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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Torre Gran Costanera, Santiago, Chile

Pelli Clarke Pelli designed tower halted amidst credit crunch chaos

South America's tallest tower, under construction since 2006, has been halted at 22 stories, its developers blaming the current economic climate. Designed by the same architects responsible for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the iconic One Canada Square tower in London's Canary Wharf, Pelli Clarke Pelli, the 60 storey tower was due to complete in 2010 and stand at 300m. At that height it would be the tallest building on the continent and the second tallest in the southern hemisphere.

The tower is the centrepiece of the Costanera Center, built in the central business district of Santiago. Torre Gran Costanera will contain two hypermarkets, two luxury hotels, a six floor mall with more than 200 stores and a foodcourt with a panoramic view for more than 2000 people.

The news follows the announcement last week that another Pelli Clarke Pelli project in Austin, Texas, Museum Tower has been shelved. Construction on the 30 storey tower was scheduled for early this year with completion in 2011 but the developer has stopped the build before its commencement.
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Zamet Centre, Rijeka, Croatia

Public space integrated into new structural topography of Zamet Centre

The primary characteristic of the design of Zamet Centre is the integration of a big work project into the urban structure of this part of the town of Rijeka, with the objective of minimizing disruption and to evaluate its given urban conditions – unleveled terrain, the pedestrian link in a north-south direction, the quality plateau in front of the primary school, the park zone, placing the program in the centre of Zamet at the intersection of communications.

The joint conceptual and design element of the handball hall and the Zamet Centre are ‘ribbons’ stretching in a north-south direction, simultaneously functioning as an architectural design element of the objects and as a zoning element which forms a public square and a link between the north – park-school and the south – the street. One third of the hall’s volume is built into the terrain, and the building with its public and service facilities has been completely integrated into the terrain, i.e. it creates it with its ‘ribbons’.

The public space on the roof is not only a feature of the building in the business part of the centre, but the roof of the hall is also used as a kind of an extension of the park situated to the north of the hall. The hall has been designed for major international sports competitions, in compliance with state-of-the-art world sports standards. The design of the hall has been conceived as a very flexible space.

The auditorium has been designed as a system with telescopic stands, which open and adapt to the kind of competition and the number of spectators; at major competitions 2100 spectators have seating places by opening all the stands. The architecture of public facilities, the shopping centre, the library and the local authority stands out in the topography of the terrain, connecting the square in front of the hall and in front of the school and tries to integrate into the overall existing context of western Zamet.
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Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Planning granted for Wilkinson Eyre's Mary Rose Museum design

The £35 million project to build a new museum for the Tudor warship Mary Rose in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard took significant steps forward this week with the news that the planning application has been approved by Portsmouth City Council.

The museum, designed by a team comprising Wilkinson Eyre Architects (architect), Pringle Brandon (interior architect) and Land Design Studio (exhibition design and interpretation), in collaboration with Gifford (structural and M&E engineer), will reunite the ship’s preserved hull with many thousands of unseen artefacts for the first time in 500 years.

The museum building is conceived as a finely crafted wooden jewellery box discreetly enclosing the Mary Rose as its treasure. The curvilinear shape, which is derived from the historic dry dock below, responds to its unique context alongside HMS Victory and its dark stained timber cladding picks up on the ‘carvel’ construction of the Mary Rose hull as well as traditional boat shed architecture.

The Mary Rose Trust’s Chief Executive John Lippiett welcomed the good news: “We have reached a real milestone in the project and taken another step in the fascinating journey of the Mary Rose.

“We can now submit our stage 2 application with real confidence. We have the planning approval; we have demonstrated considerable success in raising half the money required and are buoyant that we can raise the remainder.”

The announcement coincides with confirmation from the Mary Rose Trust that they have raised over half of the £14million required to match the £21 million earmarked for the project by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in January 2008. The Mary Rose Trust can now progress to stage two and submit a further, fully developed application to the HLF to secure the full grant. The hull of the Mary Rose will be withdrawn from public view later this year as the new museum is built around her. It will continue to be interpreted in imaginative ways in the existing museum, which will remain open throughout.

