is lit entirely by daylight to create an extraordinary level of luminosity.

The lightest ecological footprint was SOM’s core design objective. Through the innovative use of renewable materials, the 1500-seat Cathedral minimizes the use of energy and natural resources. The structure’s concrete makes use of industrial waste fly ash, a byproduct of coal production that requires less energy to produce than cement. An advanced version of the ancient Roman technique of thermal inertia maintains the interior climate with mass and radiant heat.

Douglas Fir, obtained through certified harvesting processes, is aesthetically pleasing, economically sound, and structurally forgiving - the wood’s surfaces add warmth while its elasticity allows for the bending and returning of shape during seismic activity. Through the use of advanced seismic techniques, including base isolation, the structure will withstand another 1,000-year earthquake.
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The Ivy, Sydney, Australia

Woods Bagot along with the interiors by Hecker Phelan and Guthrie help give Sydney something new
Unlike anything Sydney has ever seen, The Ivy, with a distinct 1950’s glam, offers a dazzling constellation of bars, dining facilities, shops, lounge areas and lifestyle indulgences. It’s a night out, a meeting place, function venue, an escape from reality.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s tight urban fabric of George Street, the 20,000 m2 building offers a public landscaped oasis within a predominantly commercial domain.

The integrated precinct comprises:
- nine boutique retail spaces, which utilises a central alley way
- six bars, two of which offer extensive outdoor spaces
- three specialist restaurants including a New York style grill with a Peter Doyle designed menu
- a specialist venue dedicated to live music performances
- an ulitmate function room which can hold 1000 people on one level. It also includes state of the art audio visual facilities and internet technology
- a two level office facility exclusively for the Merivale Group
- two 500 m2 penthouses
- a lifestyle complex comprising of a pool club and a day spa.

Woods Bagot formed collaboration with Merivale, Cornwell Design, Hecker Phelan and Guthrie for all components of the design. A highly integrated outcome of architectural interiors, signage and hospitality
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Redondo Beach Container Home, Redondo Beach, CA, United States

Single-family custom residence utilizing recycled ISO cargo containers.
Container architecture is on the rise – the basic structures offer a simple and environmentally conscious solution to room creation and the competition seems to be underway to use the structures to their best potential. This container-home is one of the latest to utilise this technique, using 8 cargo containers varying in legth. By embracing its humble beginnings to stylish ends, WAN find it worthy of House of the Week status. Christian Kienapfel discusses the Redondo Beach Container Home in its wider context…

The redeployed containers are a critical element of the transportation infrastructure that facilitates global trade and with the ongoing trade imbalance; millions of containers remain in ports around the USA. Combined with technologies from the neighbouring aerospace industry, the containers have been brought together with a traditional stick frame construction to create a hybrid home. The use of materials and methods from other industries, non-related to residential construction is part of the architect’s philosophical approach.

Airplane hangar doors open the family room to the courtyard where a subterranean cargo container swimming pool is located. The recycled containers, the ceramic based insulation (same that is used on NASA’s Space Shuttle), the prefabricated metal roof panels, the multi-skinned acrylic sheets employed on greenhouses, the formaldehyde free plywood, the tank-less hot water heaters, etc. all add up to a home that is innovative, affordable and environmentally conscious.

The affordability of this building system, in addition to the containers being virtually mold proof, termite proof, fire proof and nearly indestructible, will enable the mass of society to realize the dream of creating a quality custom home at an affordable price. Study the methodologies of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Textile Block homes, Andy Warhol’s Prints, or McDonald’s Hamburgers, and you’ll find that the Architect is simply reinterpreting and re-presenting the best of these processes in a different medium. This project is the torchbearer for a new, more affordable, method of design and construction - Architecture as a Product.
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Whale beach house, Whale beach, Australia

Alex Popov architects articulate the idea of a modernist approach to the peninsula's traditional concept of a beachside dwelling.
Located at the southern end of Whale Beach, Australia, an early idea was of a timber packing case fallen from a ship and washed to shore. Further images of a wooden crate lying in the sand kept the idea principle in place. From the street, the visual image is of a black box with blinkers either side to accommodate entry and stairs.

