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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

River Hull Footbridge, Hull, United Kingdom

McDowell+Benedetti is winner of international competition for new opening bridge in Hull
McDowell+Benedetti have won the international competition for a new opening bridge in Hull, UK, which uniquely allows people to stay on while it moves. The landmark form creates a focus for regeneration on both banks of the River Hull, including a series of new public spaces and a cafe within the bridge. The project will be completed with Alan Baxter & Assoc., Qualter Hall, Whitelaw Turkington and RKL.

The rotating ramped bridge creates a large new public urban space and multi-use internal space to enjoy the riverscape. The slowly revolving geometry allows people the unique experience of walking onto and riding the bridge while it moves.

A zoomorphic shape covered in re-cycled rubber provides full surface safe access for walking, sitting and riding. New public spaces animate each bank and integrate the new route with the historic City centre and the new mixed-use development

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Taipei Performing Arts Center, Taipei, Taiwan

First prize in design competition awarded to International design firm
The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been awarded the first prize in the design competition to build the Taipei Performing Arts Centre. The design was selected from over 135 entries from 24 countries by an international jury.

The scheme includes a 1,500 seat theatre and two 800 seat theatres which plug into a central cube, clad in corrugated glass, that combines the stage accommodations of the three theatres in a single whole. Each theatre can be used independently or in combination with the other theatres. Connecting the different theatres offers new and experimental theatrical possibilities. A public trajectory inside the cube exposes parts of the backstage areas otherwise hidden in typical theatres. The cube is placed on a pedestal preserving the existing lively local food market.

OMA will collaborate with local architect Artech Inc. to build the 40,000 sq m theatre complex. The stage design is being developed with Ducks Sceno and the engineering is being provided by Arup. The centre is scheduled to be completed in 2013 with a budget of 3.8 billion Taiwan dollars (90 million Euro). The Taipei city council expects the centre to further facilitate the development of local performing groups and add to Taipei's image as an international cultural hub.

The project is led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren. The competition team included associate André Schmidt and architects Adam Frampton and Mariano Sagasta, amongst many others. Koolhaas’s and Scheeren’s previous collaborations include the CCTV Headquarters and TVCC Cultural Centre in Beijing, as well as Prada Epicentre Stores in New York and Los Angeles.

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MIPIM AR Future Project Awards

MIPIM and the Architectural Record announce their leading list of forward-thinking projects
The winners of the 2009 MIPIM AR Future Project Awards have been announced. Running since 2002, the MIPIM AR Future Project Awards recognise design excellence in unbuilt or incomplete projects spanning 8 categories. With a strong focus on creativity, these awards are a chance to showcase schemes that are examples of fine architecture which have also responded to the clients development brief, and considered the way in which they will impact and contribute to the community around them.

All projects submitted will be showcased this year at the Cannes MIPIM conference between 10-13 March. An international jury headed by the Architectural Record's Editor, Paul Finch, decided upon the following winners:

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United Real Estate Company Residential Complex, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

KEO provides an elegant design for URC's residential complex on Palm Jebel Ali
The design solution led by Senior Principal Designer Raj Patel carves a void out of the podium’s center to create a ceremonial entrance court. A landscaped boulevard from the main road leads to the center of this entrance court providing a directional gesture to the beach beyond and ceremonial entries into the twin residential tower lobbies.

The podium roof level provides access to the amenities garden level. A floating horizontal plane spans between the two podiums supporting an infinity edge swimming pool and a fitness center hovering above it. 25 residential floors comprising of a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartment units, townhouse garden units, and deluxe penthouse units sit above the podium. A roof terrace level is shaded with a canopy structure which houses photovoltaic panels to generate energy for the building.

The material of the podium structure comprises of a combination of grey Glass Reinforced Concrete panels, clear low-E vision glass, and back-lit shadow box spandrels. The tower consists of beige Glass Reinforced Concrete panels and low-E vision glass. The western façade has bronze clad vertical fins which disguise the balconies on every floor, provide privacy to adjacent balconies, and offer shading to the glass façade during the late afternoon hours. The visual play of the geometric design of these materials on the façade creates a distinguishable and dynamic image to the project.

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Miyi Tower, Miyi County, China

Photovoltaic tower enlightens residents in the Sichuan Province
Through an RFQ (request for qualification) process, the New South Town of Miyi County in the Sichuan Province of China selected the Los Angeles-based team of Studio SHIFT and SWA Group to create a master plan for the developing area. As part of the new plan, Studio SHIFT has designed a tower containing various programs aimed at promoting the region’s heritage and natural amenities. The tower sits at the edge of the Anning River and will mark the transition between the new development to the north and the new wetlands, leisure and agricultural districts to the south.

The Miyi Tower rises from the southern end of a kilometer long promenade that stretches from a high density residential and cultural hub devoted to regional arts. The promenade itself consists of a series of parks and public spaces, featuring sustainable technology such as photovoltaic fields and wind turbines, designed by SWA Group to highlight accessibility to the river. It then tapers between rising paths which form an amphitheatre at the tower’s base. The paths converge and then continue as a bridge across the river and as an overlook affording views of reclaimed wetlands and the lake beyond. Just as Miyi had recently built a hydroelectric plant and dam to harness the natural energy producing potential of the area, the designers were intent on utilizing natural means of filtration to produce clean water. This new amenity takes the form of a series of lakes, wetlands and waterways which lend form to the new districts in the master plan.