She will continue to be sprayed with polyethylene glycol, a water-based wax solution, until 2011. The hull will be carefully dried within the new museum until she can be displayed fully in 2016.
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university campus in Oman

nra to design AUS $20million university campus in Oman

Brisbane firm Noel Robinson Architects’ (nra) have revealed first images of their design for a new 120 million Australian Dollars Sohar University campus in the Sultanate of Oman which they claim will revolutionise higher education design in the Middle East.

nra will design 12 buildings within the two-hectare campus of Sohar University on the back of their initial master planning commission including a new Library, Sporting Facilities, Multi-purpose lecture theatres, Graduation Hall, Faculty Buildings for Engineering, Business, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Administration, Student Services and post-graduate residences.

nra founder, Noel Robinson, advised that this project is the ignition of the firm’s future in the Middle East and stated that Oman is the “sleeping giant” for sustainable development opportunities in the region.

“Oman is a largely untapped market and our appointment to complete the university master plan and now to design the campus buildings has opened the door to a wealth of new opportunities, which is beneficial in the current global economic climate,” said Robinson. “Oman is more understated than the neighbouring UAE and has a lot to offer in terms of its rich cultural heritage, natural environment, varied climate and beautiful coastline. Oman has immense potential to lead the region in sustainable development in the Middle East, particularly in integrated tourism development and education. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has set Oman on a path for sustainable development, which is a perfect fit for nra’s design approach.”

And this design approach, nra say is to “contemporise Islamic design traditions with leading international principals of campus planning and innovative environmentally sustainable design.”

nra expects to complete phase one of the Sohar University building designs in early 2009, with construction to be completed by 2011.
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Headquarter of China Insurance Group, Shenzhen, China

Jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” choose Coop Himmelb(l)au design

The jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” Competition chaired by Mr. Arata Isozaki, selected Coop Himmelb(l)au's design for Tower C, the new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” as the winning scheme. Other participants include Morphosis, Steven Holl Architects, Hans Hollein, MVRDV and FCJZ Atelier.

The new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” will be part of a lively business quarter in the heart of the Central District of Shenzhen made up of a carefully composed ensemble of unique, individual towers creating a landmark silhouette.

The project is a high-rise structure with a height of approximately 200 m with 49 storeys. The footprint area has the size of 40 by 40 m. The required program is distributed vertically. A clear separation of public and private functions is given. All public functions are organized in the base building while the office program is situated in the tower. Semi public program like meeting rooms, conference center, recreation areas and gardens are concentrated in the middle of the building. This zone is designed to create a pattern of meeting facilities, gardens and recreation areas for all employees and become spaces for an exchange of knowledge and creativity and a synergy of form and function.

The “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” is not only recognizable by its significant form but also by its façade. The design of the façade is driven by generation of energy. The second skin of the façade is shaped by climate conditions and inner functions. This skin includes photovoltaic cells to generate electricity and also cells to reduce excessive wind pressure, shade the sun and create multi media displays. Strategies employing the form of the building to assist natural ventilation together with the use of renewable energy sources (wind and solar power) assure an energy efficient design and reduce energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

INCH, Toronto, Canada

Lawrence Dodd a r c h i t e c t designs 10 unit medium density housing project in Toronto's core

This project will occupy a 35 m X 30 m vacant lot located in a transitional area in the central core of Toronto. Turn of the century Victorian houses some residential, some commercial co-exist with mid-rise multi-family residential and newly created high-rise condominiums.

Vehicular access is off a rear lane common to the locale. Existing lots on these lanes are being divided in two creating new residential properties and intensifying the density as part of the city’s plan for the area.

The concept was to create a family oriented community of various sized units focusing on an interior court formed by the layout of the six three floor buildings. This court is shared between vehicular, pedestrian traffic and community recreational space.

There is a total of 10 units, 4 one bedroom approximately 42 m², 2, 3 bedroom units approximately 124 m², 2, 3 bedroom + studio units approximately 120 m², 2, 3 bedroom + studio units approximately 138 m².

Outdoor spaces, high windows, entries facing the street, laneway and court help to visually supervise the common and public spaces and mimic the porch vernacular of the area.

Courtyard pervious paved areas, grass strips, hardy bamboo and green roofs aid in the control of rainwater run off.

