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Friday, August 21, 2009

Zaha Hadid Burnham Pavilion, Chicago, United States

Latest images show why Zaha's Burnham Pavilion was two months late
Almost two months after the structure was set to open in Millennium Park, Chicago, Zaha Hadid's Burnham Pavilion was opened to the public on 5 August. While the skeleton was erected in time for the opening of the twin pavilion by Ben van Berkel in June, it lay bare initially for inspection before being hidden to the public while its stretched skin was perfected.

Designed as one of two pavilions to celebrate the centenary of Daniel Burnham's Chicago Plan which outlined the structure of the city, visitors are now able to experience the ambiance within. The structure plays host to a sound and video installation by artist Thomas Gray that portrays Chicago’s transformation from past to future, projected onto the sides of the projects white interior. The pavilion is constructed of an aluminium skeleton frame with tightly stretched material which form a cocoon. These images show the pavilion becomes a beacon at night with coloured lights carefully installed to highlight the structure. If you are interested in learning more about the construction of the pavilion, 'Talks with the team' are held every other Wednesday (starting last week) where structural engineer Chris Rockey will discuss the design from 5.30 pm.

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Atasehir Mixed Use Development, Atasehir, Turkey

RMJM designs first ‘green’ development in Turkey’s financial district
RMJM has today unveiled details of the US $1 billion development it is designing in Istanbul’s new residential and business district, which will be one of the ‘greenest’ projects in Turkey.

The luxury 372,000 sq m development – being designed by RMJM’s New York and Istanbul studios - will be located in the Atasehir district of Istanbul which the Turkish government intends to transform into the country’s new financial district and business centre.

Set on a highly visible site (totalling 107,000 sq m) that features panoramic views stretching from the Bosphorus Strait in the west to the Princes’ Islands and the Sea of Marmara to the south, the development has been commissioned by Turkish real estate development company VARYAP, part of Varlibas Group International. It includes a 60-storey tower, 1,500 residential units, a five-star hotel, offices and conference facilities with landscaped public areas and parking facilities. The project, which is expected to serve 20,000 people, is scheduled to be completed in 2011.

The RMJM design team intends to create an iconic complex that is designed to achieve the ‘LEED’ sustainability accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council and, as such, would be the first mixed use development of its kind in Turkey. To achieve this the designers analysed the local site conditions and embraced the topography, climate and surrounding context to maximise the site’s natural potential and inform building orientation and landscaping. This also ensured panoramic views beyond the site, while minimising solar heat gain to the building facades.

Active ‘green’ design features include rainwater collection sites and facilities to optimise water usage and reduce energy consumption, wind turbine technology, cooling water pools that enhance the external landscape and a co-generation plant that will produce electricity for the development. The unique context and culture of Istanbul is incorporated into the design including a spectral tiled facade, ranging from terracotta to blue to white.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to create a landmark community in Istanbul’s up-and-coming financial district,” said Chris Jones, RMJM Design Principal who leads RMJM’s new Istanbul office. “RMJM’s design not only addresses Istanbul’s culture, climate, architectural heritage and cosmopolitan attitude but also sets a new standard for sustainable design for Turkey. Sustainable design is no longer a trend but a necessity and our client VARYAP embraced the idea from the start.”

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Mero Beach, Mero Village, Dominica

Sustainability touches down on holiday island
The development of an exclusive residential resort of 22,000 sq m is planned for Mero Beach on the west coast of the Commonwealth of Dominica. While the island is no stranger to holidaymakers, Mero Beach has never been home to a resort quite like this before.

Mero Beach is one of the most important beaches on the island with specific and relevant social and ecological values. The design of the Mero Beach resort intends to protect the delicate balance of fragile cultural, economical and natural elements and will be used to promote similar sustainable developments if the project reaches fruition. BURO II are currently in discussions with an investor to see through the project.

The hotel buildings included in the design are designed to have a 'dialogue' with their surroundings, providing privacy and security whilst allowing constant interaction with the natural surroundings. Living walls will be used to blend the buildings into their habitat. Locally sourced sustainable materials will be used together with techniques such as water management and energy reducing measures, and the predominance of natural vegetation to further this interaction.

It is hoped that Mero Village and the Resort will together form a hub of social and economic activity, drawing in visitors who wish to experience Dominica’s unique natural and cultural heritage, local food production, crafts and skills. The Resort will benefit from, protect and enhance the nation’s world renowned rainforest, coastal and wetland habitats and indigenous species. As a new cultural and business model for hospitality and regeneration, Mero Beach Resort will inspire and inform future developments towards sustainability, itself aiming towards LEED accreditation.

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Soho Mews, New York, United States

Soho Mews is a tribute to Gwathmey’s talent
With the passing of Charles Gwathmey on Monday 3 August, the design community has lost a major talent. However, as is the blessing for many architects, Gwathmey will live on through the bounty of beautiful buildings he left behind. One of those buildings is Soho Mews, a new multi-storey residential complex in Soho that completed earlier this year.

