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Thursday, October 16, 2008

St Patrick’s College, Dublin, Ireland

New campus to inspire Ireland’s future primary school teachers
UK-based international architectural practice RMJM, working in collaboration with Irish practice Taylor Architects are to create four new buildings for St Patrick’s College in Dublin. The college, part of Dublin City University, has announced a £40million development plan for its north Dublin campus. The project will also include the refurbishment of existing facilities, a new campus link and extensive landscaping of the college’s historic grounds. Established in 1875, St Patrick’s College sits on an 11 hectare site and educates over 2,000 of Ireland’s primary school teachers each year.

Plans to modernize the campus have been submitted by RMJM/Taylor Architects on behalf of the college. The plans aim to create an environment for academic excellence featuring state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities, new sports and childcare services. Innovative landscaping of the grounds are planned to create unique outdoor learning and social spaces as the college aspires to become Ireland’s foremost education facility in its sector.

The new East buildings will accommodate a 200 person lecture theatre, innovative teaching spaces such as reading pods and a learning café. RMJM worked to marry an historic site with the needs of a modern education institution using new methods of teaching and learning. Such considerations resulted in features that include the incorporation of a historic lime tree avenue to the north part of the campus sympathetic to the heritage and look of the campus.

Work is planned to start on site in August 2009 and is estimated for completion in August 2011.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

EPPF, Seoul, Korea

Connecting North and South Eunpyeong with a vibrant 24/7 hub
South Korea’s capital is undergoing a dramatic modern renovation under the instruction of Oh Se-hoon, Seoul's Mayor. With world renowned architect Daniel Libeskind taking the helm at the Seoul Design Olympiad as keynote speaker, Seoul is offering an exciting new architectural region for world-class architects to explore. The Olympiad, running from 10-30 October is showcasing Seoul’s architecture of the past, present and with an aim to reshape the city for the future. With its form, light and colour, DeStefano + Partners’ Eunpyeong Mixed-use Development (EPPF) demonstrates the vibrancy of architecture hoped for the city’s future.

EPPF will be located to the Northeast of Seoul, South Korea and will offer the surrounding residents 480,000 sq m of entertainment, shopping, home and office space. Eunpyeong is served by a vast subway network, surrounded by mountains on the east and west, the team behind the development Scott Sarver, Dae-Hong Minn and Hobum Lee wanted to connect the north and south of this development.

With an eight-story retail and entertainment multiplex at the heart of the development, the design is sculptural, with the bow shaped building appearing to drift across the landscape and at night the giant glass structure glows with a luminous exhibition of light. Attached to the discernable northwest corner is a 200 room hotel and 31 story pioneering office tower, with a twisting form inspired by traditional Korean pottery. At the southern point are three residential towers, ranging from 25 to 30 stories in height. A meandering stream entwines itself into the sculptural mould of the retail complex above, to fashion a dynamic space for this vibrant 24/7 transit hub.

With an extremely contemporary edge and reveling in traditional Korean culture, the development is a seamless fusion of old and new. The high regard for nature and significance of the mountains permeates the elaborate design, and in addition the buildings appearance is driven by old Korean styling. In contrast the luminous exhibition emanating from the multiplex is a direct reference to the colorful traditional festivals of the area.

Time-honoured customs combined with a twist of modern day chic give the project an awakening ambiance.

David Schiavone
architecture NOW

Champalimaud Foundation Centre, Lisbon, Portugal

The development of a new 300,000 sq ft cancer research facility in Lisbon has officially begun.
Symbolically, a small robot placed the first stone of the Champalimaud Foundation Centre at a ceremony attended by Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates. Officials hope the unit will lead researchers to make new discoveries, helping to enhance disease treatment and to bring forward scientific exploration in Portugal.

Consisting of three buildings, the centre is located at Pedroucos Dock on the banks of Tagus River and has been designed to provide a comfortable environment for people staying at its outpatient cancer clinic, as well as being environmentally friendly and enjoying optimal energy and resource management.