The tower itself, which is to act as a major landmark per the Miyi government’s request, is designed as an educational building for residents and the multitude of tourists that visit every year. Because the town is known for its abundance of sunshine and temperate climate, only half of the building’s program elements are enclosed. These double height spaces alternate with unenclosed areas and rise around a vertical core, their alignment shifting toward different views at every floor. An auditorium, exhibition spaces and restaurants featuring local cuisine can be found on the interior while open-air floors are used as event spaces, gardens and an observation deck. The pairs of lower and upper enclosed spaces are joined by structures which act as light monitors. These light monitors, of which there is a third at the highest level, are aligned to take advantage of different lighting conditions throughout the day.

The tower is sheathed in a very porous yet continuous skin that gives the various programs their unified form. As porous building skins are often treated as opaque modules with subtracted holes (i.e. perforated skins) Studio SHIFT deliberately created the inverse. On the Miyi Tower, rather than defaulting to a technique of perforation, they created a pattern of objects in space mounted to a light frame. This inversion allows the skin to take on a rather ethereal effect and evokes the shimmering surface of the river below. More important however, the appropriate panels can also now be lined with photovoltaic cells. With an energy producing tower and the ecologically beneficial features of the promenade below, Miyi County is poised to become the region’s leader in sustainability.

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Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Recently completed Cocoon Tower makes education design as easy as A-B-C
Standing in Tokyo's distinctive high-rise district of Nishi-Shinjuku, Tange Associates' Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower stands as a symbol of innovation and exception in educational design. It is no wonder this awesome construction was recently awarded as Skyscraper of the Year by Emporis.

The 50 level building contains 3 different schools: Tokyo Mode Gakuen (fashion), HAL Tokyo (IT and digital contents) and Shuto Iko (medical treatments and care). Tange Associates advise: "The building’s innovative shape and cutting edge façade embodies our unique “Cocoon” concept. Embraced within this incubating form, students are inspired to create, grow and transform."

The vertical campus, which completed in October, can hold 10,000 students and incorporates a 3-storey high atrium to substitute as a 'schoolyard', called the 'Student Lounge' and multi-use corridors where communication can flourish.

The tower floor plan is simple. Three rectangular classroom areas rotate 120 degrees around the inner core. From the 1st floor to the 50th floor, these rectangular classroom areas are arranged in a curvilinear form. The inner core consists of an elevator, staircase and shaft. The Student Lounge is located between the classrooms and face three directions, east, southwest and northwest. Greenery planted at lower levels brings nature and softness to the design and its elliptical form swathed in an aluminium curtain wall creates a form pleasing to the eye from every level whilst minimising the building's footprint.

Tange Associates hope that the building will help to inspire a transformation in the area: "Some of the buildings in the immediate area surrounding Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower have become old and absolete. However this area is very important to connect Shinjuku Station and the Shinjuku CBD. Our aim is to use the building to revitalize and reenergize this area and to create a gateway between the Station and the CBD."

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Singapore Civic and Culture Center, Singapore, Singapore

Ground broken for Singapore's new icon
Singapore is three months closer to the realisation of a remarkable landmark on the island. Aedas have designed this spectacular 54,000 sq m Singapore Civic & Cultural Center as an expression of the rich and varied activities within. Its angular, multi-faceted design creates a variety of perspectives, changing the form dramatically depending on the viewpoint.

Inside too the dynamic design serves to create a new visual experience and blurs the boundaries between the public and private realms, between the civic and cultural spaces. 24,000 sq m of retail space on the lower floors connects to the civic and cultural zones visually and spacially via a 40m high 'grand foyer'.

The focus of the cultural zone is a 5,000 seat auditorium providing the largest venue of its kind in Singapore. The remainder of the 30,000 sq m of civic and cultural space is comprised of function spaces, administration, foyers, circulation areas and artist and technical support areas.

The spectacle of the Center is most truly presented from the south elevation which, being completely open to the outside, shows the inner workings and layers as a section visible from the exterior.

The project broke ground in October and is currently making good progress towards its projected completion date in 2011 when Singapore will find its new civic and cultural signature.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Dorobanti Tower, Bucharest, Romania

Presenting a new style for the London architect's books
Romania's capital city could be set to receive a 200m tall offering from star-architect Zaha Hadid. Dorobanti Tower has been proposed to join the eclectic mix of historic, communist and modern architecture in Bucharest and if approved will tower 80 m above the present tallest building in the city.

Providing a 5-star hotel (34,000 sq m) and apartments (35,000 sq m) the elliptical meshed structure has been designed to create an iconic presence in the heart of the city. The tapering form, a product of regulations and restrictions due to adjacent listed buildings, provides an immediate contrast to the jagged edged communist architecture surrounding the plot.

The meandering exterior columns are formed of concrete filled steel which both adds strength to the structure and provides fire resistance for the steel frame.

The design represents a departure from Hadid's signature style, however, this is integrated in to a public realm surrounding the structure in the addition of a "warped concrete carpet" with one continuous surface connecting the three surrounding streets adjacent to the tower. The deformations on the landscape create seating areas, water basins, garden spaces including trees and a lifted terrace.