The project, which consists of two buildings linked by a courtyard, is a testament to all things Gwathmey- his passion for Corbusian Modernism, his fastidious attention to detail, his curatorial approach to materials and of course his design rigour. While Gwathmey was said to be at his best working at the scale of the private house, Soho Mews is among his best recent New York buildings.

Soho Mews is a modern take on the historic cast-iron architecture of James Bogardus. The palazzo type buildings recall their historical antecedents in their proportioning and scale yet renders them afresh in a contemporary expression that avoids any hint of historical pastiche. The project houses 64 dwellings in two buildings, one for condos the other for town homes, connected by a garden designed by landscape architect Peter Walker. A defining element of the buildings are their facades – richly layered compositions of stone, metal, clear, frosted and fritted glass that capture and reflect light and shadow throughout the day.

The apartments have open plans and 10-foot ceilings, echoing the layout of the artist lofts that predominate the neighbourhood. The units are graciously appointed with a mix of warm woods, marble baths and Valcucine kitchens designed by Gwathmey.

Of the project Gwathmey poignantly said, “a site like this doesn’t come around very often - it may never come around again.”

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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Twin Villas, East Ledang, Nusajaya City, Malaysia

High-end tropical residence for new world class city
Twin Villas Series I and III is one of the recent completed semi-detached residences by Razin Architect for East Ledang, the high-end residential park in Nusajaya. These elegant and luxury homes with hints of modernity and tropical architecture feature the best-of-class craftsmanship with premium-quality fixtures and fittings that serve the particular demands of the discerning home-owners.

Some of the interesting features include high ceilings, tall doorways, spacious lanais and interior courtyards enhancing a proud moment as go home. Flexibility of common spaces encourages interaction between residence while carrying out day to day activities, be it personal or public.

These signature residences are not mere structures of bricks and mortar but embodiments of lifestyle statement that combine the best that urban living can offer, complimented by the energizing and calming influence of 100 years old Frangipani tree court and reflecting pond in the foreground.

This offering is further strengthened by the premier location; Located in south Johor, East Ledang is part of Nusajaya, a 24,000-acre regional city touted to be the largest fully integrated urban development in South-East Asia. East Ledang being the first resort residential development to take place within the Iskandar Development Region, is connected to Singapore via modern expressways, 20 minutes away from Johor Baru and about three hours car drive to Kuala Lumpur.

Nusajaya is set to be the new administrative capital city for the state of Johor, with 1.5 million population targeted within 15 years time. Other projects coming up here include Puteri Harbvour by Philip Cox and Kengo Kuma, Medical City, Edu-City, Lego Theme Park, and an international desitination resort

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ECO CITY Hamburg-Harburg, Hamburg, Germany

Green project aims to achieve top rating in three sustainability markers
The initial signs of Germany’s first entirely sustainable creative-industrial corporate development are sprouting up on the shores of Hamburg-Harburg Harbour. Once the site of Hercules Sägemann’s Kamm world-renowned comb factory, and a ship building area before that in the late 19th century, the new ECO CITY Hamburg-Harburg is situated on a site well associated with German entrepreneurship and ingenuity and aims to revive the flagging harbour.

Comprising ten major structures, ECO CITY offers a variety of different spaces for different purposes, bringing both large-scale industry and creative start-ups together in one, cooperative, and ecofriendly business community. The spaces range from studios to large warehouse and production facilities.

International design firm tec architecture and global engineering company ARUP teamed up to blend futuristic, environmentally-progressive architectural design with state-ofthe-art technology and engineering to create a working city that challenges the notion how an urban, working environment should look and function.

“ECO CITY represents a synergistic approach to urban development,” explains tec Principal Sebastian Knorr. “By working in close cooperation with all the stakeholders and taking into consideration the immediate environmental context of the project, we’ve created a different type of sustainable, creative-industrial complex. We hope that iconic ECO CITY project becomes a model for sustainable urban development.”

ECO CITY is the is one of very few projects in the world designed to achieve a globally green rating from the three major green building rating systems on the planet: USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), and the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB)’s Program. Currently, ECO CITY is seeking the highest level of environmental certification from all three programs.

Capitalizing on the predominantly westerly winds that blow in off the North Sea, the design proposes two large wind turbines atop high-rise towers. These building-integrated turbines will generate more than 10% of the complex’s power, surpassing any other high-rise project in the world. Solar water heating will be used to offset the use of natural gas. Site lighting will be powered by solar technology. Over forty percent of ECO CITY’s footprint will consist of open air.

The majority of all visible roofs will be green roofs, serving to slow storm water runoff and significantly reducing the heat island effect of ECO CITY. Green areas will be elevated to the second story where there is more access to air and sunlight. In addition to roof gardens, more than half the site will be covered with vertical gardens, further minimizing the development’s carbon footprint and maximizing leisure space. These raised green beltways will create a microclimate of sorts, allowing workers and visitors ample outdoor recreation space.

