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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Silver 100 Innovative Industrial Exhibition Centre, Nanhai, China

Barrie Ho Architecture completes new exhibition centre in Nanhai
Situated in the newly developing Nanhai Industrial Park, the site is a one-hour traveling distance from Centre Guangzhou. Silver 100 (YinYiBai) Innovative Aluminum Industry aims to promote its industrial technology and innovative products in an exclusive exhibition centre.

With an intensive GFA of 200,000 sq ft, the centre includes East & West wings of exhibition halls and business centres for different capacities and trade shows in two curvilinear stripes. Two wings of exhibition halls are equipped with innovative exhibition technologies that are skillfully elevated and linked by a grand staircase, leading to a 20 m ceiling height atrium.

The interiors of the business centres and the exhibition halls are sub-divided by an adaptive layout and demountable partitioning while the corporate offices will be located in the upper levels of both the East & West wings. An exclusive executive floor is located at the highest level of the East Wing to house a Hall of Fame, director’s board room and exotic executive en suites.

The architectural skin is designed with matt silver aluminum claddings and a mixture of window configurations and curtain wall systems to represent a metaphor of hi-tech-profile and a timeless machine.

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New Jiang Wan Cultural Center, Shanghai, China

An environmentally sensitive cultural center that celebrates the fusion of man and nature
Nestled in the city's last wetland preserve, Shanghai's latest and most comprehensive urban development, New Jiang Wan District, is a model for a sustainable community for the 21st Century. The area's Culture Center, located in a central park, was designed to celebrate and showcase the environmental sensitivity and community-oriented feel of the new town.

With 6,000 sq m of exhibition, education, performance, leisure and entertainment facilities across two floors, the culture center provides a fluid interaction between interior and exterior spaces. Inspired by a rootstock tangled with pieces of rock, the horizontal building is highly integrated with the landscape and nature.

The building encourages and stimulates public access and interactions within its dynamic spaces. Organic and inorganic material palettes contrast to celebrate the fusion of man and his environment.

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American British Cowdray (ABC) Neuroscience Center, Mexico City, Mexico

HKS awarded new neuroscience center in Mexico City
HKS was selected as design architect for the American British Cowdray (ABC) Neuroscience Center, which will offer patients a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to caring for patients with severe neurological injuries.

The center is a 174,000 sq ft addition to the existing Santa Fe campus which includes the HKS-designed ABC Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Mexico City.

HKS Principal Bruce Johnson notes: “The center offers a full continuum of care under one roof – from emergency and surgery services to recovery patient beds to rehabilitation facilities.”

The center will offer healthcare services for severe neurological injuries including traumatic brain injuries, stroke, spinal cord injuries, aneurysms, intracerebral hemorrhages, brain tumors, brain infections, epilepsy and neuromuscular emergencies. Orthopedic patients – ranging from injury to amputation – will also be served at the new facility.

The building, which complements the site, taking full advantage of the topography, includes seven levels with expansion capabilities for additional floors. “Incorporating similar existing campus materials – such as glass, stone and metal panels – the neuroscience center adapts creatively to produce a cohesive campus vernacular,” added Johnson.

In addition to the main entrance lobby, the ground floor houses physical and occupational therapy areas consisting of a therapy pool, whirlpool and exercise facilities. The first floor, which links to the existing hospital, is home to neuroscience physician offices. A neurological patient unit of 25 beds with reception, waiting, a multi-use communal room and larger transitional room is located on the second floor. The third level is home to orthopedic services. The building’s life-sustaining mechanical systems are located on the fourth floor. The fifth and sixth floors are shell spaces. The center is built to accommodate four additional stories.

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J.S. Bach at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester Art Gallery transformed as concert hall for International Festival
Zaha Hadid Architects and Manchester International Festival, with Manchester Art Gallery and three of the world’s leading concert soloists, will present a unique collaborative work for the 2009 Festival. Zaha Hadid Architects will visually and acoustically transform one of the exhibition spaces in Manchester Art Gallery into an intimate chamber music hall in which to hear the solo works of J S Bach.

Across a series of nine concerts, pianist Piotr Anderszewski, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and violinist Alina Ibragimova will perform J S Bach’s solo instrumental works for a small audience of 200 people at each performance. The new space will also be open to the public during usual gallery hours.

Zaha Hadid said: “As an articulation of the rhythmic and harmonic range Bach was able to achieve within the mathematical framework of his music, Zaha Hadid Architects’ design will explore this multiplicity by developing a coherent integration of formal and structural logic”.

Of this commission, Festival Director Alex Poots said, "The aim is to create a near-perfect visual and sonic environment for the audience to experience some of the world’s best-loved chamber music. Zaha Hadid Architects consistently come up with challenging and innovative ideas. It will be intriguing to see what they produce on this intimate level."

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RETREAT, Asperen, Netherlands

12 artists exhibit works designed to the theme of the retreat
On June 28th the exhibition RETREAT at KunstFort Asperen will be open to the public. Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos invited 12 artists to exhibit works which provide surprising interpretations on the theme of RETREAT from differing disciplines and perspectives.

Participating artists are: Tobias Rehberger, Frank Havermans, Ann Lislegaard, Pipilotti Rist, Absalon, Andrea Zittel, A.P. Komen/Karen Murphy, COSMIC WONDER, Jerszy Seymour, Lucy Orta, Hans op de Beeck and Sandra Backlund.

For Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos the KunstFort Asperen and its surroundings was the starting point for the theme RETREAT. The fortress has lost its original function, whereby the perception of place and space has changed. This transition from defense post to idyllic place forms the premise of the exhibition. The theme, although reflecting today’s socio-economic realities, was in fact chosen prior to the current global crisis.

According to Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos: "Each in their own way has invented solutions for people in need of a refuge. But each also shows that the solution and the situation you seek to escape are interwoven, and that there is a painful fragility to the human that no shelter can cover up."

UNStudio has designed a spatial installation which reinterprets the organization of the fort and forms the binding element between the exhibited works. The structure winds through the fort like a ribbon, playing with the changing perceptions and experiences of the space, both literally and symbolically. The material and the diamond structure of the installation reflect the exhibited artworks which are installed around the fort.

The RETREAT exhibition is open from 28th June to 20th September, Tuesdays to Sundays (10.00 to 17.00)

Entrance adults € 8
Children from 4 to 12 years € 5
Children younger than 4: Free
Season ticktet € 20
Tours from € 30 per group

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Temporary Colosseum, The Hague, Netherlands

Temporary Colosseum to drive culture into the heart of the Hague
Plans for a large temporary theatre on the Malieveld in The Hague, a large strech of lawn measuring over 10 hectare and positioned right along the entrance of the city, have been developed by cepezed architects. The Hague strives to be European Capital of Culture in 2018 and the theatre addition should function as an important eyecatcher and crowdpuller during this year.

