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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Architect plans massive man-made mountain

A 900m-tall snow-capped artificial mountain has been proposed by architect Jacob Tigges as an iconic landmark for the German city of Berlin
To be known as The Berg, it would obliterate the historic, and former Tempelhof airport which has now closed, and become the biggest man-made mountain in the world.
The ‘wacky’ German architect hopes the snow-covered slopes would create an ideal location for skiing, and has already received backing in the local media.
Local residents, environmentalists and ecologists will clearly love it.
The architect believes that extensive benefits of such a project might encourage other cities in Germany, such as Hamburg and Munich, and even the Middle-Eastern countries, to follow suit.
Astragal suggests central Shipley, West Yorkshire for the UK’s first Mont Madness.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Library and Learning Centre in Vienna by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects have won a competition to design a library and learning centre for the University of Economics & Business in Vienna, Austria.
The 28,000 square metre building forms the central part of a new campus for the university.
The learning centre will include a library, tutorial rooms, administration offices, student centre, book shop, cafeteria, and event space.
The project is due for completion in 2012.

Zaha Hadid Architects wins competition for the Library and Learning Centre at the University of Economics & Business, Vienna, Austria

Zaha Hadid Architects have been selected as the architects of the Library and Learning Centre (LLC) at the University of Economics & Business, Vienna. The new Library and Learning Centre will be the centerpiece of the University’s new campus and provide a significant upgrade to the University’s services. In addition to the new library, the LLC will also provide a language laboratory, tutorial rooms, administration offices, student centre, book shop, cafeteria, clubrooms and event space.

The new Library and Learning Centre rises as a polygonal block from the centre of the new university campus. The LLC’s design takes the form of a cube with both inclined and straight edges. The straight lines of the building’s exterior separate as they move inward, becoming curvilinear and fluid, generating a free-formed interior canyon that serves as the central public plaza. All the other facilities of the LLC are housed within a single volume that also divides, becoming two separate ribbons that wind around each other to enclose this glazed gathering space.

“I am delighted to be working in Vienna as I have a close affiliation with the city. As a centre of research, the Library and Learning Centre is forum for the exchange of ideas. It is very exciting for us to be part of the University’s expansion.” states Zaha Hadid.

Rector of the University of Economics & Business, Christoph Badelt said “A library and learning center should be more than a mere library in the classical sense: it is a research and a service facility, a workplace and lounge, a place of communication and a traffic hub, at one and the same time. With its breathtaking architecture, the design by Zaha Hadid manages to combine all the key functions of study in a most wonderful way. It is a vision that embodies this innovative concept of a university.”

PROGRAM: The LLC comprises a “Learning Center” with workplaces, lounges and cloakrooms, library, a language laboratory, training classrooms, administration offices, study services and central supporting services, copy shop, book shop, data center, cafeteria, event area, clubroom and auditorium.

CLIENT: University of Economics Vienna

ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect: Cornelius Schlotthauer
Project Team: Marc-Philipp Nieberg, Kristoph Nowak, Enrico Kleinke, Stefan Rinnebach, Niels Kespohl, Jan Hübener, Romy Heiland, Richard Baumgartner

Structural Engineers: Arup Berlin
M&E Engineers: Arup Berlin
Façade Engineers: Arup Berlin
Cost Consultant: ATP Wien
Fire protection: HHP West, Bielefeld
Render Studio: Vectorvision, Leipzig

SIZE: 28.000m² net area
42.000m² gross area (205.000m³)
136m length,

The Stone Towers by Zaha Hadid Architects

The Stone Towers by Zaha Hadid Architects for Rooya Group of Egypt is located in the Stone Park district of Cairo. Providing office and retail facilities to a rapidly expanding Cairo, the unique 525,000sqm Stone Towers development also includes a five-star business hotel with serviced apartments, retail with food and beverage facilities and sunken landscaped gardens and plaza called the ‘Delta’.

Hisham Shoukri, CEO of Rooya Group said “There is a overwhelming need in Egypt for developments of the highest international standards required by the serious and growing investment climate of the country - ultimately contributing to making it a hub for multinationals in the region. The Stone Towers needed an architect with daring ideas, innovation, international expertise and experience…it needed Zaha Hadid.”

Ancient Egyptian stonework incorporates a vast array of patterns and textures that, when illuminated by the intense sunlight of the region, creates animated displays of light and shadow. The effect is powerful, direct and inspiring. The facades on the North and South elevations of each building within Stone Towers adopts a rich vocabulary of alternating protrusions, recesses and voids to enhance the deep reveal shadow lines that accentuate the curvatures of each building within the development and animate the project throughout the day.