The project will utilize environmentally friendly materials that will help promote a healthy indoor building atmosphere. Passive design techniques and efficient façade and building design will reduce energy consumption by about 30%. Existing structures from the original site have been rehabilitated and materials from demolished structures re-used whenever possible. Located within walking distance from several major transportation nodes, ECO CITY is an easy commute or quick bike ride for most visitors.

With Phase 1 completed, ECO CITY has secured its first major tenant with the arrival of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, the global manufacturer of printing presses that can trace its history back to the 1800s.

During Phase 2, construction will begin on the first high-rise tower that will house a luxury hotel, restaurant, and retail space, attracting people from beyond ECO CITY to the location, making it a destination in and of itself. Construction will also begin on B05, a major office complex located on the very visible corner site of the development. The five-storey office block is slated for completion in Spring / Summer 2010

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Yinzhou Fantasy Island Master Plan, Ningbo, China

Burgeoning development promises new retail hub
By extending an existing canal system, the Yinzhou Fantasy Island Master Plan, developed by DeStefano and Partners will create a new retail hub in the heart of Ningbo, China. Unique to the Ningbo region with its pedestrian friendly boulevards and proximity to mass transit systems, the development will feature entertainment, retail and cultural venues supported by mixed-use neighborhoods to the North, East and West. A mixed-use mall for family shopping, entertainment and recreation is at the heart of Fantasy Island.

The plan also introduces a dynamic shopping concept of Eight International Shopping Streets inspired by the world’s most prominent retail avenues. Infinity Tower, a 200 meter tall landmark, will house a five star hotel and luxury service apartments to accommodate the island’s temporary guests. On the Chenpodu District Performing Arts Island a Cultural Center with exhibition, art gallery, theater and library space is surrounded by expanses of open public space for outdoor gatherings, festivals and celebrations. The Fantasy Island proposal aims to achieve a hybridization of cultural space and ecological functionality by systematically integrating the canals, wetlands and parks.

The Yinzhou Fantasy Island Master Plan will serve as a commercial hub for both the Ningbo region and the Chenpodu Planning District.

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The Derfner Judaica Museum, New York, United States

Louise Braverman, Architect designs archetype museum for urbane elderly
The design for the recently completed 5000 sq ft Derfner Judaica Museum, located within the campus of the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, New York, establishes a sophisticated prototype for the design of cultural institutions in the era of the aging, urbane, baby-boom generation.

It is a forward-thinking yet humane environment comprised of accessible spaces that are architecturally comfortable, curatorially comprehensible and technologically equipped to meet the needs of both the current and future elderly.

The breathtaking site, overlooking the Hudson River, supported the architectural exploration of the role of nature in an art environment for the aged. At the same time the museum tackles the larger issue of how to create cultural institutions that complement the sensibilities of the upcoming baby boom generation. This peer group will choose to defy their chronological age and seek more sophisticated architectural surroundings. The urbanity of the Derfner Judaica Museum will address this desire, for it will allow boomers to experience the intellectual stimulation typical of the Manhattan art scene within their own immediate surroundings.

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Goldman Sachs World Headquarters, New York, United States

Goldman Sachs World Headquarters nears completion
As the notoriously private Goldman Sachs continues to keep the details of its New Headquarters Building near Ground Zero under wraps, permitting no one to speak on the record about the project, there is no denying what the eyes can see. The 43-storey glass and steel tower located on West Street between Vesey and Murray Streets is expected to open later this year. When it does, it will house more than 9,000 employees in 2.1 million sq ft of space.

Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the LEED Gold building will have six high tech trading floors, thirty floors of office space and three floors of meeting and amenity space on the lower floors. In 2008 in one of the only interviews granted for the project, Cobb told the New York Times that "the heart of the building would be a kind of living room for Goldman on the 10th and 12th floors, where exercise, dining and meeting areas will be linked by a sky lobby and a sweeping three-storey stairway." On the exterior, a 5,000 sq ft retail arcade will surround the tower and reconnect walkways to surrounding buildings, shopping areas and the Hudson River Park.

Pei Cobb Freed are no strangers to the iconic being responsible for a selection of Manhattan's most familiar structures including the Four Seasons Hotel, the Guggenheim Pavilion at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Plaza. I.M.Pei also designed the Paris landmark of the pyramid at the Louvre.

The $2.4 billion Goldman Sachs tower is financed with $1.65 billion tax-exempt Liberty Bonds given to Goldman as a post-911 incentive to stay in the Downtown in the hope that other large firms would follow. In exchange, Goldman is to give $4.5 million to Lower Manhattan residents for a library and community recreation center.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Amazing 3D Murals by John Pugh

Amazing 3D Murals by John Pugh

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Amazing Concept Buildings

Amazing Concept Buildings

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Heathrow Terminal 2, London, United Kingdom

£1billion Terminal 2 to support 20 million passengers per year
BAA have today unveiled plans designed by Foster + Partners and developed by Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O'Rourke's joint partnership company HETCo for a new Terminal at London's largest airport.