Building A will house a rainforest garden which can be visited by patients and staff, in addition to diagnostic, treatment and wellness centres; Building B is to encompass an auditorium, exhibition centre and restaurant; while Building C is expected to be an open-air amphitheatre to hold community events and public performances.

Stephen McDaniel, a principal at RMJM, commented that the project is “an excellent example of a holistic, site-specific approach to sustainability”.

He continued: “For example, the proximity to the Tagus River allows us to have a geothermal heat-sink for temperature control, which is further controlled by the massive rainforest garden in the main building. The garden will be 80 x 40 metres, the size of a US football field.”

RMJM Hillier are the laboratory and clinical design architects for the project, with Charles Correa appointed as design architect and Portuguese firm Consiste architect of the record.

The Champalimaud Foundation Centre is set to be the first development in a major regeneration of the Belem area of Lisbon, with an expected opening date of October 2010.

Darren Maybury
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T1 Tower, Paris, France

Tour T1 towers over Europe’s largest business district
Designed by French architectural firm Valode and Pistre, the T1 Tower is now complete. Situated in La Défense, the high-rise business district west of Paris, the tower has a floor area of 70,000 sq m and features restaurants, meeting rooms and underground parking to support the office space within.

Valode and Pistre describe the T1 as having been "conceived as a folded glass plate, 200 metres high, cut by an arc on its north face. The distinctive profile changes according to one’s vantage point and assures the tower’s insertion within the surrounding context. Seen from the south, the tower appears as a ship’s bow, a vertical element and a complement to the skyline of the La Défense business district. Seen from the east and west, T1 is perceived as a large sail, its curving form providing transition to the lower scale of the adjoining neighbourhood. The image given by the north façade is one of a tall staircase, climbing to the sky and disappearing as the façade curves out of view. The tower’s configuration allows for large floor plates and panoramic views, associating spatial quality, efficiency and the latest building services.”

Tour T1 is part of La Défense's once again expanding business quarter, which is now the largest purpose-built business district in Europe.

Jo Livesey
architecture NOW

Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET), Ningbo, China

Lantern-inspired Sustainable Research Building is China's first zero carbon university building
The Koo Lee Institute of Sustainable Environments, named after its benefactor, sits in a large meadow alongside a stream in Ningbo, a fast growing city of 1.2 million inhabitants on the oriental coast of China. Created and led by Nottingham's School of the Built Environment, the Institute stands in the first independent campus of the People’s Republic of China. Within the Institute, a new facility, Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET), stands. Designed by Mario Cucinella Architects, an Italian practice at the forefront of environmental research and responsible for the SIEEB building in Beijing, the new Sustainable Research Building illustrates an international collaboration towards sustainability in the world's greatest energy consuming country.

Inspired in its design by Chinese lantern and traditional wooden screens, the building is conceived as a sustainable beacon whose 22 m high twisting tower will be visible from all around the campus, creating many different facades diversifying its appearance from day to night.

The building, entirely clad in a double skin of glass, is organised on six floors: five floors above ground and a semi-basement floor offering a total net area of approximately 1150 sq m. Access is via the ramp from ground level to the semi basement where the reception area is located. From this point visitors are directed into the exhibition areas, while staff and students will be able to access the workshop/lab as well as the teaching/office spaces located on the upper floors of the tower.

The building has been designed to be carefully insulated and protected from winter cold winds and strong direct summer solar radiations. The external envelope of the building plays a key role in controlling the environmental strategies: the structure is completely sealed on the north side and partly open on the other three sides in order to provide the sufficient penetration of daylight. The system of windows optimises the influx of sunlight and minimises the need for artificial illumination. Four tilted triangular shaped skylights contribute to provide a sufficient level of natural light into the semi-basement floor areas and are designed with an orientation to the north, avoiding the direct solar radiation. A series of openings, distributed on the sides of the building in order to guarantee a cross ventilation system, are positioned in the concrete wall. A large rooftop opening brings natural light to all floors of the building, simultaneously creating a flue effect to promote efficient natural ventilation.

