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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Raffles City, Hangzhou, China

Images released of Raffles City Hangzhou
Due to complete in 2012 UNStudio’s mixed-use Raffles City development will reach a height of 60 stories, presenting views of the Qiantang River. Raffles City Hangzhou will provide a total floor area of almost 300,000 sq m which will incorporate retail, offices, housing and hotels.

By applying natural ventilation and optimizing material use UNStudio are aiming to receive the gold certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building rating system, the industry standard for rating of the eco-friendliness of a project.

Ben van Berkel founder of UNStudio states the intentions of the project: “The philosophy behind the Raffles City concept is to integrate mixed use in an urban context, but in such a way as to give the concept a twist. In the design of the towers the urban element of the project twists towards the landscape, whilst the landscape aspect, in turn, twists towards the urban context."

This latest City joins the ranks of IM Pei's Raffles City in Singapore and Rafael Viñoly's design for a Raffles City currently under development in Bahrain.
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Gautrain stations, Johannesburg, South Africa

Work well underway on stations as part of Johannesburg’s Gautrain transport system
The construction of three new underground stations, part of the €1.7billion high-speed Gautrain system in South Africa, are well underway with the Sandton to OR Tambo Airport link intended to open in June 2010 in time for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Pascall+Watson Architects has been part of the Atkins multidisciplinary design team undertaking the scheme and detailed design of the three new underground stations in central Johannesburg.

Sandton Station is expected to provide for the travel needs of commuters for the next 30 years. Covering a site of more than 40,000 sq m, there will also be three levels of parking, along with a three platform station accessed by way of a dramatic 36 metre deep open vertical circulation shaft comprising 3 sets of 10 metre deep escalators and staircases.

Gautrain will put Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic capital, just 40 minutes from the administrative capital Pretoria when completed in three years time.
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he Nordic Green PLUS™

New lengths in copper opportunities achieved
International metals specialist Luvata’s innovative Nordic Green PLUS™ now offers the ability to control the type and intensity of patina with no restrictions on sheet length, opening up new architectural opportunities with copper.

The Nordic Green PLUS™ pre-patination process is carried out in the factory on a dedicated production line under carefully controlled conditions. The process can be accurately controlled so that, as well as the solid green patina colour, other intensities of patina flecks can be created revealing some of the dark oxidised material behind. The potential of this process is exemplified on the Laajasalo Church, Helsinki, designed by Kari Jarvinen Ja Merja Nieminen. The main building is clad with apparently random horizontal bands of Nordic Green Living™ copper with varying intensities of patination. This technique creates a beautiful ‘strata’ effect, almost like a cliff face, with soft colours and controlled tones that will develop over time, adding to the harmonious relationship with the church’s natural landscape setting.

There are no limitations on the length of pre-patinated copper sheet or strip used on a project because whole coils are treated on the production line, not just limited size sheets. In marine climates, the natural copper patina contains some copper chloride giving it more of a blue colour and this can be emulated with Nordic Blue PLUS™ using the same process, including varied intensity Living Blue finishes. Other copper surfaces are also available including Nordic Brown™ pre-oxidised copper with either light or dark brown oxidisation to both faces and Nordic Decor™ a textured, rolled surface. Copper alloys are also popular for cladding including Nordic Brass and Nordic Royal™ - an alloy of copper and aluminium with a long-lasting golden colour.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Level Green Exhibition, Wolfsburg, Germany

‘Level Green’, a new exhibition promoting the importance of technology and sustainability opens in Wolfsburg , Germany.
J. Mayer architects and Art+Com Berlin were commissioned to develop a permanent exhibition on sustainability for the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany. The exhibition Level Green encompasses approximately 1000 m2 and the project displays various aspects of the topic while creating an informative environment that addresses the visitor on multiple sensory levels. Similar to a continuous organism, the single elements of the exhibition are connected into one homogenous structure that houses all content and technical installations.

The well known PET-sign was taken as a starting point from the 3d branched web was developed through a series of step by step manipulations which allows for the topic to be experienced on a spatial level. Vertical Elements define different areas within the exhibition without strictly separating them, allowing the visitor’s experience to be enhanced by the idea of playful discovery.

The exhibition aims to promote scientific research and the use of modern technology as necessities for survival in the future. This point of view is represented as an atmospheric environment, in which physical and digital spaces complement each other, creating one common narrative.
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MahaNakhon, Bangkok, Thailand

Construction to begin on MahaNakhon, a 77 storey urban oasis set to become Bangkok’s tallest building.
Designed by German architect Ole Scheeren, partner of OMA, the 1.6 million sq ft project includes luxury retail space with lush gardens and terraces spread over multiple levels for restaurants and cafes, 200 homes and a boutique hotel. The top of the MahaNakhon tower houses a three-floor Sky Bar and restaurant with dramatic double-height spaces and a rooftop outdoor bar with 360° views of the skyline and river, floating 310 meters above the city.

MahaNakhon translated as ‘great metropolis’ dismantles the typical tower and podium typology to render not a tower in isolation but instead a skyscraper that melds with the city by gradually ‘dissolving’ the mass as it moves vertically between ground and sky. Its glittering stacked surfaces, terraces and protrusions will simultaneously create the impression of digital pixilation and echo the irregularity of ancient mountain topography.

The tower’s ‘pixels’ have been designed to maximize unobstructed panoramas for the residences, offering unparalleled views of the city.

The 77-storey skyscraper will be the tallest building in Thailand’s capital and aims to embrace and connect with its surrounding urban fabric rather than overpowering it when completed in 2012.
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City of Dreams, Macau, China

Integrated entertainment resort completes in difficult climate
City of Dreams is a brainchild of Lawrence Ho some five years ago, an integrated entertainment resort is set to become the “must experience” destination in Macau. Developed by Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, an entertainment company listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (NASDAQ: MPEL), held its official grand opening ceremony in June 2009. Leigh & Orange is proud to have performed as the Executive Architect of City of Dreams.

Located in the heart of Cotai in Macau, City of Dreams combines electrifying entertainment, stylish nightclubs, an amazing array of accommodation, regional and international dining, designer-brand shopping, as well as a spacious and contemporary gaming experience.

The initial opening of City of Dreams features a 420,000-square-foot casino with approximately 520 gaming tables and approximately 1,350 gaming machines and 2 iconic hotel towers namely Crown Towers and Hard Rock Hotel providing approximately 600 guest rooms. Initial opening also includes over 20 restaurants and bars; an impressive array of some of the world’s most sought-after retail brands; and The Bubble, an iconic and spectacular audio visual multimedia experience; extensive landscaping and waterscape features; parking and back of house facilities.

Dominic Lam, Managing Director of Leigh & Orange, commented: “I heartily congratulate the full team involved in the project, particularly for their dedicated attitude and excellent coordination with numerous consultants and suppliers. We are absolutely delighted to have been commissioned as the Executive Architect for City of Dreams project which now represents Asia’s premier integrated entertainment destination resort offering international design and operating excellence.”
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun cinema,Jaipur, Jaipur, India

Arris Architects unveil new movie watching experience in Jaipur
The cinema concessions is part of Triton mall in Jaipur,Rajasthan. The 3500 sq ft space of concessions is where people come in before watching a movie.The attempt is to give a new spatial experience to patrons by bringing in radical changes in the whole look of the space; encouraging more revenue generation through the area.