The plans have been assigned by the offices of The Hague Capital of Culture 2018. Last Wednesday, this institution presented its report: Entitled to Culture!, in which it published its apparoach to obtain the much desired title. cepezeds theatre fulfills an important role in this approach. The theatre has been designed as a contemporary version of the Colosseum in Rome, the best-known example of a Flavian amphitheatre, and should be able to accommodate some 5,000 people. The construction is erected out of scaffolding. On the outside, it is covered with a stretched reproduction of famous artist M.C. Escher’s Metamorfosis. Inside, concerts, performances, exhibitions and fairs can take place. On International Day of Peace, singer Bono of Irish pop group U2 should be onstage.

The report considers the race to be Capital of Culture 2018 as an appropriate opportunity to highten and intensify the cultural participation of the Hague’s population. The city, also the royal seat, has a lot of competition though, amongst others of municipalities like Almere, Utrecht and Maastricht. A final decision on which town will be European Capital of Culture 2018 will not be taken until 2013.

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Libeskind Villa, Anywhere in the world

...but it's not your standard prefab!
From the man who designed the Jewish Museum Berlin, The Denver Art Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum comes The Villa - the world's most expensive prefab. While prefab and luxury are not two words that typically go hand in hand, Libeskind has gone off the curve of the standard affordable housing model and designed an exuberantly luxurious house with the moderate price tag of £2million.

The Libeskind Villa is formed of three floors, at basement, ground and first floor levels. Developed according to the customer's preferences including materials and fittings, the Villa is fully customisable around the basic 515 sq m shell of wood with zinc cladding. Complete with jacuzzi and sauna, TV screens behind bathroom mirrors, a fireplace room, aluminium framed balcony, underfloor heating and optional extras of a swimming pool or garage, the four bed, four bath Villa is designed for the discerning occupant.

And according to the literature, if you invest your £2million savings fund into a Libeskind Villa you'll not only service your desire for extravagance, but you'll perform a service to the planet, as the Villa is designed as a model of sustainability. Constructed predominantly from renewable wood, secluded within a Zinc outer casing, the core offers the best possible thermal insulation which, combined with discreet solar panelling and rainwater harvesting make the Villa the green-thinkers home of choice.

Order now and, following a brief study and planning phase to analyse the plot, this exceptional Villa could be delivered to your land, anywhere in the world, in a matter of months, and constructed in just a few weeks.

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Sears Tower Renovation, Chicago, United States

Iconic Chicagoan tower gets eco-retrofit
Sears Tower is to be the next of the American power-towers to set an environmental example by 'going green'. In April WAN reported that the Empire State Building would be undergoing a $500 million renovation in an effort to improve the building's sustainability and reduce energy consumption. Now it has been announced that Sears Tower (soon to be re-named Willis Tower after a tenancy deal with the firm), will undergo a similar $350 million transformation.

According to the U.S Department of State, buildings account for an estimated 36 percent of overall energy use, 65 percent of electricity consumption, 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and 12 percent of water use in America. Green improvements to Sears Tower are aimed at reducing electricity use by 80% in just four years, equating to 68 million kilowatt hours or 150,000 barrels of oil per year. The architects firm responsible for the retro-design, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, has also designed a 50 storey highly sustainable tower to accompany Sears Tower on its south side which will draw power from the improved efficiency measures and work as a net-zero energy development.

Sears Tower's Chicagoan neighbour, Merchandise Mart, was an earlier example of monumental eco retrofitting in America gaining LEED Silver and becoming the world’s greenest certified commercial building. As the world's tallest tower for 24 years, the retrofitting of Sears Tower will be a significantly larger undertaking, with all 110 stories incorporated in the changes.

Improvements include removing all 16,000 single-pane windows and swapping with modern replacements, modernizing the tower's 104 high speed elevators, harnessing renewable energy through turbine and solar technology, introducing green roofs to reduce storm water run-off and improve insulation as well as creating the world's tallest vistas for tenants and upgrading facilities throughout to use more efficient technology.

The ecological improvements will be created in tandem with ground level improvements to the entrance of Sears Towers and its surrounding area which will add attractive public space at the icon's foot including a new park, the introduction of an interactive digital display wall and new planting. The new hotel will also feature a retail plaza level that complements the Sears Tower restaurant Level 2. The upper plaza will include an indoor connection to the hotel, outdoor seating and additional landscape elements.

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King Hussein Cancer Center, Jordan

An architectural landmark in Jordan
HKS, Inc. was awarded a contract to design The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC). A premier cancer research and treatment center for Jordan and surrounding countries in the Middle East region, the 880,000 sq ft facility will be an architectural landmark, bolstering the reputation of the center as the regional destination for the treatment and research of cancer.

Senior HKS designer, Enrique Greenwell notes: “Like the city, the design of the building is progressive and modern, yet steeped in tradition, respecting its historic past.

“Reflecting the landscape of the ancient city with its intertwining design, the building façade to the south and east features punctuated fenestration patterns and stepped elements that mimic the hills in the distance,” he continued. “This design lessens the impact of the 14-storey vertical tower in the urban area.”

A glass beacon, the tallest element on the building, can be viewed from major intersections, which converge in the area.

“The Jerusalem stone engages with the glass – as if protecting and highlighting a jewel,” said Greenwell. “Public areas of the building such as the bridge, atrium and family lounges are exposed with glass promoting openness in contrast to the solidity of the stone. The faceted glass is transparent during the day and night, openly displaying the lifesaving activities occurring within the building.”

The cancer center will feature 152 adult and pediatric inpatient rooms, diagnostic and treatment facilities and outpatient clinics.

KHCC is the only healthcare provider in Jordan accredited by the Joint Commission International Standards for Accreditation. Patients will be treated with the latest international protocols and the design will implement best practices from top cancer centers around the world.

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Bellahoj Swim Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Swim stadium creates new recreational hub in Copenhagen
The Bellahoj swimming stadium has been built on the site of a former outdoor pool in suburban Copenhagen between the area Bronshoj and Copenhagen proper. The architectural solution connects the Bellahoj fields and the Bellahoj towers. The park around the stadium has both secluded areas for rest or reading and play areas for children.

The stadium building strengthens the Bronshoj area as an attractive location by establishing a meeting place in a dense city area. The ramps and stairs in front of the stadium will become a much needed public space in a very diffuse urban setting.

The horizontal front of the roof is coverd with glass in a greenish colour that mirrors the characteristic copper colour of the surrounding buildings. At night the roof can be spectacularily lit from inside with energy saving LED light. We have managed to integrate large glass areas in the building further enhancing the close connection between indoors and outdoors. At the same time the light steel construction of the roof makes the building seem both light and crisp.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tallinn City Hall, Tallinn, Estonia

The city celebrates it's new administrative core
Following an international idea contest with 81 participants, Bjarke Ingels Group of Denmark together with Adams Kara Taylor of the UK have been announced as architects for Tallinn’s new City Hall in Estonia. The international idea contest was jointly organized by the City Planning Department and the Union of Estonian Architects. From a shortlist of 9, the team was unanimously chosen by an international jury to design the 35,000 sq m plot near the Linnahall building.