Terraced floors, large window planes and reflective light exterior paneling allow maximum daylight penetration and allow social interaction within the complex.
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Regium Waterfront - Museum of the Mediterranean, Reggio Calabria, Italy

New designs aimed at redefining Reggio Calabria as a culture capital

Zaha Hadid Architects have revealed their designs for the Museum of the Mediterranean and a Multifunctional Building for the performing arts on the Regium Waterfront. The project aims to define the city of Reggio Calabria as a Mediterranean cultural capital through the realization of these two characteristic buildings.

The location of the site on the narrow sea strait separating continental Italy from Sicily, offers an opportunity to create two unique buildings visible from the sea and the Sicilian coast: a Museum of the Mediterranean History and a Multifunctional Building.

The form of the museum draws inspiration from the organic shapes of a starfish. The radial symmetry of this shape helps to coordinate the communication and circulation between different sections of the museum and its other facilities. The Museum of Mediterranean History will house exhibition spaces, restoration facilities, an archive, an aquarium and library. The Multifunctional Building is a composition of three separate elements that surround a partially covered piazza. The building will house the museum’s administrative offices, a gym, local craft laboratories, shops and a cinema. Three different auditoriums, which can be converted into one large space, are also housed in the Multifunctional Building.
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Monday, February 09, 2009

Lehman College, New York, United States

CUNY's new building breaths new life into education

“Living classrooms” are revolutionizing not only the design of learning environments – but the way students actually learn. One example of how designers and educators are working together to optimize the education system is Lehman College’s new Science Building.

Lehman College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY), has long been known for its rich architectural heritage – David Todd, architect of Manhattan Plaza, and Jan Pokorny, regarded for his expertise in adapting historic buildings for reuse, both helped to shape the College. Today, Lehman is looking to build on its history of innovation in campus design with the groundbreaking of its new Science Building.

Going beyond just housing academic programs, the new building itself will facilitate teaching and research. The building is centered on an “urban wetland,” from which scientists will conduct ecological and other life science research, and will also feature displays that provide real-time information on building operations, including energy and water usage.

Designed by Perkins+Will, the new Science Building is the first groundbreaking in CUNY’s “Decade of the Sciences” initiative, an effort designed to renew the CUNY’s commitment to science, math, technology, and engineering.
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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens, Greece

Italian architect takes his talents to Greece

Pritzker Prize winning Renzo Piano has revealed his designs for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, set to be a new icon for the ancient city. Housing the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, both set within the Stavros Niarchos Park, the 187,800 sq m SNFCC is the first public-private endeavour of its kind with the Greek State.

Commenting on the significance of SNFCC, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stated that, “this Center is a milestone for our country. The design is truly astonishing. In a wonderful manner, it combines high aesthetics with functionality and consideration for the environment. I am certain that its impact will extend beyond our national boundaries.”

In keeping with SNF’s and RPBW’s mission to create an emissions neutral facility, the project has been conceptualised with the highest standards of environmental sustainability. A pivotal design element that will play a significant role in helping achieve this aggressive standard can be seen in Piano and his Building Workshop’s innovative roof– a series of interconnected photovoltaic cell panels which will cover the structure’s needs, taking advantage of the pure “green” solar and wind energy. SNFCC is also expected to receive LEED certification.

“We were extremely honoured by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s invitation to play a role in such a generous gift to Greece,” noted Renzo Piano. “The Cultural Center’s proximity to water, and the natural warm breezes and light of Athens were particularly inspiring during the design process. It was immediately clear that we must take advantage of all these elements to ultimately design a zero emissions building that expresses movement and energy.”

SNFCC is expected to open in 2015 and its construction will be funded exclusively by SNF, an International philanthropic organisation concentrating on education, social welfare, health and medicine, and arts and culture prjects. The design will be realised with an approximate budget of 450 million Euros, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding executed with the Greek State. Once completed, the project will be turned over to the Greek State.
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Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers, Nagoya City, Japan

Nikken Sekkai's stunning building sets the standard for educational architecture

Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers located in busy Main Street of Nagoya city in front of Nagoya Station. The towers are designed for three schools that represent the school of fashion design, computer programming and medical support. The concept of the towers are derived from the enthusiasm of students from three schools, twining and rising up to the sky then departing to the real world. Three buildings of class rooms around the spiral core are called “Wings”. The towers' wing-like shape, narrow at the top, changes the rotation axis as they rise and create an organic curve. Spiral Towers appears to change shape slightly when viewed from different angles, giving an elegant yet dynamic impression. The strong inner truss tube is visible through gaps between the three wings, highlighting the bold design and structure while demonstrating the overall consistency.