Professor Jo Darkwa, Director of CSET remarks: "The Centre is an outstanding demonstration of Architecture and Environmental Engineering in the development of sustainable construction. China is the fastest growing economy and energy consuming country in the world. The construction industry is also the fastest growing with about 2 billion square meters of buildings which is equivalent to about 80,000 new skyrise buildings per year. These are some of the reasons why the Centre was established in cooperation with our Local partners to make practical contributions towards Sustainable Development in China and the world as a whole.”

Laura Salmi
architecture NOW

Liaunig Museum, Carinthia, Austria

Querkraft completes Liaunig Museum
Austrian architect Querkraft has completed the Museum Liaunig near Neuhaus/Suha in Carinthia, Austria. The building houses contemporary art and gold objects collected by industrialist and art collector Herbert W. Liaunig.

Built out of glass, concrete and sheet metal, the new museum takes the form of an outstretched rectangular container buried into the land and jutting out of its hillside site on two sides like a work of land art. The main body of the museum cuts through a densely wooded, steep sided embankment providing unparalleled views over the River Drau, seventy metres below.

At one end the building cantilevers an impressive thirty metres out over a steep bank towards the approach road - clearly visible to the approaching visitors. The museum’s entrance zone is oriented toward both the center of Neuhaus and the nearby historical castle owned by the museums’ patron.

The substantial viewing storage depot is one of the main areas of the museum. Stretching the entire length of the gently sloping approach to the main exhibition hall, visitors are accompanied by this “wine cellar of art”. This underground volume offers the possibility to organize a variety of exhibitions by virtue of the flexible screens and lighting arrangements.

The building’s core is a 160 metre long exhibition hall with terraces at each end.

Sharon McHugh
International Correspondent
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Akershus University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Technology and patient experience are key in €1billion design
After 9 years in the making, the Akershus University Hospital near Oslo, Norway has opened. Designed and constructed by C. F. Møller Architects, it has a total area of 137,000 sq m and cost €1 billion to construct. During construction, from 1 March 2004, to 1 October 2008, some 1,400 people from 37 different nations contributed over 6.2 million man-hours erecting the new ‘super hospital’. The large-scale building will serve the 340,000 inhabitants from surrounding municipalities and boasts space for 50,000 in-patients with 4,600 staff members, including 426 doctors.

The vision was to create something economical, innovative and a place people can relax and be at ease. Klavs Hyttel, partner in C. F. Møller Architects and lead architect of the project commented, “The concept of security should encompass both efficiency, technology and the familiar patterns of the daily routine. It is through this balancing act that we have created the architectural attitude of the building."

The building differs in form throughout, yet notions of light and the outside environment are a common factor linking the assorted areas. Achieved through a glass covered main entrance, brightness is promoted throughout the main artery of the building. Coupled with the overriding use of wood as a key component in the structure. Adding colour and inspiring recovery, a €2.3 million art programme is in place mixing work from fresh and established Scandinavian artists.

Contrasting with the organic materials in use are the advanced technological incorporations: Doctors can order medicine via PC which is then automatically dispatched to the patient; robotic un-manned trucks deliver bed linen and each patient bed comes with a TV, telephone and internet access. These futuristic practises give patients a more relaxed stay and increase the contact time they receive whilst enhancing the efficiency of such an institution.

David Shiavone
architecture NOW

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, United States

Pentagram Architects complete the new Harley Davidson Museum
To get himself revved up about designing the first museum for America’s iconic motorcycle, Harley Davidson, Pentagram partner, Jim Biber got himself a Harley and rode it to work each day from his Brooklyn residence to his office in Manhattan. It was an exercise that helped Biber codify the quintessential qualities of the Harley brand and culture and bring them to design of the museum.