“I am delighted to be working in Cairo, states Hadid. “I have visited Egypt many times and I have always been fascinated by the mathematics and arts of the Arab world. In our office we have always researched the formal concepts of geometry - which relates a great deal to the region’s art traditions and sciences in terms of algebra, geometry and mathematics. This research has informed the design for Stone Towers.

“With a large-scale project such as the Stone Towers, care must be taken to balance a necessary requirement for repetitive elements whilst avoiding an uncompromising repetition of static building masses.” states Hadid. “The architecture of Stone Towers pursues a geometric rhythm of similar, interlocking, yet individually differentiated building forms that creates a cohesive composition.”

Client: Rooya Group
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Structural Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
Gross Building Area: 525,000 m2
Site Area: 170,000 m2

A winning design in Dubai

Nakheel invited architects to make a concept master plan design for Palm Jebel Ali, just off the coast of Dubai. The winning design submitted by Royal Haskoning and D103 International consists of a surface area of 300,000m² to be used for sports activities, residential housing, a retail sector, and office buildings. In addition, public parks, marinas and an iconic bridge were part of the design brief. The winning design is a joint effort between Royal Haskoning’s design teams in Bangkok, Amsterdam and Dubai. Royal Haskoning has been working on various projects in the United Arab Emirates, including Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah and The World Island, since 2000. Other activities, such as spatial development, environment, maritime, infrastructure, structural engineering and building services projects are foreseen in the very near future. Royal Haskoning’s activities in Dubai and the Middle East are co-ordinated from the company’s office in Dubai.

Most Leaning Building In The World Designed By RMJM

Capital Gate, the iconic leaning building in Abu Dhabi, reached halfway point. The mixed use building, designed by international architects RMJM, is currently under construction and will lean 18 degrees westward; 14 degrees more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Capital Gate (‘feature tower’) is a spectacularly cantilevered building which adds its unique form to the Abu Dhabi skyline. A dramatic steel and glass façade shrouds the 35-story building which sits on 490 piles which have been drilled 30 meters under ground to accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic forces caused by the distinctive lean of the building.

To make this possible, the central core of the building slants in the opposite direction to the lean of the structure, and it straightening as it grows. It sits on top of a 7-foot-deep concrete base with a dense mesh of reinforced steel. The steel exoskeleton known as the diagrid sits above an extensive distribution of 490 piles that have been drilled 100 feet underground to accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building.

A gigantic internal atrium, including a tea lounge and swimming pool suspended 263 feet above the ground, has been constructed on the 17th and 18th floors, the halfway point of the 35-story, 525-foot tall tower.

Capital Gate will house Abu Dhabi’s first Hyatt hotel – Hyatt at Capital Center, a presidential-style luxury, 5-star hotel and will provide 200 hotel rooms for Abu Dhabi and will serve ADNEC’s (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) visitors and exhibitors as well as international business and leisure travelers.

Proposal For ‘Planetarium de Montreal’ Competition By Saucier + Perrotte

The future Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will be a new star in Montréal’s creative, design and cultural sky. On October 22th 2008, the executive committee has given the go-ahead for the launch of an international architectural competition, to design this new scientific museum scheduled to open in spring 2012.’

The new facilities will carry the name Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan de Montréal, underscoring the important contribution of the business group, which is investing four million dollars in private funds in this project.

This is Saucier + Perrotte’s finalist proposal for the ‘Planetarium de Monteral’: a black mantle connecting the different programmatic pieces.

The architect’s description:

‘Suspended between two worlds: on a large scale, that of the space and stars; and closer to Earth, that of man and matter, rises the future Planetarium. It transports us elsewhere and invites to discover a snapshot of Evolution, an allegory of the matter in shaping, of a state in evolution, from rough to precious. In a time rooted neither in the present nor the future, the matter in transformation, perforated and distorted is the symbol of this perpetual mutation.

Inspired by this matter, the entire project presents to its visitors the different states of the matter, and the transformations of the planets thereby take place in the heart of the tour. This matter allows the visitors to live an immersive, sensitive and emotional experience and, at the same time, to understand astronomical phenomena.

A sun if the earth of this galaxy: the Theater no.1. The light which shines from it creates a signal from the Pierre De Coubertin Avenue, and in the heart of the project it leads the planning of the project. The public spaces of the Hall put the visitor in the heart of this system, immerse him in a world of discovery, contemplation and knowledge.

The matter, disconnected from the ground, creates the interior spaces and conceals all the technical and structural elements inside its thickness. It contains the Planetarium scenography system. Inside its upheaval, the matter reveals the main museological elements. The two theaters appear encrusted in the matter. Others small spherical elements are used to describe the spaces, give directions and gather people.