Designed for the client, Smartown Investments, there will also be 4,600 sq m of retail situated in the base of the tower. Dorobanti Tower is scheduled for completion in 2013

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Friday, January 23, 2009

the art gallery of ontario

by frank gehry

toronto is canada’s largest city and the birthplace of
architect frank gehry. gehry was born into a jewish
family living in one of downtown toronto’s immigrant neighbourhoods. gehry would often visit the food market
with his grandmother or spend time building things from
scraps at his grandfather’s hardware store. as a child,
gehry also visited the nearby art gallery of ontario,
which was only a few minutes from his family’s home.
although gehry moved to california in 1947, he would
later return to toronto to re-design the very gallery he
visited as a child.

the art gallery of ontario (AGO) was founded in 1900 as
the art museum of toronto by a group of private citizens.
it was later renamed the art gallery of toronto in 1919 and became the art gallery of ontario in 1966. the AGO moved
to its current location in 1911, occupying a building known
as ‘the grange’. since then, the building has also gone
through seven different iterations and additions beginning
in 1918 with a beaux-arts style building designed by
pearson and darling. more renovations were completed
in the 1920’s, 1970’s and the final one in the 1990’s by
barton myers.

despite its most recent renovations and additional space,
the gallery continued to grow and more room was needed.
in 2002, publisher and art collector ken thomson donated
his 2,000 piece art collection and 100 million CAD to the
AGO. the gallery knew they needed to expand in order
to house this sizable donation, so they began to search
for an architect to realize their vision. they called on gehry, who jumped at the opportunity to re-design the AGO,
what would be his first project in canada. the AGO,
along with thompson, began closely collaborating with
gehry on an addition to the gallery. in 2004, gehry
unveiled his design and construction began on the
ambitious project. sadly ken thompson passed away
in 2006, before seeing the project he initiated come
to fruition.

the first consideration gehry took into account was finding
a way to unify the disparate areas of the gallery that have become a bit of a hodgepodge after six previous
renovations. gehry was also very attuned to the needs
of the local residents and the gallery’s surrounding environment. while gehry always aims to be respectful
to the context of his buildings, he paid extra attention on
this project because of his invested relationship to the
gallery and neighbourhood. the most important
consideration for gehry was the art. he wanted to create
a building that served to enhance the art, not hurt it.

transformation AGO
after seven years in the works and a budget of
276 million CAD, the new gehry-designed AGO was
unveiled on november 14, 2008. gehry’s design is
multi-faceted and evidence of his creativity is visible throughout the building, both inside and out. gehry’s
design for the AGO has already been given critical
acclaim by a number of well-respected architecture
critics, including the toronto star’s christopher hume
and the new york times’ nicolai ouroussoff. local critic
hume states, ‘to put it simply, gehry's revamped AGO
is a masterpiece, but just as important, it is the easiest,
most effortless and relaxed architectural masterpiece
this city has seen.’ from new york, ouroussoff writes,
‘its interiors underscore one of the most underrated dimensions of mr. gehry’s immense talent: a supple
feel for context and an ability to balance exuberance
with delicious moments of restraint.’

from the outside of the gallery the most striking addition
is the long glass façade that covers the galleria italia on
the north side of the building. below the glass wall,
the gallery’s main entrance has been re-aligned with the
center of the building. at the gallery’s south end,
gehry added the largest addition to the gallery through
a new wing. this south wing is clad with blue-tinted
titanium and house the gallery’s contemporary galleries.
this wing is also pierced by two cantilevered serpent-like staircases on both sides.

upon entering, visitors will see that gehry has grouped
the gallery’s bookstore, restaurant, theatre and café to the east. this commercial hub also includes the AGO’s free contemporary gallery. the atrium is linked to the gallery
by a set of stairs and a winding ramp that snakes around
an opening to the galleries below. directly ahead,
gehry has restored the historic walker court. however,
the new walker court is anchored by a wood panelled
serpent-like staircase, which breaks through the glass
ceiling and joins the exterior stairs on the south wing’s
north face.

inside the galleries, gehry has exercised more subtlety
giving many of the old european galleries and henry moore wing only minor upgrades to tie them into the overall
scheme. however there are many spaces where gehry
had room to play. the new gallery spaces like the glass
façade galleria italia and south wing galleries demonstrate
this freedom. gehry also designed a series of seating for
the gallery, producing chaise lounges he named ‘adam’
and ‘eve’.

despite the seemingly disconnected nature of gehry’s additions, the gallery is now fully unified with a harmonious flow. overall, the new transformation added 97,000 square
feet of space, increasing the available gallery space by
50%. as such, the gallery remains one of north america’s largest museums, now boasting a total of 583,000 square
feet of space.

walker court
thanks to the relocated entrance, the walker court,
the historic heart of the AGO, now lies at the centre of
the building. gehry has restored the court to its original splendour, adding a glass ceiling that floods the space
with light. the court looks out toward the street level
entrance to the north and the original grange building to
the south, which now serves as the member’s lounge.
wooden walkways surround the court and let visitors
peer down as the walk between galleries one floor above.

at the far end of the court, gehry has added a spiralling staircase that is enclosed on all sides. the douglas fir clad stairs spiral straight out of walker court, breaking through
the glass ceiling. once outside they morph into the metal staircase that is connected to the contemporary galleries
in the south wing.

galleria italia
the new galleria italia is located on the second floor at the north end of the AGO. the gallery was named after the 26 toronto families of italian descent who each contributed 500,000 CAD to the AGO building project. this gallery stretches the entire length of the AGO with its long glass façade anchored to a ribbed wooden structure. the façade measures 137m and overhangs the sidewalk below.
the glass curves toward the building at the top,
resembling an overturned canoe. the angle of the glass reflects the old victorian row houses across the street
from the gallery, juxtaposing the old and new. at each
end of the glass span, sections appear to be peeling
away from the structure, like sails caught in the wind.

inside the glass façade, a sculpture gallery is bathed in
natural light. stretching the entire gallery are massive
wooden beams made from douglas fir that resemble
a ribcage. this extensive use of wood gives the gallery
a natural warmth that humanizes the space. the glass
wall also allows visitors to peer out into the street,
highlighting the muted flurry of activity below.