Biber has designed a museum whose construction recalls the fabrication of a Harley motorbike on a 60-acre site whose openness captures the spirit of a motor rally. The result is a museum experience that should resonate with Harley enthusiasts worldwide.

Rather than design a single building, Biber choose instead to design a series of buildings connected with bridges, an organization inspired by a ‘factory town”. Three buildings, which house galleries, archives, and a store, are arranged around an intersection of 60ft wide roads that are broad enough for four rows of parking, two traffic lanes and hoards of visiting bikes which serve as temporary exhibits.

The buildings take on an industrial aesthetic, with lots of glass and exposed steel frames inspired by the Harley’s exposed V-twin engine. When approaching from the West, the main museum building rises in steps from 15’ to 80’ culminating in iconic towers. Louvered spaces above the towers, which function to conceal the central chillers and equipment, house meeting rooms that provide spectacular views.

The complex is completed with an open tower of steel, holding a monumental three-dimensional “Bar & Shield” the iconic symbol of Harley Davidson.

The $75 Million Museum opened to the public in July
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"Hanging Gardens", Ekaterinburg, Russia

RMJM’s ‘hanging gardens’ get the green light in Ekaterinburg
As Russia's third largest city with 1.3 million people, Ekaterinburg should expect a higher profile. Yet the city has flown under the radar since it was founded in 1723, until now. Capital of the vast Ural region on the edge of Siberia, Ekaterinburg is currently enjoying an unprecedented level of investment. As the city aims to become a regional business hub on a par with Moscow, an international design competition for a new landmark development in the city has been won by an international alliance and is set to raise the city's profile.

Russian developer Vector-Stroy, French holding Vinci Construction Grands Projets and UK-based international architectural firm RMJM will collaborate on 'hanging gardens', a mixed-use development including 46,000 sq m of serviced apartments, an international standard five star hotel and the world’s first vertical park which will run through the core of the proposed building.

Forming the heart of a new arts, culture and sports quarter on the banks of the river Iset, the arched form of the proposed 100 metre structure echoes the poetic curves of the city’s Byzantine Temple of Blood. And behind the glass and steel exterior of the tower will lie a vertical, hanging evergreen park running through the atrium at the heart of the building. Designed with access for the general public as well as those who live and work in the building the park is thought to be the first of its kind in the world.

Matt Cartwright, director of RMJM, the architects behind the scheme, explains the thinking behind the unusual idea: “Like many cities in Russia, extreme climates in summer and winter prohibit many people from enjoying public parks and spaces. We decided to bring the outdoors inside and provide the public with a park they can enjoy year round.

“Ekaterinburg is a city steeped in tradition but which also has a bright future ahead. This new development heralds the start of a new era and signals the investment being made to return Ekaterinburg to the great city it once was.”

The design team explored ways of reducing the energy consumption of the building and it is expected that this development will become a new environmental benchmark for the city. The atrium, for example, will also act as thermal buffer zone to control the building’s temperature.

The vertical park is topped by a public sky park at the building’s pinnacle offering panoramic views of Ekaterinburg and beyond
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Busan Cinema Centre, Busan, Korea

Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au to break ground on first Korean project and second largest design to date
Busan Cinema Centre represents a milestone for Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au as the first project in Korea and their second largest ever undertaking. Hur Nam-sik, Mayor of the City of Busan, Yu In-Chon, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in South Korea and Wolf D. Prix, Design Principal and co-founder of Coop Himmelb(l)au will celebrate the groundbreaking of the entertainment centre tomorrow.

The foundation stone laying ceremony will take place concurrently with the opening of the 13th International Film Festival in the City of Busan.

Commissioned in 2005, the design features an 85 meter roof cantilever which will create a multimedia public urban space.

“The roof as signature and symbol for activity has been one of the topics our team has been working on for the past years”, says Wolf D. Prix. “Our architectural aim to defy gravity reached a new turning point by designing one of the biggest roof cantilevers in our design history which actually never touches the ground – the connection emerges only by the rise of the landscape”.