Designed in accordance with principles of sustainability, established in the heart of the touristic and scientific de Maisonneuve area, the Planetarium positions itself as a singular and particular architectural element. Conscious of the important part it has to play, it demonstrates respect in its relation with the other elements on-site such as the Biodome and the Olympic Stadium. It strategic position and its shape allow it to become a complementary signal in the qualification of this major museum area.’

Friday, 29 May 2009

AIA and ALA Name Library Award Winners

The American Institute of Architects has just found a partner to assist in its award-giving: the American Library Association is teaming with the AIA to present the organization’s biennial Library Building Awards.The AIA and the ALA has honored eight firms this year for the top library designs among licensed U.S. architects. The awards will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on July 13th.Winners include Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for the Minneapolis Central Library, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects for the University of California Berkeley's C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Perkins Eastman for the Chongqing Library in China, and 1100 Architect for the NYPL Francis Martin Library in Bronx, New York. Also honored are Richard + Bauer Architecture, Pei Partnership Architects, Marlon Blackwell Architect, Gould Evans, and Wendell Burnette Architects.This year's jury consisted of Douglas Ashe of Ashe Broussard Weinzettle Architects, Robert M. Woodruff Library's Charles Forrest, Sarah Graham of AGPS Architecture, Johnson County Library's Donna Lauffer, professor Claudia Morner of the University of New Hampshire, and Ann Voda of Bentz/Thompson.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Aedas designs the Empire Island Tower in Abu Dhabi

Empire Tower was challenged through a client request of not "pushing the limits" too far. The concern is that the residential project was located in the middle of a masterplan filled with potential icons. The design standardizes the units to accommodate the client request but manipulates the section to develop a very dynamic solution, which holds its own amidst the visual clutter of its neighbors. This was deemed important for the financial viability of this project that is dependent on presales within a very competitive market. The design maximizes the towers presence on the street with vertical layers spreading out to the property lines. The building then bends back away from the street across from a large commercial tower allowing for an enlarged view corridor between the central park of the community and the sea, one block away. The splayed vertical layers converge while rising up before bending forward together as the 230meter tower rises toward the sky and maximizing its views between the park and sea.

Jean Nouvel's design of the Tower Verre in New York City

With his design for the Tower Verre, Jean Nouvel proposes to take the strict respect of the zoning envelope to the point where its shape becomes the tower itself. Governed by its legal envelope and the steel framing needed to withstand the wind loads, this structure is as unique and singular as the parcel it stands on. From close up, its receding stealth geometry makes it surprisingly discrete and unobtrusive for its height. Seen from Central Park, the bridges and most locations on the river banks, its triangular silhouette stands out and is very recognizable in the Manhattan skyline, inscribing the MoMA unmistakably as one of New York’s most famous and successful cultural institutions. The façades of the tower are a structural glazing in standard glass dimensions and the bracing structure follows the simplest and most economical geometry. Living inside this building feels like inhabiting a power fully present and reassuring structure, similar to that of a large tree. The tower draws its shape from the desire for more daylight in the streets and the same daylight feeds its solar panels with energy. Its character is the structural expression of the wind bracing and the same wind moves its Aeolian turbines. The solar panels and wind turbines fill the narrow triangular top section, putting its unusually thin silhouette to a reasonable use. This tower is a monument to the rules of shadow and light, and to the forces of the wind.

New look headquarters for Harley Davidson

Tony Owen NDM Architects have designed the new Australian headquarters for Harley Davidson as part of the new West Lane Cove business park. The building has been designed as an iconic gateway to the site. The architects sought to design a building that reflects the uniqueness of Harley Davidson, which is not simply a brand, for many it is an entire lifestyle and attitude.
For design inspiration they looked to the bikes themselves; their emotion and efficiency. The geometry of the engines and frames can be seen in the lines of the building. The building does not copy them, however, it suggests this movement and style.
The brief for the building was a reflection of the Harley Davidson culture, giving as much emphasis to the gymnasium and break-out areas as the office and storage space. The building has been designed to reflect this; with the location of all of the recreational and break-out areas near the entry. You enter into a central mezzanine. From there you can see all of the areas that reflect the Harley lifestyle. You can also look down into the technical and training areas. You are immediately aware of what Harley Davidson is all about.
The facility will contain administrative offices, technical training and storage facilities for the iconic motorcycle company. The landmark building will form the striking centrepiece for a new high-tech business park on the Lane Cove River, currently being developed by Demian Pty Ltd.
The business park will provide 41,000m2 of prestige commercial and industrial space on a picturesque bushland site, adjoining the existing industrial zone in Lane Cove. The site is zoned for industrial uses and the master plan is currently being assessed for approval.