The box provides the living space, while the protective sweep of the enveloping timber arms provides light, air circulation, ventilation and provides view corridors to the beach from the road, maintaining public amenity. Solar gain was achieved by creating voids between the outer enveloping walls and the inner ‘box', which forms the central core of the building, allowing light penetration from the north through the open void on one side, and from the west through the double-layered white glass roof to the opposite side. On entering the building, the visitor faces a large glass window with views through to the beach, flanked by a three storey high raw concrete wall.

The entry level floor comprises living, dining, and kitchen areas. The southern corridor well provides cross flow ventilation, stair connections, and internal natural calming light from the ceiling. The terrace of the main bedroom, which is on the top floor, is punctured to allow light to penetrate to the deck below. Although the building rises three storeys, the dramatic cantilever of the top two floors allows the mass of the building to appear to hover above the ground. This in turn provides shade for the pool and entertaining area on the ground floor. The entire massing is clad in black recycled timber and forms a U shaped black structure to the street with a floating that allows views to the horizon.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bannister Point Lodge, Mollymook, Australia

Australian Molnar Freeman Architects’ Bannister Point Lodge is luxury getaway on a cliff edge
Bannister Point Lodge is a coastal hideaway located on the NSW South Coast, 3 hours south of Sydney. The resort offers modern accommodation, a restaurant, pool side cocktail & pizza bar and luxurious day spa.

The Lodge was originally built in the 1970's as a seaside motel. Over the past 4 years it has been upgraded to a 4.5 star boutique hotel with an informal seaside atmosphere The pool is set at horizon level allowing customers superb oceanic views while the views from the rooms are emphasised with either a private balcony or deck. The cliff top location also allows easy access to the famous surf beach, Mollymook Beach. Many rooms also have their own private spa bath.

Bannister Point Lodge has recently been nominated for the World Architecture Festival award in October
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Freedom Park, Pretoria, South Africa

Gapp’s Freedom Park is a 52-hectar park which uses architecture to unite South Africans
The Freedom Park is located on Salvokop, situated to the south of the Pretoria CBD, between Nelson Mandela Drive – a major gateway to the city from the South. In full view of the Union Buildings and in close proximity to Unisa and the Voortrekker Monument, The Freedom Park is emerging as a major landmark reshaping and enhancing the skyline of SA’s capital city.

The Freedom Park is a people’s shrine that weaves the story of the events that shaped South Africa to what it is today. It is a reflection of the sacrificial achievements in South Africa. It is intended as a symbol of South Africa’s broken shackles and the hard earned freedom that was a dream for so many for decades.

Earmarked for completion in 2009, two of The Freedom Park’s elements, namely Isivivane and Sikhumbuto, have been opened for public visitation since 2007.

As time goes by, The Park will play a primary role in healing the nation’s wounds by uniting the diverse people of South Africa towards reconciliation and nation building.
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Chelsea Modern, New York, United States

Contemporary elegant living redefined
Chelsea Modern, designed throughout by Audrey Matlock Architects, is a 85,000 sq ft 47-unit apartment building sitting within the Chelsea contemporary art district, on 447- 453 West 18th street near the High Line and with views to the Hudson River.

Because of its mid-block location, the building’s identity is a single 12 storey façade divided horizontally into sections of blue tinted and clear glass that shift in and out across its surface.

These many facets reflect fractured images of surrounding buildings on surfaces that change colour with the shifting daylight. Operable windows in a contrasting colour are randomly placed within these ribbons further enhancing the dynamic character. A glass sidewalk and recessed translucent glass base give the impression that these ribbons are floating above the surface.

Catering to individual lifestyles, the typical apartment units are designed to be very flexible and open. They incorporate sliding walls, large open kitchens and floor-to-ceiling glass. The ground floor duplex units are designed for individuals with art collections and feature a private entrance at street level and gardens. These apartments connect to large high-ceiling sky-lit spaces below. Each unit has a private street entry and private rear garden. Upper units each have terraces facing the private rear garden.

Laura Salmi
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be at Newhall, Newhall, Essex, United Kingdom

Alison Brooks use angles to shape a new wave of housing in Newhall Development
British homebuilder, Linden Homes, has partnered with award winning architect Alison Brooks to contribute to the visionary development of Newhall, in Essex. Be at Newhall forms part of an aspirational new neighbourhood on the outskirts of Harlow, where some of Europe’s leading architects have played a key role in creating stylish living spaces for today’s lifestyles. Newhall has become synomous with modern living, combining natural beauty with innovative design.

