Zaha Hadid is working on her latest project in Italy, in the Mediterranean city of Reggio Calabria. The project includes a museum and a performing arts centre on a sea strait that separates continental Italy from the island of Sicily. The centre will be visible from the Sicilian coast.
The Mandarin Hotel, adjacent to the CCTV building and part of the project, just got on fire today. The project, designed by OMA with facade studies by FRONT, looks to be completly affected as you can see on the above video. This supossedly started after fireworks during the last day of Chinese new year.
The hotel was used during the Olympics, but wasn´t officially opened yet, but was supossed to during 2009. This will definetely push dates back, as it seems like a complete loss to me.
Photos of the fire by Reuters here (very impressive, but can´t put them here because of copyright). More videos after the break.
UPDATE 5: Added 4 more videos
UPDATE 4: Statement from the Mandarin Hotel Group after the break
UPDATE 3: I replaced the first video with actual footage of the hotel starting to burn after the fireworks
I got to meet L.E.FT when we interviewed them at their office in New York back in September, 2008. This practice is lead by three partners, Makram el Kadi, Ziad Jamaleddine and Naji Moujaes. They all graduated in Beirut between 1995 and 1997, and then got their masters at Parsons, Harvard and SCI-Arc, respectively. After that, they worked on big practices such as Massimiliano Fuksas and Steven Holl Architects, and then founded L.E.FT in 2001.
They are still related to the academy (UPenn, Yale, Cornell, RPI), a constant on innovative practices. Also, they got invited to the Young Architects Program at P.S.1 2009, an annual competition that invites emerging architects to design a temporary structure.
You can hear their thoughts on several aspects of the architectural practice on the interview we conducted. Now, onto some of their featured works:
We got the chance to sit down with the tree partners at L.E.FT a few months ago, and chatted about their practice, ongoing projects and their thoughts on the state of architectural education, the role of architects in current society and more.
I found their work very interesting, and it was no surprise to see them invited to the P.S.1 competition for 2009 we featured earlier. I also selected them for our section AD Futures, as i think they have a promising future.
An exhibition on the works of German architect Juergen Mayer H., entitled “Patterns of Speculation”, just opened at the SF MoMA. Mayer joins two modes of exhibiting architecture in a gallery – installation and documentation – to present a unique, hybrid environment.
Schoener-Wohnen is holding the HÄUSER-AWARD 2010 in collaboration with Schüco and the Verband Privater Bauherren e.V. (VPB). Prize money of 15,000 euros is at stake. The results of the competition are scheduled for publication in HÄUSER in March 2010. The best projects will also be presented in a book to be published by Callwey Verlag at the same time.
Our dear friends over at CASE have been featured on Archinect´s Working out of the Box, a a series of features presenting architects who have applied their architecture backgrounds to alternative career paths. Personally, I don´t agree with this as I don´t feel that what they do is an “alternative” path, but something that should be into the core of any practice.
Baden Wuerttemberg International (BW-I), Zafh.net and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. (GACCoM) will be hosting the symposium “Sustainable Energy Technology in Germany and the U.S.” on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 in Chicago. A delegation of experts from the state of Baden Wuerttemberg will come to the U.S. and participate in a half-day conference where current topics about sustainable energy technology will be discussed.
Architecture photographer Iwan Baan just shared with us a photo set of the latest Herzog & de Meuron building in Spain, the Espacio de las Artes at Santa Cruz, Tenerife. Another H&dM building for Spain, after the Caixa Forum (Madrid) and the Forum building (Barcelona).
With over 20,622 sqm, the building includes a public library, a contemporary art museum, the Photography Centre of the Tenerife Island, a store, a cafe/restaurant and several public use spaces for the community.
The building is a long volume intersected by a ramp that generates a triangular plaza. Along the facade, over 1,200 openings in 720 different shapes filter the natural light to the inside, while generating an amazing view during night.
During the opening, Jaques Herzog said that this building will change the image of Tenerife, and along with the Calatrava auditorium will turn the city into a cultural focus.