Bjarke Ingels, Parter-in-charge at BIG said: "There is a saying that success has many fathers. That is especially true when designing such a crucial public building and public space as a town hall. The design needs to be shaped by input from neighbours and users, citizens and politicians. Paradoxically we architects often find ourselves isolated from this crucial dialogue at the moment of conception, due to the anonymity of the architectural competition. Since this was a 2 stage competition, we already had our first feedback from the jury – causing us to dramatically rearrange our design to fit the citizens’ needs. As a result we have envisioned a very elastic structure – capable of adapting to unexpected demands. We see it as the first conversation in a design dialogue we look forward to continue."

In an effort to echo the transparency of good governance and participatory democracy, the design for the new town hall of Tallinn will provide this two way transparency in a very literal way. The various public departments form a porous canopy above the public service market place allowing both daylight and view to permeate the structure. The public servants won’t be some remote administrators taking decisions behind thick walls, but will be visible in their daily work from all over the market place via the light wells and courtyards. In reverse the public servants will be able to look out and into the market place’s making sure that the city and its citizens are never out of sight nor mind. Similarly the City Council, which will be in the heart of the development, will offer transparency through reflection created by a mirrored ceiling revealing the actions from within via a large window facing the city.

Hanif Kara of Adams Kara Taylor said: "The structural concept reflects the simplicity of the architectural intent; a grouping of “easily assembled individual Frames” that through vierendeel frames free the connection of the city at ground level whilst simultaneously act as a “group” to resist lateral loads. The result is an economic ,fast build adaptable solution."

While the architects and the city celebrate this appointment, it is not without regard for the current economic situation. The mayor of Tallinn, Edgar Savisaar stated that it is his hope that the new building will be built sooner or later, despite the hard times in the European economy.
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Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin, United States

Old Palmer Auditorium seeds an iconic new performing arts center
The Long Center is a multi-venue performance facility constructed within the frame of the old Palmer Auditorium, a public icon for the City of Austin originally built in 1959. The best assets of the old building, its stage house, mezzanines, main floor and basement form the cradle for the new 2400-seat Dell Foundation Hall and 240-seat Rollins Studio Theater. The original dome has been removed, revealing the perimeter ring beam and a colonnade, creating The City Terrace, a new public plaza affording unobstructed views of the Downtown Skyline across Lady Bird Lake.

As a new public model of common sense sustainability, 97% of the 44 million pounds of debris removed from the original building has been reused or recycled. Original aluminum roof panels form the new cladding for Dell Hall; reused black and white marble slabs serve as counters in the new restrooms; 'space age' light fixtures from the original lobby anchor Rollins Studio Theater Lobby.

The project was bid within budget of $278 per sq ft in July 2005 and construction was completed on schedule in January 2008. It has received critical acclaim, establishing new standards for acoustic quality and theatrical capabilities in Central Texas.

Design Architect: Nelsen Partners, Inc. (Austin, Texas)
Production Architect: Zeidler Partnership (West Palm Beach, Florida)

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Amsterdam Public Library (OBA), Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam library designed for things to come
In Jo Coenen’s works, the importance of contextualisation is self-evident. His architecture and his architectonic-urban designs not only fit in with their environment, but are also embedded in them – they absorb, reinforce and reflect the characteristics of their surroundings. The situation with respect to the OBA was quite a different one. A totally new urban development, of which the OBA was the first building to be constructed, is now emerging on the spot where the Central Station post office used to be, of which the high-rise building, known by the name of Post CS, is now the only remnant. Consequently, the library could not adapt itself to an existing context, but had to anticipate its future surroundings. Jo Coenen’s solution has been to search for a connection to what the future context might be, to predict which sensations might be evoked by those new surroundings.

The urban development plan for Oosterdokseiland consists of abstract outlines of alignments and alternating building heights that had to be strictly adhered to, with little more to go by than the fact that the location would eventually be defined by a water square at the southern side, and by railway lines at the northern side. Because of the area’s central location in Amsterdam, and as he was convinced that the library would become an important spot within that specific area, Jo Coenen designed the OBA as an urban meeting place, starting at the square in front of the building with the stairs leading up to the main entrance.

Coenen was obliged to precisely follow the prescribed alignments, both along the ground floor and the top floor. In between these two floors the building, with its somewhat curved façades and its slight rotation, recedes as much as possible in order to disengage itself from its surroundings, to allow an optimal view of the area and to offer its visitors and its future neighbours as much natural light as possible. The public nature of the building is not only accentuated by the transparency of the lower layers, but also by the way the building recedes and thus creates a public area under the huge canopy.

The upside-down L of natural stone at the front side of the building is an element that is clearly discernible from afar. It provides a distinctly articulated vertical ending, an aspect to which little value is attached in contemporary architecture. Apart from being an urban landmark for passers-by, the library’s architecture also helps visitors to orientate themselves. The escalators in the heart of the building, which also function as a light object, the large open space next to them, the connections of the different floors provided by the voids and – last but not least – the many different panoramas, all serve to help visitors find their way around the library.
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La Cisnera Community Centre, Arico, Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife town of Arico gets new community centre by GPY Arquitectos
La Cisnera is a small, rural settlement that has grown up along a roadside in the upper reaches of the town of Arico, located in the south-east of the Island of Tenerife. The new Community Centre relates to its surroundings, with the main entrance placed at the level of the town's main square, alongside the Chapel of San José Obrero, and the line of the rooftop extending along the road at an inverse angle until it merges with that of the enclosure wall.

The building is meant to be seen as an extension of the urban public space, and offers a sheltered environment for the town square, onto which it opens. The intention was to offer a flexible delimitation of the spaces outlined in the brief, using mobile partition walls to allow for a free, modular configuration of the space for different uses and activities, thereby ensuring its integration as a singular meeting space and its extension outward to the square. This configuration, which allows for an intense, varied use of the space, is what lends the new centre its character as a public place, fostering the use of the urban space around the chapel and square as a meeting point and place for social interaction, while maintaining the small chapel as a unique element, an essential part of the whole.

The building has been constructed by means of a dialogue between two skins; a continuous, abstract, exterior wrapping in white and a warm, interior wrapping made of wood. The building's exterior wrapping folds at times to allow access to the centre and frame the view of the surrounding landscape from the square, and vice versa. It has been finished with a continuous, manually-applied coating of rough plaster using the local volcanic aggregate ("jable"). The micro-alveolic nature of this aggregate offers a high degree of insulation from the heat, and the light colour of the finish dissipates the sun’s intense rays.

