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NAAS Springs - FFA Proposal / Hapsitus Architects

Courtesy of Hapsitus Architects
Courtesy of Hapsitus Architects

The design proposal for NAAS Springs, a well-known wellness center and place of relaxation in Beirut, is formed by a series of walls projecting into nature. They alternate between large living spaces with roofs for residences and uncovered elongated spaces for the passages, which form an extension of nature. Designed by Hapsitus Architects, the architectural landscape is created in the spirit of water following down a sloped terrain. More images and architects’ description after the break.

AWP to announce masterplan for La Défense

La Défense, Paris’ major business district, is about to undergo a transformation with the help of Paris architecture firm AWP. AWP’s plan was presented to government agencies EPADESA and DEFACTO as well as local communities in November 2012, but will be released to the public for the first time in March. The proposed plan not only updates and adds to the current site: it rethinks and reevaluates what already exists. More on the plan after the break.

Sushi-teria / form-ula

  • Architects: form-ula
  • Location: 601 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, USA
  • Design Team: Ajmal Aqtash, Richard Sarrach, Tamaki Uchikawa
  • Fabrication Team: Tai-Li Lee, Brian Chu, Zack Fine, Arianna Lebed, Andrew Reitz, David Kim
  • Collaborators: Sebastian Misiurek
  • Contractor: John Gallin & Son
  • Area: 1,000 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Barkow Photo

© Barkow Photo © Barkow Photo © Barkow Photo © Barkow Photo

Chesapeake Child Development Center / Elliott + Associates Architects

© Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing © Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing © Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing © Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing

Housing and Shops / Christ & Gantenbein

  • Architects: Christ & Gantenbein
  • Architect in Charge: Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein
  • Design Team: Mona Farag (associate), Laura Schneider, Sven Richter (project management), Petra Jossen, Thomas Gläss, Christoph Bedall
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Walter Mair

© Walter Mair © Walter Mair © Walter Mair © Walter Mair

AZPA to Transform Nineteenth Century Building into Locarno Film Festival Headquarters

Courtesy of AZPA
Courtesy of AZPA

London and Barcelona-based practice AZPA (Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architecture) has been announced as winner of an international competition aimed to establish a permanent residence for the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. Breaking away from the starchitect notion of public architecture needing to make an “extravagant gesture”, AZPA’s innovative proposal partakes in an act of “urban recycling” by reusing the pre-existent, nineteenth century structure of Piazza Castello and transforming its interior courtyard into three sizable theaters. Additionally, a complimentary renovation will take place on the surrounding Piazza Remo Rossi, which will be repaved with red natural stone that essentially provides a “permanent red carpet” qualified to host an array of festival related events. 

As Architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo describes: "I do not want to redraw the city, but keep the city." 

AZPA’s winning design not only preserves and capitalizes on the existing integrity of the city, but the strategies employed makes this an economically viable solution. With an estimated price tag of 28 million Swiss Francs, this renovation is said to be no more than the cost of a complete demolition. 

More on AZPA’s winning proposal after the break. 

Italcementi i.lab / Richard Meier & Partners

From the architect. Our friends at Richard Meier & Partners have shared with us their latest completed project: Italcementi i.lab in Bergamo, Italy. The building, a new research and development center for Italcementi, one of the top five cement manufacturers in the world, is a showcase for sustainable design, already attaining one of the first LEED Platinum accreditations in Italy.  

According to the firm, Italcementi i.lab reflects not only the company’s commitment to sustainability but also “the company’s position of leadership, technological advancement and commitment to research and innovation in the use of concrete.”

In the Press Release, Dukho Yeon, Design Partner-in-charge, describes the project: “i.lab is our firm’s most sustainable building to date embodied in sculptural and dramatic, but simple forms showcasing the possibilities of concrete in perfect balance with the technical purpose of the building.”

Read more about Richard Meier & Partners’ latest, after the break...

ABI Reports Five Consecutive Months of Growth

ABI December 2012 via Calculated Risk
ABI December 2012 via Calculated Risk

Concluding 2012 with strong business conditions, the December Architecture Billings Index (ABI) marks five consecutive months of growth with a score of 52.0. Released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity that reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. By remaining above 50, December’s score reflects an increase in demand for design services. However, growth is slightly slower than the previous month, whose mark at 53.2 brought the strongest business conditions since 2007. Additionally, the new projects inquiry index remains in positive territory with a score of 59.4, also down slightly from the 59.6 mark of November.

Mistral Wine Store / Studio Arthur Casas

  • Architects: Studio Arthur Casas
  • Author: Arthur Casas
  • Co-authors: Raphael França, Joana Oliveira
  • Project Manager: Cristiane Trolesi
  • Project Team: Gabriel Ranieri, Maria Alice Carvalho, Mariana Santoro
  • Contractor: Souza Lima
  • Area: 126,73 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Tierra De Barros Hospital / EACSN + Junquera Arquitectos

  • Architects: EACSN, Junquera Arquitectos
  • Location: 06200 Almendralejo, Badajoz, Spain
  • Architects in Charge: Víctor de las Casas, Eduardo Fernández Inglada, Eduardo Merello, Guillermo Merchán, Jerónimo Junquera, Liliana Obal
  • Collaborators: Berra Ingenieros, Everproject, Euring
  • Constructor: Placonsa
  • Area: 0.0 m2
  • Year: 2007
  • Photography: Jesús Granada

© Jesús Granada © Jesús Granada © Jesús Granada © Jesús Granada

Rajuela House / Muñoz Arquitectos

  • Architects: Muñoz Arquitectos
  • Location: Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico
  • Architect in Charge: Javier Muñoz Menéndez
  • Collaborators: Gareth Lowe Negrón, Andrea Dutton Ruiz, Isabela Rincon Milet, Luis Miguel Acuña Gonzalez
  • Area: 592.61 sqm
  • Year: 2010
  • Photography: Rolando Córdoba

© Rolando Córdoba © Rolando Córdoba © Rolando Córdoba © Rolando Córdoba

Video: Designer Days at Adidas HQ

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies / Christopher Charles Benninger Architects

  • Architects: Christopher Charles Benninger Architects
  • Architect in Charge: Prof. Christopher Benninger
  • Design Team: Daraius Choksi, Harsh Manrao, Shivaji Karekar, Akshay Modhak, Sujit Kothiwale, Neha Kothiwale, Shalaka Vaidya, Kshitija Parmar, Madhvi Bhuradia, Noel Jerald, Er. Rahul Sathe
  • Area: 21,500 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: A. Ramprasad Naidu

© A. Ramprasad Naidu © A. Ramprasad Naidu © A. Ramprasad Naidu © A. Ramprasad Naidu

Switch Box in House / Naf Architect & Design

© Toshiyuki Yano
© Toshiyuki Yano
  • Architects: Naf Architect & Design
  • Location: Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Akio NAKASA(maneger), Daisuke AOKI
  • Area: 127.99 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Toshiyuki Yano

© Toshiyuki Yano © Toshiyuki Yano © Toshiyuki Yano © Toshiyuki Yano

University of Southern Denmark Student Housing Winning Proposal / C.F. Møller Architects

Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects
Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

Inspired by the school’s strong community spirit, C.F. Møller Architects’ first prize winning design for University of Southern Denmark’s student housing project includes 250 student residences that are located in three interconnected 14-storey buildings. This means that the residence has no front or back, but appears attractive from a 360-degree perspective. The building’s distinctive shape will make it easily recognizable on the campus, and clearly advertises its distinct residential content. More images and architects’ description after the break.