In contrast to the other buildings in the Töölönlahti District of Helsinki, an essential component of the design by PAR and Arup for the Central Library involved creating a public space at the top of the library—visually connecting Töölönlahti to Senate Square and the city at large. The library is organized by six intersecting axes that afford spectacular vistas while creating a variety of spatial configurations for the library’s program. With it’s six floor levels each pointing toward a celebrated landmark, the Central Library becomes a symbolic center for city. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The members of the Master Jury were just announced for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture. The Jury, which includes Mr. David Adjaye, Dr. Howayda al-Harithy, Mr. Michel Desvigne, Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Mr. Kamil Merican, Professor Toshiko Mori, Ms. Shahzia Sikander, Mr. Murat Tabanlioglu, and Mr. Wang Shu, independently selects the recipients of the US$ 1 million Award, will convene in January 2013 to select a shortlist from hundreds of nominated projects. The shortlisted projects will then be subject to rigorous on-site reviews by independent experts. The Jury will meet for a second time in June 2013 to examine the on-site reviews and then select the final recipients of the Award. More information on the Master Jury after the break.
The proposal for the Helsinki Central Library by OODA tries to merge the most efficient program articulation with a strong concept which intends to suggest the overall theme integrated with Helsinki’s context. Their building acts as a shifting point between the two demarked city urban networks – ancient and modern – merging both, creating a public path that connects to the park while it simultaneously generates the formal composition. The new central library will be much more than a traditional library. It will be a dynamic entity, fully equipped, comprised of the physical spaces themselves as well as technology, library collections, staff, tourists in an all-age designed forefront building. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Golden State Warriors recently announced that Snøhetta and AECOM have been selected as the architecture team to design the Warriors’ new sports and entertainment complex on the San Francisco waterfront. Currently in the final stages of the agreement, the new stadium will be a true centerpiece in hosting the Bay Area’s NBA basketball team, as well as provide a great venue concerts, cultural events and conventions, which are all prominent events the city currently cannot accommodate. More images of the architects’ design can be viewed after the break.
Above is a video by OFIS Arhitekti featuring their Shopping Roof Apartments project in Slovenia. With the initial task from the client to build a new shopping mall on the plot of the existing one, their project cleverly proposed use of the shopping roof for additional volume-as new apartments. The organization of the housing and the envelope of the apartments open towards mountain views and the sun. Therefore the front, wooden facade is mostly transparent with panoramic windows.
In their ‘Flying Market’ concept for the sustainable market square proposal in Casablanca, which won the third prize, the architects began with a simple exercise, utilizing associative words, gathering inspirations and ideas to define the project and its aim. Designed by Florent Chagny, Soufia Louzir, Thomas Sponti, and Florian Chazeau, they decided to propose a ‘magic’ cover, a transformative cap to the utilitarian every-day market. The design, a structural network, levitates over the market utilizing a suspension system of twenty-three colorful Helium balloons. More images and architects’ description after the break.
With China’s ‘Ring of Fire’ being one of the latest pieces of landmark architecture to hit the media, one must begin to wonder how many of these so called ‘landmarks’ will be constructed until they become an everyday sight in their major cities. With the rapid rise of the construction of these icons, it almost seems as though new cities of the rapid urbanization process think they need to build landmarks in order to be complete. As a consequence of this drive toward an urban identity, what may their impact be in a world where these icons are turning into generic structures? Let us know your thoughts!
Djuric Tardio Architectes shared with us their concept,’The Storytelling Tree’, for the Helsinki Central Library competition. The starting point for their design begins with the book, a never ending memory, which can tell us stories and tales from here and elsewhere, like a hundred-year-old tree. As the roots of the tree are anchored firmly to the ground, the culture is firmly anchored to books, made with paper obtained from the tree itself. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the Westminster University architecture faculty alongside architect Brian Waters. A former student at the university, Mason was forced to abandon his architecture degree a year before completion due to band commitments.