The interior wooden skin unfolds into multiple configurations, allowing for an optimal use of the inner space – as a covered square, screening room, common room, games room, etc. The space between the two skins, of variable thickness, houses the fixed installations (computer lab, washrooms, pantry) and the storage rooms. The orientation of the main entrance and the window frame defining the building's edge blocks the entry of direct sunlight into the main room, making it luminous and cool - a shady, protected place on the square.
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Grand Hyatt Dalian, Dalian, China

Hotel and apartment tower will take advantage of sea views
Goettsch Partners (GP) has been commissioned by Hong Kong-based developer China Resources Land Limited to design a new 1,075,300 sq ft tower in China’s northeastern coastal city of Dalian. The project features a 377 key Grand Hyatt hotel, 84 serviced apartments, three restaurants including a destination rooftop venue, multiple ballrooms and meeting facilities, a spa and fitness center, and parking for 225 cars.

The tower is sited fronting the Yellow Sea and adjacent to the large public park of Xinghai Square. Primarily clad in high-performance glazing that features horizontal sunshades along all southern exposures, the tower’s triangular plan is designed to ensure that all rooms receive southern light as well as views of the sea and nearby mountain ranges. Additionally, the triangular form helps to minimize the structural impact of uniquely high wind forces found on the Dalian coastline. The tower’s rounded corners accelerate the wind speeds at these locations, propelling the building’s nearly 300 linear meters of wind rotors that are expected to produce electricity year-round. Vertical-axis turbines were chosen for their low-maintenance, bird-safe, quiet and vibration-free operation.

Programmatically, the hotel floors are stacked below the serviced apartment levels, enabling the core to telescope and creating the architectural “portal” along the north façade. Internal circulation is exposed on this face to provide corridors with natural daylight and views of the skyline, as well as to assure a consistent lighting profile at night. The top two levels of the tower house the signature restaurant, offering unobstructed views in all directions.

The tower sits atop a four-level podium that houses large banquet, meeting, dining, fitness and spa facilities. The main dining facility connects the building physically to its beachfront location while other functions, including the entry plaza and lobby, are elevated to capture commanding views of the bay and adjacent park. The fitness center and spa open out to a series of south-facing terraces, which provide both afternoon sun and a visceral connection to the sea.

The project is currently in the design development phase and is scheduled for completion in 2011.
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Community Centre Herstedlund, Copenhagen, Denmark

A new civic hub for a new community
Community Centre Herstedlund provides the framework for joint activities for a new residential area, housing approximately 600 families. The site plan is based on the idea of “the forest and the glades”. The architects elaborated on this theme as they designed the building as a large stylised tree at the edge of a glade.

The programme of the building had to be very open and with the possibility to grow along with the new inhabitants. The community centre should be able to incorporate many different ages and interests over time, and many types of communities from the informal meeting around an event, summer festival, a big football or presentation to the special interests and common eating.

It will be a local user-driven house of culture where it is possible for multiple independent users to use the building at the same time. The building provides space for all kinds of smaller cultural events in the broadest sense. It should be available to be used at all hours for teaching, dancing, sports, theatre, aerobics, yoga, barbecue, lectures, bridge tournament, children's theatre and weddings.
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Khayangan - Luxury Resort with Traditional Design

Khayangan is an Indonesian word that means ‘Seventh Heaven’ it can be interpreted that Kyayangan Estate brings you to a place where the God themselves might choose to dwell. The Khayangan resort is one of beautiful place in Bali which blend of new and old and offers the romance of the past and combining it with the modern comforts and technology today in Bali’s ultimate luxurious estate. The exterior and interior design are using contemporary style with European influences it also place antique Indonesia joglos (traditional homes of Javanese aristocracy) to add the traditional tones.
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Luxury and Elegance House Architecture by Judy Goodger

Prestigious house by Judy Goodger with luxury design is a confident architecture in texture, layers and shapes to produce flowing horizontal lines to create a home with real street presence. The family room looks out to its own secret landscape with a water feature and pebbled garden, while the very private pool and impressive entry make a memorable first impression. This house has three large bedroom are serviced by 2 immaculately appointed marble bathrooms, with a powder room at the pool level. The central living-dining area incorporates a dramatic ‘floating wall’ at the head of the stairs, balanced by the soaring, inverted ceiling. A wall of glass glides to one side, enabling the sleek, sophisticated kitchen to become part of the al fresco dining area on the spacious deck.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Luxury Glass House in Poland by PCKO Architects

This luxury house in Krakow (Poland) is a collaboration between PCKO Architects and MOFO Architects. It occupies the plot of outstanding natural beauty and continue it in the inside with wall transparency. The fully glazed steel frame structure, suspended above the site makes that possible. The house has a covered swimming pool, two main bedrooms, 140 sqm living area and a 5 storey viewing tower. The lower floors of the tower provide additional space for guest accommodation while the top floor has a study room. The study has the most beautiful panoramic views in the house being fully glazed. [PCKO Architects]
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Contemporary Block House Design

This block house design is an experiment in maximizing daylight and living space in a traditional Philadelphia row house without losing privacy. Living spaces are made in double height with skylight which feeds natural light to every level of the house. The master bedroom and bath are situated on the third floor. The natural light floods them from 15′ glass block wall. The roof terrace features heightened parapet walls creating an external sunning space which remains open to the sky but private for neighbors. The house design is done on 2500 sq. ft. area and done by Moto Designshop.
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Modern House Bounded By The Sea by de Blacam and Meagher

This house is situated in Dalkey and bounded by the sea and Dalkey Island. The house is designed in modest style but on the site with complex geometry. SImple entrance is designed to surprise visitors by dramatic views from the terrace at the other side of the house. It’s protected against the sea by concrete framed structure and has a tidal rock-pool. The concrete sea retaining walls are re-clad using old granite rocks from the site to create a continuous, uninterrupted sea wall. The house has not only luxury views but everything that luxury house should have: the screening cinema, spa area, guest accommodation, double height stair hall, living area, dining area and so on. The private spaces are linked directly to a terrace with all its views. [de Blacam and Meagher]
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Russia Tower, Moscow, Russia

Foster's dreams of tallest tower in Europe flattened
In February we brought you the news of severe delays for Russia Tower, Foster's 612m super-tower set for Moscow. It was supposed to be the tallest tower in Europe, a strong emblem for Russia and an enviable eco-build, but the Tower has been plagued with financial trauma after financial trauma. Now, in what could prove to be the final nail in the coffin, the development is rumoured to be turning into a car park instead.

In November 2008, Russian news agency Interfax reported that the project had been halted due to the credit crunch. Developer, Russia Land, could no longer afford to continue with the project, having failed to raise the estimated $2billion necessary. Subsequent attempts to raise revenue from oil company Sibir Energy were met with a conflict of interest clause in December due to Russia Land’s Head, Shalva Chigirinsky, holding a large amount of shares in the company. Come February the project was looking to be on very shaky ground when the Mayor of Russia let slip that the project would likely be delayed by four years and, despite the financial crisis, threatened fines as a result of delays.