The towers are highlighted with many ecological features, such as a double-glassed air flow window system and a natural air ventilation system. The central core of the building is a highly rigid cylindrical structure. Like the central pillar in a house, this structure securely protects the building against twisting and earthquakes. This cylindrical structure is called an inner truss tube and comprises concrete-filled, steel tubular columns, with braces deployed around the core. The towers are integrated with mass damper systems, expanding columns and AMD for restraining seismic vibration. The latest structural engineering provides the highest safety even in the case of the more severe earthquakes.
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Zira Island Masterplan, Baku, Azerbaijan

Bjarke Ingels Group take mountain fetish to the next level with Zira Island Masterplan

Mimicking and blending in with a region’s topography is a trick that most architects are familiar with, but Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) take the art to the highest level.

In October 2008 WAN caught up with the firm’s founding partner, Bjarke Ingles, following their presentation of residential development Mountain Dwellings at the World Architecture Festival Awards in Barcelona, which subsequently won in its category. But that has proven just a taster of BIG’s passion for man-made mountains as they present details of the Zira Island master plan in Baku, Azerbaijan - a 1million sq m range of seven cultural, residential and leisure peaks and Central Asia’s first carbon neutral master plan.

The imagery is breath-taking. From a distance the Island’s topography is an illuminated mountain range, but in reality the landscape is a living, functioning, inhabited space, seven towers creating a new mountain city. Importantly the scheme mimics the properties of natural mountains to create a fully sustainable eco-system.

“What we propose for Zira Zero Island is an architectural landscape based on the natural landscape of Azerbaijan,” says Ingels. “This new architecture not only recreates the iconic silhouettes of the seven peaks, but more importantly creates an autonomous ecosystem where the flow of air, water, heat and energy are channeled in almost natural ways. A mountain creates biotopes and eco-niches, it channels water and stores heat, it provides viewpoints and valleys, access and shelter. The Seven Peaks of Azerbaijan are not only metaphors, but actual living models of the mountainous ecosystems of Azerbaijan.”

Together with engineers Ramboll, BIG’s aim is to create a completely self-sufficient island and to do so by combining local building traditions with the latest technologies, helping to reinvent this young, post-soviet democracy as a key driver in sustainable living.

Niki May Young
News Editor
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Holbaek Harbour masterplan, Holbaek, Denmark

MIPIM AR award hattrick for schmidt hammer lassen architects

Announced in WAN's News Review two weeks ago, schmidt hammer lassen architects (SHLA) won the MIPIM AR Future Project award in the Mixed Use category. Now the company reveal their happiness at having received the award for the third year in a row. Their Holbæk city harbour masterplan including a new "DGI City" - a sports complex concept developed by the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations, took the prize with judges commenting that "what might have been a prosaic response to a conventional waterfront programme has been turned into an occasion for a celebration of architecture, form and seamless combination of uses. Here is urban design and a sense of place."

"We are very proud to have won this important prize for the third time in a row,"said founding partner of schmidt hammer lassen, Bjarne Hammer. "It shows that our architecture is competitive internationally and remains competitive year after year. The project in Holbæk, which we won in 2008, effectively unites the city, the harbour and the fjord in a natural townscape and offers a social breathing space in a stressful society."

The winning proposal includes a lyrical, contemporary interpretation of a locally anchored, traditional building culture. It is inspired by the vision of an area where new and old merge to create a spatial interplay between the new townscape and the DGI complex.

In 2008 SHL won in the Offices category with Amazon Court, Prague and in 2007 their residential project Skytthusbugten Vejle took the title in the Residential category
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Rafael Arozarena High School, La Orotava, Spain

AMP Arquitectos complete new school in Tenerife

This building is set on a plot of land close to the historic town centre of La Orotava, blending in perfectly with the urban lay-out and the topography of the land around, relating visually with the near-by listed buildings. The school has been resolved as a plinth for the buildings located on the edge of the city centre. In the implementation of the project, consideration has been given to maintenance costs by using a very elemental lay-out, primary materials and recordable installations.