south wing
while the galleria italia may be the most iconic section
of the new addition, the south wing is its most expansive.
the wing features four stories that overlook grange park
to the south. the main level features a glass enclosed sculpture atrium which is link between walker court and
the grange building’s member’s lounge. above the atrium
is the first of three levels that are clad in the blue-tinted
titanium and glass curtain. the large glass windows on
each level have again been humanized with a series of horizontal wooden louvers. on the top floor, large skylights funnel light into the galleries. these upper floors are
connected by a 1.5m spiral staircase that features
windows on all sides. inside the galleries, gehry
conceived of a space arrangement that features many
small intimate galleries within the larger space.

the art gallery of ontario

frank gehry

architecture NOW

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Huacao Lifestyle Center, Shanghai, China

Callison designs international lifestyle center in Shanghai

Callison has completed design development on the Huacao Lifestyle Center in Shanghai, China with construction commencing in early 2009. Zhudi Town Center Group and Shanghai Fengbai Real Estate Company selected Callison to master plan the 525,000 square feet mixed-use center, which will support an upscale neighborhood with a large expatriate population.

Many residents of the new international community have children attending the nearby American School with grades kindergarten through 12. The Huacao Lifestyle Center will be a relaxed single family suburban development that will serve the daily needs of its residents, who reside approximately 15 miles outside of the city center. A 334,500 sq ft three-level open air retail complex offers popular international retail and restaurant brands that will provide a familiar taste of home for global patrons. An amphitheater/water plaza offers entertainment along a river edge, which runs through the entire complex.

Surrounded by a series of outdoor green spaces, the 188,500 sq ft of residential space offers a variety of service apartments and hotel for guests and visitors. An upscale grocery store will also be part of the retail component to further meet the needs of the community.
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Port House, Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp Port Authority announce Zaha Hadid wins headquarters design

Located on the boundary between the city of Antwerp and its harbour, the new headquarters for Antwerp Port Authority will house approximately 500 staff (currently working in separate buildings) in a single new building that comprises a former fire station and the new extension.

The new Port House design consists of two entities: the existing fire station and a new crystalline volume lifted above the retained building. Together they form an impressive new landmark as the headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority, overlooking the city and port, and symbolizing Antwerp as a port of global importance and a major economic driver of the region.

“I am absolutely delighted to be selected to build the headquarters for the Antwerp Port Authority. Antwerp is one of the world’s busiest shipping ports and the new Port House design reflects the city’s worldwide significance in communication and transportation. The dichotomy between the reflective, faceted form of the new extension and the powerful structural mass of the existing fire station creates a bold and enigmatic statement for the city,” states Zaha Hadid.

The jury selected the design by Zaha Hadid Architects as it preserves the dignity of the existing fire station whilst adding a new landmark that will contribute to the further development of the Het Eilandje district of Antwerp.
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Heden proposal, Gothenburg, Sweden

Kjellgren Kaminsky propose haven of green in Sweden's most dense city
Today Heden is semi-derelict site in the middle of Gothenburg used for parking, football fields and with a small hotel in the corner. Given a few years however the site could be home to a multi-level housing scheme with apartments pushing up through the landscape, complete with green roofs, intertwining with walk and cycle paths.

This proposal by Kjellgren Kaminsky has been developed to address a severe housing deficit within the crowded Swedish city, particularly for rental properties. The scheme outlines blocks, or more appropriately mounds of apartments rising like waves of land to face large open public spaces for sports or events.

The scheme features design elements which assimilate Gothenburgian themes: the waves, according to the project’s Head Architect Daniel Andersson, relate to the city’s harbour; the street structure allows outside streets to pass through; and the window pattern is taken from a Gothenburg map converted into a pixel grid, changing window sizes in relation to building density and green space.

The site will be maintained in part by the city’s maintenance department with some green roofs maintained by residents. Kjellgren Kaminsky hope that the scheme will be a ‘green lung’ for the city. The firm are currently in discussion with several financial backers.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Commonwealth Institute, London, United Kingdom

The designs which bring hope for the revival of the Commonwealth
Two years ago the grade II listed Commonwealth Institute was threatened with demolition following a UK government proposal to delist it. OMA's concept is being developed with a view to save this modernist monument and give it new purpose.

The new designs reveal that whilst retaining the distinctive copper roof and parabolic form of the Institute, new residential accommodation will integrate into the existing fabric, regenerating that end of Kensington High Street.

A number of uses appropriate to the existing design will be explored, capitalizing on the building’s dynamic interior spaces. OMA advise that careful consideration will be given to the relationship with Holland Park, possibly extending the park condition across the site connecting to the street. Any new residential development should serve to complement the qualities of the existing building.

"There is probably no other period to which contemporary architecture is more indebted than the 1960’s," says a spokesperson for OMA, "a period of structural invention that finally allowed modern architecture to break free from the formalist geometries through which it had manifested itself.

"In the context of architecture’s present quest for the iconic, the 60’s experiments form a rich reservoir of precedents. It is unfortunate that the 1960’s is a period now threatened with extensive demolition. We are very happy to be given the opportunity to conceive a new future for this building and to ultimately rehabilitate a period that continues to inform architecture."

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British Library Boston Spa campus, Boston Spa, United Kingdom

British cultural institution remodelled as ‘most advanced in the world’
HOK have revealed their design for the redevelopment of the British Library’s Boston Spa storage site. The current campus in the West Midlands contains many ex Ministry of Defence buildings from the Second World War along with miss-matched additions from later decades. HOK’s masterplan proposes “a more distinctive identity for the British Library at Boston Spa, incorporating a clear sense of space with strong design principles reflected in the integration and use of existing landscape.”