“Not only did studying architecture teach us some useful stuff, but it also gave us an opportunity to develop and put us in touch with some fantastic mentors,” said Mason.
Frank Gehry, in collaboration with construction giant Lend Lease, will design and construct the new 12-storey UTS building – said to be Sydney’s most distinctive project since the Opera House. The building, which will consist of 320,000 homely brown bricks, laid by hand, is due to be completed in mid-2014. Mr. Gehry has described the building’s internal structure as being like a “tree house”, designed to encourage a sense of “creative play”. The building will be built on the former Dairy Farmers site between the ABC Ultimo Centre and the Powerhouse Museum and hold up to 2000 students and 390 academics. More information after the break.
The proposal by Ghirardelli Architetti for the Helsinki Central Library aims at being a place for everyone: open and accessible, usable and public. A public square animated by exhibitions, events and music. They propose a building where stratigraphy tells the plot of common feelings, the need of investigating, experimenting and understanding: all this is gathered and preserved in the libraries all over the world which people of all ages have given their contribution to, showing their own direct bond to the first trace given to build our memory. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by Miloš Milivojević for the Strawberry Energy company, ‘Black Tree’ is a public solar charger which enables visitors to recharge batteries of their mobile phones, tablets and multimedia devices with the energy of Sun. In cooperation with Palilula Municipality and the city of Belgrade, this Strawberry Tree with a completely new design has been set up in Tašmajdan park in Belgrade in November 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.
McAdam Architects recently unveiled their plans for a major Chinese trading and expo center in the city of Metz in Northern France. This feasibility study and outline concept will be an integrated trading complex with a total area(GBA) of over 6 million sqm. The EITC will include up to 3 million sqm of fixed frontage and flexible retail space,with additional hotel accommodation for up to 40,000 visitors and staff, 500,000 sqm logistical storage and customs clearance terminal facilities, to process up to 500 containers per day with warehouses for up to 64,000 pallets, and customer parking for over 80,000 cars. The development is divided into 4 potential construction phases, of approximately 1.5 million sqm per phase. More images and architects’ description after the break.
HOK was recently selected as lead architect for the Ri.MED Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) near Palermo, Sicily in Southern Italy. The $269 million world-class research facility at 334,000-square-feet will be a global hub for biomedical research and development. The ultimate goal is to prevent or cure diseases while improving the quality of life and life expectancy of patients. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Located at a strategic point within the city of Helsinki, the ‘Shared Dreams’ proposal for the Helsinki Central Library conforms to the proposed massing and urban regulations, while endeavoring to give a coherent response to the program and the environment. Designed by Kubota & Bachmann Architects, the variety of the urban conditions will be, from the very beginning, reflected in the concept of the building and the organization of spaces. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) just announced that they will be partnering with Skanska, one of the world’s largest construction and development groups, for the B2 project. This project is making headlines because it will be the first residential tower that is part of the Atlantic Yards Development in Brooklyn using modular construction. FCRC plans to break ground on the 32-story building on December 18th and anticipates that the building will open in 2014. While high-rise modular technology has been initially developed for use at Atlantic Yards, this new industry has the potential to create modular components for construction projects across New York City and worldwide, becoming the first major manufacturing expansion in New York City since manufacturing began its decline over a generation ago. More information after the break.
AllesWirdGut, together with the German climate engineering experts Transsolar and the Dutch-born urban planning avant-gardist Ton Matton, recently developed their concept for the BIO Campus. The project consists of a huge site just outside Istanbul that is becoming one of the world’s leading scientific research centers which has had a holistic approach from the very start. The main idea behind the architectural and environmental project is to create a self-sufficient and self-supporting accumulation of living spaces for work, scientific research, everyday life and recreational activities. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed for the 8th China Flower expo, which will be held in 2014, the design for the information center by Lab Architecture Studio aims to create a very subtle expression. By blending it into nature, the project is able to unite itself with the land and environment. Both the lively architectural form and the flexible spatial structures activate the whole expo park. More images and architects’ description after the break.