The whole blends in with the pre-existing walls of the farming terraces, where it rests on them at some points and passes over them at others, letting the land flow under the building and propitiating enclosed spaces for games or for people to gather. The plot covers a site on the slopes of the Orotava valley which used to be used for growing the traditional single crops of the area. The magnificent walls and stone paths that terrace the land remain as witnesses of the past.

The main access is from the south-east street, the only horizontal road of the network around the block, in order to provide the best access for students arriving by bus. It is also the road that that links to the largest population of potential school children. One arrives by ascending a slight ramp up to the hall floor. The porter’s office, administration offices and the library are all on this floor. The library is placed right next to the entrance so that this space is visible to the inhabitants of La Orotava and the surrounding area, when there are no classes.

Most of the high school secondary education activities take place on the two floors immediately below the entrance level: multi-purpose class rooms facing south east towards the boundary and the urbanisations containing wall, the special class rooms face the surrounding open spaces. On the floor below, one finds the science, nature and health laboratories and the sixth form computer room on one side and, on the other, the spaces used for the vocational training programmes: class rooms, departments and work shops that have to be in contact with the ground.

At the northern end, at a much lower level, is the gymnasium or sports centre, set into the hillside. The volume is partially set into the earth to minimise the size of this hall and the impact it has on its surroundings, and in order not to obscure the views over the valley and the sea from the upper terrace. The concrete finish is softened with a degraded wash of different tones to blend the building in with both the urban strata of La Orotava and the more rural nature of the south-western zones. These colour washes start from the staircase and the volume of the main entrance. The chromatic character of the building is important both inside and out, as it relates to the educational function of the centre.
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Dalian International Conference Center/MoCAPE, China


Coop Himmelb(l)au release designs for two major projects in China

The vastness of China can be witnessed from many perspectives, it is evident in maps, in its cultural make-up, its capacity for industrial output and, on a city level, in its architecture. In two cities roughly 1000 miles apart, Austrian architecture practise Coop Himmelb(l)au embarks upon separate projects which both replicate the monolithic scale of China.

The first, the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MoCAPE) merges two museums into one complex touted as an ‘Urban Monolith’. The complex will occupy an entire block in the south coast city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. Spreading outwards across the cityscape MoCAPE creates a domineering presence in the predominantly high-rise district using an alternative approach to scale, using only skylighting as a source of natural light and overhangs to further enhance the dominance or the building from street level.

The Second project, a multi-use Conference Center, breaks ground in Dalian, near the south east tip of China, and echoes MoCAPE’s scale at 1million m³. Designed to “both reflect the promising modern future of Dalian and its tradition as an important port, trade, industry and tourism city” the Dalian Conference Center is associative in its architectural concept rather than pictographic, taking on the softness of form as though eroded by forces of the sea. The design incorporates a public zone with shopping at ground level and a 1,900 seat theatre and 2,500 capacity conference space situated 15m above the entrance hall as floating spaces. Smaller conference spaces are situated around this core space.

“With the Dalian International Conference Center, a hybrid city within a building will emerge,” reads the design statement. “For the technical infrastructure of the building this means, that we have to consider a huge amount of people circulating inside the building at the same time, expecting high standards in circulation and comfort as well as a state of the art building concerning high flexibility, and low energy consumption and use of other resources.” In a country with a population of approximately 1.33 billion, Coop Himmelb(l)au’s two projects offer associatively scaled architecture and importantly, cultural spaces to enjoy the fruits of Chinese productivity.

Niki May Young
News Editor
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Afyon Thermal Hotel, Afyon, Turkey

Hotel complex designed for Afyon, Turkey

The building complex is designed as a thermal hotel complex composed of thermal hotel, spa center, conference center and thermal clinic located in Afyon where the region is famous for its thermal springs.

The location of the site, being on the highway at the periphery of the city, guided to design the project as an introverted complex with individual expression. The main concept of the design depends on the inner courtyards complemented with the green elements. The tectonic expression of the building is created as an interpretation of the existing landscape and continuation of the environment to the architectural configuration of the building.

The general plan of the building is designed with reference to the urban elements as streets, squares and courtyards. The hotel and clinic functions are planned individually with independent entrances while they are linked to each other at the lower lobby. The roof of the thermal center is designed as a green area at the ground floor. The courtyard typology is continued at the interior of the building as an atrium at the corridors of the room floors of the hotel and clinic blocks.
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Monday, February 02, 2009

KHBO University College, Bruges, Belgium

University college Bruges gets striking new campus

The architects envision this building whose dynamic form expresses the transfer of knowledge and competence in higher education. It is autonomous architecture with a strong identity that provides a lasting response to the complex needs and strict conditions to which a contemporary university must answer.