Up to 80 percent of the library’s total collection of books and the entirety of its newspaper archive could be held at the completed site. Preservation, storage and expansion have been taken into consideration by integrating innovative physical storage solutions and complex phasing to allow the ongoing work of the British Library to continue uninterrupted as it expands its collection by 12 linear kilometers per annum.

A statement by HOK reads: “The master plan envisions that over the next 75 years some of the world’s largest low oxygen, automated library storage and retrieval facilities will be built at the Boston Spa site, including 40 acres of high-density storage, 8 acres of conventional storage, and new office facilities.

“Once completed the Boston Spa site would be the most advanced in the world and, by 2046, the whole of the Library’s collection would be stored in facilities meeting the BS5454 archival storage standard.”

Green roofs and letter-shaped perforations to facades add to the facility's aesthetic charm.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Grace Academy, Coventry, United Kingdom

A dramatic entrance for forthcoming school
Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA) has unveiled its designs for Grace Academy, Coventry, England.

Located in Woodway Park, in the north east of Coventry, the new academy will comprise a mixed school and sixth form for 1,350 pupils aged 11-18 and will specialize in Business and Enterprise.

The new 11,949 sq m academy will replace the former Woodway Park School and occupy the existing site. SHCA’s designs comprise a main building with four wings, each being two storeys high with a central overarching three storey cantilevered structure. There are a total of over 60 teaching spaces provided with support and ancillary facilities.

The entrance façade of the building will be made up of glass curtain walling which will emphasise the open nature of the academy to the community. The rear elevation will face the green sports field which will provide a ‘garden wall’ acoustic barrier to the M6 motorway.

The main entrance, under the lecture theatre, opens up to reveal a three storey open space surrounded by walkways with a partially transparent roof overhead. The central space forms the heart of the academy and the central staircase allows the whole school to be addressed from the landing.

The project has been procured under a Two Stage D+B Contract integrating the design team comprising SHCA as architects, the Client and Buro Four as Project and Construction Managers respectively, Davis Langdon (QS), Ramboll Whitby Bird (Structural Engineers), N.G. Bailey (Services Sub Contractors), and Robert Townshend (Landscape Architects). The main contractor is BAM Construct UK Ltd. The Academy is scheduled to be completed early in 2010.

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The Sail @ Marina Bay, Singapore, Singapore

The Sail @ Marina Bay completes contibuting to Singapore's treasure
Due to its changing role in Asia from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy, and intense competition from China, Singapore is seeking to attract multi-national corporations and individuals to stay competitive. As part of this effort, it is moving its main port—one of the world’s busiest—to nearby Jurong to free up space in the crowded Central Business District. Years of landfill in the CBD’s Marina Bay area has made it ripe for development.

NBBJ was selected to design one of the first projects in the area: The Sail @ Marina Bay. The mixed-use building is comprised of apartment units, several restaurants, health clubs, recreation decks with pools and tennis courts, and parking. The development is meant to advance Singapore's leadership in Asia as a city designed to be the ultimate in "Live Work Play".

The Sail will be the first project to introduce residential units to the area, helping create a sustainable environment via the reduction of traffic, congestion and smog. It will also offer an environment that directly engages with water and the surrounding green space, and encouraging residents to engage their urban environment 24/7. The project will achieve Singapore’s Gold standard of sustainability, adding to the city’s “green city” image and creating a healthier environment for its residents.

Deriving inspiration from the surrounding sea, the Sail was designed to look like a sculpture created by the hands of nature. With two soaring towers of 70 and 63 floors split by water at a sculpted base, the 245-meter-high building is the world’s 10th largest high rise—creating a new icon on the skyline and positioning the city as a new destination within the rich and diverse fabric of Singapore.

Developed by City Developments Limited and American International Group, the project is creating a one-of-a-kind and unique landmark in the Marina district, greatly contributing to Singapore's "Emerald Necklace"—a string of cultural institutions and buildings that will ring Marina Bay.

All 1,111 units sold out in a matter of weeks at new record prices for Southeast Asia.

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Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, United States

RTKL competition brings best design for Maryland Institute College of Art halls
In a heavily trafficked location bordering one of Baltimore’s main highways, MICA sought a new 200-bed gateway student residence hall that would serve as an exciting visual gateway to the school and highlight the Northern edge of campus. Conceived as the result of an RTKL interoffice design contest in which two young architects from 7 design offices competed, the 99,000-sq ft structure uses an unconventional format to address the challenges posed by the space limitations of the small site.

Despite each office being commended for their work the eventual winner was the London team. A distinctive circular structure sectioned into three pods of residential units surrounds a private central courtyard, accommodating small-site constraints by breaking down scale. The drum features a modern exterior of streamlined glass panels varying in color, transparency, and reflectivity. A 10-floor fritted glass studio tower serves as an anchor, partially shielding noise from the highway while functioning as a billboard-style showcase for the artistic work occurring in its 88 studios. A ground floor wall wraps around the base of the building and defines the structure’s edge along the street. First story amenities further the link to the local community, fusing public and private space in a café, black box theater, and gallery area.

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Novum Biocity

CCO architects submits outline design for bio-medical research facility for Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
Novum BioCity will function as the new research- and laboratory centre at Karolinska University Hospital, near Stocholm, comprising of approximately 70,000 sq m, mainly laboratories.

The aim for Novum BioCity is to make a creative environment, where the building creates possibilities for researchers and laboratory staff to meet, create synergies and explore areas of mutual interest across the disciplines. It will serve as a hub for research and hospital activity, an arena for research and development and a living venue for researchers, laboratory staff and the public.