The £1 billion Terminal 2 at Heathrow, formerly known as Heathrow East, will become the new home for Star Alliance airlines and will provide an estimated 20 million passengers every year. Mike Brown, Heathrow Airport's Chief Operating Officer, said: “The new Terminal 2 is part of a major programme of work already underway. Passengers travelling through Heathrow will be using new and extensively refurbished facilities which provide us with an excellent platform from which we can provide a better service to our customers than ever before.”

The development of Heathrow's Terminal 2 is part of a £4.8 billion investment across the airport, which BAA advise is provided at no cost to the taxpayer.

The new terminal will provide 185,000m2 of floor space on the site of the existing Terminal 2 and Queen's Building, both buildings are being demolished later this year. The new building is designed to produce 40% less carbon than the existing buildings using large north-facing windows in the roof to flood the building with natural light without generating uncomfortable levels of heat in the building. Solar-gathering panels on the roof will further reduce the dependency on energy supplies. Additionally a new energy centre, partially fuelled by renewable resources, will provide heating and cooling for the building.

Construction is taking place in two phases, the first of which is due for completion in 2013. Phase two is scheduled to run consecutively and will extend the new Terminal 2 into the existing Terminal 1 site. This phase, which also includes the construction of a second satellite building, is set to increase the capacity of Terminal 2 to 30 million passengers a year. Terminal 1 will close when phase two is complete in 2019, however it will remain open throughout construction.

Foster, who was the architect for Stansted airport just outside of London, has also recently had his design for the five-star Riva Hotel situated next to Heathrow approved by London Mayor, Boris Johnson. The announcement of Terminal 2 comes following much debate over a proposed sixth terminal at the airport, the plans of which are still under consideration. Heathrow Terminal 5, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners was completed in March 2008

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Peace Bridge, Calgary, Canada

Calgary Peace Bridge unveiled
The City of Calgary Canada has unveiled a new $24.5 million footbridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The red and white tubular structure which will span the Bow River and connect the North shore to the downtown, will make it easier for Calgarians to commute in and out of the city by foot or by bike.

The bridge’s helix design, which has been likened to a Chinese finger puzzle and a candy stick, is a departure for Calatrava, whose iconic bridges are recognizable worldwide for their soaring masts, delicate steel cables and absence of symmetry. But as this bridge had to be designed without piers in the riverbed or vertical elements above, it required a different approach, resulting in its tubular form. Seemingly simplistic at first glance, the Peace Bridge is 'a highly technical bridge' said Calatrava, like no other he has ever designed.

Painted a bright Canadian red, the 130 meter long single span bridge will have separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists. It will be covered in glass for year round use and lit at night.

Scheduled for completion in late 2010, the bridge is expected to be used by more than 5,000 people a day.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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300 North LaSalle, Chicago, United States

300 North LaSalle opens to further punctuate Chicago's skyline
Non-confrontational yet forceful in its design, Pickard Chilton has designed a new lasting landmark for Chicago's skyline in the recently opened 300 North LaSalle.

At 1.3 million gross sq ft and almost 60 stories high, the tower is a gentle giant and merges into its surrounding high-rise scape with ease retaining a classic outline and sympathetic detailing.

Housing nearly 60 floors of offices and several restaurants and retail outlets, the development has become a new hub for the bustling business district. Not least of the features contributing to the ambiance is the public space integrated into the design which offers both workers and the public a space for reflection and calm. Beside the river half an acre of public parkland and landscaped terraces have been developed to escape the hubbub. For further escapism workers have a half green roof to observe the ants below.

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Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure, Santa Monica, United States

MRY set about transforming the parking structure
The parking structure designates a new gateway for a downtown Civic Center. It provides 900 parking spaces on six levels above and two below grade while visually uniting diverse civic buildings. The challenge was to create architecture out of a common building type, one not associated with high design standards.

The four sides of the building acknowledge the urban contexts; retail at the pedestrian level expands the civic edge, creating a destination. A café on the main terrace animates the pedestrian flow to the Civic Center, while gardens and sculptures highlight inside and outside of the building.

Photovoltaic panels on the roof provide much of the building's energy needs. All façades allow natural ventilation and illumination to enter all floors. Ceilings are painted white to maximise the quality of light and airiness. Multicoloured glass panels welcome day-lighting into the structure, decreasing the amount of artificial light that is generally needed for this type of building while adding a glowing beauty to the interior by day and a luminous exterior by night.

Parking on eight floors is accessed via a circulation spine. The vertical cores are positioned to major paths. Access and exits are consolidated at building corners to channel traffic towards destination points.