THE dynamic focal point of the entire design is made visually evident in the grey colored veneered envelope that encompasses the whole concession counter and articulates the counter as the point of confluence and culmination for the visiting patrons. The most important thing is the sense of motion thus created by the fluid like orange element, discreetly used in the backdrop of the concession counter backdrop and seating in a very irregular shaped space. Use of Light coves and patterns accentuates the motion further. The challenge was also in visually negotiating the clutter of structural members and service machinery, through the use of neutral materials, gushes of rich color and focal graphics. Extensive use of red colored back painted glass and granites in the floor visually reflect the mood of warmth that became the branding identity associated with the space.

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Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, United States

New Wing of Cleveland Museum of Art welcomes its first guests
The new East Wing of the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), part of Rafael Vinoly's cut-throat regenerative plan for the facility, has been welcoming its first guests since opening late June.

Rafael Viñoly Architects’ design for the new East Wing forms part of an impressive seven year expansion and renovation project aimed at highlighting the original building as a 'jewel' set within a continuous ring of expansion space. The 139,200 sq ft East Wing connects CMA’s original 1916 Beaux-Arts building by local architects Hubbell & Benes and the 1971 addition by Marcel Breuer, creating spectacular new spaces for the presentation and conservation of one of the leading encyclopaedic art collections in the United States.

Viñoly's renovation plan was devised to revive the original design principles of the museum and involves renovating and in some cases demolishing several subsequent additions which have presented a 'disjointed and confusing warren of spaces'. The Breuer building is being renovated in this process but further demolished buildings will make way for a vast, indoor, sunlit piazza, topped by a gently curving canopy of glass and steel, around which the entire museum will be organized and create a natural meeting place and event space for large functions.

The stone cladding of the new gallery wings consists of alternate bands of granite and marble that modulate the two very different aesthetics of the 1916 and Breuer buildings. In this manner, the distinctions between “modern” and “historic” are preserved, yet integrated into a cohesive whole.

Double-height special exhibitions galleries and an entrance lobby, located on the Lower Level, serve as the centrepiece of the two-story East Wing, while new galleries for the museum’s existing collections are located on Level Two. The new wing also houses expanded offices and workrooms for the conservation department on Level One.

A two-phase construction process for the rest of the works accommodates the museum’s fundraising schedule and allows continued operation (on a reduced basis) while the project is underway. The project is set for completion in 2012.

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J. W. Marriott Hotel, Ankara, Turkey

RMJM hotel design hopes to encourage green thinking in Turkish capital
Construction has commenced on a new luxury hotel designed to help “green” the Sogutozu district of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Designed by RMJM on behalf of developer Őzkar Construction Co., the 24 storey hotel will also be a sculptural landmark for the city.

Located on a 14,000 sq m site, the 400 room J. W. Marriott Hotel devotes the first four floors to spacious ballrooms, meeting facilities, restaurants and shops in a sky-lit galleria, with guest rooms starting on the fifth floor. The plan also includes an underground parking garage, a bistro and three further specialty restaurants an executive lounge and an outdoor wedding venue.

“The geometric and sculptural tower stands out among the Ankara skyline and is a striking and iconic element at the gateway route into the city,” said Peter Schubert, design director for RMJM North America. “Designed in a rich palate of stone and glass the tower will play with sunlight by day and, by night, the lighted tower will be the place to go in Ankara.”

Including a unique design of vertical stone fins that will act as solar shading devices on the east and west facades, the hotel hopes to encourage green design in Ankara by addressing the key issue of heat reduction in an ecological way. A glass curtain wall uses environmentally friendly materials such as high-performing, low-e coating and tinting that contributes to the reduced solar heat gain. Plentiful bamboo trees and vegetation will be included in the landscape to offer additional shading at the site.

The hotel is slated for completion in October 2010.

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BAE Systems reception, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Capita Symonds design to capture the essence of BAE's fighter jets
Featuring a design inspired by the dynamic form of a Fighter Jet, the new reception building at BAE Systems’ manufacturing and aerospace facilityat Samlesbury in Lancashire has officially opened.

The facility, designed by Capita Symonds, is responsible for building the front fuselage and other parts of the Eurofighter Typhoon as well as a number of other aircraft including the Lockhead Martin F-35 Lightning II.

Two major new four-storey office buildings, which have achieved a minimum BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’, (the UK sustainability standard) have also opened at the site. The buildings will accommodate flexible engineering accommodation - one will house F-35 staff while the other will house customer support for BAE’s Saudi Contracts.

The offices feature a raft of sustainable features including low energy consumption, biomass boilers, rainwater harvesting and a central atrium providing both a wealth of natural daylight and air circulation. As part of the green travel plan, showering and changing facilities have also been provided within the office buildings to encourage staff to cycle into work and help cut down the company’s carbon footprint.

Dave Holmes, Director of Investment and Infrastructure Services, BAE Systems, said, "This marks another significant milestone in the transformation project. The new reception facility and improved entrance are designed to create the right image for Samlesbury site and the business, whilst at the same time being highly functional.”

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Mineta San Jose International Airport Terminal B Concourse, San Jose, United States

Gensler designed concourse opens its first six gates
The new Terminal B Concourse at Mineta San Jose International Airport in California opened its first six gates today. The 380,000 sq ft, $342 million concourse is the first element of the airport’s extensive $1.3 billion modernization program, and will ultimately integrate with the new Terminal B opening summer 2010.

Gensler, in collaboration with Steinberg Architects, served as master design architect for the airport, creating a design that evokes the high-tech landscape of the Silicon Valley while celebrating the area’s sunny climate and agrarian roots. Inside, the concourse has the feel of a sunlit paseo, with a dramatic curved translucent roof featuring fabric panels to filter the direct sunlight and absorb sound. On the exterior, the long and cable-like outer layer expresses the area’s technological design heritage while efficiently shading the inner core of the building.

"In the Terminal B Concourse, we wanted to express the region’s leadership in technology and innovation, and also establish a signature identity for the airport and the city of San Jose," said Steve Weindel, a principal at Gensler and project designer. "The indoor-outdoor architecture captures the San Jose lifestyle, and will give travelers a tangible sense of the region, even while they're inside the airport."

Floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate the concourse with natural light. Flight gates are located close to shopping areas so travelers won't feel rushed and can enjoy locally prepared foods at a variety of eateries. At 1,600 ft long and 90 ft wide, the building is 380,000 sq ft, with 29,000 sq ft of space reserved for retail and concession areas and 10 gates. There will be 12 gates total when Terminal B and the concourse are fully integrated by next summer.

The concourse design team includes Gensler and Steinberg Architects, master architects; Clark Construction, general contractor; Magnusson Klemencic Associates, structural engineer; Flack & Kurtz and Alpha Tech, MEP; URS, civil engineer; and Gilbane Building Company, construction management.

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High Holborn Scheme, London, United Kingdom

Sheppard Robson granted planning for new Holborn redevelopment
The Holborn Property Unit Trust, in conjunction with Blackfriars Property Group and architects Sheppard Robson, has been granted planning for a 28,000m² landmark mixed used scheme in Midtown London, occupying a complete city block fronting on to High Holborn (50-57).

Located on a tight urban site and within Bloomsbury Conservation Area, Sheppard Robson’s scheme integrates the valuable existing historic buildings into a mixed-use development centred around a new office building appropriate to the emerging Midtown location.