The building lies along a major roadway and forms a visual and sonic barrier between the busy highway and a peaceful green campus. Flexibility characterises various layers of the concept, from the architectural modulation to the static structure and layout of technical provisions, all functions that can be filled in optimally according to the current and future needs of the univesity.

The building consists of three main divisions: a volume containing the auditorium and cafeteria, three equal, sober volumes with classrooms and offices and a powerful volume encompassing study-related activities. The entire assemblage is covered over by a gigantic roof that, on the highway side, flows into a façade clad with anthracite-colored zinc. A bright cafeteria for 350 students is situated underneath a big auditorium for 650 people.

The forum is conceived as a three-dimensional meeting place with broad steps, open galleries, and places to sit or study. This light-flooded, contemporary forum is a heterotopic space in which students and professors can meet, and for this reason it is provided with a large number of study islands. The library, as the centre of knowledge and competence, is one of the main showpieces of the campus.
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The Standard Hotel, New York, United States

André Balazs’s Standard hotel opens in NYC

Does New York City need another luxury hotel? It would appear so to Andre Balazs, the boutique hotelier, who brought his Standard brand to the city this year. The erection of the eye-popping glass slab structure occurs in the trendy Meatpacking district and rises from stilts 18 stories above the High Line, a disused elevated rail line that is today one of the city’s hippest parks. Designed by Todd Schliemann of the New York-based Polshek Partnership, the hotel opened in January. It houses 317 guest rooms, several restaurants and bars, and a gym.

The building is decidedly modern, if not instantly iconic, with a mix of styles peppering its interior. Its slab on stilts design recalls the pioneering works of le Corbusier and other notable international style buildings, like the locally based Lever House and United Nations. The interiors,designed by Hollywood set designer Shawn Hausmann and New York based Roman and Williams, "get more modern the higher you go up”, said Balazs in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine.

The hotel lobby, which sits under the High Line, is early 20th century design, while the guest rooms in the tower above are designed with mid-century works in mind. On the top floor is a double height glass enclosed space that houses a supper club and lounge. Its design pays homage to Warren Platner, a protégé of Saarinen’s, who designed the Windows of the World restaurant in the World Trade Center.

If your shopping for a hotel in the city, aside from its fetching design and proximity to all the Meatpacking District has to offer, the best reason to bed down at The Standard is the stunning, unobsturcted views it offers of the city’s most cherished sites: the Empire State Building, the Hudson River, and in the distance, the Statue of Liberty.

Sharon McHugh
US Corresponden
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Loisium Hotel, near Colmar, France

Holl to build Loisium hotel in Alsace, France

Coming off the success of his recently completed Loisium hotel in Austria, Steven Holl has been commissioned by the French government to build a branch of the Loisium in the beautiful, mountainous region of Alsace, France. As at the Austrian location, the project will include a hotel, spa and wine center. But here the architectural response is quite different yet equally stunning.

Sited at the edge of a forest overlooking vineyards to the east and south with views of Switzerland and Germany in the distance, Holl has created an intimate village-like setting for Loisium that belies its massiveness by housing the program in a tree-like form with many branches.

The building will be clad in blacked wood, echoing the forest beyond. It will house a 100-room hotel, spa, and restaurant. From this tree will “sprout” a red, weathered steel pavilion, like a flower from a branch. Inspired by the red cliff of the former stone quarry on the site, the pavilion will house a wine center and event spaces.

The project is set for completion in 2011.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
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New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion., New York, New York, United States

UN Studio to build dramatic pavilion in NYC

Dutch architect Ben van Berkel has been selected to design a 5,000 sq ft pavilion in NYC to mark the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York Harbor. To be built at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, as it is named, will be unique among the city’s many public spaces – a landscaped intermodal transportation hub of the 21st century, where bicycles, buses, the subway and water transportation intersect with cultural offerings in a singular expression of daring but lyrical design.

The pavilion, whose form has been likened to an “X”, a flower opening and a windmill depending on ones point of view, will have openings on three of four sides and house an information center, café and restrooms. The materials have not yet been selected, but van Berkel told the Architect’s Newspaper that it would be white with a changing LED display.