Having broken ground in September 2007, the project should have been well under way, its initial completion set for 2012. But with little progress, rumours from Russian press are that the land could now be used as a car park. A spokesperson for Foster + Partners, however, said that they can have little comment at the moment as, 'we have not had confirmation of the project's outcome, the client is looking into a number of options for the site'.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Oscar Niemeyer International Culture Center, Avilés, Spain

Niemeyer's 'most important European design' hosts international events pre-completion
At 101 years old, Oscar Niemeyer shows no signs of giving up on his passion for a hard day's graft. As his age and experience grow, so too does the gravitas of his projects, as Niemeyer's inaugural Spanish project proves.

Despite an expected completion date of Spring 2010, the Oscar Niemeyer International Culture Center in Avilés, Spain, is already playing host to events of international grandeur. A world premiere of the Woody Allen film Cassandra's Dream as well as a meeting of further cinematic hard hitters Wim Wenders and Carlos Saura have been held in the Dome of the development. But an altogether more significant event, the 2009 World Cultural Diplomacy Forum is also set to take place at the Center from September 15-17. This will see 200 world leaders in culture convene in what is effectively still a construction site to discuss international conflicts in culture, fitting given the Brazilian-Spanish 'deportation wars' last year that saw the two countries refusing entry by each other's nationals.

The building was commissioned by the city of Avilés as they prepare to compete for the European Capital of Culture 2016. Spain and Poland have been chosen on rotation to battle it out with many cities throughout the two countries engaging in cultural enhancements to grasp the title.

"The Niemeyer Center is an open door to culture in all its shapes, forms, traditions and styles. Music, theatre, cinema, expositions, conferences and outdoor and educational news will be the main focus of a multidisciplinary cultural programme of which the only common denominator is excellence," reads a statement by the Center. In Niemeyer's own words the building will be his most important European project.

But it is not his only ongoing European project. The assiduous architect is also delivering a striking auditorium in Ravello, off the south coast of Italy. The ambitious cliffside project features a 1,500 m2 overhanging canopy hosting the auditorium space with views out to the sea through a recognisably Niemeyer-esque oval opening. The building is set for completion in September. Unlike its Spanish counterpart, however, it will be maintaining a low profile until its opening night.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, Oxford, United Kingdom

Wilkinson joins Hadid in unique Cancer Centre design
The Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, which will serve the thousands of people affected by cancer across the region, has been granted planning permission.

The Centre has been designed by architect Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre Architects, bringing a unique and striking new building to the city of Oxford.

Liz Minton, Maggie's Oxford Centre Head said: "This is really exciting news. This is a great step forward for Maggie's Oxford and for the thousands of people in the region affected by cancer. The permanent centre will allow us to open our doors to many more people and expand upon the services we offer. The design by Wilkinson Eyre Architects is truly wonderful. It is now a case of continuing with our successful fundraising drive to reach the target of £3million. With such great backing from the local community, we are sure we can reach this target in the future."

Maggie's Centres greatly value the power of environment and design to lift the spirits and subsequently their Centres attract the world's leading architects, the most prominent example being Zaha Hadid who designed Maggie's Centre Glasgow.

Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre Architects has followed Maggie's brief to develop a stunning and practical design, which Maggie's are very excited to take forward.

Chris Wilkinson said: "We are thrilled that the Centre has now received planning permission. Our design encapsulates the philosophy and principles on which the Maggie's Centres are based - the tree house concept maximises the relationship between the internal space and the external landscape offering discreet spaces for relaxation, information and therapy, it will provide a sympathetic and caring retreat, in tune with its surroundings."

The project is expected to start on site early next year

architecture NOW

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Business Center Miramare, Zagreb, Croatia

3LHD architects win a competition for a business center in Zagreb
At the crossing of two streets in Zagreb: Miramarska and Bednjanska, will sit a competition winning design by 3LDH architects. The building is situated at a colliding point of two urban city concepts, solid blocks to the north enclosed by the railway, and modernistic public and social builidings to the south.

The project, a business center is devised to unify the two elements which the design achieves through the creation of two interacting volumes. These two volumes, a tower with 20 floors and a lower building with 5 floors, unite the planned goals and achieve high quality relations with the neighboring buildings.

A semi-open atrium between the two buildings connects them with the surrounding public pedestrian surfaces. The underground floors are reserved for garage spaces, ground floor for shops, bars and restaurants. There are 20,000 sq m of office space, and a unique viewpoint at the top of the tower. A simple but attractive facade design is made by pulling glass modules in and out, giving the building recognition and uniqueness.
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Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, United States

AECOM creates a new gallery showcasing digital and print photography
The new Annenberg Space for Photography opened its doors this past spring with the inaugural exhibit "L8S ANG3LES," featuring images from eight LA-based photographers (including John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, Douglas Kirkland and Julius Shulman).

AECOM's interior designers worked with the philanthropic Annenberg Foundation to create an environment dedicated solely to photography - the space is the first of its kind in Los Angeles.

The design is influenced by the lexicon of 'photography: the camera, shadow and light, perspective'. The main gallery, a circular space recalling the camera lens, features seamless 7' x 14' glass screens and ultra high-definition imaging systems that show work in 4K resolution which exceeds the level offered by Blu-Ray. A movable modular system was also designed to expand the digital capacity of the main gallery space on an as-needed basis. A workshop area, reading room and full, professional kitchen are unique elements of the program that fulfill the Annenberg Foundation's goal of providing a comfortable space for the community to gather to learn and collaborate.
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Rainbow student housing, London, United Kingdom

Student accommodation brings splash of colour to Isledon Road
CZWG Architects proposal for new student accommodation on London's Isledon Road, commissioned by Ely Properties, has received planning permission from the London Borough of Islington. The £21 million building will house 400 student apartments on 5 floors above double height commercial space on the ground floor.

Located in Finsbury Park close to the station and the park, the building will sit directly opposite the famous listed Art Deco Cinema, formerly known as the Rainbow Theatre, with the N/E Coast mainline viaduct behind.

The form of the building is a continuous street façade with three wings at right angles to it and the Railway. The street elevation is a sweeping double curve emphasizing the double bend of the road and providing areas of much widened pavement. The triple wings towards the railway make a strong three dimensional effect when seen from passing trains.

Each floor has continuous bands of windows alternating with bands of coloured ceramic glazed tiles. Each band is a different colour, being a subdued version of a rainbow, in reference to the suggestive name of the previous incarnation of the listed building during its 60’s and 70’s heyday.
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USF Polytechnic Campus, Florida, United States

Florida's only polytechnic will receive design to stand apart
The University of South Florida Polytechnic (USFP) has commissioned acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava to design the first building for the school’s new campus in Lakeland, Florida and update the campus master plan, it was announced today.