The main tenants in Novum BioCity are Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Laboratory, respectively one of Europe’s largest medical universities and one of Europe’s largest hospitals. Facilitating research and laboraty activity Novum BioCity will become a modern laboratory building that connects the clinical and preclinical research and as well as connects the hospital’s analytical departments.

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George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, New York, United States

Port Authority to renovate George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has given the green light to a $152 million renovation of the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. Designed in 1963 by Italian architect Luigi Nervi, the three level station, which is recognized worldwide for its innovative concrete structure, serves an estimated five million people a day and sorely needs a major overhaul.

Retail developer Acadia Realty Trust and New York architect STV have been tapped for the station job, which includes increasing retail space fourfold from a current 30,000 sq ft to 120,000 sq ft and accommodating 50% more bus capacity. The station currently has about a dozen ‘mom and pop’ shops but it is expected they will be forced out when renovations are complete as the Port aims to attract tenants of a national caliber to the site, a move that has angered many in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

Under the terms of the deal, Acadia will spend $102 million on the renovations, while the Port Authority will chip in $52 million. Construction of the project is slated to begin late this year.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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Tristar Gymnasium and Sports Centre, Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand sporting facility receives architectural spruce up
This commission was for the redevelopment and additions to the existing Tri Star Gymnastic Club facilities to accommodate the Regional Gym Sport competition and is located in Auckland, New Zealand.

The new facility is to be constructed in 2 stages. Stage 1 works, now completed, include all ground floor facilities, with the exception of some ablution facilities and a store room/stair on the north face, so visually there will be little change to the exterior of the building following the initial stage 1 works. Stage 2 works will consist of the full development of the first floor area into community rooms, lounging areas and a small café and access to the south of the main gymnasium into which is to be constructed tiered seating on the upper level to provide spectator viewing.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Guildford College Stoke Park Campus, Guildford, United Kingdom

Guildford College set for £90 million overhaul

Planning permission has been approved for a £90 million redevelopment of Guildford College’s Stoke Park Campus, designed by specialist education architects, Nightingale Associates. The 28,000sq m scheme, involving a complete overhaul of the College’s facilities at its Stoke Park campus – is one of Nightingale Associates’ largest ever college projects.

The multi-million pound development will include a number of unique and bold features, including a series of individually-designed ‘Pavilions in the Park’, which will form elegant ‘Academies’, each displaying its own identity within a consistent architectural language. There will also be a total integration of landscape and buildings, offering an opportunity for outside ‘rooms’ and teaching spaces for the College's 12,000 students.

Nightingale Associates has been working with the college to develop a proposal that will transform the college’s built environment in order to conform to new Government initiatives aiming to close the skills gap by 2020.

Christian Lawrence, Director at the Dartford office, said:
“The bold, contemporary theme of this building is key to ensuring a simple, clear organisational framework and reflects the college’s mission, character and qualities.”

Construction is on schedule to start towards late 2009.

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Doha Convention Centre and Tower, Doha, Qatar

Stretching to the skies the Doha Tower offers somewhere to work rest and play

The design of the new Doha Convention Center and Tower by Murphy/Jahn architects creates an iconic symbol for the Doha skyline – a 550m high tapering obelisk, containing a total of 112 storeys. It begins with offices in its lower levels, followed by apartment floors, a hotel and penthouse residences in the upper levels of the narrower building shaft. At the top of the Tower an exclusive Private Club occupies a 60m high glowing glass cylinder, flanked by extensions of the obelisk facades and supported by a soaring structural helix. The shape of the Tower conforms to the functional parameters of the design brief with a subtle, elegant and dramatic form.

To the west lies the Convention Center. The floating roof plane of metal and glass covers the Exhibit Halls and extend out towards the Tower in a broad sweeping arc. The strong horizontal expression of the Convention Center compliments the spectacular verticality of the Tower, yielding a harmonious and unique building ensemble.

The project is due for completion in 2012.
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Sorouh City, Cairo, Egypt

New 'city' neighbour helps Cairo take the load

With the growing demand for housing and office space in the greater Cairo area, leading developer Sorouh has appointed global design firm Callison to master plan and design a 42.3 million sq ft mixed-use development just outside the city center. The new Sorouh City will house 40,000 residents and provide a balance of live, work and entertainment facilities, all within close proximity to schools, hospitals and the Cairo International Airport.

Callison’s master plan for this new integrated community features 30.7 million sq ft of residential units including townhouses and apartments with 4.3 million sq ft of office space and 1.85 million sq ft designated for retail. Dining and entertainment choices with lush parks, public squares and tree-lined boulevards are planned to provide a distinctive and vibrant aesthetic. A lake front pedestrian promenade further enhances market appeal while the interspersed green spaces, parks and water features create a lush oasis and give a dramatic identity to the urban development.
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Mark Center administrative office campus, Alexandria, Virginia, United States

New corporate building for Department of Defense awarded to HKS, Studios and Wisnewski

The U.S. Department of the Army selected Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia as the site to relocate 6,400 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agency employees from Arlington, as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) federally mandated by Congress in 2005.

HKS Architects working in collaboration with Studios Architecture and Wisnewski Blair & Associates will design the 350-acre mixed-use campus at the southwest intersection of I-395 and Seminary Road, only four miles from the Pentagon. The building, located on the 12-building Mark Center campus, will consist of 1.7 million sq ft of new office space.