The office buildings will provide 14,300 m² of flexible office space suitable for major occupiers attracted to this prime location. The scheme carefully integrates a relevant mix of uses for the various retained buildings, including private and affordable residential and student accommodation; reconfiguring the city block with a coherent and sympathetic design. Retail and restaurant uses at the base of the scheme feed the tributaries at either side of the site linking the busy urban thoroughfare of High Holborn to the quieter listed Georgian terraces of Bedford Row to the rear.

Dan Burr, associate partner at Sheppard Robson and Design Director on the project, is pleased to achieve planning permission on a complex site with a multitude of planning considerations; “We've worked hard to re-engineer this city block with an optimum mix of uses. The proposal will restore listed buildings back to their original residential use and retain valuable elements of other properties. The scheme complements these buildings with a striking contemporary office design at its heart. The surrounding public realm will be enhanced to calm traffic and encourage pedestrian permeability and complementary retail uses will bring vitality to the street level.”

The proposal transcends a purely functional response to the requirements of the brief and the parameters set by the planning policy, thereby creating a high quality mixed-use scheme with excellent sustainable credentials. The new office building emerges organically from behind and between its distinguished neighbours. The façade has been articulated as a carefully wrapped series of elegant ethereal glass screens, which peel away in layers to reveal terraces, roof gardens and balconies.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Tetris apartments

Project Details
Project Name: Tetris apartments
Location of Site: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Principal Designer/s: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik
Design Team: Martina Lipicer, Nejc Batistic, Andrej Gregoric, Ana Kosi
Project Type: Social apartments with parking
Client: Gradis G group, Ljubljana
Built-up Area: 5000 sq. mt.
Cost of Construction: 600 EUR / sq. mt.
Date of completion: September 2007

Words from the architect

The building stands on the edge of the 650 apartments development which was finished a year ago. By urban rules the block is 3 floors high and 65 meters long. Since the orientation of the apartments is towards the car road the apartment areas together with balconies are orientated to the quieter south side.

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Luxury Lounge Interior with Beautiful Lighting Installation

Concept Lounge & Bar El Suemo Humedos by Iván Cotado very beautiful, fresh, and chic. Design ideas and uniqueness of lighting system with the colors that make a visitor does not feel bored. Lounge and bar, located in O Barco de Valdeorras, Ourense ensure your atmosphere with a relaxed and dynamic. Photographers by Santos-diez.
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Port Authority Ferry Terminal at the World Financial Center, New York, United States

New ferry terminal opens in Lower Manhattan
After two decades of providing ferry service in Lower Manhattan via a temporary barge, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has opened a gleaming new $91 million ferry terminal at the World Financial Center. Unlike other terminals built along the Hudson River, this one is a floating structure, the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Resting on a 32,000 sq ft barge that was fabricated in Texas and held in place by two anchor towers, the new terminal accommodates up to six ferryboats and provides seating for 450 passengers , new concessions, and a large public terrace. The project's design sprung from two criteria; the need to preserve views of the Hudson River from the nearby residences and the decision to treat the terminal as an extension of the Battery Park City esplanade. The result is a highly transparent structure that blends seamlessly into its location. The terminal is wrapped with 13 ft high glass windscreens and capped with a sweeping tensile fabric roof that recalls canvas sails. The terminal's deck, which is paved with hexagonal stone pavers that match those used on the esplanade, is a new destination for enjoyment, offering passengers and visitors spectacular views of the river.

Designed by Donald Fram, AIA Chief Architect for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and his predecessor, Robert I. Davidson, the new terminal provides service to several points along New Jersey's waterfront as well as water taxi service in and around Manhattan.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
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Re:Vision Dallas, Dallas, United States

Competition seeks to build first city block that runs off the grid
Imagine an entire city block that operates off the grid. That’s what competitors were asked to do in Re:Vision Dallas, an international design competition that seeks to transform a neglected urban block in downtown Dallas into a self-sustaining community. The competition, which drew hundreds of entries from 26 countries, resulted in three winners, from which one will be chosen for construction later this year.

The winners are: Entangled Bank by Little, based in Charlotte North Carolina; Forwarding Dallas by Atelier Data & MOOV of Lisbon Portugal; and Greenways Xero Energy by David Baker and Partners Architects with Fletcher Studio located in San Francisco California.

Little imagined a mixed-use tower that doubles as a vertical farm with glass ponds and a field for grazing livestock. In addition to providing 500 apartments, the site would house educational institutions, a slow food restaurant and an organic farming institute. The project would be powered by solar panels. Atelier Data & MOOV, imagined an 854-unit housing development modelled after a hilltown. On the hills, or rather rooftops, solar, photovoltaic and wind power will provide for 100% of the energy needs of the community. In the valleys, trees and vegetation are proposed. Cascading down the sides of buildings are public greenhouses. David Baker and Partners Architects working with Fletcher Studio has proposed the least monolithic and most sociable design of the lot. Their design integrates the block into the surrounding neighbourhood with a multi-modal transit center; a variety of "micro-retail" spaces; and an urban agriculture program.

The winners were chose by a panel of community leaders and experts that included Eric Corey Freed, Principal of organicARCHITECT; Adrian Hughes,Principal of ARUP; Nathanial Corum, an architect with Architecture for Humanity; Pliny Fisk, Director of Maximum Potential Building Systems, and Sergio Palleroni, Director and Co-founder of BaSIC Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spencer Dock Bridge, Dublin, United Kingdom

Early insight for what's to come from Amanda Levete Architects
Amanda Levete Architects today released first images of the completed Spencer Dock Bridge in Dublin.

The 40 metre span bridge with its fluid lines and undulating concrete surface will take trams, traffic and pedestrians across the Royal Canal and is one of the first projects completed by the new incarnation of the former Future Systems architect.

The edges of the deck peel down to reveal a space for pedestrians to pause and take in views of the dock and Linear Park which is currently under construction.

The underside of the bridge merges with the piers in a single movement with joint lines in the concrete designed to accentuate the geometry of the form. The finish of the concrete provides high visibility against the dark water of the canal and at night the structure will be vibrantly lit from below giving the bridge a significant presence.

As proportions of the bridge are unusual the office took this as an opportunity to consider the bridge as a piece of landscape design. The soft geometry and asymmetry of the design creates a piece of infrastructure that resolves the tension between form and function.

The bridge is the centrepiece of the new extension to the light rail line in Dublin city centre and part of a larger regeneration project for the inner city and former docks. Constructed using a combination of white insitu and precast reinforced concrete, all formwork is milled directly from 3D parametric models. This innovative use of CNC cut polystyrene is to date the largest application of the material to be used in this way. Commissioned as Future Systems, the bridge is one of the first major projects completed under the name of Amanda Levete Architects.

The bridge will be fully operational in 2010 to coincide with completion of the Linear Park.source:
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Serpentine Pavilion 2009, London, United Kingdom

Serpentine Pavilion completes
It's not summer in the UK until the Serpentine Pavilion has been erected and, that said, summer should start in two days! Standing in the gardens of London's Serpentine Gallery, the Serpentine Pavilion is each year designed by a different innovator from the top of the architectural food chain.

Past masters of the Pavilion have included familiar names in the western architecture circuit such as Frank Gehry (2008), Zaha Hadid (2000), Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond (2006) and Toyo Ito (2002). So it was with some surprise that the news of this year's architects was received. Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa of Japanese firm SANAA, are little known in the western world, aside from their firm's design for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Having never built anything in the UK, their Pavilion premier will also act as a right of passage into the British architecture community.