Calatrava who is known for, among others, his design for the World Trade Center Transit Hub, will design the 100,000 net sq ft USFP Science & Technology building, which will sit on the northernmost corner of the campus at the intersection of Interstate 4 and the Polk Parkway. 550 acres of land were donated here by the Williams Company in 2003 and the new campus will occupy 171.5 acres. The Science & Technology building will be the cornerstone of the new campus, and will establish the design scheme for all buildings within phase I of the campus master plan. Groundbreaking is expected late this year, following final designs, with a scheduled opening in late summer 2012.

The USF Polytechnic facility will be Calatrava's first design in the southeastern U.S. Almost 70 years ago, legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright made his mark on Lakeland with the Annie Pfieffer Chapel, the first of 10 structures he designed for Florida Southern College and a recent addition to the World Heritage List. With today’s announcement, the once-sleepy orange grove town – now at the center of Florida’s High Tech Corridor – will again be home to internationally acclaimed architecture.

Since its founding in 1988, USF Polytechnic has shared a campus with Polk State College in Lakeland. When complete, the new campus will offer the space and resources the university needs to expand from its current 4,229 student body to 16,000 students.

Phase I is anticipated to cost $60-65 million and includes planning and construction of the Science & Technology building as well as infrastructure for USFP’s greenfield site. To date USFP has received match eligible private gifts in excess of $10 million, with an additional $31.7 million received through state PECO allocations. An additional $10 million in PECO investment is scheduled for financial year 09-10. Total campus development is expected to cost approximately $200 million and will be raised through private donations and public funds.

Calatrava, a graduate of a polytechnic university in Valencia, said, “I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to design the Science & Technology building for the University of South Florida Polytechnic’s new campus. As an architect and an engineer, I greatly value the schools of science and technology. It is my goal to create a facility that both unites and pays homage to these two fields, while providing generations of students with a state-of-the-art education center in which to learn and grow.”
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Farewell Chapel, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Modern chapel provides peaceful place for rest and contemplation
Recently completed in a village close to Ljubljana is Farewell Chapel. Situated next to a graveyard, the chapel is cut into the rising landscape following the lines of the landscape trajectories around the burial grounds.

The people of Krasnja approached OFIS ARHITEKTI to design a building with limited financial means, just 180,000€, that could provide a farewell space for mourning families, a kitchenette, wardrobes, storage for the cemetery and space for a large waste material container.

"The challenge was the program of the sacred object itself, integration into the landscape and its position at the hill-foot," said lead architect Spela Videcnik. "Also working with a local community that are simple people with their own 'expectations of architecture' was an extra challenge. Of course they expected something else and we had several attempts to change the roof of the chapel into a generic pitched roof."

However on completion, says Videcnik, the locals were very accepting. The design was achieved using three curved walls to embrace and divide the programs. The external curve divides the surrounding hill from the chapel plateau and also reinstates the main supporting wall. The storage spaces, wardrobe restrooms and kitchenette are on the inner side along the wall.

The internal curve embraces the main farewell space. It is partly glazed and opens towards the outside plateau for summer gatherings. The main feature of the space is the ecclesiastical symbolism of the Catholic cross carved out of the roof. During the day sunlight enters its glazed crevice illuminating the inside of the building. At night when artificially lit it adds a beacon and emblem for the chapel.

Materials are polished concrete, larch wood, glass.
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Centre for Education, Innovation and Research, Devon, United Kingdom

Horizon Centre brings innovation, education and research in healthcare
The brief for this recently completed project in Torbay called for a new, exciting and innovative centre of education, learning & research for NHS professionals. The aim was to replace the existing medical centre, which contains limited facilities, with a new state of the art Centre of Learning, incorporating a range of flexible learning spaces, seminar and teaching rooms, offices and a café area, as well as high tech clinical skills areas and a simulated operating theatre.

The brief calls for the Centre to be high quality, contemporary, innovative in design and have its own clear visual identity with a striking internal and external appearance. Located on an access route to the hospital, the building is to act as a ‘gateway’ to the hospital and be seen to place education and learning as part of the core of the site’s activities.

Devereux Architects’ design for the Centre culminates in a twenty first century education facility of stimulating and innovative design incorporating the latest use of technology and information technology. The design creates an environment that assists with the Education and Research objectives of the Trust whilst encouraging interaction and motivational learning amongst staff and visitors alike.

Kier Health have been appointed by South Devon Healthcare Trust under the ProCure21 programme as Principle Supply Chain Partner with Devereux as Architect and lead designer
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Retail Galleries : The Grand Forum

Futuristic design competition won by Colman Architects
A British architect’s vision of what shopping centres might look like in 50 years time has scooped a prestigious international design award, beating off competition from top US architects.

Colman Architects’ innovative forecasts for shopping in 2059 – entitled “Retail Galleries : The Grand Forum” – offers a vision of a futuristic retail palace complete with a Solutions Lounge where personal assistants use personal ergo chips to facilitate product “harmonisation” based on individual likes, dislikes and previous purchasing history; Body Contouring scans to update measurements; and Recycling Depots to deal with “after-wear management”.

Colman’s innovative and inspirational vision wowed the jury of leading US design critics including top American journalists Allison Arieff (New York Times “By Design” columnist) and Reena Jana (BusinessWeek Innovation Editor) together with Barry Bergdoll (Chief Curator of Architecture & Design at MoMA and Architectural History professor at Columbia University).

Colman’s “Retail Galleries : The Grand Forum” was the winner in the shopping experience category in the Future Image architecture competition, which was organised by New York-based retail property organisation ICSC. All the other category winners and “honourable mentions” awarded in the competition went to large, USA-based architecture firms.
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The Octave, London, United Kingdom

New London tower design steered into planning
A new landmark mixed use tower set for the London borough of Vauxhall has been submitted by Make Architects for planning approval. Located on a brownfield site on Bondway in Vauxhall, The Octave, a 149m tall building supports the planned regeneration of the Vauxhall, Battersea and Nine Elms OAPF area and is within an area allocated for a potential cluster of new tall buildings in Vauxhall.

The scheme will contain 10% employment use and 90% residential accommodation. 376 new homes are drawn into the plans, 30% of which will be classed as affordable. A community floor at level 36 provides recreation, business and function spaces accessible to all residents. The employment area increases the current site provision and incorporates ground level amenity retail outlets along with three floors of subsidised start-up office accommodation.

The building is divided into eight stepping forms that cascade from a central high point, down towards the north and south. Roof terraces incorporating planting boxes are arranged at the top of each building segment and the articulation of the building form provides dual-aspect windows to every apartment. Generous winter gardens to almost all apartments create a flexible private amenity area, provide year-round access to outside space and along with the roof terraces and overall form, maximise the stunning city views available in all directions.

Sustainable measures include biomass boilers which will provide 25% renewable energy consumption and contribute to a 30% overall reduction in carbon use, and a one in one hundred year (plus 30%) sustainable urban drainage system protects the local infrastructure. Located adjacent to the Vauxhall transport interchange, public and green methods of transport are encouraged and 25 car parking spaces, 22 motor cycle spaces and 568 bicycle spaces are provided.