To be permanently installed by September, the pavilion is expected to spruce up and enliven the Peter Minuit Plaza, a highly trafficked area that receives 5 million people annually, including 70,000 daily commuters.

New York-based Handle Associates is the local architect for the project.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
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Afterparty, New York, New York, United States

Tower scheme takes MoMA top prize

MOS, an interdisciplinary design practice based in New Haven, Connecticut and Cambridge, Massachusetts, is this year’s winner of the MoMA/PS 1 Young Architects Program, which gives emerging architects the opportunity to transform P.S. 1’s courtyard into an “urban beach” that plays host to the museum’s popular summer-long music series “Warm Up”. Now in its 12th year, the program is a right of passage for young architects; catapulting many from virtual obscurity onto the global stage. Past winners as, for example, SHoP, ROY and Tom Wiscombe, who cut their architectural teeth at P.S.1, are today highly sought after design talents with impressive portfolios of built work.

MOS’s proposal dubbed “afterparty” features a series of towering forms visible from the street that are part urban shelter part cooling generators. The interior of the conical thatched rooms will provide shade, similar to a Bedouin tent in which the dark textile creates its own microclimate shielding from the summer heat. Cool air from the courtyard's thermal mass will be drawn up through a series of chimneys by induction to create a breeze and cool-down atmosphere for the Warm-Up crowd.

“The project proposes to deal with issues of sustainability and a return to basics”, said Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. “Its combination of forms...are evocative at once of the vernacular village structures world wide and of the open ruined vaults of the Roman Forum.”

To be built of lightweight aluminum, thatching and concrete for a budget of $70,000, the project is set to open in late June.

Sharon McHugh
US Corresponden
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Burj 34, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

New residential tower for Burj Dubai District

DeStefano Partners have designed a 38-storey residential tower for Emaar Properties located in Dubai, UAE. Burj 34 is part of the Burj Dubai District, a master-planned community combining residential apartments, offices, luxury hotels and the Dubai Mall. The building site is adjacent to the prominent Burj Dubai Boulevard, the major roadway of the complex, and directly north of the water channel.

The building has been tailored to the "urban professional" as a tower of quality and stature, with high attention to detail and easy-to-maintain materials. The structure is comprised of reinforced concrete while the facade is serated glass and concrete with metal detailing.

With its panelized skin, the building’s powerful form is reminiscent of the dragon fruit and will create a distinctive presence within the district. The exterior responds in its strength and detail to the urban scale of the Burj District, while the interior reinterprets this aesthetic vocabulary in detail and form to create an intimately scaled residential environment, full of richness and texture.

The building is sculpted to maximize unit views over the district while delivering a floor plate efficiency of 86%.
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Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate, United Kingdom

Mackenzie Wheeler creates an extra wing and contemporary spa building at Harrogate's historic Rudding Park

Mackenzie Wheeler has designed a new wing of 34 guestrooms and suites that will adjoin the existing Grade 1 listed country house hotel via a glazed atrium. The three storey wing is designed to compliment the existing buildings on the site. In contrast, the spa building is contemporary in design, bringing an exciting new architectural element to the 107 hectare hotel grounds.

The spa features a sedum roof and extensive terracing, non-reflective structural glazing and Cadeby Stone cladding, with timber louvers, columns and cladding features. “The design achieves a balanced composition of respectful guest wing and transparent spa, with a preference for new garden concepts over building forms, enabling us to juxtapose historic and contemporary aspirations without conflict,” says Duncan Mackenzie. “The new buildings, by virtue of location, landform and landscaping are not particularly visible in the first instance. The new entry sequence adds a sense of discovery when guests come upon the contemporary spa building in this otherwise historic setting.”
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Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, Germany

Porsche Museum completes in Stuttgart

A symbol of speed, agility, style and prestige, the Porsche is the car that every man, woman and child has dreamed about driving, even just once. Now, in Porsche's home city of Stuttgart, stands a place where all of those dreamers can drool freely - if not at the shiny speed-machines, then definitely at the monolithic car cathedral of the Porsche Museum.

Open to the public as of 31st Jan the museum, designed by Austrian firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, offers dramaturgy from every perspective. "The new Porsche museum represents our conception of architecture which is constantly moving in the field of interaction between buildings and their users," says Roman Delugan, co-founder of Delugan Meissl Associated Architects.