Describing their structure the architects say: "The Pavilion is floating aluminium, drifting freely between the trees like smoke. The reflective canopy undulates across the site, expanding the park and sky. Its appearance changes according to the weather, allowing it to melt into the surroundings. It works as a field of activity with no walls, allowing uninterrupted view across the park and encouraging access from all sides. It is a sheltered extension of the park where people can read, relax and enjoy lovely summer days."

As a canopy, the structure provides a variation of coverage and enclosure and appears to be consumed by the garden's foliage, illustrating a sound understanding of both the good old British weather and a desire to be at one with the surroundings by the designers.

The Serpentine Pavilion will be welcoming visitors from July 12 until October 18 2009.

Niki May Young
News Editor
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Synergy, Brisbane, Australia

Project awarded a 5 star Green Star rating
Cottee Parker Architects have announced that the Citimark ‘Synergy’ office building, located at Kelvin Grove Urban Village, has been awarded 5 star Green Star rating (Office Design v2) by the Green Building Council of Australia. The project is classed as ‘Australian Excellence’.

In conjunction with a strong consultant team, the architects have delivered a $100m office/retail building using state of the art technology and innovative design. Some key design elements include insulated façade panelling, double glazed insulated windows, green walls, smart metering, tenant education programs, water treatment and recycling facilities, cyclist amenities and storage, and energy modelling during design development.

The Synergy building at Kelvin Grove Urban Village is set to be part of a world class integrated urban development. Cottee Parker’s involvement within the Urban Village Precinct is set to continue with involvement in several other ongoing projects.
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Hörsaalzentrum Auditorium complex, Aachen, Germany

Danish firm wins university auditorium competition
Danish firm schmidt hammer lassen architects has won an international design competition for a new 13,500 sq m auditorium complex for the Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technical High School in Aachen (RWTH), Germany. Twenty-one German and international companies were invited to participate in the competition. This is the first project for the Danish firm in Germany. The new auditorium centre is due for completion in 2012.

The proposed solution is compact, comprising two blocks coated in green sedum grass, united by an airy, transparent glass atrium cutting through the building in a ziggurat pattern. The central idea of the proposal is the contrast between the inherently introverted auditoriums and the dynamic and open social and circulation zone that connects the auditoriums. The building integrates several informal spaces of various sizes to form squares and terraces for social activity and knowledge sharing.

“We have emphasised creating an informal student environment, where the architecture is the backdrop of both learning and socialising. To us social balance is important for the learning process,” said architect John Lassen, founding partner.

The complex will accommodate twelve auditoriums of capacities ranging from 1800 seats to 100 seats, including several seminar rooms and offices. A physics collection is located on the lower level.

Located on a block within the campus, the four storey complex is conceived as a singular sculptural object, breaking with the block structure by pulling back from the adjacent line of buildings. Two existing buildings on the block will be demolished in ten years time to create a new landscaped plaza with reflecting pools and greenery, increasing the visibility and enhancing the setting of the distinctive auditorium building.

The complex has seven entrances to make it accessible from all sides of the campus with main entrances directly into the atrium on the north side and into the facade facing the plaza to the east.

The project is part of RWTH’s major development strategy, which will add 280,000 sq m of new accommodation to the campus in the next nine years to create one of the largest research landscapes in Europe. The new auditorium complex will be located at the epicentre of three of the six parts of the campus; the Central Campus, the Sports Campus and the West Campus.
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Vidyalankar Reloaded, Mumbai, India

New images show striking flexible learning environment as complete
From an old industrial structure in Mumbai, to the new centre of learning in the Vidyalankar campus, it would be difficult to imagine a more vibrant transformation than that of the recently completed Vidyalankar Reloaded.

Planet 3 Studios Architecture were unanimously chosen by students and educators to design this 35,000 sq ft space. The story of the design began with the dilemma of a torn decision between demolishing or preserving the existing structure. In a meeting one of the educators keen on preservation scribbled the building out of a photograph with a marker. As the case continued and the decision eventually led to the preservation, the photo was saved as a memento and became the inspiration for Vidyalankar's unique facade.

The result of this incidental moment is a daring and extremely functional facade which provides just that, a new face for Vidyalankar that will elevate the educational facility and ensure a worldwide profile. Appearing almost as though a tiger has ravaged the exterior, a semi-enclosure is created where students can work, rest or play in the shade, the enclosure also functioning to cool the building. Part-mirrored on the outside, the building reflects its surroundings and in turn absorbs the rest of the campus to become its centre.

Not to be confused as a one-trick pony, Vidyalankar Reloaded is as colourful on the inside as it is on the outside. With only the basic shell of the existing industrial building to work with the interior had to be shaped by various enclosures leaving space for creativity in abundance. The program of studies dictated that multiple flexible learning spaces must be created and the building itself was to be used as a resource for the other buildings. In reaction to this flexible units were created and the building was given additional space by the introduction of a mezzanine floor.

"The design language is intentionally indeterminate, almost as a knock on the head to wake students out of mental stasis," say Planet 3 Studios. "A staircase with a railing evoking frayed, open edges of a traditional Indian wicker basket rendered in stainless steel, a slide connecting two levels, game board near the entrance and strategically punctured roof with skylights illuminating the interior corridors, all reiterate the unique nature of this facility."

Niki May Young
News Editor
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

City of London Information Centre, London, United Kingdom

The City of London Information Centre showcases how contemporary design can be used to great effect in a heritage context.

The ambitious brief called for a new structure to accommodate a state-of-the-art information service. In addition to serving as an exemplar of sustainable design, championing accessibility for visitors and employees alike, it also required a dynamic contemporary structure to be a local landmark in its own right and interact sensitively with its historic context.

Located to the south-west of the South Transept of St Paul’s Cathedral, on one of London’s principal tourist routes, the building also sees substantial pedestrian movement. The combined sensitivity and prominence of this site posed a unique design challenge. Extensive analysis of the context and lines of sight informed the position, scale, orientation and profile; the final location ensures that the structure does not impinge on key views of St Paul’s but is calibrated to establish a dialogue with its historic neighbour.

The large spans and cantilevers were achieved using a steel frame braced by a structural ply skin and clad in externally vented stainless steel panels. The full-height glazed frontage ensures that the public front-of-house area is bathed in daylight while being orientated to avoid excessive solar gain. The yellow panels lining the interior are Trespa, a recycled timber product. Triangular rooflights draw light into the interior, and daylight sensors regulate the artificial lighting. All furniture is constructed from recycled timber. The building envelope is highly insulated, uses borehole cooling and rainwater is recycled.
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Helsinki Seafarers' Centre, Helsinki, Finland

ARK-House completes new centre in Helsinki
The plot for the Helsinki Seafarers' Centre is situated by the main entrance to the Vuosaari harbour, on the northern corner of the area. In practice the building location is the only point in the whole harbour area that contains any natural forms and elements. As the only public building in the area, its role is to serve as a place of respite; a small multipurpose building for the seamen that arrive at the harbour form afar.

The starting point in a David and Goliath juxtaposition has required a carefully considered architectural strategy. The infinitely small volume of the Seafarers’ Centre was in danger of being completely dominated by the crushing hectare-sized steel warehouses, and the artificial landscape of tarmac fields and container seas. As a counter-point, a soft organic form language was chosen for the building, as well as a wood construction. The architecture of the building could be described as contextual in the wide sense of the word: the preserved hillock, with its trees and rocks, is an essential part of the architecture of the building.