The existing site environment is dominated by rail, underground, and road transport. Proposed public realm improvements acknowledge these vital systems and take measures to enhance the pedestrian experience. New landscaping will connect Bondway to Vauxhall Park, enhancements to adjacent routes through the railway viaduct will provide improved lighting and safety, a separate service route will ensure primary pedestrian areas remain clear and an increase in ground level public spaces allows seating and tree planting at the base of the building.
architecture NOW

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The face of Apple Stores to come

Apple's new Scottsdale Arizona Store is a sign of things to come according to CNET. The new store has a much bigger Genius Bar than most its size. It also has some new design elements:

When looking through the wall of windows on one side, you can see straight through to the other side of the store and out another wall of windows. If that wasn't enough to give you a feeling of space, the Scottsdale store also has a 75-foot long skylight.

Apple plans to open or update more than 100 stores this year incorporating some of this new thinking.

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Activated Full Size Gundam Robot Looks Totally, Absofrikinlutely ZOMG!

Holy frak. If you thought the 59-foot-tall Gundam in Tokyo was impressive when it was finished, you haven't seen it fully armed and operative at night. Beautiful and actually scary

Come on people, let's start building these robots now. I'm sure the bad aliens are going to come any second now, so better hurry up. Don't forget to check the rest of the beautiful shots at Pink Tentacle.

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Imperial War Museum North, Manchester, United Kingdom

Topotek chosen to embelish Libeskind's Imperial War Museum
The multi-award winning Imperial War Museum North (IWMN) has selected Topotek I as the preferred design team to develop the external spaces of the Museum following a RIBA international design competition and public consultation with visitors and key partners.

The Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind and completed in 2002 is split into three conjoined buildings shaped as shards from a broken globes as 'an iconic emblem of conflict'.

The designs shown for the external spaces are initial concepts and IWMN will now begin the task of fundraising and seeking partners to help realise the project. Once funding has been secured, Topotek I will work closely with the Museum to develop the ideas and create the final scheme. The first phase of development of the outside areas is aimed at completion to coincide with the opening of MediaCity:UK in 2011

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UN Peace Park and UN Memorial Hall, Chungju, South Korea

Orb design to honour Ban Ki-Moon
The project of the UN Peace Park was initiated by the City of Chungju in honour of the current General Secretary of the United Nations Organization and native of Chungju, Ban Ki-Moon. The project will be the new cultural landmark for the city, spreading out along the banks of the river Namhangang and to the north of the Natural Park Tangeumdae. This cultural aspiration culminates in the design of the new UN Memorial Hall, creating a new landmark building for Chungju.

The UN Memorial Hall is an ellipsoidal building with a maximal diameter of 60m. It is made of 8 storeys and 1 basement floor. The heart of the building is the 1,500 seat auditorium and auxiliary conference spaces. The auditorium will offer a view to the outside direction of the Tangeumdae Natural Park. Spiraling upwards, the continuous ramp houses an exhibition explaining the history of the United Nations between 1945 and today, finally culminating in the Gallery of the General Secretaries. The human being, center of interest of the United Nations mission will be the protagonist and integral part of the architecture and appearance of the UN-Globe. The UN-Globe will be placed in an orchard of 192 apple trees representing the number of member states of the UN.

The focal point of this project is the city of Chungju, in miniature, in the heart of the site. This point has been defined as the epicenter of the concentric orbits which create a unifying surface for the different events of the park, like the Stone Collection (Suseok), the research center, and a number of other follies.

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Saxo Bank, Tuborg, Denmark

3XN design for Danish banking HQ runs away with the grand prize
In the months before it was completed, the new headquarters for Danish Investment Bank - Saxo Bank - began attracting stares and attention from passersby in Tuborg Harbour, north of Copenhagen Denmark. Now it has attracted the attention of the renowned RIBA International Award, recognizing excellence conceived by its members from around the world.

With its shimmering façade of diagonal white aluminum and blue glass patterns, the building reflects the sea and sky just as it does Saxo Bank’s profile as a solid, dynamic and modern bank. Inside, a transparent and inspiring environment enhances the sense of team spirit amongst employees. The open plan layout of each floor surrounds a softly shaped, top-lit atrium; with a winding main staircase functioning as the building’s spine. The openness allows for interaction, sharing of knowledge and an environment of learning amongst this highly driven and international team of professionals.

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal Architect of 3XN comments on the design saying: "The building is designed in such a way that it challenges the surroundings and yet contributes to a unified setting. The interior has been designed in close collaboration with Saxo Bank to create an environment of learning; encouraging interaction and sharing of knowledge.

"The RIBA International Award isn’t just any prize. There is a very thorough evaluation process from the committee’s side, and they have visited all of the projects. It is very important for us to create architecture with meaning, and not just a signature piece. I think this is why we have won."

The RIBA International Award recognizes excellence conceived by its members from around the world. The awards ceremony will be held in London on July 14th.

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Kantrida International Aquatic Centre, Rijeka, Croatia, Rijeka, Croatia

Innovative design brings international swimming to Rijeka
studio zoppini associati's design for a cutting edge swimming centre, just completed in Rijeka, has brought a new landmark to the Croatian city. Touted by the firm as one of the most advanced sporting facilities in Europe the 50 x 25 m pool can accommodate major competitions as well as everyday training and leisure.

A light and organic sliding roof made up of a series of delicate, intersecting leaves integrates into the surrounding landscape. Its undulating shape is derived from the need for natural interior lighting, solved not by creating surface openings, but by integrating the openings into the shape of the structure. The organic shape recalls the waves of the sea and the irregularity of the surrounding hills contributing to making the building part of the landscape. The facility's simple architectural concept also functions as integration: it has a solid base made of local stone which is part of the local tectonics. The walls have been built using local stone and landscaped in order to make them an integral part of the existing surroundings.

Two permanent grandstands have been placed on opposite sides of the pool. One stand holds 1,000 (public) spectators and the other holds 300 (athletes) spectators. The external terraces are built as a series of intersecting walls and planes. The main entrance lobby connects the piazza, the existing swimming pool, the new pool and the terraces, providing views of all of them.

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130 Bloor Street, Toronto, Canada

Engineering equivalent to 'open heart surgery' awarded at RAIC awards
Quadrangle Architects Limited has been awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture for work on the nearly completed 130 Bloor St. West project in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Quadrangle was singled out for accomplishing the architectural feat of adding what amounts to an entirely new building onto the top of an existing 1960s office building. The elite 130 Bloor Street West building, owned by KingSett Capital Inc., features a heritage-listed two storey penthouse, 14 new luxury residential suites, nine floors of office space and one floor of prime retail space on an exclusive expanse of Bloor Street West.

“It was like performing open heart surgery while the patient is awake,” said Brian Curtner, founding principal of Quadrangle Architects Limited. “We are honoured that our work on 130 Bloor St. West has been recognized with this prestigious award."