“The administrative office campus at Mark Center for the DoD is designed to create a world-class workplace,” said Mike Nicolaus, AIA, principal and senior designer with HKS, Inc. “High security and workplace excellence are defining elements of the development. The cornerstone of the design is a flexible, efficient layout with large floor plates to allow for modularization of the tenant planning. Architecturally, the office campus is visually appealing inside and out, complementing the existing campus workplace environment and integrating with the natural setting.”

The 16-acre land parcel at Mark Center has the supporting infrastructure in place for the proposed new development as well as necessary zoning approvals from the City of Alexandria. The corporate campus will be completed by the federally mandated BRAC date of September 15, 2011.
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Leicester Tigers Stadium, Leicester, United Kingdom

Leicester Tigers stadium plans submitted for planning

A £100 million regeneration blueprint designed by AFL Architects for Leicester in the UK, has been submitted to planners on behalf of the city’s Tigers rugby club.

Property management company Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) submitted the ambitious plans which show that land around Leicester Tigers' stadium will be transformed with a four-star hotel, multi-storey car park and major office development. The scheme also includes a new building for Leicester's hospitals and accommodation for students in the city.

The Tigers say the new plans complement the ambitious £30m redevelopment of its famous Welford Road ground, also designed by AFP, which is well underway. The development is set to raise the ground’s capacity to 30,000 – creating the largest purpose built club rugby stadium in the country.

At least two major hotel groups are vying to build a 141-room luxury hotel on site. Other proposals include a grand plaza linking the hotel with the Tigers stadium.

The council will make a decision on the Tigers' application in the next 13 weeks.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Maritime Youth House

Architects: PLOT = BIG + JDS
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Kvaterloft Copenhagen, Loa Fund
Constructed Area: 2,000 sqm
Project year: 2004
Budget: US $1,950,000
Photographs: Julien de Smedt, Mads Hilmer, Esben Bruun, Paolo Rosselli

How do you turn the problem of a polluted site into an architectural potential?

A third of our budget was allocated to remove our polluted topsoil. By covering the site with a wooden deck we could leave the soil where it was and invest the money on the building rather than the site’s polluted topsoil. The result is a public landscape of social functions surrounded by water on all sides.

Two very different users had to share the facilities: a sailing club and a youth centre with conflicting requirements: the youth centre wanted outdoor space for the kids to play; the sailing club required most of the site to moor their boats. The building is the result of these two contradictory demands: The deck is elevated high enough to allow for boat storage underneath while providing an undulating landscape for the kids to run and play above.

The interior of the building is very low key: the front room oriented towards the coastline, is used as a common room where most of centre’s daily activities take place. It utilizes a higher level of materials and detailing than the workshop and storage areas. The floor in the workshop is a standard grey concrete whereas the commons area has a polished Aalborg white concrete with white aggregate. The presence of hard surfaces used on the interior is meant to contrast the wooden exterior, an inversion of what is commonly done (wooden interior, concrete and asphalt exterior). This is meant to reflect the dominance of outdoor activities of the youth house. The Maritime Youth House has therefore gained an additional ‘room’ which IS the wooden deck - it supports all the centre’s programs, indoor and outdoor.

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Student accommodation, Woolverhampton, United Kingdom

Woolverhampton student halls to be tallest modular build in Europe
Designed by O'Connell East Architects of Manchester, Woolverhampton's new student halls are comprised of 805 modules. Featuring a 24 storey block it will be Europe’s tallest modular building and will provide 657 student bedrooms plus 142 post-graduate student apartments.

The full build will take just 27 weeks to complete and is due for completion in time for the start of the September term. Jenny Hayes, architect at O’Connell East Architect’s comments: “Modular construction was identified early on as key to the successful and timely delivery of this scheme. As a ‘turn-key’ manufacturer, the VMS (contractors for the construction) system helps reduce the amount of time spent on-site thanks to rapid-assembly and a streamlined supply chain from the factory. Furthermore, deliveries could also be coordinated to arrive on side using ‘Just-in-Time’ logistics – also avoiding peak traffic times.”

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Taiwan University Cancer Center and Proton Center, Taipei, Taiwan

J.J.Pan and HKS to design Taiwan Cancer Center
The National Taiwan University have selected J.J. Pan and Partners in collaboration with HKS, Inc. to design the National Taiwan University Cancer Center and Proton Center.

The 1.3 million-sq ft, 500-bed cancer center includes proton therapy with four rotating beam rooms; radiation therapy including eight linear accelerators; chemotherapy with 150 positions; an outpatient clinic with 60 E/T rooms; surgery department with 10 operating rooms; and a prevention medicine and stem cell transplant center.

Chungwei Su, principal designer for J.J. Pan and Partners said, “The client requested a patient-focused hospital that is to become the destination for oncology services in the global Chinese community. HEARTS – hope, education, affection, research, technology and services – is the theme of the Yong Lin Healthcare Foundation, a major financial contributor and partner in the building program.”

Improving the facility’s ability to enhance healthcare delivery is at the core of the design. A curved, 48-bed unit shape maximizes staff efficiency by reducing patient transfer and staff travel distances as well as providing natural light into the waiting and staff areas through healing gardens strategically located externally and internally at each level. The incorporation of nature and light throughout the facility is an important, uplifting design consideration for cancer patients. Close proximity of covered parking below grade is also included.

Located on an urban site in Taipei, Taiwan, the center will deliver state-of-the-art cancer care and research, responding to the community’s need for quality healthcare. National Taiwan University’s School of Medicine, which includes an existing hospital, will be supplemented with the new comprehensive cancer center.