The objective in the design of the building has been to create a unique identity, because in the best case scenario the distant traveller can take home a positive memory of something tantalizingly strange yet hospitable. The completely wooden structure and its compact shape are a homage to the building tradition based on the purposefulness of wooden ships and the aesthetics that spring form it, as well as a comment on the ecological challenges of the present. The premises offer both physical and spiritual nourishment: the spiritual word and composure, coffee, a laundry and computers. Particularly important are the cosy atmosphere and the simultaneous experience of familiarity and newness.

The commissioners behind the project are the Finnish Seamen’s Mission and the Finnish Seamen’s Service, both of which have long traditions and an international history of supporting seafarers. The denominational aspect is brought out in a sensitive way, respectful of the religion and cultural background of each visitor.
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Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio, San Francisco, United States

Gap founder abandons plans for Presidio museum
After two failed designs and overwhelming public opposition, Donald Fisher, founder of the Gap, has pulled the plug on plans to build a new Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio (CAMP), a military base turned national park located in San Francisco, California. Fisher spokesperson, Alex Tourk, would not say why his client walked away from the proposal. But he did say Fisher is considering building a museum elsewhere to house his art collection, which is considered to be among the most extensive private collections of 20th and 21st Century art in the world.

Fisher first unveiled plans for a new two-storey contemporary museum designed by Richard Gluckman in 2007. But when that design was deemed too modern for the historic site, Fisher dumped Gluckman and turned to local architect WRNS Studio to design a more toned down structure. While that design, which puts the building partially underground, responded to the criticism of Gluckman’s design being 'too monumental', it failed to address the main source of contention: the project’s location. In the end, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which oversees heritage projects in the US, deemed the project inappropriate for the site.

“Don Fisher’s decision to abandon the Main Post site for his proposed contemporary art museum is the correct one”, said Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We believed from the beginning that having the museum built on the Presidio’s grounds could be a great asset to the community but, despite recent efforts to mitigate the impact of the structure on the Main Parade, that specific location has always been problematic to say the least”. The Main Parade is the most significant part not only of a National Historic Landmark but one of the most significant historic sites in America. To compromise its integrity would be tragic.”

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
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Hotel Quincy, Singapore, Singapore

Hotel Quincy adapts 360º design approach
Designed by ONG&ONG, Hotel Quincy was envisaged as a one-of-a kind boutique hotel encompassing all the design aspects from architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, project management and graphic design. This building shows the process of how one design concept is implemented through all design elements, providing consistency in creativity and design.

Each space is unique, each an individual configuration, providing a different experience. The aim was to create a distinctive, sustainable and timeless space that go beyond the existing boutique hotels. The main concept was to create rooms from different variations and permutations of exterior glass and steel cladding. These rooms were then randomly stacked forming a unique one-of-a-kind exterior façade.

Playing on themes such as glamour, luxury and sophistication, the design team incorporated modern design elements and the latest amenities. Indigenous products in a modern application, such as dark grey steel detailing, granite stonework lit by fanciful light fixtures, demonstrate the fusion of old and new.
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Transbay Transit Terminal, San Francisco, United States

San Francisco’s transit terminal plans revamped to attract stimulus money
Hoping to get a financial boost from federal stimulus money, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) voted this week to modify plans for a new $1.2 billion transit Center in San Francisco. The new plan, which will delay the project’s opening by more than a year until late 2015, will expedite the construction of an underground high-speed train station. Under the old plan the train station would have been built after the terminal opened. But by building it now, the project could save $100 million in construction costs and possibly attract a $400 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. The redesign will cost the Authority $15 million and comes with some risk.

If the stimulus money is not forthcoming the Authority stands to lose the $15 million investment. Chris Daly a TJPA Director says the risk is worth taking: “I’m a gambling man and I’m willing to role the dice. High-speed rail is coming to California. It’s coming to downtown San Francisco. Everyone’s excited, but if the construction of the train station doesn’t happen we’re in the hole $15 million." Daly said.

The new transit terminal is designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli. Touted as the “Grand Central Station of the West” it includes a new regional transit center; a revamped rail line with accommodations for a future high-speed line, and a mixed- use tower that will be the tallest building in the Western United States.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
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Foshan Pearl Gymnasium, Foshan, China

Mitsuru Senda's gymnasium complets in Foshan
Foshan Pearl Gymnasium is a multi-functional sport facility that accommodates various activities such as official sport games, training, assembly and events as well as citizens’ leisure and exercise.

The climate of Foshan is sub-tropical climate with heavy rain, severe heat and humidity particularly between July and September. EDI considered all the facilities should be protected from such severe climate by shelter and determined to employ multistage overhanging ring truss system. This structural system is characterized by the main frame of horizontal rings. Vertical members to support rings are arranged alternately. For additional reinforcement, diagonal bracing are arranged on the surface of the domes. The slits between horizontal rings ensure light and outside air coming through. Because horizontal rings acts as eaves, this creates dynamic architectural impression with strong contrast of light and shade. This gymnasium is consisted of Main Arena, Sub-Arena and Citizens’ Arena. At the lower level, 3 ring domes are combined by contour shaped rings. Therefore, 3 arenas are organically and functionally linked together.

By providing water spaces surrounding the gymnasium, cool air is introduced inside the domes. EDI attempts the entire reliance on natural ventilation using multiple windows fit between the rings, except for the minimum use of mechanical cooling during hot and humid July to September. Natural lighting is controlled by automatic blind installed between rings.

With silver aluminum dome roofs like pearls, which also act as heat reflection, this sports dome stands as a symbol of the city and as an environmental architecture that put stress on light, ventilation and temperature in response to local climate.
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Crystal Clear, Oslo, Norway

Sculptural office towers to grace cityscape
C. F. Møller Architects, in collaboration with Kristin Jarmund Arkitekter, has won a major competition to design a spectacular new landmark project in the city of Oslo, for the client KLP AS, one of Norway's largest property investors. The project, which has been dubbed "Crystal Clear", consists of three towers, which grow organically from the ground to form a sculptural cluster, and are composed of stacked, prismatic volumes.

The development totals approximately 90,000 sq m of offices, commercial space and possibly housing, located at one of Oslo's most valuable sites, the former postal sorting office adjacent to the central station. 'Crystal Clear' ties in with the city's skyline, and the string of developing landmark projects that will help turn Oslo into one of Europe's most modern capitals.

Partner and architect at C.F. Møller, Mads Mandrup Hansen states: "Crystal Clear is a unique proposal for a modern, Nordic cluster of towers - a Norwegian urban rock, that in an exciting way adds to the city's strategic endeavour to interlace town and port into a contemporary and lively waterfront, and at the same time fulfils the client KLP Eiendom's vision to build the most groundbreaking high-rise offices in Scandinavia.

"We are proud that Crystal Clear once again gives us the chance to contribute a significant new project to the city of Oslo, strengthening our position in Norway, and demonstrating the broad spectre of skills our office possesses."

ATKINS and Norwegian Erichsen og Horgen AS are appointed as engineers on Crystal Clear, which is expected to be completed within 3-5 years.
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AA Summer Pavilion 'Driftwood', London, United Kingdom

Student designed pavilion drifts into London
'Driftwood', the Architectural Association's summer pavilion designed by Unit 2 Students is unveiled today in Bedford Square, London.

