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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Innovative Residential Building in Vienna / Philipp Ohnesorge

This is an innovative residential building designed by Philipp Ohnesorge in Vienna. The plot is situated between the 16th, the 17th and the 8th district in Vienna, next to one of the main traffic axis, the Guertel. It is in proximity to the city center with its historical buildings and attractions. The situation today is that the whole plot is empty and leaves a hole in the urban fabric. The block is not closed, the empty gap is now used for parking and is a waste of precious space within the city context. It has an outstanding value and must be reactivated.
The first measure to be taken is the widening of the inner courtyard by slicing the existing buildings, to create a spacious yard that allows public use and increases daylight exposure to the apartments.
By expanding the given roof shape and twisting it around the center until reaching the maximum allowed building height, we created a volume that extends the given geometry and context with maximized usage of allowed building height. A gap between existing and new building mass allows access to the inner courtyard that also provides the entrances to the apartments.
On the first two floors a public square will be created that invites the public to different activities such as eating, shopping, etc. It stimulates the exchange and communication between the residents and will give the area a more personal feel. The apartments are accessible through connecting hallways that are located on the northern facade. By this circulation method we provide maximum space for the apartments with a maximized exploitation to daylight. All apartments are duplex with partly double height rooms that create spacious, light flooded living spaces.
The surrounding buildings are in average not higher than six stories, only on this plot a maximum building height of 41 meters is allowed. This provides the upper apartments with an extraordinary view over whole Vienna and even farther.
The project aims to be landmark for new impulses to urban development in Vienna. The mostly historical urban fabric of the city leaves little space for new urban developments in large scale. By creating intelligent designed buildings on important acupuncture points within the urban fabric we believe that discussions about new possibilities for redensifying the city can be triggered.

Architectural Membrane for New York when Sea Level Rises

To confront with the sea level rising of New York, Tingwei Xu and Xie Zhang from the University of Pennsylvania designed an idea for protecting certain areas against water by wearing a “membrane’. Deriving from the intelligent components, we created a surface system that can reveal a continually changing expression. The transforming surface can combine the multiple functions such as waterproof, lighting and agricultural planting. Rather than a traditional hierarchy design thinking, each component on the surface has equal essentiality. It is a irreducible integrity.
As the surface serves as a waterproof for the buildings, in turn, the building provides structure support to the surface. To blur the boundary, the surface seamlessly dissolves the old and rigid layer system of the buildings. Thus, the space between the old building and the new surface is totally fluid. Then, all sufaces form a new lattice system on the site. Finally, the system simultaneously evolves into an unprecedented ecological area in New York.

Gateway Skyscraper will Mark the entrance to the New Capital of the UAE / Snøhetta

Award-winning firm Snøhetta has been commissioned by the Ras Al Khaimah investment Authority and RAKEEN to undertake the architectural design for the Gateway project in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Situated in the desert 150 km to the east of Dubai this landmark project will mark the gateway to the emirate and form the entrance to the new planned capital city of Ras Al Khaimah. The urban master plan for the city is currently being under taken by the Netherlands based architectural practice OMA. The Gateway project is situated at the entrance to the city and will form a landmark for the city entrance.
The architectural expression for our proposal is inspired by the surrounding desert and mountain landscape. This concept provides for an infinite variety of naturally shaded, intimate and protected spaces, around which the multiple uses associated with the development are woven. The undulating architectural landscape is resolved in a dramatic landmark tower marking the main gateway plaza. This 200 m high tower will be the setting for a 5 star plus hotel affording panoramic views across the emirate, to the gulf and mountains beyond.
The programme calls for a mixed-use development comprising a conference centre, exhibition centre, hotels and retail space. In total it is expected to be 270 000m2 of build area. In addition there will be substantial areas of associated garden and landscape. Externally the building will be clad in ceramic panels, this will be developed together with Ras Al Khaimah ceramics, one of the world leading producers of ceramic products.

Avant-garde Music House in Vienna / Ketham Santosh Kumar

Historically Vienna is known for its operas and concerts for music lovers. Designing a concert hall in this place is challenging and inspiring.
Ketham Santosh Kumar challenge was to deign a concert hall not only as a single architectural building but also as experiencing spaces through urban transition, At same time the design is unique from other music halls, in terms of architectural esthetics, vocabulary and tectonics. The site is located at center of Vienna adjacent to MAK museum in stadtpark. Music house composed of main concert hall is in centre of park and archive bridge connects to MAK museum and other two small theatres are: one in lower level of stadtpark and another on university. And in addition to, it also accommodates a music archive along the bridge and other ancillary facilities. The double core sphere shell, melting species acts as structural system and thermal insulation to music house.
It evolves as if painting and sculptures are melting and flowing out of existing MAK museum, Crafting and blending in surrounding landscape of stadtpark, and creating a new music house.

Cervantes Theater / Ensamble Studio

The Cervantes Theater is a two-segment project that seems to draw both from European and Mexican heritage of critical regionalism. Standing next to the Soumaya Museum, the Theater appears to be even anachronistic, with its vocabulary of masses and voids competing with the self-indulgent exterior of its neighbor. Located in a former industrial zone of Mexico City, now planned for redevelopment, the building fits seamlessly into the surroundings. It cultivates the idea of architectural narratives, so obviously negated by the adjacent museum.
The metal canopy echoes the space below. It engages in a dynamic interplay with the excavated spaces of the Theater. Its purpose is to frame space, appropriate it, and then return it to the user. It seeks dialogue with the elements:”… the Dovela (Keystone) appears as a stone of air, supported by the space that comes from a sequence of excavated terraces; that offers to the sun which moves the time when going through its slats… It is a mathematical object which allows the natural elements (water, light and air) to affect its last configuration.” It creates a field of potential activities connected to the Theater, leaving the open plaza to act as a pedestrian trajectory and a processional pathway towards the underground content for theater goers. Negative spaces, sequencing, horizontal tension are all principles deployed by this evocative project.
“Once inside the earth, the Theater appears as the end of this sequence of spaces. Here the synthesis of the building culminates with the function of a halted time, recreated, a place to contemplate.”