The design does not disguise the utilitarian nature of the building, but celebrates its aesthetic. The solution uses a varied material palette; coloured laminated glass channels, photovoltaic panels, ribbed pre-cast concrete, and steel mesh, creating a vibrant urban curtain.

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Walbrook Square, London, United Kingdom

Walbrook Square investors pull out of the major London project
Norman Foster and Jean Nouvel's central London Walbrook Square scheme looks set to tumble this week as the developer holding the project upright has opted for a £100 million penalty rather than maintaining its commitment to the development.

Spain's largest developer Metrovacesa has suffered to the tune of an estimated £5.1billion in the financial downturn and will now pay the project's owners Legal and General £100 million to cancel their involvement in the scheme which would have seen them invest a total of £840 million.

Walbrook Square is a collaboration between the two architects under the name Atelier Foster Nouvel. The plans centre around a new public square and include four individual towers which work together as a collective. The scheme's design, which has been imaginatively compared to Star Wars character Darth Vadar's helmet, would provide 1 million sq ft net floorspace on the 3.7 acre site, with 95,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant floorspace and 875,000 sq ft of office space.

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Pebbles, Wuhan, China

Wuhan Pebbles await next stage of design development as planning approved
Construction of 2 Atkins-designed high rise towers set for Wuhan, China is ebbing closer as the designs are awarded local government planning approval.

Facing the main route to the city centre from the Airport and the main railway station, the two towers are expected to provide an 'important landmark for the gateway into the city', according to Martin Jochman who is leading the design team for Atkins China.

A 200m five-star hotel will sit next to a 150m apartment building, located above four floors of shops, conference centres and a cinema complex.

Wuhan is one of the largest Chinese industrial cities, located on a confluence of two major rivers – Yang-tze and river Han in central China helping to inspire the design which will resemble 'smooth pebbles polished by a mountain stream'.

The project is entering the next stage of design development and completion is expected by 2011.

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Citadel, Westland, Netherlands

Construction to commence in March 2010
Holland is to be home to Europe's first ever floating apartment building when Waterstudio's Citadel project completes. Construction is set to begin in March 2010 on the 60 unit apartment building, designed by Koen Olthuis, which will be the first in a 1200 home urban development called the New Water.

The project has been developed to change the relationship of Holland residents with their surroundings, to live on the water rather than beside it. The innovation changes the way that people in Holland have lived for centuries and removes the need for polders. Holland has as many as 3500 polders which are below sea level and keep the land dry by pumping water out 24/7. New Water is being created in a depolderised zone created through necessity to prevent other polders from flooding.

While there have been floating houses before, Citadel will be the first floating development with more than 30 housing units/acre water to be created in Europe. It is a composition of 180 modular elements around a courtyard on top of a floating concrete caisson foundation. All the apartments have a water view and most of them have a berthing place for a small boat. Projected on the middle of the water there will be a floating road for connection with the shore for emergency vehicles and for residents.

The first of six floating accommodation projects at the site, Citadel is an experiment in architectural ingenuity which will encourage architectural problem solving by encouraging sustainable solutions. A competition which launches in September will ask green roof designers to come up with lightweight green roofs for the 50 roof terraces which will add to the climate control of the building.

As a part government-owned project several of the buildings in the New Water scheme will be affordable housing. Citadel, however, is at the top end of the pricing structure and is designed to offer similar comfort to that of a high rise building where residents should feel no movement in the water. For the period of construction pumps will be used to construct the structure on dry land and will be stopped to allow water to rush in and the solid concrete structure to, hopefully, float.

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Liverpool South Parkway Interchange, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Jefferson Sheard Architects collaborate with Halcrow Yolles to provide new transport hub for Liverpool
Liverpool South Parkway is a new transport interchange for Merseytravel combining local and national rail services onto one site. It also provides a focus for local bus services and provides a key link to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The interchange provides a high quality, fully accessible facility with, bus services, park & ride, taxi, cycle and walking facilities complete with a central concourse providing modern facilities and a sheltered interchange. The eco-friendly development has incorporated sustainable elements into the fabric and daily life of the building. The elements included into the final design included rainwater harvesting, a ground source heat pump, aluminum roofing, solar photovoltaic panels etc.

The South Parkway Interchange now provides a key gateway to Liverpool City, the European Capital of Culture 2008. The eco-friendly futuristic interchange of stunning design has transformed public transport in South Liverpool, and provides a quality public transport hub for local communities and fast and efficient links for the wider region and Europe through the link to LJLA.

The outstanding quality of the architectural finish makes a change in the quality of design for future interchanges. By including travel safe concepts through design, the project includes CCTV, high visibility and lighting levels. The project is a complex scheme that has successfully managed the objectives of the client, third party operators and the community. The local community was closely involved in consultations during the design and construction stages.

In sponsoring this project, Merseytravel have embraced the themes of regeneration, sustainability and community benefit, many of which overlap and promote each other in Liverpool South Parkway.