Its public opening tomorrow will mark the annual celebration of young architectural talent from the world's most renowned school of architecture. Over 3000 visitors from across the world are expected to arrive tomorrow to view the AA School Summer Pavilion and Projects Review which will display a year's worth of works by the up and coming stars of architecture.

Driftwood was designed by concept designer Danecia Sibingo a 3rd year student, and a team that includes Lyn Hayek, Yoojin Kim, and Taeyoung Lee. The sustainable spruce ‘Kerto’ plywood structure is "neither art nor architecture, science nor ecological adventure, but a sculptural installation and prototype that defies classification. It embraces invention, experimentation, new materials and aesthetic intelligence," according to a spokesperson for the AA.

The pavilion was selected by a panel of seven eminent judges from the worlds of architecture, engineering, design, media and ecology. "It provides a thoughtful, provoking reminder of the UK’s inextricable link to the sea - its undulating form created by the motion of the water, carried by waves and coming to rest in busy central London," added the spokesperson.

Now in its fourth year of building pavilions, Intermediate Unit 2 pavilion projects are led by tutors Charles Walker and Martin Self with technical advice from ARUP, this year led by Ching Luan Lau, Senior Engineer. The unit challenges students to create architectural space through the construction of a sustainable timber pavilion and is also sponsored by HOK architects. Driftwood is on show in Bedford Square until 25 July 2009. Brett Steele, Director, The Architectural Association School says: “The annual summer pavilion competition provides a unique opportunity for students to work together to design, develop and ultimately fabricate a professional standard architectural structure for the public to enjoy. Unparalleled in any other architectural school, it creates a collaborative working environment, nurturing inspiration and encouraging radical and fresh ideas which come to life in the form of these incredible structures."
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Hollenbeck Replacement Police Station, Los Angeles, United States

New police station for Boyle Heights
The new Hollenbeck Replacement Police Station in the heart of Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights community, has been designed to exemplify the LAPD’s efforts to create an open, community serving police force. AC Martin’s intent was to both strengthen the neighborhood’s civic center and highlight the community’s distinct tradition of artistic expression.

Comprised of three rectangular two-storey volumes, the modern design communicates the department’s forward-thinking philosophies. Significantly larger than the existing facility the new sustainable facility includes a 54,000 sq ft new main building, a 7,000 sq ft vehicle maintenance facility, and 115,000 sq ft parking structure. The replacement station’s internal organisation provides a light-filled, cohesive sense of space for 200+ officers and staff.

The exterior walls are highlighted by a staccato rhythm of rectangular windows and insets, while an open plaza sets off the striking public entrance. The station’s layered-glass entry wall adds an artistic focal point to the community, while creating a welcoming public entrance. The glass façade allows light and diffused views into the lobby by day, transforming into a glowing beacon by night. The design also provides the necessary security while maintaining a sense of openness and energy. The station is an excellent model of sustainability, designed to achieve a high LEED® certification.
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Alice Tully Hall, New York, United States

Alice Tully Hall proves to be a showstopper
The re-design of Alice Tully Hall is intended to transform the venue from a good multi-purpose hall into a premiere chamber music venue with street identity and upgraded functionality for all performance needs. Tucked under The Juilliard School, the opaque base of Pietro Belluschi's building is stripped away to reveal the hall's outer shell. The sloped underside of Juilliard's expansion serves as the canopy framing the hall, its expanded lobby and box office. A shear one-way cable net glass façade puts the hall on display.

A commonly held opinion about the hall interior is that it lacks intimacy, a quality most valued for a chamber music venue. “Intimacy” is interpreted as an acoustic and visual pursuit. A partial box-in-box construction isolates the hall from the vibration from the 7th Avenue subway and a new high performance inner liner is acoustically engineered to distribute sound evenly throughout the house. The liner of African moabi is tailored around all existing hall features and new programmatic elements, eliminating all visual noise that distracts the audience from the performance. Illumination emerges from the wood skin much the way a bioluminescent marine organism exudes an internal glow.

A percentage of the wood liner is constructed of translucent custom-molded resin panels surfaced in veneer to match and blend seamlessly with the wood, binding the house and stage with light. Like the raising of a chandelier or the parting of a curtain signaling the start of performance, the blush will be part of the performance choreography; a hush will fall in the seconds of transition from distraction to attention when the blushing walls will be the first performer.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects
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Singapore High Comission, New Delhi, India

Contemporary design for Singapore officials
The design of the new Singapore High Commission in New Delhi stems from the need to shed the conventional iconography of governmental structures and create one, which, while still remaining monumental and figural, is accessible on a human scale. Four main strategies drive the design for the new Chancery and official residences.

The first is the need to create a coordinated physical plan relating the existing buildings on the site to the new Chancery. This is done by constructing a sequence of interior/exterior spaces linked together by external landscape features that will harness the site into a harmonious whole. The play between mass [solid buildings] and transparent spaces [glass elements, open water/forecourts] allows spaces to oscillate between inside and outside as they fold in and onto each other.

Secondly, is the need to carve out a series of clearly defined but related spatial components, which will house all the necessary bureaucratic programmes for efficient day-to-day functions of the High Commission. Internal spaces are carefully defined into three distinctive zones; open public zone, office zone and secure zone.

Thirdly, the new High Commission is intended to serve and represent Singapore both physically and symbolically. While the vaulted-quality of the pavilion gateway and solidity of the building foster an image of strength, security and diplomacy, it is balanced by open gardens, water features and external event spaces, which create an environment of openness and welcome.

Finally, Indian resources in the form of building materials and local crafts are used in a modern way. Details such as the lanterns above the gateways to Agra, which are fashioned in red stone and ornamented with carved jail motifs, are a source of inspiration. This shows an understanding of the building’s local context
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The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center, Dallas, United States

Two AIA awards mark achievements of The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center
A Homeless Assistance Center, located in downtown Dallas, has received two prestigious national awards for its design: the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2009 AIA National Housing Award and the AIA/Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Award. San Antonio-based Overland Partners Architects, in conjunction with Dallas-based CamargoCopeland Architects, provided architectural services for the center, named The Bridge.

Given to only 17 projects nationwide in 2009, the AIA’s Housing Awards Program recognizes the nation’s best in housing design and promotes the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource. The AIA/HUD Secretary Award recognizes only a select few projects from across the country each year in three categories: community-informed design, creating community connection and excellence in affordable housing design. This year, The Bridge was the only project honoured in the community-informed design category, which is given to projects in which community members, public officials, residents and architects collaborate. Overall, only four projects were honoured in all categories.

Completed in May 2008, the multi-purpose facility is dedicated to providing safe haven and social services for more than 6,000 homeless people in Dallas, empowering both the chronic and newly homeless to come off the streets and sustain permanent housing in order to live productively.

The design team was given a challenge; to create an environment that would shift the paradigm for the homeless. The first step in Dallas’ ten-year plan, “The Bridge” is designed to meet the growing concerns of homelessness and the homeless in Dallas. It empowers the chronic and newly homeless to come in off the streets, maintain sustainable and permanent housing, and live productively.

As a refuge from the outside world, the design team created a campus centered on an outdoor landscaped courtyard where the homeless can gather without fear. The center’s design supports guests as they move through the programs, while providing a safe and attractive work environment for volunteers, staff, and service providers that are essential to the success of the programs.