Alison Brooks, comments: “The scheme we have created for Linden Homes seeks to create new domestic typologies drawn from the powerful rural buildings found in the Essex landscape.

“Traditional roof forms have been abstracted into new geometries which allow rooms in the roof, to provide the optimum location for solar panels and to permit sunlight into the gardens.”

Local bricks, timber weatherboarding, slate tiles and zinc roofing all integrate the homes with the regional style, whilst the abstract angles help to create a strong balance of tradition and innovation.

The collection of 85 one, two and three bedroom apartments, two and three bedroom courtyard homes and three and four bedroom detached villas, are currently under construction. The show home is expected to open in Autumn 2008, with the first homes to be occupied by early 2009.
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One York Tribeca, New York, United States

Enrique Norten’s Tribeca tower nears completion
One York Tribeca is a new luxury residential building designed by Mexican Architect, Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos. The building, which is nearing completion and will house 32 condominiums, sits at the gateway to Tribeca, New York’s most coveted residential neighborhood.

Norten has transformed an industrial, block-long nineteenth century brick building, with a dynamic transparent glass tower, which like a quartz vein running through stone, both fractures and fuses the building, illuminating and clarifying its dense materiality.

The faceted intervention organizes the building’s interior. On the ground floor, the lobby employs the vocabulary of the new glass prism. On the lower floors the addition peeks out from behind the brick facades of the nineteenth century structure forming series of balconies. At the roof level of the older building, which is transformed into terraces for the seventh-floor apartments, the glass volume fully emerges. At the upper levels, glass sheathes the facades offering new and unmediated views of the city outside.
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The Norwegian Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepali materials produce stricking Nordic flavour
The New Norwegian Embassy in Nepal is located in Patan, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The building was designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Kristin Jarmund Architects on commission from the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property.

The Oslo based practice worked closely with Nepali advisers and contractors during the entire process and managed to achieve a quintessentially Nordic look harmonically integrated with the surrounding city texture thanks to the use of local materials such as wood and stone.

The building covers a surface of 800m2 and is built into the slope of the site, allowing plateaus of outdoor space to extend into the building. A south facing intimate patio is directly linked to the vestibule. The facade, facing the Himalayan Mountains, is architecturally expressed by an added volume, which rises above the main entrance of the otherwise single-storey building. The volume houses the Ambassador's office and is accented by a dynamic zigzag panoramic window, whose trail makes a tribute to the mountainous chain and purposely reflects the Himalayas.
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Ulitsa Rochdelskaya Residential, Moscow, Russia

McAdam Architects wins new residential design commission in central Moscow
London and Moscow-based architect McAdam Architects has won the commission from major Russian developer Sistema-Hals to design two new apartment blocks at Ulitsa Rochdelskaya, next to the White House – the Russian government buildings – in the centre of Moscow.

The brief for the €18 million project is for 12,000 sq metres of high-specification apartments comprising 40 residential units, with retail facilities at street level.

The development is composed of two blocks standing on a single-story glazed plinth, which is set into the steep slope of the site. The blocks are positioned symmetrically, either side of a raised courtyard garden. While the blocks are similar in design they are subtly different in form and appearance – as they react sensitively to their immediate surroundings.

Both blocks are clad in metal (zinc and copper) on three sides, which is an acknowledgement of the Institute of Metallurgy building on the opposite side of the road. Each of the blocks can be distinguished by facades and roofs sloping in different directions, in a response to neighbouring buildings.

Also, the external facades of the apartments have small windows and recessed balconies shielding the residents from the harsh surrounding environment, which is a rapidly improving but still mainly industrial area.

Architect James McAdam, says: ”There are two metal objects, like brothers – a pair. They are similar, but have their own identity and wear different clothes. The cladding responds to the immediate environment as do the leaning facades.”

In the raised courtyard, which provides residents with a private communal garden, the internal facades are made of obscure glass planks – again an acknowledgement of the industrial nature of the area. The apartments have large windows and protruding balconies facing towards the raised garden.

The entrance to the building is via a large foyer space at the centre of a glazed plinth, with a shop and café at either side. There are two levels of underground parking which are accessible from the side street.
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