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Civic Building of the Year 2009

Quality and variety of projects is 'heart-warming' says panel member Robert Adam
As a category, Civic Buildings is as enthralling as it is broad. Receiving the largest number of entries to any sector so far, projects entered in the WAN Civic Building of the Year 2009 award encompassed everything from the smallest Mexican chapel, to the grandest Swedish concert hall, from a ticket booth in New York, to a gymnasium in China. With such variety it can come as little surprise that WAN have the pleasure of awarding two projects as joint winners of Civic Building of the Year 2009.

"The variety across the world, the different strands of civic building, the different ways that people treated it was really genuinely very interesting and actually heartwarming," said jury member Robert Adam.

A jury of six members of the architectural glitteratti was formed for the award: Michel Rojkind - founder of rojkind arquitectos, Robert Adam of Robert Adam Architects, John McAslan of John McAslan + Partners, Kate Goodwin - curator of the Architecture Programme at the Royal Academy of Arts, Peter Murray - founder of New London Architecture and WAN's very own Editorial Director Michael Hammond came to the conclusion that the two very different but equally spectacular winners each deserved the title of Civic Building of the Year on their own merit.

Manchester Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall and Amsterdam Public Library by Jo Coenen can therefore both celebrate their crowning as WAN Civic Building of the Year 2009.

The original approach to a building typology which is traditionally secretive saw jurors impressed by Manchester Civil Justice Centre's application of transparent space. "It's interesting that it's challenging how we see law courts. Its organisational relationship of space in a vertical way, in terms of challenging a typology it becomes quite important," said Goodwin.

Amsterdam Public Library was praised for its composition in a context where the building must be viewed with different sympathies on each side.

"It's really a collection of buildings put together in one building but managing to be one building at the same time," remarked Adam.

Our congratulations go out to Denton Corker Marshall and Jo Coenen whose projects will now both be automatically entered for the ultimate prize of WAN Building of the Year 2009.

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Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia

Diamond + Schmitt win Russian theatre job
Toronto based architect, Diamond + Schmitt has won an international competition to design a $454 million opera and ballet house at the renowned Mariinsky Theatre complex in St. Petersburg, Russia. The wining design, done in collaboration with St. Petersburg architects, KB ViPS, bested four others and was the top pick of Mariinsky Theatre conductor and general manager, Valerie Gergiev.

In a statement to the press, Gergiev praised the Canadian firm for its design of similar projects, particularly the recently completed Four Seasons Centre, the first theatre in Canada specifically built for opera and ballet. Of that building Gergiev said: “I was struck by its beauty, its practicality and friendliness with neighbouring buildings, its superb acoustics and of course, its budget. Clearly, the architect knew what was needed and delivered on all those large challenges." Diamond + Schmitt’s design replaces an earlier one by French architect Dominque Perrault, which was scuttled due to cost overruns.

The new Mariinsky Theatre will be located across the street from the original theatre building built in 1860 and two blocks west of the new Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, which opened in 2007.

Construction is slated to begin immediately.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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Rijnhaven Bridge, Rotterdam, Netherlands

A spectacular bridge, but only 5 times a day...
The Wilhelminapier is a booming place. This peninsula transforms Rotterdam into the Manhattan of the river Maas; there we find the so much talked about designs of architects like Sir Norman Foster, Broek & Bakema, Renzo Piano, Bolles/Wilson and Mecanoo, and soon we will see high towers from Álvaro Siza, Cruz y Ortiz and Rem Koolhaas.

The 139m high Erasmus bridge [UNStudio] links the site with the historical downtown area. The prominent spot obliges the new Rijnhavenbrug, between the Wilhelminapier and Katendrecht, to become a particularly striking bridge. The architects opted for a powerful and simple image of the bridge in a closed situation and a visual icon while opening.

Generally the bridge lies waiting quietly but a couple of times a day its particular opening movement is designed to make all those surrounding icons hold their breath for some minutes.

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Soochow Securities Headquarters, Suzhou, China

Triangular building chosen as winner for headquarter building
Goettsch Partners (GP) has been selected as the winning firm in the competition to design the Soochow Securities Headquarters, the new office and stock exchange building for Soochow Securities Co. Ltd. The 21-storey, 441,300 sq ft project includes 344,400 sq ft of office space, an 86,100 sq ft stock exchange, meeting rooms, classrooms, a cafeteria, and underground parking for 400 cars and 800 bicycles.

Within Suzhou, the project is sited along the western edge of Jinji Lake in Suzhou Industrial Park, a major new commercial and mixed-use district outside the city center. Prominently anchoring a major boulevard that leads to central Suzhou, the building is conceived as a modern gateway to the historic city center. The triangular massing design responds contextually to the view corridors of the city and lake, the solar orientation of the site, as well as the diagonally approaching major artery. The triangular form is also seen symbolically in China as a balanced and stable form, an image well suited to a stock exchange headquarters.