The exterior design is respectful of its surroundings in scale, form, and materials, engaging the public, both day and night, by providing strong visual connections. Contributing to the center’s mission, a publicly selected artist integrated writings by the homeless with brightly colored glass panels. Facing downtown, the panels are a gift to the larger community, a magnet for the homeless, and a source of inspiration.

The importance of the psychological connection to daylight, large number of plumbing fixtures required, and desire to make something special out of a building that had been discarded, resulted in Light, Water, and Reuse as major themes directing the overall sustainable design solution.

The Bridge elevates the quality of public spaces and provides a strong visual presence within the city. It engages the community in the life-transforming process of the most disenfranchised members of our society. The Bridge proves modern day shelters should be integrated into our community rather than isolated; they are valuable civic buildings, representing the compassion of our population in the 21st century.
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Architecture of Discovery Green, Houston, United States

New civic park is completed in Houston
Discovery Green is a new 12-acre park in downtown Houston. The park houses a range of architectural elements which includes two restaurants, a park administration building, underground parking for 600 vehicles and numerous site features such as a bandstand, a small performance space for children and shade structures of various sizes and configurations. The buildings were designed by PageSoutherlandPage in association with Hargreaves Associates, the prime consultant, park planner and landscape architect for Discovery Green.

The three primary buildings on the site, the café, the park building and the restaurant, parallel two powerful preexisting rows of live oaks and reinforce their linear character. Each building is composed of long, thin volumes that draw activity from the major north/south promenade deep into the park on either side.

The park building and the café have deep, shady porches that dominate their south faces. Carefully designed to create a shield from hot south and west sun, the porch roofs pitch up to the north to achieve balanced daylight for the outdoor spaces below as well as to induce air movement, drawing warm air up and out. The south-facing roofs of the café and park building porches house an array of photovoltaic collectors that provide a substantial portion of the power needed for the park.

The restaurant at the south end of the promenade provides a strong visual presence for the park. Its lower floor is dominated by a long, thin dining room that nestles under the boughs of the live oak alley. Tall glass walls toward the trees and at each end open the room generously to the park, while a richly textured brick volume housing kitchen and service functions anchors the room on the street side. The upper level of the restaurant is predominantly a shaded outdoor dining terrace accessed by broad staircases at the east and west ends. A green roof over the single-story portion of the restaurant extends a park-like feeling up to the terrace level.

During its first year of operation over 700,000 people have visited the park, bookings for the convention center across the street have improved and development of residential and commercial buildings surrounding the park has increased dramatically. The park is planned to receive a LEED Gold
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Long Beach City College Library, Long Beach, United States

Revamped 'Art Deco' college opens its doors to the community
In the 1950s, this community college added a classroom wing, food services area, and several vocational buildings to what had been a 1930s Art Deco junior high school campus providing vocational training for the surrounding low-income urban neighborhood.

With the creation of a new Library / Learning Resource Center, the once exclusively vocational college now offers associate degrees, enabling the students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Strong formal elements; grand portal, bisecting spine, elegant stair and bridge, play against the structural grid, forming a lively entry courtyard and sculpting the relationship to context and the spatial experience of users.

Squeezed between an existing classroom building and a campus road, the building was forced into an unfortunate orientation, with long east and west sides exposed to solar heat gain and glare. In response, reading rooms are positioned along the West side of the building where a group of mature trees provides ample shade. Glare is mitigated by fritted glass and vertical aluminum fins, which allude to the window pattern of the adjacent Art Deco buildings. Sloping ceilings bring natural light deep into the building over low, perimeter offices and study rooms.

The plan is laid out for maximum flexibility, providing staged use of the building, which allows the community access to the lecture hall and student access to the computer lab for after-hours and weekend use. The Library / Learning Resource Center provides access to the latest technology, a healthy, naturally lit, ecologically sensitive environment, and valuable resources within easy reach of the surrounding community.
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Mata do Cabo Swimming Pool, St Joao da Pesqueira, Portugal

Camping for hunters and gatherers
This building is a swimming-pool and sanitary facilities for the Mata do Cabo Leisure Park at St João da Pesqueira, Portugal. The park has a swimming-pool, camping, a basketball / football field, a tennis court and a Mediterranean forest — now an urban park. Downhill, the architects designed a football stadium.

The building replaces the old facilities of the existing swimming-pool, which was rebuilt, repaved and kept in its original site, above street level. It becomes somehow a “wall-building”, the public face of the park. The main feature of this project was the challenge of adapting in a single building different public spaces for different users (swimming-pool, camping, sports fields, restaurant, bar, urban park), whose paths cross or go parallel around the building, without mixing.

Raising the building without destroying the hilly landscape was another challenge. In order to achieve that, the building was organized functionally by levels, according to the public open spaces it connects to and should serve, with long and leveled paths, vertically connected by the elevator (for handicapped users only). The building is strongly connected to the site: local stone clads the main facades in a traditional technique, continuing under the long canopy suspended over the sports field seats, shading the swimming-pool terrace underneath.

The camping park, located on the sloping hill, was organized in leveled platforms built with the very own ground stones inside mesh boxes, keeping the average configuration of the former landscape. The forest was left intact.
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Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond, Canada

Cannon Design's exemplary sports venue for Olympians in Richmond
Emphasising lightness, transparency, and translucency, the interiors of the Richmond Olympic Oval mitigate its large scale, reflecting the openness, accessibility and fun that lie at its conception. Located on the Richmond waterfront, the Oval is designed as a “legacy” or dual-use building – speed skating venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and as an International Centre of Excellence for Sports and Wellness for community uses.

The Oval is organised around three levels. On the second level, a clear-span arch structure of approximately 330 ft (100m) that houses the 400 m speed skating track and the legacy sports. The lower level provides support functions and parking, and the upper level - a mezzanine for fitness programs, spectator seating and hospitality lounge. The ice slab can be configured to support sport, court and track & field uses, hockey and skating, other recreation as well as public events.

Innovative features include the use of one million board feet of pine-beetle-killed dimensional lumber that creates a beautiful structural canopy; composite glulam beams clear-spanning the activity space creatively integrated with the distinctive roof deck; the seamless integration of building systems and infrastructure with the structure; and the manner in which the building’s dual function provides flexibility, adaptability and conversion.

The Oval was honored with the 2009 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation and the Sustainability Star, awarded by the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Organizing Committee in recognition of the innovation Games partners and sponsors have demonstrated in sustainable design.
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Savannah House in the Rotterdam Zoo, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Sustainable giraffe enclosure opens at Rotterdam Zoo
A giraffe enclosure just opened at Rotterdam Zoo is the first building in the Netherlands designed for animals according to the principles of the 'Cradle to cradle' sustainability philosophy. The philosophy is an ecologically intelligent approach to architecture using and creating materials that will both compliment and restore the planet. “It forced us to unite the tensions between the neutral climate requirements and ambitions and that of a healthy climate for the African animals. The end result gives a special satisfaction," said Menno Lam of LAM architects.

The Savannah House, designed by LAM Architects, is almost maintenance free and uses a majority of recycled or recyclable materials. The structure is also able to collect 330,000 litres of rainwater each year which will be used for the plants in an adjacent habitat. To create heat on cold days wood chips are burnt and specially designed 'cuddle-walls’ (steel elements with low temperature heating inside) are available for the animals.