The roof appears as if it was a cloud hovering above the centre creating a vibrant landmark and protecting a vast 4,000 seat outdoor cinema and event space. The project will also include studios, offices, creative space and a convention center for the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF). A 1,000 seat multi-functional musical, performance, concert and cinema theater is at the heart of a 4-screen specialized “CineMountain” which acts as a commercial theater and cinema center during non-festival times.

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The Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower unveiled at Cityscape Dubai by new kids on the block, LAVA
The Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA), as a firm, is one of the freshest faced out there being set up just one year ago. However, probing into the individual experiences of the three co-partners you discover that together they are stronger. Beijing’s Watercube and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany are amongst their combined resume as well as boasting the talents of the innovation expert of the Fraunhofer institute in Stuttgart.

Just one year after setting up the company Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck have unveiled a unique tower design inspired by Formula 1 technology. Working in collaboration with legendary Formula 1 racer and namesake of the tower, Michael Schumacher, LAVA have designed a vertically undulating design which is set to break ground early 2009.

“The unique collaboration with Michael Schumacher gave us new insights. Technology, precision, speed, elegance, paired with human intuition and extraordinary performance were a great source of inspiration for the design. Similar to the formula one operation, construction is a team sport with a lot of highly skilled experts. In this sense the architects take the driver seat in the process, taking the project to the physical limits of possibility”, says Alexander Rieck

Inspired by the geometrical order of a snowflake and the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car, the tower encapsulates speed, fluid dynamics, future technology and natural patterns of organisation to learn from rather than mimick these elements for beauty.

The lower levels of the tower, have been reinterpreted as a series of wharf apartments, terraced similar to that of cruise ship decks. By widening the base, the tower is anchored into its surrounding water basin similar to the surrounding mangroves and nearby canals. The top Sky villas offer 270- degree views opposite the new cultural district on Saadyiat Island.

The building features an iconic silhouette and a facade characterised by vertical slots with private balconies. A series of reflective fins generates a vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly changing appearance. The fins track the sun, control the solar shading and dissolve the rationality of the plan into a continuously evolving building volume. The facade’s continuous surface enables curvature with a lot of repetition and the potential for standardisation in the building process. State-of-the-art engineering and innovative materials will be used to aim at achieving a fully sustainable performance.

Developed for clients Vedera Capital|Marasi, completion is expected around June 2011.

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ADIA, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Designed to represent modern commerce and culture in Abu Dhabi, KPF’s ADIA headquarters also echoes its surrounding Islamic architecture
Designed for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the 38-storey corporate headquarters is located on the city's heavily landscaped Corniche, which runs along the Persian Gulf waterfront. Regional elements, such as billowing sails and shifting sand dunes, inspired the form of the building. Its dramatic shape creates a new profile on the Corniche and the Abu Dhabi skyline.

The client, a global institutional investor, sought a building that was open and welcoming, a symbol of the bank's commitment to transparency in its transactions. The design solution is simple: a vertical plane folded three times to create two arms outstretched in an inviting gesture.

Cellular and open-plan office spaces were required, as were zones for interaction and meetings. The building's two wings provide well-lit cellular offices and allow for intimate, open-plan work areas. Informal meetings take place within central landscaped atria and their sky gardens-recalling the Islamic tradition of planted interior spaces. The atrium, which soars 150 metres (492 feet), also serves as an extract chimney for stale air. In the lower ground floor, a grand auditorium can be combined with the adjacent reception area to provide a formal gathering space for ADIA's employees.

The building is responsive to natural forces. Its "active" façade comprises three layers: a low-e-coated, double-glazed outer skin; a single-glazed internal skin; and a solar-controlled blind in the cavity. This composite provides a high shading coefficient and U-value and lowers the cooling load on the building.

The headquarters building subtly echoes themes found in age-old Islamic architecture. Its slim stair tower creates a dialogue with the slender minarets of the adjacent mosque: an intriguing juxtaposition of modernity and tradition
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