The exterior is simultaneously engaging and appropriately reflective of the stature and confidence of the brand. Textural surface alterations and varying levels and angles offer a structural complexity reflecting the manufacture of a well-oiled machine, while slashes of glazing allow the building to shine outwardly and beckon passers-by inside, further lured by a gently sloped ramp towards the entrance.

Once inside visitors are welcomed by a restaurant, museum shop and coffee bar and can view product development at work in the Classic-Workshop archive surrounding the two-level space. Taking enthusiasts towards the exhibition space is a dramatic cathedral-esque elevator space which narrows in anticipation of the abyssal exhibition space beyond. Stretching into a far-fetching gallery the collection unfolds and meanders through varying levels connected by sloping roads that visitors can steer themselves through and experience over 100 years of automotive design prowess.
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Sports Park Stožice, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sports Park Stožice will commence construction in March

The Sports Park Stožice is a hybrid project. Its implementation is the result of the public-private partnership between the City of Ljubljana and the Grep development company. The Sports Park Stožice integrates a football stadium and a multi-purpose sports hall with a big shopping centre, covered by the artificial landscape of the recreational park. As a result 182,000sqm Sports Park Stožice becomes one of the major focal points of Ljubljana’s urban life, attracting people of different interests and generation both during the daytime and in the evenings.

The sports hall and the football stadium, together with the big monolithic, prism-shaped residential towers of the BS3 neighbourhood, the World Trade Centre and Smelt buildings on the west side, and the forest island on the east side, create a cluster of recognisable iconic structures of the north-eastern entrance into the city.

The two storeys of the shopping centre and the interior car park fill the 12-metre deep disused gravel pit. The park that covers the roof of the shopping centre continues the natural landscape across the northern section of the outer ring road with the green urban space all the way to the city centre. The stadium and sports hall buildings frame the view of the Alps towards the north, and the castle hill and city centre towers towards the south.

The football stadium for 16,000 spectators is designed according to contemporary economic, sociological and environmental UEFA standards and is laid out under the plateau of the park. Only the roof over the stands rises above the plane of the park as a monolithic crater.

The sports hall for 12,000 spectators is located in the north-western part of the park. The four levels of concourses and the lower, VIP, and upper stands are covered by a shell-shaped dome. The park’s plateau, the edge of the shell canopy scallops and opens towards the interior. The ridges continue all the way to the top, where the facade meets the dome.

(Designed by Sadar Vuga Arhitekti with KSS, London as consultant in sports architecture; MYSI, Tel Aviv - shopping centre concept; and OFIS, Ljubljana - architect shopping centre)
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Østfold Hospital, Østfold, Norway

The long awaited construction of Østfold Hospital commences

After 7 years of hard work and thousands of drawings Hospital will now commence construction. Designed by Danish architectural firms AART and Arkitema, and Norwegian office Eliassen and Lambertz-Nilssen Arkitekter the new Østfold hospital will integrate a number of smaller hospitals into one big hospital covering the south east of Norway as part of the strategic plan by the Norwegian government to improve the Norwegian health care system.

Tore Dag Olsen, director of strategic finance in the region, said: “This project is very good and well thought through – a very credible scheme for a new Østfold Hospital."

Originally designed as a 155,000 sq m project, the hospital has been redesigned to 90,000 sq m with an extension option of 30,000 sq m. This accommodates the decision to merge four rather than five hospitals and a psychiatric unit.

It was decided to build the brand new hospital right in the geographical centre of the region instead of placing the big hospital close to one of the larger cities of the area, this means the new hospital will be situated on a beautiful site with fantastic views over Grålum in Sarpsborg, approximately 100 km southeast of Oslo.

The compact central square is the nerve centre of the hospital.The modest size of the space gives both patients and visitors alike a sense of security and a feeling of entering a friendly and welcoming hospital with clear and caring intentions – this is where patients thrive and heal. The various functions of the hospital are placed around the square and all publicly accessible areas can be viewed from this point, which makes it easy for patients and visitors alike to find their way. From the square all wards, which are all orientated towards views of the landscape, can be reached. The wards are all oriented towards the gorgeous views of the landscape that is hosting the hospital. The hospital is expected to complete in 2015.
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