The Savannah House serves as a 'shelter'. It is a building full of solar, shade and daylight using non-toxic materials and its height reflects its main purpose as a giraffe shelter. The project is part of a larger transformation of Rotterdam Zoo which has been undertaken for several years which is rearranging the enclosures to create different continents.
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Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute, Toronto, Canada

State-of-the-art training centre balances passive and active technologies
This project, completed in January 2007, has become the international insignia of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute and represents their commitment to their students and appreciation of their corporate role as mentor of ecological literacy. The FESTI applies the lessons of ecological and sustainable responsibility in a unique architectural language. This project illustrates that, even at a small scale of building, architecture is a unique vehicle for large scale improvement within the current world crisis.

Dwayne Macintosh, Deputy Fire Chief at FESTI. commented that; “With the ever changing world and greater consideration being given to the environment, the fact that FESTI is a LEED building helps tremendously with our marketing. In addition, the way in which it is presented is always something that makes an impression on people. The facility has an open, welcoming and modern feel to it which is not normally found in a fire training facility. Both of these aspects continue to wow people when they visit FESTI for the first time.”

The interface of the public rooms with the private rooms is defined by a strong, figurative and literal wall that mitigates between the rigid geometry of the private spaces and the exuberant public spaces. The clarity of the plan and the complexity of the section create volumetric experiences that are dynamic and varied, as are the young and athletic students. Careful consideration was given to the design of the massing, exterior finishes and the lighting sources of the elements for day or night response, given the LEED Silver compliance and the location of the project within an airport, adjacent to a runway and visible from the sky during take-off and landing.

Transparency, permeability and solidity are explored for both practical and aesthetic purposes. The integration of solar shading, a vegetated roof, a thermal solar wall, an integrated heat recovery system using the mass of the concrete and natural ventilation features are identifiable architectural responses to responsible building practices.
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Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia

The world’s first 6 Star Green Star convention centre opens in Melbourne
With the opening of the Convention Centre, Melbourne has become home to the most advanced exhibition and convention space in the Southern Hemisphere and one of most impressive architectural and environmental buildings in the nation. The building reveals a number of design ideas which make it a leading project in contemporary world architecture. An innovative design concept by NHArchitecture and Woods Bagot deliberately sets out to turn traditional convention centre design inside out and delivers a building that is distinctive and worthy of its prime riverfront location in the South Wharf precinct, not just a venue for large conventions.

It is the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating, making it one of the greenest large structures in the world. Its revolutionary design and advanced technology makes it one of the first convention centres of this scale to have its 5000 seat plenary hall equipped to accommodate flat and tiered seating at the touch of a button or be subdividable into two or three smaller auditoriums.
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Qatar Science and Technology Park, Doha, Qatar

A new cultural and commercial icon in the Middle East
Qatar’s new Science and Technology Park (STP) is a key initiative of the Qatar Foundation in its drive to diversify the economy, create highly skilled jobs and to establish Qatar as a knowledge economy in the Middle East.

Qatar is championing industry-based research and development, and is investing deeply in education and science. In the STP, Qatar is building a world-class environment for companies to develop their technology in Qatar, including a business incubator to help technology start-ups.

Companies are being attracted by free-trade zone incentives and full ownership rights, as well as links with the four US universities incorporated within Qatar Foundation, plus a planned billion-dollar teaching and research hospital and convention centre adjacent.

Qatar Science and Technology Park is designed to link the research efforts of these institutes with industry, and to provide jobs for their growing pipeline of students. International tenants of Qatar Science and Technology Park include EADS, ExxonMobil, GE, Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Shell and Total.
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Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, United States

Virginia beach plays home to striking convention center from SOM
The Virginia Beach Convention Center (VBCC) demonstrates SOM’s ability to look beyond an immediate project site in terms of community growth. Since its completion, VBCC has become the centerpiece of a 40-year master plan to green Virginia Beach and reinvigorate the classic beach resort town.

Design inspiration came from the region’s past, present, and future. A soaring 147-foot glass and steel tower pays homage to the city’s historic lighthouse, while lightweight trusses support an energy-saving glass curtain wall that curves around the entrance. The lobby features a panoramic video screen that displays both commissioned digital artwork and convention information. Cutting-edge technology is also on display in a cellular phone enhancement system that enables conference attendees to locate one another and navigate the facility without difficulty.

Working with the city of Virginia Beach, SOM designed 505,000 sq ft of space with several energy-efficient initiatives: lighting and HVAC systems programmed to conserve electricity during off hours, energy-efficient windows that limit UV penetration, naturally rot- and insect-resistant Cumaru wood flooring and decks, and effective storm water retention systems. In 2008, VBCC’s energy bill decreased by 13%. These sustainable design initiatives assisted the center in achieving “Virginia Green” certification from a statewide program to reduce the environmental impacts of the tourism industry.

The center includes four easily reconfigurable sub-halls with 40 ft ceilings and a 240-foot clear span roof. A significant feat of engineering, VBCC’s roof is one of the largest column-free spans in the U.S. The facility also contains a grand ballroom, meeting rooms, and a community-oriented park landscaped with plants that tolerate draughts and conserve water.

Since its opening, the convention center has significantly raised the community profile, acting as a catalyst for new development and inspiring the Virginia Beach community with a compelling vision of what their city can become.
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Myrtus Convetion Center, Valencia, Spain

Ramón Esteve completes new civic facility in Valencia
The proposal of the building was to generate a construction that will be used for conventions, seminars and banquets supporting up to a thousand people.

The organic geometry of the building, developed under a circular grid, generates continuity between spaces, allowing a kind of stimulation to flow through them. The building's sinuous shell line grants it with a kind character. Following this line, a disposition of alternating planes of glass and white concrete serve to have ripped the volume in its verticality from the building's wholeness. From the inside these intermittent openings create the feeling of a colonnade connecting the gardens, blurring the boundaries between inside-outside. Only the pieces holding the auxiliary uses are shown as solid and compact nucleus surrounded by the different spaces.

The program is solved in three levels. The main floor holds the assembly halls and the kitchen, on the second floor are the offices and a restaurant with its private kitchen for daily service. The garage is at the underground level with the store rooms.

The structure is solved with a three-dimensional mesh, which is rigid due to the compact stairs and services volumes. This kind of structure solves 22 meters length of spam without columns. The ceiling is made up by diameter-variable circular pieces, and the structure is shown through its gaps.

The organic geometry plan lay out the exterior in three areas, two main areas with porches which will hold outside celebrations and one for the service activities. The exterior is also planned, setting a connection with the nature, designing a particular vegetal environment.
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Visitor Centre - Roman Theatre of Malaga, Malaga, Spain

New visitor centre at Roman Theatre of Malaga
The Roman Theatre of Malaga is a monument placed in the hillside of the Alcazaba fortress. The Visitors' Centre is designed like the first step to incorporate definitely the Roman Theatre into the new public space generated next to the Picasso Museum. Antiquity and modernity, past and future, are summarized symbolically in this site.

While the archaeological research continues the Andalucian Cultural Administration has decided to present the monument in a small building of 172 m2 that solves two fundamental needs; to explain the archaeological remains to a non specializing public and to provide a support place for archaeologists.

The exempt, light and abstract piece, is formed like access door to the site. The basic materials are two: panels finished in wood and serigraphic glass with the Lex Flavia Malacitana. The Latin text, out of its original support in bronze, turns into a texture, into an enigmatic background that blurs the presence of the box. At the same time, the glass front aspires to call the visitor to know better an extraordinary emergent heritage.
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