The signature feature of the design is a soaring internal atrium that rises the full height of the building. The interconnectivity of the atrium creates a commanding presence, allowing access to natural light and views from all locations within. The atrium is envisioned to serve as an integrated component of the HVAC system, creating a tempered buffer zone, which increases ventilation through the natural stack effect of the high-rise tower. The increased ventilation will help to promote a higher indoor-air quality which, coupled with better access to natural light and views, provides a more optimal work environment for the tower employees.

The building enclosure is designed to minimize the overall energy consumption of the building. The triangular building form creates a self-shading massing that minimizes the east and west exposure, allowing for easier control of solar gain along the south facade. A high-performance shingled tower facade is employed to provide passive shading during the warmest summer months. This facade is framed by a highly articulated stone-and-glass system, which provides additional shading to the building interiors. Other sustainable design features include vegetated mini-atriums, native plantings and building heat recovery.

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ecoFLEX, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Boston Society of Architects rewards the best of the unbuilt
The ecoFLEX project, designed by a team from Shepley Bulfinch, has won a prestigious 2009 Unbuilt Architecture Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects.

The winning project was one of ten entries chosen from more than 90 submissions in the BSA's Unbuilt Architecture Design Awards program, which is open to architects from around the world. It was designed for the Tall Emblem Structure competition in Dubai earlier this year. Sited in an urban park, ecoFLEX is designed to accommodate sightseeing, dining, exhibit, and recreation spaces.

The Shepley Bulfinch design team of Angela Watson, Luke Voiland, Lauren Deck, and Allan Donnelly, joined by Paul Kassabian of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, will be honoured in November at the BSA Jurors' Forum during the Build Boston, where the winning boards will be displayed. "Rather than creating a disconnect between interior and exterior environments inherent in conditioned spaces, the innovative design of ecoFLEX seeks to provide climate control while re-connecting people with the elements of Dubai’s climate," according to BSA.

ecoFLEX features heat-sensitive assemblies composed of a series of bi-material strips. The assemblies’ form modulate with the temperature to create varying levels of shading and wind shielding, flexing when heated to block sunlight and contracting when cooled to allow breezes to pass through the screen. The assembly’s bi-material strip is manufactured in a curved shape, with one strip made from a material with a high expansion rate, such as steel, while the the second is one with a very low expansion rate, such as carbon fiber. While the form maintains this form in cool temperatures, the ratio of expansion rates creates movement that is temperature driven. Ambient temperature and direct sunlight heat the assembly, causing it to flatten out.

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The Globe Eco-Hub, Modiin, Israel

New proposals for downtown Modiin
The Globe Ecological hub in Modiin is a generator, creating a thorough connection with its local population. The natural formations characterising our planet are expressed within the spatial perception of the project. Round shapes, curved surfaces and methodical voids are being exposed as integral part of the landscape surrounded the site.

The city of Modiin has been established a decade ago, and planned as a multi-level endeavor by Moshe Safdie and Associates. It has become a dynamic, rapidly growing center and a home for young, educated and cultural-seeking population. The GEH is situated at the city core, as part of a “green chain”; a series of urban open spaces consist of main boulevards and a recreation park, planned by the City Hall.

The site is divided into 2 main masses; The Museum area is designed as a pre-historic creature, half-buried skeleton that has been “revealed”. Its first part (the “tail”) serves as entrance & reception, info & shop, management & offices, WC & cloakroom. The main part (the “head”) houses permanent & temporary eco exhibitions. A covered path between them (the “skeleton”), describes the enriched origins of the actual site. By digging onto the ground, the main part creates a “crater” serving as an open sheltered space for free public events and projections. The second mass is a linear structure of open courts in various on- and- underground levels, as if it was an excavation site. Apart of an underground parking lot, other levels are devoted for workshops, labs, study halls, library, studios, Cafeteria and Sci-Bar, for public use and participation.

The GEH uses eco means to demonstrate its targets. Smart sensors will control varied natural light via main south façade, for different effects on the exhibitions. Photo-voltaic cells are framed within the grass covered the cap of the main volume, reducing energy expenses. By submerging onto the site soil, a use of natural coolness while ventilating the inner spaces is achieved. Drinking & washing water will be used for irrigation of the landscape surrounded the site.

The hub is planned as a multi-use urban venue and on-going endeavor, using various means for both locals as visitors

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World Expo Shanghai 2010, Shanghai, China

Pavilion progress continues at pivotal stage in World Expo 2010
From communist oppressor to diversity embracing super-power, Shanghai has just 275 more days to prepare for what could be China's most important showcase ever. China has revealed itself to be a safe bet for financial stability maintaining a steady economy unlike most nations during this most recent financial crisis. But as host of the World Expo 2010, an opportunity has arisen in Shanghai to exhibit China's rebirth as a respectable country in human terms. While this will be the second year in succession that China has held an open house to the world, this time it is not athletic talent but cultural diversity which will be celebrated, cementing China’s desire to connect globally.