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China Life Insurance R&D Center, Peking, China

German firm celebrate Chinese victory
Top 100 architecture firm, Henn Architekten, have won the design competition for China Life Insurance R&D Center in Peking. The winning design blends tradition and the future - the proposal for the Center on the rural outskirts of Beijing takes up the parameters of Chinese traditional buildings and translates them into highly technologically developed, forward-looking design.

The complex for China’s biggest insurance company consists of a main building, a research and laboratory building and a training centre with a connected boarding house. Similar in shape to a Chinese character, the main building is laid out on a square plan arrangement and symbolises the strength of China Life Insurance. A peaceful garden opens up at its centre, which, as the core of the whole ensemble, serves as a place of communication and contemplation. Delicately detailed interior courtyards adopt the tradition of classical Chinese residential construction and open up the main building on all floors in the corner zones.

Vertical glass lamellae in the two projecting upper storeys lend the company head office a dynamic character. The jade-coloured solar protection glass lamellae are able to track the course of the sun, without obstructing the view of the surrounding area or into the internal courtyard. Red, illuminated, glass-clad lifts can be found on each side of the reception in the foyer of the main building. The whole development, ringed with areas of open water, is planned and based on resource conserving and sustainable parameters.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Consorcio Building Concepcion / Enrique Browne

Architects: Enrique Browne y Asociados Arquitectos
Location: Concepción, Chile
Associated Architect: Patricio Browne
Collaborators: Enrique C. Browne, Sebastián Morandé, Davor Pavlovic
Project year: 2003-2004
Site Area: 1,096 sqm
Constructed Area: 3,789 sqm
Structural Consultants: Ruiz y Saavedra Ingenieros
Contractor: Ignacio Hurtado y Cia.
Technical Inspection: Juan Eduardo Mujica
Photographs: Guy Wenborne

The rainy city of Concepción, is located in the mouth of the Bío-Bío River, 520 Km south of Santiago. It has aprox. 220.000 inhabitants, but its threshold spans reaches some 630.000 people. The highlights of its economy are the elaboration of steel and the wood industry, both on wide exporting booms. We were asked to design a branch of the ‘Consorcio Nacional de Seguros’, National Insurance Consortium, in a corner site, in front of the only historic and antique church in Concepción, whose façade had been unfortunately reconstructed after an earthquake. Furthermore, it had a front fenced square that impoverished its quality and public character.

A first version was carried out. It consisted in a triangular building with the vertical circulation organized in a glazed tower in the south. Because the triangular building spun the first two floors in a double height space, a square was created, which joined to the church’s square, creating an environment of urban interest. In turn, the double point of the corner cantilever emphasized the building presence from the busy San Martin Street. The building was clad in copper. The glazed sectors had a ‘double skin’ with climbing plants on the North and West sides. This solution was eliminated for being expensive.

A simpler and more rectangular proposal was developed. The building also withdraws on the west to visually enlarge the square, which passes by the street, joining the old church to the new building. A interesting public space would be added to Concepción.

The building is composed basically by three elements:

a) A free plant “volume” that looks to the East, North and West, protected from the sun by laminated wood sections that support a “double green skin” with mature climbing plants. The wood use alludes to the regional production;

b) A “plan-volume” vertical to the South that flies over the square. Improves the energetic conservation of the building. It is clad in undulated metal plates, a material very utilized in the South of Chile in an economic version. Reminds as well the production of regional steel. Its tall and large windows allow views towards the hills of Concepción, but block the sight of the haphazard roofs of the city and;

c) A great “horizontal” cantilever roof that serves as an end of the building and protects the large balcony of the upper floor from the western sun wich has the view to the Bío-Bío river. In turn, emphatizes the relation with the small squate. These three bodies give the impression of detachment between them and are supported over a glazing membrane in the first two access and customer service levels. More ever, the main entrance is on axis to the church, on the other side of the square.

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City Tower, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Local architect pledges to stop the ‘joke’ of high-rise Rotterdam
World War II saw the destruction of many cities around Europe and not least hit was the city of Rotterdam. While devastating on a human and financial scale this allowed the city to evolve into what is now considered as the ‘high rise city of the Netherlands’. But local architect Jan Willem van Kuilenburg, principal of Monolab Architects has derided this label as ‘a joke’ calling for an extension to the local authorities’ planned high rise zone to the south and proposes Rotterdam's first super-tower, the 450 m high City Tower.

“Rotterdam is too hesitant, too defensive and too much like an underdog. After the Erasmus bridge we are in need of a real skyscraper of European scale of which Rotterdam can be proud,” says Kuilenburg, “All currently realised towers in Rotterdam are of mediocre quality and very primitive. As we should save in prosperous periods, it makes the current economic crisis the right time to invest.”

Kuilenburg proposes City Tower as the leader in this campaign. The 450 m mixed-use tower with a photovoltaic skin would be built in the water by the Maas Harbour. According to Kuilenburg it would allow the high-rise zone to serve the whole city and help to connect Europe’s largest port to the rest of the city. The tower would be connected to land via a steel pedestrian boulevard to a separate parking lot with the capacity for 1000 cars. Kuilenburg believes this element of the project could aid the local authorities’ plans to liberate the downtown area of traffic by creating a 6th park and ride zone with its close proximity to the Metro.

Asked about the likely response from the people of Rotterdam to what would be a very bold visual landmark, Kuilenburg said: “I don’t know. In general Rotterdam people are proud of the skyline, they are energetic and ready to go for new proposals. It has always been a scene for experiment. Rotterdam was bombed in the Second World War and so new buildings emerged, since then people are used to change.” Kuilenburg is currently in talks with developers and calling for international investment for the project.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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