The existing building required significant structural work to update, reinforce and strengthen it so that it could bear the weight of the 1,400 tonnes of steel used in this project. Part of this work involved surgically carving up floors 11 and 12 and then, without substantially disturbing the existing penthouse above, adding seven floors of high-end residences, ensuring minimal noise and vibration would be transmitted to the new suites. The renovations and additions required extensive structural engineering to accommodate the new floors above the existing penthouse, as well as new and upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. All of this was done while the office and retail tenants below maintained their ongoing operations.

Other projects awarded in the Innovation in Architecture category are: Prince George Airport by McFarlane | Green | Biggar Architecture + Design Inc; Richmond Olympic Oval by Cannon Design; Bluepoint Louver Facade System by Paul Raff Studio; and Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Ayr Campus, Ayrshire, United Kingdom

Ayr Campus joint college development receives go-ahead from South Ayrshire Council
Construction on a new 18,000m2 Campus, which will be built on the Craigie Estate, next to the River Ayr, is planned to start in September by Bovis Lend Lease UK following the granting of planning approval .

Planned and designed by leading Scottish-based architects RMJM, the development will see the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) joining UWS on the site. Shared facilities will include a general teaching space, gym, refectory, library, lecture theatre, drama studio and computing labs.

The new campus in Ayr, which is part of the University’s £260million development programme and replaces its existing campus on the edge of the Craigie Estate, will create an innovative learning environment for over 4000 students, including students from the nearby Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive.

RMJM’s design for the academic facility is focused around a series of external ‘garden classrooms’ which flow into the new building to create the entrance courtyard, a central atrium and a more private library courtyard space. The campus also incorporates the grade A listed Craigie House.

Sitting on the banks of the River Ayr, the new building is designed to the highest environmental rating – BREEAM excellent – adopting sustainable strategies including rainwater harvesting and on-site power generation through sustainable sources.

architecture NOW

130 Bloor Street, Toronto, Canada

Engineering equivalent to 'open heart surgery' awarded at RAIC awards
Quadrangle Architects Limited has been awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture for work on the nearly completed 130 Bloor St. West project in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Quadrangle was singled out for accomplishing the architectural feat of adding what amounts to an entirely new building onto the top of an existing 1960s office building. The elite 130 Bloor Street West building, owned by KingSett Capital Inc., features a heritage-listed two storey penthouse, 14 new luxury residential suites, nine floors of office space and one floor of prime retail space on an exclusive expanse of Bloor Street West.

“It was like performing open heart surgery while the patient is awake,” said Brian Curtner, founding principal of Quadrangle Architects Limited. “We are honoured that our work on 130 Bloor St. West has been recognized with this prestigious award."

The existing building required significant structural work to update, reinforce and strengthen it so that it could bear the weight of the 1,400 tonnes of steel used in this project. Part of this work involved surgically carving up floors 11 and 12 and then, without substantially disturbing the existing penthouse above, adding seven floors of high-end residences, ensuring minimal noise and vibration would be transmitted to the new suites. The renovations and additions required extensive structural engineering to accommodate the new floors above the existing penthouse, as well as new and upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. All of this was done while the office and retail tenants below maintained their ongoing operations.

Other projects awarded in the Innovation in Architecture category are: Prince George Airport by McFarlane | Green | Biggar Architecture + Design Inc; Richmond Olympic Oval by Cannon Design; Bluepoint Louver Facade System by Paul Raff Studio; and Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated.

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The Red Apple, Rotterdam, Netherlands

KCAP completes residential high rise development The Red Apple
Set in the prime location on Wijnhaven Island,located between Rotterdam’s city centre and the river Maas and with water on three sides, The Red Apple is a nod towards the shipping industry of Rotterdam. Its design presents the vision of stacking containers, a void creating an assimilation of movement from the upper to the lower.

The 124 m high design by KCAP Architects&Planners encompasses 231 apartments, offices, retail and restaurants on a total gross floor area of 35.000 m2

Wijnhaven Island is being redeveloped using a dynamic transformation model, which provides development guidelines that ensure a balance between new and existing construction as well as the preservation of fine views and sufficient incidence of daylight throughout the area. "By applying this model, its redevelopment substantially increases the area’s capacity and improves the residential and environmental quality while preserving important qualities of the existing situation," states KCAP architect Han van den Born.

In the upper block building, apartments of various sizes are grouped around a central atrium. Thanks to large apertures in the facade, this atrium also offers a stunning vista across the city. The southwest corner of the site is occupied by a slender apartment tower with a spacious glazed lobby as ground-floor entrance and live/work loft spaces on top. The levels 8 through to 40 contain apartments of various sizes. All apartments of the two volumes are diagonally oriented and offer a maximum of transparency via floor-to-ceiling glass and provide extraordinary views.

The Red Apple is accentuated in Rotterdam’s skyline by its ‘red striped’ façade pattern. The tower reveals the red bands as vertical lines which decrease in width towards the top to support its slender appearance. The block building is defined by horizontal layers. The red bands are formed by aluminium panels which gain their colour through anodizing without any other colour treatment. In the tower, they contain the load bearing structure of the façade and adapt in width to the increasing load towards street level.

The lifestyle concept and interior have been developed in cooperation with Jan des Bouvrie.

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Cairo Expo City, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Expo City awarded to Zaha Hadid Architects
The second colossal Cairo project to be delivered by Zaha Hadid Architects in the past two weeks has been announced. After presenting the design to Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif, Zaha Hadid Architects was announced as architects of the new Cairo Expo City and works are scheduled to begin onsite for the 450,000 sq m exhibition and conference center with business hotel in October this year.

Being designed together with multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Buro Happold, Cairo Expo City will be located between the city centre and Cairo's airport, the design being particularly appreciated from above. The undulating forms of the Cairo Expo City design were inspired by the natural topography of the Nile valley explained Zaha Hadid:

"As the exhibition spaces require the greatest degree of flexibility, we wanted to ensure that all the public spaces and formal composition of Cairo Expo City relate to the surrounding Egyptian landscape.” said Hadid. “Along the great rivers of the region, most particularly the Nile, there is a powerful dynamic - a constant flow between the water and the land - which extends to incorporate the neighboring buildings and landscapes. For the Cairo Expo City design, we worked to capture that seamlessness and fluidity in an urban architectural context."

The project is one of great significance for Cairo, a city which is undergoing revitalisation: "This is a truly national project for Egypt." said Sherif Salem, CEO of the GOIEF (General Organization of International Exhibitions and Fairs). "The current exhibition halls for Cairo do not meet the standards now required by the international conference and exhibition industry. With this exceptional design by Zaha Hadid Architects, Cairo will be among the world's top cities for conferences and fairs, able to cater for the widest variety and size of events.”

Designs for another Zaha Hadid project in Cairo were released just two weeks ago. Stone Towers will be a monumental business park encouraging the growth of commerce within the city. A further office tower and a shopping centre are also proposed for the Cairo Expo City site.

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