With strong financial backing and China’s traditional desire to go further, 2010 will be the largest World Expo so far expecting 70 million visitors across 6 months. Almost 200 countries have confirmed participation and dozens of international, domestic and corporate pavilions are being prepared to celebrate cultures and industry from across the globe in a 5.28 km sq plot in the heart of the Shanghai. With many designs being revealed and ground breaking and topping off ceremonies being announced over the last month, things are coming together in China’s largest city.

The beautiful folly of the pavilion ensures an exponential diversity between designs. The USA this month announced that finances have successfully been sourced and a ground breaking ceremony was held for their project which is designed to illustrate shared core values between the two countries including ‘sustainability, teamwork, health and the fundamental belief that America is a place of opportunity where those who seek to change the world for the better will always thrive and prosper’.

Russia lightened the mood this week with their unveiling of their pavilion which portrays the world through a child’s eyes. The design for the 6,000 sq m plot features 12 white towers inspired by traditional Russian women's costume inside which will be a display of scenes from the fairy tale ‘The Adventures of DUNNO and His Friends,’ written by Russian children's author Nikolay Nosov. The novel tells the story of Neznaika, a 15-year-old boy and his friends who journey to some fantastical cities where cars are fueled by strawberry jam and huge cakes are used as houses. The walls will be painted in vivid colors and visitors can enter mushroom-shape houses just like in a fairy tale.

Dozens of international pavilions from countries including Kazakhstan, Venezuela, the Czech Republic, the Caribbean, Poland and Chile will stand in the World Expo site. Their designs can be viewed at

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ShoWare Center, Kent, United States

ShoWare Event Center showcases green design
The ShoWare Center, a 154,000 sq ft multipurpose arena that is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team as well as a regional venue for sports, entertainment, concerts and trade shows, has been awarded LEED® Gold-NC (new construction) certification.

Designed by Seattle-based LMN, the ShoWare Center is the first newly constructed event center in North America to achieve the LEED® Gold rating.

Sustainable design features include: A variety of water-efficient features, including dual-flush toilets and low-flow fixtures, that will lead to an estimated 40 percent savings in water usage; Energy smart lighting, heating and cooling systems, including the ice-making equipment, which is predicted to reduce energy use by 37 percent over the national standards; and a rainwater collection system that uses water obtained from the roof to replenish the existing wetlands adjacent to the center’s site. The parking area is constructed over a layer of gravel, which will help hold stormwater runoff and provide controlled release of rainwater back into the drainage system.

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Main Stadium World Games 2009, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Ito's Main Stadium for World Games 2009 gives surprisingly grand space for flying disc
It may be the lesser known, younger and more obscure kin of the Olympic Games, but the World Games, which concluded last week, has at least made an impact in the architecture world with world renowned Toyo Ito's Main Stadium acting as a lasting legacy of its 2009 visit to Taiwan.

For ten days the city of Kaohsiung was host to 4,800 participants from 105 countries displaying their prowess across 31 sports including Tenpin Bowling, Tug of War, Trampolinning and Tchoukball. In total 12 sporting arenas were utilised and while others received renovation rights, Ito's stadium was a pure construct of the games. Taking just two years to build, the 40,000 seat capacity stadium is not only an international standard soccer, and flying disc arena, but in the utilisation of 8,844 solar panels, and of 100% reusable materials, all made in Taiwan, the stadium is a lasting beacon for sustainability.

The solar panels on the stadium roof generate 1.14 million kWh of electricity per year, reducing 660 tons of annual carbon dioxide output. Even now as the building takes a well-deserved nap following the games, its body continues to produce this energy which can be sold making the structure a self-funding venue.

Occupying 19 hectares of land the building itself is a significant landmark and Ito has ensured its iconic status through his unique design which presents a stadium unfurling to open at one end. Surrounding the structure is public space in abundance with sports parks, bicycle paths and lush vegetation ensuring the Main Stadium will be regarded not as the novelty venue of a novelty sporting event, but a serious contender in event architecture.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Amtek, Delhi, India

Deviant in form, traditional in belief
Located on the popular commercial strip in New Delhi, Tolstoy Marg, Amtek is distinctively outstanding even from afar. The Amtek Office Building concept design is an iconic building with flexible space.

Although traditionally deviant in its shape and form, Amtek conforms totally to Vaastu’s aspects with its entrance facing the East. Vaastu Shastra tries to harmonize the flow of energy in building designs.

With retail space occupying the ground floor and a sky restaurant on the top floor, this seven-storey building attracts human traffic in the right direction. The external façade is fully cladded with glass to allow for maximum exposure and clarity from inside, which means that indoor activities can be viewed from the exterior of the building.

To complement the amount of natural light it lets in and to accommodate the extreme climate in New Delhi due to the glass surface, alumininum shading devices in the form of “armours” are constructed on the exterior.

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